2013 Indy MotoGP Preview
Following a one-month break, the 2013 MotoGP Championship heads to the legendary Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
There was nothing but excitement at the first nine of 18 rounds, the first half of the 2013 MotoGP Championship season controlled by three Spaniards – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, and the Repsol Honda duo of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
The dominate figure out of the three was the rookie Marqeuz. The 20-year-old Spaniard was unstoppable for the first half, Marquez breaking many of Freddie Spencer’s MotoGP records, such as becoming the only rookie to win back-to-back premier-class races. And with his win at Laguna Seca last time out, he also became the first rookie to ever win at that circuit.
How quick was Marquez during the first half of 2013 MotoGP? The rider known for scrapping elbows has finished on the podium eight of nine races, including three wins. He now leads the championship by 16 points ahead of teammate Pedrosa.
Marquez also has much luck at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has been on the MotoGP schedule since 2008. During the years he raced Moto2 at Indy – 2011 and 2012 – Marquez was victorious.
But the pressure will be on; with 225 points up for grabs at the next nine rounds, and Pedrosa and Lorenzo having some downtime to recuperate from injury during the first half, anything can happen.
Pedrosa will be a huge threat; competing in his eighth year of MotoGP, the Spaniard can possibly garner his first premier-class title. Pedrosa, who finished runner-up in the series three times, briefly held the points battle as the series headed into round eight at Sachsenring. But he was hurt during practice at Sachsenring, re-injuring the left collarbone he hurt in 2011. He was forced to miss that round, allowing Marquez to jump into the points lead. But at Indy, Pedrosa has luck; he has three podium finishes there, including two wins.
Lorenzo is only a further 10 points adrift behind Pedrosa, and trails Marquez by 26. The reigning MotoGP Champion impressed everyone when he rode to fifth at Assen following a hectic high-side during that round’s practice (he sustained a broken left collarbone). The story wouldn’t be the same at Sachsenring, though. Lorenzo suffered another crash at practice for the Germany Grand Prix, which further upset the injury, and, like Pedrosa, he was forced to sit out that round. Lorenzo returned at Laguna Seca, and rode to a sixth-place finish while recovering. At Indy he will want to redeem his podium status following some recuperating over the month-long break.
Another rider still in contention for the 2013 MotoGP title is the man in fourth – nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. The Italian, who pilots the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 machine, is 46 points behind Marquez. He had four podium finishes so far in 2013 MotoGP, including his win at Assen, which was his first victory since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.
But only a point behind Rossi is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who more than impressed this season with four podium finishes, including two runner ups. Crutchlow has been all over the news lately. The Brit signed a two-year contract with the Ducati Team to take over the vacancy left by the departing Nicky Hayden.
Crutchlow will be reunited in 2014 MotoGP with former teammate Andrea Dovizioso, while Bradley Smith will be joined at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 by Pol Espargaro. At the same time, Espargaro’s Moto2 title rival Scott Redding has also confirmed that he will be joining the premier class in 2014, although he is yet to name his team.
As the top five riders battle it out heading into Indy, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl starts the second group of riders in the point standings. The German, who took his first pole this season at Laguna Seca, has 84 points, 32 behind Crutchlow and 79 behind Marquez. He is followed three points back by Dovizioso, who continues to struggle aboard the Ducati GP13, and Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who follows Bradl a further 13 points back.
Rounding out the top 10 in points as 2013 MotoGP begins the second half of the season is Hayden; the American has 65 points, 98 behind the lead rider.
One American that is slated to return is Ben Spies. The Pramac Racing Ducati rider only competed at the opening two rounds, and was sidelined due to ongoing shoulder issues.
As for American wildcard appearances, there will be two. After crashing out of Laguna Seca during his wildcard appearance, AMA SuperBike rider Blake Young will return to Indy aboard the Attack Performance Racing CRT. Two-time AMA SuperSport Champion James Rispoli will also be riding as a wildcard, but in the Moto2 series aboard the GPTech Mistral 610 machine. This will be Rispoli’s debut World Championship appearance.
2013 Indy MotoGP Television Schedule
Fox Sports 1, which takes over SPEED on Aug. 17, will broadcast the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix live at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 18.
2013 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after nine of 18 rounds):
|15||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||19|
|17||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||USA||17|
|20||Alex DE ANGELIS||Ducati||RSM||5|
|21||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||ITA||5|
|24||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||AUS||2|
|26||Javier DEL AMOR||FTR||SPA||1|