Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa. Photo by Lynne Huntting
MotoGP rider DANI PEDROSA/Repsol Honda Team passed Pole Sitter BEN SPIES/Monster Yamaha Tech 3 on Lap Seven of Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and never looked back. It was a slingshot move on the part of the Spaniard, who had been drafting Spies on the front straight. In making the move, he turned the race’s fastest lap (at the time) of 1’41.225. His fastest time was on Lap 11 – 1:40.896/93.4 mph/150.428 kph

At one point the Italian rider’s gap ahead of the American was more than six seconds, but the gap narrowed in the last few laps. The Margin of Victory was 3.575 seconds. Second place was the best MotoGP finish for the Yankee Rookie privateer, who will become the Yamaha factory rider next season.

Current points leader, JORGE LORENZO/Fiat Yamaha Team finished third, followed by his Italian teammate, VALENTINO ROSSI – who managed not to fall in the race, and ANDREA DOVIZIOSO/Repsol Honda Team.

Pedrosa said “The conditions were very hard. There was a lot of heat, and it became slippery. But I kept my rhythm the whole race. I’m exhausted.”

Ben Spies
Ben Spies. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Spies said “We did a good race, but it wasn’t perfect. I led the race for a few laps, but I just wasn’t fast enough. I knew it was slippery, definitely tricky conditions, not just the heat. I kept seeing guys go down.I made some mistakes, but the Tech 3 guys gave me a good bike. I just tried to stay where I was comfortable. Congratulations to Dani. I gotta thank my team for putting it up on the podium.

Lorenzo said “With the conditions out there on the track, to finish third was a good result. I’m not too happy but i’m satisfied with what I did.”

American NICKY HAYDEN/Ducati Team started third, but started falling back almost immediately, and by Lap Six was in sixth place, where he remained and finished.

The third American rider, COLIN EDWARDS/Monster Yamaha Tech 3, didn’t have a good day. He started ninth but started dropping to twelfth by Lap Six, and fifteenth by Lap Nine. He pitted on Lap 11, came back on course, and then pitted again for good on Lap 17. He retired with mechanical problems.

Other retired riders included MARCO MELANDRI/San Carlo Honda Gresini, CASEY STONER/Ducati Team, and MIKA KALLIO/Pramac Racing Team, all who crashed out with slides. All were unhappy, but none were injured.

The ground temperature was 95 degrees F/35C, track temperature was 133F/56C, and the humidity dropped to 23 percent.