It was looking so good for the Pramac Ducati pairing of Mika Kallio and Aleix Espargarò. With one lap to go, the duo were 9th and 10th respectively, and on for a double finish, which is just what the team needed after a series of disappointing results in the previous few races.

And then, with a quater of the lap remaining, Kallio had the misfortune of finding one of the many bumps that litter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, sending him sliding across the track and out, leaving Espargarò to claim 9th, an impressive result for him.

“What bad luck,” said a disapointed Kallio after the race. “I had a better start than usual, at the end of the first lap I had gained 3 positions. Then thanks some riders dropping out and the overtake I made on Bautista, I was riding in 8th, almost 4s behind Simoncelli. During the lap 8, he passed me again. Together we started to run at a very fast pace and in 7 laps we closed the gap we had from Simoncelli. I was fighting with Simoncelli and Bautista for 7th, but in a corner, due to a hole in the asphalt, I instantly lost the front tyre and found myself with my face on the asphalt. I could have easily have fought with the others for 7th or at least gain a top 10 position. I am very disappointed with how things went, but as so often during this season for one reason or another I cannot get the results I deserve.”

Espargarò was in an understandably better mood than his colleague, if a little tired. “It’s so hot here, It was like a sauna inside my leathers, I have never had to run in weather conditions like this. I’m really exhausted, but very happy to have finished my race in the better way. I was able to start very well and not lose positions, in the early laps I tried to get my rhythm and overtake the other riders. On the lap 5, I overtook Capirossi and Edwards and closed the gap to Mika. Unfortunately I didn’t have the pace that would allow me to stay with the others. With the heat the track had become very slippery, and during the last laps I tried to complete my race without taking unnecessary further risks.”