MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) stormed to his second victory of the season with a record-breaking win on a warm, sunny day at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode bravely with a heavily damaged right ankle, the legacy of a qualifying crash, to finish just off the podium in fourth. Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso were second and third, respectively. Starting from a new pole position record, Pedrosa used the power of his Repsol Honda RC213V to take the lead from Yamaha rider Ben Spies on the third of 28 laps. Spies tried to stay with him, but was already losing ground when his engine expired in a puff of smoke down the straightaway.
That put his team-mate Lorenzo into second but at a margin of 2.293s. Lorenzo would never get much closer. Pedrosa was consistent throughout with something in reserve. He unleashed his full power on the 15th lap when he set a new race lap record, shattering the old mark by .8s.
Over the final 13 laps he continued to stretch his advantage, winning by 10.823s. It was the second largest MotoGP margin of victory to the 14.996s win he had recorded in the German Grand Prix.
It was Pedrosa’s first win from pole since the 2010 San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
By winning for the second time at IMS, with a new race record time that was 13s faster than last year’s race, Pedrosa took five points off championship leader Lorenzo. With seven races remaining, he has closed to within 18 points, 225 to 207. Stoner lost ground and now sits third at 189.
The reigning world champion was not certain he would ride until the morning. Saturday’s qualifying crash had caused multiple traumas to his right leg, including several small chipped bone fractures, a 10mm fracture on the talar dome below the tibia and fibula, contusions to the anterior tibia, posterior tibia and medial malleolus, and soft tissue swelling around the ankle. He also tore his deltoid, anterior talofibial, calcaneal and fibular ligaments in addition to a high ankle sprain. He could not walk without the aid of crutches.
Rather than getting involved in the early cut and thrust, Stoner allowed the field to sort itself out before making his push. He patiently made his way up the order, though his progress was interrupted when Ben Spies had a smoking engine failure on the front straight on lap six. Stoner had to make his way through the smoke on the fastest part of the course and lost touch with the leaders.
Once clear of the smoke, he went after Dovizioso, passing him for third on tenth lap. Stoner kept the Italian at bay for 12 laps, but the healthier rider would not be denied while Stoner struggled with his physical limitations. Dovi took back the final podium spot from Stoner on lap 22 and, while the Australian hounded him for a handful of laps, Dovizioso was able to break free.
Now Stoner has five days to recover before practice starts for next weekend’s Czech Grand Prix at Brno.
Much of the race was processional over the second half. Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V), who had been part of the battle for third, lost touch with those in front and pulled away from the rider just behind, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. When that happened, near the midpoint of the race, the two riders solidified their positions.
Bautista was happy to return to the feeling with the motorcycle that he had had before the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Fifth place was his second best finish of the season; he had been fourth at the British Grand Prix.
Bradl was expecting more after an encouraging performance in qualifying. That potential was not realised because he could not push out of the many slow corners on the track. Still, he gained ten points on the rider ahead of him in the championship while maintaining sixth in his rookie season.
Bautista’s teammate did not have much luck in his first visit to Indiana on a MotoGP machine. Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) retired early in the race with a swingarm problem. It was his fourth straight non-finish.
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Suter Marc Marquez gave a master class in the Moto2 race, setting a number of new lap records early on while pulling away to a commanding victory, his fifth of the season.
Marquez took the lead on the third of 26 laps, and with the exception of a lap mid-race, stretched his lead at will. By the end of the race he had pulled out a cushion of 5.855s.
The win helped him pull back some of the points he had lost finishing fifth in the previous round at Mugello. Marquez now has a lead of 39 points, 199 to 149, over Pol Espargaro (Pons HP 40 Tuenti – Kalex), the second place finisher.
Espargaro took over second on the eighth lap, by which time Marquez already had a gap of 3.321s. Other than the 11th lap, when Marquez was off pace and Espargaro took advantage, Espargaro could not make inroads. Instead he had to fend off Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter), who he pulled away from in the later stages. For Simon it was his first podium of the season.
Simon, in turn, had over 6s on Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex), the former MotoGP rider who had company from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock Suter) and Scott Redding, Kallio’s team-mate.
Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) arrived in Indianapolis tied for second in the championship with Espargaro, but an off day dropped him to ninth. He now trails Espargaro by 13 points and Marquez by 52.
The Moto3 race ended in tragedy for Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia FTR Honda), the young Spaniard who crashed in the final turn sequence while going for victory. Vinales had been in the thick of the fight for most of the race, while waiting until the end to make his grab for glory. But the he ran wide in the penultimate corner and onto a dirty section of the track, causing his tyres to wash out. Vinales could not re-start his motorcycle and scored no points.
The race was won by KTM rider Luis Salom, the Spaniard getting his first victory with Sandro Cortese (KTM) second and Jonas Folger (KTM) third.
Manuel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Suter Honda) narrowly missed out on the final podium spot by taking fourth; the gap was .127s. In his first visit to America, Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda) was a very close fifth, with Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins finishing seventh.
Cortese continues to lead the championship with 184 points to 155 for Vinales.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|3||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|4||Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)|
|5||Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|6||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|7||Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)|
|8||Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)|
|9||Yonny HERNANDEZ / COL / Avintia Blusens)|
|10||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|11||Toni ELIAS (Pramac Racing Team)|
|12||Ivan SILVA (Avintia Blusens)|
|13||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|14||Steve RAPP (Attack Performance)|
|15||James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)|
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)|
|2||Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|3||Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)|
|4||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|5||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)|
|6||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|7||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)|
|8||Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|9||Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)|
|10||Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|11||Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|12||Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)|
|13||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|14||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|15||Ricard CARDUS (Arguinano Racing Team)|
|1||Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)|
|2||Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|4||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|5||Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)|
|6||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)|
|7||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|8||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|9||Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK Laglisse)|
|10||Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)|
|11||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|12||Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|13||Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)|
|14||Isaac VINALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|15||Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)|