Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the race at Indianapolis:
Another 1-2 for Stoner and Pedrosa
The Australian of the Repsol Honda Team achieves his seventh victory of the season at the Indianapolis circuit, Dani Pedrosa gets on the podium with him and Andrea Dovizioso is fifth
The Repsol Honda Team riders made the difference at the Indianapolis Grand Prix after achieving the third 1-2 of the season. Casey Stoner signed his seventh win of the year —third consecutive— in a circuit where he had never got on the podium and reinforces his lead of the overall standings, increasing by 12 points his advantage over Jorge Lorenzo, which is now of 44 points.
The best start was for Dani Pedrosa, who took the lead of the race after starting from the fourth position of the grid. The Spaniard of the Repsol Honda Team led the race for six laps, until he was overtaken by his team mate Stoner at the end of Indianapolis' main straight. The Australian set a fast pace and achieved a wide margin over the rest of the riders, while Pedrosa secured the second place and Andrea Dovizioso was fifth.
Stoner victorious at Indy as tyre management proves crucial
Round 12: Indianapolis GP – Race
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday 28 August 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Hard, Extra Hard
In particularly tricky conditions because of the high temperature and the new tarmac at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Casey Stoner and the Repsol Honda Team delivered a masterclass in consistency and tyre management to romp to a comfortable victory. It's the Australian's seventh of the season and his third in succession, extending his championship lead to 44 points with six races remaining.
He was followed across the line by teammate Dani Pedrosa in second and Yamaha Racing's Ben Spies who recovered excellently having dropped to ninth to climb onto the podium for the third time this season.
Every rider opted for the softer option rear and the harder option front Bridgestone slicks for the 28-lap race, with the exception of Nicky Hayden who was the only rider to gamble with the softer option front slick. Tyre wear was a crucial factor in the outcome of today's race, as was expected from the conditions experienced all weekend, but durability was good. Stoner set a new lap record on lap 20, Stoner, Pedrosa and Spies all lapped consistently in the high 1m 39s to low 1m 40s bracket until the last few laps, and Andrea Dovizioso set his personal best on the last lap.
This is a clear indication of how significant the bike and rider package is in determining tyre performance – there were clear differences in tyre durability and consistency between riders using exactly the same tyre specifications.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Congratulations to Casey today for a very strong ride, and also to the Repsol Honda Team not just for Casey but Dani too who performed very strongly. It was an impressive recovery from Ben to fight back from ninth to finish third, and it is great for the home fans to see an American rider on the podium. I'd also like to congratulate Álvaro and the Rizla Suzuki Team for their sixth position as they seem to be really finding their stride now."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"What we saw today was a clear example of just how important machine setup is in maximising tyre performance – we saw some riders suffer from tyre wear especially in the front, but by contrast those at the front were remarkably consistent and the laptimes show good durability. Casey's total race time was over 20seconds faster than the previous best set in 2009 and he also set a new lap record on lap 20 of 28. What's more, Dani set the third fastest laptime and his personal best on lap 24, and Andrea's personal best was fourth fastest and came on the last lap. In terms of tyre wear appearance after the race I can say that the tarmac improved again and the grip level is high, especially for the rear which led to the front end pushing through corners, increasing wear rate."
Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
"I'm very happy to win here at the Brickyard. We had a really good setup all weekend and felt good with the track. I was struggling with the grip but I suppose in comparison with everyone else we felt pretty good. For the race we knew we had a good setup and the pace. We struggled a bit in the first few laps but once we got going we managed to do the laptimes we thought we could get to. The heat today made the race very hard and it was a lot of hard work out front, trying to stay consistent and trying not to run wide onto that greasy part of the track."
Strong sixth for Bautista at the Brickyard
Publish Date: Sunday, August 28, 2011
Álvaro Bautista recorded his best dry race finish of the season so far at Indianapolis today as he raced to an impressive sixth on his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Bautista got a good start and was in seventh at the end of the first lap. He then got involved in a local battle as he fought with the Americans on their home circuit over the next few laps. He got past Nicky Hayden and fought off the constant attacks of Colin Edwards, before resisting the Texan's advances to leave him comfortably behind.
Today's race was watched by 64,151 fans at trackside, and under the clear blue skies they saw another convincing victory from Honda's Casey Stoner, as he took his seventh victory from 12 races to strengthen his championship lead.
Rizla Suzuki now heads straight back across the Atlantic for the next round of the 2011 season, when the San Marino Grand Prix takes place at Misano in Italy on Sunday 4th September.
"I am happy with today's position because this weekend we didn't have the same rhythm as we have done in the last couple of races. I had a good qualifying session, but I was not quite on par with the top guys and that meant I couldn't really stay with them and fight in the race. I made a decent start and overtook a couple of riders, but I just couldn't keep up with the front group. We struggled a bit more at this track because we just couldn't get the bike to turn how we wanted it to and I think we were not quite at the same level as some of the others around here. I was consistent throughout the whole race and had a couple of good battles with other riders – especially with Edwards – but at the end I got a good rhythm and was able to get some distance on the riders behind. I think today was the best result we could have got – so we did the maximum. We now go to Misano and I think we can be more competitive from the beginning, so I am really looking forward to the race.
"One other thing that was very important was to finish the race as I have crashed in the last two, so I am very happy that I did that! It gives us more motivation and also the team needed a result. I want to say a big thank-you to the whole team for the passion that they showed this weekend and now we are in the best position to make another step forward."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"After showing so much potential in Laguna and Brno - and coming home with nothing - it was great to see Álvaro take the chequered flag today. It was a well won sixth place and it was richly deserved for him and the whole team. I don't think this is one of the best tracks for us and we were only beaten by the three Repsol Hondas and the two factory Yamahas. This bodes well for the rest of the season, and we're looking forward to Misano."
BARBERÁ'S GAMBLE DOESN'T PAY OFF AT INDIANAPOLIS
After a fantastic ride, MAPFRE Aspar rider crashes out in daring final corner move
The MotoGP race at Indianapolis had a script almost as predictable as a Hollywood blockbuster, with an ending that was incredibly foreseeable -but an exciting journey all the same. Casey Stoner dominated in the same fashion as he had done all weekend, to win in the United States. Dani Pedrosa had been quickest off the line, but he was soon caught and passed by his teammate. It was a similar race to that of the last round at Brno, as the podium positions were decided early on. Stoner won from Pedrosa, with Ben Spies third. It completed a trio of victories from pole at Indianapolis, in which the protagonists (Stoner, Márquez and Terol) broke away and never looked back.
With less than five hundred metres remaining in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was on course for a great finish. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, a brave move to try and regain positions failed to pay off, and he crashed out on the final turn of the race. Barberá had taken big strides forward over the course of the weekend, and showed his talent during the 28-lap contest. He had to adapt his riding style to a slippery front tyre right from the beginning, and had rivals Hiroshi Aoyama and Randy de Puniet closing in on him ahead of the chequered flag. Both passed him, and Barberá decided to lay it on the line with a spectacular pass attempt. It didn't quite go as planned, and he slid along the asphalt after lowsiding his Ducati. Unable to restart, his top ten finishing position chances ended in a flash. He hopes for a better result at the next round of the World Championship next weekend at Misano.
Héctor Barberá (DNF): "It is a real shame that the race ended like this, after so many laps riding at the limit. After the opening four laps I realised that the front tyre had practically melted away. I made a sudden drop in pace, because I was trying to push the front end down and losing control on every corner. What I did was improvise with my riding style, and it took some five or six laps to get back to feeling comfortable. It should have been a lot sooner. The important thing is that I have regained confidence and ridden comfortably again, despite not having the front tyre in good condition. The last lap was going perfectly, until I reached the final sector. I knew that the final turn would be tricky, because the tyre wasn't responding at all and I could barely dip into the corner. That had meant that De Puniet and Aoyama passed me beforehand. I went all-or-nothing into the last corner, trying to regain a position, but unfortunately I lowsided. I enjoyed myself out there though, and gave 100%. We have taken a big step forward at this race and that leaves me satisfied, but I hope that we can continue like this and finish the race at Misano."
Consistent Edwards delivers another top ten in Indianapolis
Colin Edwards extended his impressively consistent run of results in the 2011 MotoGP World Championship this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider racing to a hard fought seventh position at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Texan made a fast start from the second row of the grid but as the pack jostled for position in the tight first section of the 2.62 miles track, Edwards was bumped back to eighth.
He was involved in an exciting early battle with factory riders Alvaro Bautista, Ben Spies and Valentino Rossi before the field began to stretch out at the halfway stage of the 28-lap encounter.
With temperatures reaching c lose to 30 degrees, Edwards was left in a personal duel with Spaniard Bautista until lap 23 when a big front-end slide cost him crucial time. With his front tyre starting to push more and more, Edwards decided to slow down his pace to secure a deserved seventh place, which moves him into eighth place in the World Championship standings ahead of Marco Simoncelli on 84-points.
Cal Crutchlow's reward for a weekend in which he worked tirelessly to improve the front-end feeling with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine was his best finish since the Catalunya race in early June.
He maintained a consistent pace throughout the race having led Loris Capirossi, Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and Hiroshi Aoyama in a frantic opening few laps. And a series of strong laps in the final stages saw him snatch 11th from Marco Simoncelli on the final lap to end his recent run of disappointing results.
Colin Edwards 7th – 84 points:
"I thought I got a fantastic start but the problem is the Yamaha is lacking a bit of grunt. I needed Fred Flinstone behind giving me a push to go faster, so I had a few people come by me on the run to the first corner. The first few laps I felt I could go faster but with Bautista sitting in front of me, I'd get close and then coming out of the corner he would just grab a few metres on me. In the twisty stuff at the end of the lap I was gaining it all back and at the last corner I almost ran into him. But by the time we got to the first corner he'd pull a few bike lengths on me again. I really wanted to beat Bautista but he started to ride really well in the second half of the race. I was on his back wheel and looking for an opportunity to make an overtake but I lost the front at the end of the back straight and that was a warning just to back off and take seventh. The front tyre lost a fair bit of grip in the last few laps though I wasn't the only one to have a problem. But I was top non-factory rider, I got another top ten and I moved up another place in the Championship, so it wasn't a bad afternoon's work. We go to Misano now and see if we can fight for the top six."
Cal Crutchlow 11th - 39 points:
"Firstly I want to say a big thanks to all my guys in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. They never gave up all weekend, even when we were struggling a little bit and it might sound silly but I don't think any of us in the garage have ever been so pleased to get an 11th place. After the bad recent run it was important to finish the race and I did that. The result wasn't the best but my speed at the end of the race was really good and I'm happy about that, so there are a lot of positives to take to Misano. At the end of the race I was lapping faster than Jorge Lorenzo. I was a long way behind him but that still gives me a lot of encouragement. Like a lot of people I had a few issues with the front tyre and in the early part of the race it wasn't easy but I never gave up and pushed right to the end. This result at least gives us something to build on for the next races, starting at Misano, which is a track that at least I don't have to learn. I've needed to finish races to gain some experience and I'm glad we did because I learned a lot this afternoon and gave the Team a lot of good feedback to hopefully improve the bike in Misano."
Hervé Poncharal: Team Manager:
"I am very happy with the performance of Colin and Cal today and I think both of them got the best result we could have hoped for. Colin rode full of determination and I think at some stage he could have passed Bautista, but it was difficult. It was very wise from Colin not to push anymore with five laps to go as he had a big lead over the riders behind. This puts him in eighth position in the Championship standings and he passed Marco Simoncelli, who is one of the fastest riders in MotoGP. He deserved to have a strong race in front of his home crowd and he has been pushing all weekend and I want to thank him for that. Cal was a lot better than in previous races and he did a good, solid job. At the beginning he struggled but he got a lot better throughout the race lap and at the end he was faster than the group in front of him. That race was just what he needed after the bad period to clear of his mind a little bit. I believe he had a great race and that will put him back on the track. We go to Misano now where he knows the track and that will be another positive. Today he has learnt a lot and he was faster at the end of the race than at the beginning and this experience helps him prepare for next year."
AOYAMA SATISFACTION PARTLY MAKES UP FOR SIMONCELLI DISAPPOINTMENT AT INDIANAPOLIS
Marco Simoncelli's overnight fears were unfortunately confirmed today as a problem with front tyre wear ruined his race at Indianapolis. A minor breakthrough in this morning's warm-up did not prove to make the required difference and with track temperatures again exceeding 50°C the nightmare for "Super Sic" began after just five laps. From that point the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini was resigned to a rescue mission as he focused on simply on reaching the chequered flag. Things went somewhat better for Hiroshi Aoyama, who did not suffer from the front tyre problem and with a more aggressive start could have perhaps even challenged for a higher position.
Marco Simoncelli (12th) "Unfortunately today my race only really lasted five laps, during which time I had a lot of fun – it's just a shame about the other 23! We have had this problem all weekend and even though we thought we had improved the situation this morning it was only because the track temperatures were lower. In the afternoon heat the problem came back after just five laps and even though I was able to keep it consistent for the next six or seven laps I could do nothing to prevent the decline in performance after that. It was a real mission just to make it to the end – I was putting myself on the line just ride slowly. Now we need to look into exactly what caused this problem."
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th) "I am happy but not altogether satisfied with this result. The way the tyres worked and also my physical conditions in this intense heat were plus points for us and we went much better in the race than we had managed in practice but maybe with a better start I could have been fighting further up the field. Overall it has been a positive weekend and gives us a boost for the next races."
Fausto Gresini " It was a tough race for Marco, a real struggle. Unfortunately we have struggled all weekend with this problem with the front tyre and it held Simoncelli back in the race. He did well to finish, especially with the risks he had to take, and all this is good experience for him. Now we have to work out why this situation occurred from a technical point of view. Aoyama had a positive race and the only downside is that if he was more aggressive at the start he could have finished higher up. "
Spies Strikes Back to Score Home Podium at Indianapolis
Home hero Ben Spies put in a superhuman effort today, coming back from ninth place to take a hard fought podium spot for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Starting from second on the grid the Texan rider was caught up in first a bottle neck of riders in turn one, then came together with Andrea Dovizioso in turn four, dropping him back to ninth as he fought to stay on the bike. Despite the setback Spies went on to deliver one of the star performances of the day, taking an impressive number of overtakes and setting some of the fastest laps of the race. He finally took the chequered flag in third place and stood on the podium to a huge applause from the US crowd.
Team mate Jorge Lorenzo's race was a battle not with his competitors but with the resurfaced Indianapolis track. The reigning World Champion continued to be plagued with a rapidly wearing front tyre causing critical control issues from as early as lap four. Lorenzo battled on regardless, having made a great start he eventually had to relinquish position to team mate Spies and crossed the line in fourth, pushing to stay ahead of Dovizioso to the line.
The results of today see Lorenzo's gap to Casey Stoner in first extended to 44 points with six races remaining. Team mate Spies picks up 16 points, moving up to fifth in the standings, just five points behind Dani Pedrosa in fourth. The team now head across the Atlantic with no break to the Grand Prix of San Marino at Misano next weekend.
Position : 3rd Time: +10.603
"My actual start wasn't too bad, just a couple of people got into turn one too hot and I got bottled in. I think Dovi came across in front of me in turn four and I was just glad to stay on the bike. I never even saw him. After that happened we just had to pluck away and not get ahead of ourselves. We rode well but just needed to be up there in the first four turns. I rode as fast as I could; it was tough to pass out there as we couldn't get it done on the straight so we had to figure out some different spots. I was happy to be able to do that and still run good pace at the end."
Position : 4th Time: +16.576
"It's a shame; I thought I could reduce my gap with Casey at Indy but since the first practice I have had many problems with the asphalt and the front tyre. I've tried everything with my team to fix it, but we couldn't. After four or five laps the front tyre was destroyed. I saw the other three front riders and their tyres were perfect. I don't know if it was because of the track and I'm not the only one complaining. Now the Championship is much more complicated, but hope is the last thing you can lose. Next weekend we ride again at Misano, I looking forward to forgetting this result."
"A disappointing weekend, fourth place I think was the maximum we could get out of it. It was clear that even one lap more might have meant finishing fifth; the front tyre was completely gone, that's basically the whole story. It was also disappointing that Ben was not able to fight for the win. He did a fantastic sixteen last laps but the first ten were very hard for him after the start. I think he could have fought with Casey. Anyway, third and fourth we have to swallow and we will look to Misano."
"I think the race could have had a different final result, but the start compromised it. Ben made some great passes, I don't think he could have done better under the circumstances. He did a good job, there's nothing bad I can say. Jorge unfortunately fought all weekend with tyre management. He still managed to get fourth place and more valuable points for the Championship. Everything is still open and for sure he is a really tough rider and will go to Misano with good expectations."
ELIAS MANAGED TO FINISH 13TH AT THE BRICKYARD
Indianapolis, 28 August: over 64.000 American fans enjoyed the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today for the twelfth round of the season which saw Stoner taking his seventh victory ahead Pedrosa and Spies. The 28-lap race was conducted in hot conditions with track temperatures of 51 degrees and LCR racer Toni Elias managed to finish 13th despite some low grip troubles.
The Spaniard has started from the 15th spot on the grid aiming to close the gap to the front group but he could not match his yesterdays' good pace struggling with rear grip on the new repaved slippery asphalt. Now LCR Team will move straight to Misano circuit for the San Marino e Riviera di Rimini GP on the 4th of September.
Elias – 13th: "Well... it seems we had a big issue about the rear spinning for the whole race... a bit more than everybody and I could not keep the corner speed in the entry of the curves. For all these reasons my pace was a few tenths slower than what we expected and I could not stay in the good group. I have tried to follow Aoyama first and then Rossi and Crutchlow but they were faster than me. We need to find those few tenths to race for the top ten and this is our main target for the next week end in Misano".
DE PUNIET OBTAINES THE BEST RESULT OF THE YEAR WITH THE EIGHTH PLACE IN INDIANAPOLIS. CAPIROSSI FORCED TO RETIRE
Great comeback of the French rider today on the Indianapolis circuit. After not the best start, De Puniet was in the back of the classification after the first lap, he fought back and manage to move up until the last corner. Very exciting comeback for De Puniet who after having overtaken his team-mate, he overtook Crutchlow, Aoyama, Elias, Hayden, Rossi and Barbera finishing in eighth place. A promising race that give good hopes for the rest of the season. Capirossi, meanwhile, found unexpected problems and had to retire after the sixteenth lap because of the damages on the front tyre. Still not a lot of luck for the Italian rider who will look for revenge in seven days on the home track of Misano Adriatico.
Marco Rigamonti – Randy De Puniet Track Engineer
"We are very happy with how today went with Randy: finally after a difficult season he was able to show his talent. We saw a good battle throughout the 28 laps. During the race, some riders had tire problems and honestly we had some fear, but our set-up and Randy's riding style kept us fairly constant until the end of the race. Too bad he lost several positions at the beginning for a hit in the group, or Randy would have conquer at least a couple of more positions."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing – 8th in race – 17th in championship
"I'm happy, this is my best race of the season! Bad start for the race when Loris touched me and I lost at least three positions, otherwise I could stay with the group and probably I could have fought for better positions. But it's ok, our pace, as I declared yesterday, has been steady and good until the end and this allowed me to overtake many riders in the second half of the race. I'm satisfied with how things went today, the team has worked very well and after a difficult start of the season we all deserve a good result. We needed it and I look forward to continue at this level also next week at Misano."
Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing - DNF – 16th in championship
"Since the fourth lap the bike did not respond as I wanted. I always lost the front tire and risked falling at every turn. At one point I could no longer manage the bike and I was forced to retire. Just returned to the box we noticed that the front tire was very worn. I'm so sorry that this happened in the race because during the whole weekend we have never had problems like that. Not much to add, we look ahead and concentrate on Misano where we hope to get a good result in front of our fans."
Karel Abraham did not finished the race due to a problem with the tyres
Problems with the grip of the tyres did not allowed the Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham to finish the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Starting from the last row on the grid, Karel Abraham was hoping for a good result after he made a significant improvement in the warm-up.
"Start of the race was disastrous," Karel Abraham, who fought with Hiroshi Aoyama in the first few laps, admitted. "I was confident I could get a good result after I made a good progress in the warm-up, but then I started to have a problems."
Unfortunately, Karel Abraham had a problems with the grip of the tyres right from the beginning of the race as well as other riders on board Ducati Desmosecici GP11 and GP11.1 respectively, like nine times world champion Valentino Rossi, who fell back into the last position when he had problems with the tyres and gear box, but then he returned to the race track and eventually finished tenth.
"Valentino was behind me, but then he overtook me and made some gap. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay with him due to a problem with the front tire," Karel Abraham said. "The front tire slided a lot and I almost crashed a few times."
"I wasn't able to continue in the race under these conditions and I decided to return to the pits," added. With 46 points, the twenty one year old Czech rider is now in the thirteenth position in the overall standings.
Stoner storms to seventh victory of the season with Pedrosa second and Dovizioso fifth
Casey Stoner completed a perfect weekend today with his victory at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, celebrating Honda's second successive win here at the brickyard and marking Honda's third consecutive win on American shores.
After recording the a new circuit best lap record yesterday whilst claiming pole position for today's race with a 1'38.850 lap, Stoner also achieved a new fastest race lap record of 1'39.807. This is Stoner's seventh win of the season and third consecutive win in a row after Laguna Seca and Brno.
Dani Pedrosa rode a great race to finish second behind Stoner. Pedrosa made one of his trademark flying starts and took an early lead in the 26 lap race however, Stoner passed him on lap seven and Pedrosa maintained second position comfortably, fending off the Yamaha's.
Andrea Dovizioso was hoping for a podium here in Indianapolis, but he endured some tough laps early in the race after being blocked by Hayden which knocked him down a few positions. Andrea remained focused and recovered these positions to finish the race in fifth position.
Casey Stoner now leads the Championship with 243 points (a 44 point margin over Lorenzo), with Andrea Dovizioso in 3rd position on 174 points and Dani Pedrosa, 4th position on 130 points.
There is no rest for The Repsol Honda Team as they pack up and head back across the pond for the next race in San Marino next Sunday, 4th September.
CASEY STONER – 1st – World Championship Position: 1st with 243 points
"We got an ok start and I should have been a little more aggressive in the first corner. As I entered turn two Dani hit the breaks quite hard and I just had nothing, my brakes weren't warmed up yet and I had trouble stopping, I was lucky to get through the first lap. The race was tough, conditions were very hot and the track surface a little more slippery than practice and qualifying which made things difficult to know how much to push. At one point I closed the front and dropped the bike on my knee, I was pretty much down but managed to pick it back up and not lose too much confidence. From there we started to make our way past Dani, put in a few good lap times and pull an advantage. Under challenging track conditions everything has worked really well this weekend, the crew did a fantastic job and gave me a great bike so a huge thanks to them all!".
DANI PEDROSA – 2nd – World Championship Position: 4th with 130 points
"We are very happy with second place today for several reasons. After yesterday's qualifying session, we had to work hard to reduce the one second gap we had from Casey, it wasn't normal to be so far away from him. To finish second after the crash in Brno is a great feeling. I knew that my race pace wouldn't be as fast as Casey's, but the team did a very good job, helped me to feel more comfortable with the front and I was able to find a good rhythm, just 3-4 tenths slower than Casey. It was a tough race being alone, but I focused on my lap times and I made my best lap at the end, so I'm happy with my performance and the bike. To get 20 points is not so bad after the crash in Brno and I look forward to going to Misano next week to try and take another step forward".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th – World Championship Position: 3rd with 174 points
"I can't be happy with today's result because our target was the podium and gaining some points on Lorenzo, but we also have to look at the positives and I'm pleased I managed a 1'40.1 lap time, my fastest of the race on my final lap. Considering the demanding conditions of this track and the hot temperatures, this lap time shows that we were fast even at the end. We had a bad start, Nicky (Hayden) blocked me and then Ben (Spies) and I touched in turn four and I lost valuable time and positions. From that moment I tried to remain focused and lap by lap I found the pace that allowed me to recover positions. We knew that the race would be tough and it really was. It was also a strange race, from the beginning we had no rear grip and especially in the first laps I had the feeling that the front was closing a lot. However, I was able to change my mentality and adapt my ri ding style to the conditions in order to manage the tyres in the best way and ride consistently. We are competitive and we go to Misano, my home GP very determined and confident of a good result".
DIFFICULT RACE FOR DUCATI TEAM IN INDIANAPOLIS
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden fought doggedly to earn as many points as possible in a race that was affected by a series of difficulties. A transmission problem had caused the Italian to slip to last place by the ninth lap, but he recovered as far as tenth place by the finish.
Meanwhile, Nicky Hayden got a great start and was in the top four, but the decision to use a soft front tyre didn't pay off. After seven laps, he steadily lost ground before finishing in fourteenth place.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th
"A number of things happened this weekend that contributed to making this a particularly difficult race: the crash yesterday in qualifying, which robbed some confidence and was part of the reason we had to start so far back on the grid, and today there was a problem with the gearbox. The bike stuck in neutral six or seven times, and the first two caused me to go straight and lose time. I found myself in last place, but I decided to do what I could to at least get some points. In this morning's warm-up, we had made a small change that let us improve the pace a little, but the race was really difficult. We know that we have to work hard. Ducati is doing that, and my team and I are as well, because we must try to not let up and to get the bike ready while we wait for technical updates."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team)14th
"It was a really tough day. We thought the soft front tyre could be a good option for the race, but unfortunately it only worked for seven or eight laps. Then I began to steadily lose ground until it even began shaking on the straightaways, and I had to come in. Since you've got to finish to get points, I went back out, and it was actually worth getting two points. I got a good start and was up front the first few laps, and that was the first time I put up a real fight in the dry all season. My bike felt fast in a straight line, and with this new gearbox, I could get out of that last corner and keep guys in the draft early on. We're on our first race with this bike, and maybe we don't know enough about what it needs. Sorry to all my U.S. fans and the Ducati fans here who came to support us, but we'll try again next week."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"Today was very challenging for our team and riders, and despite their typical great efforts, we struggled to bring home a few points. After the positive performance at Brno, we expected to find a good rhythm here at Indianapolis as well. We didn't manage it, although it's also true that we suffered a few setbacks. For example, Nicky chose a soft front tyre that proved not to be the best, but his race pace in the early laps was very good, while Valentino had a transmission problem that had never shown up during the four practice sessions. Anyway, we know that we have to improve, and no one at Ducati or in the team is holding back as we work toward that goal."