Posts Tagged ‘valentino rossi’
At the weekend’s Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini in Misano it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who charged to a dominant victory in a dramatic race ahead of Valentino Rossi and Álvaro Bautista. It was a problematic start as a partially aborted race-start due to issues with Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Racing Ducati prompted a re-start. The race was then shortened to 27 laps due to the additional sighting lap, yet in another twist, pole-sitter Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa then also had to start from the back of the grid after wheeling his bike into pit-lane to re-start it, after his team could not resolve a locked front-wheel in the given time. The story unfolded further and the championship battle took yet another blow, as Pedrosa was taken out in the first few bends by the front wheel of Pramac Racings’ Héctor Barberá, as the Repsol rider was making his way up the field. Afterwards, an apologetic Barberá cited missing his braking marker as the reason he locked up his front wheel, causing him to slide into Pedrosa. At the front it was Lorenzo who had made the best start, followed by a valiant Valentino Rossi on board his Ducati, and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. It was a crash-strewn affair from the beginning as Abraham, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow all tumbled out in the opening laps. Crutchlow’s teammate Dovizioso was sticking to Bradl, as San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista took Yamaha’s Ben Spies for fifth. With 19 laps remaining Lorenzo had pulled out a lead over Rossi, who was working tirelessly to keep Bradl at bay. With 12 laps to go Bautista had caught up to the rear wheel of Dovizioso and was looking for a way through. After stalking him for over half the lap he made his way through into fourth to chase Bradl, whom he caught up with two laps later. Bautista looked like a man possessed as he then pushed his way past the German into the final podium spot. Behind the Spaniard, Bradl, Dovizioso and Spies were all closing in with seven laps to go to battle it out for third spot. With three laps to go Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was forced to retire from the race, as Dovizioso and Spies had made their way past Bradl. And it was Dovizioso who provided the nail-biting finish, tussling with Bautista until the bitter end. Yet it was Lorenzo who finally took the chequered flag with an ecstatic Rossi in second and Bautista recording his first ever MotoGP podium in third after a photo finish with Dovizioso. Lorenzo’s sixth victory leaves him 38-points clear at the top of the championship, while Rossi’s podium was his best finish on a Ducati in the dry. Behind Dovizioso in fifth was Spies, ahead of Bradl and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Repsol Honda’s Rea did well to finish eighth in his first GP race, ahead of Espargaró’s teammate Randy De Puniet and San Carlo’s Michele Pirro.
The MotoGP class treated fans to some exciting racing last weekend at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky in Brno with Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa taking a thrilling victory in the premier-class ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, opening up the championship race once again. Despite dark clouds looming, the track was dry, much to the delight of riders and fans, and it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo who got the holeshot off the line, holding off Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow. Yamaha’s Ben Spies looked to continue his bad luck as he dropped back drastically after a few corners with a slipping clutch. This left Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi to chase down Crutchlow in third. With 17 laps to go, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was involved in a tight battle with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, with the German taking the Spaniard for sixth after dicing for numerous turns. Meanwhile, Spies looked to have re-found his stride with the issue sorted, and was fighting his way back through the pack after dropping down to 13th. Three laps later, Bradl was dicing with Rossi for fifth place, getting the better of the Italian after a few attempts. On the same lap, Spies’ race came to an end after he crashed out of his charge. Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva suffered a technical issue with 12 laps remaining, while Lorenzo and Pedrosa were neck and neck at the front of the race, having pulled out a significant gap over Crutchlow. On the same lap Bautista overtook Rossi, whose Desmosedici looked to be slowing. A lap later Pedrosa sparked some life into the battle at the front, as he got past Lorenzo on the inside, though the Mallorcan continued to stick to his rear wheel. On the last lap it was MotoGP racing at its best with Lorenzo forcing his way past Pedrosa with a tough move, with the Repsol Honda rider fighting back almost immediately, and the two almost neck-and-neck into the final turn. With Pedrosa on the better line coming into the final turn, he got the best drive to the line to take his third victory of the season. Crutchlow recorded his own milestone by taking his first ever podium in the MotoGP class, and ending a 12-year premier-class podium drought for a British rider. It was a fitting way to celebrate his contract extension with the team this weekend. Pedrosa’s win has moved him to within 13 points of Lorenzo and blown the championship race wide open at the top. Fourth spot went to Dovizioso, in front of Bradl, Bautista, Rossi and Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet who finished top CRT. Cardion AB Racing’s local rider Karel Abraham and De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaró completed the top ten.
On the first day of free practice for the MotoGP grid at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who was on scorching form in the premier-class as he topped the timesheets in the afternoon session ahead of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa’s time was in the high 1.37s, breaking the previous track record, was sufficient to oust Yamaha Factory Racing’s charging Spies into second, who looked back to his old self as he lapped his home circuit. His teammate Lorenzo took third spot, yet aborted his final hot lap in the second session on the final turn, denying a true indication of his outright pace. He did however state that he is seeking improved front-end feel in corner entry. Fourth place went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who was only marginally behind Lorenzo on board his satellite machine. Casey Stoner’s best lap saw him finish the day in fifth, although the Repsol Honda rider had electronics and rear suspension issues during the session, meaning he spent the final five minutes on his number two bike. British rider Cal Crutchlow took sixth spot on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, doing well to recover from a crash early on in the morning session. In seventh, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista was over 1.2 seconds off the top time set by the factory Honda of Pedrosa, and will be looking for significant improvements tomorrow. Eighth place went to fellow Honda satellite rider Stefan Bradl, who is taking to the Indianapolis track for the first time on his LCR Honda MotoGP bike. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi completed the top ten, after a disappointing session for the Italian outfit. Top CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, while the grid also welcomed GPTech wildcard Aaron Yates and Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp. Rapp was however garage bound for the afternoon session as his team struggled with bike issues. Both US wildcards finished at the bottom of the timesheets, yet showed promising improvement in their stints out on track. The majority of riders started the session on the softer option rear tyre, yet switched to the harder option as the track temperature increased. Pedrosa’s hot lap was set on the harder option rear during a seven-lap stint at the end. Much of the talk after the session was about how dirty the mostly unused track surface was, and that most expect lap times to drop the more rubber is laid down over the weekend. Pramac Racing Team fielded Toni Elías for the afternoon session after Héctor Barberá had a big highside in the morning run out. Barberá, who crashed heavily in the final turn suffered fractures in his dorsal vertebrae 5, 6 and 8, rendering him unfit for this weekend. He is currently at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital, where his is undergoing further checks to vertebrae 5, which was previously damaged in a serious crash in Japan 2008. The Spaniard will be kept there overnight.
At the end of the 2012 MotoGP season seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati for a two year deal to partner Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha. At 33, Rossi has been world champion nine times, seven in the premier class, with four of his championship victories at Yamaha after he joined the outfit in 2004. Leaving Yamaha at the end of 2010, Rossi signed a two year contract with Ducati. However, the dream of pairing up Italy’s best-known rider with Italy’s top team turned into a nightmare and he finished seventh on an uncompetitive bike in 2011. The 2012 season has just been bad as he currently sits in eight. There were a number of reason why Rossi left Yamaha but the most public reason was he felt having two very strong riders in one team did not work. His then Yamaha team mate was 2010 champion and current championship leader Lorenzo but the Italian will now return to the same arrangement. Spaniard Lorenzo has ridden for Yamaha since 2008 and leads the current championship by 23 points after 10 races of the 18-race season. Rossi has secured just one podium finish all season. “In June, we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years,” Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis said in a statement. “We have run this ‘super team’ together in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and during that time we achieved the triple crown titles with Rider, Manufacturer and Team World Championship victories for three consecutive years.” “I have no doubt that with the experience, knowledge, skills and speed of these two great champion riders we will be able to challenge for many race wins and for the 2013 and 2014 World Championship titles.” Ducati said they were in the process of finalising their 2013 championship line-up having recently renewed their agreement with American Nicky Hayden and it seems we will need to wait and for the next rider change in this premature silly season.
On the eve of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca the pre-race press conference had an extra edition when Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, joined championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Spies was there to confirm that he will be leaving the Yamaha team at the end of the 2012 season but has remained tight-lipped on his plans for 2013. This has subsequently sent the so-called “silly season” into overdrive with regards to riders’ contracts, especially with Ducati Team’s Rossi considering his future options for next year. Spies, speaking ahead of the first race in the stateside double header, had leaked snippets of information earlier in the week about his plans to leave the Japanese racing outfit. “I’ve known for quite a bit what my personal decision was and I thought this was the right time to do it with all the contracts happening with other riders,” said Spies. “There’s a litany of reasons behind it – just getting back to stress-free and doing what I want to do and finish out the season strong. That’s all that’s going to be said about it at this point until I’m ready to talk about the future. It’s not going to change anything. “For sure, especially at Laguna we’re going to give 100 per cent and we want to do what we’re capable of doing and what the bike’s capable of doing for the team. Nothing changes from that standpoint. I just made a decision, and wanted to get it off my chest and out of the way. Now that we’ve done that now I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders and I can do what I set out to do.” Since the American’s earlier announcements, Rossi, a previous Yamaha rider, has had the rumour mill turning at ever-greater speed, as speculation over his future in 2013 mounts. “The situation is quite clear,” said Rossi. “I still haven’t decided, as it is a bit too early. I have spoken a lot with Ducati about next year, but still waiting for some important ties and some important things on the contract. And I also have some other options for next year.”