Spain‘s Jorge Lorenzo has won his first Indianapolis MotoGP title at the weekend, beating San Marino’s Alex de Angelis by 9.435 seconds.
Yamaha’s Lorenzo was among the fastest riders this weekend, but early mistakes by his two top rivals made things much easier.
Pole winner Dani Pedrosa went too low through into a corner on the fourth lap on Sunday, lost his balance and his bike and skidded across the track. The Spaniard finished 10th.
Five laps later, Lorenzo’s Yamaha team-mate, Valentino Rossi of Italy, made a similar error.
He also went too low through a corner, lost his balance, sliding across the track and into the grass. Rossi later parked in the pits.
It’s the first time the six-time world champ has not finished a race since Valencia in 2007.
Rossi is still in charge of the title race despite his Indy crash and has a chance to bounce back on home soil next weekend.
Following Pedrosa’s crash, it looked as though Rossi and Lorenzo could be set for another classic battle as the world champion attempted to repeat his 2008 Indianapolis success. However, a crash from out of nowhere when Rossi lost the front end on lap nine handed Lorenzo the victory and now the championship advantage is down to 25 points with five rounds remaining.
The first of those remaining races is at Misano next weekend, where Rossi also won last year en route to his sixth premier class title and where he is sure to enjoy huge support from the passionate home crowd.
Reflecting on race day at Indianapolis, Rossi said: “Today is a disappointment of course. We struggled here with the setting all weekend but we made an improvement today and I got a good start and was able to stay in touch with Pedrosa.
“Once he fell, I knew it would be between Jorge and I, but I honestly don’t know how it would have finished, because Jorge was very fast today.
“Obviously, it would have been better to have finished second than not to finish at all! Unfortunately I ran wide on to a dirty part of the track at turn one and lost the front. I tried to carry on but there was a problem with my throttle and it wasn’t possible.
“I want to congratulate Jorge for his victory and now we look forward to coming back to the front at Misano. We are still leading the championship and this is the most important thing.”
Standings after the weekend’s Indianapolis MotoGP, round 12 of 17:
1 Valentino Rossi 212.0
2 Jorge Lorenzo 187.0
3 Casey Stoner 150.0
4 Daniel Pedrosa 141.0
5 Colin Edwards 123.0
6 Andrea Dovizioso 120.0
7 Alex De Angelis 88.0
8 Loris Capirossi 86.0
9 Randy De Puniet 84.0
10 Marco Melandri 79.0
11 Chris Vermeulen 77.0
12 Nicky Hayden 73.0
13 James Toseland 72.0
14 Toni Elias 70.0
15 Mika Kallio 42.0
16 Niccolo Canepa 32.0
17 Sete Gibernau 12.0
18 Gabor Talmacsi 10.0
19 Yuki Takahashi 9.0
20 Aleix Espargaro 3.0