1st) Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd) Alex de Angelis, 3rd) Nicky Hayden
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Alex De Angelis’ very first MotoGP podium. What a second place for Alex De Angelis, riding the San Carlo Gresini Honda.
The winner of the race here in Indianapolis is his third Grand Prix victory of the season, ladies and gentlemen, Jorge Lorenzo. And what a ride by Nicky Hayden back on the podium at his home Grand Prix in third place. (Applause)
OK, obviously we’re going to start with the race winner, Jorge Lorenzo. Jorge, what a day. What a race after the disappointments of Donington, the disappointment of Brno, what a way to fight back for you. You are obviously delighted.
JORGE LORENZO: Yeah, what other day as you say. It’s, you know, if you want to win, you have to always be at the limit, and in the last two races I was at the limit to try to win and I crash, so I was a bit disappointed. Today the situation changed completely and it takes for Valentino and Dani, and not only for them, but for me for sure it’s a great situation. It has been difficult to keep my concentration for 20 laps because I was a little bit bored, but I can’t relax because maybe if you think of another thing, you can crash. So, you know, it’s OK. I have fun in the last lap, and it’s nice.
MODERATOR: And the championship, it is 25 points but five rounds to go. It is still possible, isn’t it?
LORENZO: You know, before this race I said that it was almost impossible, now I say it’s difficult but not impossible. It’s possible.
MODERATOR: Did the crashes of Dani and Valentino unsettle you at all? They were surprising crashes. Suddenly out of nothing they both crashed out. What did you think?
LORENZO: You know, in some races I struggle a little bit, mainly at the beginning of the race to keep my pace, to keep the front pace. But now today I feel great on the bike, riding in (1:) 42 quite easily. I think if Valentino doesn’t crash, I could ride maybe in the 39.9 or 39.8 because I felt very good on the bike. But when Vale crash, I focus and try to finish.
MODERATOR: Next week Misano, very much a home race for Valentino Rossi. Again it promises to be an incredible weekend.
LORENZO: Yeah, for sure. Always is tough to beat Valentino, and in his home will be difficult. You know, but I like Misano and will try to be on the top, on the top three for sure.
MODERATOR: Jorge, congratulations and thank you very much.
LORENZO: Thank you.
MODERATOR: We come to Alex de Angelis. We talk about Misano, I’m sure he’s looking forward to it very much indeed. First of all, Alex, congratulations, your first podium in MotoGP. Fantastic ride.
ALEX DE ANGELIS: (Speaks Italian.)
MODERATOR: Can you try it in English?
DE ANGELIS: No. (Laughter).
TRANSLATOR: Alex said that it was a very, very hard beginning of the season. It was a very hard for him in the beginning of the season because they have some problem on the bike. But the team has worked it out, and in the last five races he was so competitive and it was better and better every Grand Prix. And now he has this podium but he has not a bike for the next season.
MODERATOR: Of course, the race next week for him, it really is a home Grand Prix, the race in Misano.
DE ANGELIS: (Speaks Italian.)
TRANSLATOR: For sure, Misano is a very important race for him, Alex, coming from that part of Italy, but he said that the last year was a very unlucky race because he crash in the first lap, I think. But he said I’m coming from a very good period, so I hope that it will be a better race than last year.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Alex, and congratulations once again. OK, third place, ladies and gentlemen, hard-fought third place it was as well for Nicky Hayden. Congratulations, Nicky, you’re back on the podium at Indianapolis. I think you’re pretty pleased.
NICKY HAYDEN: Yeah, I’m pretty pleased. Sure, it’s not been a real good period for me; it’s been a hard season. You know, certainly been the biggest challenge of my life to try to understand this bike and team. Today, you know, we were able to put ourself in a good position, caught a couple breaks, couple guys tipped over, and to get on the podium, I’m really happy. It’s not a win, but it feels really good being up there and spraying the bubbly, and just going to try to enjoy it.
MODERATOR: Five races to go, this could really set up for a decent end of the season which, as you say, is the hardest time of your life. It’s so important for you, isn’t it?
HAYDEN: It really is, but we’ve slowly made some progress, progress. And yesterday a journalist asked me, "Do you think top six is possible like qualifying?" I didn’t want to open my mouth, but I knew I had a chance at the podium today. I knew it had to be, like Lorenzo said, the pace at the front is so high that something happen, be there to capitalize. Knew it would be tough, but we were able to do it and certainly hope we can build on this. Not that we’re out of the woods or nothing else, enjoy it for now but go to Misano.
Every time I start getting too confident, this bike puts me back in my place real quick, and I have to start over. So just stay relaxed and just stay humble, stay hungry and not get too confident yet. But like you say, still a lot of racing to go, and a couple tracks I really like.
MODERATOR: Indianapolis, it was Hurricane Ike that made all the headlines last time around. It’s been a very, very good weekend for motorcycle racing in very much your home part of the world.
HAYDEN: Yeah, it’s three hours from home, you know. It’s certainly my part of the world, and it’s great to have such a good day here. The 125 race, I mean, just the atmosphere, the dirt track, seemed like they really killed it (did well) this year. Last year, weather was bad and still put on a great event, but this year, I mean everybody I’ve talked to is just having a ball. They made a really good race. I’m excited to be on the podium. I had a lot of friends and family come here, and sometimes it’s too much and you can try too hard and crack with all the pressure, but this year I was able to raise up and find a little something extra. Also, big thanks to my team and all my sponsors, all my supporters, everybody sticking by me because a couple bad races it’s easy for people to give up on you. Certainly my family, my mom, dad, my sisters, my brothers, everybody here. Yeah, we’re pretty happy.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Nicky, we look forward to seeing you all in Misano.
Any questions, ladies and gentlemen? Hands up? We’ve got some microphones.
Q: Jorge, the wheelie on the front straight, is that typical you or is that, was a little bit extra in that?
LORENZO: Yeah, six laps to go I was thinking, "Oh, no, maybe on the straight I will not be able to do the wheelie." (Laughter) But every lap I see, "OK, maybe I will try." (Laughter)
So I try and I thought, "OK, I’m going to do 100 meters only or 200 meters, but I did almost 1 kilometer." (Laughter)
But it was nice, the sensation to be on the wheelie like this and to see the team was very nice. Also, I wanted to celebrate the victory with the fans like Spiderman.
HAYDEN: He’s brave. After seeing (250cc rider Alvaro) Bautista (who crashed in post-race wheelie at Brno), I’m scared to even ride a wheelie for a few races. (Laughter) No disrespect to Bautista, because I did it at home with nobody watching. But on the cool-down laps, I bring up the front end and bring it back down. It will probably be next year before I’m ready to ride any wheelies. Brave. (Laughter)
Q: Jorge, you crash last weekend in Brno and today Pedrosa and Rossi crash. Do you think that the level is too high in MotoGP now?
LORENZO: Too high for us? (Laughter)
You know, it’s nice to ride like this because it remembers the times when Kevin (Schwantz) and Wayne (Rainey) and Eddie (Lawson) were fighting always at the limit and sometimes crash, they crash. Now I think we are coming to these times. I’m happy to be part of this, no?
Q: Nicky, when you were chasing Alex, I noticed the trap speeds, you were down 10, 13 kilometers per hour. Did you guys have to tune your engine back for the new rule?
HAYDEN: No, not really. They say there’s really no difference, you know. We came from Donington where it was so tight, short gearing, and we went to Brno, and they felt a little bit flat. But my bike is — you know, I don’t know, it definitely wasn’t real strong on top, but I didn’t have my bike leaned out today. But we lengthened the gearing because it felt slow all week. We lengthened it this morning and we had a big tailwind, and I felt like I had enough gearing, but sure, I was not getting down the front straightaway. It’s a problem for me on this bike. I don’t understand why, because I’m always, the other Ducatis are always faster, and it’s been quite frustrating for me. I know the engine is good, but somehow we’ve played a lot with the shift light this year and different transmission ratios. I’m not that much bigger than some of the other guys on the Ducati, but some places I struggle a bit with top speed. But the engine itself is good. You know, with other riders it’s so strong. So it’s a bit confusing. Really, I’m still on my first two engines, I haven’t used the extra engine but they’re still well within, you know, where they put out power on the dyno. So we need to look at this more.
Q: I would like to ask Jorge and Nicky both about the start. Nicky, you took a real wide line, and Jorge, it looked like, you know, you were starting in third gear there. Maybe you guys can talk about what happened and you dove up the center and saved your position in fourth I guess in the first turn and Nicky, you got tight. So talk about the start and how that went for each of you.
LORENZO: Yeah, you know, I have a lot of practice because I always start bad. I start bad always and I have a lot of practice to overtake perfora. (Laughter)
So I put myself in perfora and I go. It’s the only way because for the inside is impossible, so I go for perfora.
Q: It’s less boring that way, too.
LORENZO: More risky but less worry, for sure.
HAYDEN: Yeah, I didn’t get the greatest start. I was watching the 125 start, and the guy in my grid position jumped the start, and I was thinking, OK, before — it’s going to hit my head. Whatever you do at home, don’t jump the start, at least get around. I got a decent start, but some guys, you know, pinched off but I don’t even know where I came around, I think seventh or something. So Turn 1 is quite narrow even though it looks so wide, you get off line down there, it’s quite wide — or quite dirty. So I tried to recover a few positions but not try to recover five positions. I was not there, followed him, I seen him come through and make a hole and thought, "Hey, I need to follow this guy."
Q: Jorge, you climbed the fence. What made you decide to do that?
LORENZO: What is this?
MODERATOR: Climbed the fence at the end. You climbed up the fence to the hand. Spiderman.
LORENZO: It is the only track you can do that, so — (Laughter) I try, you know. I wanted to do some exercises, but I was so tired. (Laughter)
Q: Mr. Lorenzo, what went through your mind the second Valentino went down? What did you think right then at that moment?
LORENZO: I see plus 6 — no, I see plus 0, but it was plus 6. It means that Valentino crash, so I didn’t believe. I thought he was behind me, but was the 6, not a 0. Do you understand that?
Q: No. (Laughter)
LORENZO: I was so fast in the straight, you know, 304 kilometer per hour and sometimes was difficult to see the board. And I thought the 6 was 0. So the 6 seconds, I have was 0 seconds. I see 0, not 6. And in reality it was 6.
Q: So you didn’t see him go down in front of you? Was he behind you?
LORENZO: I thought Valentino didn’t crash. I thought he was still in the race.
Q: I’m sorry, you were ahead of him, that’s right.
Q: My bad.
Q: Jorge, would you describe the pass you made on Valentino for the lead?
LORENZO: I think was better the pass I did in Brno than this. No, seriously, because I don’t know if he wanted me to pass him because at the beginning I struggle to keep with Pedrosa and Vale. But after five laps, I feel comfortable, and I feel that I had to pass Vale to try to open it up, so Vale was not so fast in that moment. In Brno was fast. Much faster.
MODERATOR: Anybody else?
Q: I would rather fancy we should ask Alex De Angelis a question, because it’s been a bit of English at the moment. This result was superb for you, your first MotoGP podium, have you got anything on the horizon for 2010?
DE ANGELIS: (Speaks Italian.)
TRANSLATOR: He said that he worked very hard this weekend for his future, but he said that it’s not so easy because there are not so many bikes. And after two years with satellite team, he is looking for a factory team but, of course, there are not so many factory bike at this moment. And is looking, also, for some other championship, but nothing else. He cannot say nothing more.
LORENZO: Maybe you ought to look at other team.
MODERATOR: Anybody else?
Q: Nicky, how hard did you have to defend your third-place podium spot?
HAYDEN: Hard, very. You know, I lost touch with Alex, and I was really on my limit, you know. I did a lot of 41.4s. I think I did three 41.4s in a row, which isn’t exactly so fast, but all weekend I’ve only done a couple laps quicker than that, basically. That was all I had. When he got away from me, made it a little bit harder to do 41.2 and I lost a couple tenths. And the last lap I seen the gap coming and he was coming and I could hear him. You know, it’s always difficult when a guy is there. You don’t want to just at that limit, it’s so easy to make a little mistake and run wide and just give him the position. I didn’t want to do that, but I didn’t want to start blocking and let him get away, either. So the last laps were really tough and really had to just stay focused, try to be fast but also be clean and make sure I get off the corners good and also brake in really deep and leave no holes open. I was telling myself in my head, you know, you’ve got to be ready. If he wants your podium at Indy, he’s got to take it from you, don’t give it to him. And I certainly had a little pep talk with myself a few laps to make sure I was ready. But, you know, Dovi is a fighter, I know he’s going to come forward and he’s not going to settle. So it was tough, but I enjoyed it.
Q: For Nicky, my name is Eduardo. I want to say thank you very much for keeping your spirit very high. It was two laps to go, and Dovizioso was very close to you. What was in your mind right there? Did you feel, did you know he was behind you that close?
HAYDEN: Yeah, I had a pretty good idea. When you see plus zero on your board, you know he’s there. There is places to pass around here but, also, some of these corners, the way we’ve talked, it was a Formula One track, the entries are really open and the fast line is quite wide where you have no choice but leave the door wide open. So I knew he was there, but that’s just when you’ve got to knuckle down. I wasn’t necessarily thinking, I was just being really focused and just being what you learn to do your whole life. It’s one thing to be a guy who can make good lap times, but you’ve got to be able to race in those situations and be able to stay calm. But it was a long couple laps. It was a long couple laps getting to the finish line. You know, it’s way down there. Because I came through the last corner and got a pretty good run, but I realized Dovi passed me on Saturday morning, I think, on the front straightaway in a session, but just after the start/finish line. So I thought if I got off the last corner pretty good, I could hold him off.
Q: Nicky, for Nicky again. Your tire choice in the front, it was, you and Mika (Kallio) were the only riders that have the softer tire. Do you think that this was the trouble in your last laps and Dovi catch you?
HAYDEN: No, it was no problem as far as the front tire going off. I mean, the choice — I only used, yesterday morning I used the soft front the whole time and was perfect. Then yesterday afternoon I used the hard front with the hard rear and I really wasn’t, didn’t have a great feeling over the bumps here, it was quite harsh. But I did a lot of laps on it again this morning. I used the hard front but that was like when I got to the box, wasn’t still clear. When they say there’s only two guys using the soft front, we’ve already made that mistake once this year, but, sure, I felt better with the soft front. Our bike is completely different than everybody else, so sometimes you’ve got to be confident in your choice and my soft front was for my bike, was certainly better.
Q: Yesterday Valentino talked about the difficulties of the changing track surfaces here, which may be one reason he’s not here today. Have you noticed that during track surface here being especially difficult at this track?
HAYDEN: I didn’t notice. I mean it’s different, yeah, there’s certainly some different surfaces. The banking and then the old part of the track and the new track, more the grip down here has unbelievable grip, down there is a little bit more slippery. But it’s a challenge.
Q: Anything unusual in Turn 2 where he went down?
LORENZO: Some people yesterday said that this track was flat, but I am not sure that is flat. (Laughter)
Q: What about the bumps?
DE ANGELIS: (Speaks Italian.)
TRANSLATOR: Alex said that in the light, corner this afternoon was more difficult than in the practice and, also —
DE ANGELIS: Warm-up.
TRANSLATOR: — also in the warm-up was more easy. And he said that probably it was a problem but not so a big problem.
Q: One question to Jorge. Could you describe your new helmet design a little bit and explain why you made it for America?
LORENZO: Yeah, you know, I always like American country and the superheros and all this stuff, you know. And the like people, I decide to use in Laguna Seca but it was not possible in time. So, yeah, it’s not perfect because I wanted the — a little bit more small and, you know, the wings are like the Honda wings. (Laughter)
But, you know, it’s for sure I will try to make it better for the next year.
MODERATOR: Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen? Over here.
Q: Jorge and Nicky. Jorge, obviously this is a special win for you, so how are you going to celebrate? You being so close to home, what are you going to do?
LORENZO: Yeah, maybe this night we will party a little. (Laughter)
HAYDEN: We go to Misano, you know. We go home and fly straight to Italy. So not a lot of time, but I’m sure we’ll do something tonight. I’m not sure my buddies have got any gas left. They’ve been going pretty hard since Friday watching the sun come up, I think, every day. They’re looking rough, but we’ll see if they can’t suck it up for one more night, try to do a little something. (Laughter)
But I’m going to enjoy this one.
Q: For de Angelis. We know that there is a difference in the two bikes, so what did you feel today? Did your bike get better this weekend? Are you getting close to Elias’ bike?
DE ANGELIS: (Speaks Italian.)
TRANSLATOR: He said that his bike is different from Elias’ bike because Elias’ has a factory bike or similar factory bike and his is not factory bike. He said the difference between this Grand Prix and the other Grand Prix was in the balance of the bike, the balance was much better than in the last Grand Prix. He hopes that he figures it out can help him for the end of the season.
Q: He seemed very fast today.
DE ANGELIS: Thanks. (Laughter)
MODERATOR: Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen? One over here.
Q: Nicky, can you just talk about having an American on the podium in a MotoGP race in Indianapolis at this track, what do you think that can do for this sport in this country?
HAYDEN: I certainly think the sport has, you know, is getting more popular in America. It’s cool because it is a World Championship and when I first got to MotoGP, we didn’t race in America, and I know I’m probably a little biased being an American, but if you’ve got a World Championship, you know, seems like you’ve got to have a stop in America. Dorna and a lot of people have worked hard to bring the race here. I mean, I would think an American has to help the sport. They’re not going to tune in if it’s — they need Americans like to root for their guy and get behind one of their own. So I really hope the sport can take off in America and can — you know, there’s a lot of marketing, a lot of sponsorship and a lot of companies based in America. I hope eventually one day it will be cool. We lost Team Roberts team, which was basically somewhat an American team, it would be cool to have an American sponsor and a whole American team to have even more presence in MotoGP.
MODERATOR: Anybody else? One right there.
Q: Asymmetrical tire design, was that employed in this race?
HAYDEN: Yes, yep. And it is good. This track certainly I’m glad they brought us — it was safer and better racing to have dual-compound tires. The riders have asked for that, and Bridgestone listened, and it seems like we’re getting more tracks where we have both.
MODERATOR: One from Dennis.
Q: Nicky, we were talking about Jorge’s helmet, I see you’ve got a different helmet design this week as well with the Make-A-Wish lettering on it. Could you tell us about it?
HAYDEN: Yeah, it’s pretty simple, really. I’ve worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for five years. Before this race — last year I did the Colts’ helmet, then I played Pop Warner football and the team was the Colts, so I had the horseshoe on the helmet. And this year I couldn’t come up with any idea. It just hit me: Why not do something special and run that logo? And after the race, we’re going to auction it off on eBay and put all the money toward make a wish. This year has been a little bit harder to work with kids being we’re a Phillip Morris-sponsored team, which is kind of a little touchy. (Laughter)
But, you know, they were really behind it. I had to get the OK from them, and they were really cool about it. So hopefully we can raise some good coin and go to a good cause making kids’ dreams come true. That’s pretty cool.
MODERATOR: OK, ladies and gentlemen. All right. I think we’re there. Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed. Congratulations. See you in Misano. Thank you.