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Aug 24, 2011

Updated: Even More Previews Of The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix

Dani Pedrosa (26).

Just five weeks after the masterful victory by
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) in the U.S.
Grand Prix in Monterey, California, the MotoGP
World Championship returns to America, this time
with all three championship classes and at one of
the most famous racing venues in the world.

The fourth running of the Indianapolis Grand Prix
will be held on the famed and improved
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. At the request of
the riders, the Speedway repaved most of the
infield, which gives the track a consistent
surface over its entire 4.218Km length. The bumps
on corner entry claimed a number of riders last
year, including Stoner, but not Dani Pedrosa
(Repsol Honda RC212V), who won last year's Indy
GP, one of a career season best four wins. Stoner
and Pedrosa, along with fellow Repsol Honda rider
Andrea Dovizioso, return to the American Midwest
looking to be first across the "Yard of Bricks"
at the end of the 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Stoner's dream season continued in the Czech
Grand Prix where he made short work of the field
and cruised to a dominant victory. The
25-year-old Australian had support from his Honda
team-mates in leading the company's first podium
sweep since the U.S. Grand Prix in 2006.
Dovizioso was second and a jubilant Marco
Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V)
earned a long-awaited and well-deserved first
MotoGP podium in third. Stoner's sixth win out of
11 tries gives him a 32 point championship lead over Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

For Stoner to continue his record of podium
appearances in every race he's finished this year
he'll have to conquer one of his least welcoming
tracks. The Brickyard may well be Stoner's worst
track over the past three years and the only
current track where he's never finished on the
podium. In the inaugural 2008 running he was a
distant fourth in the hurricane-shortened race.
The following year he was on a brief hiatus while
treating a medical issue and last year he
crashed. Considering his accomplishments this
season, his history at IMS shouldn't mean much.

Dovizioso has been consistently near the podium
in the three previous Indianapolis races. He was
fifth in 2008, fourth in 2009, and fifth again in
last year's searing heat. Dovi had expected to do
better in 2010, but with grip compromised by the
afternoon heat the 25year-old Italian wasn't
able to match his pace in qualifying. Coming off
his best finish of the season in Brno, Dovizioso
will be looking to strengthen his third place in the championship.

Pedrosa is ready to bounce back from a
disappointing weekend in Brno. The Spaniard had
taken his first pole of the season and was second
to team-mate Stoner when he fell, unhurt, on the
third lap. To that point he'd been strong in the
previous races, winning in Germany and finishing
third in the U.S. Grand Prix prior to the summer break.

Indy has been welcoming to Pedrosa. In 2009 he
qualified on pole and last year did even better.
From fifth on the grid, and half a second off
the pace, Pedrosa took the lead from pole-sitting
American Ben Spies on the seventh of 28 laps and
romped to victory, the third of his four on the season.

Simoncelli was also affected by last year's
conditions and cautious not to fall prey to the
slippery surface. The MotoGP rookie fought with a
trio of other riders that was reduced to one in
the battle for seventh. It took a perfect last
lap for the then 23-year-old Italian to prevail
in seventh place, and just by .085s. "Super Sic"
likes the Indy layout as evidenced by his win
here on a 250 in 2009 and his pole position in 2008.

More will be expected of the former 250cc World
Champion now that he's shown he's a legitimate podium contender.

The 2010 Indy race was one of the more difficult
of Hiroshi Aoyama's (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
rookie MotoGP campaign. It was here that he
returned to racing following a two-month injury
layoff after breaking his back in morning warm-up
at the British Grand Prix. The Japanese star
wasn't fully fit, which made dealing with the hot
climate especially difficult.

Aoyama was also injured this season-he was one of
several riders to get caught out on cold tyres at
the Dutch TT, but has since recovered. His best
showing at Indianapolis came en route to the 2009
250cc World Championship, when he finished second to Simoncelli.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) sped to the
fifth of his seven Moto2 wins here last year,
despite being at less than peak fitness. The
Spaniard rode bravely with a fever and body pains
that made the heat unbearable. And when he left
Indianapolis he was well on his way to the inaugural Moto2 World Championship.

This year has been less successful for the
veteran from Manresa, though he put in one of his
best showings of the season in Brno. The team has
worked tirelessly to find a technical solution
for Elias, whose difficulty getting heat into the
rear tyre is well documented.

The two-man fight to succeed Elias as the Moto2
World Champion was briefly interrupted in Brno.
The race was tightly fought to the flag among
four riders. Championship leader Stefan Bradl
(Viessmann Kiefer Racing, Kalex) held the lead
until being caught and passed by Andrea Iannone
(Speed Master, Suter) on the 13th of 20 laps,
with Marc Marquez (Team CaixaCatalunya Repsol,
Suter) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2, Motobi)
part of the fighting foursome. Bradl and Iannone
swapped the lead until the penultimate lap when
Marquez took the point for the first time. But
Iannone wouldn't be denied and earned his second
victory of 2011 with a last lap pass. Marquez was
second, Bradl third and de Angelis fourth, the
quartet covered by less than a second.

By finishing second to Bradl's third, Marquez
took four more points off the German's
championship lead, though it remains a robust 43
points, 183 to 140, with seven races remaining.
De Angelis moved into third in the championship by coming fourth.

Neither of the title hopefuls had any success
here last year. Bradl was taken out on the fourth
lap of the Moto2 race while Marquez crashed his
125 with a 2.64s lead on the ninth of 23 laps.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world's
great sporting venues, the largest and highest
capacity sporting venue in the world, though not
a great motorcycle race track. Epic in scale, it
boasts 250,000 permanent seats on its vast, more
than 100-year-old campus. The Indianapolis 500
and the NASCAR Brickyard 400 are the two
signature events on the 2.5-mile four-corner
oval, with crowds of hundreds of thousands
filling most of the seats and the infield. The
track known as "The Brickyard" has plenty of
history for the four wheel set, including hosting
Formula One for several years, but its flat,
featureless nature will never be a favourite of
the MotoGP crowd. Instead it's the history,
hospitality and atmosphere the riders soak up,
especially the Americans who were raised in an
era when the Indianapolis 500 was the most important auto race of the year.

The original road course was designed for Formula
One, which ran clockwise compared to MotoGP's
anti-clockwise. The motorcycle layout uses only
872m of the front straight before tucking into
the road course, which is heavily stop-start and
lacking in character. The first sequence of
corners was designed specifically for MotoGP,
after which the track rejoins the F-1 layout that
was last used in 2007. There are virtually none
of the high speed corners that riders enjoy, and
rarely do the MotoGP bikes get to stretch their
legs. Passing zones are limited and overtaking is
mostly done under braking. The final sequence is
a pair of back-to-back 90 degree corners which exit onto the front stretch.

That said, the MotoGP field of 17 should enjoy
the track more than it has in the past. The
paving eliminated the track's many bumps, though
a recent test by American riders found the
surface to be slippery and abrasive, which is
often the case with new asphalt. That should
change once some rubber gets laid down on the
racing line, but tyre technicians will be on the
alert for excessive wear on Friday. The track
now has a mostly consistent racing surface,
except across the "Yard of Bricks" at the finish
line, which have been in place since a 1961
repaving when all but that one meter of the
original paving stones was replaced. Tradition
dictates that the race winner and his team kiss
the bricks, a tradition the Honda riders would like to continue this year.


Repsol Honda Casey Stoner says:
"In the past seasons the track at Indy has been
extremely bumpy and also slightly dangerous, so
I'm looking forward to going there and riding the
new surface. It will also be nice to ride the
Honda there, as it took a lot of work to get the
set up right on the Ducati at such a peculiar
circuit. I've only ridden the circuit in 2008 and
2010 and we were pretty competitive there last
year, but then I lost the front in the race, so
it will be good to get there, test the new
surface and get to work on the set up on my RC212V."

Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso says:
"We arrive in Indy after a podium finish in Brno
and I hope we can continue this momentum. The
Indianapolis racetrack is a typical American
venue with great facilities and huge grandstands.
The track is not particularly interesting, but
all in all it's a very nice event. This year the
track has been resurfaced in some parts, so for
sure it will be much more fun to ride, as in the
past it was very bumpy and there were different
kind of asphalts. Last year in the practice and
qualifying sessions we were fast but we struggled
in the race, finishing fifth. I'm confident we
can be competitive again this year. We are very motivated and focused."

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says:
"I'm heading to Indianapolis and really looking
forward to the race. Last year we had a good race
there and I hope I can repeat this again. The
asphalt has changed, so we will have to adapt to
the new surface, check how the tyres are working
there and look for the best race setup possible.
Physically I'm improving little by little;
already in Brno I felt better than in the past
months, so I hope I can be in good shape for the
race. Obviously the last race result was very
disappointing for me and my team after such a
good weekend, but we take the positive things from it and move forward."

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli says:
"A weight was lifted off my shoulders at Brno
with my first ever podium in MotoGP and my 30th
podium in all categories. It was a huge source of
satisfaction because we have been chasing it
since the opening race of the season and didn't
quite manage it for various reasons. We needed it
and I am happy for myself, the team, Honda and
everybody who has believed in me. That kind of
cloud is no longer hanging over us and hopefully
that will make everything easier in the second
half of the season. I am feeling strong and
determined and I travel to America in the right
mood to continue this positive progress.
Indianapolis is a circuit I like overall,
although I do tend to struggle a little compared
to the other smaller riders because of the first
gear final corner that leads onto a really long
straight. This is a problem for us, but we will
do our best to work it out and try to ensure it
hinders us as little as possible. I took the win
at Indianapolis in 250 in 2009 and I was on pole
in 2008 when the race was cancelled because of
the hurricane. The team and I are highly
motivated and hope to continue in the same way we found in Brno."

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Hiroshi Aoyama says:
"Ninth place at Brno wasn't an amazing result,
but it was positive for me because I recovered my
physical condition and my confidence with the
bike. After the Czech Republic Grand Prix I am
feeling more motivated and determined for the
second half of the season. I needed to rediscover
my confidence in myself and in the RC212V, and I
think Brno was a positive weekend in that
respect. Now I go to Indianapolis in a different
mood. I finished second here behind Marco
Simoncelli in the 250cc race a couple of years
ago and returned to action here last year after
missing six races through injury. It wasn't an
easy weekend for me, but I managed to finish the
race and I enjoyed the track so I am very much
looking forward to a stronger showing this weekend."

LCR Honda rider Toni Elias says:
"Indianapolis is another race track that I like
very much including his history and the warmth of
the American fans. It has always been a tough
track with many bumps and mixed tarmac, but it
suits my riding style. Last year I won the race
aboard the Moto2. After the positive result of
the last race in Brno and the good performance of
the test in Brno, I am leaving Spain with a high
motivation. We have closed the gap to the front
riders and with more adjustments we can aim to
stay with (Nicky) Hayden, (Colin) Edwards and (Hiroshi) Aoyama."


Viessmann Kiefer Racing, Kalex rider Stefan Bradl says:
"I'm happy going to Indianapolis. The atmosphere
is fantastic and it's already something special
riding on this legendary circuit. It's not only
the environment I like, but also I like the
layout of the track. I'm curious to see how the
new asphalt works. As we are currently on form,
it will be an exciting weekend and I'll try my
best. My best result is third in the 125cc class
in 2008, so still one or two places to improve."

Team CaixaCatalunya Repsol, Suter rider Marc Marquez says:
"The Czech Republic Grand Prix was an important
race after the summer break "”it is a circuit
where we had always had trouble"” and it was fun,
very competitive and we showed a good level, so
we get to Indianapolis eager to fight. Moreover,
we get to one of the countries where I like to
ride, because the atmosphere there is very
special. It is an unusual track, completely flat,
with lots of bumps and with many changes of
surface. We will see how it goes with the new
tarmac, because it is something we have to take
into account. With the 125cc it was not bad, it
is a fun track and you have to take the corners
properly to be able to chain one after another without losing time."

More, from a press release issued by ItalTrans/AGP Racing:

Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Indianapolis (Usa) August 26th - 28th, 2011


Robertino Pietri (#39)
Claudio Corti (#71)

Indianapolis is the first of the four extra-European circuits - on an overall total of seven listed for the World Championship in the last part of the season. It is the most peculiar of all. It can be considered as the core of the North-American motor racing and it is more than 100 years old. Quite a lot, in such a young nation as USA, that listed it in the National Register of Historic Places.

The track is 4.218 meters long. The competitors are to make use of a small part of the Speedway the oval devoted to Nascar and Indycars and a major part outlined inside the oval itself.

Claudio Macciotta (Technical Director): "The most important piece of news is that we have been allocated new engines, to be used from this GP onwards. And new will be the tarmac the circuit has been recently repaved. This means a more even surface but, at the same time, a more abrasive one".

More, from a press release issued by JiR Moto2 Team:

GP of Indianapolis, preview

It is long-haul travel again for the World Championship circus, returning to the USA for the GP of Indianapolis following the mid-August appointment at Brno. Although MotoGP has already raced some weeks ago in Laguna Seca, this is the only American appointment for Moto2 and on a historical and fascinating circuit as Indianapolis. The track is more well-known for its famous 500 mile race, from which our riders will use part of the famous parabolic turn.

The JiR Team and its rider Alex De Angelis are going to face the event with the excitement of a team which is constantly improving their performances and now battles consistently with the leaders. Also in the Czech Republic De Angelis managed to fight for the podium for the whole race, missing it just for a whisker, a mark of the new-found competitiveness of the rider-MotoBI combination.

Alex DeAngelis

In a while I'll be on my way to Indy and this excites me. I like the track very much, it's a mix of technical parts and fast parts, to which we must add the fascination of that parabolic turn that is part of motor racing history, being a part of the 500-mile track. Last year I missed this race due to contractual troubles I had, but in 2009 on this circuit I hit my first podium in MotoGP, evidence of the feeling I have with this place. Of course the Moto2 will be very different from that experience, but this could make things even more interesting because our machines are easier to ride so we'll have more room for fighting and put in place an exciting show. We're in a positive period, the set-up we found for my MotoBI gave good results in last races so I hope we'll continue on this road and I'll strive for even better and consistent results.

More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:


The Marc VDS Racing Team heads over the Atlantic to the United States, for this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was at Indianapolis just 12 months ago that Scott Redding took his first podium finish in the Moto2 class, finishing third in the race behind Toni Elias, who went on to win the championship, and the then reigning 125cc World Champion Julian Simon. The podium came after a difficult start to the season for Redding, who finds himself in a similar situation this year.

Redding heads to Indianapolis off the back of a difficult weekend at Brno. Consistently fast during practice at the Czech Republic circuit, the 18-year-old British rider struggled with tyre issues that meant he was unable to match his practice pace in the race. Despite the problems in Brno, Redding heads to the United States confident that Indianapolis will prove a happier hunting ground this weekend.

A hard fought 13th place at Brno, after battling his way through the field from 30th on the grid, means that Mika Kallio heads for Indianapolis more confident than ever with his Suter MMXI machine. The Marc VDS rider worked hard with his crew to overcome major chatter problems at Brno; work that the Finn is hopeful will pay dividends this weekend, as he looks for a top ten finish at Indianapolis.

With more than 250,000 seats in the grandstands the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the biggest permanent sporting arena in the world, but the circuit has been criticised in the past for the bumpy and patchy nature of the MotoGP track, which runs inside the world famous oval. The track should, however, be much improved this year, following extensive resurfacing work over the winter months.

Scott Redding #45:
"Brno was disappointing, because I'd been fast all through practice but just had no front grip in the race. It was a big problem and one that we need to solve at Indianapolis if we are to try and repeat the podium of last season. A lot of riders don't like the Indianapolis track and, while I wouldn't say it's one of my favourites, I certainly enjoyed racing and finishing on the podium there 12 months ago! I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead and I hope we can leave Indy with a good result, both for me and for the team."

Mika Kallio #36:
"13th position wasn't what we were looking for at Brno, but after the chatter problems we had for most of the weekend I was more or less happy to collect the points. This weekend we need to solve any problems before qualifying, as we've seen so many times this season already that a good grid position makes a good race much easier. I'm not a big fan of the Indianapolis circuit. In the past the bumps and the three or four different types of asphalt have made finding a good feeling difficult, but hopefully it will be better now the track has been completely resurfaced. If all goes well this weekend then a top ten finish is a realistic goal."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Indianapolis proved to be the turning point for Scott last year, with the podium finish boosting his confidence and setting him up for a strong finish to his debut Moto2 season. He arrives at IMS this time in a similar situation to last year, having had a difficult start to the 2011 season, so I hope we will see the same again this time around. Mika put in a solid performance last time out in Brno, battling his way through the field from 30th to 13th after working to overcome problems with the bike. I know he's aiming for a top ten finish this weekend and I have every confidence in his ability to achieve this."

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing Team:


Twelfth round of the season for the MotoGP World Championship, and after a move in the Czech Republic back in the United States, this time in Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world's most famous motor racing circuits, and certainly the most famous of the "oval". Built in 1909, there runs the legendary Indianapolis 500, the United States Grand Prix Formula 1 since 2008 and hosts the World Championship. They are provided for all three classes (125, 250 and MotoGP), unlike what happens at Laguna Seca. The circuit was copied from the F1 with some modifications, and is counter-clockwise path. The best ranking achieved by Loris Capirossi in this circuit goes back to the season of 2009 (seventh place). The twelfth position is instead the best result obtained by Randy De Puniet.

Fabiano Sterlacchini Pramac Racing Team Technical Director

"Tests of Brno with Loris Capirossi were useful to understand how to move in the upcoming races. Now I think of Indianapolis, a track the Italian rider likes. It 'a particular track, alternating with areas of fast winding points. It will be tough, we need a good balance with the bike in order to obtain satisfactory results. Fortunately, Randy is feeling better, the back pain is not as pronounced. He has always had difficulty at this track, but I felt he is determined and ready to achieve a good result".

Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team

"It is not easy to face a contest after another in these physical conditions. I did therapy on the shoulder for a week, conditions are better compared to Brno, but are not yet in top form. During the day of testing in the Czech Republic we have got to try different things, we'll see them in practice in Indianapolis, a circuit which I like. I hope it rains, it will be a little easier to work."

Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team

"I needed a little rest after the Grand Prix in Brno. Now that I'm a bit better I want to try to get a good result at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My goal is to finish the season in the best way, so it would not hurt to finish the race in the top ten. The bike has improved, I have all it takes to get a good result even if that Indy circuit is not one of my favorites".

More, from a press release issued by Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team:


The U.S round at Indianapolis circuit is coming up at the right time for the Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing riders. Although the GP in the Czech Republic was not as good as they expected - and still they achieved a good result - both Gadea and Viñales are in very good shape after their holiday and extremely motivated to tackle the world championship home stretch. Maverick is still willing to learn, to work and to improve race after race. For his part Sergio hopes Indianapolis will be the place where he will finally get the results he has been looking for and has deserved.

33 SERGIO GADEA: "The only negative thing is the jetlag but otherwise I am going to Indianapolis extremely motivated. The first time I had ridden on this track I didn't adapt really well but the following years I managed to get the hang of it and now it is one of my favourite tracks. Last year I finished sixth in Moto2 which shows I do well on this track. I have been doing well with the last few races this season but still I am not satisfied and that's why I hope in America we will get what we deserve at last. There are seven races to go and we have to take advantage of them. Nico will do really well as Indianapolis is one of his favourite tracks along with Brno. But the previous round showed that anything can happen until the race is not finished".

25 MAVERICK VIÑALES: "I am going to Indianapolis very motivated. At each and every GP I believe that the motivation and the thrill are going to subside but it's not how it goes. Every time a new round is coming up I am feeling as excited as before. I'd like to work as much as I can from the very beginning to be able to achieve a good setting-up and learn the secrets of the track at a good pace. I have taken advantage of this week to be better prepared physically and psychologically for this American round. Brno was all right but as I said before we could have done much better. Although I am not familiar with the track I hope things will turn out all right and I will be among the riders who will battle for a spot on the podium".
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