MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis GP, August 27-29, 2010
photos by Tim Hailey, story courtesy of MotoGP
Indy winner Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa narrowed the gap on MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to 68 points with seven rounds of the 2010 season remaining by winning the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday. It was the Repsol Honda rider’s third win of the campaign, the first time he has achieved three wins in a season in the premier class.
Starting from the second row Pedrosa was on the pace early on and a fastest lap on lap two lifted him into second position, as he set his sights on pole holder Ben Spies. On the end of the seventh lap the Spaniard overtook the rookie on the start/finish straight and never relinquished the lead, eventually crossing the line 3.575s clear of Spies.
After the race Pedrosa commented, “I’m really happy with this win and it was an especially tough one because of the heat today. My rhythm was good and even though Spies was strong in front I was able to close him down and make the pass. When I was out in front it was quite hard to stay focused and at the end of the race I was really tired – but I’m very happy because last year I crashed when I could have won and now I have made up for it.”
Texan Ben Spies
For the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Spies, second place marked his best result to date and a second podium in what has already been a fantastic debut season. Spies started from pole – the first of his MotoGP career – and his race result capped off a great weekend that also saw him confirmed as a factory Yamaha rider for 2011.
2009 winner Jorge Lorenzo
Completing the podium was series leader Lorenzo who had started from second on the grid but dropped to fifth at the start of the race. That failed to affect his concentration however and he battled his way past Andrea Dovizioso and into third just before the midway point of the race, finishing just over three seconds off Spies as his phenomenal record of having placed in the top two in every race this season was finally broken. He did however score a twelfth consecutive podium finish in the premier class.
A complicated weekend for Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) ended with the reigning World Champion placing fourth in the race, as he won the battle of the Italians with Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso taking fifth. Nicky Hayden was sixth having started from the front row for the first time in his Ducati career and battling with an awkwardly dislodged knee-slider throughout the race.
“Nice Socks!” Nicky Hayden, sporting my name on his leathers and his Ducati’s fairing, knows style when he sees it and points at yours truly.
Marco Simoncelli (leading) and Álvaro Bautista battle it out
Rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) impressed with seventh and eight places respectively, with Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) and Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) completing the top ten. Loris Capirossi, Hiroshi Aoyama – on his return from injury – and Randy de Puniet were the final three riders to finish the race.
Suffering the disappointment of DNFs were Marco Melandri (lap two) on his 200th Grand Prix start, Casey Stoner who lost the front end of his Ducati Desmosedici GP10 on lap eight whilst in sixth, Colin Edwards who was forced to retire with rear tire issues (lap 17) and Mika Kallio who crashed in turn ten when he hit a bump.
Lorenzo moves onto 251 points with Pedrosa now on 183 in second in the standings. Dovizioso is third on 126, with Stoner now seven points behind in fourth. Rossi remains in fifth while Spies moves up to sixth.
Brock Davidson clutches the final issue of Straightliner
BST’s are so light this guy can levitate one
Ladies represent at the Speedway
MODERATOR: OK, ladies and gentlemen, riders are on their way. In third place, Jorge Lorenzo here at Indianapolis. (Applause) Jorge has a 68-point lead in the championship over Dani Pedrosa, of course, who won the race.
In second place, Ben Spies. (Applause)
And the race winner, his third Grand Prix victory of the season, Dani Pedrosa.
Dani, you look absolutely shattered, I’ve got to say. I think that was, all three of you look absolutely shattered but that was a pretty tough afternoon’s work.
DANI PEDROSA: Yes, it was, it was very, very warm out there. You know, you didn’t cool down in the 45 minutes you’re out there. So it’s hard. But we did a good race. I think the rhythm was very good. The track was slippery, because when the asphalt always get over 50 degrees, the bike always starts to be very greasy, you know. But the same thing for everybody, so I did not a perfect start, but I was good on the first small corners to be still in fourth place. And then I just try to overtake. Spies was quite, was maybe half of one second ahead, and he was pulling very, very strong. But I could pick up, pick up and get over – ahead of him. And finally I try to do my rhythm and I was able to escape and do a good pace. So I am very happy, pleased with my bike. It was a fast bike in the straight and it was going well, also, in the corners. So good feelings.
And then, yeah, by the end it was hard to stay focused because it was very tiring and my – I had tube for the water but I don’t know why it was not working. And yeah, I’m tired but very happy because last year I crashed here and I could win the race, but this time I did. So very happy.
MODERATOR: With the track and with the temperature, when you were leading and the gap was OK, you had to concentrate very hard because one little mistake here, we’ve seen so many crashes.
PEDROSA: Yes, so many crashes because of the bumps and the track temperature. Yeah, if you just miss one line in one corner, you can be immediately on the ground. So it was very important to be focused in every corner and make no mistake with the bumps, especially at the end when the tires were more damaged, when you go over the bumps, the bike is shaking a little bit more and it was more difficult to control. But even that, I was able to stay in the front, not crash this time and finish the race on top.
MODERATOR: Misano obviously in a week’s time, and you’ve had your third MotoGP win of the season. It’s always been two MotoGP wins. That’s a big step forward for you, isn’t it?
PEDROSA: Yes, I cross the barrier of two wins, so I’m very happy, and I hope we can keep this rhythm. We are doing good lately in the races, so mistakes, but I hope till the end I can still keep this rhythm and do some more good results.
MODERATOR: Misano, is it a track you like?
PEDROSA: Misano is a track I like. I’ve been always quite fast, but we have to work harder on the setup because the Honda there is always a little bit hard to ride. Our engine is a little bit — it’s fast, but in the corners it’s always very aggressive. So to control on this is difficult, but we will have to work very hard since Friday, and we’ll try our best. And I hope we can do there a great result, also.
MODERATOR: Finally, it will be important to rest. It’s a long trip home. You’re back on the bike Friday afternoon in Misano after a really tough race. It’s very important, isn’t it, to rest the body if you can?
PEDROSA: Yes, you must rest as much as you can. Also Misano can be a hot race. So, yeah, as much as we can rest and to recover for the next one is better.
MODERATOR: Dani, congratulations, your third win of the season.
In second place, of course, riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Ben Spies. Very, very close, Ben, but a great second place for you.
BEN SPIES: Yeah. I mean, we can’t complain, you know. We came in and did better than I thought we were going to do. We got the pole yesterday and got out and had a good start today and led some laps. Didn’t set the world on fire, but we, you know, we had a good pace. If just wasn’t fast enough when Dani came by. His bike was working good, and he had good grip. We had a good setup, too; it just wasn’t fast enough. And I tried as hard as I could and didn’t make too many mistakes. Saw that we had a gap to third and, you know, just tried to manage it and ride as hard as I could. It was really tricky, and I saw a lot of crash marks out there and I knew some people were hitting the ground, and it was quite easy to make a mistake. But in the end we had to ride 100 percent the whole time with only a three-second gap. So I’m happy for all the friends and family and fans that are here to get a second in the American Grand Prix for the first season, you know, it’s a hard weekend, you know. It hasn’t soaked in yet, but I’ll try to go and enjoy it a little bit and hop on a plane and do it again next weekend.
MODERATOR: I believe you said Thursday afternoon when we spoke, you finished second in the Grand Prix, your Grand Prix future is confirmed replacing Valentino Rossi, pole position, I think you’d have said, yeah, I’ll settle for that.
SPIES: Yeah. I mean, it’s a lot of confidence, too, to know that next year what’s happening, to have Yamaha behind me. It’s knowing that they believe in me that they want me on the factory bike, you have a lot more confidence in it. It just takes pressure off you, you believe in yourself. You push and push and having the American fans here, they wanted something big. We tried as hard as we could, which we didn’t win today but to get on the podium, I’m happy with that. I think everybody that’s with me is.
MODERATOR: You’ve moved up into sixth place in the championship, one point in front of Nicky Hayden, so that in itself is turning into a bit of a battle, isn’t it?
SPIES: Yeah. It depends how you look at it. For me, you know, Nick is just another rider. He’s a great rider; he’s a world champ. To be doing what we’re doing, not looking at the top American, anything like that, or top satellite bike, just to be the first year and jumping over some of the hurdles we’ve had, I didn’t think it would be going this well. So two podiums, you know. If you had told me we would have had one at the end of the first season, I would have been happy with that and took my money. But we’ll just keep clicking away, keep trying to learn. I think me and the team and everybody is doing a good job, and I’m happy with it.
MODERATOR: Ben, congratulations, second place.
We come on to the championship leader, ladies and gentlemen, of course Jorge Lorenzo riding the Fiat Yamaha. Out of the first two, the first time, Jorge, but you picked up some very, very important points, didn’t you, and you’re still on the podium. Still a 68-point gap. You can’t be too disappointed.
JORGE LORENZO: Yeah, I must not be disappointed, no, but I’m not happy with my race. I didn’t ride so well. The start didn’t help me to make better. That’s why I didn’t feel so good with my physical condition, no? The third lap I was tired and I was not able to make the same pace as in practice. Anyway, this our worst result, and I think for Misano we will come back again, and we will see.
MODERATOR: As Dani said and Ben said, it really was very, very difficult out there. The track, you had to concentrate so hard, no mistakes, and the heat as well.
LORENZO: Yeah, the track was so slidey and also the bumps were difficult to use it. So I almost crash in some corners, so I prefer to finish third and not to take so many risks.
MODERATOR: Finally, Misano, is it a track you like?
LORENZO: Yeah, I love it. I love it. I finished second in the last two years and I think it’s a good track for us.
MODERATOR: Jorge, thank you very much. Congratulations.
OK, any questions from the floor, ladies and gentlemen? Put those hands up.
Q: Ben, when did you hear about the passing of Peter Lenz? Did you know him and did that have any impact on this race? Was there a cloud over this race for you or for any of the other riders?
SPIES: Yeah, I mean I found out about it about an hour and a half before the race. You know, you try to put the stuff out of your head as much as you can, but he unfortunately had been injured a couple years ago and had sent some stuff to him when he was in the hospital. You know, Colin was, I guess, quite close with him. And, you know, I could see it crushed Colin pretty bad before the race. It’s the race in life, unfortunately. There’s nothing really that can be said right now that’s positive. I mean, I told myself before the race, I was riding my heart out for him today. And I’ve lost a teammate in the past, my best friend. He was at an age at least he knew what he was doing; he obviously loved it. He knew how dangerous it could be, and it’s an unfortunate accident. There’s nothing that can be done right now. But it definitely did put a damper before the race but when the green flag goes. You’ve got to look straight ahead and hopefully it will give me some motivation out there.
Q: Ben, you had a chance to lead for a bit and run at the front the whole race and follow Dani for a bit. Did you feel like you picked up a lot of information and learned a lot that will help you in the future?
SPIES: You know, yeah. First time leading a GP race, really. I think I led for about 10 feet at Brno. But here I actually led for a few laps. Again, the pace wasn’t fast enough to lead for half the race or anything like that, but I don’t really think I made too big of mistakes when I was out front. We were consistent, just wasn’t fast enough, but was comfortable, so that was key. When Dani came by, you know, a combination of his bike was quite quick on the straightaway but he was riding really well and not making any mistakes and getting the bike off the corner really well; it was difficult with the grip. So a couple of those key factors, you know. We couldn’t follow him too close but I just tried to let him pull me away as much as I could to get away from third and then manage as much as I could. So I think once he got out to his gap, he could manage it, too. And I congratulate him, he rode a great race. I’m happy with how we rode. It wasn’t fast enough, but I think we were quite fast with not too many mistakes and that was important with the way the track was today.
Q: Dani, could you discuss your choice of extra hard rear tire?
PEDROSA: I wasn’t able to choose, the only hard compound, that’s it. I had to choose the extra hard because on the softer one, it was for me my bike generates too much tire — too much temperature in the tire. So finally after some laps I lose the stability going into the corners, so I had to choose the harder one. I had no choice.
Q: Dani, does today make up for last year here?
PEDROSA: No, last year, it’s lost. But, yeah, it’s a little less pain, you know. Because when, you know, you have the chance to win and you didn’t do it, it feels bad inside. But today I was able to do it, so I’m very happy.
Q: This goes to all of you. Considering the tragedy today, is this course perhaps maybe too difficult for someone 12 or 13 years old to navigate considering how difficult it was for you all over the course of the weekend?
SPIES: No, not at all. You know, I wouldn’t say that at all. It’s a normal racetrack, and, you know, racing incidents happen and as unfortunate as it is, it is a horrible thing. Like I said, I didn’t know him really well, but I had spoke to him once on the phone and sent some things to him. But, no, from what I understand, it was a pure racing accident, and it’s happened before to people. The fact is, it’s going to happen again at some point to somebody and we hate it, but we know what’s going on when we put a helmet on; we know what can happen. That’s it.
MODERATOR: I think Dani and Jorge are probably not aware of the tragedy that has happened, so I think are you happy with Ben’s reply there? Yeah, OK. They weren’t aware of what had happened before the MotoGP race. Thanks.
Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen?
Q: A question to Jorge. You said you struggled physically. What was it, muscles or just a problem with the heat here?
LORENZO: Well, of course the heat doesn’t help anybody to ride a bike, but especially I lost a little bit my training during these two last weeks. So I have to push again to make stretch and to recover.
Q: Just a quick question to someone like Dani. Dani, very hot day here at Indiana today. Comparing to a Malaysian race or when we used to race in the daytime in Qatar, was it hotter today than Malaysia or —
PEDROSA: Close. I mean, I have raced sometimes in Malaysia that it wasn’t that bad and sometimes it was really, really bad. And this was close to one of the hottest days in Malaysia or Qatar in the daylight.
Q: Jorge, a quick comment about comparing the heat today with Malaysian heat or Qatar heat.
LORENZO: I guess in Malaysia it’s worse but today I’m more tired than in Malaysia.
Q: Jorge, your start today, just trying to be careful? On your start?
LORENZO: No, I really didn’t make a good start, and I lost two or three positions. And then after my bike wasn’t so quick on the straight, so fast, and it was like I was riding a 250 bike. I lost a lot of meters on the straight. I got a chance to overtake Dovizioso because he make a mistake in the last corner and he make a wheelie. So I exit perfect in the last corner and I overtook him in the first corner. But apart from this, from this mistake, I didn’t think I could make it, no, to pass Andrea.
Q: Ben, got a question for you. This weekend you’re filled with some good news. Pick one out of the three, which are you most stoked about, is it the factory ride? Is it the pole position or second place?
SPIES: Man, that’s a tough one, I think. They all mean a lot. I think it starts with Friday to be able to be a rider that Yamaha picks to be on the factory team is huge. You know, to be in MotoGP, first of all, is a huge thing and then to know there’s only a couple people that can ride for a factory team and that you’re one of them, that’s big. And I think that kind of stemmed a lot how the weekend went, the confidence that was taken from that and just transformed into Saturday’s result and today’s result. You know, like I said, for it all to happen at the home Grand Prix, there’s nothing that can top it unless we won today. But, like, we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground, and I think we’re taking positive steps every weekend.
Q: Question to Ben. After testing in Brno on Monday, did you receive some special parts from Yamaha? And for the second part of the season. And you still ride with a 2009 chassis?
SPIES: Our bike is the same bike that we started at Laguna with. We received a small upgrade at Laguna, and that’s the bike I’m on now. So I think it’s a little bit of me letting go of the brake. And it makes, you know, it makes me know that the gap between my bike and the factory bike, OK, yeah, there’s some differences. Maybe some better things, some worse things, you never know. I mean, the old stuff some way can be better than the better stuff sometimes but they’re not that big of a difference. So what he’s been doing and Valentino has been doing, Yamaha gives the satellite team, you know, good bikes, and I think it’s showing that the bike’s the same.
Q: Ben, will you talk about your tire choice, you went with the softer choice, right?
SPIES: Yeah, we kind of went for glory, you know. I couldn’t be quick enough on the hard tire. Couldn’t quite do with some of the things I wanted to do with the bike to make the lap time. The soft tire we knew was going to go down at the end but we were hoping to be in a position where we could manage that at the end. Fortunately we got a good start. I was able to go early on and go good and then just manage it at the end of the race and it proved to be a good choice. I was on the fence about it, I believed in a couple other people and we went with it. So it worked out today.
MODERATOR: Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen? OK. Thank you all very much, indeed for your time. See you all in Misano. Thank you.
Toni Elías won in the intermediate class with a characteristically measured ride on Sunday, taking a third consecutive GP win for the first time in his career as he tightened his grip on the inaugural Moto2 title. The Gresini Racing rider now leads the overall standings by 67 points after ten rounds, having topped the podium ahead of pole man Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).
The race was restarted and shortened to 17 laps due to two separate crashes on the opening lap of the original contest which brought out the red flag. Championship leader Elías made a fantastic getaway as he used the gap on the front row vacated by Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) to advance into the lead on lap one. Corsi started from the back of the grid having qualified fourth as he experienced problems with his bike due to the crash, but rocketed up the field throughout the race.
Elías and Simón became involved in a duel for top spot with Redding watching from third as he kept tabs on the duo, and six laps from the end Elías made a superb overtake round the outside of Simón to assume the lead. He held that to the end, eventually crossing the line just over four-tenths of a second ahead of his compatriot.
Redding took his first Moto2 podium as he crossed in third, just under four seconds behind Simón having been strong throughout the weekend, with Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) fourth having started from way back on the seventh row. Corsi completed the top five having made an admirable recovery from the back of the grid.
Iannone remains second in the standings, with Lüthi and Simón level on 108 points in third and fourth. Corsi rises to fifth thanks to his result. Absent from the race was Fonsi Nieto who underwent surgery on his fractured left ankle in Indianapolis today following his qualifying crash.
Nico Terol’s first consecutive GP wins came with victory at Indianapolis as the Bancaja Aspar rider won the 125cc contest, his third of the season and on the same track he won his first World Championship race in 2008. Terol eventually crossed the line 4.995s clear of Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), with Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) completing the podium in what was a typically eventful 125cc race.
Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) looked to be pulling away to a dominant victory in the early part of the race until a crash at turn ten with 15 laps remaining saw Terol assuming first position. Bradley Smith was riding hard and had climbed to second but with 11 laps remaining the Bancaja Aspar rider crashed at turn 11, thus ending his race and also a run of having scored points in every round this season. That elevated Cortese and Espargaró into second and third.
The drama was not finished there however and on the penultimate lap the remounted Márquez cut the track when in eighth position, crossing the finish line in fifth with Efrén Vázquez in fourth. The incident was examined by Race Direction and the decision was to penalise Márquez 20 seconds, meaning he was demoted to 10th position for the race.
That meant that the top eight was completed by Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa Molenaar) and Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol).
Terol’s win was the 20th successive 125cc victory for Spanish riders, and moved him into second in the overall standings on 168 points, with Márquez on 172. Espargaró is third on 167 points, with Smith remaining fourth on 115.
MODERATOR: We have the podium finishes then in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, 125 cc race. In third position, Pol Espargaro from Spain; in second position, Sandro Cortese from Germany; and our race winner today is Nico Terol, another rider from Spain from the Bancaja Aspar team.
We’ll start with our race winner. We know that Moto2 is about to get underway but we’ll carry on regardless.
First of all, Nico, congratulations. Second win in succession in the championship, your second win at Indianapolis as well. But how important is this for the championship, after the injury to win two races, the championship is now wide open again.
NICOLAS TEROL: (Responds in Spanish).
MODERATOR: So Nico just explaining he’s delighted, of course, to take his second victory here at Indianapolis and his second victory in a row. He says it was a really difficult race out there today. He didn’t get a great start and he was trying to just close as much as he could on Marc Marquez, but Efren Vazquez came through a couple of times on him and that’s when he lost a bit of room to Marquez. It was very, very hard to do that. In the end what he was trying to do is put pressure on to keep the gap as close as he could. Marc made a mistake and crashed, and he’s sorry for that, but that’s racing. He says that’s what happens. He just wanted to stay focused, stay concentrated to get to the end of the race. He’s delight with win, wants to thank the team. He gives congratulations to his team manager, Jorge Martinez as well; his birthday is today. He says he can’t do better than he has done today. Well done, Nico. Congratulations.
Second place today, Sandro Cortese. Congratulations, Sandro. Equally your best result in Grand Prix but you didn’t get a great start to the race, did you?
SANDRO CORTESE: Yes, it was very, very difficult. I think the first meters were quite OK, but then I just let the clutch too early go and after the first lap I was maybe 12th or something and then I had to fight back. It was very, very tough because at the beginning I had this good rhythm, high (1:) 50s and 49s at the end. But then I just thought, OK, the front didn’t have this high space like in the qualifying. So I had a good rhythm, hold all the time, certain times what I could do. At the end I was lucky to go home with the second place.
MODERATOR: Congratulations, Sandro. Well done.
Pol Espargaro in third place, will take his eyes off Moto2 for a second. It’s been red-flagged anyway, so I think there will be another restart. Congratulations, Pol, on the podium. How difficult has your weekend? It’s not been easy, a crash and just finding the circuit difficult this weekend.
POL ESPARGARO: So, so hard for us, for our time. The third position is important for the championship but is important for us for the weekend. I think it was a very difficult weekend for the tires and the chassis. Finally, we take this morning maybe just a small confidence that we need to do a good race. And I start thinking always about the championship, but when I see Marquez crash, all changed and four, five, six position was good for me. So I’m so happy for that. I’m happy because we are so close in the championship and that is the most important at the final at the race.
MODERATOR: Congratulations, Pol.
For those who don’t know, Marc Marquez was relegated down to tenth position after he made the illegal maneuver on the 22nd lap and got a 20-second penalty.
Do we have any questions at all from anyone? No? OK. Well done to all three of you this afternoon.
Spies, Hayden on Indy front row
American MotoGP riders Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden ignited cheers among the Red Bull Indianapolis GP crowd Aug. 28 by qualifying first and third, respectively, for Sunday’s third running of MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Spies, of Longview, Texas, earned his first career MotoGP pole in front of the home crowd with a fast lap of 1 minute, 40.105 seconds on the No. 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike.
Defending race winner Jorge Lorenzo, of Spain, qualified second at 1:40.325 on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team machine. Hayden, who lives a mere three hours from Indianapolis in Owensboro, Ky., will start on the outside of the front row in third by posting a lap of 1:40.336 on the No. 69 Ducati Team entry.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves now, but to be on pole, the first pole for me in front of the American crowd and here at Indy, with all the history, it’s great,” Spies said. “We put it on the line that last bit and got it. To have two Americans on the front row here is pretty incredible. I wouldn’t have thought it coming into the weekend, but to be able to do it, now we just get a good start and give it everything we’ve got Sunday.”
Hayden’s result marks his first front-row start with the fabled Ducati Team, for which he has competed since the start of the 2009 season.
“I’m happy for it, it’s really important here for the race,” Hayden said. “The soft tires, we put them on and it was a big jump. Two Americans on the front row is good for MotoGP in America. We hope it brings a big crowd, and we’ll put on a good show and go for it.”
The MotoGP race starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday at IMS.
Spies’ pole was the first for an American since Colin Edwards was the top qualifier for the Grand Prix of China at the Shanghai Circuit in May 2008. The last time two Americans qualified on the front row was the 2006 Grand Prix of Portugal when Edwards, of Houston, started second and Hayden third.
Adding to the drama of Spies’ accomplishment, the Yamaha Tech 3 team is a “satellite” team of Yamaha’s, which receives updates in parts and technology throughout the season after the factory-backed Fiat Yamaha Team receives them.
The second row of the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP starting grid will consist of Repsol Honda Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, who qualified fourth and fifth, respectively, and Hayden’s Ducati teammate Casey Stoner, who qualified sixth.
Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi will start seventh on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team entry while Edwards starts ninth (outside Row 3) on the No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
Several riders experienced accidents during the qualifying session, most notably Rossi, who slid into the gravel trap in Turn 6, his second crash of the day.
Marc Marquez of Spain, who suffered a shoulder injury in the most recent 125cc class event at Brno in the Czech Republic, qualified on pole for the 125cc race with a lap of 1:48.124 on the No. 93 Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Derbi. Fellow Spaniard Julian Simon, the reigning 125cc world champion, earned his first career Moto2 pole with a lap of 1:46.139 on the Mapfre Aspar Team Suter.
• Ben Spies starts from pole for the first time in his MotoGP career. He is the first rookie to qualify on pole since Lorenzo in 2008. Spies is also the first non-factory rider and also the first American rider to start from pole in MotoGP since Colin Edwards at the Chinese Grand Prix in 2008.
• Second on the grid is Jorge Lorenzo, which maintains his record of qualifying on the front row at every MotoGP race this year. If Lorenzo finishes either first or second he will become only the second rider ever to finish in the top two at the opening eleven races of the year in the premier-class; the only rider to have done this previously is Mick Doohan.
• Nicky Hayden’s third place on the grid is the first time he has qualified on the front row since joining Ducati. During the 800cc era of MotoGP the only other Ducati rider to have qualified on the front row is Casey Stoner.
• This is the first time that two American riders have qualified together on the front row for a MotoGP race since the Chinese GP in 2007, when John Hopkins was second on the grid and Colin Edwards was third.
• Leading the second row is Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fourth at Indianapolis last year after qualifying down in eighth place on the grid.
• Fifth place on the grid is Dani Pedrosa’s worst qualifying result since he was seventh fastest qualifier at Assen.
• Casey Stoner’s sixth place on the grid equals his worst qualifying result of the year, at Silverstone.
• Valentino Rossi has qualified in 7th place on the grid, which is his worst qualifying result since the final race of 2008 in Valencia.
• Marco Simoncelli, who won the 250cc race last year at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, has qualified in eighth place on the grid. This equals his best qualifying position on a MotoGP machine that he has achieved three times previously.
• Twelfth on the grid is Marco Melandri, who is scheduled to become the youngest rider ever to make 200 starts in Grand Prix racing.
• The top 23 riders on the grid for the Moto2 race have lapped within one second of the pole position time of Julian Simon.
• Julian Simon starts from pole for the first time in the Moto2 class. Simon qualified on pole last year at Indianapolis in the 125cc class, but finished the race in fifth place.
• In second place on the grid is Hector Faubel, his first front row start in the Moto2 class; a considerable improvement on his previous best qualifying this year which was 12th at Mugello.
• Scott Redding is in third place on the grid to become the youngest ever rider to qualify on the front row in the intermediate-class of Grand Prix racing.
• Simone Corsi is the final rider on the front row – his best qualifying so far in the Moto2 class.
• Fifth place on the grid for Anthony West is his best qualifying result so far in 2010.
• Following wins in Germany and the Czech Republic, Toni Elias will be aiming to win three successive Grand Prix races for the first time in his career.
• Spanish riders have won the last nineteen 125cc races. The last non-Spanish winner in the 125cc class was Andrea Iannone at the Catalan Grand Prix last year.
• Marc Marquez starts from pole for the seventh time in 2010. He has won on the last four occasions he has started on pole, at Silverstone, Assen, Catalunya and the Sachsenring.
• Second on the grid, Nico Terol took his first ever Grand Prix victory at the Indianapolis Grand Prix two years ago. Following his victory at Brno, Terol will be aiming for back-to-back Grand Prix wins for the first time in his career.
• Third-fastest qualifier Bradley Smith is starting from the front row for the seventh successive race. Smith has finished in the top eight at the last sixteen successive races.
• Taking the final slot on the front row is Sandro Cortese, who was second on the grid last year at Indianapolis but crashed on the first lap.
• Heading up the second row is last year’s winner at Indianapolis Pol Espargaro, who has failed to qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time this year.
• Seventh on the grid is Luis Salom, which is an improvement on his previous best qualifying result of tenth at Brno two weeks ago.
Stoner leads Red Bull Indy practice
Australian rider Casey Stoner led the first round of MotoGP practice Aug. 27 at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, but American riders occupied three of the top eight positions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
2007 MotoGP World Champion Stoner was the only rider to break into the 1 minute, 40-second bracket with a fast lap of 1:40.884 on the No. 27 Ducati Team motorcycle.
Stoner and his Ducati teammate, Nicky Hayden, will attempt to unseat the Fiat Yamaha Team duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who won first two MotoGP events at Indianapolis, in 2008 and 2009, respectively, for the Fiat Yamaha Team.
“Out of the box it (the motorcycle) wasn’t great,” Stoner said. “We tried one setting and completely went the wrong way, and it felt horrible. We came back and tried going a different direction and made another step and made it feel a little better, and we tried the last thing to make another improvement and sort of went backward again. We just have to go back and forth until we find that point where we’re getting all aspects of the bike working.”
Current MotoGP championship points leader Jorge Lorenzo was second on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha at 1:41.109 and Owensboro, Ky., native and 2006 MotoGP champion Hayden was third on the No. 69 Ducati at 1:41.405.
Dani Pedrosa was fourth on the No. 26 Respol Honda Team machine at 1:41.421, and seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was fifth on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha at 1:41.623.
Hayden’s fellow American riders, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammates Colin Edwards and Ben Spies, were sixth and eighth, respectively.
Spies and Hayden both slid off course in minor incidents, and neither was injured. Hayden slid into the gravel run-off in Turn 13 about 40 minutes into the one-hour session, causing damage to his bike. He walked away unhurt and finished the session on his backup. Spies crashed in Turn 6 with six minutes left in the session.
“I got in a little bit hot and got offline,” Hayden said. “I thought I was OK and the front lost, but it was a relatively easy crash. Right out of the gate, the bike felt pretty good. The team made a change to the front fork this weekend, but it’s only Friday. For the most part, the bike feels pretty good.
“I love Indy. I mean, this place is in my backyard, practically. The track is awesome. The facility is great. The people are great, and I’m looking forward to a big weekend. It’s still early, so I’ll try to stay calm and get myself in a position for Sunday to try to do something. I need to qualify well tomorrow.”
The Moto2 class made its North American debut with Friday practice, with Scott Redding of Great Britain quickest at 1:46.728. Spanish rider Marc Marquez was quickest in 125cc practice at 1:49.452, and Garrett Gerloff, of Vero Beach, Fla., was quickest in USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 Powered by Honda qualifying at 1:57.513.
Two major announcements were made in the MotoGP paddock during the day.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Dorna officials confirmed that the Red Bull Indianapolis GP would return for a fourth consecutive year, with the 2011 race taking place Aug. 26-28.
Yamaha officials also confirmed that Spies will move up to the manufacturer’s Fiat-sponsored team, taking the seat that Rossi vacates at the end of the season to move to Ducati.
2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP activities resume Saturday at 9 a.m. with 125cc practice, followed by MotoGP practice at 9:55 a.m. and Moto2 practice at 11:10 a.m. The Speedway’s public gates open at 7 a.m.
125cc qualifying starts at 1 p.m., followed by MotoGP qualifying is scheduled at 1:55 p.m. and Moto2 qualifying at 3:10 p.m. The first USGPRU race of the weekend, starting at 4:30 p.m., will conclude track activity for the day.
Scott Redding’s 22nd and final lap of the first Moto2 practice at Indianapolis on Friday placed the 17 year-old Brit at the top of the timesheet. An effort of 1’46.728 left the Marc VDS Racing Team rider 15-thousandths of a second ahead of Championship leader Toni Elías in a confidence-boosting start to his weekend.
Gresini Racing’s Elías beat title rival Andrea Iannone to second by 0.125s as the duo completed the top three, with Simone Corsi just under two-hundredths back in fourth spot and also the final rider to duck under 1’47” during the hour-long session.
Julián Simón, Stefan Bradl, Sergio Gadea and Raffaele De Rosa completed the top eight, with Gabor Talmacsi and wild card rider Jason DiSalvo inside the top ten.
Championship hopeful Thomas Lüthi was 15th with Shoya Tomizawa down in 27th as a crash affected his session. Vladimir Ivanov was another faller, whilst wild card Roger Lee Hayden overcame an early mechanical issue with his Moriwaki machine to set the 23rd best time of the day.
Championship leader, Marc Márquez, recovered from an early crash in today’s opening practice session ahead of Sunday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix to set the fastest time of the day in the 125cc class. Still nursing the dislocated shoulders sustained in a crash at Brno, the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider went down in the first 15 minutes of today’s session but bounced back to post a 1’49.452 lap time to secure the top spot on the timesheet.
Last year’s race winner and title hopeful, Pol Espargaró, was not far off his rival’s pace, setting a time just 0.15s off his compatriot’s best to claim second place in the opening session. 2008 Indy race winner, Nico Terol, was third fastest aboard his Bancaja Aspar Aprilia, ahead of Sandro Cortest and Bradley Smith.
Efrén Vázquez, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Esteve Rabat were all inside the top eight, with Danny Webb and Luis Salom rounding out the top ten.
Randy Krummenacher and wild card rider Kris Turner both had falls in the session, with Webb having an off track excursion at the end.
Indy MotoGP Preview!
EVENT: Red Bull Indianapolis GP
WHERE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis. Circuit is 2.621 miles (4.218 km), with 16 turns. MotoGP race is 28 laps, Moto2 is 26 laps; 125cc is 23 laps; USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 Powered by Honda is 12 laps.
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 29. It is the 11th of 18 events this season.
Straightliner coverage of the 2009 Red Bull Indy GP
2009 MotoGP RACE WINNER: Jorge Lorenzo, by 9.435 seconds over Alex De Angelis
2009 MotoGP POLE WINNER: Dani Pedrosa, 1 minute, 39.730 seconds
U.S. TV: MotoGP qualifying, 8-9 p.m. (ET), Saturday, Aug. 28, SPEED (delayed). MotoGP race, 3-4 p.m. (ET), Sunday, Aug. 29, SPEED (live). Moto2: 7-8 p.m. (ET), Sunday, Aug. 29, SPEED. 125cc: Noon-1 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, Aug. 31, SPEED (delayed).
THE AMERICANS: U.S. riders Nicky Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team), Ben Spies (Longview, Texas, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Colin Edwards (Houston, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will compete in the MotoGP race. Hayden is sixth in the MotoGP World Championship standings, with Spies seventh and Edwards 10th. Kenny Noyes (Borrego Springs, Calif., Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas), Roger Lee Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Team Honda/Moriwaki) and Jason DiSalvo (Stafford, N.Y., GP Tech) will compete in the Moto2 race. Noyes is 20th in the Moto2 World Championship standings. Hayden and DiSalvo will compete as wild-card entries. Kris Turner (Chattanooga, Tenn., Veloce Racing) will compete in the 125cc race as
•Nicky Hayden: “Been a lot of history here, a lot of racing, period, went on here, especially in this whole area, Indianapolis. You can race about anything within 30 miles of here. So it’s special for anybody, but for me it’s double because it’s so close to my house. And to drive to a MotoGP race for me still kind of seems strange because my first couple years in GP was no American rounds, so I definitely enjoy it and happy to be here and looking forward to the weekend.”
•Ben Spies: “I look forward to it. We were here a couple years ago and it was, I think we kind of raced in the hurricane then, but it was – I like the track, it’s definitely a different track for us. But for Indy, they put on a great event for being inside a speedway. It’s as good as it can get. I like the track. So it should be fun. A lot of, like Nicky said, he’s got a lot of friends and family, same for me. It makes it fun. It’s serious, you’ve got to perform on Sunday, but it’s kind of like a little vacation. You get to hang out with all the people that you used to like when I was in AMA and stuff like that. So I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we can continue with the momentum from the last few weekends and just keep going.”
•Colin Edwards: “I have so many memories here. You all probably heard the story, it was ’85 or ’86 when Danny Sullivan did the 360 and still won the race. My dad was drunk on the bed, and I was a little kid. I just remember my dad being drunk, “God damn, did you see that?” I’m like: “Dad, that’s the 10th time you said that. I saw it already.” But I have some memories of this place, most of them televised that I was watching. And to be here and to be parked in the same paddock in the motor homes and just being in this area, it’s something special. They’ve done a great job with it, you know, to build a motorcycle track here, it’s a good job.”
THEY SAID IT: “Yes, I come here in very good shape. You know, all the things are going so well this year. And we come here in a track that I love. In 2008 with a lot of rain and very hard conditions, I made my first podium in rain in my career, and last year I won. So it’s always very positive that MotoGP comes here in America, and I’m happy for that.” – Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo, the MotoGP points leader
FAST FACTS: Two riders have finished on the MotoGP podium each of the first two years of this event, 2010 points leader Jorge Lorenzo and American Nicky Hayden. Lorenzo finished third in 2008 and won in 2009; Hayden finished second in 2008 and third in 2009 … This is the first race in America for the new Moto2 class. The class didn’t compete at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix last month at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca … More American riders have won the 500cc/MotoGP World Championship since 1978 than riders from any other nation. American riders have combined to win 15 world titles in the last 32 seasons: Kenny Roberts (1978-80), Freddie Spencer (1983, 85), Eddie Lawson (1984, 1986, 1988-89), Wayne Rainey (1990-92), Kevin Schwantz (1993), Kenny Roberts Jr. (2000) and Nicky Hayden (2006) … Alex de Angelis became the first rider to exceed 200 mph on a motorcycle at IMS, recording a top speed of 201.3 mph in the speed trap in the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP … American rookie star Ben Spies was confirmed Aug. 27 as teammate to series points leader Jorge Lorenzo for 2011 at the factory Fiat Yamaha Team. Spies is replacing seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who is moving to the Ducati Team next season … Points leader Jorge Lorenzo has finished on the podium in 11 consecutive races, a streak that started in the final race of 2009, at Valencia, Spain … American rookie standout Ben Spies continues to achieve many milestones in 2010. He leads the race for Rookie of the Year by 36 points over Marco Simoncelli and is the leading non-factory rider in the standings, 15 points ahead of Randy De Puniet. Spies also has been the first rookie finisher in six of the 10 races this season and has been the top non-factory finisher in five races this season … American Colin Edwards will make his 130th MotoGP start at this event, only the 13th rider to reach that milestone … Italian MotoGP rider Marco Melandri will make his 200th career Grand Prix start (across all classes) at this event … Yamaha riders have won both Red Bull Indianapolis GP races, with Valentino Rossi in 2008 and Jorge Lorenzo in 2009.
He may be the winner of the last two MotoGP races on American soil, but Jorge Lorenzo continued to insist during today’s pre-event press conference that he wasn’t necessarily looking for his eighth win of the season this weekend at Indianapolis, but only to finish and add to his already impressive championship points tally.
Having heard the 23-year-old Mallorcan say the same thing at Brno, before going on to dominate the race and take his seventh win of the season, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama, who were also present at the press conference, could be forgiven for looking sceptical.
Lorenzo won here at Indianapolis last year, complete with Captain America helmet, and, despite his protestations, few would bet against a repeat performance from the Fiat Yamaha rider this time around. Captain America has been retired, replaced by a new Iron Man helmet, but Lorenzo’s aim remains the same this weekend, to extend the 77-point advantage he holds over Dani Pedrosa in the championship standings.
“I come here in very good shape, to a track I love and things have been going very well for us this year,” said Lorenzo. “Obviously I want to win, nobody in the world wants to lose, but I also have to be careful. Nobody knows what will happen in a crash; you could be okay or you could injure yourself. Like I said nobody knows, so I need to be a little careful.”
Sixth in the championship, Nicky Hayden is the highest placed American rider going into the Indianapolis weekend. The track, which is only a few hours from Hayden’s home in Kentucky, has been a happy hunting ground for the Ducati rider in the past. Hayden finished second at Indianapolis in 2008 and was third last year, but arrives for this year’s race with a wrist injury from a qualifying crash two weeks ago in Brno.
Hayden, whose younger brother Roger will make his Moto2 debut this weekend, is still looking for his first podium of the season, but is unsure at the moment just how much of a handicap the wrist injury will prove to be this weekend.
“It’s only ten days since I injured my wrist, but already it feels better than Brno,” explained Hayden. “I’ve done a little dirt bike riding with my Dad the last week or so, with no problems, but braking on a MotoGP bike is a little different to riding up your drive, so we’ll have to see how the wrist feels. Actually, we don’t have time to be messing around with a sore wrist this weekend, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Just nine points behind his compatriot in the championship, Ben Spies could leapfrog Hayden to claim sixth place with a good result at Indianapolis, the track where he finished sixth on his MotoGP debut with Suzuki back in 2008.
Spies claimed his first MotoGP podium at Silverstone back in May, but makes no secret of the fact that a repeat in front of his home crowd this weekend would quite likely be the highlight of his first full season in the premier class.
“You always want your best result to come in front of your home crowd,” stated Spies. “You hope everything goes well in practice, qualifying and the race, but I don’t think you try any harder really. No matter which country we’re in, we’re racing as hard as we can for 45 minutes and it will be the same here at Indianapolis this weekend.”
While his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate was been regularly running at the front, the first half of the season hasn’t been so easy for Colin Edwards. The Texan has struggled to get to grips with the 2010 Yamaha M1 so far this year, leaving him down in a disappointing tenth place in the championship standings. This weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix marks Edwards’ 130th start in the premier class.
“Those 130 races have been special, some of the best times of my life,” declared Edwards. “This season has been difficult; after finishing fifth in the championship last season we thought things would be cool this year, but we’ve suffered with this six engine rule. We found something at Laguna, made the bike a bit quicker, and our best results of the season so far came there and at Brno. So, we’re getting there.”
Hiroshi Aoyama makes a welcome return to racing this weekend at Indianapolis, following a nine-week absence while recovering from a fractured vertebra sustained in his warm-up crash at Silverstone. The reigning 250cc World Champion tested the Interwetten Honda RC212V machine for the first time since the crash during the Brno test just two weeks ago and, as a result, has been passed fit to ride at Indianapolis this weekend.
“It’s been a difficult few months,” said Aoyama. “After the crash sometimes my legs were numb, which was pretty scary. It’s hard to be off the bike for so long, but the feeling was quite good at Brno. My back is still not 100% so I will race with a support this weekend. At Brno I had to lay on the floor after ten laps but now, two weeks later, it is much better. I am happy to be racing again this weekend.”
American MotoGP fans were treated to a glimpse of a host of home-grown talent earlier today, as premier class rookie Ben Spies, Moto2 riders Kenny Noyes and Roger Lee Hayden, and former World Champion Kevin Schwantz all appeared at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.
Hayden, who rode as a substitute for Randy de Puniet in the premier class at Laguna Seca five weeks ago, was just as excited at the prospect of his Moto2 wildcard appearance this weekend. “It’s really special to see all the fans here to meet us,” he said, before turning his attentions to his expectations.
“We expect to do really well. Everybody has been working really hard and Kevin has helped me out a lot. We’d really like to get a top ten and we know it’s going to be difficult against the best riders in the world.”
This afternoon, Ben Spies joined Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Marc Marquez and Scott Redding at the Indiana Pacers NBA court, where former Pacers player, Rik Smits, taught the riders how to shoot hoops.
Having played basketball previously, both Spies and Pedrosa had something of an advantage over their fellow riders, but all five managed to score a few baskets during the course of the visit.
Scoring got a lot harder, however, when Smits – who towered over everyone at 2.24 metres (7’4″) tall – decided to defend the basket. Despite his size, and his skills, Marquez still managed to squeeze past the NBA player and score, much to everyone’s amazement.
“I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s been great being able to meet Rik Smits, who was a great player back in the day.” said Spies. “It’s one of the great perks we get to do before the race and business starts tomorrow.”
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP EVENTS CALENDAR
The Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend is jam-packed with activities, both at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and around the Indianapolis area. From Aug. 27-29, all three classes of the MotoGP World Championship – MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc – and the USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 practice, qualify and then race on the 16-turn, 2.621-mile road course at IMS.
Motorcycle riders, fans of events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and hardcore MotoGP fans enjoy the highest level of motorcycle racing on the most impressive race bikes in the world at the track and also check out the many cool scenes and events around town away from the track.
Here is a calendar of the great events and features of action at the Speedway and around Indianapolis during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend that make it a race unlike any other at IMS.
All events (except for the Lap of Champions) on Aug. 27-29 at IMS are free for Red Bull Indianapolis GP ticket holders that day. For more information on the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, visit the official website at http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/redbullindianapolisgp/.
Aug. 27: Pit Walkabout. Fans can get an up-close look at the exotic prototype motorcycles raced in the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc classes during the popular Red Bull Indianapolis GP Pit Walkabout, which takes place from 9-10:45 a.m. Friday morning, Aug. 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Aug. 27: Cycle World Seminar. An American motorcycle racing legend and two rising American stars will be the featured guests at the Cycle World Seminar from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 on the SPEED Stage located on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield. 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz and current Moto2 rider Kenny Noyes will be among the guests. Cycle World editors, including renowned longtime Technical Editor Kevin Cameron, also will participate in the seminar.
Aug. 27: Riders For Health Auction. Fans can bid on a wide variety of motorcycle-related items during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Riders For Health Charity Auction from 10:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27 on the SPEED Stage located in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield. All MotoGP riders participate in the auction. All proceeds benefit Riders For Health, an international non-profit organization that provides medical care to rural African villages using motorcycles and motorcycle ambulances.
Aug. 27: Red Bull Indianapolis GP Practice. On-track action for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP gets underway at noon Friday, Aug. 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a 25-minute session for the rising stars in the USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 class and one-hour sessions for each of the three World Championship classes. The 125cc machines will take to the 2.621-mile circuit at 12:40 p.m., followed by Moto2 at 1:55 p.m. and the superstars of MotoGP at 3:10 p.m. USGPRU riders will finish the day with two qualifying sessions, at 4:25 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.
Aug. 27: GEICO AMA EnduroCross. The 2010 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series will race at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 at the Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. EnduroCross is a mixture of Supercross and enduro-style racing, with smooth track sections, jumps and obstacles such as logs, boulders, sand, water and special obstacles.
Aug. 27-28: XDL Championship Series. This high-energy, high-thrill motorcycle stunt event starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. XDL is the top level of the sportbike freestyle scene and features the best riders from the United States, Japan, France and Russia. The competitions feature non-stop thrills and spills as the athletes unveil the latest tricks in an action-packed format.
Aug. 27-28: Motorcycles on Meridian. From 7 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 and Saturday, Aug. 28, South Meridian Street in downtown Indianapolis will be filled with the sound of engine roars and the sight of leather-clad riders. Motorcyclists will gather on Meridian all the way from Monument Circle to South Street to share interests and celebrate the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The event is for people with and without bikes. Interested parties with no steel horse of their own are welcome to walk around at this free event and marvel at the impressive choppers and sport bikes. On these two nights in August, the motorcycle culture of Indianapolis is open for everyone to enjoy.
Aug. 27-28: Crash Concert. Crash, the pop-rock band led by former MotoGP rider James Toseland, will play two shows in Indianapolis during Red Bull Indianapolis GP race weekend, including one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Toseland and his band will play at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 at Jackson and Meridian streets in downtown Indianapolis during Motorcycles on Meridian. They also will play from 4:50-5:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 on the SPEED Stage at IMS. It’s the third consecutive year that classically trained pianist Toseland, who is racing for Yamaha in the Superbike World Championship this season, will perform at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Aug. 27-29: Ducati Island. One of the most popular fan attractions at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Ducati Island is a celebration of all things Ducati. The Italian manufacturer features a large display inside Turn 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including current and historic Ducati machines, custom Ducati bikes, Ducati apparel and accessories, entertainment, fan giveaways, entertainment, fashion shows and the always popular Ducati Girls. Ducati riders from a variety of series sign autographs, and there are a variety of special perks for Ducati owners, including gear check, special parking and more.
Aug. 27-29: Manufacturer Displays. Major motorcycle manufacturers, including Honda and Yamaha, display their latest products under large, colorful tents in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield for fans to see and touch during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Manufacturer representatives also are available to answer questions from fans interested in putting one of the beautiful new machines in their garage.
Aug. 27-29: Vendor Marketplace. Motorcycle enthusiasts can see and purchase gear from top motorcycle equipment and accessory companies at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP Vendor Marketplace, as the popular display area for aftermarket products returns for a third year. The Vendor Marketplace also will feature the largest selection of motorcycle apparel anywhere. The Vendor Marketplace will be open in the Gasoline Alley garages at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the entire Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Friday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Aug. 29.
Aug. 27-29: Grid Girls. Gorgeous women are a longtime hallmark of MotoGP events. Whether it’s beautiful girls dressed in team colors on the grid before the race or models at Ducati Island, there are plenty of pretty sights everywhere at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Aug. 28: Red Bull Indianapolis GP Practice, Qualifying. World Championship machinery will be on track for more than five hours Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc riders participate in practice in the morning and qualifying in the afternoon.
125cc practice starts the day from 9-9:40 a.m., followed by practice sessions for MotoGP from 9:55-10:55 a.m. and Moto2 from 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
The starting grids for Sunday’s races will be set in three exciting qualifying sessions Saturday afternoon, each featuring all riders in each class turning unlimited numbers of laps in great action against each other and the clock. The 125cc machines will take to the 2.621-mile circuit at 1 p.m., followed by the superstars of MotoGP at 1:55 p.m. and Moto2 at 3:10 p.m.
Talented young riders from across North America also will be on track on 250cc machines in the USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 support class, with a 12-lap race at 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 28: Ride for Kids ‘Lap of Champions’. Motorcycle enthusiasts who register for this charity event can ride around the MotoGP circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 5:15-5:35 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, led by 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz. This great ride benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, supported by Ride for Kids. A variety of support levels are available for the Lap of Champions, with some levels including tickets for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Aug. 28: Yamaha Rider Chats. Yamaha MotoGP superstars Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies and Colin Edwards will participate in a rider chat at 5:45-6:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 on the SPEED Stage in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Aug. 28: AMA Flat Track Racing. The Lucas Oil Legendary Indy Mile Grand National AMA Flat Track race is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Heat races start at 7:30 p.m., followed by the main event.
Glorious memories of the Indy Mile go back for decades. Top riders always have coveted a win at this race, long considered the “Crown Jewel” of AMA Pro Racing’s oldest and most tradition-rich professional racing series, the Flat Track Grand National series.
Aug. 29: Red Bull Indianapolis GP Race Day. The best riders in the world will push their machines to the limit nearly all day on Race Day, Sunday, Aug. 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with warm-up sessions in the morning and races in the afternoon for all three World Championship classes plus a race for the young riders of the USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 support class.
Warm-up sessions will take place at 8:40 a.m. for 125cc, 9:10 a.m. for Moto2 and 9:40 a.m. for MotoGP. The final USGPRU race starts at 10:20 a.m. World Championship racing will start with a 23-lap 125cc event at noon and follow with a 26-lap event at 1:15 p.m. for Moto2, featuring Americans Kenny Noyes and Roger Lee Hayden. The world’s best riders, including Americans Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and Ben Spies, will compete in the 28-lap MotoGP race at 3 p.m.
courtesy of MotoGP