The mission will be simple for reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Beat Casey Stoner or maybe kiss the World Championship goodbye.
The annual round of the MotoGP World Championship at Indianapolis will take on even more importance after Stoner rode away to victory on his Repsol Honda in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Aug. 14 at Brno, expanding his lead over Lorenzo to 32 points. Lorenzo finished fourth on his Yamaha.
There are only seven races remaining in the season, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and Lorenzo’s chances of a second consecutive world title are slipping away.
“The championship is now even more difficult for us, but that doesn’t mean it is finished,” 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Lorenzo said. “There are still a lot of points to be played for, so we must focus on winning the most races we can. Now we must forget this race, which is probably one of the worst this season and possibly in my MotoGP career.”
Stoner earned his sixth victory of the season, beating Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso to second by 6.532 seconds. Marco Simoncelli put a season of crashes behind him to earn his first career premier-class podium, finishing third on the San Carlo Honda Gresini machine.
“We knew we could make a strong podium challenge today, but we didn't really expect the race win,” said Stoner, who qualified third. “After such a hard weekend it’s fantastic to come out with a comfortable win.”
Stoner’s path to victory became easier when pole sitter and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa fell from the lead on Lap 3. Stoner had just passed Lorenzo for second when 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Pedrosa skidded into the gravel trap, and Stoner then worked to expand his lead every lap.
Then Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Simoncelli started a spirited exchange for second. Lorenzo was one of only two riders in the field who used the hard Bridgestone front tire, with the extra hard tire the preferred option of 15 riders. Front tire wear hurt Lorenzo over the closing laps.
All three American riders finished in the top eight heading to their home race. Ben Spies placed fifth on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine despite suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck. 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden was seventh on his Ducati, with Colin Edwards eighth on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
American John Hopkins didn’t make his second start of the season on a Rizla Suzuki due to two broken fingers suffered in a crash during practice Saturday morning.
BRNO, Czech Republic – Results of the 22-lap Grand Prix of Czech Republic MotoGP race, with position, rider, country, motorcycle, time behind winner. All riders on Bridgestone tires: