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Full GP Review: Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix

Full GP Review: Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix

Some of the best videos from the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, allowing you to review the action without the wetness.

The MotoGP World Championship entered uncharted territory on September 14th, as the famous IMS circuit played host to the first ever Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. One of the most eagerly awaited events of 2008, the second visit of the year to the United States was certainly one of the most memorable track debuts of recent years.

The Brickyard´s new road course was fully completed after an intensive building schedule, with a design encompassing elements of some of the most famous tracks in roadracing. The man behind the layout, Kevin Forbes, had been through the various features back at the April inauguration, giving an exclusive first person tour around the IMS MotoGP track.

Before arriving in Indianapolis, World Championship leader Valentino Rossi had been taking in the sights of New York, having never previously set foot in the `Big Apple´. The Fiat Yamaha rider expressed his excitement at the race ahead, and the chance to extend his 75 point lead over title rival Casey Stoner.

Hot-footing it to Speedway enclave, Rossi joined the rest of the MotoGP field in lining up on the world famous `Yard of Bricks´, the only remaining piece of track from the circuit´s opening nearly 100 years prior. The most recent parts of the circuit were also under focus, undergoing a last-minute safety inspection to ensure rider safety.

Heavy rainfall failed to deter the MotoGP riders from appearing on track on Friday, with no time to lose in the quest to learn the circuit and the possibility of similar conditions during the Sunday race. Fastest in both Free Practice sessions was Kawasaki´s Anthony West, a rider renowned for his ability in the wet.

Rossi´s opening laps at Indianapolis were recorded for posterity by the OnBoard cameras, demonstrating the lines taken by the five-time World Champion. The Fiat Yamaha rider had his chance to test the conditions in the dry on Saturday, in a closely contested Qualifying Session from which he eventually beat out perennial poleman Casey Stoner. After the run, he expressed his delight at becoming part of Indianapolis history.

Whilst Hurricane Ike was moving closer to the IMS circuit, the MotoGP `rider roundabout´ was also picking up momentum. Kawasaki confirmed the signing of Marco Melandri before the MotoGP race –the Italian becoming the first rider of the year to move teams. Commenting on speculation, Fausto Gresini and Pablo Nieto also faced the cameras to explain their respective potential signings of Toni Elias and Sete Gibernau for 2009.

Before the unmistakable command of `Gentlemen, start your engines!´ rang out through the grandstands, some special visitors passed through the garages to meet some of the MotoGP stars. American four-wheel stars Buddy Rice, Mario Andretti and Danica Patrick were amongst the more familiar local faces to make an appearance at The Brickyard.

Facing difficult riding conditions, and with the 125cc race having already been red flagged, the MotoGP riders took to the track on-time for their scheduled competition. The lights went out amidst soaking conditions, with strong winds making things difficult throughout the race. Safety concerns brought the race to an early conclusion just eight laps before the chequered flag was set to be waved, with Rossi declared the winner after one of the most difficult races of his career. In doing so he extended his winning streak to four races, and entered into the record books as the victor of the most premier class races in MotoGP history.

On the podium for the first time in 2008 was Nicky Hayden, the local hero leading the race in front of his home fans in the early going. The rostrum was completed by second Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, finishing in the top three in a wet race for the first time in his career.

The decision to end the race early –and cancel the rescheduled 250cc showdown- was explained by MotoGP Riders Safety Representative, Franco Uncini.


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