Full results of a dramatic and weather-stricken 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Grand Prix:
After a 125cc race which was run mostly in the dry, being red-flagged 6 laps from the end after it started to rain, the rain has begun in earnest. The start of the 250 race has been delayed due to high winds and very heavy rain, and no word yet on how this will affect the rest of the schedule.
Dorna have just announced that the 250 race will now be run at 4:30pm local time, after the MotoGP race. That presumes, of course, that the MotoGP race can take place at a track which is currently being lashed by the remnants of hurricane Ike.
Spanish TV just interviewed a member of Race Direction, and he said that they will be trying to dry the more dangerous parts of the track mechanically, and hope to run the MotoGP race at 3pm local time without problems. The track may well still be wet, but it shouldn't be completely inundated. The weather radar shows that most of the rain is moving to the north of Indianapolis, sparing the track of the worst of the weather.
To understand American motorcycle racing, you have to understand flat track: large capacity motorcycles running as fast as possible round a mostly oval dirt track without a front brake. The sight and sound is impressive, and seeing crowds of riders firing into a corner with the rear kicked out is one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles on the planet.
It's a spectacle you have to see, and of all the flat track races held in the US, the Indy Mile is the most famous. And fortunately for us, Tim White, one of the most promising motorcycle photographers currently working in the US, attended the Indy Mile, and sent us his photos. Enjoy!
Flat Track Legend Chris Carr during qualifying.
Kawasaki have finally officially announced the news that had been unofficially made public since Brno, that Marco Melandri will be riding for the factory next year. The team issued an official press release today, announcing that Melandri has signed a two-year deal to ride for Kawasaki for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Although Melandri will be glad to see the back of the apparently terrifying Ducati Desmosedici GP8, the Kawasaki has hardly been the hot ticket to success this year. Ant West has consistently propped up the timesheets, unless the rain gods happened to help the Australian along, and when not absent due to injury, John Hopkins has been almost entirely anonymous in midfield. Where the Ducati is fast but hard to ride, it seems the Kawasaki is much easier to ride, but completely lacking in grip front and rear.
The weather looks like it is holding off, and the race should be run more or less on schedule, at 3pm. There is talk of the MotoGP race being pulled forward in place of the 250 race, so that MotoGP would start at 1.15pm local time, and 250 at 3pm, but there's no confirmation of that yet.
For most of this year, qualifying has followed a reasonably predictable pattern. A couple of laps after his out lap, Casey Stoner would seize pole position, gradually turning the thumbscrews on the rest of the field. About halfway through the session, Randy de Puniet would be the first rider out on qualifying tires and snatch pole from Stoner. His glory would be short-lived, however, lasting only until Stoner threw on the first set of qualifiers, then the process would repeat itself, the only real question being how big Stoner's margin would be over the rest, and whether Valentino Rossi would manage to qualify on the front row.
With the broadcast schedule of the Indianapolis MotoGP race already confusing US fans, as the race is due to be shown on NBC rather than Speed, now it's the turn of the rest of the world. Hurricane Ike, which has already devastated the charming Texan port town of Galveston, as well as causing huge damage in Houston, looks set to turn its vicious hand to the infinitely more trivial task of upsetting the schedule of the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP round.
The remains of Ike are due to pass over the Indianapolis area tomorrow afternoon, right in the middle of the race schedule. And after the experience of riding in semi-flooded conditions on Friday, the MotoGP safety commission have decided that riding in similarly underwater conditions would make racing far too dangerous. If the rain was as bad as Friday, the riders could simply refuse to race.
Full results of the qualifying practice session of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Toni Elias showed why he is such a hot favorite as the man to sign by topping this morning's free practice session, which started damp but dried out eventually. The Spaniard finished ahead of Valentino Rossi and the two Repsol Honda team mates, Nicky Hayden heading up Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa is getting up to speed very quickly on the Bridgestones in the dry, but is still struggling in the wet, something which overcame Rossi earlier in the year.