Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
The MotoGP series heads back to American soil this weekend for round 11 of 18 at Indianapolis. Jorge Lorenzo captured the win at the first American race of the season at Laguna Seca, and last round’s win at BRNO, gave him a 77 point advantage.
Needless to say, Jorge Lorenzo is the man to beat at Indianapolis.
“This weekend will be the second race in this country in 2010 and I am looking forward to it because I would like to repeat the same result as I got in Laguna!” Lorenzo said. “I just have good memories from America, last month in Laguna and last year in Indy. Last year was amazing, but this time I don’t need to take too many risks. We can avoid it! Indy is a track that I like a lot and it has amazing history. The team and I are planning to continue our great season there this weekend.”
Lorenzo has finished the first 10 races of the 2010 MotoGP season in either first or second place. He is only the third premier class rider in history to do so, claiming a spot in MotoGP history that not even his teammate, Valentino Rossi, has claimed. (Read more about Lorenzo’s record breaking season here at AllAboutBikes.)
Valentino Rossi came close in his debut MotoGP season, but could only hold a streak of first or second finishes for the first nine races. Rossi is, however, the only rider to claim two USA victories in the same year, which he did in 2008.
Since Rossi’s injury, he has yet to find the top two spots. He came closest at the last American round in Laguna Seca, where he earned his first podium since his return.
“Indianapolis is a special place, an amazing track and as always it’s fun to race in America,” Rossi said. “I have great memories from 2008 when I won in the hurricane, even if it’s not something I want to repeat! This year we arrive in a different situation to last year, fifth in the Championship and not at 100% in physical condition, but I am feeling stronger all the time.”
Dani Pedrosa, who currently sits in second place behind Lorenzo, will be looking to cut down on that 77 point deficit in America. Pedrosa finished second at BRNO, and is seeking his third win of the season at Indy. If Pedrosa finishes within the top 7 this weekend, he will move into fourth on the all time scorers list. (Modern racers have an advantage since winners are rewarded more points today.)
“We were fast and consistent at the last race in Brno and we’ll be aiming to get straight back on that pace again this weekend,” said Pedrosa. “It will be important, as always, to establish a good machine setting quickly on Friday, and I think we have a useful base from last year that will help us to find the right direction straight away. We were ready to win again in Brno and this will be our goal in Indianapolis too. I feel very good racing in the States because the support I get from the fans is always very positive. So I’m really looking forward to get out there.”
Casey Stoner overtook Andrea Dovizioso after the BRNO round, and now has 5 consecutive podium finishes. Stoner has yet to find the top spot on the podium this season, but he is going into Indy with new forks that he hopes will give him the edge.
Andrea Dovizioso is coming off of his first DNF of the season, which dropped him down to fourth place behind Stoner. Stoner has also signed onto Honda for next year, which should give Dovizioso a little more fire to perform well at Indy.
Rookie Ben Spies will be making a much appreciated trip to the States, where he will be greated by thousands of home country fans. Spies has had a terrific rookie season, and earned his first front row starting position at BRNO. Spies says that he is going to “go for broke” at Indy, and could pull an upset in front of his home crowd.
2009 Indy MotoGP Winners:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Alex de Angelis
3. Nicky Hayden
2010 MotoGP Point Standings:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 235
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 158
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 119
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 115
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 101
6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 99
7. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 90
8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 75
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 61
10. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 57