PEDROSA AND DOVIZIOSO READY FOR INDY RETURN2009-08-24 10:45
The Repsol Honda team rolls through the gates of the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week ready to contest round 12 of the Motorcycle World Championship at the spectacular venue. It will be MotoGP’s second visit to North America this season and the factory Honda squad will be looking to repeat its victory at the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca in July. On that occasion Dani Pedrosa led from start to finish on board his RC212V to record Repsol Honda’s maiden win of the 2009 season.
After his second place at the last round in Brno in the Czech Republic, Pedrosa is ready for a return to the top step of the podium this weekend. The Spaniard has proved that when everything slots into place he’s capable of taking the fight to his championship rivals and he’ll be looking to show that his previous victory on American soil was no fluke. And if Pedrosa finishes on the podium in Indianapolis he will overtake the absent Casey Stoner for third place in the championship standings.
Dovizioso is also confident of putting on a strong display this weekend at a circuit he enjoys. The Italian led the first two laps of last year’s weather-affected race at Indianapolis while riding for the satellite Scot Honda team, before finishing fifth as the conditions deteriorated rapidly. After a win and a fourth place in the two races running up to Indy, a strong result for Dovizioso this weekend would give him a good chance of moving ahead of Colin Edwards and into fifth place in the world championship points standings. The Texan lies just five points in front of Dovizioso after 11 rounds of the season completed.
This will be MotoGP’s second visit to the famous banking of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the entire paddock will be hoping for better weather this time after last year’s race was cut short by hurricane Ike, which lashed the circuit with torrential rain and high winds. Weather permitting, the first practice session for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis takes place on Friday at 13.55 local time (GMT - 4 hours).
DANI PEDROSA – World championship position: 4th, 135 points
“I’m really looking forward to riding in America again because the last time we were in the States - at Laguna Seca in July - we won the race. A result like that would be great for me and the team and that’s what we’ll be aiming for, though we know we’ll have to work hard for it because our rivals have proved they are very strong in the last few races. I don’t think the gap they had at the last race in Brno was a true reflection of our pace compared to theirs though, so I expect we’re going to be closer to them at Indy. The circuit itself is largely made up of second and third gear corners so it’s not one of my favourites to ride, but the venue itself it very impressive. I really hope the weather is going to be better than last year because the conditions in the race were pretty terrible and the organizers were forced to stop it early because it was so dangerous. The team is motivated for Indy - we made some progress in the test after Brno, so we’re looking for another strong weekend.”
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World championship position: 6th, 107 points
“This is the second time that we race at Indianapolis and I have to say that last year I immediately found a good feeling with this new track. It’s a typical American venue with great facilities and huge grandstands so the experience of riding there is special. I like this racetrack and it will be important for me and the team to have a good result here. I was fourth in the last race at Brno but that was actually a little disappointing because I was so close to the podium again, so I’m look forward to getting back on track and putting that right. It won’t be easy, especially during the first practice session because it’s a different type of circuit and it’s not so easy to dial into the layout at the beginning. However, I expect us to be closer to the front at this race because the track is quite slow and I think that we will have fewer problems than in Brno where the track amplified our issues. So I’m really looking forward to a good result at Indy.”
Source: Repsol Honda Team
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