Dani Pedrosa reduced Jorge Lorenzo’s championship lead to eighteen points after a crushing victory in the Indianapolis Grand Prix. The Repsol Honda rider was pushed early on by Ben Spies but when misfortune struck the home favourite, Dani was the inevitable winner.
The major news prior to the start was the decision by Casey Stoner to race despite fracturing his ankle during qualifying. The world champion started from sixth but lost a place on the opening lap, much like his teammate who was swamped by Spies at turn two. The American fought off a challenge from Pedrosa at the end of lap three but the superior straight-line speed of the Honda proved too much for him to handle next time they arrived at the start/finish line.
To his credit, Spies kept in touch with Pedrosa despite the ease at which he was overtaken but just as at Laguna Seca three weeks ago, luck would desert him on home soil. As the Yamaha came through to complete lap six, the YZR-M1 went up in smoke, literally, thanks to a grenaded engine.
Pedrosa now had an unchallenged lead from Lorenzo with Andrea Dovizioso up to third. Casey Stoner’s brave ride through the pain barrier had brought him onto the tail of the Tech 3 Yamaha but his caution when faced with Spies’ engine smoke allowed Stefan Bradl past him. Stoner regained fourth from the German before drafting past Dovizioso on lap ten, tempering the mood at Tech 3 which had already dimmed thanks to Cal Crutchlow crashing out of seventh.
As the race entered the closing stages, the pain inevitably had a detrimental effect on Stoner, allowing Dovizioso the opportunity to counter attack. The Italian swarmed all over the back of Casey before the pressure finally told at turn two with seven laps left to run. With that, the podium places were settled in favour of Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Dovizioso while Stoner had enough energy to hold off Alvaro Bautista for fourth, the Gresini rider having seen off Bradl.
Valentino Rossi was almost a minute off the lead in seventh, completing a miserable weekend for Ducati, with Karel Abraham climbing up to eighth on the satellite GP12. The CRT battle was decided in favour of a joyous Yonny Hernandez after a race-long battle with Aleix Espargaro while James Ellison salvaged two points for fourteenth despite a difficult start.