With the MotoGP teams and riders having enjoyed a well-deserved summer break, the 2013 season is set to embark on its second half, which kicks off in the same country where the first half finished: the USA, this time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event will mark MotoGP’s third and final visit this year to American soil, and it will also be the first leg of a tripleheader, as trips to the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom follow in short order.
Indiana’s capital city enjoys mythical status in the motorsports world, due in large part to its annual hosting of the legendary Indianapolis 500 auto race. Since 2008, the massive facility has welcomed MotoGP to its unique road race track, which comprises a portion of the car circuit’s oval along with an infield section.
The Indianapolis GP is an important race for Nicky Hayden, whose home is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive south in Owensboro, Kentucky. Hayden, who celebrated his 32nd birthday during the summer pause, earned his first podium with Ducati at Indy in 2009, one year after finishing runner-up at the track aboard a Honda. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso finished third at the Indianapolis round last season, and he hopes to have a solid showing there in this, his debut season with the Ducati Team.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team
“The Indianapolis track is a bit strange, with asphalt that changes from corner to corner, and it’s difficult for all of the riders. In fact, there were a lot of crashes there last year. I’m not sure how it will be with the Ducati, not having ridden it there. I’ve never had good luck there in the past, although I did make the podium last year.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“It was nice to get rested up for a couple weeks, but I’m looking forward to the second half of the season, which I hope will bring us some better results than the first half did. I’ll be happy to be back in the garage with my bike and my team. I don’t have to tell anyone how special Indy is to me, as that should be pretty obvious with it being my true home race. The support I had from the Laguna crowd was incredible, and I’m expecting nothing less at Indy. I think the track might be a little better for us than the last couple were. It’s a tricky little circuit with a couple of technical corners. We’ll try to come out of the gate strong on Friday, have a solid weekend, and have some fun.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“After three straight races that took place on tracks with very short straightaways, we return to a fast circuit. For Nicky, the Indy track is really his home race, and we know that he wants to do well, but Andrea is also very motivated because he wants to redeem himself after his race at Laguna. This is a very important tripleheader, and it will take place on three real tracks—Indianapolis, Brno, and Silverstone—so at this point in the season, it will be important for us to be able to do well.”