Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in review: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Marc Marquez has completed a dominant weekend by winning the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, leading home Dani Pedrosa in the third Repsol Honda Team one-two finish of the season. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo completed the podium as Valentino Rossi beat Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista to fourth.
Marquez’s victory ensures that the Spaniard has topped every session he has taken part in this weekend – something not done since Casey Stoner dominated the Australian Grand Prix event of last year. The victory marks Marquez’s third consecutive premier class race win and confirms a clean sweep of American successes this season, having also triumphed at Texas and Laguna Seca.
From pole position, another poor start from the 20-year-old rookie saw Marquez fall behind both Lorenzo and teammate Pedrosa. He would overtake the pair on Laps 9 and 13, respectively, and – as his rivals continued to feel the effects of injured collarbones – would cross the finish line almost three and a half seconds ahead.
Pedrosa looked to be finishing the 27-lap race in third position, but sprang a surprise by slipstreaming ahead of Lorenzo at the start of the penultimate lap. For both Pedrosa and Lorenzo, this marked their first podium finishes since the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona some two months ago. In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Rossi rose from ninth on the grid and only on the final tour got the better of Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Crutchlow and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bautista, who had enjoyed a race-long battle. Stefan Bradl finished seventh for LCR Honda MotoGP.
Rounding out the top ten were Crutchlow’s teammate Bradley Smith and Ducati Team pairing Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso; the English debutant (who had run as high as fourth on Lap 1, thanks to a superb start) leapfrogged both of the red bikes as Hayden pushed Dovizioso wide at the final corner. This was a near repeat of a final-corner incident at Assen from which Smith also benefitted.
Four riders failed to finish the race. Attack Performance Racing wildcard Blake Young crashed on the opening lap, where problems hit Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar), Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project) and Yonny Hernandez (PBM). Unable to race were both Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies, whose comeback was ruined when he separated his left shoulder on Friday, and Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham who heavily bruised a foot and shoulder, also on Day 1.
Heading to next weekend’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky at Brno, Marquez (188 points) has extended his championship lead to 21 points from Pedrosa (167). Reigning World Champion Lorenzo (153) now sits 35 points behind the leader.
Tito Rabat has won for the second time in Moto2™, pulling a late pass on Takaaki Nakagami to triumph in Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. Following another spirited battle, Scott Redding increased his title-leading advantage by beating Pol Espargaro to the final podium position.
Victory for Rabat is the Spaniard’s second after Jerez earlier this year. The Tuenti HP 40 rider – teammate to Espargaro – came from fourth place on the grid, having run fifth in the opening stages of the race. His other teammate, Axel Pons, did not make the start (due to a fever) which left 32 riders on the grid.
A strong getaway for pole-sitter Redding allowed the Englishman (Marc VDS Racing Team) to fend off Espargaro and lead into the first corner. Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team) was third, but pulled a strong manoeuvre on Espargaro to seize second spot at Turn 10. On the second lap, Nakagami stole the lead from Redding and – pushing for a first win – would not lose the top spot until Lap 23.
Rabat’s charge came very much in the second half of the race, first overhauling Redding on Lap 19 before carrying out a confident pass on teammate Espargaro two laps later. The move for the lead came at Turn 1 on the 23rd lap of 25, denying Nakagami his career-first victory. Behind, Espargaro – who had started second to Redding – fought his major rival, but ran wide at the second corner and was forced to fend off Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter for the rest of the race.
Positions six to ten were filled by Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing), Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team), Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project), Xavier Simeon (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) and Sachsenring race winner Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2). Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith was the only faller, crashing out on Lap 12.
Heading to Brno and the Czech round of the World Championship next weekend, Redding’s championship lead over Espargaro has been stretched out to 26 points, with 159 versus 133. Today’s race winner Rabat (113 points) remains third in the standings, now the reduced margin of 46 points in arrears of Redding.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 celebrated a one-two finish in the Moto3™ Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, as pole-sitter Alex Rins beat teammate Alex Marquez in a closely-fought battle. Maverick Viñales completed the podium as championship leader Luis Salom finished fifth from tenth place on the grid.
Following the mid-season break, Indy marked the first Moto3™ race for five weeks. For Rins and Viñales (Team Calvo) in particular, it brought a golden opportunity after championship leader Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) suffered a crash in qualifying and languished on the fourth row of the grid.
The 23-lap race would prove to be one of high attrition, as no less than 12 riders – over a third of the field – failed to make the finish. The first would be RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema who retired on the first lap, as pole winner Rins ran wide and lost the lead. A strong start from Salom saw the Mallorcan reach as high as third, but the eventual trio of Rins, Viñales and Marquez would soon pull ahead.
On Lap 11, Rins relinquished the lead to first Viñales and then Marquez, before re-taking it two laps later. Both Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were assisted by a mistake from Viñales on Lap 14, losing the Team Calvo rider eight tenths of a second and allowing some breathing space for the pair in front of him. Rins took the chequered flag by just under two tenths of a second as Marquez – younger brother of MotoGP World Championship leader Marc – celebrated a career-first podium finish.
Following his superb start, Salom caught and passed teammate Arthur Sissis for fifth place and then overhauled Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger for fourth, only to drop back behind both on Lap 18. He retook fifth from his teammate and would remain there at the chequered flag, ensuring the championship lead remains in his hands albeit with a smaller advantage. Ajo riders occupied places five to seven, with Malaysia’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin being the third of them.
Heading to the tenth round of the season in the Czech Republic next weekend, Salom continues to head the title race (183 points) but by the reduced margin of nine points over Viñales (174). Race winner Rins (167) remains third and now 16 points in arrears of the championship leader.