Posts Tagged ‘motogp’
In a weekend that produced three enthralling races at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took a dominant victory under sunny skies at his home race in the premier-class ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo got the hole shot ahead of Pedrosa, with Yamaha’s Ben Spies in tow. The first two laps were not good for the Ducati team, as Valentino Rossi almost touched the rear wheel of Repsol Honda’s Jonathan Rea, with the Italian forced to run off. This was followed by a big crash form Nicky Hayden, who was violently thrown over the advertising boards in Turn 16, after failing to slow down in time. He received instant medical attention and was later declared okay by the medical centre, yet has been given a neck brace and is undergoing more precautionary checks. Lap four saw Pedrosa close in on Lorenzo’s rear wheel, as Avintia Blusens’ David Salom had to retire from the race. Meanwhile LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl took Spies for third, yet crashed out a few turns later as he lost the front pushing too hard. This left the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso to hunt down the American for a spot on the podium. It took Pedrosa until lap seven to make his move on Lorenzo, taking the lead for the first time. On lap nine Lorenzo had a big wobble giving Pedrosa a bigger gap at the front, as Rossi was making his way up through the pack. With 13 laps left, Crutchlow ran wide coming onto the home straight, letting Dovizioso into fourth. Six laps later Pedrosa had pulled out a gap of over four seconds at the front, as Dovizioso made his way past Spies, with Crutchlow probing the inside line of the American, but to no avail. The Tech 3 pair provided a thrilling last couple of laps fighting for the final podium spot, with the Brit desperately looking for a way past. In some hard passing where the two went fairing-to-fairing, Crutchlow was altering his line in numerous corners to get past the Italian who was defending aggressively. In the end it was Pedrosa who crossed the finish line first over six seconds ahead of second placed Lorenzo, with Dovizioso taking his sixth podium this year. Pedrosa has now cut the championship gap to Lorenzo to 33 points. Crutchlow came in a close fourth, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, Rea, Rossi, and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham completing the top nine. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró came in tenth as top CRT.
All three MotoGP classes were gifted dry track time during qualifying at Aragón, where in a thrilling premier-class session it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who snatched a close-fought pole position for tomorrow’s race ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow. After nothing but wet sessions so far, Lorenzo put in a strong performance in the dry with a time just under the mid 1.49s, which was sufficient to oust Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa into second on the grid, who did well to recover from an early crash. Rounding out the front row is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who despite taking a tumble in the wet in the morning session, looked certain to take pole until the final minutes when the Spanish duo pounced. Yamaha’s Ben Spies heads the second row in fourth, after the American put in another strong performance, which he will undoubtedly look to carry over into the race. Alongside him in fifth is LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who was fastest out of the blocks in qualifying, yet could not maintain the pace of the factory machines and Crutchlow’s satellite Yamaha. Sixth place is occupied by Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, with the Italian almost seven-tenths off his British teammate. Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner stand-in Jonathan Rea continued his improvement in form as he leads the third row in seventh place, seeming more and more comfortable on the factory Honda. To his right, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi starts in eighth, with the Italian not finding the pace he displayed two weeks ago in Misano, and suffering a front-end fold half way through the session. His teammate Nicky Hayden qualified in ninth, after having also crashed in the final minutes, in front of Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá. Top CRT performer was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who got within 1.7s of the top time and beat San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who was clearly struggling with his satellite RC213V. Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez fell at turn 14, the same place as Pedrosa, but like the other crashers was able to walk away.
On a wet opening first day at the Aragón Moto GP it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who laid down the benchmark in the MotoGP class by setting the fastest time of the day in the afternoon practice session ahead of championship front runners Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. After a near-wasted morning session with a part-wet surface, riders were greeted with rain for their second run out where Spies’ time of just over two minutes relegated Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa into second, who left it late to post his best time. Third place went to Yamaha’s championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, although the Spaniard was almost half a second off the front. He did however claim that he did not push for a fast lap at the end. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden finished the day fourth fastest, with the American benefiting from the wet condition as his right hand continues to heal from injury. In fifth, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso led the satellite machines, yet was over a second off Spies’ best time. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl ended the day in sixth, after looking strong all session on his RC213V machine. Seventh place went to Dovizioso’s teammate Cal Crutchlow, who had his fastest time cancelled at the end due to cutting the track. In eighth, Ducati’s Valentino Rossi couldn’t capitalise on his prowess in the wet, as a gearbox problem saw him heading out on his second bike, using a less than ideal set-up. He finished ahead of Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham in ninth, who will be pleased at having finished narrowly behind his factory counterpart. The top ten was completed by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, with the Spaniard hoping to try out some new Showa suspension before qualifying. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet put in a solid performance to finish as top CRT machine in 12th, ahead of his teammate Aleix Espargaró. Turn 1 turned out to be a tricky spot for many of the riders, with numerous running off at the end of the straight as they pushed to improve their lap times. The morning session saw only nine riders head out on track as the mixed damp-dry conditions once again made it near impossible to find out anything about bike set-up.
As the MotoGP grid descends on Spain once more for this weekend’s 14th round of the world championship, Yamaha Factory Racing’s championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was joined by Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi and Álvaro Bautista at the Thursday press-conference kicking off the event. Lorenzo, who is currently 38-points ahead of Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa, is cautious not to get carried away and highlighted that racing is not just about points. “There are five more races until the end and 125 points to take, and yes, the situation is much better than before Misano. “But there is still a lot of pressure, so we have to be concentrated in every practice and every session. For me it’s not very comfortable [thinking about points]; I don’t like to think about the points and mathematics. I like to go fast.” The Spaniard, who undertook a private test at Aragón before the Misano round with Yamaha and the Repsol Honda team, said that it was important to gain further information on the track. “It’s quite new [the circuit], so we don’t have a lot of information like we do at other tracks. The test was a big help, for getting the right setting for the bike.” Pedrosa, whose race in Misano was cut short due to being taken out in the first set of corners is keen to put those thoughts behind him, and like Lorenzo, does not want to dwell on points alone. “The past is in the past. If you stick in the past, you can’t move forward. I’m trying to keep focussed on every session, every lap. We hope the bike is working well. I like to enjoy my riding, but obviously the championship is there. It is not such a good feeling when you only think about the points.” Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow is also looking to put his Misano weekend behind him, and get back to the good run of form that saw him take the podium in Brno. “I don’t think Misano could have gone any worse. The next race will be crucial. If I do well here we’ll head into the next races [triple header] with confidence. We’re trying to take positives from the last race.” And speaking about the Aragón track, the British rider said it seems a difficult circuit and he doesn’t know why. “I could have done with a test here, but we were unable to come [when the Yamaha and Honda factories tested here].” Ducati Team’s Rossi, fresh from his second place finish in Misano, is keen to verify the team’s progress once he heads out on track. “It is a big test for us this weekend to understand our level a bit better. We have to see here, and in the next four races, if it was a step forward. I like this track, but it’s difficult to go fast. I need to improve my line and my style.” With regards to the post-Misano test he carried out with the team the Italian commented. “We found something that I didn’t like, but also something that is better.” Earlier in the day, Spanish Dakar truck driver Pep Vila gave some of the riders a somewhat different racing experience at the Aragón track, as he took them around the track’s AutoCross Circuit in his Petronas De Rooy Iveco Trakker race truck. Crutchlow, Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom and Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati were each strapped into the race-ready passenger seat before Vila commenced the 900hp fuelled off-road ride. A couple of laps a piece proved enough as the truck was sliding around corners and tackling the track with ease – with Fenati being the only one who was treated to the truck briefly going up on two wheels on its side. Vila is himself a ten times Dakar veteran, boasting nine finishes and a best finish of sixth, only once being robbed of fourth due to a technical fault. His Iveco Trakker, part of the five vehicle-strong Dutch De Rooy team, features a 13-litre diesel engine putting out 900hp to propel the ten tonne machine. It has a top speed of 205km/h, yet Vila explained that this is limited to 150km/h during the rally. The team’s owner, Gerard de Rooy, took victory in last year’s Dakar, with other Dutch teammate Hans Stacey coming in second
In the free practice sessions that were neither completely wet nor dry for the premier-class at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini in Misano is was Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham who finished on top after posting the best time in the afternoon session. With only 13 riders taking to the partly-dry circuit that was frequently hit with showers all day, top contenders such as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa did not head out on track with nothing to be gained in the mixed conditions. Abraham’s time in the low 1.42s was sufficient to push Came IodaRacing Team’s Danilo Petrucci into second, with the Italian finishing the day as top CRT on board his new Ioda-Suter bike. Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison was out on track for the majority of both sessions as well, as he looked to dial his bike into the Misano track, ultimately finishing third. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro took fourth spot on his FTR-Honda machine, putting in the laps in front of his home crowd much to their delight on the rainy day. Fifth place went to Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez, who was caught out by the track half way through the second session as he lost the front and crashed out. A time just under three seconds off the top saw Repsol Honda Team’s Jonathan Rea finish the day in sixth on his MotoGP™ debut, after only going out briefly in the afternoon. In seventh, Avintia Blusens’ David Salom also took to the track despite conditions, as he made only his second outing on a MotoGP™ machine. Eighth place went to Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who spent only a fraction of time out on track before heading straight back into the pits. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet completed the top ten. San Carlo’s Álvaro Bautista was 12th fastest, while local riders, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, took to the track for only one untimed lapped in the afternoon.