Honda Achieves 700th FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Victory
INDIANAPOLIS, USA, August 9, 2015 – Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) claimed victory in the MotoGP class, in Round 10 of the 2015 FIM Road Racing World Championship held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, USA. Beginning with its first world grand prix race in 1961, at the hands of Australian rider Tom Phillis on his Honda RC143 in the 125cc class of the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, Honda has now achieved an unprecedented 700* grand prix wins.
By the beginning of the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Honda had tallied 698 grand prix wins. The Moto3 class started under light rain, with most top riders choosing wet tires. 18 year old Belgian rider Livio Loi (RW Racing GP Honda NSF250RW) had taken a gamble to start on slicks, which paid off as the wet tire riders inevitably pitted, allowing Loi to claim his first victory after a consistent ride, taking Honda one step closer to the 700 win milestone.
Uncertain weather conditions persisted in the MotoGP class which followed, with light rain in the latter stages of the premier class race. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) maintained a close gap with the race leader throughout the race, and with three laps remaining on lap 25, took the lead for a runaway victory, giving him his second consecutive win (third for the season), and Honda its 700th grand prix victory.
In 1954, Honda’s founder Soichiro Honda declared entry into the premier motor sports event of the time, the Isle of Man TT, aiming to “realize the dream of becoming the world’s best.” After five years developing a racing machine, Honda became the first Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to enter the Isle of Man TT race. The following year, in 1960, Honda began competing in the 125cc and 250cc classes of the FIM Road Racing World Championship, and in 1961, Tom Phillis won the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, giving Honda its first step towards its 700 victories.
Honda then forayed into the 350cc and 50cc classes in 1962, and the 500cc class in 1966, and won the championship in all five classes in 1966. At the time, Honda considered its racing activities to be a “laboratory on wheels,” and new technologies developed to win world championship races were applied to its production motorcycles. With dramatically improved quality, the market had expanded its support for Honda’s motorcycles. At the end of the 1967 season, Honda had paused its factory racing activities, which were to be restarted 11 years later, with 138 grand prix wins.
In 1979, Honda returned to FIM Road Racing World Championship racing in the 500cc class. Three years later in 1982, American rider Freddie Spencer won Round 7 in Belgium on his Honda NS500, giving Honda its first victory since returning to world grand prix racing. Honda then went on to win grand prix races in the 125cc and 250cc classes, contributing to its 500th victory in 2001, when Italian rider Valentino Rossi was victorious in the 500cc class at the season-opening Japan Grand Prix. In 2005, Spaniard Dani Pedrosa rode his Honda RS250RW to victory in the 250cc class in Round 15 in Australia, marking Honda’s 600th grand prix win.
* Number of wins counted by Honda based on FIM records Moto2 class wins since 2010 are not included, as the entire class is raced with Honda engines Moto3 class wins in 2012 are not included as Honda wins, in compliance with FIM regulations, as the registered constructor was FTR Honda (albeit powered by the NSF250R engine)
President, CEO and Representative Director
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
“I am proud of Honda’s 700th victory in the FIM Road Racing World Championship. This achievement could only have been realized through the countless number of people working together, and the support every fan has given for Honda’s racing activities. I am deeply grateful to everyone for their contributions and support. Thank you very much.”
Marc Marquez shines again at Indy
Third victory of the season for reigning World Champion, who now holds five wins at Indianapolis. Dani Pedrosa, fourth, misses out on podium on last lap.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix was an exciting race until the final lap, with Marc Marquez taking his third win of the year -a second consecutive victory after his triumph in Germany before the summer break. Marquez now has five wins at Indianapolis in the last five years. His teammate, Dani Pedrosa, competed for the podium until the final lap in a tough fight with Valentino Rossi, but finally crossed the line in fourth place.
Marc Marquez extended his excellent record in the United States, where he now has nine wins in the last five years. In today’s race he put on an exciting show until the last lap, after escaping from the start alongside Jorge Lorenzo. Matching his rival’s pace throughout the race and beating the circuit record with a few laps to go, Marquez took the lead with three laps remaining and held his position until the checkered flag.
Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa stood firm in third position from the start of the race. With ten laps remaining, Valentino Rossi overtook him -and the Spaniard managed to recover his position with four laps to go. However, a mistake on Turn 10 enabled the Italian to take third again and, although Pedrosa overtook him again on the last lap, Rossi made the definitive pass before the end.
With little time to rest, the MotoGP riders fly to the Czech Republic this week, where Sunday sees the eleventh round of the 2015 season.
Marc Márquez 1st 41:55.371
“The race went very well, but we were pretty much on the limit. The truth is that Jorge improved a lot during the race, and I didn’t think there would be so many laps in the 1’32s. Even towards the end of the race we did a 1’32.6, which is very fast! We used the strategy of attacking at the end, when there were three laps remaining, and I think it was ideal for taking victory at this circuit. I’m also very proud to have taken Honda’s 700th victory! This is a very special moment for all the team and I dedicate it to all of Honda.”
Dani Pedrosa 4th at 6.147 sec.
“It was a very physical race. We had to fight a lot with the bike because the grip was difficult. The surprise was Valentino. I knew my pace was a little slower than Marc and Jorge’s, but after practice I thought I might be a little closer. However, Valentino made a big step forward as usual and we had to fight for the podium; on the last lap he overtook me on the second corner and I couldn’t return the pass. I’m happy for Honda to have achieved the 700th victory, it’s an honour to have played a part in this impressive statistic!”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Banks Double Podium at the Brickyard
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought a hard battle today to score a double podium finish in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Grand Prix of Indianapolis
RACE – Indianapolis, USA, 9th August 2015
14:00 LOCAL TIME GMT-4
AIR 28°C / TRACK 35°C
CLOUDY / HUMIDITY 70%
2nd JORGE LORENZO
+0.688 / 27 LAPS
3rd VALENTINO ROSSI
+5.966 / 27 LAPS
Indianapolis (USA), 9th August 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi put up a strong fight today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to take their sixth double Yamaha podium of the year, scoring second and third respectively.
Lorenzo started from third on the grid and took the holeshot as the field bunched up in the first corner. He put his head down to clear off at the front closely followed by rival Marc Marquez behind, the two racing with less than 0,3s between them.
The Yamaha rider kept the pace up lap after lap with an inch perfect performance and led until three laps remained, Marquez making his move going into turn one to take the lead. Lorenzo tried to pass back, but was unable to make it stick and had to settle for second place, 0,688s from the front.
Teammate Rossi had a great start from eighth on the grid, climbing up two places going into the first twisty section, and crossed the line for the first time in fifth. He soon passed Andrea Iannone and put the hammer down in order to close a 0,4s gap to Dani Pedrosa in third. With 20 laps to go he was the only rider lapping in the 1?32s and he reached the back of his rival’s bike seven laps later. The tense battle that followed ended with the Italian passing the Spaniard going into turn two, but the race was far from decided.
The Doctor then continued his charge towards the front pack before again getting involved in a scrap with the chasing Pedrosa. Despite the Spaniard?s best efforts Rossi was determined to claim the final spot on the podium, exiting the fight in front to finish in third +5.966s behind the race winner.
Lorenzo’s well-deserved second place puts him on 186 points, 9 points behind championship leader Rossi, who holds a total of 195 points.
It could have been worse and it could have been better. Second place in MotoGP is always a very good result because these are the best riders in the world, so to fight for the win and lead for so many laps during the race is difficult. I pushed a lot from the start in every corner and I probably lost more energy than Marc, who was following me. When he attacked I really didn?t have enough energy and I wasn?t fresh enough to make an attack on him, so I recovered four points on Vale and lost five points to Marc, but he?s still quite far behind in the championship. I think we should celebrate this result after a difficult weekend and my crash from this morning. I am satisfied, let?s see what happens in the next race.
At one moment Jorge was in front and I was fourth so I would have lost twelve points. I had to try at the maximum because these points for third are more important for me than for Dani. I gave my all and it was very difficult because this track, with this temperature and humidity is very demanding, but I?m happy at the end because it was a good race and I had a good pace. The problem is the qualifying, we struggle too much in the practice and we arrive with a little bit too much of a delay before finding a good setting. Starting from the third row is always difficult. I started well and I was fast on the first laps so, if I would have been able to start from the second row, I would have been able to stay with Marc and Jorge until the end of the race. We have to work hard on this, starting from Brno.
Smith meets chequered flag in 6th at the Brickyard
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith conquered the Indianapolis Grand Prix with a 6th place finish aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 for round 10 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship today. The British rider had a good start from the rear of the second row and completed the opening lap in 7th. Smith jumped past his teammate on the next lap and with him still hot on his heels, he set into his formidable race pace and pulled away from Espargaro whilst homing in on Andrea Iannone on the Factory Ducati. With 10 laps having been completed, the 24 year old was still running in 6th and confident of closing the gap to the rider in front. As the lap numbers counted down, Smith upped his pace, setting his personal best on the 23rd as he continued to reel in the Ducati in front. The fight went right down to the final lap and the British star completed the 27 lap sprint just two tenths of a second behind 5th place and as the leading satellite rider once again.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro produced a solid effort to clinch 7th position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in front of a crowd of 68,000 fans today. The 24 year old stormed off the fourth row of the grid and finished the first lap in a fantastic 6th place. After exchanging some passes with his teammate and dropping back one position, he dug deep as he intended to climb through the field but ran wide on the 10th lap, which allowed Cal Crutchlow to pass him. He then became locked in a tough battle, however the relentless Spaniard powered onwards and took 7th back off Crutchlow on lap 14. The race distance progressed and the pair swapped positions again with Espargaro dropping back to 8th but the 2014 MotoGP Rookie of the year remained confident about reclaiming the position in front and made some aggressive steps forward. On the penultimate lap, he lunged inside Crutchlow to snatch 7th and cross the finish line in this position after a hard fought race.
Bradley Smith Bradley Smith
Position : 6th Championship : 5th Points : 97
“I have to be happy with the result today as it was another step forward. My most important objective was to start the second half of the season strong and keep the same level of performance from the beginning of the year, which I have been able to do. This weekend, the team always remained focused on the job ahead and it was capped by a strong result today making it a great weekend. However, I made a mistake at the start and I actually began the race with no launch control in first gear as I had changed to second just before the lights went out. Yet despite that, it was better than I expected and I won’t be making that mistake again in Brno! After the warm up this morning, I was a bit worried that we could struggle as it seemed that we did not have the pace at the beginning of the race but the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and Bridgestone worked their magic for me and gave me a fantastic package. I must admit that I am a little disappointed that I couldn’t get past Iannone for 5th position but I was closer than I was in Sachsenring, so lets try and make another step in Brno.”
Pol Espargaro Pol Espargaro
Position : 7th Championship : 9th Points : 73
“Of course I can’t be completely satisfied with today’s result. Unfortunately I had to face the same issue which I have experienced some other times which is concerning the handling of the bike on new tyres and on full fuel load because it changes a lot. Therefore, I’m struggling to put my M1 into the positions I would like to do because it feels really heavy. Later at the midpoint of the race my rhythm became stronger and I could make up some time, but not as much as I lost at the beginning and when I started to get tired towards the end of the race, because I’m fighting with the bike, things didn’t get easier. Yet, we have to take some positives from today as I was able to pass Cal in the final stages of the race and reach the chequered flag in 7th position. Now we will keep working on trying to improve this circumstance for the next round which is right around the corner.”
Hervé Poncharal – Team manager
“It was a good race result for us and I am really proud of both riders, they did their best and rode hard from the word go. It was a very exciting race and Bradley had a very strong pace and pushed Iannone all the way to the finish flag. Passing the Ducati was just out of reach, yet despite this, I am very happy with his performance all weekend because he has been really competitive and is the fastest satellite bike once again. Plus, Brad is now fifth in the championship standings and three points ahead of Dovizioso which means a lot to me. I am also happy about Pol’s performance. He had a great start and gave his all throughout the race which was not easy for him after the two crashes he had this weekend so I want to thank him for his ?never give up’ attitude. He managed to keep Cal behind and we all know how fast Cal can be, so to finish in 7th and be only one point behind him in the championship makes us really happy. I think both of our guys are going to have another strong race very soon in the Czech republic, so lets regroup and continue in this manner. We are a happy team tonight and we are going to celebrate a bit back in Indy before taking the flight back to Europe.”
PRUDENT RACE FOR ALVARO BAUTISTA, 18th AT INDIANAPOLIS
RACING DEBUT FOR STEFAN BRADL ON THE APRILIA RS-GP
Indianapolis (USA), 9 August 2015 – An extremely demanding weekend for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini has just come to an end where they found a stubborn adversary in the American Indianapolis track. The characteristics of the Indy track penalised the RS-GP, especially in the second half of the race when tyre wear kept Alvaro Bautista from battling for a finish in a position that would have earned him championship points, where he had been hanging on, and it kept Stefan Bradl from holding onto the positions he had gained after a good start. The German rider also had to deal with pain in his recently operated right wrist, but he is leaving the United States with good sensations after his debut on the Aprilia.
At the start Alvaro Bautista was unable to find his way through to move up in position through the first turns, finding himself stuck in a thick group of riders. Bradl, on the other hand, got off the line well, even moving up to thirteenth position at the beginning of the race. However, both riders suffered a drop in grip which was particularly penalizing in right-handers. Alvaro finished his race in 18th place, whereas Bradl crossed the line in 20th.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Director)
“We had some difficulties with the rear tyre in a way that we had never experience before, especially on the right side, so much that both riders at a certain point were forced to slow down significantly. For Stefan the pain in his operated right wrist added to the problems, so both riders lost a bit of their edge toward the end of the race. The fundamental problem, which was closing out turns, has an impact on the grip and that is where we need to work. Thanks to Bradl’s comments, which add to the great job Alvaro is doing, we may have identified some new solutions that we’ll be testing in the next race at Brno.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“This was a difficult race in terms of the result which was certainly not the best, but I should point out that we did a good job with both riders throughout the weekend and this is important in view of the coming rounds. Alvaro rode a good race, but when the tyres began to wear he struggled a lot to maintain a good pace, whereas in the final phases of the race Bradl was feeling the pain in his injured right race and he crossed the finish line under a lot of stress.”
“This was a really hard race. We had the same difficulties that had come up in practice. At the start I struggled because on the first turn I found myself stuck in a group of a lot of riders and wasn’t about to gain any positions. From there on I tried to set my pace and I was in the zone to be able to battle for fifteenth place and a points finish, but I had trouble keeping up with the others. This track posed some difficulty for us, especially when we started feeling the tyre war. In right-handers I was losing a lot of time. In any case, we finished the race and collected some more fundamental information for 2016. I’d like to thank the team for their hard work this weekend.”
“After spending three days on the track I expected to have problems with my right wrist today. Already this morning in the Warm Up session I started feeling some pain and after the midway point of the race I wasn’t able to control the bike as I would have liked at a lot of places on the track. In any case, we gave it our all and I consider this first weekend for me on the RS-GP as a positive one. I learned a lot about the bike and together with the team we made a lot of changes in the little time we had available, doing a good job. I wasn’t used to riding the entire race distance on this bike and if you add my injury to that obviously I wasn’t able to be as fast as I would have liked. For the moment we are satisfied anyway and we are looking forward to Brno where we’ll try to take a step forward.”