Dani Pedrosa strengthened his MotoGP world title challenge with a dominant victory in an uninspiring 28-lap race at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.
Pedrosa was untouchable once he used the power of his Repsol Honda RC213V to blitz by fast starting Texan Ben Spies on the long home straight at the end of lap four.
With Spies cruelly taken out of podium contention when his factory YZR-M1 spectacularly failed as he powered towards the first corner at the end of lap seven, Pedrosa strolled to his second win of the season by a massive 10.823s over world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
The only time Pedrosa’s hopes of victory were slightly threatened was when he made a mistake in the braking zone for the second corner on lap 18. That cost him 1.2s and slashed his lead from just over five seconds to 3.8, yet the scare barely knocked him out of his stride and his victory means he trails Lorenzo by just 18-points heading to next weekend’s Brno round.
Lorenzo never recovered from a sluggish start that dropped him from second on the grid to fourth but his second place was never threatened and he finished 6.4s clear of Andrea Dovizioso in a strung out race.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Dovizioso claimed his fifth podium finish of the 2012 campaign after getting the better of physically drained reigning world champion Casey Stoner in the final stages.
The Australian produced a heroic display to fight his way into third just 24 hours after fracturing a bone and damaging ligaments in his right ankle following a horrific qualifying high-side crash.
Stoner was only declared fit to start the 28-lap race this morning and he raced with his ankle heavily strapped. He also used a modified boot from Alpinestars.
The gutsy 26-year-old moved into third on lap 10 but with temperatures hitting a punishing 26 degrees and the pain intensifying, Stoner bravely held onto third until Italian Dovizioso relegated him back to fourth on lap 22.
Stoner came under no pressure for fourth with Alvaro Bautista back in fifth but 2.7s adrift.
Stefan Bradl rounded out the top six but in a dull encounter he was a massive 30 seconds behind Pedrosa. Only seven riders finished within a minute of Pedrosa and it was another day to forget for nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi.
Rossi was a distant seventh and 57.614s off the pace and if anybody needed convincing why he has quit Ducati to re-join Yamaha then today’s race should provide all the evidence required.
British rider Cal Crutchlow failed to score points for the first time in 2012 after he crashed out of seventh place at Turn 4 on lap 10.
Paul Bird Motorsport rider James Ellison finished 14th on his Aprilia ART machine to score points for the fifth time in the last six races.