August 16 – 18 will see the 2013 MotoGP season arrive at one of the most famous motor racing circuits in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the second race in the US in a row, with the Red Bull US Grand Prix having taking place in Leguna Sec in July. The battle at the top of the table is heating up nicely, mainly between the three dominant Spanish riders, although the legendary Valentino Rossi is making his presence felt. Here we take a look at what has gone before, and what to expect.
Last time out
The first surprise of the weekend at Laguna Sec was the fact that pole position was taken up by Stefan Bradl. This was the first pole position of the rider’s career, although he could only convert it into second place on the podium at the end of the race. As predictable as cheap bike insurance from Express Insurance, however, was Marc Marquez on the highest step of the podium. The other two famous Spaniards, Pedrosa and Lorenzo, both rode carrying injuries, having missed the German Grand Prix with damaged collarbones. Perhaps this explains why they finished in fifth and sixth place respectively. Valentino Rossi continued his charge by finishing in third, while Alvaro Bautista took a creditable fourth place. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow finished in a disappointing seventh.
With a total of 163 points, Marc Marquez, the youngest and most inexperienced of the three main Spanish riders, now has a 17 point lead over Dani Pedrosa, and Jorge Lorenzo is a further 10 points back in third. Valentino Rossi continues to show good form and is fourth on 117 points, with Cal Crutchlow just a point behind in fifth. There is then a considerable gulf to the rest of the pack, with new star Stefan Bradl in sixth on 84 points.
As usual, Cal Crutchlow is the most notable British rider. Leguna Sec was very disappointing for him, with his seventh place finish the lowest of his season so far. Bradley Smith continues to show good promise and sits in 11th spot on 51 points. Michael Laverty continues to struggle a little and has not managed to add to his three points so far.
When most people mention the Indianapolis Motor Speedway venue, the first event which comes to mind is the Indy 500 Indy Car race. However, not many people know that the first ever event held at the venue was a motorcycle race, way back in 1909. Nowadays, the famous oval layout is modified for the MotoGP race, which has been taking place every year since 2008. Parts of the famous oval circuit are incorporated into the MotoGP circuit, most notably the main straight and an area between turns 1 and 2. The track is 4.168km long featuring 16 corners.
What to expect
Whatever happens at Indianapolis it is fair to say that the three Spanish mainstays will be very much involved in the action. However, with Rossi starting to put pressure on them, Crutchlow looking to rebound from a disappointing last race, and Bradl looking to continue his good form, there are plenty of other riders in the mix.