2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Preview
Since joining the MotoGP calendar in 2008, the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix has been won by four different riders.
The initial year was won by Valentino Rossi (then-Yamaha), then Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) took the win in 2009, followed by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) in 2010, and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) last season en route to his second world title.
And since three of those riders were the only winners so far in 2012 – Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Stoner – there may just be a repeat winner at this Sunday’s Indy MotoGP.
Leading the way is Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, who has 205 points, 23 points ahead of Pedrosa after 10 of 18 rounds. Lorenzo, who will have Rossi as a teammate following the nine-time World Champion’s announcement that he was leaving Ducati and re-joining the factory Yamaha team in 2013, struggled at Indy last year, finishing fourth.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I really enjoy riding the Indy track, and have good memories here from my podiums in 2008 and 2010 and my great win in 2009. Last year I really struggled with grip in the race so I hope we can improve that this year. I’ve had a nice break but also been training to make sure I’m fit for this weekend!”
And as it has been all year, the biggest threat to Lorenzo this weekend will be the Repsol Honda duo of Stoner and Pedrosa. Stoner, who took the win at Laguna Seca two weeks ago, is looking to redeem some points lost due to a DNF at Sachsenring and an eighth at Mugello. Due to those performances, Stoner fell back to third, trailing Lorenzo by 32 points.
And although Stoner complained of the slick surface at Indy, which was repaved last season, he took his first-ever win there
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “After the great win in Laguna, we’ve had a nice break in the U.S, it’s always good to take some time off here and spend some time with some friends.
“I’m not the biggest fan of Indy, mainly because we don’t go on the historical track but the infield and in the wrong direction! The track is very flat and plain, also very tight. There are a couple of corners that can be fun but the majority are difficult, tight and there isn’t any natural flow to the track.
“It’s nice to visit a track with such great history but it’s a shame we don’t really experience any of that. We’ve had some good results there and won last year, but we’ll have to wait until we get there to see how the RC213V will work around there this year.”
The man who took second last year is even more of a threat to Lorenzo’s shot at a second world title – Pedrosa. The Spaniard has remained in the action, not suffering any injuries this year, and is well rested following the two-week break.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I had a very good summer break; in these two weeks I was able to relax a little, enjoy time with friends and get back into my training. At this time of year, Indianapolis is normally very hot so fitness is always key. I enjoy riding at this track and I’ve had good results in the past. I am really looking forward to this race and will fight to win and maintain the consistency we have showed in the first part of the Championship.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso heads to Indianapolis looking to add to his podium tally this season, whilst holding off the challenges from his teammate Cal Crutchlow, who is still chasing his first step on the MotoGP rostrum. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl on his satellite Honda RC213V, currently lying sixth in the championship tied on points with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, will look to close the gap to Crutchlow and continue to improve in his maiden premier-class season. American Hayden on the other hand will not want to be beaten by a rookie, and will be firing on all cylinders as he tackles his home race.
His teammate Rossi, with his future now confirmed, will however not be taking things lightly, and will look to put in a better showing than at Laguna Seca, where he crashed out on the final lap. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who has finished behind Bradl in the last three races will aim to finish as top satellite Honda once more and rekindle some of the form that saw him take pole and fourth place at Silverstone earlier this year. Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who suffered a suspension failure last time out, will hope for a serious turn of fortunes as he heads to the track where he came third last year.
Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá has not recovered from his broken fibula and tibia in time and will again be replaced by fellow compatriot Toni Elías. Other Ducati satellite rider Karel Abraham, on board his Cardion AB Racing Desmosedici, will be fully fit on the other hand, and no doubt hopeful of finishing with a much needed good result.
The CRT contingent make their first visit to the U.S. track with Power Electronics Aspar duo of Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró tied on 33 points at the top of the pack. They will be joined by San Carlo’s Michele Pirro, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Avintia Blusens pair of Yonny Hernandez and Iván Silva. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who had fuelled speculation that he may be lining up on a new bike, will be contesting the race on-board his Suter-BMW machine. Attack Performance, who failed to qualify for Laguna Seca with rider Steve Rapp, will be back for its second wildcard entry at the Brickyard, and will be joined by Aaron Yates riding a GPTech CRT bike with a BCL chassis and a Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine.
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds):
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