Championship resumes in Indianapolis after Summer break
Championship resumes in Indianapolis after Summer break
After a three week break, the MotoGP World Championship restarts this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Repsol Honda riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are currently first and second respectively in the Championship standings and arrive in America refreshed and ready to resume the fight. For Dani in particular, this Summer break has been gratefully received. Dani suffered a big crash in Germany in mid-July and the doctors would not allow him to race. However, he rode to a courageous 5th place in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca just before the break. Having had three weeks to rest and recuperate, Dani is now almost back to 100% and will be hoping to return to the podium at a circuit where he’s won twice in MotoGP class (2012 and 2010).
Teammate Marc, inspired after his back-to-back GP wins in Germany and Laguna Seca, will be looking for another fine performance in Indianapolis where he has been victorious the past two seasons in the Moto2 class.
Championship Standing: 1st – 163 points
“After a good break, where I’ve managed to relax a little and also do some training, I’m looking forward to getting back on track! It’s been good to have this time off to think about my first few months in MotoGP and reflect on my performances and what I’ve learnt but now I’m ready to get back on the bike! I like the Indianapolis track and I’m interested to see how the grip is on the Bridgestone tyres because it seems this has been an issue in the past. As usual, we will take our time in FP1 and try to find our feeling on the bike at this track and also after this Summer break, and hope for a good weekend!”
Championship Standing: 2nd – 147 points
“It’s been a good Summer break and I’m feeling much stronger physically. I’ve had time to relax with some friends and also have lots of physiotherapy on my shoulder to prepare myself for this second part of the season. I’ve had a medical check in the last days and we can see the bone getting stronger. It still needs a few more weeks to recover completely but my feeling is already much better than in Laguna. It’s important to remain focused, especially now as we have three races in a row. I’ve had good results at Indy in the past few years, I enjoy riding there and now I am eager to get back on the bike and ride at my best!”
As the MotoGP summer break comes to an end, Yamaha Factory Racing heads back across the Atlantic to the USA for the third American round of the season this weekend, the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The break has been a short one for the Team with an early return to work for a private test at the Brno circuit last week. The test was a successful one with another step being made in the set up of the YZR-M1 that should help both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as they challenge the remainder of the season.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix is a relative newcomer to the MotoGP calendar with the first race in 2008. Both Lorenzo and Rossi can claim one premier class victory each at the US circuit, Rossi’s in 2008 and Lorenzo’s one year later in 2009. With the exception of a fourth place finish in 2011, reigning World Champion Lorenzo has always finished on the podium. The Mallorcan has been training hard but is still not expected to be at 100% fitness for the weekend.
“We are returning to the USA and beginning the second half of the year, which may be the toughest. I was able to rest for some days after Laguna Seca and then we went to Brno to make a private test with Yamaha. Those two days gave me an opportunity to check my physical condition. I’m a bit tired, especially because after two crashes in Assen and Sachsenring I couldn’t recover so much and now we have to manage a long period with three races in a row. I feel better obviously than in Laguna but still need time to recover to 100% and it is not going to be easy because the calendar is so busy and also we have to fight not to lose points. In any case, we go to Indy to give everything despite the circumstances.”
“I have great memories of Indianapolis and I’m happy to be back there on my M1, although that’s not one of my favorite tracks. I needed these holidays to recharge my batteries, even if we had two days of testing right in the middle. Indianapolis will be the first one of three consecutive races and it will be very important to do good results everywhere. My Team and I still have much work to do on the M1 therefore they will be three very demanding weeks but we feel ready for the challenge.”
“We were able to enjoy a little break but not so much because we did a mini test at Brno to check some issues. The test was not so bad, first because both riders were happy with the results and secondly, from our side, Jorge did a good job. The first day he struggled a bit to find the rhythm but on the second day he improved a lot and was able to get the pace. This test was really important for Jorge to check his fitness after a tough month where he had managed two serious injuries in the collarbone with two surgeries in ten days. Jorge has got more confidence after the test and now we travel back to the USA with positive feelings. The track is not one of Yamaha’s favourites but we hope all the work we made in either Motorland and Brno will be useful to fight in the second part of the season.”
“I think we are going to Indy in a good shape. After the test in Brno we made another improvement with the base set up which was very positive. In the past we have suffered at Indy but I think this year is going to be different. Both riders made a good test so we are really optimistic. Jorge is not 100% but he is feeling much better now so he can compete with the others in a good shape. We are really looking forward to getting on track on Friday and starting the first practice.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo resume season at Indianapolis
Current Moto3 leader, Luis Salom returns to scene of his first victory. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis ready for demanding second half of the season.
Last year, Luis Salom topped the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning his first race in the World Championship. This season he returns to the American track with five more wins to his name –including four this year– and as leader of the lower cylinder category. The Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo rider hopes to continue with the form that has allowed him to keep on the podium throughout the year and take advantage of the work done in the test held in Slovakia in late July. Salom has 172 points after eight races, a new record in the lowest GP class since the current scoring system was introduced in 1993.
Teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin, wants to change his fortunes from recent Grands Prix and has trained thoroughly throughout the summer break. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finished in sixth place at Indianapolis last season and was inside the top five in qualifying.
Arthur Sissis aims to improve upon his placings inside the top ten, where he has finished in the last three races. Last year he was eleventh at this round, despite starting from twenty-second position. His training sessions have been tough this summer, as he looks to continue the good work that began at the last race in Germany.
Circuit information – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Length: 4.216 m / 2.620 miles
Width: 16 metres
Left corners: 10
Right corners: 6
Longest straight: 872 m / 0.542 miles
“This break started with a test for KTM in Slovakia, where we did a very important job. I think it will be very useful for the second half of the season, which is sure to be tougher than the first. I’ve trained hard, although in Majorca it has been very hot and this has been exhausting. I think we’re ready to face the coming races.
Indianapolis is one of my favorite tracks, although it is quite special. The different asphalt, which is quite broken up, means you always have to go for the good line. Otherwise it is very dirty and you lose a lot of grip. It has many slow corners and two very fast ones, that with the Moto3 bike you go into at full gas.
I can’t wait for the GP, because it is a circuit which holds good memories for me, but I am aware that every race is different and that anything can happen.”
“This summer I have trained hard and prepared for the second half of the championship, which will be very long. Though it has been a lot of work, it has been fun. I spent the first week with Jack [Miller] in Germany and the rest of it we spent together in Tarragona. I’ve done motocross, mountain biking and all kinds of sports.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is rather difficult to ride, with little grip. Without a doubt, it is one of my favourite tracks. Maybe my favourite sector is the first one, with the quick corners.
I hope to continue with the work we started in Sachsenring, which was pretty good. It will be important to improve in the qualifying session and try to place in the top ten in every session.”
“These past weeks I have been at home, in Malaysia, training and getting ready for the second part of the season. I’m confident and eager to do well during the rest of the year.
The aim for the weekend will be to improve my practice positions to try to get into the leading group. I think we can do it, but it will be very important to have a good qualifying session. Over these past few days I’ve been going over the Grand Prix last year, where I did pretty well in qualifying and the race, with fifth and sixth place, respectively.
It is a track that I like, although it is difficult and there is not very good grip. The fourth sector is my favorite and has a final corner will be decisive. It will be very important how you come out of it, because it can mean the difference between many positions. We must be vigilant.”
The all-Honda Moto2 class is back from an even longer break because only MotoGP raced at Laguna Seca. The championship is in a state of high tension, as early leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) battles to preserve a dwindling points lead. The British rider, fresh off two wins, led by 43 points after round five at Mugello; but Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) had closed it down to just 20 after round eight in Germany, adding two more to his first-race of the season victory at Qatar.
All Moto2 machines are powered by identical race-prepared Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers. While this guarantees close and reliable racing, with all on equal footing in terms of horsepower, Redding and Espargaro had risen clear of the pack by mid-season, winning five of eight races between them. This left single wins for Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter), Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter).
Rabat had been in a challenging position earlier, but is now 55 points behind the leader, and in danger of being relegated by Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter), just five points behinds.
Moto2 Rider Quotes
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding says:
“After a few weeks off I’m looking forward to getting back to work this weekend in Indianapolis. The summer break has been all about bikes – mountain bikes, motocross bikes and a few days at the Colin Edwards boot camp in Texas – but now it’s back to the Moto2 bike to get the second half of the season underway. I’m feeling fresh, relaxed and the track has been good to me in the past, so we’ll see how we go. We need to be back at the top of our game, like we were at the beginning of the year, and get the second half of the season off to a flying start with a good result this weekend in Indianapolis.”
Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex rider Pol Espargaro says:
“I like Indy a lot – I’ve been on podium every year there in last four years, including my first 125 win in 2009 and my first Moto2 podium in 2011. I don’t know why I like the track, but it was more difficult last year because they had changed the asphalt and it was more difficult to do a good job. I always feel quite comfortable there, so we will try and recover more points.”
Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex rider Esteve Rabat says:
“After crashing at the Sachsenring in practice I injured my left ankle, and the race was really hard. It cost me a lot of points. After four weeks break I’m feeling much better, and I want to make up for it at Indy – to reduce the gap between me and Pol and Scott, or to help Pol get closer to Scott. Indianapolis is a difficult track with the different surfaces and I didn’t have a great time there last year, but this year everything has been different, and I’m hoping for a good race.”
In Moto3 Honda riders, using either factory or independent chassis, are up against rivals from KTM and Mahindra in the entry-level class, where a horde of eager young talent jostles for position in reliably thrilling races.
In Germany, Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) took over at the head of the Honda charge with a third successive seventh place. Three Honda riders are within five points of one another in a battle for seventh overall. Miller’s growing strength and a spectacular riding style have been a feature of the season so far.
South African Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) is just one point behind Miller. Each is in his second year in the 250cc four-stroke class that last year replaced the traditional 125cc two-strokes.
The next best is the experienced French rider Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda). Masbou had been ahead of both, but lost seventh overall when a technical issue meant he did not start the German GP.
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
Caretta Technology – RTG rider Jack Miller says:
“We’re top Honda and that’s good, so we will keep our heads up going into Indy. I like the track a lot, though it’s pretty slippery and you have to deal with a lot of slides. It’s got a long start-finish, with a low-gear corner before, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Ambrogio Racing rider Brad Binder says:
“It will be difficult because there’s a couple of long straights there and you come onto them in low gear. I like the track and I’d really like to pop the top ten again. I know my team have been working really hard in the break to get the bike perfect. I want to end the year in the top ten.”
Ongetta-Rivacold rider Alexis Masbou says:
“Indy will be better than Germany, because I don’t like the track there. I feel pretty good on the bike but we need to improve the suspension a little because I don’t feel fully comfortable. Indy is a special track – quite small and tight and with not so much grip. Normally we should get a good result there, it will be okay if we are in the top ten.”
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