News 30 Aug 2010

MotoGP: Pedrosa wins, Spies stars in Indianapolis race

Dani Pedrosa narrowed the gap on MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to 68 points with seven rounds of the 2010 season remaining by winning the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa was victorious at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa was victorious at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Dani Pedrosa narrowed the gap on MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to 68 points with seven rounds of the 2010 season remaining by winning the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday. It was the Repsol Honda rider’s third win of the campaign, the first time he has achieved three wins in a season in the premier class.

Starting from the second row Pedrosa was on the pace early on and a fastest lap on lap two lifted him into second position, as he set his sights on pole holder Ben Spies. On the end of the seventh lap the Spaniard overtook the rookie on the start/finish straight and never relinquished the lead, eventually crossing the line 3.575s clear of Spies.

“I’m really happy with this win and it was an especially tough one because of the heat today,” Pedrosa said. “My rhythm was good and even though Spies was strong in front I was able to close him down and make the pass. When I was out in front it was quite hard to stay focused and at the end of the race I was really tired – but I’m very happy because last year I crashed when I could have won and now I have made up for it.”

For the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Spies, second place marked his best result to date and a second podium in what has already been a fantastic debut season. Spies started from pole – the first of his MotoGP career – and his race result capped off a great weekend that also saw him confirmed as a factory Yamaha rider for 2011.

“I’m really happy to have got my best result in MotoGP in front of the American crowd and at a track as famous as Indianapolis,” Spies said. “I always said I wanted my best result in my home race, so it’s mission accomplished.

“After the pole position I got a great start and it felt good to be out front for the first time in MotoGP. But I didn’t have the pace for Dani today and he rode a great race. I’m happy because I didn’t make too many mistakes when I was out in front and I was consistent for the whole race.”

Completing the podium was series leader Lorenzo who had started from second on the grid but dropped to fifth at the start of the race.

That failed to affect his concentration however and he battled his way past Andrea Dovizioso and into third just before the midway point of the race, finishing just over three seconds off Spies as his phenomenal record of having placed in the top two in every race this season was finally broken. He did however score a twelfth consecutive podium finish in the premier class.

“Of course I shouldn’t be disappointed with third place but at the same time I’m not happy with my race today, I didn’t ride as well as I could have and I didn’t get a good start,” Lorenzo commented. “The conditions were incredibly hard and I simply didn’t have the physical strength to push as hard or do the same times I did in practice.”

A complicated weekend for Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) ended with the reigning world champion placing fourth in the race, as he won the battle of the Italians with Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso taking fifth.

Nicky Hayden was sixth having started from the front row for the first time in his Ducati career and battling with an awkwardly dislodged knee-slider throughout the race.

Rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) impressed with seventh and eight places respectively, with Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) and Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) completing the top ten. Loris Capirossi, Hiroshi Aoyama – on his return from injury – and Randy de Puniet were the final three riders to finish the race.

Suffering the disappointment of DNFs were Marco Melandri (lap two) on his 200th Grand Prix start, Casey Stoner who lost the front end of his Ducati Desmosedici GP10 on lap eight whilst in sixth, Colin Edwards who was forced to retire with rear tyre issues on lap 17 and Mika Kallio who crashed in turn ten when he hit a bump.

Lorenzo moves onto 251 points with Pedrosa now on 183 in second in the standings. Dovizioso is third on 126, with Stoner now seven points behind in fourth. Rossi remains in fifth while Spies moves up to sixth.

Toni Elías won in the intermediate class with a characteristically measured ride on Sunday, taking a third consecutive GP win for the first time in his career as he tightened his grip on the inaugural Moto2 title.

The Gresini Racing rider now leads the overall standings by 67 points after ten rounds, having topped the podium ahead of pole man Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).

The race was restarted and shortened to 17 laps due to two separate crashes on the opening lap of the original contest which brought out the red flag.

Championship leader Elías made a fantastic getaway as he used the gap on the front row vacated by Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) to advance into the lead on lap one. Corsi started from the back of the grid having qualified fourth as he experienced problems with his bike due to the crash, but rocketed up the field throughout the race.

Elías and Simón became involved in a duel for top spot with Redding watching from third as he kept tabs on the duo, and six laps from the end Elías made a superb overtake round the outside of Simón to assume the lead. He held that to the end, eventually crossing the line just over four-tenths of a second ahead of his compatriot.

Redding took his first Moto2 podium as he crossed in third, just under four seconds behind Simón having been strong throughout the weekend, with Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) fourth having started from way back on the seventh row. Corsi completed the top five having made an admirable recovery from the back of the grid.

Iannone remains second in the standings, with Lüthi and Simón level on 108 points in third and fourth. Corsi rises to fifth thanks to his result. Absent from the race was Fonsi Nieto who underwent surgery on his fractured left ankle in Indianapolis today following his qualifying crash.

Nico Terol’s first consecutive GP wins came with victory at Indianapolis as the Bancaja Aspar rider won the 125cc contest, his third of the season and on the same track he won his first world championship race in 2008. Terol eventually crossed the line 4.995s clear of Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), with Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) completing the podium in what was a typically eventful 125cc race.

Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) looked to be pulling away to a dominant victory in the early part of the race until a crash at turn ten with 15 laps remaining saw Terol assuming first position.

Bradley Smith was riding hard and had climbed to second but with 11 laps remaining the Bancaja Aspar rider crashed at turn 11, thus ending his race and also a run of having scored points in every round this season. That elevated Cortese and Espargaró into second and third.

The drama was not finished there however and on the penultimate lap the remounted Márquez cut the track when in eighth position, crossing the finish line in fifth with Efrén Vázquez in fourth. The incident was examined by Race Direction and the decision was to penalise Márquez 20 seconds, meaning he was demoted to 10th position for the race.

That meant that the top eight was completed by Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa Molenaar) and Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol).

Terol’s win was the 20th successive 125cc victory for Spanish riders, and moved him into second in the overall standings on 168 points, with Márquez on 172. Espargaró is third on 167 points, with Smith remaining fourth on 115.

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