Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez completed a hat trick of U.S. MotoGP wins in 2013 by working his way past teammate Dani Pedrosa and early leader Jorge Lorenzo to take the victory at Indianapolis on Sunday. Lorenzo pulled the holeshot and tried to break away from Pedrosa and Marquez, building a small lead as the pack sorted itself out. Pole-sitter Marquez was biding his time however, and soon passed teammate Pedrosa on the eighth lap to move into second. Marquez quickly latched onto Lorenzo’s tail, and swooped underneath the Yamaha Factory Racing rider into turn two to take the lead on lap 12.
Lorenzo gamely held onto Marquez for the next six laps, even threatening in certain sections of the infield road course at Indy, before rear tire problems forced him to fade back into the clutches of Pedrosa. Pedrosa eventually powered past Lorenzo down the front straight on lap 24 and pulled away to a gap of 0.84 seconds at finish; Marquez’s margin of victory was 3.8 seconds.
“I didn’t make so good of a start,” said Marquez after his third U.S. MotoGP victory, “but I knew before the race that the most important part was the end of the race. In the beginning, OK, the start was not so good, but then on the first ten laps, I just try to follow Dani and try to follow Jorge and try to save the tires. Then when I feel comfortable a little bit, I try to attack. In the beginning, Jorge was able to follow me, but then I try to push a little bit more and was able to pull a gap. I feel so good with the bike that I was able to enjoy that fight. 25 championship points is important, and I feel good that I was able to win all three USA races.”
Behind the lead trio, a tremendous battle for fourth was waging between GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, and Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi. Crutchlow was a strong fourth in the opening laps, but he soon fell back and was caught by Bautista. The two became engaged in a heated battle that allowed Rossi to catch them, and battle soon became a threesome.
A blanket could have covered the three, with the battle coming down to the last few corners on the last lap. Crutchlow was fending off numerous attacks by Rossi until the British rider made a slight mistake in turn 14 and opened the door for the Doctor, who quickly slipped underneath. Crutchlow came back onto the racing line and leaned on Bautista in the final turn, managing to hold him off on the run to the flag; Rossi took fourth, Crutchlow fifth, and Bautista sixth. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl finished a lonely seventh.
The battles downfield weren’t finished, though. Ducati teammates Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovisioso were swapping eighth place in the final laps, with Dovisioso seemingly set to take the spot. American homeboy Hayden had other plans though, and stuffed his way past on the last turn, forcing both to jump the temporary curbing on the front straight. Unfortunately their detour allowed Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith to sneak by and take eighth, with Hayden ninth and Dovisioso tenth.
American Colin Edwards, who qualified for the Q2 fastest 12 qualifier session for the first time on Saturday on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR/Kawasaki machine, finished 13th. Wildcard rider Blake Young crashed the Attack Performance CRT machine on the opening lap.
MotoGP Indianapolis race results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda
7. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda
8. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha
9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati
10. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati
11. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati
12. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia
13. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki
14. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki
16. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
17. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW
18. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia
19. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda
DNF Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia
DNF Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW
DNF Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia
DNF Blake Young (USA) Attack Performance/Kawasaki