Dani Pedrosa totally dominated the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on his Honda and closed the points gap behind title leader Jorge Lorenzo to 18. Pedrosa had a fabulous weekend, sat on pole after setting the fastest ever motorcycle lap of the circuit and was in a class of his own in the race.
Fellow Red Bull athlete Casey Stoner had the pace during practice but crashed hard in qualifying and set off from 6th on the grid with torn tendons and chipped bones in his right ankle. The World Champion still put in a fantastic performance only giving up 3rd place to Andrea Dovizioso in the final stages and still managing some damage limitation with 4th.
It was Ben Spies who took the early lead with Pedrosa 2nd ahead of Dovizioso and Lorenzo. Spies charged away on his Yamaha taking Pedrosa with him as they opened an advantage over Lorenzo. The championship leader had chosen a softer rear tyre option just as Stoner had done at Laguna Seca but it proved to be no advantage this time.
Pedrosa settled to his task and took the lead from Spies going onto lap 5. The Texan had no reply and any chance he might have had later disappeared in a huge cloud of smoke as his engine expired at the end of lap 6.
Lorenzo flashed past the stricken machine into 2nd but the chasing pack of Dovizioso, Stoner, Stephan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista were blinded by the smoker and lost 4 seconds as they sorted themselves out.
Stoner also lost 4th to Bradl but he quickly regained it and set about chasing Dovizioso. Pedrosa was clear away and setting records as he constantly opened the advantage over Lorenzo.
With 18 of the 28 laps still to go Stoner took 3rd from Dovizioso with Bautista just behind taking 5th from Bradl. Pedrosa was building on a 2.5 second lead. And Lorenzo had an 8 second advantage over Stoner.
He might have eased off but Pedrosa was enjoying himself. He set a blistering time of 1.39.088 with 13 laps to go setting another new lap record as he opened up the lead over Lorenzo to over 4 seconds. Lorenzo looked to be suffering from his soft rear tyre choice as Stoner started to close by a few tenths but he was coming from over 10 seconds behind the Yamaha.
It was not all plain sailing for Pedrosa as he had a nasty moment with 11 laps to go and lost over a second to Lorenzo as he recovered. The gap had been up to 5 and was still well over 3 seconds, he just needed to keep up the concentration and not take any chances.
Stoner had been able to get away from Dovizioso but the pain and exhaustion started to take its toll. With 8 to go Stoner's advantage over Dovizioso dropped bellow 1.4 seconds, the pain of his injured right ankle must have been terrible. The Italian then quickly closed and passed the World Champion with 7 laps remaining. Stoner did not let him go easily and chased him hard.
In the end Stoner could not catch the Italian again and had to accept 4th and a points gap of 21 to Pedrosa and 39 to Lorenzo with 7 races remaining.
Pedrosa was more than content with his Grand Prix, his 2nd victory at Indianapolis and his 2nd win of the season. “It has been a good weekend, the bike was working well. We were sliding all the way round the track but with a good feeling. Thanks to the team because the bike was good. The race was hard because the pace from the start was quite fast. Then when Ben's engine dropped the oil I wasn't too sure where to go in Turn 1 for a few laps then I had a problem in Turn 2 but I got away with it and it was great to win.”