The Indianapolis Motor Speedway press office organized a teleconference with Factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden last week. Naturally, the journalists were keen to hear what Hayden had to report from the first two tests at Sepang, but they were also interested in hearing his thoughts on the debut of Marc Marquez, how the departure of Valentino Rossi affects the Italian factory, and the changes in the structure of Ducati since it was taken over by Audi.
The press conference transcript follows below, courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway press office:
2013 RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP TELECONFERENCE
Nicky Hayden, March 14, 2013
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP teleconference. Our guest today is 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden. Nicky is from Owensboro, Kentucky, and is entering his 11th season of MotoGP, and he is starting his fifth consecutive season with the iconic Ducati team. Nicky, thanks for joining us today.
NICKY HAYDEN: All right, thanks for having me.
MODERATOR: Nicky, you guys have tested already twice in Sepang and you made some really good progress it seemed like in the second test. The bike seemed to come alive and you got closer to the pace set by the Honda's and the Yamaha's. Was there a real breakthrough or was there a evolution in the GP13?
HAYDEN: Well, unfortunately I would say there wasn't a huge breakthrough and it wasn't quite that dramatic. It is true that we definitely reduced the gap to the front on some things. The track probably wasn't as good for the second test, there was a lot of rain during the night and a lot of guys wasn't as fast, and me and Dovi were quicker than the first test and reduced the gap to two seconds to 1.5 or 1.4 or something. It still is a lot. It is clear that we still have a lot of work to do, but we left there feeling a little bit more positive with some of the new things that we tested. It was stuff that we tried, we kind of hit on a couple things, so it was nice to find direction. If I am honest, the flight home after the first test was pretty rough.
AMA Superbike runner-up Blake Young will ride the Attack Performance CRT machine at all three US MotoGP rounds this year. The former Yoshimura Suzuki rider has signed with Attack Performance owner Richard Stanboli to race at the Austin, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis rounds of MotoGP, aboard the Kawasaki-powered CRT machine designed and built by Stanboli and his team.
The Attack CRT bike has been undergoing some major changes since making its debut at Laguna Seca in 2012, where it was ridden by US veteran racer Steve Rapp. According to Roadracing World, Attack owner Stanboli has modified the chassis to work better with the Bridgestone tires, and has altered the firing order of Kawasaki ZX-10R engine to more closely resemble a Yamaha R1 engine. Rapp failed to qualify at Laguna Seca, at what was virtually a shakedown test for the Attack machine, and finished 14th at Indianapolis, ahead of James Ellison on the PBM machine, and Aaron Yates on the GPTech CRT machine, scoring two valuable championship points.
The FIM today issued a revised version of the 2013 MotoGP calendar. The new calendar is only a minor update to the initial calendar issued on September 21st, with only one real change, the switching of the Sachsenring to a week earlier. That move was forced on the FIM, as Formula One had scheduled the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nurburgring for the same date. Holding an F1 race and a MotoGP race in the same country and on the same date was not a viable situation, and so the Sachsenring race was moved.
The other update to the calendar was not a change, but a confirmation. The Grand Prix of the Americas has been confirmed as taking place on April 21st, at the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. That had been widely expected, but could not be confirmed until contracts were signed. The continuing dispute between the Circuit of the Americas and Kevin Schwantz over the rights to organize the Austin round of MotoGP will not affect the scheduling of the race.
Casey Stoner is to rejoin the MotoGP paddock in Motegi. In a posting on his Repsol blog, Stoner confirmed that he will fly to Japan with the intention of trying to race. "I've been resting, having some physio and following doctor's orders to recover. The good news is that I feel I can race in Motegi and will be rejoining my team next week and I can't wait to get back on track," the reigning World Champion wrote in his Repsol blog.
Stoner was forced to take a break from racing after badly damaging his ankle in a huge highside crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August. Though he raced that weekend, he was forced to pull out of the next event at Brno just a few days later, for fear of suffering permanent damage in the event of a crash.
Below is the MotoGP calendar for 2013:
2013 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Leaked: 3 US Rounds, 4 Spanish Rounds, 2 Italian Rounds, And Late March Start
The provisional MotoGP calendar has taken a little longer than normal to appear. An initial calendar had been expected at Brno in late August, but no calendar was forthcoming at the Czech Grand Prix. The next rumored date for the calendar to be released was the weekend of the Misano round of MotoGP, but once the paddock assembled at Misano, it became apparent it would emerge a few days later - MotoMatters.com was told by an IRTA representative that the calendar would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. On Tuesday, the Austin Statesman newspaper reported that the calendar would be out on Friday, but the excessive enthusiasm of Loris Capirossi saw the former racer and current MotoGP safety advisor leak the 2013 calendar on his Twitter page on Thursday night.
After the announcement that Casey Stoner would be flying back to Australia for surgery on his injured ankle, effectively ruling him out of contention for the 2012 MotoGP title, the Repsol Honda team organized a press conference to give Stoner the opportunity to explain his decision. The decision had not been an easy one, as Stoner had initially been intending to race at Brno, but a phone call from his doctors in Australia convinced him it would be too dangerous, as a crash could see him suffer permanent damage. It would be better to return to Australia, have surgery, and try to be fit enough to race again later in the year, with the goal being to return before Phillip Island to be as competitive as possible there.
"The plan at this stage is to get back to Australia as soon as possible," Stoner said. "because, after travelling, we have to wait for the inflammation to go down before we can have surgery. We've already got everything lined up, hopefully for early next week if the inflammation has come down enough. We're going to get surgery as soon as possible and get on the road to recovery and see how quickly we can be back."
Casey Stoner is to return to Australia to have surgery on the ankle he damaged in the qualifying crash at Indianapolis. After studying the MRI scans made in Indianapolis, Stoner's Australia doctors have advised him he needs surgery to correct the damaged ligaments he tore at Indy.
The move means that Stoner will definitely miss this weekend's Czech Grand Prix at Brno. How quickly the reigning World Champion will return is uncertain, though the surgery will require several weeks to recover. Already 39 points behind Jorge Lorenzo in the title race, missing Brno will put Stoner at an almost insurmountable disadvantage in the defense of his championship.
The Repsol Honda team issued the following brief press release, and a press conference with further information is to be held at Brno at 3:30pm local time:
Stoner to go back to Australia to receive surgery
Indianapolis is not given to great racing - a lack of use on the infield road course means that the track is usually fairly dirty once you get off line - and Sunday was no real exception. The MotoGP and Moto2 races were tactically brilliant and masterful displays of crushing the opposition, but neither was particularly entertaining to watch. Fortunately, nobody had told the Moto3 riders about the lack of great racing, and the youngsters got the day off to a fantastic start, with the race decided in the last sector of the track.
Luis Salom's victory was well deserved, from any number of perspectives. The Spaniard had stalked Sandro Cortese and Maverick Vinales all race long, and knew he would have to capitalize on any mistakes the front runners made. That mistake turned out to be a preoccupation with one another, both Cortese and Vinales spending all their time worrying about each other and their battle for the championship. On the run into Turn 10, Salom dived inside the leaders and took over at the front. That threw Vinales and Cortese enough of a curve ball for Salom to lead the race to the line, taking his first ever victory in Grand Prix, a win that has been coming for some time now.
But the win is also just reward for the team: the RW Racing GP team has been an asset to the series, since Roelof Waninge took over the team from Arie Molenaar. RW Racing is a team of modest means, but they try to live within them, getting everything they can out of what they have, rather than throwing money they don't have at a problem in the hope of fixing it. Sticking with Luis Salom has been sensible: this is now the third season that the Spaniard has worked with crew chief Hans Spaan, and the stability of his situation is paying off. Salom is still a long way from the title fight, but looks like playing more of a role from this point forward.
The transcript of the post-race press conference after the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media service:
2012 RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP PODIUM PRESS CONFERENCE
Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso
Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012
MODERATOR: I think the riders are almost with us, ladies and gentlemen. In second place here riding the factory Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo, of course, retains his lead in the World Championship.
The race winner here this afternoon, his second win at Indianapolis, his second win of the season is Dani Pedrosa, and yet another podium finish for Andrea Dovizioso. (Applause)
OK, obviously we'll start with the race winner. It's been a good weekend all the way around for you, Dani, hasn't it? Practice went well, obviously the record lap in qualifying and then the race itself.
DANI PEDROSA: Yes. It was a good weekend, I think. The bike was working well. We were spinning all the practice, but we had a good feeling. So, yeah, today for the race I was quite confident, but at the beginning I try to stay focused. The pace was very high. Everybody was running a high pace. Early in the race I started to open a gap, but anyway, I knew the race was long, so I tried to stay focused. It was the middle of the race, I make mistake in Turn 2, the gears get back into neutral. So when I shift again to first, the bike kick, had a good kick on me and, yeah, I almost lost control, but I kept the bike on the track. I lost one second that lap. I could get back on my rhythm and get back on the lead with good pace.
Transcripts of the post-race press conferences from both the Moto2 and Moto3 races at Indianapolis, courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media service:
2012 RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP Moto2 PODIUM PRESS CONFERENCE
Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro, Julian Simon
Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012
MODERATOR: The podium finishes then in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Moto2: In third place Julian Simon; second place, Pol Espargaro; and our race winner is Marc Marquez.
Congratulations, Marc. Fifth win of the season. It wasn't a normal Moto2 race where you were all fighting out. This one was very calculated. You decimated the field, as well. How good did it feel to be riding with the bike and have such a big gap behind you today?
MARC MARQUEZ: Yes, in the beginning I was a little surprised because I thought Pol and Iannone would be stronger, but I saw that the race was quite slow. I tried to lead the race and try to make my rhythm that I make in the qualifying and practice and warm-up. From that was quite difficult in the middle of the race and in the end keep the same concentration, because when I was alone there in front, was quite difficult. But I want to say thanks to my team, to Suter, because now I feel better on the bike. I feel quite good. So this victory is important and start to have the second part of the season with a victory, it is important. We will enjoy it, but we need to think that next week we have Brno, and that circuit is quite difficult.
Below is a race report issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway press service after Sunday's Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP race:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday:
Press Releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Indianapolis:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is back on the MotoGP calender for 2013 and 2014. In a press release today, IMS announced that the circuit had agreed with Dorna to stage the race in the middle of August next year. A final date will probably be settled in a week's time, with a provisional MotoGP calendar expected to be announced at Brno.
Below is the press release from IMS:
IMS, DORNA TO ANNOUNCE 2013 DATE FOR RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP
Event expected in mid-August; fan incentives available for early ticket orders
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012 - The Red Bull Indianapolis GP will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2013, with an expected race date in mid-August to be announced in the future.
There are two years remaining on the agreement between IMS and sanctioning organization and commercial rights holder Dorna to bring all three classes of the MotoGP World Championship - MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 - to the Brickyard.