Suzuki already has a classic blue and white commemorative livery for its GSX-R line of motorcycles, but today at the Indianapolis GP, the Japanese brand debuted another commemorative edition of the Suzuki GSX-R1000, this time in red & black.
While the blue and white livery has become the more traditional colors for Suzuki and its GSX-R sport bikes, it was the red and black GSX-R750 machines of Yoshimura Suzuki that dominated the Suzuka 8-Hour in 1986, the first year of the bike’s debut.
After practice on Friday, it looked like the MotoGP race at Indianapolis was going to be a knock-down, drag-out battle between Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo, both men very evenly matched.
A day later, and it looks like the battle could be much bigger than that, with Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi on the same pace, and maybe even Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith, and if things go right for him, Aleix Espargaro involved in the fight.
Unfortunately for the fans, the battle will be for second, as one man has moved the game on. Marc Márquez’s reign in the USA is looking increasingly secure.
Every once in a while, riders inadvertently do me a big favor by glancing over as I’m taking pictures. Eye contact is always a bonus.
This was a continuation of an idea that I started trying a couple years ago, but I forgot about. I tried to use the track to add a bit of interest to the foreground, while making sure the rider was making an interesting shape. Cal Crutchlow was the only rider to dangle his leg, making him the ideal subject.
This is what happens when riders are asked silly questions during press conferences.
Marc Marquez will start tomorrows race from pole.
Jorge Lorenzo grabbed third with his final lap.
Dani Pedrosa made it a Honda one-two.
Turn two at Indy generally doesn’t generate interesting images aside from the opening lap of a race, but I decided to make a brief stop since I was in the area.
The first couple riders went by and I quickly remembered why I don’t really spend much time there. Next thing I know, Alex Marquez runs wide entering the turn and skids into the grass making odd shapes along the way.
At the moment, the outside of turn three is the most interesting spot I know of at Indy that plays well with the morning light. The first time I shot this corner was three years ago, just before Marc Marquez entered the premier class, and the riding style did not look quite like this.
This angle only works with riders with a certain riding style. Jorge Lorenzo is one of them.
Every race track has something special, but each is special in a different way. There are the tracks which are notable for the speed, such as Mugello, Termas de Rio Hondo, or Phillip Island. There are tracks which have a spectacular setting, such as Phillip Island, Mugello, or Aragon.
There are tracks which are notable for their layout, either fast and flowing like Assen or Brno, or tight and treacherous such as the Sachsenring. And then there are tracks which are so unlike anywhere else that motorcycle racing goes to that they have a character all of their own. Like Indianapolis.
What makes Indy such a unique challenge? “The special thing about this track is that during the weekend, the grip is improving a lot, so this is one point you must understand during the weekend how the grip improves,” Marc Márquez said.
Understanding this, that the track you roll out onto on Friday morning bears no relation to the track you will be racing on come Sunday, presents a very specific challenge.
It rewards riders and teams who understand how a track matures and changes, can anticipate what is coming without getting ahead of themselves and paying the price for overestimating the available grip. A number of riders did that on Friday morning, especially in Moto3.
A tough day for Valentino Rossi who struggled with a lack of front end feel on his M1 Yamaha.
Marc Marquez finished Day 1 as second fastest and only 0.003 secs behind fastest man Jorge Lorenzo.
The first part of MotoGP’s truncated silly season has fallen into place. As expected, Yamaha today announced that it has extended its deal with Pol Espargaro for another year.
As such, Espargaro will race a factory-backed Yamaha M1 with the Monster Tech 3 M1 season in 2016.
The news had been widely trailed, and is a sensible choice for the Spaniard. Though Espargaro is rumored to be taking a significant pay cut for next season, signing a one-year deal puts him in step with the factory riders, whose contracts are all up for renewal at the end of 2016.
The summer break ended fittingly, in a downpour. Rain engulfed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the riders gathered for the start of the second half of the season, but it failed to dampen their spirits.
Most of them were raring to go, having had three weekends away from racing. The only exceptions were the men who raced the Suzuka 8-Hour race, Pol Espargaro telling reporters he was ‘a little tired’ after missing out on some much needed downtime.
As for the rest? “Looking forward to getting back to riding,” was how Cal Crutchlow summed up the general feeling in the paddock. Fortunately for all concerned, Thursday’s rain is likely to be the last for a few days. The MotoGP weekend should take place under clear skies and with good weather.