Though rain was a threat to both the MotoGP and Moto2 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend, wet conditions didn’t dampen either event at round 10 of 18 in 2015 MotoGP. But this wasn’t the case for the Moto3 class – the rain had a tremendous effect on the outcome.But one rider capitalized on it – RW Racing GP’s Livio Loi, who made history as the first Belgian rider ever win a lightweight Grand Prix (either Moto3 or former 125cc).
Loi earned the victory by some serious length; he finished 38.860 seconds ahead of Saxopring RTG Honda’s John McPhee, and 57.781 seconds ahead of Schedl GP Racing’s Phillip Oettl. As for the championship leader and 2015 Indy Moto3 poleman, Danny Kent didn’t fair to well due to the rain, and ended up 21st.Before the 23-lap 2015 Indy Moto3 race began, there was a downpour. This caused a scramble to pick either slicks or rain tires. All riders were on rain tires, but just ahead of the race, a few switched to slicks, including Livio Loi, Jules Danilo, Andrea Migno and McPhee. Loi made the decision to switch to slicks early enough, and he was able to start from his 26th qualifying position. The others had to start from pit lane.This proved a masterstroke as the rain stopped as the lights went out and the track dried rapidly, with riders pouring into the pits to change to slicks from the end of the very first lap. Loi managed to take the lead on lap four and never looked back, managing his lead perfectly. McPhee and Oettl also rapidly made their way through the field and for the majority of the race they were the only two riders not to be a lap down on the leader Loi, MotoGP reports.While the rain returned with a few laps to go, it was not heavy enough to make a difference to the result, and Loi went on to take his first career Moto3 victory by a massive margin. The victory would have been made even sweeter by the fact that the Belgian was forced to miss the race at Indianapolis last year after he had been released from his contract with the Marc VDS team at the German GP, MotoGP says.McPhee’s second placed finish came after he had qualified down 18th place and it was his first career Moto3 podium, in a season that has proven rather tricky for the Scotsman. It was also Phillip Oettl’s first Moto3 podium finish too, just 19 years and 2 months after his father Peter Oettl’s last GP win at Mugello in 1996, MotoGP reports.Sky Racing Team VR46’s Romano Fenati (-1:15.296) finished in fourth, 17 seconds further back from Oettl, with Isaac Viñales filling in for the injured Ana Carrasco on the RBA Racing Team KTM taking fifth spot.Enea Bastianini managed to close the gap on leader Kent in the standings by 10 points to 56 after he crossed the line in 6th on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda. The Italian coming out on top of an excellent battle with Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) in seventh, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in eighth and Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who finished in ninth.Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Jorge Martin completed the top ten in a race that saw his teammate Francesco Bagnaia given a ride through penalty for a jump start before crashing out at turn 4 on lap 14. Efren Vazquez had earlier topped Warm Up on his Leopard racing Honda, but also crashed out at turn 9 on lap 16.The result means the Danny Kent (190) still leads the Moto3 World Championship standings despite his first non-points scoring finish of the season, but his advantage has been cut to 56 points by second-placed Enea Bastianini.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.