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Young Cyclist Dies At Indy

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, August 30 2010

It was a sad day at Indy Sunday as a young cyclist died after a wreck. (Photo courtesy of the Indy Racing League)

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A 13-year-old rider died after crashing during a support event to Sunday’s United States Grand Prix motorcycle race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

The rider was Peter Lenz of Vancouver, Wash.

Lenz accident occurred during the “sighting lap,” motorcycle racing’s equivalent of the warm-up lap, before the support race began at 10:20 a.m. According to the Associated Press, Lenz fell on the lap and was run over by Xavier Zayat, 12, who also fell but was not injured.

Lenz was placed in a neck brace and was given chest compressions before he was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Shortly after the accident, USGPRU officials announced that Lenz “suffered traumatic injuries.” Lenz was later pronounced dead.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, but know that Peter is racing even faster in the sky,” said the Lenz family in a statement released to the media.

Lenz is the first motorcycle rider to die at the track, he is the first fatality on the IMS road course, and is the first death on the track since Tony Renna died during an Indy Racing League practice session in 2003. The last driver to die on track during a race was Swede Savage, who was killed during the 1973 Indianapolis 500.

Statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and CEO Jeff Belskus, regarding the incident: “Our hearts go out to the parents, family and friends of Peter Lenz. Words cannot adequately express the sadness of our company and our employees about this tragic incident and Peter is in our thoughts and prayers.”

The USGPRU is an entry-level series for riders aged 12 to 18 designed for them to advance into higher disciplines of motorcycle racing. The series is not normally part of the MotoGP support schedule. The fatality occurred in the second race of a two-race weekend for the series. It was the first fatality in the nine-year history of the USGPRU.

The MotoGP event was won by Dani Pedrosa. It was his third victory of the season. He also won at the Grand Prix of Italy and the Grand Prix of Germany.

This is the first time Dani Pedrosa has won three races in one MotoGP season. He has won two races each of the first four years of his MotoGP career, which started in 2006.

This is the first podium finish in three Red Bull Indianapolis GP starts for Dani Pedrosa. He finished eighth in 2008 and finished 10th in 2009.

Rookie Ben Spies of the United States earned the best finish of his MotoGP career, second. He finished third at the Grand Prix of Great Britain, his only other podium finish this season.

At least one American rider has finished on the podium in all three Red Bull Indianapolis GP races. Nicky Hayden finished second in 2008 and third in 2009, and Ben Spies finished second today.

Jorge Lorenzo finished third, ending his historic streak of finishing first or second in the first 10 races of this season. Only Grand Prix motorcycle racing legends Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan had matched that feat.

Lorenzo is the only MotoGP rider to finish on the podium in all three Red Bull Indianapolis GP races. He finished third in 2008 and won in 2009.

Casey Stoner did not finish this race, ending a streak of five consecutive podium finishes this season that started at the TT Assen in the Netherlands.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, August 30 2010
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