Rossi wins chaotic debut Indianapolis MotoGP Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has claimed victory in today's inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in a chaotic race which was stopped prematurely due to torrential weather conditions. Nicky Hayden ...
Rossi wins chaotic debut Indianapolis MotoGP
Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has claimed victory in today's inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in a chaotic race which was stopped prematurely due to torrential weather conditions. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) filled the remaining podium positions.
Heavy rain poured onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over lunchtime, but excellent work from the circuit staff enabled the track to be in a good enough state, albeit still wet, for the MotoGP event to take place on time. The rain started again one-third of the way through the scheduled 28-lap event and increased in intensity thereafter. Subsequent concerns over safety caused by the worsening weather ultimately prompted race control to red flag the race after 20 laps.
Rossi was in hot pursuit of long time race leader Hayden and passed him for the lead on lap 14 before building up an eventual 6 second advantage. Ducati's Casey Stoner was the next best placed Bridgestone-shod rider in fourth place having won a close battle with Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot). Rizla Suzuki wildcard Ben Spies took an excellent sixth place in just his third ever MotoGP race, finishing right on the tail of the battle for fourth place.
An additional four Bridgestone riders completed the event in the top ten with a strong performance from Alice Team rider Sylvain Guintoli in seventh, Dani Pedrosa completing his first ever race on Bridgestone tyres in eighth, Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen in ninth and San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex De Angelis rounding out the top ten.
Rossi now leads the championship by a massive 87 points with four races left and a maximum 100 points obtainable. Stoner further cemented his second place in the series classification and has taken his overall points total to 200. The next event is Bridgestone's home grand prix at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan in two weeks' time.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"It has certainly been a hectic race day for everyone with the changing weather conditions, and it is a testament to the high class riding skill of the 19-strong MotoGP field that all riders completed the race in spite of the torrential conditions. It is a great result for Valentino to win here today and helps him nicely on to the final straight for the championship. For Bridgestone, we have a successful record at the Speedway and we can now add a two-wheeled victory to the achievements on four wheels. This entire weekend has been very special and the Speedway must be commended for a fantastic organisation. The fans have also been great and it was great to see so many people brave the rain and wind to see MotoGP for the first time in Indianapolis."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"I am pleased with the result of today's race but it was not a straight-forward afternoon. Most of our riders opted to use medium specification front and rear wet tyres based on the track conditions at the beginning of the race, which were still very wet after the lunchtime rain. Generally the performance level of these tyres in the changing conditions was quite good, but some of our riders did experience problems during the race which prevented them from making their way through the field. Our competitors have once again shown a good competitiveness in wet conditions and it was another relatively balanced result overall. We now look forward to Motegi where we expect another closely-fought battle in our home race."
Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team - Race Winner and Championship Leader
"I think that those are the worst conditions in which I have raced in my career. Together with the new track and the new surface, there was also a lot of water and at the end the bigger problem of the wind. It wasn't consistent and was very strong, so you never knew what was going to happen in the straight. I was in front and didn't want to put my hand up, because I was leading the race, but I was looking for the red flag on every lap and when it came I think it was a good decision. Good work was done on the track to prepare for the race because the rain was coming down strong. I don't remember when I last won four races in a row, but it means that I am in good shape and now waiting for Motegi."
Weather: Wet - Air 21C, Track 20C (Bridgestone measurement)