Indy MotoGP: Americans Preview & Fast Facts

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Red Bull GP

U.S. riders Nicky Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team), Ben Spies (Longview, Texas, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Colin Edwards (Houston, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will compete in the MotoGP race this weekend at the Red Bull Grand Prix, Round 11 of the championship.

Hayden is sixth in the MotoGP World Championship standings, with Spies seventh and Edwards 10th. Kenny Noyes (Borrego Springs, Calif., Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas), Roger Lee Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Team Honda/Moriwaki) and Jason DiSalvo (Stafford, N.Y., GP Tech) will compete in the Moto2 race.

Noyes is 20th in the Moto2 World Championship standings. Roger Hayden and DiSalvo will compete as wild-card entries. Kris Turner (Chattanooga, Tenn., Veloce Racing) will compete in the 125cc race as

Nicky Hayden says: “Been a lot of history here, a lot of racing, period, went on here, especially in this whole area, Indianapolis. You can race about anything within 30 miles of here. So it’s special for anybody, but for me it’s double because it’s so close to my house. And to drive to a MotoGP race for me still kind of seems strange because my first couple years in GP was no American rounds, so I definitely enjoy it and happy to be here and looking forward to the weekend.”

Ben Spies says: “I look forward to it. We were here a couple years ago and it was, I think we kind of raced in the hurricane then, but it was – I like the track, it’s definitely a different track for us. But for Indy, they put on a great event for being inside a speedway. It’s as good as it can get. I like the track. So it should be fun.”

“A lot of, like Nicky said, he’s got a lot of friends and family, same for me. It makes it fun. It’s serious, you’ve got to perform on Sunday, but it’s kind of like a little vacation. You get to hang out with all the people that you used to like when I was in AMA and stuff like that. So I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we can continue with the momentum from the last few weekends and just keep going.”

Colin Edwards says: “I have so many memories here. You all probably heard the story, it was ’85 or ’86 when Danny Sullivan did the 360 and still won the race. My dad was drunk on the bed, and I was a little kid. I just remember my dad being drunk, ‘God damn, did you see that?’ I’m like: ‘Dad, that’s the 10th time you said that. I saw it already.'”

“But I have some memories of this place, most of them televised that I was watching. And to be here and to be parked in the same paddock in the motor homes and just being in this area, it’s something special. They’ve done a great job with it, you know, to build a motorcycle track here, it’s a good job.”

In addition to the Americans, here’s what the current series’ leader, Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, says about Indy.

Jorge Lorenzo says: “Yes, I come here in very good shape. You know, all the things are going so well this year. And we come here in a track that I love. In 2008 with a lot of rain and very hard conditions, I made my first podium in rain in my career, and last year I won. So it’s always very positive that MotoGP comes here in America, and I’m happy for that.”

Fast Facts on Indy:

  • Two riders have finished on the MotoGP podium each of the first two years of this event, 2010 points leader Jorge Lorenzo and American Nicky Hayden.
  • Lorenzo finished third in 2008 and won in 2009; Hayden finished second in 2008 and third in 2009. This is the first race in America for the new Moto2 class.
  • The class didn’t compete at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix last month at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca … More American riders have won the 500cc/MotoGP World Championship since 1978 than riders from any other nation.
  • American riders have combined to win 15 world titles in the last 32 seasons: Kenny Roberts (1978-80), Freddie Spencer (1983, 85), Eddie Lawson (1984, 1986, 1988-89), Wayne Rainey (1990-92), Kevin Schwantz (1993), Kenny Roberts Jr. (2000) and Nicky Hayden (2006).
  • Alex de Angelis became the first rider to exceed 200 mph on a motorcycle at IMS, recording a top speed of 201.3 mph in the speed trap in the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
  • American rookie star Ben Spies was confirmed Aug. 27 as teammate to series points leader Jorge Lorenzo for 2011 at the factory Fiat Yamaha Team. Spies is replacing seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who is moving to the Ducati Team next season.
  • Points leader Jorge Lorenzo has finished on the podium in 11 consecutive races, a streak that started in the final race of 2009, at Valencia, Spain.
  • American rookie standout Ben Spies continues to achieve many milestones in 2010. He leads the race for Rookie of the Year by 36 points over Marco Simoncelli and is the leading non-factory rider in the standings, 15 points ahead of Randy De Puniet. Spies also has been the first rookie finisher in six of the 10 races this season and has been the top non-factory finisher in five races this season.
  • American Colin Edwards will make his 130th MotoGP start at this event, only the 13th rider to reach that milestone.
  • Italian MotoGP rider Marco Melandri will make his 200th career Grand Prix start (across all classes) at this event.
  • Yamaha riders have won both Red Bull Indianapolis GP races, with Valentino Rossi in 2008 and Jorge Lorenzo in 2009.