One of the first race weekends of the season to have consistent weather, race fans seemed all set for some fine MotoGP racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday. The positive vibe would be stricken though, as three riders hit the tarmac hard during Saturday’s qualifying. Out for his home Grand Prix, Nicky Hayden would have to watch the race from the Ducati garage, while Ben Spies and Casey Stoner overcame injuries to brave the breach once more.
With Rossi continuing to struggle on the Ducati, Dovizioso (the man tipped to replace Rossi at Ducati Corse) sitting on the front row with a satellite bike, and Dani Pedrosa topping the time sheets at the pole-position, eager to claw some points back in the Championship from Jorge Lorenzo, the Indianapolis GP at least sounded interesting on paper, though was quite the opposite once it came to actuality.
Despite the absence of local-boy Nicky Hayden on the grid, American fans were treated to a rocket start from Ben Spies, who lead for the first three laps of the race. Looking to have a comfortable pace for at least a podium finish, the motor on Spies’s Yamaha YZR-M1 gave up the ghost on the front straight, as it chased down Pedrosa’s Honda.
Dashing the hopes of the strong fan base that the Texan has here in Indianapolis, the motor failure also dashed the hopes of any real close-racing at the Grand Prix. With Lorenzo too far out of touch with Pedrosa to catch-up to him, the two riders raced to easy podium positions, while the battle for third took a bit more time to sort out amongst its five contenders.
Lead by Andrea Dovizioso, the group had to contend with a charging Casey Stoner, who eventually would find his way to the front – just a checkered flag away from a remarkable podium finish. Dovi would have something to say about it though, as he re-caught Stoner with seven laps to go. Riding to a comfortable margin, Dovi finished third, while Stoner settled for fourth, despite his herculean effort on the race course.
With the rest of the race mostly a procession, the highlights included Cal Crutchlow crashing on Lap 9, Randy de Puniet retiring with a broken clutch four laps later, and Steve Rapp on the Attack Performance CRT getting some airtime as he added two seconds to Lorenzo’s gap to Pedrosa via rolling chicane efforts. With the Moto3 and Moto2 races providing exciting racing here at Indianapolis, one has to wonder about the formula for success in the premier class.
Race Results from the Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA:
|1||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||46’39.631|
|2||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||+10.823|
|3||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||+17.310|
|4||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+19.803|
|5||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||+22.556|
|6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||+30.072|
|7||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||+57.614|
|8||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||+1’08.442|
|9||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||+1’11.106|
|10||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||+1’14.079|
|11||Toni ELIAS||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||+1’26.305|
|12||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||+1’40.274|
|13||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||1 Lap|
|14||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||1 Lap|
|15||Steve RAPP||USA||Attack Performance||APR||1 Lap|
|16||Aaron YATES||USA||GPTech||BCL||1 Lap|
|Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||19 Laps|
|Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||20 Laps|
|Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||22 Laps|
|Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||27 Laps|
|Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||0 Lap|
|Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||0 Lap|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved