Pedrosa Beats Heat For Win; American Spies Finishes Second
Spaniard Dani Pedrosa spoiled the American riders’ party on a hot day Aug. 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race for the first time at the Speedway’s 2.621-mile road course.
Ben Spies, of Longview, Texas, finished second after capturing his first career MotoGP pole.
Spies got a great jump on the field at the start and built a one-second lead by Lap 3. Pedrosa, who started fifth, moved to second on Lap 4 and gradually cut into Spies’ lead until passing him on the inside on the main straightaway just before crossing the start-finish line to start Lap 7.
Pedrosa led the rest of the way on the No. 26 Repsol Honda Team entry and beat Spies to the finish line by 3.575 seconds.
MotoGP World Championship points leader Jorge Lorenzo finished third on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team, one position of teammate Valentino Rossi. Andrea Dovizioso was fifth on the No. 4 Repsol Honda and Owensboro, Ky., native Nicky Hayden – who started third – finished sixth on the No. 69 Ducati.
Temperatures at the start of the MotoGP race were officially at 92 degrees (33C) with sunny skies, creating challenging track conditions for the premier class riders.
“It was very, very warm out there,” Pedrosa said. “You didn’t cool down the 45 minutes you’re out there. But we did a good race. The track was slippery, but it was the same thing for everybody. (Spies) was pulling very, very strong. But I could pick up and get ahead of him. And finally I try to do my rhythm and I was able to escape and do a good pace.”
Spies’ second-place finish on the No. 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine wrapped up an impressive showing for the MotoGP rookie, with Saturday’s surprise pole followed by his career-best finish and second podium finish of the season.
“We can’t complain,” Spies said. “We came in and did better than I thought we were going to do. We got the pole yesterday and got out and had a good start today and led some laps. Didn’t set the world on fire, but we had a good pace.
“I’m happy for all the friends and family and fans that are here to get a second in the American Grand Prix for the first season.”
Hayden did not finish on the podium at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP for the first time, after finishing second in 2008 and third in 2009. He lost the left knee slider puck from his racing leathers on the third lap, limiting his ability to aggressively dive into corners.
Fellow American rider Colin Edwards struggled with tire grip issues on the No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike, switching to a backup on Lap 11 and retiring from the race six laps later.
Three riders crashed out of the race and were unhurt: Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner and Mika Kallio.
In the other World Championship races, Nicolas Terol became a two-time winner at Indianapolis by winning the 125cc class race; he won the same event in 2008. Former MotoGP competitor Toni Elias won the Moto2 race by .405 of a second over polesitter Julian Simon.
The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28.
INDIANAPOLIS – Results of the 28-lap Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race, with position, rider, country, motorcycle, time behind winner. All riders on Bridgestone tires:
1. Dani Pedrosa Spain Honda
2. Ben Spies United States Yamaha +3.575
3. Jorge Lorenzo Spain Yamaha +6.812
4. Valentino Rossi Italy Yamaha +12.633
5. Andrea Dovizioso Italy Honda +21.885
6. Nicky Hayden United States Ducati +35.138
7. Marco Simoncelli Italy Honda +36.740
8. Alvaro Bautista Spain Suzuki +36.825
9. Aleix Espargaro Spain Ducati +44.905
10. Hector Barbera Spain Ducati +51.368
11. Loris Capirossi Italy Suzuki +55.386
12. Hiroshi Aoyama Japan Honda +57.903
13. Randy De Puniet France Honda +1:04.139
NC Mika Kallio Finland Ducati +10 laps
NC Colin Edwards United States Yamaha +12 laps
NC Casey Stoner Australia Ducati +21 laps
NC Marco Melandri Italy Honda +26 laps
NC – Not classified
Fastest lap: Pedrosa, 1:40.896, Lap 11; Pole lap: Spies, 1:40.105
Riders: Lorenzo 251, Pedrosa 183, Dovizioso 126, Stoner 119, Rossi 114, Spies 110, N. Hayden 109, De Puniet 78, Simoncelli 63, Melandri 61, Edwards 57, Barbera 54, Capirossi 41, Espargaro 39, Bautista 33, Kallio 31, Aoyama 22, Alex De Angelis 11, Roger Lee Hayden 5, Kousuke Akiyoshi 4, Wataru Yoshikawa 1.
Manufacturers: Yamaha 260, Honda 220, Ducati 159, Suzuki 56.
DANI PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team Honda/Bridgestone, winner): “I’m really happy with this win, and it was an especially tough one because of the heat today. I didn’t make the perfect start, but I was quite quick through the first few tight corners and stayed close to the leaders. My rhythm was good today, and even though Spies was strong in front, I was able to close him down and make the pass. I’m really pleased with the performance of my bike because it was fast on the straights and also was working well in the corners. When I was out in front, it was quite hard to stay focused, and at the end of the race I was really tired. But I’m very happy because last year I crashed when I could have won, and now I have made up for it. There were many crashes this weekend, and it would have been easy to make a mistake in the race. You only need to go a little off line and you can be on the ground immediately.”
BEN SPIES (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha/Bridgestone, second): “I'm really happy to have got my best result in MotoGP in front of the American crowd and at a track as famous as Indianapolis. I always said I wanted my best result in my home race, so it's mission accomplished. After the pole position I got a great start, and it felt good to be out front for the first time in MotoGP. But I didn't have the pace for Dani today, and he rode a great race. I'm happy because I didn't make too many mistakes when I was out in front, and I was consistent for the whole race. When Dani passed me, I knew I couldn't follow him, so I let him go and concentrated on keeping a gap to Jorge in third, and that's what I achieved. I can't complain because it was a great weekend, and to be top Yamaha rider when you look at who else is on that bike is pretty satisfying. It hasn't sunk in yet that I've finished second in my home race. But I'll enjoy it before I hop on a plane and try and do it again in Misano next weekend.”
JORGE LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha/Bridgestone, third): “Of course, I shouldn't be disappointed with third place, but at the same time I'm not happy with my race today. I didn't ride as well as I could have, and I didn't get a good start. The conditions were incredibly hard, and I simply didn't have the physical strength to push as hard or do the same times I did in practice. It was like a race in Malaysia! The track was so slippery and it was very difficult to use the tires as you wanted to. I think honestly I'm quite lucky to have finished third today. The good thing is we took some points, and now I have to concentrate on recovering before Misano because we don't have much time.”
OTHER AMERICAN RIDER QUOTES
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Team Ducati/Bridgestone, sixth): “I still can't believe what happened. I am so disappointed. I was being careful over the first few laps because in that heat, the track was very greasy. I lost the front slightly on the third lap and caught my left knee on a drain cover on one of the kerbs, right where the knee slider attaches to the Velcro. There are so many left-hand corners her