Nicky Hayden was out of luck at his home Grand Prix today, the American losing his knee slider early in the race. It is a small but crucial piece of equipment for the riders because it helps them support the bike at full lean angle. As such it was a near impossible task for Hayden but he put in a valiant effort to bring his bike home in sixth place.
Casey Stoner didn’t make the best of starts but was quickly making up ground and was about to challenge Valentino Rossi for sixth position on the eighth lap when he lost the front and crashed.
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team – 6th
“I still can’t believe what happened – I am so disappointed. I was being careful over the first few laps because in that heat the track was very greasy. I lost the front slightly on the third lap and caught my left knee on a drain cover on one of the kerbs, right where the knee slider attaches to the velcro. There are so many left-hand corners here… from that point on I had to take it really steady, I couldn’t push anywhere and finished up with a huge hole in my leathers. I am incredibly disappointed because we had to the pace to put in a performance today.”
CASEY STONER, Ducati Team – DNF
“I am very disappointed – it was a nothing crash but obviously it was enough to leave me out of the race. I know a lot of people have had front end crashes but apparently here at Indianapolis we have gone back to the situation we were in at the start of the season and we’ve struggled to find front-end feel in the corners. It is a real shame because we had good pace and I think we could have been on the podium.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“What happened to Nicky is really incredible but he did brilliantly to finish the race in that situation and finish it so well. I am gutted for him because he was in competitive shape and missed out on a possible podium. Casey crashed just at the point when the tyre he had chosen was coming up to its optimum level and he was recovering well but lost the front. It is a shame because after five podiums in a row he could have had another one here.”
Circuir Record: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2009), 1’40.152 – 151.545 km/h
Best Pole: Dani Pedrosa ( Honda – 2009), 1’39.730 – 152.186 km/h