After the short summer break, the MotoGP World Championship is back in action in early August for Round 10 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The second and final appointment on US soil, following the Austin race in April, will mark the start of a tough sequence of events for the MotoGP teams and riders, with three rounds scheduled in four weeks. The race in America will in fact be followed one week later by the Czech Republic GP at Brno, and the British Round at Silverstone at the end of the month.
The Indiana state capital is famous in the world of motorsport for its International Speedway – nicknamed ‘The Brickyard’ – where the Indianapolis 500 Miles race for IndyCars is held every year at the end of May. Since 2008 the massive grandstands have also been the venue for the MotoGP race, which uses some of the banked track combined with a series of slow, twisty corners in the infield section. This year the infield has been resurfaced and some minor modifications have been made to Turns 3, 4, 7, 15 and 16, reducing lap distance to 4.170 km.
Andrea Dovizioso has stepped onto the Indianapolis podium once, with a third place in 2012, while in his three races at Indy, Crutchlow’s best result was fifth place last year.
After the last round in Germany, there has been some important news on the Ducati rider front: Andrea Dovizioso has renewed his contract with the Ducati Team for two more years, while Cal Crutchlow will leave the Italian squad at the end of the season.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“Indianapolis is a bit of a strange track, but this year it has been resurfaced so it will be interesting to see how the bikes go now. It’s a complicated circuit for all riders: I haven’t had much luck here, and I only managed to get onto the podium in 2012. This year it’s difficult to think that we can fight for the podium, but in any case I’m fourth overall in the standings and I’ll continue to fight hard to keep that position.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“Indy is a circuit I’m quite looking forward to, and my approach will be the same as always: give my everything to get a good result. Last year I scored a good fifth place after battling with Rossi and Bautista, but this year I think it’s going to be a difficult circuit for the Ducati, with the last four corners cutting back on themselves. We suffered a lot with understeer in Germany so we will have to work hard to improve at Indianapolis.”
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The first-ever motorsports event at this circuit dates back to August 14th, 1909, a bike race that was held on a 2.5 km oval, but despite its 100 years of history, MotoGP only arrived here in 2008. Major modifications were made to the infield section of the circuit to accommodate the bikes, but without altering the legendary oval. The track, which now measures 4.170km and contains 16 turns, incorporates within its layout part of the oval, including the famous ‘Brickyard’, the strip of bricks on the finish line that remains from the original surface.
Fastest lap: modified circuit
Qualifying: modified circuit
Track length: 4.170 km
Race length: 27 laps (112.59 km)
Corners: 16 (10 left, 6 right)
Race start: 14.00 local time (GMT +4)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 04
Age: 28 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 213 (115 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP14
Race number: 35
Age: 28 (born on 29 October 1985 in Coventry, UK)
Residence: Isle of Man
Races: 60 (60 x MotoGP)
First GP: 2011 Qatar
First pole: 2013 Assen TT