MotoGP: Indy Race Notes: Third Time Lucky

 

Before today's Indianapolis Motor Speedway's MotoGP race, it was easy to calcuate the number of wins that Dani Pedrosa had in the premiere class -- simply multiply his years in MotoGP and multiply by two. All that changed today when Pedrosa easily beat fan favorite Ben Spies and Series Leader Jorge Lorenzo to take his third win of the 2010 season.

The Repsol Honda rider didn't get his usual rocket start, that honor going instead to pole-sitter Spies, but within a few laps the Catalan had caught the Texan and started appyling pressure and took the lead going into the seventh lap just past Indy's famous yard of bricks start/finish line. Pedrosa, the only rider able to make the Bridgstone "extra-hard" compound rear work, set about accomplishing what he does best -- winning from the front --  by setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Within two laps after Pedrosa  took the lead, he had dropped Spies by nearly 2 seconds. Pedrosa'sgap eventually stretched out over 5 seconds and near the end he relaxed a bit and won by well over 3 seconds.

Ben Spies looked like he was going to check the next to last item off his MotoGP to-do list, but finished a very creditable second given the nature of the competition. Spies said that his tires went off and he was sliding a lot on a track already notorious for it's lack of grip.

Behind the lead pair, their was a brief scrap for the final spot on the box when Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Rossi bunched up with a second and a half gap between 3-5th, but that ended quickly when Lorenzo dispatched Dovizioso. Although Rossi was close behind, by the time he also overtook Dovi, Lorenzo had pulled a margin of over two seconds on his team mate.

The Marlboro Ducati duo of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden had wretched luck on the day, Stoner crashing out on lap seven and eventual sixth-place finisher Hayden losing his knee slider so that he burned a hole in the knee of his Alpinestars leathers.

Colin Edwards came into the pits once to swap out a hard rear for a soft and then retired late in the race. Mika Kallio and Marco Melandri both also crashed out.

Editorial Note: The American contingent in the paddock is in a state of grief and shock on the passing of 13-year-old Peter Lenz as a result of injuries suffered in the USGPRU support race earlier today. Peter was a rising star on the US roadracing scene and he will be greatly missed.

Round Number: 
11
2010
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Comments

Fantastic ride slipping, sliding and spinning over the rather less than average surface of Indy.

Pedrosa has matured as a rider this year. Starting fighting fit for the first time in quiet a while has helped. But the manner in which he has taken an unruly beast of a machine on suspension he was completely unfamilair with and turned it into probably the best bike on the grid is a superb effort. Obviously many others have helped to get the Honda to where it is, but credit to Dani. It should shut a few of his detractors up who seem to think that it was almost negligent that he did not win the 2007 title on 'the bike Honda built for him'. Bollocks to that.

Interesting to note that 53kg dripping wet Dani was the only rider to make the 'hard' compound B/Stone work. It just shows that the Honda does still have a very aggressive power delivery as Dani states, and maybe it shows how much heat he gets into the thing getting on the gas. Dani picks the machine up onto the fat of the tyre and drives off the corners better than any of them.

If Dani and the Honda continue this vein of improvement then watch out 2011. Even if he will have his own 'Jorge' to deal with too!