Posts Tagged ‘dani pedrosa’
On a day when MotoGP fans around the globe were treated to three absolutely thrilling races, reigning World Champion Casey Stoner took his first premier-class victory at the Jerez track at the Gran Premio bwin de España, as he fought an epic battle with championship rival Jorge Lorenzo. With rain throughout much of the practice sessions, and the ever-imminent threat of rain, it had looked like a wet race may ensue. However the Jerez sky was kind to the riders and the fans, resulting in some tremendous racing from the off. Repsol Honda Team´s Dani Pedrosa took the wholeshot in front of Yamaha Factory Racing´s pole-sitter Lorenzo, with Monster Yamaha Tech3´s Cal Crutchlow charging behind. Some tough overtaking saw the pack shuffled numerous times in the opening four laps, as Ducati Team´s Nicky Hayden was bumped wide by Crutchlow, and Lorenzo touched Tech3´s Andrea Dovizioso´s bike after an aggressive move up the inside. Pedrosa´s team mate Casey Stoner then found his stride and moved to the front as he passed Lorenzo and then team mate Pedrosa, after which he did not relinquish the lead all race, despite being taken right down to the wire by Lorenzo in the closing stages. “We didn’t get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble, there were people out braking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way,” said Casey Stoner. ”Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn’t try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge and Dani were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more, the bike on a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me”. Pedrosa had to hold off the advances of Crutchlow until the bitter end as well, as the Briton continues to impress in his second-only season in MotoGP. His team mate Dovizioso could not keep up the pace, having opted for a soft front tyre compared to Crutchlow´s hard choice, and finished fifth in front of San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista and LCR Honda MotoGP´s rookie Stefan Bradl, who is having a solid start to his debut season. Hayden, who had started on the front row and was pushing hard in the opening stages, dropped off towards the end of the race and finished seventh. This put him ahead of team mate Valentino Rossi, who tussled with Pramac Racing´s Hector Barberá throughout. Lorenzo´s team mate Ben Spies had another disappointing race, as he finished a full eight places behind his team mate in 10th. An annoyed Randy de Puniet, who had looked on course to finish top CRT in 12th, pulled off in the last lap with mechanical issues, leaving the way for his team mate Aleix Espargaró to take top CRT honours. Britain´s James Ellison of the Paul Bird Motorsport team also pulled into the pits on the last lap with a mechanical issue
What had been anticipated as a wet qualifying session after the rainy conditions so far, turned out to be a psychological battle with the elements, as a drying track and hovering dark clouds made conditions far from easy in MotoGP qualifying at the Gran Premio bwin de España. It was an absolutely thrilling affair as the Jerez track dried out in the nick of time, resulting in a frantic battle to the end as Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo took pole position in front of his home crowd ahead of compatriot Dani Pedrosa. After a spate of wet practice sessions, Yamaha Factory Racing´s Lorenzo took full advantage of the dry track, as he left it until the final lap to post a time of 1.39´532. Repsol Honda´s Pedrosa could not quite match the pace of his rival, yet starts tomorrow´s race from second on the grid, making it a Spanish one-two. Completing the front row is surprise inclusion Nicky Hayden, who wrung the neck of his Ducati to place it third, just over a second behind Lorenzo. Fourth place went to Monster Yamaha Tech3´s Cal Crutchlow despite a crash towards the end. A rain scare half way through the session did however almost see him steal his first ever pole. Stoner, who almost came off his bike at turn one, could not match the pace of his team mate, and had to settle for fifth on the grid. The second row is rounded out by Lorenzo´s team mate Spies, who was back on form after some subdued practice sessions in the wet, though a full 1.5s off the front. Row three is headed up by Crutchlow´s team mate Andrea Dovizioso in seventh, while San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP´s Stefan Bradl and Power Electronics Aspar´s Randy de Puniet complete the top ten. Valentino Rossi endured another disappointing qualifying session, finishing as last non-CRT bike again in 13th, after having shown promise in the earlier wet practice. With a few damp patches still out on track, numerous riders were caught out including Avintia Blusens´ Yonny Hernandez, San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Michele Pirro, NGM Mobile Forward Racing´s Colin Edwards and Pramac Racing Team´s Hector Barberá, all suffering crashes throughout the session. This is the first time since the 2010 Valencia MotoGP round that three separate manufacturers make up the front row.
It was a superb start to the new 1000cc era in MotoGP at the Losail International Circuit, as three of the best riders in the World batteled it out for the number one spot. Starting from pole for the first time since the US Grand Prix last July, Lorenzo held the lead until the third lap before Stoner assumed first position with a pass on the start/finish straight. Lorenzo then followed Stoner for the majority of the race before passing his rival with three laps to go, and he eventually crossed the line 0.852s ahead of Pedrosa who placed second as Stoner ended the race third. After a difficult weekend which had seen Pedrosa qualify in seventh the Spaniard shot from row three of the grid into third position on the opening lap, and on lap 20 passed his team-mate Stoner with a superb move on the brakes going into Turn 1 to take second. Stoner, who had won in Qatar for four of the past five seasons, took his 16th successive podium finish as he got his title defence underway. With the leading trio involved in an eye-catching contest for the podium positions at the front, an excellent duel between Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso played out in their wake. The Italian, in his first race on the M1, was in front with his British team-mate all over his exhaust until lap 17, when Crutchlow got past Dovizioso and held out for fourth to equal his best-ever MotoGP result. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was the highest placing Desmosedici, beating Álvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini) to sixth by just 0.033s on the Spaniard’s debut with the team, and 2011 Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) capped an impressive debut MotoGP ride with eighth place. Héctor Barberá (Pramac Racing) had been in the hunt for sixth but ran off when he pushed too hard in the closing stages and the Spaniard finished ninth, and the final spot in the top 10 went to Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) who had appeared to be struggling with his Desmosedici GP12 in the early stages of the race. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies ended the race in 11th, whilst the honour of the highest placing CRT went to Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team). The American held off the challenge of Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar) to place his BMW-Suter 12th, with Yonny Hernández (Avintia Racing MotoGP) and Aleix Espargaró (Power Electronics Aspar) taking the last points on offer. Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing), Danilo Petrucci (Came Iodaracing Project) and Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all suffered the disappointment of not finishing the race.
Honda’s Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa topping the timesheet at midday before stormy tropical weather conditions washed out much of the afternoon’s testing. Leading the early pace in the opening half of day one was reigning World Champion Casey Stoner with a best lap of 2’01.761 set on a slippery track, three tenths of a second ahead of Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, before heavy rain at the mid way point washed out much of the afternoon’s testing. Stoner ended his day after just 16 laps, while team-mate Pedrosa ventured out after the weather cleared to continue working to find a better position on the RC213V. The Spaniard was happy to finish the day having found improvements that allow him to better handle the heavier 1000cc bike under braking. Yamaha Factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies completed the day third and fourth fastest, with Lorenzo testing a new engine though the slippery track in the morning and rain in the afternoon prohibited testing its full potential. The pair also tried modifications to the YZR-M1’s existing gearbox in search of more stability when shifting. Alvaro Bautista was the highest satellite team rider with a best time of 2’02.959, placing him in fifth position. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider focused on riding position and geometry as he continues to adapt his riding style to the 1000cc machines, claiming “I think I will have to sacrifice corner speed in order to get more traction exiting the corner.” Returning from surgery just three weeks ago, Nicky Hayden closed out the day in 6th place with a time of 2’03.132. The Kentuckian said via a Twitter that although he is not yet 100% recovered, he feels much better than he expected. He also reported to motogp.com that his plans to work on improving traction were difficult to carry out thus far because of the challenging track conditions. With water still on the track, Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi was the first to return to the asphalt, donning wet tyres and continuing to work on GP12 electronic package, traction, and corner exit acceleration. His best lap from the morning of 2’03.245 placed the Italian eighth for the day. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso concluded the day in seventh and 11th positions, respectively, with the Italian rider suffering with a rear brake issue that slowed his progress adapting to the Yamaha. Héctor Barberá was ninth and spent the morning searching for more grip from his Pramac Racing Ducati and testing the new braking light that will be required to run under wet conditions this year. Just behind Barberá was rookie Stefan Bradl on his LCR Honda who reported felling confident with his progress on the premier class bike as he continues to work on the Honda electronics. Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) tested a new seat and a new chassis for the Suter-BMW, completing the day 12th ahead of Ducati test rider Franco Battaini and the Avinitia Racing riders Iván Silva and Yonny Hernández. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) entered the track in the morning but exited soon after, eventually withdrawing from the Test completely after the shoulder and back injuries he suffered in crash at Jerez last week proved too painful to allow the Czech rider to continue.