The MotoGP Championship returns to the United States this weekend for the second and final time of 2011, the 17-rider grid ready to take on Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This will be the fourth year MotoGP has competed at the 2.6 mile track, which had Turns 5 through 16 repaved this summer due to bumps.
Valentino Rossi took the inaugural win at Indy MotoGP in 2008. In 2009, Dani Pedrosa won, and Jorge Lorenzo was victorious in 2010.
Following are some MotoGP stats as the field heads to America for the Red Bull Indy GP, Round 12 of 18 in the 2011 Championship.
- 329 – The total accumulated number of Grand Prix victories for the 17 riders lining up on the grid for the MotoGP race at the Czech Grand Prix. This takes the record for greatest number of accumulated GP victories for riders on the grid for a GP race, from the San Marino GP last year when the riders on the grid had an accumulated total of 328 GP victories.
- 100 – At the Indianapolis Grand Prix, Aleix Espargaro will be making his 100th GP start. Espargaro made his GP debut at the age of fifteen as a wild-card rider in the 125cc class at the final race of 2004 in Valencia. He became a full time GP rider from 2005, first in the 125cc class and then moving up to the 250cc class half way through 2006. After continuing in the 250cc class for 2007 & 2008 he missed the first half of the 2009 season as he had not secured a GP ride but he returned to compete in two 250cc races before ending the season riding a Ducati in MotoGP. After a full season of MotoGP in 2010 he dropped down to the Moto2 class for this year, taking his first GP podium finish at the Catalan GP earlier in the year.
- 27 – Kenan Sofuoglu celebrates his 27th birthday on the day before first practice starts for the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
- 24 – Andrea Iannone’s win at the Czech GP was the first win by an Italian rider since Iannone himself won at the second event of the year at Jerez – 24 races across all classes without an Italian winner. This is the longest gap between GP wins by Italian riders since Luca Cadalora won the 250cc race in Brazil in 1989 which followed 30 races without an Italian win from Pier-Francesco Chili’s victory in the 500cc race at Misano earlier in 1989.
- 23 years – On race day in Indianapolis it will be exactly 23 years ago that Jorge Martinez won both the 125cc and 80cc race at the 1988 Czech GP at Brno. This is the last occasion that a rider has taken two GP victories on the same day.
- 22 – Valentino Rossi has scored points in all 22 MotoGP races since returning from injury at the German Grand Prix last year.
- 19 – This will be the 19th occasion that there has been a motorcycle Grand Prix held in the USA. The first two events in 1964 and 1965 were held at the famous Daytona circuit. 13 GP events have taken place at the Laguna Seca circuit and this is the fourth to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- 8th – Simone Grotzkyj’s eighth place finish at Brno is the best result in the 125cc class for an Italian rider so far in 2011. 3 – Indianapolis is one of just three current circuits at which Casey Stoner has not had a MotoGP victory; the others
are Jerez and Estoril.
- 3 – At the Czech GP, Sandro Cortese became the third different German rider to win a GP this year, joining Stefan Bradl and Jonas Folger. The last time that Germany had three different GP winners in a single season was 1991, when Helmut Bradl won in the 250cc class and both Ralf Waldmann and Peter Öttl won in the 125cc class.
- 2nd – Johann Zarco has finished second at the last three 125cc races to three different riders with the time differen- ces separating him from the winner being less than 0.4 seconds in each case. He was 0.167 seconds behind Terol at Mugello, finished with the same time as Faubel at the Sachsenring and was 0.397 seconds behind Cortese at Brno.