Dani Pedrosa makes his debut with his Bridgestone tyres this weekend. Nicky Hayden, in front of his compatriots again, hopes to put in a good race after recovering from his injured right heel The legendary track of Indianapolis in the USA, makes...
Dani Pedrosa makes his debut with his Bridgestone tyres this weekend. Nicky Hayden, in front of his compatriots again, hopes to put in a good race after recovering from his injured right heel
The legendary track of Indianapolis in the USA, makes its first ever appearance in the World Motorcycling Championship calendar this weekend. A legendary circuit because of its oval shape, one which normally witnesses spectacular Nascar races, will this weekend be converted into the setting for the 2008 season" 13th race.
After this race in the USA the teams and riders will go to Japan in just a few weeks -- Motegi, then Australia -- Philip Island and Malaysia -- Sepang -- to bring the season to a climax in Valencia at the end of October.
Indianapolis will be a big challenge for the riders in the three categories, above all because of the peculiar characteristics of the American track, and because all the teams know absolutely nothing about it. It is located inside an oval, there are a couple of narrow, very slow curves that the riders will have to take special care on this weekend
This will be a very special weekend for two members of the Repsol Honda Team. Nicky Hayden will perform in front of his compatriots, in fact he will race the first time since he did so at the end of July at Laguna Seca. Since then an injury on his right foot while training on a supermotard bike has prevented him from riding in the Czech Republic GP and at Misano. For Dani Pedrosa the race in Indianapolis will be very important, since he will ride competitively with Bridgestone tyres for the first time, and it is probable that he will also use the new engine with pneumatic valves. The day of practice that the Repsol rider had at Misano with the new engine, on the Monday after the race, was very satisfactory and so everything points to Dani using this option at Indianapolis.
THE YOUNG REPSOL RIDERS, SEEKING A PODIUM FINISH IN AMERICA
Julian Simon in the Repsol KTM Team 250cc, as well as Esteve Rabat and Marc Marquez in the Repsol KTM 125cc team, will once again be seeking a podium finish at Indianapolis, something that has eluded the first two of them so far this season. Julian Simon, the rider in 250cc. has improved in the last few races and can see the podium clearer than ever, while young Marquez and Rabat, in the tough 125cc category, were both fighting for the podium positions in the recent San Marino GP.
Marquez finished 4th but Rabat was further back in Misano. The two riders saw how they were able to keep up with the fastest riders in the category in San Marino though. Marquez has already been on the podium this year; in his first season in the World Championship the young Repsol rider finished in third position, in the recent British GP.
"Indianapolis will be a very important weekend for us, but it's hard to say much about the track because we know so little about it. My first test with Bridgestone went well. After leaving Misano we have worked with the data in order to make the best possible start at Indy.
We only have four hours of practice on a completely new circuit, with new tyres and a new machine, so we will have to work very hard to make sure we get the best out of the package on race day. I have heard that the track isn't very grippy and it seems like there are quite a few tight and slow corners, so handling of the machine will be important. Anyway, we will do our best as always. And it will be good to ride in front of the American fans after I had to pull out of the Laguna GP due to the injuries I got in Germany."
"Indy's going to be a big challenge for everyone, but I quite enjoy going to new circuits. We will use the data the test teams got when they tested there in July to help line up the transmission and so on.
The track layout doesn't look so spectacular, because it's inside an oval so there's not a lot of room for them to work with, and it's quite flat. But Indy has a long history and a big tradition and they know how to promote a race. I think they're going to smash it -- put on an awesome event. For me it's crazy to be racing a GP three hours from my house! I just wish I was going into it healthy. It's not been long since Misano, though going left should be better for my right foot. It's a good time to go home and get some support from the fans. We'll give it all we've got and try to get a good result for them."
250cc Julian Simon
"This is a very special GP for all the riders in all the categories. We will have to get used to the characteristics of the circuit very quickly, although we all start the same. We will have to pay attention from the very first practice session. As for the country, for me it is amazing to go to the United States to race a bike.
I have always had many heroes there because I come from motocross, and I have always liked the atmosphere that there is there. Now it is my turn to ride there, although at speed, this is awesome. I am really looking forward to it and I am very motivated after the good result in Misano, but evidently our objective is to get on the podium either in this race and of course before the end of the season. We won't stop of fighting to get one. We are going to a GP that is new for everybody so we are all in the same boat, let" see if we can take advantage of that."
"I want to see that circuit, since nobody has seen it and we have only been able to get an idea about it from photos. I am very motivated, because although it has taken some time to get used to this motorbike, lately it has been going better.
At Misano things went just as we expected, but the race was not too bad. The main thing will be to make a big effort during the practice, so that then we can have a good race. First we will have to get to know the track well, adapt ourselves to it, and little by little up the pace so that we can go fast just riding. Then I will try to get a good position on the grid, one that lets me start the race in good conditions."
"It will be a new race for us all, and as nobody has ever ridden there, nobody has been able to explain how to tackle this circuit. It is the same layout as for Formula One, but as the motorbikes need greater safety they have changed the direction and nobody has ridden this way either.
When we arrive there the first thing to do will be to take a look at the circuit on foot, and to try to study it the best we can so that when we go out onto the track, even though we know that everything changes, we already have an idea. I hope the weather is kind to us, like in the last race, and I have checked the forecast on the internet so I know it will be very hot but it may also rain. A few races ago, in the UK, we got a good base for the motorbike and now we are able to adjust the set up quicker at each circuit."