MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 14: Indianapolis GP > Race Results
MotoGPU.S.A.September 14, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 14
Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis

Hayden Weathers Storm To Finish Fine Second

Qualifying >>

Torrential rain truncated a turbulent Grand Prix in which Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was declared victor after the 28-lap race was abandoned after 20-laps. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) was awarded second and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) third.

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

Weather played the ace hand here in rain-lashed Indianapolis. The 125cc Grand Prix was foreshortened, the 250cc race abandoned altogether and this, the main event, brought to a close when the prevailing conditions – furious rain and wind – proved too much for both riders and track furniture.

Forecasters knew, and race organizers too, that the weather systems surrounding the rampaging Hurricane Ike might play havoc with the first ever motorcycle event staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the turn of the century. And they surely did.

The race was declared ‘wet’ before it got underway and right enough the declaration proved appropriate. Conditions were manageable for the first 11 laps until the rain fell harder, the wind got up with a vengeance, and then a howling gale blew the conclusion of this contest into the hands of the race organizers.

A halt was called after lap 20 when conditions had deteriorated to such an extent that debris was blowing onto the track and rider safety became more of an issue than even the 2008 World Championship. After extensive rider consultation the decision was reached to call a result.

It had been an absorbing contest up until then though. Casey Stoner (Ducati) headed the pack into turn one from the line and homeboy Hayden was on his tail with Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) in his wheel-tracks. Rossi too had launched well and was at the business end of proceedings.

Hayden then moved past Dovi and by lap six Rossi was working on Hayden having gone past Dovi while Lorenzo was keeping himself in touch. On lap seven Hayden held a one second lead over Rossi while Dovi fended off Lorenzo’s advances.

Then the rain, already heavy, began to worsen. Hayden and Rossi rode neck and neck for 13 laps. Rossi moved into the lead and then, improbably, it got even wetter. This, however, did not stop the Italian from recording a fastest race lap on lap 15 with a one and a half second advantage over Nicky who was nearly seven seconds ahead of Lorenzo.

From now on it was as much riders against the elements as against each other. The mercy of the red flag soon brought further suffering to an end. There was some debate as to whether a further eight lap race would be required but this fantasy was sensibly quashed.

Rossi now has 287 points to Stoner’s 200 with four rounds to run. Dani sits third with 193 points.

250cc Grand Prix: cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

125cc Grand Prix (preceding MotoGP race)

Rain, as unwelcome as it was predicted, played a part in the result of what was scheduled to be 23-lap race. The contest was halted on lap 16 and the winner was Nicolas Terol (Aprilia), Pol Espargaro (Derbi) was second and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia) was credited with third.

Espargaro sped off the line into turn one and immediately established a comfortable lead of nearly two seconds by lap two. Terol was on his tail and Scott Redding (Aprilia) held third as the pack tried to close on the men who had made the early running.

Terol and Espargaro were locked in combat as the first drops of rain fell. Both riders knew they had to cross the line first waiting for race control to decree a result as two thirds race distance was passed. The verdict went to Terol, for his first Grand Prix win, when lap 16 was declared the final completed lap.

Championship leader Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) finished tenth, his nearest challenger Simone Corsi (Aprilia) seventh and title longshot Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) was 14th. The title race now looks thus: Di Meglio 192, Corsi 167, Talmacsi 149, Bradl 142 and Terol 138 with four rounds to run.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
“Man, it felt really good to be in the lead and I felt quite comfortable. It’s been a long time. I was thinking ‘this only happens in the movies’: your home race, missing the last two and coming back to win. I was able to stay focused but Valentino came past and he had a little more speed, especially in section three. Then when he touched the line onto the back straightaway I was able to make up a little more ground and I thought maybe I was okay. But when it started raining heavy I was in trouble because when it had dried I’d used up a lot of the left side of the tyre, so it got pretty gnarly with all the water.
“Sure, you dream about winning your home race, but honestly I shouldn’t be too greedy with how things have been. I’ll take this second and enjoy it. I’d just like to say a big thanks to my team, all my guys, my friends, my family, everyone who’s stuck with me through tough times. Also, thanks to Indy and everyone for making this race happen. It’s a great feeling to be able to race so close to home, I enjoyed it.
“I gave the maximum today, I can’t say I left much on the table and that’s how it’s supposed to be. When they stopped the race it was pretty treacherous. It was the right thing to do. Conditions were really tough, especially with the winds because you’d be on a dry line and all of a sudden it’d blow you onto the wet. When they said we were going to do another eight laps, part of me thought ‘hey, let’s line back up and try again’. But I’m not leading the championship, so I’ve got nothing to worry about. A big thanks to the fans too, we only had to be out in the wet for an hour, they’ve been out there since Thursday.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 5th.
"I am very pleased with the outcome of today, obtained under conditions that were – quite simply – incredible. We had intense rain and then a strong wind, which then led to the early conclusion of the race. It was very easy to make mistakes and ruin the race, but I started fast, as often happens with me, and I was quick to take the lead. In fact, in the beginning I wanted to stay in front of everyone. I gave the maximum today to earn the most points possible. The tyres worked well, but today the choice was difficult and we opted for a solution that gave us sufficient confidence. We must further improve with our tyres, and Michelin are working hard to be more efficient. I believe that in different climatic conditions, we could have also fought for the podium.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“That was a very tough race. I started quite cautiously and then I began to push harder, but in the mid-stages I wasn’t enough fast and I lost some time. Towards the end I found a good pace. Four or five laps before Race Direction stopped the race, the wind got really strong and there was a lot of dirt and debris getting blown on to the track. Finishing eighth is not a good result for me, but considering the conditions I couldn’t do any better. All in all, it has been an important weekend for us. We have gained a lot of experience in both wet and dry conditions which will help in the future, so we will keep working hard. The tyres worked well today and I’m feeling confident for the next race at Motegi in two weeks time.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 10th.
“Frankly I’m a little disappointed I expected to be very good in the wet today but my rear tyre went off very quickly. Maybe it was too hard for the conditions because the rear end was sliding a lot. After Friday’s wet practice I was very confident but today I could not go forward.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 13th.
“It was a tough day today. We started with a quite
good warm up in the dry and we were optimistic for a dry race. But the conditions were very difficult before the start and I did not get a good start losing five places in the first lap. I struggled from the beginning with lack of grip both front and rear but I tried the best I could trying not to make any mistake. Overall I tried to survive the race and it’s not very clear why we had such a poor grip but we must find a solution for next race in Japan which can potentially be wet.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 17th.
“It was a very difficult race today because I started from the back of the grid and the conditions were terrible. I managed to pass a few riders in the first laps but I could not find a consistent pace. Towards the end I began to understand the conditions better and started to catch the others in front of me but they red flagged the race, it was the right decision. I’m disappointed because in the dry warm up this morning I was fourth fastest so I will keep that positive in mind as I prepare for my home race at Motegi in two weeks.”

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda: 28th.
“We had a good warm up on a dry track and I am all the more disappointed with my race. I didn’t manage to be fast enough in the qualifying and I paid the price in the race. At the start I found myself in a bad pack and didn't manage to break away. We made a mistake in our setting for the gearbox and the bike wasn’t working very well, but that's my fault.”

MotoGP World Championship Round 14
Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis

1 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Casey STONER (Ducati Team)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
6 Ben SPIES (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
7 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
8 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
13 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
14 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
15 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
2 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
3 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
4 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
5 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
6 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol KTM 125cc)
7 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
8 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
9 Stevie BONSEY (Degraaf Grand Prix)
10 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
11 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Motorsport)
12 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
13 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
14 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
15 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)

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