Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix 2015

Posted on Aug 03, 2015 by Nick Harris


Smith returns to the fray bouyed by Suzuka success
Bradley Smith flies to America to start the second half of his superb MotoGP™ season buoyed by his success at the prestigious Suzuka Eight Hour race in Japan last week. The 24 year old Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider arrives at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway determined to carry on where he left off at Suzuka and in the first half of the MotoGP season.

He lies joint fifth in the world championship and is the leading satellite factory and British rider after nine rounds of the 18 round championship. Together with team-mate Pol Espargaro they helped Yamaha win the Suzuka Eight Hour race and is confident of continuing the run in the 27 lap Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on the 2.59 miles infield circuit surrounded by the legendary Indy Oval.

Smith lies joint fifth in the championship with factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and is 21 points in front of Isle of Man – based midlander Cal Crutchlow. After three non-finishes on the CWM LCR Honda Crutchlow has fought back in the last two rounds with sixth and seventh places respectively and will mount a strong challenge in the second half of a difficult season so far.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding will be looking for a change of fortune in the second half after a tough opening on the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS RC213V Honda. A first lap crash at the previous round did little to help his confidence but he will return to Indianapolis where he took Moto2 pole and third place a couple of years ago ready to start turning the season round.

Eugene Laverty makes his Indy debut on the Aspar Honda but his brother Michael misses out on the Aprilia after replacing Marco Melandri in Germany.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes is hot property at the moment but will concentrate his efforts in the Moto2™ Championship after a superb first half of his second season. Riding the Speed Up machine, he lies third in the championship after three podium finishes including victory in the last American round at Austin. He is just seven points behind world champion Tito Rabat in second and four in front of fourth placed Alex Rins.

Twenty – one year old Wiltshire rider Danny Kent enjoyed his summer break more than most. The Leopard Racing Honda rider could become the first British Grand Prix World Champion since the legendary Barry Sheene in 1977 after an amazing first half of the very competitive Moto3™ season. After five wins he holds a commanding 66 points lead in the championship with nine rounds remaining. Kent has the ability to win under any circumstances and there is no reason why that should not continue in the 23 lap race on Sunday.

It’s not been such an easy ride for Scotsman John McPhee after a promising start to the season on the Racing Steps Foundation supported SaxoPrint RTG Honda. He’s 13th in the championship and needs a good result on Sunday to kick off his second half of the year.

Hostilities resume at Indianapolis
Fresh from the summer break, the MotoGP™ gladiators return to commence the second half of this momentous season at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in America on Sunday.

A refreshed nine times world champion Valentino Rossi returns on the Movistar Yamaha after winning three of those opening nine rounds to lead team-mate Jorge Lorenzo by 13 points in the title chase. Both have won around the 2.59 mile infield circuit surrounded by the world famous Indianapolis oval, but that was a long time ago. Since Lorenzo’s victory in 2009 Honda have dominated the proceedings with world champion Marc Marquez winning from pole in the last two years. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider has experienced plenty of ups and downs this season but looked back to his best when he comfortably won the last round in Germany. His team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who won the 2012 Indy race, was second and the Honda pair will be a massive threat to Rossi and Lorenzo in the 27 lap race. Marquez chases his fifth successive Indy victory after two Moto2™ wins before his MotoGP success.

Marquez moved into fourth place in the championship and trails the consistent Andrea Iannone in third place by just four points but is still 65 points adrift of leader Rossi. Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati team-mate to Iannone, started the season brilliantly on the brand new GP15 machine but has been off the podium since Le Mans and now shares fifth place in the championship with the impressive Bradley Smith.

The Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider is the leading Satellite factory rider and arrives in America fresh from an impressive victory with team-mate Pol Espargaro in the prestigious Japanese Suzuka Eight Hour race. Pedrosa, who missed three races following an arm pump operation, is 20 points adrift in seventh with Cal Crutchlow, riding the CWM LCR Honda just a single point behind and in turn only two points in front of Pol Espargaro.

The Ecstar Suzuki team have made an impressive return to MotoGP with debutant Maverick Vinales in tenth place and Barcelona pole setter Aleix Espargaro in 12th sandwiched between the Octo Pramac Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez.

Two former Moto2 World Champions feature in line – up changes. Following the withdrawal of the Forward Racing Yamaha team, Stefan Bradl will join Alvaro Bautista in the Aprilia team for the remainder of the season. Spaniard Toni Elias, the very first Moto2 World Champion, MotoGP and Indy winner returns to replace the injured Karel Abraham in the Cardion AB Honda team.

Frenchman Johan Zarco is running away with the Moto2 World Championship. He has won three grands prix and only once been off the podium to build an impressive 65 points lead over world champion Tito Rabat. The Marc VDS rider was unlucky in the previous round being brought down on the final bend in Germany by Italian Franco Morbidelli. Both will be a big threat in the 25 lap race, together with Belgian Xavier Simeon following his first grand prix victory in Germany. Britain’s Sam Lowes’ consistency and victory in Austin puts him third but coming under pressure from Moto2 debutant Alex Rins who is just four points behind Lowes and four in front of Le Mans winner Tom Luthi. Xavi Vierge replaces Ricky Cardus at Tech3.

It’s a similar story in Moto3™ where Danny Kent leads the way by a massive 66 points following his fifth win of the season in Germany riding the Leopard Racing Honda. Seventeen year old Italian Enea Bastianini still chases that elusive first grand prix win in second place with Miguel Oliveira making a welcome return after missing the German GP when he broke a finger in practice. The Portuguese Red Bull Ajo KTM rider has already won in Mugello and Assen and is just three points in front of Le Mans winner Romano Fenati who in turn leads Kent’s team-mate and last year’s winner Efren Vazquez by three points.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta replaces Isaac Vinales in the Husqvarna Laglisse team who in turn replaces the injured Ana Carrasco on the RBA KTM.

Indy incidentals
This is the eighth successive year that a motorcycle grand prix event has been held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and below are some facts and statistics related to this event:

• This will be the 28th occasion that there has been a motorcycle grand prix held in the USA. The first two events in 1964 and 1965 were held at the famous Daytona circuit. Fifteen GP events have taken place at the Laguna Seca circuit, there have been seven held previously at Indianapolis and three in Austin.

• The first motorcycle grand prix event to be held at Indianapolis in 2008 was subjected to high winds and rain due to Hurricane Ike, resulting the MotoGP race being cut short and the 250cc race being cancelled.

• Yamaha riders won the MotoGP races on the first two visits to Indianapolis, Honda riders have won for the last five years.

• The last non-Honda rider to win the MotoGP race in Indianapolis was Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha in 2009.

• Nicky Hayden’s third place finish in 2009 is the only MotoGP podium by a Ducati rider at the Indianapolis circuit.

• The best results for Suzuki at the Indianapolis circuit are the sixth place finishes by Alvaro Bautista in 2011 and by Ben Spies in 2008 when he appeared as a wild-card.

• In the first four appearances of MotoGP in Indianapolis, one American rider finished on the podium each year: Nicky Hayden 2nd in 2008 & 3rd in 2009; Ben Spies 2nd in 2010 and 3rd in 2011. In the 2012 MotoGP race at Indianapolis, the first American rider across the line was Colin Edwards in 13th place, in 2013 it was Nicky Hayden in 9th. Last year the only American rider to start the MotoGP race in Indianapolis was Colin Edwards, who finished 13th

• Jorge Lorenzo’s six MotoGP podium finishes at the Indianapolis circuit is more than any other rider.

• Four of the riders who will be competing this year have taken part in all seven previous MotoGP races that have been staged at the Indianapolis circuit: Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.

• For each of the last two years in the MotoGP class at Indianapolis, Marc Marquez has qualified on pole, won the race and set the fastest lap.

• For the last four years, the rider qualifying on pole in the MotoGP class at Indianapolis has gone on to win the race.

• Ben Spies’ pole position at Indianapolis in 2010 is the last time that an American rider started from pole in MotoGP.


Television Times
BT Sport2
Friday August 7  2.00pm – 9.00pm (practise)
Saturday August 8  2.00pm – 9-15pm (practice and qualifying)
Sunday August 9  1.30pm – 9.00pm (warm –up and races)

ITV 4 Highlights
Monday August 10 8.00 - 9.00 pm

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