Jorge Lorenzo took an emphatic third victory of the season at Indianapolis this afternoon, halving Valentino Rossi’s championship lead in the process as his Fiat Yamaha team-mate slid out. The determined Spaniard was joined on the podium by Alex de Angelis and Nicky Hayden, with Tech 3 Yamaha riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland both putting in good rides to finish fifth and sixth.
Dani Pedrosa took the hole shot with Rossi in close pursuit but Lorenzo got a poor start, forcing him to make one of his favourite ‘por fuera’ moves, around the outside of three riders. The leading trio quickly pulled several seconds ahead of the chasing pack but on lap four Pedrosa slid out, leaving the Yamaha pair alone once again at the front. There was little between the rival team-mates and on the ninth of 27 laps Lorenzo made a brilliant move on Rossi, passing him on the brakes into turn one. Just two laps later the World Champion ran slightly wide and, finding himself on a dirty part of the track, lost the front and went down. He remounted in 16th place but a problem with his throttle forced him to retire soon after.
With no other challengers in sight, Lorenzo just had to bring his number 99 Yamaha home safely and he did so in fine style to win the second Indianapolis Grand Prix, in the Centenary year of the historic track. The youngster has now cut Rossi’s lead to 25 points with five rounds remaining and just one week before the second of Rossi’s home races at Misano in Italy.
Position: 1st Time: 47’13.592
“This is fantastic for me and for my team! I’ve had two crashes in a row but now I’ve won, and my closest rivals have crashed instead. Of course I’m sorry for them but these are the highs and lows of racing and it’s an amazing result for me. I was strong all weekend and I really want to thank my team for giving me a great bike. I had a hard start and I had to try very hard to pass people and get back to third, but then I had a good rhythm and I was able to go with Valentino and Dani. Once Dani had gone I knew it would be a hard fight between me and Valentino and in fact when he crashed I didn’t realise for a while, because I misread my pit-board and thought it said +0! Anyway, my bike was great and from then on it was quite easy, I just stayed focused. I had great fun on the slow-down lap with the fans and I am so happy to win here at this amazing track. The championship was almost gone but in one day things have changed a lot. It will be hard but we won’t give up!”
Position: DNF Time:
“Today is a disappointment of course! We struggled here with the setting all weekend but we made an improvement today and I got a good start and was able to stay in touch with Pedrosa. Once he fell, I knew it would be between Jorge and I but I honestly don’t know how it would have finished, because Jorge was very fast today. Of course, it would have been better to have finished second than not to finish at all! Unfortunately I ran wide on to a dirty part of the track at turn one and lost the front. I tried to carry on but there was a problem with my throttle and it wasn’t possible. I want to congratulate Jorge for his victory and now we look forward to coming back to the front at Misano. We are still leading the championship and this is the most important thing.”
Daniele Romagnoli – Team Manager
“We couldn’t ask for more today. Jorge did brilliantly all weekend and the team did a great job to improve his bike in order to close the gap to Pedrosa. Jorge was very confident in the race, thanks to another step forward we made with the setting after the warm-u,p and he rode very well. Of course we were lucky today and I am sorry for Valentino, but after Brno we had a huge points gap and now things have changed a lot so we have to make the most of it. We never gave up and this is a great reward for everyone.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“This hasn’t been the best weekend for us! It was a bit of a strange crash, and this is why as soon as Valentino got back he wanted to check the data. It seems he just found himself on a dirty part of the track and so when he braked he lost the front and that was it! He tried to carry on but it wasn’t possible this time, so we have to accept that our championship lead is a bit smaller now! Well done to Lorenzo and the other side of the garage, and now we look forward to Misano in a week’s time.”
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