News 31 Aug 2009

MotoGP: Lorenzo closes on Yamaha teammate Rossi at Indy


Jorge Lorenzo took an emphatic third victory of the season at Indianapolis this afternoon, halving Valentino Rossi’s championship lead in the process as his Fiat Yamaha team-mate slid out. The determined Spaniard was joined on the podium by Alex de Angelis and Nicky Hayden, with Tech 3 Yamaha riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland both putting in good rides to finish fifth and sixth.

Dani Pedrosa took the hole shot with Rossi in close pursuit but Lorenzo got a poor start, forcing him to make one of his favourite ‘por fuera’ moves, around the outside of three riders. The leading trio quickly pulled several seconds ahead of the chasing pack but on lap four Pedrosa slid out, leaving the Yamaha pair alone once again at the front. There was little between the rival team-mates and on the ninth of 27 laps Lorenzo made a brilliant move on Rossi, passing him on the brakes into turn one. Just two laps later the World Champion ran slightly wide and, finding himself on a dirty part of the track, lost the front and went down. He remounted in 16th place but a problem with his throttle forced him to retire soon after.

With no other challengers in sight, Lorenzo just had to bring his number 99 Yamaha home safely and he did so in fine style to win the second Indianapolis Grand Prix, in the Centenary year of the historic track. The youngster has now cut Rossi’s lead to 25 points with five rounds remaining and just one week before the second of Rossi’s home races at Misano in Italy.

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 1st Time: 47’13.592

“This is fantastic for me and for my team! I’ve had two crashes in a row but now I’ve won, and my closest rivals have crashed instead. Of course I’m sorry for them but these are the highs and lows of racing and it’s an amazing result for me. I was strong all weekend and I really want to thank my team for giving me a great bike. I had a hard start and I had to try very hard to pass people and get back to third, but then I had a good rhythm and I was able to go with Valentino and Dani. Once Dani had gone I knew it would be a hard fight between me and Valentino and in fact when he crashed I didn’t realise for a while, because I misread my pit-board and thought it said +0! Anyway, my bike was great and from then on it was quite easy, I just stayed focused. I had great fun on the slow-down lap with the fans and I am so happy to win here at this amazing track. The championship was almost gone but in one day things have changed a lot. It will be hard but we won’t give up!”

Valentino Rossi
Position: DNF Time:

“Today is a disappointment of course! We struggled here with the setting all weekend but we made an improvement today and I got a good start and was able to stay in touch with Pedrosa. Once he fell, I knew it would be between Jorge and I but I honestly don’t know how it would have finished, because Jorge was very fast today. Of course, it would have been better to have finished second than not to finish at all! Unfortunately I ran wide on to a dirty part of the track at turn one and lost the front. I tried to carry on but there was a problem with my throttle and it wasn’t possible. I want to congratulate Jorge for his victory and now we look forward to coming back to the front at Misano. We are still leading the championship and this is the most important thing.”

Daniele Romagnoli
Team Manager

“We couldn’t ask for more today. Jorge did brilliantly all weekend and the team did a great job to improve his bike in order to close the gap to Pedrosa. Jorge was very confident in the race, thanks to another step forward we made with the setting after the warm-u,p and he rode very well. Of course we were lucky today and I am sorry for Valentino, but after Brno we had a huge points gap and now things have changed a lot so we have to make the most of it. We never gave up and this is a great reward for everyone.”

Davide Brivio
Team Manager

“This hasn’t been the best weekend for us! It was a bit of a strange crash, and this is why as soon as Valentino got back he wanted to check the data. It seems he just found himself on a dirty part of the track and so when he braked he lost the front and that was it! He tried to carry on but it wasn’t possible this time, so we have to accept that our championship lead is a bit smaller now! Well done to Lorenzo and the other side of the garage, and now we look forward to Misano in a week’s time.”

Colin Edwards and James Toseland claimed impressive top six positions for the Monster Tech3 Yamaha team with hard fought performances in today’s dramatic Indianapolis Grand Prix in front 75,000 spectators.

Edwards came home a solid fifth with the Texan disappointed not have been closer to the front in his second home race of the season. After Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead Edwards was briefly third before he began to struggle with some rear grip issues. Today’s results saw Edwards to retain fifth position in the championship standings.

With a daring early charge from 10th on the grid Briton James Toseland scored his equal best result of the season with sixth place after an thrilling late race battle with Marco Melandri. After Melandri had briefly got ahead on lap eight Toseland was back in sixth on lap 10 and then rebuffed every challenge until Melandri crashed out of seventh position with two laps remaining.

The race was won by factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.

Colin Edwards 5th — 123 point

“It wasn’t as much fun as thought it was going to be, to be honest with you, I had hopes of better result at my home race. I did the same times I did all weekend but I struggled with some grip issues, it just felt like everything was pivoting on the rear, it was like speedway, as soon as I got the bike on the side the rear came around and that is not the fast way. I couldn’t put any load on the rear. At the end of the day we had the same tyres as the guy who won the race so whether it was so mething in our set-up or riding style, I don’t know. All I could was watch Nicky and Andrea walk away from me and I took some big risks on the brakes. Once Nicky got by it became hard to manage and I think we turned a tyre on the rim, I had a lot of vibration over the final ten laps.”

James Toseland 6th — 72 points

“It’s very pleasing to finish in the top six, I know I’m capable of these sort of results and need to be doing it very weekend. It was an entertaining race for me, pushing my way through from tenth on the opening lap and today I don’t think I lost any friends doing that. Later in the race I had a great battle with Marco Melandri until he made a mistake with two laps go, I thought it would be a fight right to the end with him. I didn’t have good feeling in the warm-up so I was little worried for the race but we softened the bike up a little and I was able to keep my pace fr om qualifying. Melandri was really strong in turns one and two but i just kept covering my line, kept my head down and kept pushing. Now I’m really looking forward to Misano next week, a track I know very well from superbikes.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager

“A very good weekend for us to have two riders in the top six. Colin had a great start and was right with the front group which was very exciting for us, it was pity that with some small problems he couldn’t follow the pace. And special congratulations to James, it wasn’t an easy weekend for him and he made a very good recovery from tenth on the grid. It was a shame for the show that both Pedrosa and Rossi crashed but for our team we got some very good points to enable us to consolidate fourth position in the Team Championship. And congratulations to Jorge to win after all the problems he has had recently.”