Ah, Indy. Indianapolis. The home of the round and round in ovals racing spectacular. Site of the great F1 tyre debacle. Home to...not a particularly great MotoGP circuit. There's always been something funny about US grand prix, something which Austin has thankfully eliminated to a point.
The circuits just aren't very good.
I don't know if it's because they're not suited to bikes, at least in Indy's case, or whether there's just not enough interest - it was glaringly obvious you were in the desert when the calendar took Laguna Seca in.
See what I mean. I just can't take to it.
So yeah, not my favourite. I still wouldn't miss it for the world, though.
In The News
The news is massively dominated by the Athina Forward Yamaha MotoGP team. In late July, team owner Giovanni Cuzari was arrested on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. Sponsors immediately withdrew their funding and it looked for a time like that would be the end of them. They won't race in Indianapolis (neither will their Moto2 team), but management have been able to get funding to allow them to return to the field for Brno next weekend.
One Athina racer will be at Indy, though - just not with Athina. Stefan Bradl has left the team to take Marco Melandri's spot at Aprilia until the end of the season. Claudio Corti, who replaced Bradl while he was injured for the race at the Sachsenring, takes his place at Athina. Elsewhere, Karel Abraham is still injured, with former Moto2 world champion Toni Elias riding in his place.
On a sombre note, two MotoAmerica riders lost their lives during a Superstock 1000 race at Laguna Seca. Spaniards Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas Fernandez both crashed early in the race at high speeds, and both men sadly lost their lives. Our thoughts are with their families.
Hey look, racing! Some riders have been telling us what they did during their time off. Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro won the Suzuka 8 hours, Maverick Viñales trained and tested, Marc Marquez went partying in Ibiza, Jorge Lorenzo went to Brazil, and Dani Pedrosa went windsurfing, because why not? On the other hand, Eugene Laverty missed his bike and Sam Lowes is desperate to get back into action.
A win for Honda would be their 700th in the premier class, and would be a sixth in a row at Indy. The last non-Honda rider to win here was Jorge Lorenzo back in 2009. More MotoGP facts can be found here.
In Moto2, Tech 3 have parted company with Ricky Cardus, after a run of disappointing results. He will be replaced by 18 year old Spaniard Xavi Vierge, a race winner in the CEV Moto2 championship.
Johann Zarco hasn't finished higher than eighth at Indy, while Mika Kallio led every lap last year. More Moto2 info can be found here.
18-year-old Lorenzo Dalla Porta joins the Moto3 field, lining up alongside Maria Herrera for Husqvarna after they moved to replace Isaac Vinales after a run of poor form. The Italian has been performing well in the CEV Moto3 championship, and Husqvarna moved to secure his services. Vinales has a job for this weekend, replacing the injured Ana Carrasco at RBA, but it remains to see what will become of him in the long term.
Another race, another easy target to better his best performance at a circuit for Danny Kent. The old Kent hadn't finished higher than 12th at Indy, but this is the new, improved, possibly bionic Danny Kent. His 190 points after nine races is the highest total at the same point since Valentino Rossi had 195 points after nine races way back in 1997. Find out the Moto3 stats by clicking here.
And finally, Lewis Hamilton has revealed in an interview that he wants to test a MotoGP bike, mainly for a laugh.
"When I was a kid I wanted to race motorbikes. When my dad bought me my first go-kart I actually wanted a motorbike. I’d also love to test a MotoGP bike just to see what it’s like. Naturally I’d know the lines but I’d love to know if I could even do it."
Last Time Out
It seems like forever since the Sachsenring. You might have even forgotten what happened. Don't worry, here's my recap to refresh your memory.
I was a fantastic 0/3 at the Sachsenring, so don't put any money on these.
Indianapolis is a Honda-friendly circuit, so I'm going to play safe and say Marc Marquez takes the chequered flag in the GP race.
Sam Lowes loves Indy, and will be hoping to do better than last year, when he fell from seventh. I'm going to back him again.
Danny Kent will win the Moto3 race, because of course he will.
Congratulations America, you get a race where you don't have to wake up at silly o'clock! Times are presented as BST, so -5 hours for EDT, +1 for CET and so on.
|Q1 - 19:10-19:25
|Q2 - 19:35-19:50