Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Track - Indy MotoGP

I'm going to start this review by ranting a bit about the existence of the Indy GP weekend.  Firstly, it has to be acknowledged that in general, the fans, media and mechanics love the facilities and the history of the track.  However, the riders have consistently rated it as one of the tracks that they truly could care less for and the reasons are multiple.

 there is very little similarity between the track that they race and the 'historical' Indy track, so it's historical relevance is somewhat diminished.  Secondly, because the track was designed for F1, but runs reverse for MotoGP (for safety reasons) the shape of the corners is very odd and does not flow.  Finally, and most importantly, the track surface varies significantly, so the ability to have confidence in consistent grip levels is minimal.  Put the last two points together, and you have significant injuries to Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Ben Spies post Qualifying.  Add to this 6 DNFs (5 excluding Spies' engine) in the race and I don't understand why they tolerate this, particularly when there are so many world class tracks that don't get a GP.  

Anyway, back to the race review.  With Casey Stoner riding injured (he easily won the bravery award, riding with every ligament in his ankle torn and every bone chipped), this race was always going to be between pole setter Dani Pedrosa, Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo.  As a big Ben Spies fan, it was great to see him put the Laguna swingarm failure and qualifying crash behind him to take the early lead.  Pedrosa go ahead eventually, but Spies was conserving his tyre to make a tactical challenge later in the race.  Until his engine blew up coming onto the straight...  It's pretty hard to understand why all the technical issues with Yamaha end up on Spies' bike, although his remarks that there was significant tension with the upper echelons of Yamaha could open a can of conspiracy worms.

With Spies out, Lorenzo had a lonely ride in second place, admitting after the race that second was the best he could have hoped for on the day.  

The battle for the podium then fell to Stoner and Dovisioso, with Stoner enjoying the upper hand until his pain killers wore off.  Dovi continued his massively impressive run of podiums on the satellite Yamaha, cementing his talent in front of his probable future employers at Ducati.

Crutchlow crashed out the following group, which finished with Bautista fifth, Bradl sixth and Rossi seventh.  Rossi admitted he didn't try to push too hard after the race, I guess with the news of the Yamaha switch, what is the point of risking injury when the focus is next year?

Anyway, the race was really about Stoner riding through the pain barrier and Pedrosa continuing to reign in Lorenzo's points advantage.  Stoner limited the damage to his standings but it is quickly becoming a two horse race.

Top 5 Championship standings:
Lorenzo 225
Pedrosa 207
Stoner 186
Dovisioso 137
Crutchlow 106

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