Stoner victorious at Indy as tyre management proves crucial
It’s the Australian’s seventh of the season and his third in succession, extending his championship lead to 44 points with six races remaining.
He was followed across the line by teammate Dani Pedrosa in second and Yamaha Racing’s Ben Spies who recovered excellently having dropped to ninth to climb onto the podium for the third time this season.
Every rider opted for the softer option rear and the harder option front Bridgestone slicks for the 28-lap race, with the exception of Nicky Hayden who was the only rider to gamble with the softer option front slick. Tyre wear was a crucial factor in the outcome of today’s race, as was expected from the conditions experienced all weekend, but durability was good. Stoner set a new lap record on lap 20, Stoner, Pedrosa and Spies all lapped consistently in the high 1m 39s to low 1m 40s bracket until the last few laps, and Andrea Dovizioso set his personal best on the last lap.
This is a clear indication of how significant the bike and rider package is in determining tyre performance – there were clear differences in tyre durability and consistency between riders using exactly the same tyre specifications.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Casey today for a very strong ride, and also to the Repsol Honda Team not just for Casey but Dani too who performed very strongly. It was an impressive recovery from Ben to fight back from ninth to finish third, and it is great for the home fans to see an American rider on the podium. I’d also like to congratulate Álvaro and the Rizla Suzuki Team for their sixth position as they seem to be really finding their stride now.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“What we saw today was a clear example of just how important machine setup is in maximising tyre performance – we saw some riders suffer from tyre wear especially in the front, but by contrast those at the front were remarkably consistent and the laptimes show good durability. Casey’s total race time was over 20seconds faster than the previous best set in 2009 and he also set a new lap record on lap 20 of 28. What’s more, Dani set the third fastest laptime and his personal best on lap 24, and Andrea’s personal best was fourth fastest and came on the last lap. In terms of tyre wear appearance after the race I can say that the tarmac improved again and the grip level is high, especially for the rear which led to the front end pushing through corners, increasing wear rate.”
Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“I’m very happy to win here at the Brickyard. We had a really good setup all weekend and felt good with the track. I was struggling with the grip but I suppose in comparison with everyone else we felt pretty good. For the race we knew we had a good setup and the pace. We struggled a bit in the first few laps but once we got going we managed to do the laptimes we thought we could get to. The heat today made the race very hard and it was a lot of hard work out front, trying to stay consistent and trying not to run wide onto that greasy part of the track.”