Seconds after the start of the Moto3 race at the Red Bull MotoGP at the Indianapolis Raceway on Sunday, Round 10 was transformed into a weather and tire choice lottery, but still saw three KTM riders in the top five finishers.
The 23-lap race was won by Belgium’s Livio Loi with Scottish rider John McPhee second and KTM rider Philipp Oettl of Germany in third. All three riders were on the podium for the first time in their careers.
The race was officially declared ‘wet’ at the start, but the track immediately began to dry out and almost all top riders dashed back to the pits to change to slicks. The top three finishers were all riders who made a very quick decision to make the change, virtually on the grid or just before the race.
The race leaderboard changed dramatically right from the start when points leader Danny Kent and Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, who started 1-2 on the grid were back in the pits after only one lap. One by one others quickly followed and Loi found himself perfectly placed to take advantage of the situation. McPhee, who had opted for slicks while on the grid and had to start from the back of the grid moved into second and Oettl tucked into third place as early as lap four.
It was a special day for the German rider Oettl, who was on the podium 19 years after his father and manager Peter Oettl, took his last GP win in the 125cc class at the Italian GP in 1996.
Philipp Oettl: “I left on wets and I immediately knew it was the wrong decision and I went back to the pits as soon as possible. The team did an amazing job to get me back out as soon as they did. I went out and decided to just push, push, push!”
Sky VR46 rider Romano Fenatitook fourth place on his KTM and with it moved into third place in the standings. Isaac Vinales of Spain, riding a KTM for the first time this season was fifth.
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Brad Binder was a close eighth while teammateKarel Hanika was twelfth. Oliveira was the fastest starter but completed only one lap before coming in for the tire change. He, and championship leader Danny Kent were at the back of the field for most of the race but Oliveira fought hard in the final stages to claim the final championship point in fifteenth place. Kent crossed the line in twenty-first place but still has a substantial points advantage.
Oliveira had returned to the competition after suffering a fractured hand in qualifying in the last round, the GP of Germany at the Sachsenring.
What the Red Bull KTM Factory riders said:
Brad Binder (finished 8): “Today I’m a bit disappointed with the race because all weekend I felt really good and I felt like if it had been a full dry race it would have been a good one. In a race like this I think it’s important to just score points often because things can go wrong very quickly. I didn’t finish here where I wanted, but a big thanks to the team and I’m looking forward to Brno because its one of my favorite tracks.”
Karel Hanika (finished 12): “Today the race was crazy. We started in the wet and had wet tires but pretty quickly the track became dry and in lap two I decided to go into the pits and seems to have been a bit late. My team did a pretty good job and they changed the tires quickly and I was back on the track trying to fight for some points. We were pretty close to top ten and I finally finished top twelve. We’ll learn from this and I will try to do better at my home GP next week.”
Miguel Oliveira (finished 15): “Today’s race was quite tricky conditions and in the beginning we decided to come out on wet tires and just one lap after the start I was running back into the pits. Unfortunately we didn’t have everything on time to change the tires but I still recovered a lot of time during the race. It was kind of sad to end a great race weekend like this be we stay strong for the next race.”
All three classes of Moto GP immediately return to Europe for the next round next weekend, the GP of the Czech Republic at the Brno circuit.
MotoGP of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Round 10
1, Livio Loi, BEL, Honda, 40:50.747
2, John McPhee, GBR, Honda, 41:29.607
3, Philipp Oettl, GER, KTM, 41:48.528
4, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 42:06.043
5, Isaac Viñales, ESP, KTM, 42:10.561
6, Enea Bastianini, ITA, Honda, 42:14.548
7, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, Honda, 42:15.333
8, Brad Binder, RSA, KTM, 42:15.406
9, Jorge Navarro, ESP, Honda, 42:16.039
10, Jorge Martin, ESP, Mahindra, 42:25.852
12, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 42:26.548
15, Miguel Oliveira, POR, KTM, 42:33.950
20, Andrea Migno ITA, KTM, 41:02.487
22, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 41:09.047
25, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, MAL, KTM, 41:37.635
30, Niklas Ajo, FIN, KTM, 41:52.405
31, Gabriel Rodrigo, ARG, KTM, 42:09.270
Moto3 Standings after Round 10
1, Kent, 190
2, Bastianini, 134
3, Fenati, 112
4, Oliveira, 103
5, Vazquez, 96
6, B. Binder, 83
7, Fabio Quartararo, FRA, Honda, 79
8, Viñales, 75
9, Antonelli, 69
10, Navarro, 61
15, Oettl, 39
16, Hanika, 33
18, Ajo, 21
19, Kornfeil, 19
21, Migno, 16
25, Khairuddin, 2
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