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July 13, 2012  |   By Paul Kelly

MotoGP Race Preview: Grand Prix of Italy

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 13, 2012 – A preview of the Grand Prix of Italy MotoGP World Championship event July 15:

Race: Grand Prix of Italy
Date: Sunday, July 15
Round: Ninth of 18 races in 2012
Circuit: Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Scarperia, Italy
Distance: 23 laps on 15-turn, 3.259-mile circuit
2011 Winner: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
2012 Points Leader: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
U.S. Riders: Nicky Hayden, eighth, 65 points; Ben Spies, 10th, 61; Colin Edwards, 18th, 8.
TV: MotoGP: 8 a.m. (ET) Sunday, July 15, SPEED. Moto2: 5:30 p.m. (ET), Sunday, July 15, SPEED. Moto3: Noon (ET) Tuesday, July 17, SPEED.
Web: www.motogp.com
Twitter: @MotoGP

LAST RACE

Dani Pedrosa earned his first victory of the season on his Repsol Honda factory machine, beating Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha Factory Racing bike to the line by 14.996 seconds Sunday, July 8 in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Andrea Dovizioso finished third on his Tech 3 Yamaha satellite bike.

But Pedrosa’s margin of victory might be the most deceptive statistic of the 2012 season in MotoGP. His victory came after an epic duel with Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner for nearly the entire race, as they never were separated by more than a second during the second half of the 30-lap race.

Reigning World Champion Stoner fell on the second-to-last turn of the race while trying to pull even with Pedrosa for a last-gasp pass for victory after losing the lead to Pedrosa with 12 laps to go. Stoner’s Honda remained beached in the gravel trap, as he failed to finish a race for the first time since April 2011, ending a streak of 22 consecutive top-four finishes.

WHO’S HOT

Ben Spies: American Spies has started to salvage his season for Yamaha Factory Racing with three consecutive top-five finishes after a dreadful start in which he produced a best result of eighth in the first five races. Spies appeared to be losing grip on his Yamaha factory ride earlier this year, but his resurgence has led many in the MotoGP paddock to believe Yamaha will renew his contract for a works bike.

Marc Marquez: It’s good to be Marquez right now. Spaniard Marquez, 19, leads the Moto2 standings by 43 points and was announced Thursday, July 12 as the teammate to Dani Pedrosa in the Repsol Honda factory MotoGP team for 2013-14.

WHO’S NOT

Cal Crutchlow: Crutchlow reportedly is mulling a two-year contract offer from Ducati’s factory team. But he still hasn’t finished on the podium in this breakthrough season while his Tech 3 Yamaha teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, has finished third in the last two races. Meanwhile, it appears Dovizioso will not have a factory ride in 2013 despite leading Crutchlow, 92-85, in the standings.

Bradley Smith: Smith signed a MotoGP contract for 2013 with Tech 3 Yamaha before the 2012 season, but the Brit has recorded no top-five finishes this season in Moto2 and is seventh in points.

NEWS and NUMBERS

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi won this event – his home race – for seven consecutive years from 2002-08, a Grand Prix motorcycle racing record ... Andrea Dovizioso earned his third podium finish of the season July 8 at the German Grand Prix on the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha. The last satellite rider to record three podium finishes in one season was Marco Melandri in 2007 … The Italian Grand Prix usually features the highest top speeds of the season due to the long front straightaway at Mugello. Ducati satellite rider Hector Barbera produced the top speed in practice Friday, July 13, 215.4 mph … Czech Karel Abraham will not race his Cardion AB satellite Ducati this weekend, still recovering from deep cuts on his hand and a broken finger suffered in a crash in testing last month in Spain. No replacement was named, so there will be 20 starters on the MotoGP grid … Moto2 points leader Marc Marquez, 19, equaled fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa as the most successful teenager in Grand Prix racing with his 21st career victory July 8 in the German Grand Prix.

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2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at www.imstix.com, by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.imstix.com. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbull.

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Media Contacts:
J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (317) 492-6412 or (317) 750-9277, dboles@brickyard.com; Paul Kelly, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (315) 673-0184, pkelly@brickyard.com

Media Website: media.indianapolismotorspeedway.com