(Top) Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa went at it early in the race until the engine in Spies’ M1 Yamaha failed. (Bottom) Stoner put in a heroic ride at Indy finishing fourth with a badly injured ankle.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa put in a dominant performance at The Brickyard winning Sunday’s 28-lap MotoGP racer over factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha pilot Andrea Dovizioso.
Staring from pole position, Pedrosa was able to grab the holeshot ahead of the field. The second factory Yamaha ridden by Ben Spies was immediately on his tail and stole the position during the beginning of the race.
“When Dani passed me, my first thought was, at maximum, give him three seconds,” revaled Spies. “It’s 28 laps, and I know from experience that we’ve been good in the late stage of the race. I’ve always been able to be faster than Dani at the end of the race because he was using quite a bit more of the tire when he passed me. As soon as he passed me, the bike started to slow down a bit. I didn’t quite know what it was, if it was electronics, the engine or what.”
The two riders continued to battle until the Inline-Four engine in Spies YZR-M1 blew up halfway down the front straightaway creating a gigantic smoke cloud forcing some of the other riders behind to let off the throttle as they tipped into Turn 1.
“Then when the engine went,” continued Spies. “I knew I had enough of a gap behind Jorge where I could take an immediate turn to the left to get off line and not get on the racing line for everybody else. I really thought today second place, for sure, in my opinion, was a given. We could’ve battled for the lead, but it wasn’t our day.”
A few moments later Cal Cruthlow crashed by himself when his front Bridgestone tire lost traction during corner entry at Turn 4. Top qualifying CRT racer, Randy de Puniet also encountered problems with the clutch on his RSV4-sourced sportbike engine ending his race prematurely.
Back up front Pedrosa appeared to have the race on lock until he momentarily lost concentration and almost ran off the track in one corner. The mistake didn’t cost him anything as he finished nearly 11 seconds ahead of Lorenzo.
“I made a mistake in Turn 2 going into neutral,” said Pedrosa. “And Jorge [Lorenzo] reduced the gap by one second. But I was able to get back on my pace and ride comfortably to the end.”
Pedrosa’s teammate, Casey Stoner, put in a heroic ride finishing in fourth place after mangling his ankle in a crash during qualifying Saturday. Stoner had to be assisted off his motorcycle at the end of the race.
“The race was difficult,” explained Stoner. “We had a rough start and got pushed back some positions and had to fight our way back through. As soon as we did, unluckily Ben [Spies] had a bike failure and I found myself in the middle of the smoke, unsure where I was going and what I might hit and we lost positions again. At the end of the race it was almost impossible to maintain the pace. The painkillers I took to dull the pain gradually wore off at around the half way point and as I was compensating for my injury with the other side of my body, I simply had no energy left. It was frustrating to give up the podium position to Andrea [Dovizioso] but we did everything we could and at least I was able to ride and take some points.”
Yonny Hernandez proved to be the top-finishing CRT entry, though he was in excess of a minute behind the racer winner. Once again, Colin Edwards and four other CRT bikes (Steve Rapp, James Ellison and Aaron Yates) were lapped toward the end of the race.
Indianapolis MotoGP Results:
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 (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR)
10. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia-ART)
11. Toni Elias (Ducati)
12. Ivan Silva (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR)
13. Colin Edwards (BMW-Suter)
14. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki-Attack Performance Racing APR)
15. James Ellison (Aprilia-PBM/ART)
16. Aaron Yates (Suzuki-GPTech BCL)