MotoGP Returns to Brickyard This Weekend
The MotoGP has a big weekend planned for its return to the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The U.S. market is one of the best venues of the season and is very important to Ducati, with the twelve event of the season being the home race for their American star Nicky Hayden. Hayden was riding for Honda last year when he finished second on the podium in a competition was that was affected by the winds of a hurricane near the Brickyard. The 2006 MotoGP World Champion is going to be happy to make it home after an eleven race string of races that hasn’t exactly been in a giving mood. He can actually have a home cooked meal before coming to the practices or race this year, since he only lives three hours away from the Brickyard. This Kentuckian will be looking to thrill the American fans with a win, and with Casey Stoner on the mend, this would seem to be an opportune moment for Nicky to step up and shine.
Hayden’s teammate in the absence of Casey Stoner is MotoGP rookie Mika Kallio, who will ride out onto the pavement of a MotoGP premier competition for the first time this weekend. The lighter bike classes don’t run on the pavement of Laguna Seca and Kallio missed the Californian MotoGP race due to injury earlier in the season, while last year he competed in the 250cc class.
The asphalt of Seca Laguna is going to be challenging for all the racers, but especially for a rider who hasn’t experienced the three different kinds of asphalt that exist on the track. This is going to make the set-up for the bike and each individual racer a little bit different for each. If they get the set-up right and Kallio has a good race, he could finish in the top ten and maybe in the top five. Nicky Hayden is a different story, as expectations are a little higher for him in a personal way and with his fans. He has had many races on the asphalt of the Brickyard and he has an excellent chance of having a very good race and maybe even a podium finish.
Pressure and expectations can be a double-edged sword as many of us have certainly experienced but Hayden is the kind that handles it well. This is his chance to grab the spot light from Casey Stoner, expect him to pull out all the stops and live on the edge in an effort to be the best.
Meanwhile, Hayden’s temporary team-mate in the absence of Casey Stoner, MotoGP rookie Mika Kallio is due to make his U.S. race debut this weekend. The smaller classes do not compete at Laguna Seca and Kallio missed the Californian MotoGP race due to injury earlier in the season, whilst last year he was part of the 250cc field which was unable to compete at Indy due to the bad weather.
“Image: Zuma Press”