Indianapolis Review, All Classes: Spaniards Lock Out Moto2 Podium
Casey Stoner was the clear victor at the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, crossing the finish line nearly five seconds ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies.
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) took the early race lead, until team mate Stoner overtook the Spaniard on lap seven and stretched his lead in front of the pack to remain unchallenged for the remainder of the race. Stoner extends his Championship lead to 44 points ahead of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) with this win, his first ever podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A bad start for Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) from second on the grid found the Texan down in ninth position, after his poor start was made worse when he and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) touched heading into turn one, pushing Spies wide. The 25 year-old methodically made his way back through the field and into third position by lap 16. The pace set by Spies would have been quick enough to fight for second position, though his start kept him from catching Pedrosa, who crossed the line second in front of the American.
Lorenzo had seen second position in the early laps, but was overtaken by Stoner and then eventually Spies to finish in fourth position. Dovizioso tussled with Nicky Hayden early in the race for fifth, until the American from the Ducati Team fell back with tyre problems, leaving the Italian to chase Lorenzo.
Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) finished a lonely sixth after starting tenth on the grid. The Spaniard crossed the line nine seconds in front of American Colin Edwards on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) crossed the line in eighth, giving the French rider his best finish of the season so far.
Ninth spot went to Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), who crossed the line a second and a half ahead of Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team). Rossi’s tenth place was of note in that on lap eight the Italian fell back into 17th position with what appeared to be tyre issues. At one stage it looked like Rossi would enter the pits, but the Italian kept riding and made his way back up to finish tenth in front of rookie Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) had seen as high as third position in the race but the Italian slowly dropped back down the order, finally finishing in 12th. Toni Elías (LCR Honda) and Hayden completed the race finishers, with Elías ahead of the American. Hayden had pitted in earlier with an issue and rejoined the session to salvage some points, finishing 14th. A disappointing end was had for Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar), who crashed out of eighth place in the final corner.
Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), who started from second on the grid, led the outset but it was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol rider Márquez who took the control of the Moto2 race, making his pass on Italian rider on lap eight and riding unchallenged thereafter. The Moto2 rookie now stands 28 points behind his German rival Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) in the Championship.
Moto2 rookies Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) both claimed their first podiums in the category following a half race chase for second, with 20 year-old Espargaró riding across the finish in front of his fellow countryman in second position.
Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) took fourth position, with fellow Brit Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) behind him in fifth after making his way from 11th on the grid into sixth in the first four laps, then briefly leading in front of Smith on lap 14 of the race.
Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) skilfully made his way through the field after starting from 22nd on the grid to take sixth, thus collecting further valuable Championship points in his quest for the title. Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) followed in seventh, with Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project), Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) and Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) completing the top ten finishers. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) placed 11th.
American rider Kenny Noyes (Avintia-STX) had an early crash and was unable to rejoin the race, while fellow countrymen JD Beach (Aeroport de Castello) finished 29th and wildcard Jake Gagne (GPTech) finished in 31st.
World Championship points leader Nico Terol took his sixth win of the season, charging to victory ahead of Maverick Viñales and Sandro Cortese.
Bankia Aspar’s Terol had an amazing start off pole position, clearly determined to take a win following his DNF at the Czech GP when a mechanical forced his retirement out of the lead of the race. The 22 year-old pulled an immediate gap and led the race unchallenged, winning the race and extending his Championship lead to 26 points over Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo).
Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) picked off his competitors one by one to make his way up to third place to fight it out with Zarco. The French rider then had a huge moment, dropping him back into seventh with10 laps to go, allowing Viñales to push on and finish second.
Viñales appeared to have second in the bag, until with five laps remaining his tyres started to go, letting Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) and Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) catch back up to the youngster. Viñales came out on top of that skirmish to cross the line second, with Cortese finishing third and Gadea fourth.
Frenchman Zarco worked his way back through the field to cross the line fifth, getting the better of team mate Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) who finished sixth. Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) crossed the line a clear seventh, with Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica), Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) completing the top ten. Brad Binder (RW Racing GP) made an impressive showing in his very first GP, finishing in 17th position.