By STEVE HERMAN
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -- The only thing that stopped Valentino Rossi was the weather.
Taking the lead from American rider Nicky Hayden on the 14th lap, Rossi easily began pulling away before a sudden rainstorm and swirling wind stopped the inaugural Indianapolis GP eight laps from the finish. Locked into first place, the Italian rider pulled into the pits and waited about a half-hour until Sunday's race was officially halted.
"The wind is very inconstant and very strong. You never know what's going to happen with the bike," Rossi said. "Every lap, I look and I say, 'I hope for the red flag, I hope for the red flag.' It was a good decision."
During the storm, two fans were injured and taken to Methodist Hospital after an infield tent collapsed. Their injuries were described as not life-threatening. The storm also briefly knocked out the Speedway's public address system and power in the Pagoda scoring tower and media center.
This was the first time motorcycles competed at the Speedway since 1909, the year the track was built and two years before the first Indianapolis 500.
The victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.6-mile road course was Rossi's seventh this season and fourth in a row, moving him closer to his sixth MotoGP series championship with four races to go. It also was his 69th career win, breaking the record he shared with former rider Giacomo Agostini.
"I don't remember if or when I won four races in a row," Rossi said. "We are in good shape."
Jorge Lorenzo of Spain was third and Casey Stoner of Australia, who trails Rossi in season points 287-200, was fourth.
Rossi started from the pole but yielded the lead almost at once to Stoner and then to Andrea Dovizioso of Italy.
Hayden, the "Kentucky Kid" who calls the Speedway his home track, passed Dovizioso for the lead on the second lap and stayed in front until Rossi finally caught him on the 14th lap. By the end of the 18th lap, Rossi's lead was about 1 second, with everyone else was at least 8 seconds behind. The next lap, Rossi built his lead to 3 seconds. When the race was red-flagged after the 20th lap, his lead over Hayden had ballooned to 5.972 seconds.
Rossi averaged 84.201 mph for the race's 20 laps.
The second-place finish for Hayden, the 2006 series champion from Owensboro, Ky., was his best this season.
"Man, I had nothing to lose here," Hayden said. "I just had to go for it. The bike felt good in the wet. It's been so long since I've been out front leading a race. I came on the front straightaway and saw nobody in front of me at my home GP, and I was thinking, 'Man, this is only supposed to happen in the movies."'
In earlier support races, 15-year-old Jacob Gagne of Ramona, Calif., won the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup; Sturla Fagerhaug of Norway won the Red Bull Riders Cup; and Nicolas Terol of Spain won the 125 cc class, which was halted by rain after 16 of the scheduled 23 laps. The 250 cc class was canceled.