SPEEDWAY — It took four laps for him to get out of Ben Spies’ shadow, but once Dani Pedrosa passed him the Spaniard left the rest of the MotoGP field in the dust.
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Pedrosa dominated the 28-lap Red Bull MotoGP Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, beating second-place finisher Jorge Lorenzo by 10.823 seconds and led the last 26 laps.
The rider of the No. 26 Repsol Honda became the first two-time winner of the Indianapolis Grand Prix following his 2010 win. And in the past three races on the 16 turn, 2.62-mile circuit, Pedrosa has notched finishes of first, second and first, respectively.
On the season, the victory was Pedrosa’s second of the year and his tenth podium finish in 11 races. In his seventh year racing in the MotoGP class, Pedrosa is driving the best of his career.
“I know that I’m doing all I know to be fast,” he said. “I try every weekend and it’s not always easy but sure, I hope that I continue like this until the end of the year.”
Pedrosa started on the pole, but Spies, who qualified directly behind him in fourth, made the early pass at the start of the race. Pedrosa then rode behind Spies for a couple laps before pouncing right before the yard of bricks at the start/finish line.
“Spies got by me really easy in Turn 2 and for a couple laps behind him he was really late braking,” Pedrosa said. “But he made a mistake before the main straight so I had to go there.”
Second place finisher Lorezno remains the MotoGP points leader over Pedrosa by 18 points with his runner-up finish. A result that the Spaniard was happy with after racing with a softer tire than the majority of the field because of handling issues.
“Sometimes being second is better than a victory in some circumstances so today was like that,” Lorezno said.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso finished in third, notching his fifth podium of the season.
Resigned to crutches after a wreck in Saturday’s practice didn’t stop 2011 MotoGP world champion and 2011 Indianapolis Grand Prix winner Casey Stoner from racing in Sunday’s event.
Late Saturday, a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed that Stoner suffered several small chipped bone fractures, a 10-millimeter fracture on the talar dome below his tibia and fibula, contusions to the anterior tibia, posterior tibia and medial malleolus and soft tissue swelling around the ankle. The Australian also tore his deltoid, anterior talofibial, calcaneal and fibular ligaments in addition to a high ankle sprain.
In a valiant effort considering the injuries, Stoner finished fourth after starting sixth.
With seven laps to go, Dovizioso passed Stoner for third place.
“Casey made a really amazing race,” Dovizioso said. “He couldn’t push and his position on the bike was real bad. I liked to fight with Casey because he’s Casey but in his situation he wasn’t 100 percent. I waited until the end because I knew that I could beat him.”
When Spies took the lead on the first lap, he teased the crowd with the possibility of the first American winner at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. But once the Germantown, Tenn. native relinquished the lead to Pedrosa on the front stretch on Lap 3 he would fall victim to a blown engine five laps later. Spies would finish 19th.
Saturday’s practice had knocked Owensboro, Kent. native Nicky Hayden out of Sunday’s race after a wreck. The fan favorite had qualified eighth but suffered a concussion and was declared unfit to race in Sunday’s Grand Prix.