PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARRY LAWRENCE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG. 18 – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez swept the three U.S. rounds of the MotoGP World Championship with a calculating ride to victory in today’s Red Bull Indy Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Already a winner at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Marquez added the Brickyard to his list of U.S. wins today, the young Spaniard winning a thrilling race on a sunny day in Indiana.
Marquez didn’t lead the race early, the holeshot and early lead instead going to World Champion Jorge Lorenzo on the factory Yamaha. Lorenzo looked strong early, holding Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marquez at bay. But Marquez looked to be biding his time and he was. On the ninth lap he passed his teammate Pedrosa, then he went after Lorenzo, shadowing his countryman for four more laps before taking his move – a decisive inside pass in turn two on the 13th lap. The other two stayed close for four more laps before Marquez lowered the boom with the best lap of the race coming on the 17th lap – a 1:39.051 for a new race lap record. That put him ahead by .6 of a second and from there the margin would grow to 3.4 seconds at the completion of the 27 laps.
But it was Lorenzo who was second. That spot went to Pedrosa, the diminutive Spaniard passing his rival to start the 26th lap and beating him to the flag by over two seconds with Lorenzo slowing in the final two laps.
“I didn’t make such a good start but I know before the race that the most important part was the end of the race,” Marquez said. “The start was not so good, but then in the first 10 laps I just tried to follow Dani [Pedrosa] and follow Jorge [Lorenzo] and tried to save the tires. Then when the fuel come down a little bit I try to attack. In the beginning Jorge was able to follow me, but then I try to push a little bit more. I feel so good with the bike and I opened some gap and in the end I was able to enjoy and it was so good. That 25 points are important. I feel great in the U.S.A and I won the three races and now we go back to Europe and we will try to continue that way.”
Behind the lead trio all hell was breaking lose as Valentino Rossi came through from a slow start to reel in and pass LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl for seventh place before setting sail after the dueling Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista. With Crutchlow and Bautista swapping fourth place over and over, Rossi closed in and on the 26th lap he passed Bautista to move into fifth. Then came a thrilling last lap with Rossi barging past Crutchlow in the last sequence of corners on the final lap to take fourth – an incredible result for the legend considering he’d completed lap one in ninth place.
After that battling trio (the three were separated by just .23 of a second at the line), came a lonely Bradl and then another war that wasn’t decided until the final corner and the run to the flag.
That race was between the two factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, the latter highly motivated in his home race, and Monster Energy’s Bradley Smith. On the final lap the trio were together when Hayden ran up the inside of Dovizioso and slammed into him in the right/left combination that leads to the front straight. The incident pushed them both wide and over the curb with synchronized jumping Ducatis hitting the curb side by side while Smith shot past on the inside. Both Ducatis gave it their all on the run to the flag but Smith was past and he beat Hayden to the flag by .001 of a second. Dovizioso was just .122 of a second behind his teammate in 10th place.
Colin Edwards, meanwhile, rode his NGM Mobile Forward CRT bike to 13th place. The third American in the race, Blake Young, crashed the Attack Performance CRT wild-card entry on the opening lap and Ben Spies was a non-starter after injuring his left shoulder yesterday morning.
Marquez’s win extends his lead in the World Championship to 21 points over Pedrosa, 188-167. Lorenzo is third with 153 points and Rossi is fourth with 130 points.
2013 Indy MotoGP Results
1. Marc Marquez (Honda)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha)
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)