Indianapolis MotoGP Preview to the Race
Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Danny Kent and Alex Rins shone at Qualifying, and there was a special Indian connect at the races in the form of Mahindra.
After a lengthy summer break, 2 wheel petrol-heads can finally rejoice as the action resumes in the US of A. Valentino Rossi goes into the second half of the season with a 13-point lead over Jorge Lorenzo. Marc Marquez will continue his title defense, albeit in 4th in the championship 4 points adrift of Andrea Iannone who is a further 48 behind Lorenzo.
This race sees a lot of chopping and changing in the pecking order as we wave goodbye to Forward Racing, after their team owner Giovanni Cuzari was arrested for allegations of money laundering, leaving Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz without a ride.
Luckily for Bradl he secured a last minute seat at Aprilia Racing Team Gresini alongside Alvaro Bautista, after they fired Marco Melandri for his results (or the lack of them!). Meanwhile, Baz has been left in the lurch.
We also welcome back Toni Elias who was drafted as a replacement for Karel Abraham who is still sidelined with injury and hoping to make it back in time for his home race in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Forward Racing will be back in the Czech Republic with Baz and Claudio Corti at the helms.
After missing the last race in Sachsenring, Miguel Oliveira will be desperate to challenge for the Moto3 title but Danny Kent is on a roll, with a hefty 194 points to Bastianini’s 124 and Oliveira’s 102. But this is Moto3 we are talking about, and it is known for being the most unpredictable category in MotoGP.
There are a few rider transfers as well, with Isaac Vinales being released by JHK Laglisse and being replaced by Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Vinales in turn replaces an injured Ana Carrasco, thereby leaving Maria Herrera as the sole female representative in America.
Danny Kent will start from pole position with Oliveira and Zulfahmi Khairuddin behind him. Enea Bastianini will start 4th and Fabio Quartararo in 5th.
INDIA WATCH: The highest placed Mahindra powered bike starts on the edge of the top ten in the form of Jorge Martin of MAPFRE.
Sam Lowes, Tito Rabat, Alex Rins and other riders will definitely pick up where the Moto3 action left off and they are not the only ones in with a shout. Xavier Simeon created history as the first Belgian in many years to win a GP, with a commanding victory in Sachsenring.
Moto2 is just as unpredictable as Moto3. So far, Rabat has been dominating free practice, thus confirming his title aspirations and intention to defend his crown. Another rider in the form of his life is Frenchman Johann Zarco, who will be looking for his maiden championship. But it is Alex Rins who gets the honour of starting in pole position and alongside him are Rabat and Mika Kallio in that order.
As is the case with Grand Prix racing, the halfway stage always signals the start of the “Silly Season” when half the attention is diverted to next season and who goes where.
6-time champion Valentino Rossi will be more than eager to maintain his advantage over teammate Jorge Lorenzo of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, but will be wary of the threat of Honda.
Qualifying wrapped up soon enough and it was Marc Marquez who emerged on top, and to make matters even sweeter for the team, Dani Pedrosa made it a Honda 1-2 with Lorenzo in 3rd.
Rossi could only manage 8th place, with qualifying still his Achilles Heel. The Ducatis in the meantime struggled as the two Andreas, Iannone and Dovizioso, could only manage 7th and 10th respectively. But qualifying is one thing; the race is quite another. All in all we can expect a cracking race tomorrow, which will keep everyone up all night...depending on our time zone of course!