Team Ducati returns to the United States of America this week for the eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship, which takes place at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is the second home race of the season for Nicky Hayden, who was born, raised and still lives in Owensboro, Kentucky, not far from the border with the neighboring State of Indiana.
Hayden finished third at Indy last year, his best result of the season, and he would love to repeat it this Sunday. His left wrist, injured during qualifying at Brno, is in better shape and should not hinder him this weekend.
Casey Stoner is also looking forward to racing at Indy for the first time since he took fourth place in the rain-interrupted inaugural race in 2008. The Australian is also keen to confirm whether technical updates introduced at the post-race test at Brno have a positive effect at the famous old circuit.
CASEY STONER, Ducati Team
"I'm really looking forward to going back to Indy because it's a circuit where we were in good shape in 2008 despite the crazy weather. Unfortunately I wasn't able to race last year but hopefully this time around we can make the most of the work we did in the Brno test, even though we didn't have much time. We'll start out on Friday with the new front fork because our first impressions of it were good although we still have to decide whether we'll use it for the race. We'll also try some settings on the rear that we managed to get a few laps on at Brno but that also need checking out."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
"I really can not wait to get to Indy for the race. It's such a famous track with so much history and being so close to my home I got a big crew making the trip to support me and my brother. The event has really grown a lot in just a few years with the Indy mile dirt track, enduro cross, the stunt shows and all the downtown events, which really gives the fans a chance to make the trip worthwhile. My broken wrist is better than last week in Brno, which I am very happy about, so we'll see on Friday just how much better. The weather looks good so I hope to come out strong from the gun on Friday and have a weekend worth remembering. Let's get it!"
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"We go to Indy with some things to try that we hope can give Casey those two tenths he's missing. Over the past few months he's been happy with the engine and the handling of the GP10 but never really able to get a good feeling for the front. The new fork we tried in the Czech Republic seems to have given him a little confidence so we'll fit it to one of his two bikes on Friday afternoon. If his feeling is as good as it was at Brno we'll use it in the race. Also Nicky, of course, can use it if he wants to. This is one of the most important races of the year for him and definitely the one he looks forward to the most. He finished third last year and considering the big steps forward he has made this season, coming close to the podium on several occasions, we hope he can be celebrating a similar result."
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2008 but the circuit used for the event features only a part of the famous Nascar track, namely a large section of the start-finish straight and part of the south-eastern corner of the oval. The rest of the track is on the infield, a tight and twisty anti-clockwise layout. The most demanding aspect of Indy is not the layout, however, but the surface, which the riders find to be a challenge. With three different kinds of ashpalt offering different levels of grip, the riders and their teams have to work hard to find a set-up to cope. Extreme weather conditions that are commonplace in this part of the USA can also be a factor, as was seen in the first visit for MotoGP to Indianapolis, and also make grip even more critical on the three different sections of track.
INDIANAPOLIS CIRCUIT FACTS
Circuit Record: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha - 2009), 1'40.152 - 151.545 km/h
Best Pole: Dani Pedrosa ( Honda - 2009), 1'39.730 - 152.186 km/h
Circuit Length: 4.216 km
MotoGP Race 2010: 20 laps (84.32 km)
MotoGP Timetable 2010: 15:00 Local Time
Number laps: 28
Race distance: 118.048
PODIUM 2009: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Alex De Angelis, 3rd Nicky Hayden
POLE 2009: Dani Pedrosa ( Honda - 2009), 1'39.730 - 152.186 km/h
DUCATI MOTOGP TEAM'S BEST RESULTS AT INDIANAPOLIS
2009: 3rd (Hayden)
2008: 4th (Stoner)
DUCATI TEAM - RIDER INFO
Age: 24 (born 16th October 1985 in Southport, Queensland, Australia )
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP10
GP Appearances: 136 (75xMotoGP, 31x250, 30x125)
GP victories: 27 (20xMotoGP, 5x250, 2x125)
First GP win: Valencia, 2003 (125)
GP debut: Great Britain, 2001 (125)
Pole positions: 22 (18xMotoGP, 2x250, 2x125)
First pole position: Italy, 2003 (125)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2007)
Stoner's MotoGP track record at Indianapolis:
2009: Qualified: -. Race: -
2008: Qualified: 2nd. Race: 4th
Age: 29 (born 30th July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residency: Owensboro, USA
Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP10
GP Appearances: 126 (126xMotoGP)
First GP: Japan, 2003 (MotoGP)
GP wins: 3 (3xMotoGP)
First GP win: USA, 2005 (MotoGP)
Pole positions: 5 (5xMotoGP)
First pole: USA, 2005 (MotoGP)
World titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)
Hayden's MotoGP track record at Indianapolis:
2009: Qualified: 6th. Race: 3rd
2008: Qualified: 4th. Race: 2nd