PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Red Bull Indianapolis GP will air LIVE on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, August 18 in a four-hour programming block that starts at 11:00am ET.
After a three week break, the MotoGP World Championship restarts this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Repsol Honda riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are currently first and second respectively in the Championship standings and arrive in America refreshed and ready to resume the fight. For Dani in particular, this Summer break has been gratefully received. Dani suffered a big crash in Germany in mid-July and the doctors would not allow him to race. However, he rode to a courageous 5th place in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca just before the break. Having had three weeks to rest and recuperate, Dani is now almost back to 100% and will be hoping to return to the podium at a circuit where he’s won twice in MotoGP class (2012 and 2010).
Teammate Marc, inspired after his back-to-back GP wins in Germany and Laguna Seca, will be looking for another fine performance in Indianapolis where he has been victorious the past two seasons in the Moto2 class.
Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 1st – 163 points
“After a good break, where I’ve managed to relax a little and also do some training, I’m looking forward to getting back on track! It’s been good to have this time off to think about my first few months in MotoGP and reflect on my performances and what I’ve learnt but now I’m ready to get back on the bike! I like the Indianapolis track and I’m interested to see how the grip is on the Bridgestone tyres because it seems this has been an issue in the past. As usual, we will take our time in FP1 and try to find our feeling on the bike at this track and also after this Summer break, and hope for a good weekend!”
Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 2nd – 147 points
“It’s been a good Summer break and I’m feeling much stronger physically. I’ve had time to relax with some friends and also have lots of physiotherapy on my shoulder to prepare myself for this second part of the season. I’ve had a medical check in the last days and we can see the bone getting stronger. It still needs a few more weeks to recover completely but my feeling is already much better than in Laguna. It’s important to remain focused, especially now as we have three races in a row. I’ve had good results at Indy in the past few years, I enjoy riding there and now I am eager to get back on the bike and ride at my best!”
Yamaha Factory Racing
As the MotoGP summer break comes to an end, Yamaha Factory Racing heads back across the Atlantic to the USA for the third American round of the season this weekend, the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The break has been a short one for the Team with an early return to work for a private test at the Brno circuit last week. The test was a successful one with another step being made in the set up of the YZR-M1 that should help both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as they challenge the remainder of the season.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix is a relative newcomer to the MotoGP calendar with the first race in 2008. Both Lorenzo and Rossi can claim one premier class victory each at the US circuit, Rossi’s in 2008 and Lorenzo’s one year later in 2009. With the exception of a fourth place finish in 2011, reigning World Champion Lorenzo has always finished on the podium. The Mallorcan has been training hard but is still not expected to be at 100% fitness for the weekend.
“We are returning to the USA and beginning the second half of the year, which may be the toughest. I was able to rest for some days after Laguna Seca and then we went to Brno to make a private test with Yamaha. Those two days gave me an opportunity to check my physical condition. I’m a bit tired, especially because after two crashes in Assen and Sachsenring I couldn’t recover so much and now we have to manage a long period with three races in a row. I feel better obviously than in Laguna but still need time to recover to 100% and it is not going to be easy because the calendar is so busy and also we have to fight not to lose points. In any case, we go to Indy to give everything despite the circumstances.”
“I have great memories of Indianapolis and I’m happy to be back there on my M1, although that’s not one of my favorite tracks. I needed these holidays to recharge my batteries, even if we had two days of testing right in the middle. Indianapolis will be the first one of three consecutive races and it will be very important to do good results everywhere. My Team and I still have much work to do on the M1 therefore they will be three very demanding weeks but we feel ready for the challenge.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager
“We were able to enjoy a little break but not so much because we did a mini test at Brno to check some issues. The test was not so bad, first because both riders were happy with the results and secondly, from our side, Jorge did a good job. The first day he struggled a bit to find the rhythm but on the second day he improved a lot and was able to get the pace. This test was really important for Jorge to check his fitness after a tough month where he had managed two serious injuries in the collarbone with two surgeries in ten days. Jorge has got more confidence after the test and now we travel back to the USA with positive feelings. The track is not one of Yamaha’s favorites but we hope all the work we made in either Motorland and Brno will be useful to fight in the second part of the season.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli Team Director
“I think we are going to Indy in a good shape. After the test in Brno we made another improvement with the base set up which was very positive. In the past we have suffered at Indy but I think this year is going to be different. Both riders made a good test so we are really optimistic. Jorge is not 100% but he is feeling much better now so he can compete with the others in a good shape. We are really looking forward to getting on track on Friday and starting the first practice.”
The MotoGP World Championship returns from a three-week summer break this weekend as the paddock continues on American soil but moves east from Laguna Seca, California, to the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The tenth round of the season for the top class also sees the return to action of the Moto3 and Moto2 categories after they skipped the Laguna round, with the riders’ batteries fully recharged for the decisive second half of the season. Results at Laguna provided a timely confidence boost for Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista, whose strong podium challenge has raised motivation and determination in the team ahead of a packed schedule over the next three months. Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s hard work alongside technical partners Showa and Nissin is finally starting to bear fruit and the high performance level of the Honda RC213V is giving Alvaro Bautista the opportunity to battle at the sharp end of the field. The Spaniard now faces another weekend of hard work as he looks to adapt his machine setting to the demands of Indianapolis and mount another serious challenge for the rostrum champagne. It is another new circuit for rookie Bryan Staring to try and learn after an encouraging weekend at Laguna Seca. It has not been an easy process of adaptation to MotoGP for the Australian but he continues to work with courage and determination, which will again be the key to progress at Indianapolis.
Alvaro Bautista: “I feel sure that we are in our best form of the season so far after a good result at Laguna Seca. We were competitive there and in terms of my feeling with the bike over the course of the weekend it was probably the best I have ever had in MotoGP. Thanks to the hard work of the team we had a great bike that I was able to really enjoy riding and even though we had the chance to finish on the podium at the end I was still very happy with the result. After Laguna Seca we were able to get a few days off and I took the opportunity to head for the beach with some friends and switch my mind off racing. After a few days I got back into training hard for the second half of the championship and spent a few days at my friend Colin Edwards’ bootcamp and had great fun riding with him and working on my riding. Now I am ready and looking forward to three races in as many weekends. Indianapolis is a strange circuit and it’s different to most of the places we go to because amongst other things it runs anticlockwise. There are three different kinds of track surface and that also makes it hard but we fought for the podium there last year and after such a good weekend at Laguna last time out I am hoping for better this year. Me and the team are feeling very confident that we can fight for a top result.”
Bryan Staring “I was quite happy after Laguna Seca, which went better than we expected. Overall it was a good weekend for us, especially after coming off the back of a disastrous German Grand Prix. Now I am convinced we can take another step forward at Indy. It looks like a strange track but I am curious to see it for myself and I am certainly highly motivated. The break was definitely a welcome one and it was a good chance to recharge the batteries. I spent a bit of time in the USA after Laguna Seca with my girlfriend Emma, which was great fun. Now I am ready to get back on track and have a good second half to the championship. I am determined to take another big step forward and I am sure that with the help of my team I can do it.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro Bautista’s result at Laguna Seca definitely gave the whole team a lift going into the second half of the season. The bike has improved a lot and the work that has been done between our engineers and the guys from Showa and Nissin is starting to pay off as we hoped. We have been able to give Alvaro a bike that he can enjoy riding fast and we are in the right shape to be consistent frontrunners, as we expected to be from the start of the season. Indianapolis is not an easy track but the platform is there for us to have another strong weekend. I am also sure that Laguna Seca gave Bryan a boost and after a disappointing weekend at Sachsenring he has got some confidence back, which will be crucial for him in the second half of the championship.”
After a hard-earned summer break for the MotoGP teams and riders it is time to get back to work this weekend as the season resumes in the same country it left off. The United States hosts the world’s premier motorcycle racing series for the third time this year after races at Circuit of the Americas and Laguna Seca, as the Grand Prix of Indianapolis kicks off an intense second half to the season. The legendary circuit, home of the world famous Indy 500, sees Marc Márquez arrive on top of the rider standings with a 16-point advantage over Dani Pedrosa and 26 over Jorge Lorenzo, both of whom should both now be fully recovered from their respective injuries as they aim to get their own title challenges back on track.
Both POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders began their summer holidays in the USA and both ended them there too with a visit to Texas and the home of fellow rider Colin Edwards and his now famous Bootcamp, where they were able to have fun and hone their dirt-track riding skills. Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet may have enjoyed differing fortunes over the first half of the 2013 season but the Spaniard and the Frenchman are equally motivated for part two. Aleix is eager to continue his dominance of the CRT field, which he leads by some distance on 52 points, whilst Randy’s goal is to close that gap with some better fortunes in the remaining nine races.
Aleix Espargaró: “The first half of the season was exceptional for us, I had a lot of fun on the bike and the results were better than we expected. We have had a slightly longer summer break this year so I made the most of the first couple of weeks to switch off before getting back into my normal gym routine to make sure that we’re ready for Indianapolis. We have been performing to a high level but myself and the team need to continue working hard to get the best out of this bike and improve wherever we can. The race at Indy last year was a good one for us even though we didn’t manage to finish as the top CRT. I am already looking forward to getting back to work and trying to repeat the results we have had in the first half of the season. Indianapolis is a track with a lot of variables, different kinds of asphalt and some very slippery sections. It’s a nice track though and I always enjoy riding there. We had a good weekend last year so hopefully this weekend can be the same.”
Randy De Puniet: “I have been able to get some rest over the summer after a difficult first half to the season, although I have also been training quite a bit and this week before heading to Indianapolis I am spending some time at Colin Edwards’ Bootcamp with Aleix and Gino [Borsoi]. It’s a good way to have fun and get back into riding again so that we start the second half of the season strongly. We had a mechanical problem at Laguna Seca so the first thing we have to do when we get to Indianapolis is to look into that and try to make sure we start the weekend off on the right foot. The first nine races of the season have not been easy so it is time to turn the page and work just as hard again to get the right feeling with this bike. I have a lot of faith in the work of the team and I know that sooner or later we will be very competitive again. Indianapolis is an interesting circuit and I had a good feeling there last year so hopefully it’s the same again this weekend.”Dani Pedrosa, Indianapolis GP, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda