INDIANAPOLIS — Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa recorded a dominant victory at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Sunday.
Pedrosa won what was in an eventful race, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
Pedrosa got the holeshot, but Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies led the opening laps after overtaking the Spaniard early on.
Yamaha’s Lorenzo, the only prototype rider to opt for the soft option rear tire, had a less than ideal start, but was soon up into third, forcing his way past Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.
It was heartbreak early on for the Speed Master Team, as Mattia Pasini dropped his bike on the opening lap, escaping unscathed.
Pedrosa and Spies were providing a entertaining battle at the front in the early stages, as Lorenzo was unable to close the pair down. Meanwhile, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, riding with a pain killing injection due to his fractured right ankle with torn ligaments, forced his way past San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista with a strong move.
With 24 laps remaining, Pedrosa made a move stick down the home straight to take the lead. A lap later, Stoner was a man on a mission as he also took LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl to go fifth.
It was misery for Spies with 22 laps left as the American’s engine blow down the straight caused the oil flags to come out, with the Yamaha rider immediately pulling off the racing line.
This affected the following group, as Stoner dropped back behind Dovizioso and Bradl. San Carlo’s Michele Pirro and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were also robbed of any good luck as then had to retire with technical issues.
Three laps later, Tech 3’s British rider Cal Crutchlow lost the front end of his bike in turn four, unfortunately putting an end to his charge. In the meantime, Stoner had fought his way back past his group into third, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet had to pull in with a mechanical issue.
With 12 laps to go, Pedrosa, who was on record breaking pace, had a big wobble, yet managed to stop himself running onto the grass. This did not stop the Spaniard however, and he soon rediscovered his rhythm. Five laps on, Dovizioso was all over the back of Stoner, who was fighting fearlessly with his injury, and took him for third.
In the end, Pedrosa’s dominant performance resulted in his second win of the season ahead of Lorenzo and Dovizioso, taking his fifth podium this year.
Lorenzo retains his championship lead, however it has been cut to 18 points by his Spanish rival.
Stoner put in the best ride of the day, having gritted his teeth to finish a tremendous fourth despite injury. Bautista came in fifth, ahead of Bradl, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham.