Archive for August 9, 2015

Marc Marquez captures his 3rd consecutive Indianapolis MotoGP – Image by Mike Harding for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015 – Two-time defending MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez passed Jorge Lorenzo in the closing laps to notch his third consecutive title at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Marquez, who has never lost a MotoGP race on American soil, has won at IMS in five straight years. He won Moto2 races in 2011 and 2012 prior to this three-year run in MotoGP. Marquez and Formula One legend Michael Schumacher are the only competitors to win at least three consecutive major series races at the Racing Capital of the World. Schumacher won four consecutive U.S. Grand Prix titles at IMS from 2003-06.

Although Marquez started the race from the pole position, Lorenzo, who started third on the grid, grabbed the lead going into the first turn and stayed there for much of the race. Marquez stayed close to Lorenzo, however, and finally passed him on Lap 24 in the No. 93 Repsol Honda, then held on to win by 0.688 of a second. Marquez’s triumph marked the 700th MotoGP race win for Honda.

Victory Podium after the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix -- Image by Chris Jones

Victory Podium after the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix — Image by Chris Jones

“In the beginning I was able to follow him (Lorenzo) well, but then mid-race I was struggling a little bit,” Marquez said. “I was a half second, six-tenths behind him. But then, at the end, I saw that the only chance to try to attack was to try to surprise him. In the end, we must be happy because we won the race.”

Runner-up Lorenzo, the 2009 winner at Indianapolis, started the day in second place in the championship standings. He leaves Indianapolis with a net gain of four points and now trails his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who sits atop the season standings by a mere nine points after finishing third on Sunday.

Lorenzo now has three runner-up finishes at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, including placing second to Marquez last year, and has finished no worse than fourth in eight starts at Indianapolis. Lorenzo led 24 laps on Sunday — the most by a rider in a single Red Bull Indianapolis GP — and has led more laps than anyone in MotoGP competition at IMS with 56.

Rossi survived a dramatic seesaw battle with Dani Pedrosa to finish third after qualifying eighth. A seven-time MotoGP champion and winner of the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2008, Rossi has finished on the podium in all 10 MotoGP races this season.

“This is so important because it was a difficult weekend where Jorge and also Marc are always stronger than me, so (third) is not so bad,” Rossi said.

Local fan favorite and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden of Owensboro, Kentucky, finished 16th on his No. 69 Aspar Honda.

A total of five different riders led the Moto2 race before 19-year-old Alex Rins of Spain grabbed the lead for good in the penultimate lap in capturing his first Moto2 win in his rookie season. Johann Zarco of France finished second and Franco Morbidelli of Italy was third.

In Moto3, the choice of tires played a huge role in a race that produced three first-time podium finishers.

A damp track and the threat of rain convinced many top riders and teams to begin on rain tires, but when the rain held off shortly after the start of the race, many riders headed to the pits for a change to racing slicks.

Guessing correctly on the tires gave Livio Loi of Belgium the win with an enormous margin of 38.860 seconds despite starting 26th on his RW Racing Honda. It was Loi’s first victory in 34 Moto3 starts. His previous best finish was a fourth last year in Argentina.

John McPhee, a 21-year-old from Britain, finished second on his Saxoprint RTG Honda after starting 18th. Philipp Oettl of Germany started 34th and last on the grid prior to finishing third on his Schedl GP Honda. Points leader Danny Kent finished 21st after qualifying first.

In MotoAmerica Superbike, Cameron Beaubier made it a weekend sweep by winning on Saturday and again on Sunday on his No. 6 Yamaha.

Roger Hayden, the younger brother of MotoGP star Nicky Hayden, was the runner-up for the second consecutive day, this time falling short to Beaubier by only .015 of a second at the famed IMS Yard of Bricks when the race was red flagged near the end for rain.

Also winning for the second consecutive day was Jake Gagne on his No. 32 Yamaha in the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 class. Gagne, the 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Superbike champion, has 11 wins this season.

Twenty-two year old Marc Marques capturing the pole position for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Twenty-two year old Marc Marquez capturing pole position for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP — Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 – Two-time defending MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez posted a time of 1 minute 31.884 seconds on his No. 93 Repsol Honda on Saturday while capturing the pole position for Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Marc Marquez wins pole position for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP - Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Marc Marquez wins pole position for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Marquez, who won from the pole during the last two MotoGP races at IMS, scored his fifth pole in 10 races this season. He has 27 poles in 46 starts in his MotoGP career.

The 27-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“Yesterday, I saw that Jorge (Lorenzo) was really strong, but today we got closer and we had a similar pace,” Marquez said. “Happy to be on the pole and we will see tomorrow because the tire degradation, it’s an important thing here. We will be there. The key of the race, I think, on the last laps everybody will be struggling with rear grip. But we will try to do our best and try to be there, ready for a fight.”

Marquez is the first to win three consecutive poles at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. He was tied with Dani Pedrosa for the most poles (two) overall in the event.

The winner of a remarkable 21 races since entering MotoGP competition in 2013, Marquez will look to win his fifth race at IMS following triumphs in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and MotoGP wins the last two years. Marquez is in fourth place in the MotoGP standings and will be looking for his third win of the season on Sunday.

Image by Mike Harding for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Image by Mike Harding for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Starting next to Marquez on the grid will be his Spanish countryman and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who posted a lap of 1:32.055. A two-time race winner (2010 and 2012) at Indianapolis, Pedrosa failed to make the podium at IMS for the first time since 2009 when he finished fourth last year.

The all-Spanish front row of the grid was assured when two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo posted a lap of 1:32.186 on his No. 99 Movistar Yamaha. Lorenzo will be looking for his fifth win of the season to go along with victories at Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona.

The legendary Valentino Rossi of Italy, a seven-time MotoGP world champion and winner of the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2008, will begin Sunday’s race in the middle of the third row after posting a time of 1:32.511 on his No. 46 Movistar Yamaha. The ageless Rossi sits atop the MotoGP standings, 13 points clear of his Yamaha teammate Lorenzo. Rossi has wins this year in Qatar, Argentina and Assen.

“For me, from the third row, it’s always difficult,” Rossi said. “But mainly the problem for tomorrow, I’m a little bit worried, especially because also Pedrosa is very strong. He’s a little bit stronger than me. So Jorge, Marc and Pedrosa, to stay with them, we have to make another step.”

Nicky Hayden of Owensboro, Kentucky, who won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship, qualified 20th on his No. 69 Aspar Honda in 1:34.030.

“Well, we thought we had found a little bit of a direction yesterday afternoon,” Hayden said. “This morning we probably went backwards a little bit and qualifying obviously didn’t go very good. We just tried a few things that probably didn’t bring as good a result as we’d hoped.”

During a MotoGP practice session, Andrea Iannone posted a record trap speed of 217.0 mph (349.3 km/h) for a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Speedway, topping the 216.9 mph (349.0 km/h) recorded last year by Pedrosa.

Alex Rins of Spain won his second pole position of the season in Moto2 qualifying with a time of 1:36.549 on his Kalex bike. The 25-lap Moto2 race will start on Sunday at 12:20 p.m.

Current points leader Danny Kent of Great Britain captured the sixth Moto3 pole position of his career and fourth of the season with a lap of 1:40.703 on his No. 52 Leopard Racing Honda. Kent will look to post his sixth victory of the season during the 23-lap Moto3 race Sunday at 11 a.m.

Moto3 qualifying – Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The first MotoAmerica race contested at IMS was won today by Garrett Gerloff on his No. 31 Yamaha in the Supersport class. Bobby Fong finished as the runner-up on the No. 50 Triumph bike, and with his third-place finish, JD Beach captured the 2015 Supersport title with two races remaining on the schedule.

The first of two MotoAmerica Superbike / Superstock 1000 races this weekend ended with polesitter Cameron Beaubier winning the Superbike race – his seventh win of the season — on his No. 6 Yamaha. Finishing a close second on his No. 95 Suzuki was Roger Hayden, the brother of MotoGP star Nicky Hayden. Josh Hayes, who entered today’s race tied for the series points lead with his teammate Beaubier, finished third on his No. 1 Yamaha. Hayes is a four-time AMA Superbike champion.

Also contested during the Superbike race was the first of two MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 races won by 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Superbike champion Jake Gagne on his No. 32 Yamaha. This was Gagne’s 10th win in Superstock 1000 competition this season. MotoAmerica racing action will conclude Sunday with the second MotoAmerica Superbike / Superstock 1000 race beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Public gates open Sunday at 7am and warm-ups in the various classes begin at 7:30am.