2008 Indianapolis MotoGP Race Result

Full results of a dramatic and weather-stricken 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Grand Prix:

Weather Throws Indy Schedule Into Disarray - 250cc Race Delayed Until After MotoGP Round

After a 125cc race which was run mostly in the dry, being red-flagged 6 laps from the end after it started to rain, the rain has begun in earnest. The start of the 250 race has been delayed due to high winds and very heavy rain, and no word yet on how this will affect the rest of the schedule.

Dorna have just announced that the 250 race will now be run at 4:30pm local time, after the MotoGP race. That presumes, of course, that the MotoGP race can take place at a track which is currently being lashed by the remnants of hurricane Ike.

Spanish TV just interviewed a member of Race Direction, and he said that they will be trying to dry the more dangerous parts of the track mechanically, and hope to run the MotoGP race at 3pm local time without problems. The track may well still be wet, but it shouldn't be completely inundated. The weather radar shows that most of the rain is moving to the north of Indianapolis, sparing the track of the worst of the weather.

We will keep you updated as soon as we know more. 

Images From The Indy Mile - A Piece Of American Racing Heritage

To understand American motorcycle racing, you have to understand flat track: large capacity motorcycles running as fast as possible round a mostly oval dirt track without a front brake. The sight and sound is impressive, and seeing crowds of riders firing into a corner with the rear kicked out is one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles on the planet.

It's a spectacle you have to see, and of all the flat track races held in the US, the Indy Mile is the most famous. And fortunately for us, Tim White, one of the most promising motorcycle photographers currently working in the US, attended the Indy Mile, and sent us his photos. Enjoy!

Chris Carr at the Indy Mile

Flat Track Legend Chris Carr during qualifying.

Nichole Cheza at the Indy Mile

Pink And Fast: Nichole Cheza

Kawasaki Confirm Melandri Move Officially

Kawasaki have finally officially announced the news that had been unofficially made public since Brno, that Marco Melandri will be riding for the factory next year. The team issued an official press release today, announcing that Melandri has signed a two-year deal to ride for Kawasaki for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. 

Although Melandri will be glad to see the back of the apparently terrifying Ducati Desmosedici GP8, the Kawasaki has hardly been the hot ticket to success this year. Ant West has consistently propped up the timesheets, unless the rain gods happened to help the Australian along, and when not absent due to injury, John Hopkins has been almost entirely anonymous in midfield. Where the Ducati is fast but hard to ride, it seems the Kawasaki is much easier to ride, but completely lacking in grip front and rear. 

The first chance that the general public will get to see whether the move has been a good one or not will be immediately after the final race of the season at Valencia at the end of October. Melandri is due to test the Kawasaki for the first time officially then. Paddock rumors run that Melandri has already tested at Kawasaki's private test track at Autopolis, and broke the track record. Whether that is true or not, we will see soon enough just how fast Melandri can be in green.

2008 Indianapolis Warmup Results - Stoner Back In Charge

The weather looks like it is holding off, and the race should be run more or less on schedule, at 3pm. There is talk of the MotoGP race being pulled forward in place of the 250 race, so that MotoGP would start at 1.15pm local time, and 250 at 3pm, but there's no confirmation of that yet. 


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Fast Lap Diff Diff Previous
1 1 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'41.553    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'42.161 0.608 0.608
3 24 Toni ELIAS DUCATI 1'42.301 0.748 0.140
4 56 Shinya NAKANO HONDA 1'42.369 0.816 0.068
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN HONDA 1'42.419 0.866 0.050
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'42.454 0.901 0.035
7 48 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'42.531 0.978 0.077
8 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1'42.555 1.002 0.024
9 11 Ben SPIES SUZUKI 1'42.641 1.088 0.086
10 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 1'42.657 1.104 0.016
11 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI DUCATI 1'42.668 1.115 0.011
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'42.704 1.151 0.036
13 33 Marco MELANDRI DUCATI 1'42.709 1.156 0.005
14 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'42.955 1.402 0.246
15 21 John HOPKINS KAWASAKI 1'43.133 1.580 0.178
16 2 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'43.166 1.613 0.033
17 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'43.294 1.741 0.128
18 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 1'43.763 2.210 0.469
19 13 Anthony WEST KAWASAKI 1'45.101 3.548 1.338


2008 Indianapolis MotoGP Qualifying Report

For most of this year, qualifying has followed a reasonably predictable pattern. A couple of laps after his out lap, Casey Stoner would seize pole position, gradually turning the thumbscrews on the rest of the field. About halfway through the session, Randy de Puniet would be the first rider out on qualifying tires and snatch pole from Stoner. His glory would be short-lived, however, lasting only until Stoner threw on the first set of qualifiers, then the process would repeat itself, the only real question being how big Stoner's margin would be over the rest, and whether Valentino Rossi would manage to qualify on the front row.

The inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP race was anything but predictable, and turned into one of the most fascinating and thrilling sessions of the entire year. This may have been due to the fact that the session was the first truly dry outing of the weekend, with both Friday's sessions having been held in torrential rain, and Saturday's morning free practice session starting off damp, and only really drying out towards the end. And so for most teams, the first 20 minutes of the session were spent searching for some kind of dry weather set up, before they could even think about qualifying.

The session started much as expected, with Casey Stoner the first rider to crack into the 1'43s, but just 10 minutes into the session, the fast laps were flying thick and fast. Ben Spies, Sylvain Guintoli, Nicky Hayden, Jorge Lorenzo, Randy de Puniet and Toni Elias all held provisional pole at one point, as the times edged towards the mid-1'43 mark, and beyond. 

But with 20 minutes of the session gone, the really fast times started to shake out. Naturally, the first of the fastest was Casey Stoner, the Australian shaving nearly 3/10ths off Elias' time with a lap of 1'43.105, but he wasn't to be the only quick man. Just a couple of minutes later, Valentino Rossi took 8/100ths off Stoner's provisional pole, improving to 1'43.021.

Rossi wasn't finished there: his provisional pole was just the first in a sequence of fast laps, eventually taking pole down to 1'42.945. But Rossi wasn't the only rider capable of running fast on race tires. Nicky Hayden was running low 1'43s, smoking his rear tire in crowd-pleasing fashion through some of the long left handers, while Toni Elias was also getting quicker. So quick, in fact, that the Spaniard took his Alice Ducati to provisional pole with an impressive 1'42.741, 2/10ths quicker than Rossi's previous time.

Hurricane Ike Could Make Indy Race Time A Complete Gamble

With the broadcast schedule of the Indianapolis MotoGP race already confusing US fans, as the race is due to be shown on NBC rather than Speed, now it's the turn of the rest of the world. Hurricane Ike, which has already devastated the charming Texan port town of Galveston, as well as causing huge damage in Houston, looks set to turn its vicious hand to the infinitely more trivial task of upsetting the schedule of the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP round.

The remains of Ike are due to pass over the Indianapolis area tomorrow afternoon, right in the middle of the race schedule. And after the experience of riding in semi-flooded conditions on Friday, the MotoGP safety commission have decided that riding in similarly underwater conditions would make racing far too dangerous. If the rain was as bad as Friday, the riders could simply refuse to race.

So far, no decisions have been made, with a spokesperson for IMS saying that so far, any talk of changes would be "just speculation", but one possible option, if the forecasts are for torrential rain in the afternoon, is to move the race to the morning. The safety commission is due to examine the forecast this evening, and a decision could be taken by then. 

2008 Indianapolis Qualifying Practice Times - A Thriller To The Last Minute

Full results of the qualifying practice session of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

2008 Indianapolis FP3 Times Day 2 - Elias Leads Rossi In The Dry

Toni Elias showed why he is such a hot favorite as the man to sign by topping this morning's free practice session, which started damp but dried out eventually. The Spaniard finished ahead of Valentino Rossi and the two Repsol Honda team mates, Nicky Hayden heading up Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa is getting up to speed very quickly on the Bridgestones in the dry, but is still struggling in the wet, something which overcame Rossi earlier in the year.

Ben Spies was the fastest Suzuki rider, casting doubts on the wisdom of signing the veteran Capirossi over the American youngster. Poor Ant West has gone from hero to zero once again, finishing bottom of the pile, after heading yesterday's sessions.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Fast Lap Diff Diff Previous
1 24 Toni ELIAS DUCATI 1'43.708    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'43.780 0.072 0.072
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN HONDA 1'43.826 0.118 0.046
4 2 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'43.893 0.185 0.067
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'44.171 0.463 0.278
6 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 1'44.210 0.502 0.039
7 11 Ben SPIES SUZUKI 1'44.211 0.503 0.001
8 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI DUCATI 1'44.459 0.751 0.248
9 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1'44.499 0.791 0.040
10 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'45.087 1.379 0.588
11 56 Shinya NAKANO HONDA 1'45.147 1.439 0.060
12 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'45.158 1.450 0.011
13 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'45.172 1.464 0.014
14 48 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'45.318 1.610 0.146
15 33 Marco MELANDRI DUCATI 1'45.466 1.758 0.148
16 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 1'45.579 1.871 0.113
17 1 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'45.706 1.998 0.127
18 21 John HOPKINS KAWASAKI 1'45.894 2.186 0.188
19 13 Anthony WEST KAWASAKI 1'46.945 3.237 1.051


TV Schedule For Indianapolis MotoGP Round In The US - It's On NBC

Though the coverage of MotoGP on network television will be incredibly useful for raising the profile of our favorite sport among casual viewers in the USA, it has confused the DVRs of many regular MotoGP fans. In vain do they search the Speed TV schedules for broadcast times for the season's second US GP.

The reason for their confusion is the fact that Speed is not showing the MotoGP race from Indy. Instead, the race will be shown by NBC, as the last instalment of a four race package the network secured prior to the start of the season. The race will be shown live, at 3PM EDT. Check your local NBC affiliate for more details, or keep an eye on the incredibly useful TV Racer website.

The good news - if such it can be called - is that all will be back to normal after Indy, and Speed TV will show the rest of the season's MotoGP races, usually on the same day, but mostly not live. 

Remember to tip off any friends you have who may have missed out on the news that NBC will be carrying the Indy race. The return of motorcycle racing to The Brickyard after 99 years is not something they will want to miss.

Toni Elias To Return To Gresini Honda?

The fall from favor of Luis d'Antin has done the team he previously ran nothing but good. Since the Spanish former GP star was forced out of the team, the team's fortune has improved vastly.

This is especially true for Toni Elias. The Spaniard has had two podiums in a row, at Brno and Misano, and has gone from being the man most likely to leave MotoGP to one of the premier class' hottest tickets.

For the past few weeks, Elias has been most closely linked with the extra Kawasaki that Jorge Martinez is likely to be running next year. Martinez, who runs the extremely successful Aspar teams in the 125 and 250 classes, is keen to step up to the MotoGP class, and having secured a bike to run, as well as likely sponsorship from a Spanish backer, now needs a Spanish rider to keep the sponsors happy. Toni Elias would have fit that bill perfectly.

The downside to any Kawasaki deal, however well funded, was always going to be the Kawasaki. From the most improved bike on the grid last year, this year's green bike has been a complete disappointment, with Ant West continually propping up the timesheets - unless there's a downpour - and John Hopkins stuck firmly in mid-pack.

And so according to sources in the Spanish press, Toni Elias has decided to take the safe option: Instead of gambling on a Kawasaki, Elias is said to have signed a contract with Gresini Honda for next year, and will make a return to the team with which he took his first and so far only race win.

2008 Indianapolis FP2 Times Day 1 - West And Vermeulen Rule In Wet

The rain continued during the afternoon's session, and the usual suspects rose to the top of the pile. Ant West and Chris Vermeulen were quickest, with West the clear leader by over 3/4 of a second. With rain predicted for the entire weekend, Indianapolis could turn out to be West's swan song. If he's this far ahead already, just think what could happen on Sunday.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Fast Lap Diff Diff Previous
1 13 Anthony WEST KAWASAKI 1'54.274    
2 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1'55.032 0.758 0.758
3 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 1'55.067 0.793 0.035
4 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'55.425 1.151 0.358
5 11 Ben SPIES SUZUKI 1'55.869 1.595 0.444
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'56.225 1.951 0.356
7 48 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'56.313 2.039 0.088
8 1 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'56.458 2.184 0.145
9 2 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'56.782 2.508 0.324
10 33 Marco MELANDRI DUCATI 1'57.534 3.260 0.752
11 21 John HOPKINS KAWASAKI 1'58.335 4.061 0.801
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'58.382 4.108 0.047
13 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI DUCATI 1'58.399 4.125 0.017
14 69 Nicky HAYDEN HONDA 1'58.546 4.272 0.147
15 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'58.600 4.326 0.054
16 24 Toni ELIAS DUCATI 1'59.059 4.785 0.459
17 56 Shinya NAKANO HONDA 1'59.092 4.818 0.033
18 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 1'59.478 5.204 0.386
19 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'59.661 5.387 0.183


2008 Indianapolis FP1 Times Day 1 - Ant West Shines In The Rain

It's raining in Indy, so it must be Ant West's day in the sun. West, Alex de Angelis and Casey Stoner are the only riders to be close, the rest are a little way behind. At the rear of the field, Dani Pedrosa is finding that switching tire makes in the middle of the season is a long way from being a quick fix to his perceived problems.  

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Fast Lap Diff Diff Previous
1 13 Anthony WEST KAWASAKI 1'53.034    
2 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 1'53.151 0.117 0.117
3 1 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'53.190 0.156 0.039
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'53.704 0.670 0.514
5 21 John HOPKINS KAWASAKI 1'53.715 0.681 0.011
6 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1'53.771 0.737 0.056
7 48 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'53.850 0.816 0.079
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN HONDA 1'53.931 0.897 0.081
9 11 Ben SPIES SUZUKI 1'54.297 1.263 0.366
10 24 Toni ELIAS DUCATI 1'54.616 1.582 0.319
11 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'54.795 1.761 0.179
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'55.072 2.038 0.277
13 56 Shinya NAKANO HONDA 1'55.074 2.040 0.002
14 33 Marco MELANDRI DUCATI 1'55.292 2.258 0.218
15 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'55.731 2.697 0.439
16 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI DUCATI 1'56.125 3.091 0.394
17 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 1'56.271 3.237 0.146
18 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'56.345 3.311 0.074
19 2 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'56.851 3.817 0.506

Hermann Tilke Invades Donington

Speaking of bad weather...  MotoGPMatters.com official photographer, Scott Jones, has taken a close look at the proposed Hermann Tilk-ified redesign for Donington.

The New Donington Park:

Since the announcement in July that Formula One would be coming to Donington Park in 2010, MotoGP fans have been waiting for details regarding exactly how this will change the track as a motorcycle racing venue. Plans for the Hermann Tilke re-design are now available on the Donington website.
The changes to the park are extensive to accommodate lengthening the track and building all new paddock, garage, pit lane, media, and luxury spectator facilities for Formula One.
The Start-Finish will be on what is now the general location of Starkeys Straight, although in order to make room for the new paddock and garages, the straight itself will be pushed toward the outside of the track, bringing it inline with the entrance to Melbourne Hairpin. This means bye-bye to the Foggy Esses, and that Melbourne is now Turn 1.
Goddards is also gone to accommodate the addition of a new infield section in the form of several left-handers and a new right hand turn that rejoins to the old track at the start of Wheatcroft Straight. MotoGP fans will be glad to know that the old track remains untouched from Redgate to McLeans, keeping Hollywood, the Craner Curves and Old Hairpin in tact. The exit of McLeans, however, will be changed, as will Coppice, due to Starkeys being moved away to increase the size of the infield area.

2008 Red Bull Indy GP Preview - New Territory in a Grand Old Place:

America's Cathedral of Speed:

It is said the Indy 500 is the most recognized race title in the World.  Owing primarily to its lengthy history, it manages to capture at least a small amount of interest from even the most passing of race fans.  The home of the Indy 500 is, of course, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), whose history goes back slightly further than the 500 mile race that has made it so famous.  It is a national treasure, planted at the Eastern edge of what Americans call "The Heartland"; the great, mostly flat, middle of the country where farming and large scale industrial manufacturing have been the norm for decades.  Indianapolis is the capitol city of the State of Indiana; a place not typically given over to the glitz and excess of the more fashionable racing cities of the World.  It is a place where work ethic and national pride are quite obvious, even to other Americans.

The Speedway - when using just this one word, there is no doubt which track is being identified - during much of its history, was primarily viewed as the best opportunity for spectators to see attempts at unfathomable speed.  A remarkably simple design of a rectangle with rounded corners, it is, essentially, two long high speed runs, set up by two shorter ones, every lap.  In great contrast to the other way of pursuing terminal velocity, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Brickyard allows for viewing this excitement from her immense grandstands.  Year after year, technology and bravery pushed back the boundaries of the impossible.  The fact that sometimes cars were racing at speeds competitive with each other made it all the more appealing.
Race results and championship standings
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