The second half of the MotoGP season gets underway this weekend with the Indianapolis Grand Prix as standings leader Marc Marquez goes for his 10th straight victory.
The winner of the opening nine races of the season, the 21-year-old Spaniard currently sits on 225 points, 77 clear of his second-placed Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Along with Pedrosa, the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and veteran Valentino Rossi will finally be looking to beat Marquez at the improved Indianapolis Motor Speedway come Sunday's race.
Read on for a full race schedule, live streaming information and a look at the top riders going into the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
|Free Practice 3||Aug. 9||2:55 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. BST/9:55 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Free Practice 4||Aug. 9||6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. BST/1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Qualifying 1||Aug. 9||7:10 p.m. - 7:25 p.m. BST/2:10 p.m. - 2:25 p.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Qualifying 2||Aug. 9||7:35 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. BST/2:35 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Race||Aug. 10||7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
Marquez's dominance of the 2014 MotoGP season has been nothing short of extraordinary. His nine consecutive race wins have come in a variety of different conditions, and he has claimed many victories with ease.
The youngster was crowned champion last year in his rookie season, winning by just four points over Yamaha rider Lorenzo. It is not going to be such a close-run thing this year.
He won on the Indianapolis circuit in 2013, and his competition will be unhappy to know that he is raring to go once again after the summer break, per The Sydney Morning Herald:
We had some rest over the holidays, one week more or less but now we are ready to go again. We are excited to ride again and to look at the new layout and the new surface here at Indy.
A 10th win in a row looks highly likely with Marquez set to extend his championship lead even further in the United States on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Rossi has suffered from some poor qualifying results so far this season, and the Italian will look to perform well on Saturday to set himself up to challenge Marquez on Sunday.
Rossi has taken second place in four races this season and currently sits third in the standings on 141 points, eager to see Marquez's winning streak end, per Crash.net:
For Marc it is positive, for us a little bit less! We have to try to beat him before the end of the championship for sure. It is a big domination, he's done great work, but in some way we have to try to beat him - for us and for the championship.
A winner on the Indianapolis circuit in 2008, the Yamaha rider finished fourth in Germany last time out and will no doubt be looking for at least a podium finish this weekend.
With rain a possibility on race day, Rossi could certainly be set to compete as he won in atrocious conditions six years ago.
Rossi's Yamaha teammate Lorenzo comes into the weekend having just signed a two-year extension to his current contract, as he confirmed on his Twitter feed:
He sounded very motivated ahead of the race weekend with ambitions to improve for the second half of the season as the Spaniard currently sits fifth in the standings on 97 points, per MotoGP.com:
I am very proud to have reached this agreement with Yamaha because it was always my priority and I want to end my career with them. I had a lot of problems in the first half of the year but I think that we can learn from this and come back stronger. I’m really fit and I’ve been training a lot over the summer, I’m fit, slim and motivated.
He is another rider who has previously won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—in 2009—and after a third-place finish in Germany will be high on confidence ahead of the race.
However, it is once again Marquez who is set to be the front-runner, with nothing so far this season suggesting he won't go on to claim an incredible 10th consecutive win.
A victory in the U.S. would take him one step closer to a second consecutive world championship at the age of just 21.