Monday, September 15, 2008

MotoGP Indianapolis: Rossi Wins in the Wind

Valentino Rossi took his fourth win on the trot as the MotoGP circus paid its first visit to Indianapolis, as the race was red-flagged due to the circuit being battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Nicky Hayden took second place, and Jorge Lorenzo third in the changeable wet and windy conditions. Qualifying had been in the dry, and Valentino Rossi had hurled his FIAT Yamaha to pole position in front of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo.

The red lights went out, and Casey Stoner took the lead on the Marlboro Ducati. Incredibly, local(ish) hero Nicky Hayden had made a blistering start on his Repsol Honda to take second place, in front of Team Scot Honda rookie Andrea Dovizioso. Stoner almost immediately ran wide in the slippery conditions, letting young Dovi through into the lead and Hayden into second place. The Kentucky Kid's pneumatic-valved Honda was far quicker than Dovizioso's spring-valved customer version down the straights, and Hayden blasted past into the lead.

Valentino Rossi had made a poor start, getting away in fouth place, but after waiting a while to let things settle down, he started to pick up speed. He must have smiled as he overtook Casey Stoner, who was struggling to stay smooth on his Bologna Bullet in the treacherous conditions. Jorge Lorenzo put up more of a fight, but Rossi was supremely confident in his Bridgestone tyres as he passed the young Spaniard, then shot past Dovizioso's underpowered satellite Honda bike. However, Nicky Hayden was setting a searing pace at the front, and Rossi was able to gain on him only little by little...

The rest of my MotoGP report from Indianapolis is here on Motorbikesport.

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