Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo won Sunday's 28-lap MotoGP in front of over 75,000 American fans.
Over 75,000 fans witnessed a wild Red Bull Indianapolis GP with Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo taking the win by a margin greater than 12-seconds over San Carlo Honda’s Alex De Angelis and local boy Nicky Hayden. Lorenzo's win reduces his championship point’s deficit by half with the Spaniard now just 25 points behind reigning champion, Valentino Rossi.
At the start of the race it was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa with the holeshot into Turn 1. Behind the orange and blue Honda was the Fiat Yamaha’s of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, Gresini Honda's Alex De Angelis and Nicky Hayden on the Ducati.
Pedrosa immediately went to work trying to escape from the field but it wouldn't be his lucky day. After leading for five laps he took a digger while trail braking into the second to last corner before the long Indy front straight. Pedrosa tried desperately to save it but was unable to pull it off and found himself skiing across the track infront of Rossi and Lorenzo. He struggled to pick up the bike, but managed to get it up and restarted with the help of a corner worker. Pedrosa would re-join the race in last place, 20-seconds behind the next to last rider and clearly determined to salvage some points.
Pedrosa's miscue moved Rossi into the lead with Lorenzo hot on his tail. Jorge stalked The Doctor for a few laps before attempting to run it up on the inside of him in Turn 1 but Rossi held him off. A couple laps later Lorenzo would get the opportunity he was looking for as he made the inside pass stick. The move must have got in Rossi's head because moments later on the entry to Turn 2 he grabbed a handful of brake and tucked the front, sending his Yamaha sliding into the grass in an uncharacteristic low-side. He picked up his bike and turned a few laps before heading into the garage. His race would be over.
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa crashed early in the race. He would remount and go on to finish tenth.
Meanwhile, a hard charging De Angelis had slipped into second with Ducati’s Nick Hayden right behind him. The running order remained this way through the middle of the race with only Repsol Honda's Dovizioso on the move. It looked like Colin Edwards was a lock in fourth place but Dovizioso methodically reeled him in. De Angelis was a hair faster than Hayden and managed to build a two-second gap over Hayden, leaving the American looking like he had a podium finish locked up. But as the laps wound down, Dovizioso made the pass on Edwards and moved within striking distance of the Kentucky Kid.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Niccolo Canepa’s Pramac Ducati suffered some sort of mechanical problem on Lap 24 then two laps later Hayate’s Marco Melandri crashed spectacularly while running in seventh position with his ZX-RR tumbling through the air and slinging pieces all over the manicured infield grass. Fortunately, he was uninjured.
With two laps to go, the running order was Lorenzo, De Angelis, Hayden, Dovizioso and Edwards rounding out the top five positions. Although he was not in contention, a hard-charging Pedrosa had made his way through the field and was in 11th place. On the final lap Dovizioso was pressuring Hayden, spinning and sliding his Honda in an effort to make a pass that never materialized. Hayden countered by tightening up his lines and continuing to ride his brains out. It worked and Hayden held on to third by less than half of a second at the line. It was his best finish and first visit to the podium since joining Ducati.
Hayden celebrates on the podium after finishing third in Sunday's MotoGP race.
"Yeah, I'm pretty pleased," said an elated Hayden after the race. "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 our self 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 I'm just going to try to enjoy it."
Edwards would finish in fifth, one spot ahead of his teammate James Toseland. Next up was Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi, followed by Hayden’s teammate Mika Kallio. San Carlo Honda’s Toni Elias would finish in ninth, with Pedrosa scavenging a tenth place finish.
After the race, Lorenzo put in a Rossi-esque post-race celebration by climbing up the grand stand fence as the rowdy crowd cheered him on. Once he was done getting them riled-up he slipped a Captain America shield on his right-arm and proceeded to power wheelie around the racetrack. Por Fuera!
“I’ve had two crashes in a row but now I’ve won and my closest rivals have crashed instead,” commented Lorenzo. “Of course I’m sorry for them but these are the highs and lows of racing and it’s an amazing result for me. I was strong all weekend and I really want to thank my team for giving me a great bike.”
Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP Results:
Championship points leader and Fiat Yamaha pilot Valentino Rossi crashed early in the race while chasing Lorenzo.
1. Jorge “Captain America” Lorenzo, Yamaha
2. Alex De Angelis, Honda
3. Nick 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. Aleix Espargaro, Ducati
14. Gabor Talmacsi, Honda
MotoGP Point Standings:
1. Rossi, 212 points
2. Lorenzo, 187
3. Casey Stoner, 150
4. Pedrosa, 141
5. Edwards, 123
6. Dovizioso, 120
7. De Angelis, 88
8. Capirossi, 86
9. De Puniet, 84
10. Melandri, 79
11. Vermeulen, 77
12. Hayden, 73
13. Toseland, 72
14. Elias, 70
15. Kallio, 42
16. Canepa, 32
17. Sete Gibernau, 12
18. Talmacsi, 10
19. Yukio Takahashi, 9