by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 131
CASEYStonermadeitthreewins in a row at Indianapolis, and took another step towards reclaiming the World Championship he won in 2007. It wasn’t an exciting race for 64, 151 trackside fans. You needed to see the slow-mo close- ups for that. The Australian’s ride on the Repsol Honda was daring, acrobatic and relentless. Pole position, first place, and 25 championship points were the least he had deserved. Stoner doesn’t much like the circuit, and his complaints were redoubled (along with all the other riders) at a resurfacing that left the track both tyre-punishingly abrasive and treacherously slippery off line. Several riders suffered major tyre problems, including early front runners Nicky Hayden (Marlboro Ducati), who finished last after pitting; and a radically slowing Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda). Stoner not only pulled away after gaining the lead from fast-starting team-mate Dani Pedrosa on lap seven of the 4.216-km track, but managed his tyres to set his best lap (another new record) on lap 20, while sailing away to win by almost five seconds. “Today was about staying consistent,” he said. Braking problems in the first couple of corners had been a worry, but once he got going it was a matter of “trying hard not to make mistakes, and not to run out onto that greasy part of the track.” The win – his 30th, seven this year – added to his achievements of his first season with Honda. He has been on every rostrum except when he was knocked off by Rossi at Jerez. Pedrosa was never challenged in second, and surprised after being a full second off the pace of Stoner and Yamaha’s Ben Spies in qualifying. “I didn’t expect to be in this race with them, so I feel great,” he said. Did he deserve to beat last year’s pole- sitter and this year’s second qualifier Spies? The home hero had a disastrous first lap, colliding with Dovizioso and almost crashing, finishing the lap in ninth, with a lot of ground to make up. Lapping as fast as Stoner and thinking hard to find safe places to overtake, his biggest dilemma came when he caught team-mate Lorenzo for third. But there are no team orders at Yamaha, and after following for a lap he whistled past and pulled clear. Dropped to fourth, this cost the defending champion three points. But he was in trouble with his tyres and battling to keep the pace. As it was, a pursuing Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) left his charge just too late, closing up a full second to cross the line a frustrated seven tenths adrift. The race had seen wildly changing fortunes in the group behind. First Nicky Hayden – fourth on lap one – had come through backwards: a gamble as the only rider to risk the softer-option front tyre went wrong. He had dropped to last on lap 24 when he pitted for a safety inspection, going straight out again to cruise to a couple of guaranteed points ... because by then both Karel Abraham (AB Cardion Ducati) and Loris Capirossi (Pramac Ducati) had retired with tyre issues. Simoncelli came next. Briefly ahead of Lorenzo in the early laps, by the tenth his predictions of front-tyre disaster had come true. He ended up third from last, overtaken by everybody but Toni Elias (LCR Honda). It all added lustre to Alvaro Bautista’s sixth on the Rizla Suzuki, pulling clear of a challenging Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) at the end. Behind, Pramac’s Randy de Puniet was eighth and first Ducati home, narrowly ahead of Hiro Aoyama (San Carlo Honda). And then came Rossi, after an extraordinary race for which he’d qualified 14th, and see-sawed all the way to last, before getting up to an intermittently respectable speed again to fend off Cal Crutchlow’s Tech 3 Yamaha to the end. Stoner’s title lead is now 44 points, 243 to Lorenzo’s 199. Dovizioso has 174. Pedrosa (130) and Spies (125) both moved ahead of Rossi (124). MOTOGP INDIANAPOLIS >> 43