Lorenzo, De Angelis, Hayden!

Henny Ray Abrams | August 30, 2009

Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo watched as his competitors fell by the wayside en route to a runaway victory in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.Lorenzo was in third when Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead on the fourth lap. Pedrosa remounted to finish tenth.Then the lead went to teammate Valentino Rossi, who held it until Lorenzo drafted past on the ninth of 28 laps. But a lap later Rossi would also crash, a rare one caused by his taking a wide line onto a dirty section of race track.That left Lorenzo well in front and he opened the lead to over 13 secs. before celebrating win with a wheelie the length of the straightway and a 9.435 secs. cushion.The win was his third of the season and kept alive a perfect podium record when he finishes. (He’s crashed out of three races.)Lorenzo’s win, coupled with Rossi’s fall, puts him 25 points down on his teammate, 212 to 187, with five races to go.”If you want to win, you have to always be at the limit, and in the last two races I was at the limit to try to win and I crash, so I was a bit disappointed,” Lorenzo, who wore a Captain America-themed helmet, said. “Today the situation changed completely and it takes for Valentino and Dani, and not only for them, but for me for sure it’s a great situation. It has been difficult to keep my concentration for 20 laps because I was a little bit bored, but I can’t relax because maybe if you

think of another thing, you can crash. So, you know, it’s OK. I have fun in the last lap, and it’s nice.”That Lorenzo won wasn’t a surprise, but the rest of the podium was stunning. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex De Angelis had a MotoGP career best second, with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden continuing his late season progress to finish on the podium for the first time since finishing second here last year.De Angelis thanked the team for his satellite Honda RC212V; “The bike has been fantastic ever since we unpacked it on Friday and we have gone from strength to strength over the course of the weekend,” he said, and he was hopeful of more to come.”It is a long time since I was on the podium back in the 250cc class and I had almost forgotten what a great feeling it was. Now I want to enjoy it and celebrate with another good performance at my home race (Misano) next weekend.”Hayden couldn’t stop smiling after taking a very popular third at the track about three hours from his home in Owensboro, Kentucky. Hayden was under increasing pressure from Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso over the final laps of the race, but the Italian never found an opening and Hayden was back on the box after an extended absence.”Yeah, I’m pretty pleased,” Hayden said. “Sure, it’s not been a real good period for me; it’s been a hard season. You know, certainly been the biggest challenge of my life to try to understand this bike and team.”Today, you know, we were able to put ourselves in a good position, caught a couple breaks, couple guys tipped over, and to get on the podium, I’m really happy. It’s not a win, but it feels really good being up there and spraying the bubbly, and just going to try to enjoy it.”Rossi knew he didn’t have the pace of Lorenzo all weekend. It was no different in the race. Rossi said that once Pedrosa fell, “I knew it would be between Jorge and I but I honestly don’t know how it would have finished, because Jorge was very fast today. Of course, it would have been better to have finished second than not to finish at all!”Unfortunately I ran wide on to a dirty part of the track at turn one and lost the front. I tried to carry on but there was a problem with my throttle and it wasn’t possible. I want to congratulate Jorge for his victory and now we look forward to coming back to the front at Misano. We are still leading the championship and this is the most important thing.”Dovizioso was a close fourth, followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammates Colin Edwards and James Toseland, who were separated by six seconds. Edwards said he struggled with grip issues during the race and didn’t understand why.”At the end of the day we had the same tires as the guy who won the race so whether it was something in our set-up or riding style, I don’t know,” he said. “All I could was watch Nicky and Andrea walk away from me and I took some big risks on the brakes. Once Nicky got by it became hard to manage and I think we turned a tire on the rim, I had a lot of vibration over the final ten laps.”Toseland was happy to be in the top six, a position where he finished for the third time this year. His race was with Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri (Kaw) and he prevailed when Melandri crashed less than four laps from the end. That handed seventh to Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi.Capirossi was one of three veterans whose races ended before they began. The others were his teammate Chris Vermeulen and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Toni Elias. All three were run off the track in turn two by MotoGP debutante Aleix Espargaro. Of the three, Capirossi had the greatest recovery. Elias was ninth and Vermeulen 11th behind Pedrosa. Ducati Marlboro’s Mika Kallio finished eighth.


1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

2. Alex De Angelis (Honda)

3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)

4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)

5. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)

6. James Toseland (Yamaha)

7. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)

8. Mika Kallio (Ducati)

9. Toni Elias (Honda)

10. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)

11. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki)

12. Randy De Puniet (Honda)

13. Alexi Espargaro (Ducati)

14. Gabor Talmacsi (Honda)

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.