June 27, 2012 | By Paul Kelly
Five Americans To Race On Largest MotoGP Grid In August
Five Americans will be among the 23 MotoGP riders – both event records – on the grid for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
MotoGP stars Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and Colin Edwards are joined by American wild-card riders Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates on the provisional entry list for the fifth annual MotoGP World Championship event at IMS.
The previous record for Americans in the MotoGP field and bikes on the grid at Indy were four and 19, respectively, in the inaugural event in 2008. There were just three Americans – Hayden, Spies and Edwards – and 17 bikes in the MotoGP field last year at IMS.
Practice starts Friday, Aug. 17, with practice and qualifying Saturday, Aug. 18 and the race Sunday, Aug. 19 on the 16-turn, 2.621-mile MotoGP circuit at IMS.
Competition also will take place in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes of the World Championship and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. American Tommy Aquino will race a wild-card entry in Moto2.
Hayden and Spies both will ride 1000cc MotoGP factory prototypes at IMS.
2006 World Champion Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky., is in his third season with the Ducati Team. He has finished in the top-three podium spots twice at IMS, second in 2008 and third in 2009.
Spies, from Longview, Texas, rides for Yamaha Factory Racing. He won the pole and finished second in 2010 in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Edwards, from Houston, is in his first season with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team, which fields a Suter-BMW under the new Claiming Rules Team regulations that allow teams and riders to compete in the premier class with lower-cost, production-based bikes.
AMA Pro Racing veterans Rapp and Yates also will ride CRT bikes at Indianapolis.
2007 Daytona 200 Formula Xtreme winner Rapp, 40, from Hawthorne, Calif., will race an entry fielded by Attack Performance. The 1000cc machine will feature an aluminum-framed chassis built by Attack Performance in its shop in Huntington Beach, Calif., powered by a heavily modified Kawasaki ZX-10R engine.
This will be the second time Rapp has raced at IMS. He competed in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races last August, finishing second in both races.
Yates, 38, from Milledgeville, Ga., will race an entry fielded by GPTech, based in Hickory Corners, Mich. The chassis was designed by BCL Motorsports, with technical partner MCJ Motorsports assisting with the engine development.
Four-time AMA National Champion Yates is returning to action after suffering severe leg fractures in a crash at an AMA Superbike race in 2010 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
GPTech is moving up to the premier class at Indianapolis after fielding a Moto2 wild-card entry at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2010 and 2011.
The MotoGP entry list features all four previous winners at Indianapolis – Valentino Rossi (2008), Jorge Lorenzo (2009), Dani Pedrosa (2010) and Casey Stoner (2011).
Four riders who have combined to win the 11 premier-class World Championships will be on the starting grid at Indy: Rossi (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009), Stoner (2007, 2011), Hayden (2006) and Lorenzo (2010). Stoner will race at IMS for the final time, as he is retiring as a rider after this season.
In Moto2, AMA SportBike veteran Aquino, 20, from Saugus, Calif., will ride an FTR-Honda fielded by Fogi Racing, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Aquino, 20, is racing this season in the CEV Spanish Moto2 Championship.
Moto2 World Championship bikes feature standard 600cc Honda engines and prototype chassis.
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