Fiat Yamaha Team lead the way to Indianapolis The MotoGP World Championship heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in its history this weekend, fittingly with the equal most successful rider of all-time leading the ...
Fiat Yamaha Team lead the way to Indianapolis
The MotoGP World Championship heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in its history this weekend, fittingly with the equal most successful rider of all-time leading the groundbreaking pilgrimage to one of motorsport's most iconic venues. Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi leveled Giacomo Agostini's record of premier-class wins with his 68th career success at Misano, extending his championship advantage over Casey Stoner to 75 points, whilst his rookie team-mate Jorge Lorenzo made it a team one-two, It means that Rossi needs to outscore Stoner by a single point at Indy to set up his first title match-point in the following round at Motegi, Japan. The legendary American circuit, which plays host to two of the largest-attended sporting events in the world - the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 car races - now welcomes the two-wheeled phenomena of Rossi-mania and the 'Lorenshow', with the pair keen to make their mark with a dazzling performance in front of the fanatical east-coast crowd.
Much will hinge on the adaptability of bikes and especially tyres at a circuit the engineers have no previous data for. A crucial factor will be track temperature, although it looks certain to be much cooler than recent events at Laguna Seca, Brno and in particular Misano, where the late European summer sunshine brought ambient temperatures of 35 ºC, heating the asphalt to 48 ºC. At Indianapolis average temperatures in September range from highs of around 25 ºC to lows touching 13 ºC.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world, with 257,000 permanent seats. Originally constructed in 1909 with a 2.5-mile oval, an exciting 16-turn motorcycle road circuit, which includes part of the historic oval, has been purpose-built for this weekend's event. Action will get underway an hour earlier than usual, with the first practice session scheduled for 9.30am on Friday and running until 11am, allowing the riders an extra half hour to get to know the track. Sunday's race is also scheduled for later than usual, with the red lights set to go out at 3pm.
Valentino Rossi - A different challenge
"I am still on a high from Misano, which was an amazing day, but now we are facing a different challenge. It's very exciting to be going to Indianapolis, such a famousand historical place for motorposrt, but it's obvious from reports that it's going to be quite a difficult race for everyone. Of course we have no data but we're also expecting the surface to be quite tricky for the tyres. I hope the track is safe, we know the walls are quite close in some places but hopefully it won't be a problem. We will find out on Friday! It's fun to be going to a new place in America and I hope there will be a lot of fans, even if it's not quite as many as at the Indy 500!"
Jorge Lorenzo - "A famous place!"
"Returning to the United States is really exciting for me, not for the fact we're going back there but because we're racing at a completely new circuit. Indianapolis is a historic place, which we have all heard people talking about at one time or another. It's a track I've seen hundreds of times in movies and on the television. As far as I'm concerned, I just want to keep in a good run of form and stay at the level we found at San Marino, where everything worked as we'd hoped once again. The whole team and myself have to focus throughout all four sessions because they will be crucial to prepare for the race. There are five rounds until the end of the world championship and we have to keep fighting to meet our objectives. This is the first of a difficult run of races outside Europe."
Davide Brivio - "Expecting a great weekend"
"Everyone in our team really enjoys racing in America so we're excited about going back there, and even more so about going to such a fantastic, historical place as Indianapolis. It will be great fun exploring the track and the area, and we're anticipating a great weekend. Of course we know it's going to be hard, as it always is when we go somewhere new, but the momentum is with us after three great races and we will be aiming to continue in the same way. Our team is very motivated and we will be looking to get as good start on Friday morning and then to make the most of each session from then on."
Daniele Romagnoli - "Indy is a magical track"
"It is difficult to predict what the situation will be like at Indianapolis because we've never been there before and we don't have any data to work from, but we go into practice in good shape. Jorge scored a wonderful podium at Misano and proved that he has got his feeling back for the bike and his confidence has returned. If the tyres are good then we can be competitive, there's no doubt about that. The whole team are excited about this weekend because we love spending time in the US. Indy is a magical track, which we have all seen on the television many times growing up, so it is an extra motivation for all of us to race there."