MotoGP Indianapolis: Lorenzo’s victory climb

Published on August 31st, 2009

I stayed home today for the MotoGP and was rather pleased that I was not disturbed by anyone walking around and about doing their best to block my view as per the usual at the mamak’s.

Well, Dani Pedrosa seemed to be in a different form altogether, that is all the way until lap 4 when he low sided, leaving Rossi and Lorenzo to lead the frontrunners. Dani Pedrosa, who rode the fastest 9 laps in Indianapolis during practice and did so without any mistakes, made love to the tarmac with still 24 laps to go.

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Twenty-four laps to go, Rossi is seen leading the pack and throwing the bike around quite hard with Lorenzo keeping the pressure to the maximum. This was going to be another classic battle, a familiar battle between the two rivals of the same team.

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Further back on the train, de Angelis overtook Colin Edwards for the 3rd position.

Still twenty laps to go, Lorenzo snatched the lead from the inside. Valentino Rossi crashed when his front tyre gave way. Further clarification revealed that the crash caused a throttle malfunction and Rossi was forced to admit defeat, but still with 25 points ahead of the championship. It was his first unfinished race since Valencia in 2007.

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Lorenzo can now sit comfortably in first place, but with San Carlo Honda Gresini Alex de Angelis and Nicky Hayden of Ducati Marlboro bringing up the rear, it was still too early in the race to tell.

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With 16 laps to go, Lorenzo was leading 10 seconds ahead of de Angelis and Nicky Hayden. Rossi went into the pit with indication that there was something wrong with the throttle.

Nicky Hayden kept the distance to a minimum between him and de Angelis for a possible podium shot. Divizioso of Repsol Honda and Edwards of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 battled for 4th position, and Dovizioso took it with 14 laps to go.

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13 laps to go, Lorenzo was leading 11.902seconds in front of de Angelis and Nicky Hayden, with Dovizioso and Edward completing the frontrunners.

At this point, having Rossi still around the track, battling it out with Lorenzo would be a dream race. Lorenzo was racing a lonely race and has pretty much secured the podium.

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The real race now was for the remaining podium positions, the 2nd and 3rd between de Angelis, Hayden and Dovizioso. With less than 7 laps to go, the battle will now kick itself up a few notches, but still, with no direct pressure on Lorenzo, who continued to add more milliseconds to the leading clock, 12.937seconds ahead of de Angelis.

Dovizioso is putting pressure on Hayden, Lorenzo leading, and Dani Pedrosa didn’t seem to want to give up, but sitting on 14th position, there was not much that he could do. Better to finish than not at all aye?

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Pedrosa is now 12th, no 11th, taking the position from Randy de Puniet right on the start/finish line.

Dovizioso was trying for the last time on the very last lap, pushing the bike so hard the rear gave way a little, Lorenzo presented to the fans a victory wheelie, winning the race by 9.5seconds, followed by de Angelis, Hayden and Dovizioso, with Edwards completing it up.

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Lorenzo was seen climbing the fence, overjoyed, and the celebration is completed with Captain America’s shield on his right arm.

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There you have it, a classic battle cut short, Pedrosa’s fall (who finished on 10th position), an end to Nicky Hayden’s dry season, de Angelis’ very first podium, Rossi’s rare crash, and Lorenzo’s third win this season. Pramac Racing’s temporary replacement rider Aleix Espargaro, earned three points when he achieved 13th position on his MotoGP debut.

See you next week in San Marino.

text: Syawal Ahmad  pix: MotoGP

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