Published on 20 Aug 2012 by Toni M.
The Indianapolis GP was another example of processional racing and unfortunately this time is wasn’t restricted just to MotoGP, but also the lower classes who usually offer a better ’show,’ for the first time this year fell victim to the same thing.
There was some final lap action in Moto3 thanks to Luis Salom and some hard passing by Sandro Cortese with Maverick Vinales crashing out on one of the last turns. Golden boy Marc Marquez cleared out after 5 laps to win the Moto2 race and Dani Pedrosa did the same in MotoGP. However, for the first time this year the Repsol Honda rider looks like he has real shot at winning this year’s championship or at least give Jorge Lorenzo - who is in a state of grace, because of if he can’t win will settle, and even be happy with a second place - a run for his money.
The Indianpolis Motor Speedway isn’t circuit that offers great motorcycle racing because of its flat layout and despite the infield being resurfaced last year (from turn 5 to 16) we saw an uhealthy amount of highsides, with sliding riding styles, wandering off the racing line and tires all, coming into play to try to unsuccessfully explain what happened on Saturday during qualifying when three riders horifically crashed out. Whatever the issues, that will have to be addressed in someway, Dorna has confirmed that the Brickyard will be back on the calendar in 2013 and 2014 (we can already hear European fans groaning).
While we’re not going to don a tin foil hat or buy into the burgeoning conspiracy theory, but the departing Ben Spies is one of the unluckiest riders we’ve seen in a very long time - three technical/mechanical failures is at least two too many for a manufacturer like Yamaha who has Lorenzo leading in the standings.
Spies seems pretty fatalistic and resigned about what happened to him yesterday - his engine blew and it was the same bike that he crashed during qualifying - but the American dropped a small nuke yesterday during the post-race press conference revealing that a Yamaha ’suit’ told him “that if I’m not going to ride a hundred percent at Laguna (Seca), don’t show up.” (read entire interview here), which is probably one of the ‘litany of reasons’ that made him quit Yamaha before they dropped him.
Spies isn’t the only one that can’t wait for this season to be over, Valentino Rossi is standing right in line with him and counting the days until November 12th when he can get off the red beast and try to prove he is still a top rider, but the Italian has asked Ducati to test at Misano on September 5th and 6th - they will have some new parts -and to see if he can at least try to save some face at the Misano GP (his home race) and the remaining part of the season.
After the jump you can find out what the riders had to say after race and you can also check out our huge photo gallery from the
Indianapolis GP weekend.
Dani Pedrosa - 1st
“I’m extremely happy with this win and I really want to congratulate the whole team for the great job they’ve done this weekend, the bike worked perfectly. It was difficult at the beginning of the race because the pace was very strong from the start. I got past Ben Spies, but I kept calm because I knew I had the pace today to fight for the victory. When I took the lead, I put in some very strong laps to build up a gap and then I made a mistake in turn 2 going into neutral and Jorge reduced the gap by 1 second. But I was able to get back on my pace and ride comfortably to the end, where I think Jorge struggled a little with the soft rear tyre. We managed to take our second win of the season and every point is important. I want to also congratulate Casey for his result; he did a superb race in his condition and I am sure he will be strong again in Brno”.
Jorge Lorenzo - 2nd
“We thought that the soft tyre could finish the race well so we took a risk with it. At the beginning it wasn’t so bad and I could follow Ben and Dani. Then Ben had his engine failure which was lucky for my position but I am so sorry for him. Dani was a little step forward today and had a tyre advantage in the end. Anyway, second was the best we could do today which is very good for the Championship.”
Andrea Dovizioso - 3rd
“This podium is once again confirmation of our great work as a team and I am really proud of the support I get from all my crew in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. For us a podium is always like a victory and of course I’m really happy but I think we still can do better. But honestly I didn’t expect to be so strong at this track. Unfortunately I could not push as hard as I would have liked to at the beginning of the race, so I lost a bit of time and could not stay with the leading group. And afterwards when Ben broke the engine I did half of the straight trying to see through the smoke and I was not sure if there was oil on my tyres, so I lost some important tenths. Maybe the position could not have been better but for sure the gap would have been less to Dani and Jorge. I’m not completely satisfied because I wasn’t as consistent as I’d hoped, but to be on the podium is a great feeling and a good reward for all our hard work. I also want to pay tribute to Casey today because he delivered a brilliant performance. Physically he wasn’t in the best shape but it was still very hard to beat him. Now we got to Brno with a lot of confidence and I’m optimistic that the podium is a realistic target again.”
Casey Stoner - 4th
“I’m definitely disappointed with how the weekend went. We had a strong start on Friday morning and then had a few issues Friday afternoon in FP2. We showed that we certainly had the pace for pole position and fight for the win but unfortunately I had a huge crash in qualifying. The injuries I sustained from the crash made things very difficult for us and we lost precious track time to work on the set up. This morning in warm up I was just getting comfortable on the bike and trying to get a feel for everything rather than working on set up. The race was equally as difficult, we had a rough start and got pushed back some positions and had to fight our way back through. As soon as we did, unluckily Ben had a bike failure and I found myself in the middle of the smoke, unsure where I was going and what I might hit and we lost positions again. At the end of the race it was almost impossible to maintain the pace. The painkillers I took to dull the pain gradually wore off at around the half way point and as I was compensating for my injury with the other side of my body, I simply had no energy left. It was frustrating to give up the podium position to Andrea but we did everything we could and at least I was able to ride and take some points”
Alvaro Bautista - 5th
This result is fruit of all the hard work the guys in the team have done this weekend to get the feeling back that we had before Mugello. I knew I could have a good race today and after making some positions up at the start I was able to run with the front guys for most of the race. At the end Dovizioso and Stoner were two or three tenths quicker than me so I couldn’t follow them but I think this is a positive result for us, especially after a couple of difficult races for us. I hope this means we are on the right lines for the upcoming races but I want to thank everybody in the team for helping me to get my confidence and feel for the bike back, as well as all the sponsors and everybody who has kept faith in us.”
Stefan Bradl - 6th
“Honestly it was not one of our best races so far and I am a bit disappointed because we looked stronger than this. Sixth position is not a disaster but I was expecting a bit more considering the pace of our qualification yesterday. Unfortunately I was not able to push in the first gear corners and I was losing quite a lot in the acceleration areas. I tried to pull it back in section 2 and section 3 which was possible in the begging but not over the all race distance. At the end I had to accept that today we were not so strong but we are doing well and we still hold the sixth position in the world standing”.
Valentino Rossi - 7th
“It was a very complicated weekend. We expected it a little bit because last year was also challenging, but there were also some positive signs these two days. In the morning practice sessions and also in today’s warm-up, I was able to ride a bit better, with a pace of around 1:40.5. In the race though, with the higher temperatures of the afternoon, the rear tyre started to slide a lot after just a few laps. The harder I tried to push, the more it slid, so I actually went slower. I tried to stay with the others but I closed the front twice, and I nearly crashed. At that point, I decided to make it to the finish without making mistakes. I’m pleased that we go directly to Brno next week because it’s a track that I like a lot and last year we had a decent race. Then we’ll also have a test where we’ll try to take a good step forward with the bike because there are only seven rounds until the end and we have to do some better races.”
Yonny Hernández - 9th
“I have no words to explain what I felt when crossing the finish line. The team did a great job and managed to give me a bike that I feel very comfortable with. The evolution of the new chassis and swingarm have given me a lot of confidence and allowed me to give my maximum. Now I have more grip with the rear wheel in the opening stages of the race, and now we only have to find more at the end of the race. But from the start of the season to now we have taken a major leap forward. I’m excited and I can only thank the team, and try to continue along this line in the next races.”
Aleix Espargaró - 10th
“I was very focused on having a good race, because I had a lot of fun riding this weekend. I got a good start and was feeling comfortable, but at the midway point of the race I realised that the gearbox was starting to fail. Suddenly the bike went into a false neutral. I was still able to catch Valentino and tried to follow him on every corner, but when I hit the false neutral again I ran wide. I had to make up the time again every time. I stick with Hernández after that, but it was hard to get past him with this issue. Despite everything, I was able to place tenth and got six points for my tally, so we have to be satisfied and look forward to next weekend.”
Iván Silva - 12th
“I’m a little happier than in the past because we have a good result. I’ve found more confidence in the bike and I was able to ride at a good pace. I matched my fastest lap of the weekend in the race and I think that is positive. Now we must continue on the same path and prepare well to take advantage of Brno, which is a track I know.”
Colin Edwards – 13th
“I thought I had a good start but I found a kind of bottle-necked up into turn two. There were just incidents here and there through the race, in the end a few guys crashed and after that I just tried to get into a rhythm, get into a pace. Then I saw someone in front of me and thought could hang on to him, but then Spies broke the engine and I saw a big smoke; I didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t really see and then once I passed the smoke just picked up the pace again. Ivan (Silva) was in front of me, he caught up with me when the smoke came out and I tried to stay with him but he didn’t make any mistakes.”
Ben Spies - DNF
“Today was unfortunate again. We had a big crash yesterday and I honestly didn’t know if I could ride at 100% today. I got a lot of sleep and great physio from the clinic guys who did an amazing job. We got off to a good start and felt great, When Dani passed me I could see he was using the rear tyre more than I was so the plan was to let him get a maximum three seconds ahead and start reeling him back in at the end. As soon as he passed me the bike started to slow down, I wasn’t sure what was happening then all of a sudden it blew up so I tried to get off the line as quickly as possible. I’m disappointed not just for me but for the team, I think we definitely had second place and possibly the win.”
Cal Crutchlow - DNF
Unfortunately today was the first time this season I have not finished a race and not been inside the top 10, so it is pretty disappointing. I had exactly the same crash yesterday morning during free practice and I will hold my hands up and say it was a silly mistake. I can’t blame the track because it was on the part with the old asphalt. I opened the throttle and lost the front but that was an area we seemed to be struggling with the whole weekend. What is disappointing is that I had fought my way to the back of the group battling for the podium and I was confident with my pace. So to crash out is disappointing and I am sorry to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because we could have had another strong result. The big positive is I was 1.2s faster than last year on this track and at this level it is not a bad run to go 10 races in a row inside the top 10. I’ve got a chance to put things right in Brno next weekend and I will be doing my best to be challenging for a top resu lt again.”
Randy De Puniet - DNF
“I started strong, but Aleix and Yonny soon got past me. I then stuck behind them to study their riding. The race started to heat up, but I didn’t want to take any risks. Two laps before the clutch broke, I felt something strange; in the first corner I found it impossible to change gear and lost nearly a second there. On the same lap, on the chicane before the straight, I could tell that something had stopped working correctly and again lost two seconds. The next lap went ok, but after that the clutch gave up on me. I am disappointed, because once again we have lost a lot of points, but now we have to look at the positives and continue to work hard ahead of Brno to recover those points.”
Michele Pirro - DNF
“I am really upset right now because this is our fourth retirement in a row. It is another technical setback and I am extremely disappointed by it.”
Mattia Pasini - DNF
“This was an unlucky Sunday. We were fast throughout the whole weekend and we knew that today our bike could have given us a lot, there was a good chance to achieve a great result in the race and to fight to be the best CRT, considering the pace the other guys had. On the first lap I made a mistake and, in order not to hit another rider, I went outside the track, where it’s very dirty, and I crashed out. I’m sorry because it could have been a very positive Sunday.”
Danilo Petrucci - DNF
There isn’t much to say. I didn’t have a bad start but after just a few corners the engine of my TR003 broke down and I had to retire. These things happen, but it still regretting because we lost a good chance as I could have gotten some points
Nicky Hayden - DNS
“To miss any race is tough, but to miss my home GP is extremely difficult. Still, I realize that I had a pretty big one yesterday and was knocked out for quite a while, so to be here today more or less okay is positive. There’s no really big damage, although injuries to the right hand are always worse than the left. Even if I thought I could have ridden today, the doctors wouldn’t have cleared me because I was knocked out for so long. Concussions need to be taken seriously, so I don’t fault them for that. It was really difficult watching the race. It would have been tough today, but we were improving through the weekend, and I had a pretty decent pace. That’s how it goes sometimes. I’ll try to get healthy and come back as soon as possible.”