MotoGP™ focus on Indianapolis after Rossi confirms future
The biggest news ahead of the second U.S. race was that Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi will be switching back to the Factory Yamaha Team at the end of the season on a two-year deal. This has ended the huge speculation around the Italian’s future, yet has created new hype around who will be filling the vacant spot in the Bologna outfit’s team.
Looking solely towards the on-track action, Yamaha’s current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will be aiming to extend his lead at the top of the table at a track where he took victory in 2009. Last year the Spanish rider struggled at the track, yet looks in ominous form at the moment, which will make him one of the favourites to take victory. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner will however be challenging from the off, with Stoner in particular good form after his terrific performance in Laguna Seca last time out. The Australian also took victory at Indianapolis last year ahead of Pedrosa in second.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso heads to Indianapolis looking to add to his podium tally this season, whilst holding off the challenges from his teammate Cal Crutchlow, who is still chasing his first step on the MotoGP rostrum. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl on his satellite Honda RC213V, currently lying sixth in the championship tied on points with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, will look to close the gap to Crutchlow and continue to improve in his maiden premier-class season. American Hayden on the other hand will not want to be beaten by a rookie, and will be firing on all cylinders as he tackles his home race.
His teammate Rossi, with his future now confirmed, will however not be taking things lightly, and will look to put in a better showing than at Laguna Seca, where he crashed out on the final lap. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who has finished behind Bradl in the last three races will aim to finish as top satellite Honda once more and rekindle some of the form that saw him take pole and fourth place at Silverstone earlier this year. Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who suffered a suspension failure last time out, will hope for a serious turn of fortunes as he heads to the track where he came third last year.
Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá has not recovered from his broken fibula and tibia in time and will again be replaced by fellow compatriot Toni Elías. Other Ducati satellite rider Karel Abraham, on board his Cardion AB Racing Desmosedici, will be fully fit on the other hand, and no doubt hopeful of finishing with a much needed good result.
The CRT contingent make their first visit to the U.S. track with Power Electronics Aspar duo of Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró tied on 33 points at the top of the pack. They will be joined by San Carlo’s Michele Pirro, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Avintia Blusens pair of Yonny Hernandez and Iván Silva. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who had fuelled speculation that he may be lining up on a new bike, will be contesting the race on-board his Suter-BMW machine. Attack Performance, who failed to qualify for Laguna Seca with rider Steve Rapp, will be back for its second wildcard entry at the Brickyard, and will be joined by Aaron Yates riding a GPTech CRT bike with a BCL chassis and a Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine.
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