Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Indianapolis:
Dani Pedrosa finally broke through his own personal glass ceiling in MotoGP, finally winning a third MotoGP race in a single season. The Spaniard fought his way forward from 5th on the grid and did his usual disappearing act once he got past Ben Spies on lap 7.
The Repsol Honda rider had gotten a good start, but had been unable to rocket into the lead off the line. It was polesitter Spies who hit the first corner in the lead, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider quickly becoming a formidable starter himself. Spies was followed into the first corner by Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Repsol's Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian quickly working his way past the American to take over 2nd. Pedrosa hit the first corner in 4th, ahead of the Fiat Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Rossi gaining a place and Lorenzo losing three places off the line.
To the great joy of the home crowd, Ben Spies led the race comfortably for the first six and a half laps, but it was soon clear that Pedrosa was in the zone, the Spaniard dispatching Hayden and Dovizioso with little difficulty. Pedrosa hunted down Spies on lap 7, cruising past the Texan as the bikes crossed the line to start lap 8, and the race was effectively over. Nobody was capable of catching Pedrosa, and nobody except Pedrosa was capable of catching Spies.
Further back, there was a little more excitement. A loose kneeslider had hampered Nicky Hayden, the second Ducati rider to suffer that problem, after Casey Stoner had caught his slider and knocked it loose during practice yesterday. Unable to control the bike on his left knee - a major problem at Indy, the track running counter clockwise - Hayden slid back through the field, allow Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi to pass.
Dovizioso seemed to have the final spot on the podium wrapped up, but Jorge Lorenzo quickly caught the Italian, then found Dovizioso an almost insurmountable obstacle to get past. Persistence paid off, however, as Lorenzo stuffed his Yamaha decisively into Turn 1 ahead of Dovizioso's Honda at the start of lap 12. Dovizioso put up stiff resistance, but the laps spent pushing Lorenzo left the Italian struggling for grip towards the end. Dovi fell back into the clutches of Valentino Rossi, who had used the contretemps between Dovizioso and Lorenzo to catch the squabbling pair. A couple of mistakes by the Repsol Honda rider allowed Rossi past relatively easily, and the final positions were settled by lap 20.
Pedrosa's victory means he closes the gap to his chief rival Lorenzo from 77 to 68 points, still a formidable advantage for Lorenzo with seven races to go. Spies' second podium of the year - one step up from his 3rd spot at Silverstone - confirms the Texan as a serious threat for Yamaha for the future.
The biggest problem of the race, though, was that it turned into yet another procession. With the tires and the electronics rewarding the utmost precision, it is becoming almost impossible to recover from even the smallest mistake. Winning a MotoGP race is becoming increasingly about chasing perfection, and less and less about improvising your way around problems. Dorna will be hoping that the regulation changes from 2012 will help solve this problem, and that the hype over Valentino Rossi will help to paper of the cracks until the return of the 1000cc bikes in two years' time.
|13||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||48'35.754||1'04.139|
|36||Mika KALLIO||DUCATI||30'57.694||10 laps|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||YAMAHA||30'09.466||12 laps|
|27||Casey STONER||DUCATI||12'01.423||21 laps|
|33||Marco MELANDRI||HONDA||3'31.585||26 laps|