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Dovizioso Takes Fourth In Dramatic Indianapolis GP

30 August 2009 - Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso came within half a second of a podium finish today at the Indianapolis Grand Prix as he converted eighth on the grid into a strong fourth place at the finish.

The Italian skillfully picked his way through an incident-packed race and in the closing laps he looked destined to overhaul a hard-charging Nicky Hayden for third at the American’s home race. Dovizioso closed to within 0.1s and was perfectly poised to strike until a momentary loss of grip on the last lap forced him to settle for fourth place.

Despite missing out on the podium by fractions of a second, Dovizioso was pleased with the overnight improvements to his machine settings, which allowed him to increase his race pace. He will go to Misano next weekend ready for another front-running performance.

His Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa looked odds-on for a repeat of his runaway victory at Laguna Seca as he converted pole position into an early lead. Setting a searing pace in front of Valentino Rossi and eventual race winner Jorge Lorenzo, Pedrosa appeared to be repeating the dominance he had shown in every practice session ahead of today’s race.

At the end of lap four however he fell from the lead - remounting and putting in a spirited fight-back despite a bent handlebar, no rear brake and a right footpeg that was half worn away.

The never-say-die Spaniard was the fastest rider in the second half of the race and battled back to 10th place at the chequered flag to collect six championship points.

With barely time to draw breath, the MotoGP paddock now jets back across the Atlantic for the next weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano circuit.

Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes:

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), fourth-place finisher, said: “After the warm-up today we made a radical change to the set-up and I have to say that my team has worked really well because, thanks to this modification, my feeling with the machine improved a lot in the race. I could ride faster than during the practice sessions and my rhythm in the race was also consistent. Considering how the weekend had gone up to this point, finishing fourth is quite positive result.

We still have to improve though of course. I was close to Nicky and I tried to overtake him several times by taking big risks. It’s a pity to finish fourth because the podium was not impossible. The important thing is that we have taken an important step forward. We are close the podium and we will start again in Misano building on this good base.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), tenth-place finisher, said: “This result was a real shame but sometimes it happens - it’s racing. We did a great job all through practice and qualifying, I was confident for the race and of course I was hoping to win today. I was pushing very hard at the start of the race and perhaps I pushed too much.

There was some cloud cover today and maybe the front tyre was a little cooler than before, but whatever the reason, I made a mistake and lost the front. I’m sorry for the team because they’ve worked really hard for me, and also to the fans who’ve given me great support. I wanted to win in American again but it wasn’t to be.

There was some damage to the bike - the handlebar was bent inwards and the footpeg was worn away quite badly, but actually I was able to recover and ride at a fast pace to take some points at the end. Looking on the positive side, we’ve been very fast here and that means we can take a lot of confidence to Misano next weekend.”

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), 12th-place finisher, said: “In yesterday’s qualifying I felt better on a hard rear tyre and that was my choice for today’s 28-lap race. But obviously it has been the wrong decision. From the beginning I had not enough grip on the left and I could not open the throttle where I would like.

I thought that the grip would have improved after a few laps, but it did not happen and I struggled for the whole race. At seven laps to go I also went wide on turn two and (Toni) Elias and (Chris) Vermeulen were faster than me today. The ankle aches a lot like in Brno but I think that Misano race track will suite me better than Indy.”

Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda), 14th-place finisher, said: “Session by session we improved - and this is OK. At the beginning of the race I was in a condition to attack, ad operated a few overtaking, and I enjoyed it. But to do so I had to ride constantly over the limit. In the second part of the race it was a struggle. This is what worries me most: We have to find something big to improve.”

Race Classification MotoGP : (28 laps = 118.048 km)

1Jorge LORENZOSPAFiat Yamaha TeamYAMAHA47'13.592149,976
2Alex DE ANGELISRSMSan Carlo Honda GresiniHONDA47'23.027149,4789,435
3Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDUCATI47'26.539149,29412,947
4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda TeamHONDA47'27.070149,26613,478
5Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3YAMAHA47'39.846148,59926,254
6James TOSELANDGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3YAMAHA47'46.0000.14832,408
7Loris CAPIROSSIITARizla Suzuki MotoGPSUZUKI47'47.992148,1770.034
8Mika KALLIOFINDucati TeamDUCATI47'48.448148,15434,856
9Toni ELIASSPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHONDA47'58.597147,63145,005
10Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHONDA47'58.969147,61245,377
11Chris VERMEULENAUSRizla Suzuki MotoGPSUZUKI47'59.070147,60745,478
12Randy DE PUNIETFRALCR Honda MotoGPHONDA48'05.886147,25952,294
13Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPramac RacingDUCATI48'17.144146,6861'03.552
14Gabor TALMACSIHUNScot Racing Team MotoGPHONDA48'28.678146,1051'15.086


Pole Position: Dani PEDROSA 1'39.730 152.186 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Lap 4 Jorge LORENZO 1'40.152 151.545 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2008 Valentino ROSSI 1'49.668 138.395 Km/h
Circuit Best Lap: 2009 Dani PEDROSA 1'39.730 152.186 Km/h

World Championship Positions:

1ROSSI Valentino 212
2LORENZO Jorge 187
3STONER Casey 150
4PEDROSA Dani 141
5EDWARDS Colin 123
6DOVIZIOSO Andrea 120
9DE PUNIET Randy 84
10MELANDRI Marco 79
11VERMEULEN Chris 77
12HAYDEN Nicky 73
13TOSELAND James 72
14ELIAS Toni 70
15KALLIO Mika 42