Bits and Bobs from the third annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Attendance figures for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix:
FRIDAY – 25,260; SATURDAY – 48,130; SUNDAY – 62,794; TOTAL – 136,184

The 2009 attendance was 75,130 on Sunday and 146,680 total; 2008 saw 91,064 for the inaugural MotoGP on Sunday which suffered through Hurricane Ike, shortening the MotoGP race and canceling the Moto2 race. Total crowd count for the debut weekend was 174,052.

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo. Photo by Lynne Huntting
JORGE LORENZO/Fiat Yamaha Team leads the MotoGP standings with 251 points, 68 points ahead of DANI PEDROSA/Repsol Honda Team.

Lorenzo said “The track was so slidey and also the bumps were difficult to use it. So I almost crash in some corners, so I prefer to finish third and not to take so many risks. The track was so slippery and it was very difficult to use the tyres as you wanted to.” He ran hard fronts – as did every MotoGP rider, and was one of 13 riders who chose the hard rear tyres.

Race winner Pedrosa, who started fifth, said “It was very, very warm out there. You know, you didn’t cool down in the 45 minutes you’re out there. So it’s hard. By the end it was hard to stay focused because it was very tiring and my – I had tube for the water but I don’t know why it was not working. So many crashes because of the bumps and the track temperature. It was very important to be focused in every corner and make no mistake with the bumps, especially at the end when the tires were more damaged, when you go over the bumps, the bike is shaking a little bit more and it was more difficult to control.” Pedrosa ran hard fronts and was one of only four MotoGP riders who ran Extremely Hards on the rear.

Ben Spies
Ben Spies. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
BEN SPIES/Monster Yamaha Tech 3 stretched his lead in the Rookie Standings. The Texan rider now leads by 47 points ahead of MARCO SIMONCELLI/San Carlo Honda Gresini. There are six MotoGP Rookies this season.
Spies is sixth in the overall standings, of 21 riders.

Spies’ words: “We came in and did better than I thought we were going to do. We had a good setup, too; it just wasn’t fast enough. And I tried as hard as I could and didn’t make too many mistakes. Saw that we had a gap to third and, you know, just tried to manage it and ride as hard as I could. It was really tricky, and I saw a lot of crash marks out there and I knew some people were hitting the ground, and it was quite easy to make a mistake. But in the end we had to ride 100 percent the whole time with only a three-second gap.

Uplifting Ben Spies
Uplifting Ben Spies. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

“To be doing what we’re doing, not looking at the top American, anything like that, or top satellite bike, just to be the first year and jumping over some of the hurdles we’ve had, I didn’t think it would be going this well. So two podiums, you know. If you had told me we would have had one at the end of the first season, I would have been happy with that and took my money.” He ran hard tyres both front and rear.

Spies received a hugh ovation from the home town crowd for his performance

The other two Americans, NICKY HAYDEN/Ducati Team and COLIN EDWARDS/Monster Yamaha Tech 3 are seventh and eleventh, respectfully.

Hayden lost his left knee slider on a drain cover on one of the kerbs, during Lap Three. With ten left hand turns on the 2.262-mile/3.460 km road course. he had to take it really steady from that point on. Hayden wore a huge hole in his leathers.

Edwards admitted to making poor tyre choices, including the extremely hard tyre for the rear, and then changing to a soft at an unscheduled pit stop. “The tyre choice cost me today, but congratulations to Ben.” Edwards retired on lap 17 with no reason given.

Yamaha leads the Constructor Championship, with 260 points, 40 ahead of Honda. The Fiat Yamaha Team is on top of the Team standings, with 366 points – 55 points ahead of Repsol Honda Team.

VALENTINO ROSSI/Fiat Yamaha Team finished fourth in the race and fifth in the standings. He said ” I did did some good laps and I wasn’t too far from the other Yamahas, but unfortunately I paid a lot for my lack of fitness in this heat, and in the end I had to stop pushing because I didn’t have any strength left in my body. I’m happy though, and if you consider I had three small crashes in the weekend, fourth isn’t so bad.”

CASEY STONER/Ducati said about his crash “It was a nothing crash. I am so disappointed. I was being careful over the first few laps because in that heat the track was very greasy.”

MARCO MELANDRI/San Carlo Honda Gresini crashed out on Lap Three. “I wanted to attack Valentino, but lost the front without any warning on the way into the corner.”

MIKA KALLIO/Pramac Racing Team crashed out on Lap 19. “I was fighting with Simoncelli and Bautista (ALVARO BAUTISTA/Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) for seventh position, but in a curve due to a hole in the asphalt I have instantly lost the front tyre and found myself with my face on the asphalt.”

The next round is in Misano next weekend – Labor Day weekend in the USA.