News & Multimedia

MotoGP: Italian Grand Prix Storylines

The 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues May 31-June 2 with the Grand Prix of Italy, with action in all three classes – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.

The 18-round World Championship includes the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at four storylines after the first day of the Grand Prix of Italy:

Playing Hurt: Four races have been contested so far this season, so the number of riders competing while injured continues to grow.

American Ben Spies returns to his Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati at this event after missing the last two races due to lingering effects of reconstructive surgery on his shoulder last October. Spies has missed four of the last six MotoGP races, dating back to last season, due to the injury.

Spies said he still is not at 100 percent, as shoulder injuries are among the most difficult for motorcycle racers to rehabilitate due to the stresses placed on the joint during racing. Many eyes will be on Spies to see how well his shoulder holds up in Mugello’s mixture of hard braking zones and rhythmic corners.

Rookie phenom Marc Marquez, fellow rookie Bradley Smith and veteran Andrea Dovizioso also are nursing fresh bumps and bruises after crashes during practice Friday at Mugello, possibly hampering their performance in the race Sunday.

Marquez suffered a deeply bruised chin and other bumps and scrapes when he lost control of his Repsol Honda while braking from 210 mph while approaching Turn 1, after arguably the fastest straightaway in MotoGP. Marquez veered toward the outside wall under braking and bailed out from his bike to avoid hitting the concrete barrier.

Smith crashed and suffered a broken left wrist after crashing in Turn 7, but he said he will continue on his Tech 3 Yamaha this weekend.

Dovizioso crashed on his Ducati in the morning and said he cannot bend his neck backward. That will pose a problem in corners and while balling the upper half of his body into an aerodynamic tuck on Mugello’s long front straightaway, possibly jeopardizing his participation the race.

Cal Crutchlow continues to recover from the broken shinbone he suffered two weeks ago at Le Mans. But Crutchlow already has displayed an incredible capacity to perform in pain, as he finished a career-best second on his Tech 3 Yamaha one day after suffering the leg fracture.

Yamaha Needs Win:
The pendulum of power has swung away from Yamaha to Honda since last June, as a Honda rider has won 12 of the last 15 MotoGP races aboard an RC213V factory bike.
But the Grand Prix of Italy could be the place for Yamaha to strike back.

Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were first and second, respectively, overall in practice Friday, just 34-thousandths of a second apart. Cal Crutchlow was third overall on a satellite Tech 3 Yamaha.

The top Honda rider was series points leader Dani Pedrosa, fifth overall and 1.008 seconds behind Lorenzo.

Yamaha has dominated at Mugello since the four-stroke era started in 2002, with seven victories. Lorenzo has won this race the last two years, and Rossi won five years in a row on a Yamaha from 2004-08 after winning on a Honda in 2002-03.

Ducati Getting Closer: The maligned Ducati Team, winless since 2010, continues to nose closer to respectability since German auto giant Audi bought the iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer last summer.

Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Grand Prix of France on May 19. It was only the second time since the start of the 2012 season that two Ducati factory riders have finished in the top five of a MotoGP race.

Dovizioso also qualified an impressive third two weeks ago at Le Mans, and Hayden was fourth quickest overall in practice today for this event despite not being content with the setup on his GP13 bike.

A neck injury suffered in a qualifying crash today will test Dovizioso’s tolerance for pain this weekend. But can Hayden earn Ducati’s first podium finish since Valentino Rossi finished second in the Grand Prix of San Marino last September? Hayden’s last podium finish came in April 2011 when he finished third in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

This is the home race for Ducati, as the company’s headquarters are located about 60 miles from Mugello, in Bologna, Italy.

Big Speeds: Expect to see the fastest speeds of the season this weekend at the Grand Prix of Italy, with riders tickling the 215-mph mark on the front straightaway, which is nearly three-quarters of a mile long.

Rookie Marc Marquez was fastest on that straight during practice today at 212.5 mph on his Repsol Honda.

RACE DETAILS:

Race:             Grand Prix of Italy
Date:            Sunday, June 2
Round:        Fifth of 18 races in 2013
Circuit:         Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Scarperia, Italy
Distance:         23 laps on 15-turn, 3.259-mile circuit
2012 Winner:        Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
U.S. Riders:    Nicky Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team; Ben Spies, Longview, Texas, Ignite Pramac Racing; Colin Edwards, Houston, NGM Mobile Forward Racing.
TV:     MotoGP: 7:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, June 2, SPEED. Moto2: 5 p.m. (ET), Sunday, June 2, SPEED. Moto3: Noon (ET) Tuesday, June 4, SPEED.
Web:            www.motogp.com
Twitter:        @MotoGP


***


2013 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event. Visit www.ims.com/tickets, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or visit 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 available. 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.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
MotoGP: Italian Grand Prix Storylines
 
MotoGP: Italian Grand Prix Storylines
The 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues May 31-June 2 with the Grand Prix of Italy, with action in all three classes – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. The 18-round World Championship includes the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Related Media
Holiday Event
 
IMS Announces Spectacular Holiday Event: 'Lights at the Brickyard' Coming in 2016
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will bring new levels of cheer to this holiday season with a spectacular “Lights at the Brickyard” seasonal event. Attendees will experience more than 40 scenes filled with 400 light displays along a 1.7-mile driving experience, which includes crossing the famous “Yard of Bricks” at IMS.
Read More
Helio Castroneves
 
Castroneves as Hungry as Ever to End Drought, Bag Elusive Fourth Indy 500 Win
It’s been a long while, actually, a 32-race winless drought that’s the longest of his Verizon IndyCar Series career. That’s quite a stretch, considering Castroneves’ 29 career wins are tied for 11th with his driver coach, Rick Mears, on the series all-time list.
Read More
Townsend Bell
 
Back in his 'Second Home,' Bell a Legitimate Contender as a One-Off Indy Specialist
His No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda qualified fourth, which equals his best previous starting position (2011) in nine Indy 500 starts. His best finish was also fourth in 2009 for KV Racing Technology.
Read More
Panasonic Pagoda
 
Historic Sellout Marks 100th Running of the Indy 500 Local TV Delay Suspended for 2016
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced the first sellout in the history of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race today. All suites, reserved seating and infield General Admission tickets for the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are sold out.
Read More
Herff Jones
 
5 Days until the 100th Indy 500: Champion of Champions Fan Rings
An Indianapolis tradition unlike any other. And no, we’re not talking about eating at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Tickets for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are selling fast, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are projecting the first sellout of the event in two decades. Attending the Indy 500 is a rite of passage, and whether you experience it from the stands or the Snake Pit, you’ll want to remember this race. Luckily, your reminder can be right on your finger. For the first time ever, Indy 500 fans can purchase their very own Champion of Champions replica ring in honor of the 100th Running.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,221
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Correspondent @pwilson24 spent time with Bobby Unser, one of the more opinionated drivers: https://t.co/ukMeeQNT6E https://t.co/nuKdS3aTnV
about 5 hours ago