By Jake Thompson
SPEEDWAY — Don’t tell MotoGP series riders the future isn’t here, because they might not believe it.
Marc Marquez, the 20-year-old rider from Spain, is taking the series by storm this season. His latest accomplishment was riding away with the Red Bull Indianapolis GP Sunday in front of a crowd of 60,327 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I think we did the best we can in MotoGP,” Marquez said. “I feel so good this weekend and then on the race the plan was clear. Just to save the tires in the beginning, and when the fuel comes a little bit down, then try to attack and open some gap and was working well. In the end, with that gap I was able to enjoy the slides and I feel good.”
Marquez arrived at IMS as the championship series leader of the MotoGP class in only his first season. Marquez continued his hot streak in Indy, setting the track record on the way to claiming the pole.
The victory gives the Repsol Honda Team rider a sweep of the series’ American rounds after wins at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.
“(This) will be my second country,” Marquez laughed.
Jorge Lorenzo split Marquez and his Repsol teammate Dani Pedrosa as the flag dropped, taking the hole shot and the lead.
The 2010 MotoGP series champion, and rider for the Yamaha Factory Racing team, outpaced Marquez and Pedrosa through the first 12 laps.
With 15 laps remaining, Marquez passed Lorenzo in the short gap of Turn 2, giving the race its second, and last, leader. Lorenzo’s tires were wearing down and he didn’t have the grip to stay with Marquez, and eventually gave way to Pedrosa with three laps remaining.
“We play our cards the best way possible because I wasn’t really, really good,” Lorenzo said. “I was really fast and I was surprised to be so quick and constant at the start of the race, but then Marc started to go faster and faster. I start to go in my pace and the tires start to go and it was difficult to keep a normal pace.”
Lorenzo has five podium finishes in six starts at Indianapolis, the most of any rider.
Valentino Rossi, the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner in 2008, passed Cal Crutchlow for fourth place in the final turn of the race.
After leading 22 laps of the Moto2 race and controlling the action, Takaaki Nakagami gave up the lead to Esteve Rabat as the driver from Spain made a daring pass and held on for the win.
“I push at the end and take pass and push as hard as I can,” Rabat said. “At the end we make very good job and finish.”
The win marks Rabat’s second career Moto2 victory and second of the season. With the win, Rabat became the fourth consecutive Spanish rider to win the Intermediate class of the MotoGP World Championship.
The Moto3 race was a back and forth affair for all 24 laps and featured 12 lead changes. Estrella Galicia and teammates Alex Rins and Alex Marquez battled it out throughout the race, culminating with an exciting finish.
On Lap 22, Marquez passed Rins in Turn 1 for the lead and on very next, and final, lap Rins returned the favor in the same corner, passing Marquez and taking the win by .177 seconds.
The victory marked Rins’ third career Moto3 win and third this season. It was also his second consecutive triumph as he also won the German Grand Prix last month.
The AMA Pro Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson Series returned for its third year at the Red Bull GP.
Malaysian Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin joined Kyle Wyman Racing at the right time and made his series debut at Indianapolis Sunday. The move proved to be a good one for both parties as Syahrin won the 10-lap race.
Series leader Steve Rapp led the opening lap before Syahrin took the next four. Rapp regained the lead but was passed by Syahrin on the final lap to win by .060 seconds. Travis Wyman took third.
FIM eROAD RACING
Electric bikes finished up the day at IMS with their inaugural 8-lap race at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. These bikes reached speeds close to 180 mph and is a series raced on three continents.
The Icon Brammo team took the top two spots as Shane Turpin led all eight laps from the pole position. Eric Bostrom finished second and Kenyon Kluge placed third.
Turpin set a new track record in the electric bike division in his second lap (1:53.412).
RETURN OF MOTOGP
Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Saturday the Red Bull Indianapolis GP would return to IMS in 2014.
“We are very pleased that we can bring our fans another thrilling MotoGP World Championship race in 2014 at IMS,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “The last six years have established a solid foundation for the Rd Bull Indianapolis GP, and we are optimistic about the growth of the event in Indianapolis. We are also eager to continue working with our friends at Dorna to ensure an exciting, long-term future for MotoGP at The Racing Capital of the World.”
The MotoGP began at IMS in 2008 and IMS and Dorna have entered into discussions with regards to extending their relationship beyond the current contract. Next year is the final year of the agreement between Dorna and IMS.