August 8th, 2014
Dominique Aegerter has picked up at Indianapolis where he left off before the summer break, ending the first day of practice for the Moto2 class on top of the timesheets. The Swiss rider fought a close battle with Sandro Cortese, snatching back top spot right at the end. Cortese was left with 2nd spot, just a hundredth of a second off the time of Aegerter, while Tito Rabat took the 3rd fastest time, dragging Thom Luthi in his wake. Ant West showed excellent form to set the 5th best time in FP2.
The session was marred by a number of crashes, though nobody was serious injured. Randy Krummenacher caused the session to be red-flagged after falling in the infield section, his bike dragging dirt back onto the track and the racing line. After the mud and grass had been cleared, the session resumed again.
Marc Marquez reasserted his season-long dominance Friday with a fast lap of 1’32.882 — the only rider to dip into the 1’32s in either free practice. Marquez's time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway put him slightly more that two-tenths clear of Andrea Iannone (2nd) and half a second in front of Jorge Lorenzo (3rd) as riders tried to work out the new lines and extra speed of the redesigned track.
Andrea Dovisioso improved on his FP1 showing with a fourth that put him just ahead of the circuit's only two-time MotoGP winner, Dani Pedrosa (5th). Stefan Bradl -- fastest in one of the four sectors -- came in sixth, ahead of a surprising Yonny Hernandez (7th) who was quick all session. Aleix Espargaro, who was running near the top of the timesheet early, dropped to eighth. And while Rossi improved on his FP1 time, he didn't improve nearly as much as his rivals which left him in ninth, seven-tenths of a second from the leader. The good news for Bradley Smith is that just like in FP1 he finished right behind Rossi. The bad news is that in FP2 it left him hanging on the bottom rung of the top 10.
Isaac Vinales used his final lap of FP2 to his advantage to seize the top spot in Friday's final session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Vinales' nine-hundredths margin just clipped Alex Marquez (2nd) who had just set his fastest time and briefly held the top spot.
Jack Miller, leader for much of the session, ended his day in third. Efren Vazquez (4th) and John McPhee (5th) rounded out the top five. Both Vinales and Marquez set their fast times with effective use of slipstreaming on the long straight -- a tactic that will prove vital for the flyweight, 50 BHP bikes.
Romano Fenati and Alex Rins -- fourth and fifth in the championship standings -- finished the session eleventh and twelveth respectively.
2014 Indianapolis MotoGP Press Releases: Honda And Yamaha Riders React To New Surface And Layout After FP1
The Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha teams issued the following press releases after FP1 at Indianapolis. The Yamaha riders say it suits their bike better, the Honda riders say it doesn't suit the Honda like the old circuit did. Press releases appear below:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDERS’ COMMENTS AFTER FREE PRACTICE 1
Valentino Rossi (1st; 1’34.535)
“I am very happy about the new track layout because it is definitely improved compared to the old one; it is faster and it makes easier riding the bike. The best and biggest step forward is the new surface, because this works very well. There's a lot more grip than last year and less bumps. I think the people here at Indy have done a great job. The first session has gone well but we must improve further. I am looking forward to this afternoon.”
Jorge Lorenzo (6th; 1’35.084):
Championship points leader Tito Rabat set the top time Friday in the first Moto2 practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday. Rabat grabbed he lead toward the end of the practice session with a 1’38.060 — good for four-hundredths of a second clear of second place.
Dominique Aegerter, who led for most of FP1, finished second in the initial session with Sam Lowes just a touch back in third. Sandro Cortese (4th) and Simone Corsi (5th) rounded out the top five.
Mika Kallio, second in the championship was well off the pace in 12th, over a second back.
With the Indianapolis Motor Speedway being just a few hours from the family home, it made an excellent setting for the launch of a new book by Earl Hayden, the father of the 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden and his racing brother Tommy and Roger Lee. In the book, entitled The First Family of Racing, Earl Hayden lays out the history of his family and their place in US racing, and the time he spent watching his sons race in national and world championships. The book also contains chapters by all of his five sons and daughters, describing their experiences in racing.
The book is available through the Hayden Brothers General Store website and on Amazon. The book will also be on sale on the Hayden Brothers stall, where Earl Hayden will be available to sign copies. Earl Hayden will be donating his proceeds from the book to a charity in Owensboro, Kentucky, an emergency shelter for abused children. Below is the press release issued announcing the book launch:
Earl Hayden launches new book, The First Family of Racing, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Valentino Rossi found something to like at the first free practice on the newly resurfaced Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday morning. Rossi’s 1’34.535 put him three-hundredths clear of Bradley Smith who, like Rossi, saved his fastest lap for the end of the humid session. Andrea Iannone, who had topped the timesheet with one minute to go, was relegated to third in the tightly bunched field
Pol Espargaro managed fourth, slightly more than one-tenth of a second behind the leader. Marc Marquez, who held a dominant lead midway through FP1, found himself pushed into fifth at the session's end, slightly faster than Jorge Lorenzo (6th) who sits half a second shy of his teammate.
Nearly all of the riders set times significantly faster than last year. Not only was the infield track resurfaced, it also was slightly redesigned to add flow and better connect the corners. The result shaved roughly three seconds a lap on average.
Rossi led much of the early session only to be supplanted by Marquez with a little less than half the session remaining. With seven minutes to go, Rossi lagged six-tenths behind the championship leader with Lorenzo nearly a full second back.
Australian Jack Miller picked up right where he left off at the previous round with the fastest time in the first free practice at Round 10 of the Moto3 World Championship. Miller’s 1’45.824 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday morning left him three-tenths of a second clear of Isaac Vinales (2nd) and nearly three-quarters of a second faster than Alessandro Tonucci.
Luca Grunwald (4th) and Efren Vasquez (5th) rounded out the top five, both more than a second shy of Miller's time.
The session started slow on the damp track with times well slower than the previous year's FP1-- even with the slight track redesign which was supposed to make laps slightly quicker. But 15 minutes into the session as the racing line dried, lap times began to drop and Miller surged into the top spot. The championship points leader, fresh off the summer break, had dominated the previous round in Germany setting the top time in every session -- except race warm-up -- and winning the round.
There are few motorsports venues more iconic than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of the places I've visited, only Monza comes close: you can feel the ghosts of all the men and women who have raced there. With its massive grandstands and historic racing museum, the vast facility is breathtaking. It is a magic place.
Sadly, the magic is all around the 4 kilometer rectangular oval on which the Indy 500 is held, and not so much around the road course used by MotoGP. The rather tight, artificial infield road circuit feels very much like an afterthought, something retrofitted to allow a greater range of activities at the facility. If the oval layout is spectacular, the road course is positively pedestrian.
To the credit of the Speedway, they have done an awful lot to try to improve the track. Last year, there were at least four different types of asphalt around the circuit, and the infield section was considered too tight for overtaking maneuvers. In an effort to solve both those problems at a stroke, turns 3 and 4, turn 7 and turns 15 and 16 have all been modified. The changes are aimed at opening the corners up a little, making them a little faster and more flowing. The change at turns 3 and 4 should make for more natural corners, and a better transition back onto the outside oval. Turn 7 has been altered to open it up, making a more natural chicane rather than the right-angle corner it was before. Turns 15 and 16 are now a little more flowing, and again have been modified to provide a more natural transition onto the oval. At the same time, the infield has been completely resurfaced, so that it now has just one type of asphalt.
Press releases previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's MotoGP round at Indianapolis:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis GP races:
Jorge Lorenzo has signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha. The 2010 and 2012 world champion will stay with the factory Movistar Yamaha team in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
The deal had been widely expected, as the two sides have been in serious negotiation since Assen. With both the Repsol Honda and factory Ducati full up, Lorenzo had few other options, and it was simply a matter of contract details between Yamaha and the Spaniard. It was widely rumored that Lorenzo was looking for a single-year deal, or an option to leave early, but the announcement makes no mention of that. However, Spanish media are reporting that a compromise was reached in the form of an option for both sides to terminate the contract a year early, at the end of 2015.
Lorenzo's signing completes the factory line ups of the three manufacturers already in MotoGP. Suzuki are expected to announce their line up for 2015 as well, consisting of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales. Attention will then turn to Aprilia, and their return to MotoGP, which is mooted to have been brought forward a year to 2015.
Below is the press release from Yamaha announcing the deal with Jorge Lorenzo:
Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo Confirm New Two-Year Agreement
There are many ways for fans to follow MotoGP: on TV, via newspapers, magazines and websites, via the official Dorna-run MotoGP.com website. Since last year, a new option has been added: the MotoGP Live Experience mobile app. The Live Experience app allows you to keep up with the latest news on your smartphone or tablet, see the results of practice sessions and races, or follow the sessions and races via live timing. But is it any good?
I have been using the Live Experience app for the past two years – paid for out of my own pocket, I might add, not provided by Dorna – and have seen it improve in leaps and bounds. Early 2013 versions had a tendency to freeze, but new versions fixed most of those issues. Like all Dorna products, the policy seems to be release early, and fix problems as they go along. Now, nearly 18 months into the project, the Live Experience app has proven to be pretty stable, and usable on both WiFi and over a mobile data connection. I use it over my home internet connection for races I don't attend personally, and over mobile data connections at the track for races I do attend. But before looking at how it works, first a look at what you can expect from the Live Experience app.
What does it do?
The aim of the MotoGP Live Experience app is to help fans keep up to date with MotoGP on their mobile devices. To that end, it provides a subset of the information and services on the MotoGP.com website. There is a section with the latest news stories, a selection of photos, and a (highly abbreviated) selection of videos. There is a guide to the riders and teams in all three classes, and a summary of the rules and regulations of Grand Prix racing.
The guts of the app, and to my mind, the main reason for purchasing it, is the ability to follow live timing. While the bikes are on track, a green button appears next to the session currently running, and a click on that takes you to a split screen, showing a 3D model of the track with the position of the bikes, and a timing screen showing the lap and sector times for all of the riders taking part in the session.
As had been widely anticipated, Stefan Bradl has signed with the NGM Forward Racing team for the 2015 season. The German had been forced to look for a ride after losing his support from HRC, Honda providing a major part of the backing for Bradl at the LCR Honda team. Although LCR were keen to retain the German, without financial support from HRC, that would have been a costly business. With HRC backing Cal Crutchlow, Bradl was left to look elsewhere.
The 2011 Moto2 champion will switch to NGM Forward for 2015, where he will help lead development of the Forward Yamaha. That bike - a Yamaha M1 engine in a chassis built by Forward and designed by ex-FTR chassis guru Mark Taylor, running under the Open class rules - has shown promise in the hands of Aleix Espargaro at the Sachsenring, when the Spaniard tested it during practice. Having a rider of Bradl's caliber should help make the project more competitive. Bradl was keen to have a competitive ride for next season, after losing the LCR Honda seat, and the Forward Yamaha is one of the very best seats available.
With MotoGP about to get back on track after the short summer break, bike fans will start to gather at Indianapolis. Although the action revolves around the three Grand Prix classes on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there is plenty more to be doing in and around the track and downtown Indianapolis. The highlights on Friday are the Riders for Health auction, where memorabilia and work by some of the top MotoGP photographers go on sale, to support MotoGP's adopted charity, and the Indy Mile, at the State Fairground. Saturday's highlights include the Cycle World Q&A session, where you get to put your questions to the US magazine's staff writers, including motorcycle genius Kevin Cameron, and a farewell Q&A session with Colin Edwards at his final home Grand Prix. The weekend naturally culminates with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday.
Below is a press release issued by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a complete timetable of events:
DAY-BY-DAY AT THE RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP (Updated Version)
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 - A day-by-day look at the on- and off-track happenings for fans at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Aug. 8-10, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
FRIDAY, Aug. 8
8 a.m.-7 p.m.