Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa rode to an emphatic win at the Indianapolis Grand Prix today, expertly piloting his Honda RC212V to victory ahead of home hero Ben Spies and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was looking...
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa rode to an emphatic win at the Indianapolis Grand Prix today, expertly piloting his Honda RC212V to victory ahead of home hero Ben Spies and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was looking strong in second position in the early laps before finally coming home in fifth place at the end of the 28-lap encounter - held in wilting 35 degree heat at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
From fifth on the grid, an on-form Pedrosa was fourth into the first corner and quickly set about dispatching his rivals, starting with Nicky Hayden on lap two and Dovizioso two laps later. With only Ben Spies now ahead, Pedrosa relentlessly closed down the Texan and passed him at the start of lap eight before easing out a comfortable gap of 5.5s - setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 11 and then controlling the race from the front to come home 3.5s clear at the chequered flag.
Today Pedrosa's only real threat came from the circuit's vicious bumps, which had caught out some many riders through the weekend, and the concentration-sapping heat, but the 24-year-old Spaniard was equal to the task and recorded his third MotoGP victory of the 2010 season. This third win was also a personal milestone for Pedrosa, who had scored two victories in each of his previous four MotoGP seasons since his debut in 2006. His 34th GP victory in all classes of Grand Prix racing and his 11th in MotoGP closes the gap by nine points to Lorenzo in the World Championship, his countryman's lead now standing at 68 points with seven races remaining.
Dovizioso made a good start from fourth on the grid and held second place for three laps before slipping behind his team-mate. The 24-year-old Italian then resisted the pressure from Lorenzo for eight laps and continued to keep pace with the Spaniard once he had got past on lap twelve. In the second half of the race though, Dovizioso was powerless to maintain his speed and slipped behind Valentino Rossi with eight laps to go. Although disappointed with this result on a day when he believed a podium was within his grasp, fifth place means that Dovizioso retakes third position in the world championship from Casey Stoner, who crashed out today.
The Repsol Honda Team now dashes back across the Atlantic in readiness for next week's San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano circuit.
DANI PEDROSA -- 1st -- World Championship Position 2nd 183 points
"I'm really happy with this win and it was an especially tough one because of the heat today. I didn't make the perfect start but I was quite quick through the first few tight corners and stayed close to the leaders. My rhythm was good today and even though Spies was strong in front I was able to close him down and make the pass. I'm really pleased with the performance of my bike because it was fast on the straights and also was working well in the corners. When I was out in front it was quite hard to stay focused and at the end of the race I was really tired - but I'm very happy because last year I crashed when I could have won and now I have made up for it. There were many crashes this weekend and it would have been easy to make a mistake in the race - you only need to go a little off line and you can be on the ground immediately, especially towards the end of the race when the tyres are worn. I've gone past the barrier of two MotoGP race wins in a season so I'm very happy. We are doing a good job and I hope we can maintain this momentum next weekend at Misano. I want to thank the team and all the people around me for this win."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 5th -- World Championship Position 3rd 126 points
"I'm disappointed with this result because I expected to do better this afternoon. The conditions today were really critical. It was so hot - the asphalt was more than 50 degrees! - and the track lacked grip because of it. The result was that I was slower than yesterday. I made a good start and for a while we were close to the podium battle but I didn't have enough speed to fight as the race progressed. Dani was really fast, he was very strong in the middle of the corner and also his style made the difference today. For two thirds of the race I could fight for the podium, then it was difficult for me to stay with the front guys. I think maybe I need to study how I can improve my position on the bike and my riding style. Now I'm just looking forward to going to Misano - which is my home GP - and I'm back into third in the championship so I have a lot of motivation to get a good result there."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"Dani was just about perfect today and he controlled the race completely in very difficult conditions. With the bumps and the heat it would have been so easy for him to make a mistake - and we have seen many, many riders fall this weekend - but Dani did exactly what was needed to win, so congratulations to him. Three MotoGP race wins in a season is a breakthrough for him and we hope there will be more before the end of 2010. Andrea looked strong in the opening laps but unfortunately his pace suffered more in the hot conditions and he couldn't fight for the podium - which is what he wanted to do and also looked capable of. Still, he is back into third in the championship behind Dani, and Andrea can come back with a strong result at the next race in Misano. I'd like to say thank you to the whole Repsol Honda Team because everybody is working very hard and we are getting stronger at every race."