SPEEDWAY, IN, AUG 19 – Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa ran away with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix to close slightly on championship leader and second place finisher Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) before a mostly sun-drenched crowd of over 65,000 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso passed the injured Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) six laps from the end to finish third.
Pedrosa gated second behind Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who tried to get away from the fast-starting Spaniard. Spies controlled the pace until the third lap, when Pedrosa powered past down the front straight
Spies was already losing touch when his bad luck continued, in a new and different way; the motor on his Yamaha YZR-M1 expired in a puff of smoke as he crossed the finish line. The mechanical was especially hurtful for the Texan who’d been on the podium here the last two years and was racing a MotoGP bike in the U.S. for the final time.
Spies said he was biding his time, expecting Pedrosa to use up his tire before making a late race push. “Then the last lap the bike started slowing down severely and I didn’t know what was going to happen but I knew something was going to happen and it went kaboom on the front straightaway,” he said.
“My luck’s been crap. I was banged up at Laguna, I was really banged up yesterday. I gave it 100% for my fans and the teams. For some reason it isn’t happening.”
The smoke that Spies trailed affected the riders behind, though not Lorenzo. But the Majorcan said he had nothing for Pedrosa on his most difficult weekend of the season. The gap continued to grow to 10.823 secs. at the end of the 28-lap race.
Pedrosa now trails Lorenzo by 18 points, 207 to 225, with seven races remaining. By finishing fourth, Stoner lost more ground and sits 39 behind Lorenzo.
Dovi and Stoner were part of a five-rider battle for the final podium spot. The first to drop off was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who crashed on lap 10, after having crashed earlier in the weekend.
“A stupid crash,” he called it, before saying it was the same as Saturday’s crash. “I haven’t crashed in a race this year.”
Stoner went to the front of that pack on lap 10, then lost it on lap 22. By then there was separation and the order was close to being set. Dovi had another podium, his fifth, and Stoner finished a race that he wasn’t expected to start, considering his qualifying high-side and the fact that he was on crutches.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was alone in fifth, as was LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl in sixth. There was a long gap to Valentino Rossi, the lone Ducati Marlboro rider in the absence of Nicky Hayden. Hayden suffered a concussion and two small, undisplaced fractures in his right hand in a Saturday qualifying high-side. He was ruled unfit to race, though he was released from the hospital early Saturday night and watched the race from the pit box.
Karel Abraham finished a season best eighth on the Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati. To get there he had to make his way through the CRT riders, the best of whom was Yonny Hernandez in ninth on the Avintia Blusens BQR. Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar ART) was tenth.
Colin Edwards was the best of the Americans in 13th after another frustrating ride on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter BMW. Edwards strongly hinted that he’d be on different machinery next week in Brno.
Steve Rapp became the oldest American to score a grand prix point by finishing 14th on the Attack Performance (APR). The 40-year-old Californian had finished 15th, but was elevated one position when James Ellison was penalized for cutting the course.
Aaron Yates was the 16th and final finisher, one out of the points on the GPTech BCL.
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha)
4. Casey Stoner (Honda)
5. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
6. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
8. Karel Abraham (Ducati)
9. Yonny Hernandez (BQR)
10. Aleix Espargaro (ART)
13. Colin Edwards (Suter)
15. Steve Rapp (APR)
16. Aaron Yates (BCL)