2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Courtesy of Don L. Schneider
Photos by Kurt Bauer
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG. 9, 2015
Marc Marquez, the 22-year-old Spaniard, won for the third consecutive time in MotoGP and the fifth time overall at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Although Marquez started the race from the pole position, Jorge Lorenzo, who started third on the grid, grabbed the lead going into the first turn and stayed there for much of the race. Marquez stayed close to Lorenzo, however, and finally passed him on lap 24 on the number-93 Repsol Honda, and then held on to win by six-hundred-and-eighty-eight-thousandths of a second.
Marquez’s triumph marked the 700th MotoGP race win for Honda.
“In the beginning, I was able to follow him [Lorenzo] well, but then, midrace, I was struggling a little bit,” Marquez said. “I was a half-second, six-tenths behind him. But then, at the end, I saw that the only chance to try to attack was to try to surprise him. In the end, we must be happy because we won the race.”
Runner-up Lorenzo, the 2009 winner at Indianapolis, started the day in second place in the championship standings. He leaves Indianapolis with a net gain of four points and now trails his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who sits atop the season standings by a mere nine points after finishing third on Sunday.
Lorenzo now has three runner-up finishes at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, including placing second to Marquez last year, and has finished no worse than fourth in eight starts at Indianapolis. Lorenzo led 24 laps on Sunday – the most by a rider in a single Red Bull Indianapolis GP – and he has led more laps than anyone in MotoGP competition at IMS, with 56.
Rossi survived a dramatic seesaw battle with Dani Pedrosa to finish third after qualifying eighth. A seven-time MotoGP champion and winner of the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP back in 2008, Rossi has finished on the podium in all 10 MotoGP races this season.
Marquez, who has never lost a MotoGP race on American soil, has won at IMS in five straight years. He won Moto2 races in 2011 and 2012, prior to this three-year run in MotoGP. Marquez and Formula One legend Michael Schumacher are the only competitors to win at least three consecutive major series races at the “Racing Capital of the World.” Schumacher won four consecutive U.S. Grand Prix titles at IMS from 2003 to 2006.
“This is so important because it was a difficult weekend where Jorge and also Marc are always stronger than me, so [third] is not so bad,” Rossi said.
Local fan favorite and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden of Owensboro, Kentucky, finished 16th on his number-69 Aspar Honda.
A total of five different riders led the Moto2 race before 19-year-old Alex Rins of Spain grabbed the lead for good on the penultimate lap on his way to capturing his first Moto2 win in his rookie season.
Johann Zarco of France finished second and Franco Morbidelli of Italy was third.
In Moto3, the choice of tires played a huge role in a race that produced three first-time podium finishers.
A damp track and the threat of rain convinced many top riders and teams to begin on rain tires, but when the rain held off shortly after the start of the race, many riders headed to the pits for a change to racing slicks.
Guessing correctly on the tires gave Livio Loi of Belgium the win with an enormous margin of 38.860 seconds, despite his having started 26th on his RW Racing Honda. It was Loi’s first victory in 34 Moto3 starts. His previous best finish was a fourth last year in Argentina.
John McPhee, a 21-year-old from Britain, finished second on his Saxoprint RTG Honda after starting 18th.
Philipp Oettl of Germany started in 34th and last on the grid prior to finishing third on his Schedl GP Honda.
Points leader Danny Kent finished 21st after qualifying first.
In MotoAmerica Superbike, Cameron Beaubier made it a weekend sweep by winning on Saturday and again on Sunday on his number-six Yamaha.
Roger Hayden, the younger brother of MotoGP star Nicky Hayden, was the runner-up for the second consecutive day, this time falling short to Beaubier by only fifteen-thousandths of a second at the famed IMS Yard of Bricks when the race was red-flagged near the end due to rain.
Also winning for the second consecutive day was Jake Gagne, on his number-32 Yamaha, in the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 class. Gagne, the 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Superbike champion, has 11 wins this season.
[For more on Gagne’s adventure at Indy, please see “RoadRace Factory Race Report from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Take One: A Return to Form”… Editor]
In earlier action on Sunday, Spain’s Alex Rins won from the pole in Moto2 and Belgium’s Livio Loi won in Moto3. In the Moto3 race, Loi won from the 26th starting spot after opting for slick tires from the start, while nearly every other rider began on wet tires and then switched early in the race.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Results: August 9, 2015
MOTOGP: 1. Marc Marquez (Hon); 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yam); 3. Valentino Rossi (Yam); 4. Dani Pedrosa (Hon); 5. Andrea Iannone (Duc); 6. Bradley Smith (Yam); 7. Pol Espargo (Yam); 8. Cal Crutchlow (Hon); 9. Andrea Dovizioso (Duc); 10. Danilo Petrucci (Duc); 11. Maverick Vinales (Suz); 12. Yonny Hernandez (Duc); 13. Scott Redding (Hon); 14. Aleix Espargaro (Suz); 15. Hector Barbera (Duc); 17. Mike Di Meglio (Duc); 18. Alvaro Bautista (Apr); 19. Eugene Laverty (Hon); 20. Stefan Bradl (Apr); 21. Alex De Angelis (ART); 22. Toni Elias (Hon).
MOTO2: 1. Alex Rins; 2. Johann Zarco; 3. Franco Morbidelli.
MOTO3: 1. Livio Loi; 2. John McPhee; 3. Philipp Oettl.
SUPERBIKE: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam); 2. Roger Hayden.
SUPERSTOCK 1000: 1. Jake Gagne (Yam).