MotoGPU.S.A.August 28, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Indianapolis Grand Prix Race Results

Stoner and Pedrosa Dominate at “The Brickyard”

Qualifying >>

Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner continued his march to the 2011 MotoGP World Championship with a dominant victory over team-mate Dani Pedrosa in the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Joining the Honda riders on the podium was Yamaha rider Ben Spies.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) recorded his fastest lap on the final tour of “The Brickyard” to close in on fourth place finisher Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) before finishing a close fifth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) scored his ninth top ten finish of the season by coming ninth, three places ahead of his team-mate. Tyre problems claimed Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), an early podium contender who slipped down to 12th in the final laps.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) finished 13th.

The 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship culminated a fractious weekend during which the recently repaved infield was heavily criticised by the riders. Stoner was among the most critical of the track. Following his seventh pole position of the year, in which he set the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle at “The Brickyard,” the championship leader said he never felt confident. If he wasn’t confident in the race it didn’t show.

Storming to the front of the field from the pole position, Stoner led briefly before Pedrosa swept past with Lorenzo also going with him, putting Stoner down in third just a handful of turns into the race. Pedrosa was first across the “Yard of Bricks” that marks the finish line for the first of 28 laps, Lorenzo and Stoner following, then Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Simoncelli and Dovizioso.

Stoner used the superior power of the Repsol Honda RC212V to pass Lorenzo entering the first turn on the third lap, setting his sights on Pedrosa. The pass for the lead came on the seventh lap down the front straight and again into turn one, where most of the passing took place.

With Pedrosa behind him, Stoner set yet another new circuit record lap of 1m, 39.81s which put him half a second up on Pedrosa. Stoner took another four-tenths out of Pedrosa on the eighth lap to put him nearly a second up. To the end of the race Stoner was never challenged and rode to victory by 4.828s.

The victory was important for Stoner in a number of ways. It was his seventh victory of the year and third in a row. It was also his fourth win from pole and tenth podium in a row, a new career best. The podium was his first at IMS, the only rostrum on the MotoGP calendar which he’d never ascended.

With Lorenzo finishing fourth, Stoner grew his championship points lead to 44 points, 243 to 199, after 12 of 18 races.

Pedrosa was never in danger of losing second on the podium. Spies, once he made his way to third, briefly cut into his comfort zone, but Pedrosa shrugged off the challenge to beat him by 5.775s.

Behind Spies came Lorenzo, then Dovizioso, whose final two laps were his fastest. The late burst of speed carried him to within .626s of Lorenzo. Another lap and he might have been fourth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was involved in a spirited battle for eighth that was decided in the final corner. Hector Barbera (Ducati) made a run at the Japanese rider, only to overshoot the corner and crash, handing Aoyama a secure ninth.

Simoncelli was one of many riders to suffer tyre degradation. The tall, bushy-haired Italian challenged at the front from the start, and was in fourth as late as the 11th lap, but as the race progressed he found traction increasingly compromised. Simoncelli hung on as long as he could, but eventually dropped down to 12th, one spot up on Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP), the 13th place finisher.

Elias had a problem with rear wheel-spin the whole race which prevented him from sustaining his corner entry speed. He was a few tenths slower than what he’d hoped, which took him out of the battle just ahead.

Much of the drama in the Honda-powered Moto2 class was removed in qualifying, though qualifying itself was dramatic. Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) stole the pole position from Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR) by .001s after time had expired. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter), the winner in the Czech Republic, started third, his first front row of the year. Noticeably absent was championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex). The young German crashed in Saturday morning practice and was never comfortable in qualifying. He qualified a season-worst 22nd, on the eighth row and 1.331s off the pace of Marquez. What compounded his situation was the Indy surface was extremely slick and dirty off line, which would make passing perilous.

Marquez was consumed at the start, but the cool and mature Spaniard seemed unconcerned. The 18-year-old Spaniard waited a few laps before starting his march to the front. Starting the eighth lap Marquez slipped past Corsi and almost immediately disappeared. There was little resistance as he expanded his lead to over 6.7s on the 21st of 26 laps. To the end of the race he managed his lead and went on to score his fifth victory of the season by 1.889s.

The battle for second was less clear cut. Corsi continued to drop through the order while Marquez’s fellow Spaniards, Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX-FTR) and Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up-FTR), moved up to challenge Iannone for the podium positions.

At the halfway point Marquez had 4.492 secs on Iannone, Rabat was third from Espargaro, Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter), and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3), who pushed back his fellow Englishman starting lap 14. Corsi was now in front of the battle for seventh, with Bradl up to tenth.

At the front Rabat and Espargaro passed Iannone early in the second half of the race to make it Spanish riders one-two-three.

Pol Espargaro passed Rabat starting lap 19 to settle the podium. It was a first Moto2 podium for both Espargaro and Rabat, neither of whom had finished better than sixth this season. Smith was fourth with Redding passed Iannone on the 20th lap to take fifth, where he’d finish.

Bradl continued his impressive charge all the way to sixth, which limited the championship damage. With six races remaining, Bradl leads Marquez by 28 points, 193 to 165.

The MotoGP and Moto2 paddock now heads quickly back to Europe for next Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix in Misano, Italy on September 4.

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team) Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“We got an OK start and I should have been a little more aggressive in the first corner. As I entered turn two Dani hit the brakes quite hard and I just had nothing, my brakes weren't warmed up yet and I had trouble stopping, I was lucky to get through the first lap. The race was tough, conditions were very hot and the track surface a little more slippery than practice and qualifying which made things difficult to know how much to push. At one point I closed the front and dropped the bike on my knee, I was pretty much down but managed to pick it back up and not lose too much confidence. From there we started to make our way past Dani, put in a few good lap times and pull an advantage. Under challenging track conditions everything has worked really well this weekend, the crew did a fantastic job and gave me a great bike so a huge thanks to them all.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
"We are very happy with second place today for several reasons. After yesterday's qualifying session, we had to work hard to reduce the one second gap we had from Casey, it wasn't normal to be so far away from him. To finish second after the crash in Brno is a great feeling. I knew that my race pace wouldn't be as fast as Casey's, but the team did a very good job, helped me to feel more comfortable with the front and I was able to find a good rhythm, just 3-4 tenths slower than Casey. It was a tough race being alone, but I focused on my lap times and I made my best lap at the end, so I'm happy with my performance and the bike. To get 20 points is not so bad after the crash in Brno and I look forward to going to Misano next week to try and take another step forward."

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 5th
"I can't be happy with today's result because our target was the podium and gaining some points on Lorenzo, but we also have to look at the positives and I'm pleased I managed a 140.1 lap time, my fastest of the race on my final lap. Considering the demanding conditions of this track and the hot temperatures, this lap time shows that we were fast even at the end. We had a bad start, Nicky (Hayden) blocked me and then Ben (Spies) and I touched in turn four and I lost valuable time and positions. From that moment I tried to remain focused and lap by lap I found the pace that allowed me to recover positions. We knew that the race would be tough and it really was. It was also a strange race, from the beginning we had no rear grip and especially in the first laps I had the feeling that the front was closing a lot. However, I was able to change my mentality and adapt my riding style to the conditions in order to manage the tyres in the best way and ride consistently. We are competitive and we go to Misano, my home GP very determined and confident of a good result."

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 9th
“I am happy but not altogether satisfied with this result. The way the tyres worked and also my physical conditions in this intense heat were plus points for us and we went much better in the race than we had managed in practice, but maybe with a better start I could have been fighting further up the field. Overall it has been a positive weekend and gives us a boost for the next races.”

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 12th
“Unfortunately today my race only really lasted five laps, during which time I had a lot of fun – it's just a shame about the other 23! We have had this problem all weekend and even though we thought we had improved the situation this morning it was only because the track temperatures were lower. In the afternoon heat the problem came back after just five laps and even though I was able to keep it consistent for the next six or seven laps I could do nothing to prevent the decline in performance after that. It was a real mission just to make it to the end – I was putting myself on the line just ride slowly. Now we need to look into exactly what caused this problem.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 13th
“Well... it seems we had a big issue about the rear spinning for the whole race... a bit more than everybody and I could not keep the corner speed in the entry of the curves. For all these reasons my pace was a few tenths slower than what we expected and I could not stay in the good group. I have tried to follow Aoyama first and then Rossi and Crutchlow, but they were faster than me. We need to find those few tenths to race for the top ten and this is our main target for the next week end in Misano.”

Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: Race winner
“I am very happy with this victory because it was a very difficult weekend. The tarmac was very slippery and the track conditions were changing a lot, but I think that during the practice we kept improving. At the beginning of the race I was patient for the first few laps behind Corsi to be able to push afterwards. We achieved an important advantage over the second which I was able to manage, because I knew that the tyres will lower their performance and I would need that margin. I am really very happy with this new triumph and now we can think about Misano.”

Pol Espargaro, HP Tuenti Speed Up-FTR: 2nd
“I can't believe that. I want to say thanks to my team because they work the same or more than me. And for us it is so good for the mentality and for the feeling that we have now. We start the season so bad; we make some races good but always with the problems. This weekend it change a little bit. We start to take a little bit more of concentration or feeling with the motorbike with good feeling. Yesterday I was, with a good pass, lap by lap I was coming better with best feeling and finally the race, I make incredible start. I don't know how, but I will check it later because that is so important. I know now that if we make a good start, we can be there. So we work a little bit more to try to be there in Misano. I don't want to come back again and we must work too much to take more feelings, more concentration and to be, try to be with Marc in the next race.”

Esteve Rabat, Blusens-STX-FTR: 3rd
“Yeah, I'm very happy because today I enjoy the race; I make good start. At the beginning, I pass some riders better and I don't know, I enjoy to start to go in front. When I arrive, I pass I think Iannone or Corsi. I try to follow Marquez but it is impossible, he go. After 10 laps, bike start to slide in the front. Then in the middle of the corner, then I can make speed corner. I try to change my style and brake more late, stop the bike and then turn and go. Because if not, when I'm in the middle, close front direction. Then I don't know, at the end Pol go more fast than me past and I tried to follow. I follow, I push very hard. At the end, for me, it is great result. I am very happy. That's it.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Indianapolis Grand Prix

1 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
4 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
7 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
9 Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
13 Toni ELIAS (LCR Honda MotoGP)
14 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Pol ESPARGARO (HP Tuenti Speed Up)
3 Esteve RABAT (Blusens-STX)
4 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
5 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
6 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
7 Julian SIMON (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
8 Mattia PASINI (Ioda Racing Project)
9 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
10 Aleix ESPARGARO (Pons HP 40)
11 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
12 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
13 Xavier SIMEON (Tech 3 B)
14 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
15 Alex DE ANGELIS (JIR Moto2)
1 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
2 Maverick VINALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
3 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
4 Sergio GADEA (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
5 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
6 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
7 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
8 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Andalucia Banca Civica)
9 Jonas FOLGER (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
10 Jakub KORNFEIL (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
11 Simone GROTZKYJ (Phonica Racing)
12 Louis ROSSI (Matteoni Racing)
13 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
14 Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)
15 Luigi MORCIANO (Team Italia FMI)

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