Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pedrosa grabs commanding win at Indianapolis

Dani Pedrosa narrowed the gap on Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo to 68 points with seven rounds of the 2010 season remaining by winning the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday. It was the Repsol Honda rider’s third win of the campaign, the first time he has achieved three wins in a season in the premier class.

Starting from the second row Pedrosa was on the pace early on and a fastest lap on lap two lifted him into second position, as he set his sights on pole holder Ben Spies. On the end of the seventh lap the Spaniard overtook the rookie on the start/finish straight and never relinquished the lead, eventually crossing the line 3.575 seconds clear of Spies.

For the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider second place marked his best result to date and a second podium in what has already been a fantastic debut season. Spies started from pole – the first of his MotoGP career – and his race result capped off a great weekend which also saw him confirmed as a factory Yamaha rider for 2011.

Completing the podium was Championship leader Lorenzo who had started from second on the grid but dropped to fifth at the start of the race. That failed to affect his concentration however and he battled his way past Andrea Dovizioso and into third just before the midway point of the race, finishing just over three seconds off Spies as his phenomenal record of having placed in the top two in every race this season was finally broken.

A complicated weekend for Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) ended with the reigning World Champion placing fourth in the race, as he won the battle of the Italians with Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso who took fifth. Nicky Hayden was sixth having started from the front row for the first time in his Ducati career.

Rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) impressed with seventh and eight places respectively, with Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) and Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) completing the top ten. Loris Capirossi, Hiroshi Aoyama – on his return from injury – and Randy de Puniet were the final three riders to finish the race.

Suffering the disappointment of DNFs were Marco Melandri (lap two) on his 200th Grand Prix start, Casey Stoner who lost the front end of his Ducati Desmosedici GP10 (lap eight), Colin Edwards who was forced to retire with rear tyre issues (lap 17) and Mika Kallio who crashed in turn ten when he hit a bump.

Lorenzo moves onto 251 points with Pedrosa now on 183 in second in the standings. Dovizioso is third on 126, with Stoner now seven points behind in fourth. Rossi remains in fifth while Spies moves up to sixth.

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