MotoGP heads to the Brickyard this weekend for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. As the riders gear up for round 11, we take a look at six of them we think you should keep an eye on…
Dani Pedrosa (Spain) – Honda
Pedrosa finds himself 77 points behind Jorge Lorenzo in the overall standings but he will be looking to eat into that lead in America. The Spaniard enjoyed an eventful weekend in Indianapolis last year, dominating practice and qualifying, and starting from pole before an early crash meant he finished down in 10th. He's heading Stateside on the back of a second-place finish in the Czech Republic, and will be gunning for his third win of the season.
Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) – Yamaha
Victory in Brno last time out meant Lorenzo became only the third rider in history to finish in the top two in all of the opening 10 races of the season. The Spaniard has won a phenomenal seven of those races and enjoys a healthy points advantage over Pedrosa in the overall standings. Lorenzo has pedigree in Indianapolis too, winning there in 2009 and finishing on the podium in 2008.
Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) – Honda
It’s fair to say that Dovi is fired up for the Indianapolis Grand Prix. On the back of his first DNF of the season in Brno, and with the imminent arrival of Casey Stoner for 2011, the Italian needs a big race in America. However, he remains confident he can do just that and was happy with how his bike performed in the Czech Republic. Has finished fourth and fifth in the States in his last two appearances and will be hoping to go at least one better this year.
Valentino Rossi (Italy) – Yamaha
Rossi continues to impress on his comeback from injury; however, he was disappointed to only finish fifth in Brno, having expected more. The Italian won the inaugural MotoGP race in Indianapolis, mastering difficult conditions as Hurricane Ike battered the track. He was less fortunate last year, when he crashed after a tussle with teammate Lorenzo and will hope to put that right this weekend.
Casey Stoner (Australia) – Ducati
Stoner endured a difficult start to the 2010 season, but five podiums from the last five races have lifted the Australian up to third in the overall standings. He is still searching for his first win of the season though, and will hope that his new front fork – which he tested in Brno – can give him an edge. He missed last year’s race due to illness.
Ben Spies (USA) – Yamaha
The rookie certainly won’t die wondering on his home grand prix after he vowed to “go for broke” on Sunday. Spies has steadily improved during his first MotoGP season and finished fourth in the Czech Republic after starting on the first row of the grid for the first time in his fledgling career. He has been tipped to replace the departing Valentino Rossi in the Yamaha factory team, and a good showing here definitely won’t do any harm.