Rossi and Lorenzo give the Fiat Yamaha team reason to celebrate with another double podium performance.
Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi won his fourth consecutive MotoGP race this season at the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. Today’s win at the Brickyard also marks his 69th career win in the premier class, which surpasses Giacomo Agostini’s record of 68.
Rossi’s win was in dramatic fashion. The Italian was leading the field when the race was red-flagged on Lap 20 of 28 due to deteriorating track conditions including heavy rain and wind which blew debris onto the track.
“I think that those are the worst conditions in which I have raced in my career,” said Rossi after the race. “Together with the new track and the new surface, there was also a lot of water and at the end the bigger problem of the wind. It wasn’t consistent and was very strong, so you never knew what was going to happen in the straight. I was in front and didn’t want to put my hand up, because I was leading the race, but I was looking for the red flag on every lap and when it came I think it was a good decision. Good work was done on the track to prepare for the race because the rain was coming down strong.”
There was some uncertainty whether or not the race was going to be restarted, but officials deemed it too dangerous thereby making it official.
Close to 100,000 fans packed into the Speedway to watch Sunday’s race, and when the green flag dropped it was reigning World Champion and Marlboro Ducati rider Casey Stoner with the holeshot. Trailing him would be Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden, JiR Scot’s Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi.
Stoner’s time in the lead was cut short when Dovizioso drove around him on the first lap. The next lap Hayden made a pass for the lead. The American would continue to lead until Lap 13, when Rossi caught up to him and made a pass on the brakes going into Turn 1.
By mid-point of the race, the track was beginning to develop a dry line and riders struggled with grip as their tires began overheating. Then, it started raining again, at times rather hard.
“Its been a long time since I’ve led a race,” said Hayden. “Once it dried out I was wearing the tires fast. Then it got wet again and there was like no tread–it was sketchy.”
With the track conditions continuing to get worse, Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo caught up to Hayden and was looking for a passing opportunity, however, it just wasn’t possible before the red-flag ended the race prematurely. Stoner would hold onto fourth place, followed by Dovizioso. Rizla Suzuki’s Ben Spies was credited with a solid sixth-place finish.
Rossi’s victory today gives him an 87-point lead in the Championship race over Casey Stoner, who in turn is 17 points ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa with only four races remaining.
MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Race Results:
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Fiat Yamaha, 20 laps
2. Nicky Hayden (USA), Repsol Honda, -5.972 seconds
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA), Fiat Yamaha, -7.858
4. Casey Stoner (AUS), Marlboro Ducati, -28.162
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), JiR Team Scot Honda, -28.824
6. Ben Spies (USA), Rizla Suzuki, -29.645
7. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), Alice Team Ducati, -36.223
8. Dani Pedrosa (SPA), Repsol Honda, -37.258
9. Chris Vermeulen (AUS), Rizla Suzuki, -38.442
10. Alex De Angelis (RSM), San Carlo Gresini, -42.437
11. Anthony West (AUS), Kawasaki Racing, -47.179
12. Toni Elias (SPA), Alice Team Ducati, -55.962
13. Randy De Puniet (FRA), LCR Honda Team, -57.366
14. John Hopkins (USA), Kawasaki Racing , -58.353
15. Colin Edwards (USA), Tech 3 Yamaha, -60.613
16. Loris Capirossi (ITA), Rizla Suzuki, -65.620
17. Shinya Nakano (JPN), San Carlo Gresini, -65.854
18. James Toseland (GBR), Tech 3 Yamaha, -67.962
19. Marco Melandri, (ITA), Marlboro Ducati, -81.023