Posts Tagged ‘motogp’
On a day that saw all three classes of the MotoGP World Championship come up against the worst weather condition seen so far this season at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who retook the championship lead as he dominated in tricky conditions. He finished ahead of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who recorded his and the Italian outfit’s best result since joining them last season. At the start of the race it was however Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who got off to one of his trademark starts followed closely by teammate Casey Stoner. Their lead was short lived, as Lorenzo charged past the pair and instantly pulled out a gap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow also made a good start in fourth, followed by a surging Rossi in fifth. It was heartache for the French fans from the beginning as Power Electronics Aspar’s local rider Randy de Puniet dropped his bike on the grid, and had to head out on his spare one. Near the front, Rossi soon moved past Crutchlow to take fourth, with Dovizioso following suit almost instantly. Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva’s race was ended early as he fell foul of the wet conditions, crashing out of the race in the opening stages. With Lorenzo building a three second lead, Stoner pushed past Pedrosa to chase down his championship rival. Pedrosa seemed to struggling on the wet surface, with Rossi capitalising on this to take third with 21 laps left. The Tech3 pair passed Pedrosa even further down the order as they looked to hunt down Rossi. Towards the back, Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies was struggling and had a wobble at the end of turn two, shortly after which he entered the pits. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham retired with 17 laps to go, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s replacement rider Chris Vermeulen also having to come in for a helmet change. As Lorenzo was maintaining his lead around the three-second mark ahead of Stoner, it was the ensuing tussle for third between Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Rossi that was providing some breath-taking overtaking in horrific conditions. Ten laps before the end it was misery for Crutchlow as he lost the front in the first chicane, leaving the two Italians to fight it out for the final podium spot, with Rossi taking third just two corners later. The Brit managed to restart his bike and re-join in eighth. Meanwhile, Lorenzo had extended his lead to six seconds at the front with Stoner a further four seconds ahead of Rossi. With five laps to go Stoner was held up slightly by Avintia’s Yonny Hernandez, who was being lapped, allowing Rossi to get to within half a second of the Australian world champion. Two laps later, Dovizioso crashed out of fourth tying to stick with the pair, while down the field Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci crashed out of 11th. The last three laps gave MotoGP fans a racing delight, as old adversaries Stoner and Rossi swapped positions throughout. It was however Rossi who looked back to his old self as he passed Stoner in the first chicane on the last lap, after which he pulled out a lead big enough to secure second. At the end it was Lorenzo who took the chequered flag to take an eight-point lead at the top of the championship ahead of Stoner, who came home in third. Pedrosa managed fourth, while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl recorded his best ever result in fifth, ahead or Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden. Dovizioso, who managed to re-join after crashing, finished seventh ahead of his teammate Crutchlow, while Pramac Racing’s Héctor Barberá and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista completed the top ten. Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison put in a great performance to finish as top CRT in 11th. Championship Standings 1. Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha – 90 2. Casey STONER – Honda – 82 3. Dani PEDROSA – Honda – 65 4. Cal CRUTCHLOW – Yamaha – 45 5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Yamaha – 44 6. Valentino ROSSI – Ducati – 42
In the lead up to the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner surprised the racing world by announcing his retirement at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season. At the same time Valentino Rossi confirmed he will be continuing in the sport for at least another two years. Stoner had previously dismissed his retirement plans as rumours, however he has now publicly stated that he will not continue racing past the end of the 2012 season. “After a long time thinking, a lot of time talking with my family and my wife, this has been coming for a couple of years now but at the end of this 2012 season I will be not racing in the 2013 Championship,” Stoner said at Thursday press conference. “I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP, and go forward in different things in my life. “After so many years of doing this sport which I love, and which myself and my family made so many sacrifices for, after so many years of trying to get to where we have gotten to at this point, this sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it. “There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won’t be continuing any more. It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.” As for the race in Le Mans, Stoner hopes to resolve the chatter issues which have plagued him throughout the season so far. “The last two races we’ve struggled a little bit with chatter, especially the last two, and it’s something we want to really reduce so we have to work hard here.” Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, who lies just one point behind the reigning world champion was shocked by the Australian’s announcement and said it was a surprise for him and for everyone. “I didn’t expect it. I heard the rumours and I thought there was a possibility, but I thought he would continue next year. Now he has told us, it’s not good news for MotoGP I think, but his decision is to live quietly with his family and we must respect his decision.” Lorenzo will be looking to snatch back the lead in the championship this Sunday at a track he really enjoys. “Le Mans is one of my favourite tracks. Since my first ever-front row in 2003 I have always had good results, so I’m happy to be here.” Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow saw the lighter side of Stoner’s announcement. “With Casey making that announcement, maybe he can slow down and let me have a place in the top three. They [the aliens] don’t make many mistakes. Maybe they need to change what they have for dinner the night before or something.” And following a race to forget at Le Mans last year for the team, Crutchlow is looking to carry his good form this season into this round. “I’m looking forward to it, yet it can always throw a few things with the weather. I think we’ve had some not so bad performances this year, although Estoril was disappointing. We really struggled a little bit with the set-up, and maybe a little bit with myself. But hopefully we can get on with it this weekend at Le Mans.” Valentino Rossi also had some big news as he announced he would continue racing a further two years past 2012, yet not before commenting on Stoner. “Yes, it’s a big surprise. I think it’s bad news for all the MotoGP world because at the end of the season maybe we’re losing one of the great riders and a great rival. It’s negative, but it’s his own decision. For me it’s very difficult to understand where my retirement news started from, as I never spoke about my retirement. I want to race in MotoGP for the next two years for sure.” Le Mans was the place of his only podium with Ducati last year, which he is taking confidence from. “I have had some bad results in Le Mans, but also good memories from the past. We had a not so bad weekend in Portugal and we’ll try and continue on that way and try to improve our performance to try and get closer to the guys in front of us. Last year was the best result with the Ducati, so we are optimistic.”
Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner made it two wins in a row to take the lead in the MotoGP championship with victory at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril. Having led from the start, the reigning World Champion never gave up the lead, as he put in another dominant performance at the Portuguese circuit, ahead of championship rival, Factory Yamaha Team’s Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner’s win now means he has won at every track on the current MotoGP calendar in the premier class. The Australian pulled out a gap early on, but Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa did not give up without the fight, as they slowly closed in on the leader throughout the race. It was however Stoner who put the hammer down in the final laps, to take victory and the championship lead. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso fought a race-long battle with teammate Cal Crutchlow, and came out on top for the first time this season finishing in fourth. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista put in another solid performance to take sixth place, finishing ahead of Ducati Team´s Valentino Rossi, who recorded his best finish of the season. Despite still not being near the front, Rossi has stated that he is starting to feel more comfortable on-board his Desmosedici. After showing promising form all weekend, Yamaha’s Ben Spies had another disappointing race, finishing down in eighth after running wide early on in the race. He displaced LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl into ninth, ahead of Pramac Racing’s Héctor Barberá in tenth. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró took top CRT spot for a second race in succession. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernández all crashed out in the race, while Hernández’s teammate Iván Silva pulled into the pits early on after suffering pain from his earlier warm-up crash. Paul Bird Motorsport’s difficult start to the season continued, as Briton James Ellison retired with a mechanical issue on his ART bike. . Championship Standings Stoner – 66 Lorenzo – 65 Pedrosa – 52 Crutchlow – 37 Dovizioso – 35
After early damp conditions threatened to throw the day´s practice sessions into disarray, the weather steadied and the track dried out to play host to some fantastic free practice action. In the afternoon, across all three MotoGP classes riders were pushing hard to be at the top of the time sheets at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril. It was reigning World Champion Casey Stoner who threw down the gauntlet for this weekend by setting the fastest time of the day in the second MotoGP practice session. Stoner´s lap of 1.38´396 put him just three tenths ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing´s Ben Spies, who worked tirelessly all day to get his season back on track, after some disappointing performances in the previous rounds. Rounding out the top three is Monster Yamaha Tech 3´s Cal Crutchlow, who continues to impress on his satellite Yamaha, finishing just over two-hundredths off Spies. Stoner´s team mate Dani Pedrosa set the fourth fastest time of the day, as he looks to repeat his victory at the track from the previous year. In fifth, Yamaha´s birthday-boy Jorge Lorenzo was having a subdued session at the track where he has taken three victories in the past four outings. Behind him, San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista set the sixth fastest time just over half a second off Stoner, as he continues to get to grips with his satellite Honda. Ducati Team´s Nicky Hayden, who will be looking to repeat his front row start last time out at Jerez, occupies seventh place. He finished in front of Pramac Racing´s Héctor Barberá, who once again got the better of Hayden´s teammate Valentino Rossi, who could not finish any higher than ninth, despite a good showing in the morning session. Completing the top ten is Tech 3´s Andrea Dovizioso, who remained in the pits for quite some time with a bike issue. Top CRT honour went to Power Electronics Aspar rider Randy de Puniet, who is looking to improve on his DNF in Jerez. Came IodaRacing Project´s Danilo Petrucci had to end his session early with a mechanical issue as well.
BMW has been the Official Safety Car of MotoGP since 1999 and in 2006 the powerful BMW M brand, that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, took over the partnership. The subsidiary with the distinction “M”, described as “The most powerful letter in the world” which stands for Dynamic, Innovation and Aesthetic in their purest form, has always been keen on communicating a positive association with motor sports. Thus, the cooperation between BMW M and Dorna is built on trust and reliability – creating more important bonds every day. Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports’ CEO, calls the partnership an “international symbol of quality”. The World Championship has strengthened its global position thanks to the support of BMW, which is a highly recognised brand around the world, and in return, BMW M uses this platform for international high-level sales and marketing activities as well as brand communication. Thomas Schemera, BMW M’s Director of Sales Division stated recently: “Our commitment at these exciting motorsport events allows us to reach an important target group for BMW: motor bike riders who drive cars”. He added: “This sport offers fascination, emotion, high-tech and internationality – all aspects that are closely associated with BMW M. That is why we feel so at home here.” The commitment of the Bavarian brand is based on several pillars. The Safety Cars guarantee a safe and reliable track for racing bikes during qualifying and races. The array of services offers perfection and exclusiveness in all areas. As part of the agreement, the German brand will provide a total of six Safety Cars, two BMW S 1000 RR Safety Bikes and up to 12 BMW X5 Shuttles to grant an exclusive transfer service for VIP guests at European Grand Prix’s. On top of the fleet for the 2012 season there will be the new BMW M5, which was introduced at last year’s GP in Indianapolis, and a BMW 1 Series M Coupé which makes the motorsport fans very excited, as BMW M has topped all expectations by turning it into an authentic racing machine. Both impressive Safety Car versions have a noticeably enlarged Gurney-Style rear spoiler, special race chassis and motor racing exhaust systems. BMW M will then go even further this year by replacing the BMW 1 Series M Coupé with a brand new BMW M6 Coupé from mid-season on. Both Safety Cars, the BMW M6 Coupé and the BMW M5, will make the trips overseas for the international races. Besides the two main Safety Cars, BMW M is providing several other vehicles, among them the M3 Coupé, X5 M, X6 M and X3 Models that allow the Race Direction and medical team flexibility in all possible situations. BMW M is not only present on the tracks but also “behind the scenes” offering a wide range of on-site and off-site events that bring the brand closer to the public. For instance, for the spectators during MotoGP weekends the latest BMW cars and motorcycles can be seen in the Public Area, where the local branches of the Bavarian manufacturer will take the opportunity to exhibit the newest technical advances. This represents an excellent platform for Marketing activities and active and personal customer service, providing important points of contact to the German automobile brand. Furthermore, there is also a special service for the MotoGP Community with the BMW M Service Center in the Paddock that offers a perfect insight into the world of BMW M and provides information about vehicles and the brand to all the teams and, with the purpose of satisfying even the most demanding requests, offers a singular VIP Sales Program. Apart from this the German company also organises the end of season BMW M Award for the rider who has the best qualifying performance. Last year (2011) Casey Stoner won the award and was given a BMW 1 Series M Coupé. This year’s prize is a BMW M3 Coupé Competition Edition that will be handed over at the M Night in Valencia in November 2012. The model’s eye catching features include its Frozen Silver Metallic paint, black hood intakes and a dark chrome exterior trim with complementing kidney grills, M side gills and exhaust tips. For the interior, BMW M used exclusive Novillo leather with palladium silver accents. Black M3 GTS wheels complete the amazing package.