Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday:
Superb win for Dani and brilliant fourth place for Casey in Indy
The Repsol Honda Team has completed the second American race of the season with another fantastic performance, this time at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The Japanese manufacturer has now won the past five races in the United States.
Dani Pedrosa took a full house in Indy - pole position, circuit record lap and win - in an incredible weekend that marks his second victory of the 2012 season. It is also his second win at this track and 40th career victory in the World Championship in all three classes. Dani crossed the finish line 10.8 seconds ahead of Lorenzo and Repsol Honda team mate Casey Stoner celebrated, considering his physical condition, a formidable fourth position.
The current World Champion overcame incredible pain caused by his injury to the right ankle sustained during yesterday's qualifying session crash. He managed to climb to third position behind Dani and Jorge until six laps remaining when his stamina began to fade and he was passed by Andrea Dovizioso on lap 22.
Dani celebrates his longest sequence of successive podiums in the MotoGP class with seven podiums in a row and reduces the gap of Jorge's championship lead to 18 points. Casey maintains third position in the standings with 186 points, 21 points off Dani.
DANI PEDROSA 1st World Championship Standing: 2nd with 207 points
"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".
CASEY STONER 4th World Championship Standing: 3rd with 186 points
"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"
Valentino Rossi seventh at Indianapolis, Hayden questionable for Brno
Valentino Rossi had a difficult weekend at Indianapolis. In both the qualifying session and the race, he couldn’t manage to match his times from the cooler free-practice sessions, when he lapped at the pace of the second group.
Affected by the lack of grip that occurred just a few laps after the start, the Italian concluded the race a lonely seventh.
Nicky Hayden, after a qualifying crash in which he suffered a hard blow to the head and two small fractures to the second and third metacarpals of his right hand, had to watch the race from the garage. The American then returned home to nearby Kentucky, where in the course of the next two days he will decide whether or not to take part in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 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.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 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.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“After just a few laps today, it became very difficult for Valentino to ride. He tried to overcome the problems but couldn’t manage it, and at that point he decided to take home seventh-place points. We’ll try to do better at Brno. Over the next couple of days, we’ll also know whether or not Nicky will be able to be there. He has two small fractures in his right hand, so he’ll undergo some additional exams to check whether it will be possible to ride or if it’s better to skip the Czech Republic and recover for Misano. Anyway, we’ll go there with the bikes and the full team.”
Lorenzo Podiums with Second at Indianapolis
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo was back on the podium today, taking second place in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The Championship leader had struggled all weekend to find an optimum set up, only making a step forward in yesterday’s qualifying session. Lorenzo, who was one of only two riders to take a gamble on the softer tyres for the race, dropped a couple of places from the start then worked to get behind his team mate Ben Spies in second. After the Texan’s unfortunate DNF he was promoted to second and began chasing down Pedrosa’s lead. Lacking the pace to stay with the leader he settled for second, taking 20 valuable Championship points.
Fellow Factory rider Spies was denied his chance to shine in front of his home crowd following an engine failure early in today’s race. After a strong weekend with impressive pace Spies made a superb start to today’s race, flying past pole man Dani Pedrosa to secure the lead on the second lap. Having then allowed Pedrosa past and tucked in behind disaster struck with an engine failure on lap six.
With no time to rest the team now head back across the Atlantic to Europe for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic in Brno next weekend. Lorenzo leaves Indianapolis leading the Championship by 18 points, Spies remains in tenth place with 66 points.
Position : 2nd Time: +10.823
“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.”
Position : DNF Time:
“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.”
“We’re very happy with this second place. It was a very difficult weekend for us, although Saturday qualifying was a big step forward. Second behind Dani was a great result and a good step to the next race. We hope we’ll struggle less on the Friday at Brno which should be a better track for us.”
“Another tough race, it’s difficult to find different words. We will investigate what has happened. From here to the end of the season we must start to have some good luck and I’m sure some good results will arrive for Ben. He has no need to show us anything we can see his speed and talent. We are looking forward to Brno where it could be a great circuit for him. Jorge made his usual intelligent race, he achieved 20 points which are crucial for the standings and he made no mistakes. He delivered the maximum that he could here.”
Podium joy for delighted Dovizioso at Indianapolis
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso's outstanding form in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship continued today, with the Italian collecting his fifth rostrum in seven races in baking hot conditions at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Starting from the front row of the grid for only the second time this season, Dovizioso made a fast start and slotted in behind Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa in third spot in the early exchanges.
As the race unfolded in front o f a crowd of over 65,000 sun-drenched fans, Dovizioso became locked in an enthralling battle with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner.
Stoner grabbed third on lap 10 but a determined Dovizioso didn't let the heroic Australian out of his sights and his relentless pressure finally paid off when he moved back into the top three on lap 22.
Dovizioso was able to streak away from Stoner to consolidate his status as the leading non-factory in the World Championship rankings after today's race didn't have the positive outcome that Cal Crutchlow was hoping for.
The British rider failed to score points for the first time in an impressive second season in the MotoGP class. Crutchlow looked on course to finish inside the top six for the ninth time in 11 races whe n he latched onto the back of a pack including Dovizioso, Stoner, Bradl and Bautista dicing for third before the halfway stage.
But just as the 26-year-old was sizing up an attack to move into the top six, he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine at Turn 4 on lap 10.
Andrea Dovizioso 3rd – 137 points:
“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.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 106 points:
R 20;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.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“I am running out of superlatives to describe the job Andrea has been doing this season but another podium finish here in Indianapolis is a fantastic result. That is the fifth time in the last seven races that Andrea has been on the podium and this is way beyond our wildest dreams. Honestly I didn't expect us to be on the podium here but Andrea and the whole Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did another incredible job. It was a tough race throughout and I have to say big respect to Casey because he showed too today why he is the current World Champion. Andrea had to push at his maximum to beat him but now we can go to Brno hoping that this brilliant run of form can continue. It's really a pity that Cal crashed because he was looking very strong at the back of the group and waiting for the right moment to make his move. It was a small mistake but when you look how consistent and fast he has been in 2012, we can't be too upset. I know Cal will be determined to bounce back quickly from this result and we will be giving him our 100% support to make sure that happens in Brno.”
Pedrosa powers home from pole to win at Indianapolis
Round 11: Indianapolis Grand Prix – Race
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday 19 August 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 45-48°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa completed a dominant weekend on the Repsol Honda RC213V by scoring his second win of the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to edge closer to rival Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP™ championship standings.
Starting from pole position on the combination of the harder slick options front and rear, Pedrosa lost out in the early stages of the race before working his way to the front where he established a fast pace – setting a new record fastest lap of 1’39.088 along the way - that would ultimately see him finish the race 10.823 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Yamaha Factory Racing star Lorenzo scored a valuable twenty points for his championship bid by taking second place ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who crossed the line in third place for the fifth time this season. Avintia Blusens rider Yonny Hernandez rode an impressive race to be the first CRT rider across the finish line in ninth place, the result catapulting the Columbian four places up the championship table.
Track temperatures were slightly lower for the race compared to yesterday’s qualifying session, with a peak of 48°C towards the end of the race but generally track conditions were very similar to those experienced in the other afternoon sessions. The abrasive tarmac of the Indianapolis circuit resulted in every rider opting for the harder front slick option, while rear tyre choice was split between the harder rear slick for the works bikes and softer rear slicks for the CRT bikes with a couple of exceptions; Jorge Lorenzo and Pramac Racing’s Toni Elias on works bikes opted for the softer rear slick, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards and Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp were the two CRT riders that selected the harder rear slick for the race.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Though conditions were slightly cooler today, it was still quite warm and today’s race proved to be a real challenge for the riders, motorcycles and tyres, so congratulations to Dani and Repsol Honda for their win today and their impressive showing over the whole race weekend. Casey’s performance to finish in fourth place with his injured ankle was also very impressive and I would like to extend my best wishes to Casey, Hector and Nicky and I hope they make swift and full recoveries from their injuries. Our team now heads to Brno where we will support both the Czech Republic Grand Prix as well as the post-race test on Monday.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Weather and track conditions for today’s race were similar to yesterday and so tyre choice was largely reflected by what we saw in yesterday’s race simulations. Almost every rider on the more powerful works machines selected the harder rear slick, while the majority of the CRT bikes selected the softer rear slick for its slight advantage in edge grip. Overall our tyre allocation for this race worked well at a circuit that is quite punishing on tyres, with the special construction rear tyres we supplied performing well in the extreme conditions, while our revised compound selection provided riders with good options for the race with a new pole position record and race lap record being set, while the race time was thirteen seconds faster than last year. This was a positive outcome at a circuit that is one of the most gruelling environments for race tyres.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race winner
“It’s been a good weekend for me and for the race the bike was working well though we were sliding all the way around the track, although the bike did have a good feeling. I had good pace today, but it was a tough race and I had to work hard to keep my concentration, but thanks to my team and everyone around me for helping me get this win.”
Flying Pedrosa victorious at Indianapolis
Repsol rider takes second win of the season and moves to 18 points off the series lead. Casey Stoner overcomes injury to finish in a praisweorthy fourth.
Repsol Media Service
United States, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Dani Pedrosa rounded off a perfect weekend at the Indianapolis Grand Prix with victory from pole position. The win was his second of the season. The Repsol rider got off to a good start, but was overtaken on the second corner by Ben Spies. He took three laps to retake the position, doing so on lap four with a display of speed on the Indianapolis straight, then took off in pursuit of his second Indy win. He crossed the line over ten seconds ahead of his closest rival.
Casey Stoner came back from a big Saturday crash which inflicted a fracture and sprain upon his right ankle, managing to place fourth and even challenge for the podium. With this result, Dani Pedrosa closes in further on Jorge Lorenzo in the overall standings —cutting the deficit by 5 points to 18.
PASINI CRASHES OUT ON THE FIRST LAP OF THE RACE OF THE GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS
The MotoGP class got out on the track at Indianapolis for the eleventh race of the 2012 Championship.
Mattia Pasini grabbed the eleventh time in the warm up of the morning, confirming some final set-up decisions for the Grand Prix. The Italian started from the fourteenth placement on the grid, but because of a crash on the first lap, his race ended in advance.
Therefore Pasini maintains the total of 13 points, nineteenth in the General Classification.
Mattia Pasini #54 - crashed out
“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.”
SIXTH PLACE FOR MOTOGP ROOKIE BRADL AT INDIANAPOLIS GP
Indianapolis, 19th August: the eleventh round of the season at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an eventful race with Stefan Bradl ending the 28-lap American round in 6th position after a entertaining battle at the front in the early stages.
Stefan Bradl had his second best qualifying performance of the season yesterday on his first visit to the Brickyard on a MotoGP machine heading into today’s race with hopes but the German could not match his yesterday’s impressive pace.
Stefan: “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”.
A weekend of hard work from Team San Carlo Honda Gresini paid off this afternoon with a fifth place finish for Alvaro Bautista at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. The Spaniard made an excellent start from eighth on the grid (having gained a place due to the non-participation of Nicky
Hayden) and he fought hard for a podium for three quarters of the race before finally losing touch with Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner. Sadly there was no such good fortune for Michele Pirro who was forced to retire with a swingarm problem.
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."
Michele Pirro "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."
Fausto Gresini "Alvaro had a good race today. It wasn't an easy race but it certainly was an intense one. He kept a good pace and improved his pace from practice to get a fifth place which makes me happy, especially for him because he needed a boost after some tough races. It is a boost for the whole team, we needed it and it refocuses us now as we look to continue our quest to perform to our full potential. I am sorry for Michele, who had to retire with the swingarm problem. It is a nagging issue and something the FTR engineers need to resolve for the next race.
Michele and the team's efforts should not go to waste in this manner."
ESPARGARÓ AND PUNIET EXPERIENCE MIXED FORTUNES AT INDIANAPOLIS
Spaniard rounds out top ten after great race, whilst Frenchman forced to retire with clutch issue.
The Indianapolis GP featured a reduced and injured field today, despite the presence of two wild cards. Nicky Hayden missed the race due to his Saturday crash, whilst Casey Stoner took to the grid hurting considerably from his own fall in qualifying. There were six further crashes and breakdowns in the contest. Ben Spies took the early lead, but two laps later he was caught by Pedrosa, who passed him on lap four. There was no looking back, and he won from Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso -ten and sixteen seconds back, respectively.
Today was a day to break the deadlock. Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet were competing for the lead of the provisional CRT category standings. Both were riding excellently over the course of the weekend, but a spanner was thrown in the works for one of them come race day. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar duo started strong, but mechanical issues affected their end result. Espargaró experienced a gear change problem that affected him on every corner. Despite this, he held on to take tenth place at Indianapolis.
De Puniet was not so fortunate, as after eight laps he had to return to the garage with a clutch issue. The Frenchman was disappointed but recognised the uncommon nature of the problem, and will be back to top form at Brno next weekend.
10th Aleix Espargaró: "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."
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."