Marquez Dominates Indy

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Takaaki Nakagami thought he had the win in Moto2, but finished behind Tito Rabat. Photo: MotoGP
Marc Marquez dominated on his Honda, but it was a good race for the podium between the newcomer, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Photo: MotoGP
Marc Marquez dominated on his Honda, but it was a good race for the podium between the newcomer, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Photo: MotoGP

Indianapolis, Indiana – In case anyone was still wondering, 20-year-old Spanish wunderkind Marc Marquez is definitely the real thing.

Pedrosa ended up in second. Photo: MotoGP
Pedrosa ended up in second. Photo: MotoGP

At Indy’s round of the Moto GP he was fastest in every practice session, took pole position, and after regrouping after a so-so start walked away to victory.

As an aside, that makes him the winner in three for three in the U.S. rounds, and four out of the 10 races held so far. Not bad for a “rookie”. Oh, and he’s leading the championship standings as well.

“I didn’t make a good start … once the fuel had gone down a little I went on the attack. Then I tried to push a bit more, I opened up a gap and I was able to enjoy sliding the bike. It was so good,” Marquez said with his trademark huge smile.

Valentino Rossi got a lousy start, but started battling back later in the race, to the surprise of his competition. Photo: MotoGP
Valentino Rossi got a lousy start, but started battling back later in the race, to the surprise of his competition. Photo: MotoGP

He finished ahead of his Reposl Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who made a bit of a last-gasp effort to get past Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. The defending world champion led much of the race, but in the end had to be content with third at a track he and most other riders considered to be a playpen for Honda horsepower.

“I’m disappointed, but not just because I didn’t win,” explained the Majorcan. “Marc was just unbelievably good this weekend … I was able to follow him for a few laps when he overtook me, but then the rear tire suddenly started to drop a lot and I couldn’t even defend second place.”

It was Nicky Hayden's last race at Indy with the Ducati factory team. Results were typical. Photo: MotoGP
It was Nicky Hayden’s last race at Indy with the Ducati factory team. Results were typical. Photo: MotoGP

Both Pedrosa and Lorenzo are still recovering from broken collarbones, making their results even more impressive.

The race for the podium was good, but the mayhem behind was more like a Moto 3 slug-fest than the usual Moto GP procession. Tech 3 Yamaha ace Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda, and Alvaro Bautista on the Go&Fun Gresini Honda did everything but enter into fisticuffs over fourth, then were all shocked when Valentino Rossi caught them up in the last quarter of the race.

At this point, Marc Marquez has won four of ten races this year, and taken all three US rounds. Photo: MotoGP
At this point, Marc Marquez has won four of ten races this year, and taken all three US rounds. Photo: MotoGP

Rossi had a typically lousy qualifying, starting from ninth, and spent the first half of the race trolling around more or less alone. Then he suddenly caught fire, caught and passed Bradl, then chased down the other two, passing Crutchlow for the final time in a Hail-Mary pass on the last lap. The three of them finished within 3/10 of a second.

“At the end the race was not so bad,” reflected the nine-time world champion, after saying that he had trouble with the front tire for the first third of the race. “… in the second half I was able to ride the bike in a good way and enjoy it. I did a very good lap time in the second half and had great battles with Bradl and Bautista, but especially with Cal on the last lap, that was very funny!”

Rossi started in ninth but ended in fourth. Photo: MotoGP
Rossi started in ninth but ended in fourth. Photo: MotoGP

The top 10 was rounded out by Tech 3’s rookie Bradley Smith, who beat Nicky Hayden to the line by less than a wheel diameter after Hayden and his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso collided on the last corner of the last lap as Hayden forced a pass. Both the Ducatis ran wide and jumped a curb, getting back on track but not quite soon enough to stay ahead of Smith. Hayden shrugged the incident off, Dovizioso was a little less sanguine. Both riders had a chat with Race Direction after things had cooled down.

Moto 2

Takaaki Nakagami thought he had the win in Moto2, but finished behind Tito Rabat. Photo: MotoGP
Takaaki Nakagami thought he had the win in Moto2, but finished behind Tito Rabat. Photo: MotoGP

The Moto 2 race offered as much drama as did the feature event, with Tito Rabat taking his second-ever win in the class. Qualifying fourth and running fifth for much of the race, the Spanish rider conserved his tires well and in the second half of the race was easily the fastest rider on the track.
He chased down the riders in front of him – including Scott Redding and his team-mate Pol Espargaro, who’s locked in a battle with Redding for the title – finally overhauling Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami for the lead on the 23rd of 25 laps. The Japanese was heart-broken, having led most of the race in dominating fashion but apparently using up his tires in the process.

Scott Redding's second-place finish gives him a 26-point lead in the series on Pol Espargaro. Photo: MotoGP
Scott Redding’s second-place finish gives him a 26-point lead in the series on Pol Espargaro. Photo: MotoGP

Redding and Espargaro completed the podium, moving Redding 26 points (or a point more than a full race win) ahead of Espargaro.

Moto 3

A crazy Moto 3 battle made it three for three for dramatic races at the Indy track. Estrella Galicia team-mates Alex Rins and Alex Marquez (younger brother of Moto GP ace Marc) finished first and second ahead of Maverick Vinales, while injured series leader Luis Salom managed a brave fifth after hurting himself in a huge practice crash, gathering enough points to remain atop the championship chase.

The top three were scary-close, passing almost at will, until at about 2/3 distance Vinales had a “moment” and dropped back slightly. Although he caught up again, the order remained unchanged to the end.

Moto GP Championship standings after 10 of 18 races:

1. Marc Marquez, Spain, Repsol Honda, 188 points
2. Dani Pedrosa, Spain, Repsol Honda, 167
3. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Yamaha Factory Racing, 153
4. Valentino Rossi, Italy, Yamaha Factory Racing, 130
5. Cal Crutchlow, U.K., Tech 3 Monster Yamaha, 127
6. Stefan Bradl, Germany, LCR Honda, 93
7. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Ducati Team, 87
8. Alvaro Bautista, Spain, Go&Fun Gresini Honda, 81
9. Nicky Hayden, U.S.A., Ducati Team, 72
10. Bradley Smith, U.K., Tech 3 Monster Yamaha, 59
Next race, August 25, Brno, Czech Republic.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Larry. The race was some exciting. Rather enjoyed it.

    Somewhat related to your fine article, I was wondering what
    the MotoGP internet channel was like? A source recently
    gave me an annual price, but I was curious as to the streaming
    quality, content and so on.

    With the season half over, and Speed channel being questionable
    for next year, I was curious for next year.

    Would you be so kind as to write an article describing your
    experience? You know, cost, content, presenters or if there are
    any back-story programmes (pre-race shows) involved.

    What I’m getting at, is do we get the full BBC with Julian, and
    all of the FP’s and such. TYIA.

    • I’m not Larry, but I am a motogp.com video subscriber. Perhaps my experience will be helpful.

      In a word: Excellent. The feed servers have ample available bandwidth, which means that live-event/on-demand serving has bandwidth to spare. I have an HD720 subscription (about the most my ADSL and circa-2008 system will manage) and the quality is excellent.

      There is a multi-camera feed, additional-cost subscription, but due to its min. 4 mbps data rate and me sharing a house full of tweens and teens, I didn’t pony up for that. Reports on A&R from those who subscribe to that have all been good. I haven’t seen a complaint yet.

      As for the coverage itself, it is not BBC’s 5 Live. Coverage is by Dorna’s own Nick Harris and Gavin Emmett. Harris has been a racing journalist/commentator since the ’70s. Emmett is younger, but his life is spent in the paddock and his insights are absolutely interesting due to his frequent and unblocked access to the teams and riders. The two make for an entertaining mix. Harris is a bit of a dinosaur (and knows it). They’re unabashedly British and if you have no problem with (or a love of) the Queen’s English, you’ll feel right at home. Some who don’t quite get the Commonwealth humour of the Isles might be annoyed.

      The price, IMO, is well worth it. Video of every race is available on-demand going back to 1992. Video includes free practices from 2002 onwards. So, if you want to relive Norick Abe’s wildcard debut at Suzuka in the rain, go for it …. It’s all there for the taking.

      The live streaming is great and I watch whenever possible. It’s great to be able to watch, say, the full, MotoGP FP4/QP1/QP2 combination without breaks, whereas they’re broken up for on-demand playback later. The live coverage flows wonderfully between classes.

      There are no back stories or pre-race shows, unfortunately, and the on-demand video suffers from abrupt and somewhat ‘terse’ editing. The only way to get the full monty is to watch it live from start to finish. For many of us, given time zones or schedule conflicts, that can be difficult.

      I think it’s a good — no, great — value. I doff my hat to Dorna for this offering. And I’ve pestered Bernie Ecclestone several times to offer the same sort of coverage for F1.

      • Thank’s for that, Trane. I do know Nick and Gavin; have watched their work many times on piggy-backed streams. I think you may have sold me, yet screwed Larry out of a paying assignment! 😉

        As to ‘the Queen’s’ and ‘The Commonwealth’ and, how shall we put this: “All Thing’s
        British”, this is the choir talking! LOL

        Have a wee chat with the intellegenstia here (Harris, Bondo, Tate) and they shall kindly
        ask you to stop feeding the troll. lol (I’m a terrific snob …)

        As we say in Scotland: “Mucho appreciate your response. Thank you.”.

  2. “Hayden shrugged the incident off, Dovizioso was a little less sanguine.”

    Heh. When I saw it happen, I thought that Nicky might very well consider it payback for the bashed clutch lever at Laguna. In any case, Nicky’s just making sure he’s got the eye of a number of teams. He needs to keep his game face on and show that he’s still a hard, competitive racer.

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