News & Multimedia

Karel Abraham - Rookie Of The Year

Courtesy of Speed.com

While the battle for official 2011 MotoGP Rookie of the Year honors was not fought in the spotlight as it had been the year before with high-profile debutants Ben Spies, Marco Simoncelli, Alvaro Bautista, and Hector Barbera, it was even more heated on track.

The season-long joust came down to the final lap of the final race, when Cal Crutchlow survived a (literal) attack from fellow MotoGP newcomer Karel Abraham, the Briton staying upright as the Czech pilot fell to the earth after the two collided in a desperate clash for the honor.

And as such the Dorna's 'Rookie of the Year' title ended up exactly where most everyone figured it would -- to Crutchlow, who continued to do his best to fill the very large boots of Spies, the rider he ably replaced the season prior with the Yamaha World Superbike outfit, scoring three wins and six poles a year after taking the World Supersport crown, and the rider whose seat he claimed again in '11 at Tech3 Racing with Spies graduating up to the official Yamaha squad.

While perhaps not quite at Spies' level in terms of sheer talent, Crutchlow managed to add his already rock-solid CV in 2011 by narrowly defeating his rookie rival.

However, while Crutchlow's performance was pretty much as expected, Abraham's came as something of a revelation.

In six years on the undercard, the 21-year-old Czech racer had never really been much more than a mid-packer (and that might be a bit generous). While he did happen to score a couple of late season Moto2 podiums in 2010 -- including a victory in the season finale -- those results only provided a degree of late justification for his advancement into the premier class in 2011, not as the reason for it. By that point he was already MotoGP-bound despite barely eking his way into the Moto2 Championship top ten with his strong finish.

A fair amount of scoffing and eye rolling took place when Abraham's '11 plans were first announced at a time when the youngster was 0-87 in Grand Prix podium attempts.

In fact, Abraham might have been held up as an prime example of everything wrong with modern day MotoGP racing, clearly buying his way to the upper ranks thanks to the money and influence of his father, Karel Abraham, Sr. owner of the Brno race circuit, the Cardion medical supplies firm, and Jr.'s race team.

However, despite being saddled with satellite Ducati equipment -- a career killer if there every was one -- as opposed to Crutchlow's comparatively sweet-handling Yamaha M1, Abraham acquitted himself quite nicely in the ruthless MotoGP battleground.

Sure, he started off slow, ranking dead last among all finishers in the season opener at Losail. And yes, he took his lumps, tossed around like a rag doll by his unforgiving Desmosedici on a number of occasions. But he also rung up eight top tens and regularly outpaced his considerably more experienced Ducati-mounted rivals, including back-to-back outings where he ranked as the fastest Ducati in qualifying (an impressive second-row sixth at Silverstone followed by a seventh slotting at Assen).

Over the course of his rookie season Abraham proved -- at the very least -- that he belonged and that was statement enough.

Karel Abraham -- SPEED.com's MotoGP Rookie of the Year.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Karel Abraham - Rookie Of The Year
 
Karel Abraham - Rookie Of The Year
The season-long joust came down to the final lap of the final race, when Cal Crutchlow survived a (literal) attack from fellow MotoGP newcomer Karel Abraham, the Briton staying upright as the Czech pilot fell to the earth after the two collided in a desperate clash for the honor.
Read More
Related Media
CICOA at IMS
 
Carpenter Helps Celebrate CICOA Meals & More Program's 18 Millionth Meal
The CICOA Meals & More program works to combat that, providing 2,000 meals every weekday in clients’ homes and at 27 Central Indiana meal sites. And on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, CICOA served its 18 millionth meal to a senior guest.
Read More
Bloomington Gold
 
Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA Coming To IMS in June 2015
Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA, “The Granddaddy of Corvette Shows,” will make its inaugural appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from June 25-27, 2015.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Harvick Wins at Phoenix
Harvick won for the third straight race and sixth time overall on the 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway, leading 264 of 312 laps to secure the only automatic transfer spot of the Eliminator round.
Read More
Marc Marquez
 
Red Bull Indianapolis GP Honored as 'Best Grand Prix' by MotoGP
The Red Bull Indianapolis GP was named by MotoGP as the circuit’s “Best Grand Prix” in 2014, the first North American race so honored.
Read More
On Any Sunday Director, Dana Brown
 
Q&A: Dana Brown, Director "On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter"
Opening today in theatres nationwide is Red Bull Media House’s “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter,” directed by Dana Brown, Bruce’s son. The sequel shows how the sport and culture of motorcycles have grown in four decades since the original, and the action shot in 4K Ultra HD takes viewers even closer to the racing and the personalities. Among the subjects that Dana Brown shadowed is MotoGP rider Marc Marquez, the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 474
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @RooTurbo: Of course I had to "kiss the bricks!" At @IMS Just missing the milk and my pit crew. #turboroo #indycar #INDY500 http://t.co…
about 1 hour ago