FIM MotoGP World Championship Motorland Aragon, Spain September 18 Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires): 1. Casey STONER, Australia (HONDA), 23 laps, 42:17.427 2. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -8.162 seconds 3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -14.209 4. Marco SIMONCELLI, Italy (HONDA), -20.646 5. Ben SPIES, USA (YAMAHA), -27.739 6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (SUZUKI), -30.373 7. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -34.288 8. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), -37.305 9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Great Britain (YAMAHA), -39.652 10. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), -39.832, started from pit lane 11. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (HONDA), -39.997 12. Randy DE PUNIET, France (DUCATI), -54.717 13. Colin EDWARDS, USA (YAMAHA), -58.430 14. Toni ELIAS, Spain (HONDA), -8 laps, DNF, crash 15. Loris CAPIROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), -8 laps, DNF, crash 16. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (HONDA), -23 laps, DNF, crash 17. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), -23 laps, DNF, crash World Championship Point Standings (after 14 of 18 races): 1. Stoner, 284 points 2. Lorenzo, 240 3. Dovizioso, 185 4. Pedrosa, 170 5. Spies, 146 6. Rossi, 139 7. Hayden, 114 8. Simoncelli, 106 9. Edwards, 90 10. Aoyama, 87 11. Barbera, 77 12. Bautista, 67 13. Crutchlow, 52 14. Abraham, 50 15. Elias, 47 16. De Puniet, 33 17. Capirossi, 29 18. John Hopkins, 6 19. Kousuke Akiyoshi, 3 More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing Team: ARAGON GP: DE PUNIET TWELFTH, DISLOCATED SHOULDER FOR CAPIREX The Aragon Grand Prix finished in the worst way for the Pramac Racing Team, with Loris Capirossi crashing out eight laps from the end, while Randy De Puniet finished his race in twelfth place following an unfortunate start. The Italian rider suffered a right shoulder dislocation, as well as a concussion and a contusion on his elbow. His presence at the next Grand Prix in Japan is therefore in serious doubt; the final decision will be made in the coming days. Fabiano Sterlacchini – Fabiano Sterlacchini – Technical Director Pramac Racing” “Yet another unfortunate race for Loris. He couldn’t pass Toni Elias on the brakes, so he tried in a corner, but when the HRC rider slowed, perhaps more than he should have, Loris wasn’t able to avoid him and collided. I’m sorry for them both, especially for our rider, who hit his painful shoulder. It’s also a shame for Randy. He had a good race pace, and he easily could have been in the group with Bautista, Barbera, and Hayden, but Abraham’s crash at the start of the race compromised everything. Performance aside, sometimes bad luck gets in the way.” Randy De Puniet – 12th in race “Once again I have to say that I’m disappointed after a race. I could have been in the top five or six positions, but instead I finished the race in twelfth place. When Abraham crashed, I couldn’t do anything but go off, and after that I was able to make up a lot of seconds and some positions. I had almost caught the group in front and was pushing really hard when I made a mistake and lost everything I had gained. We’re not very fortunate, that’s for sure.” Loris Capirossi – DNF “There’s little to say. I crashed on my ‘famous’ right shoulder and suffered another dislocation as a result. It hurts a lot, even with the pain-killer I received. After the Misano race, I wanted to try to at least finish the race, but instead things went like they did. At this point, my presence in Japan is in serious doubt, but I still hope to recover in time.” More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda: ELIAS OUT OF LUCK AT HIS HOME SOIL Aragon, 18th September: after yesterdays Aragon GP challenging qualifying session, LCR Honda MotoGP racer Toni Elias started from the 17th spot on the grid for the 23-lap race hold in cooler conditions (19 degrees) but the Spaniard was expecting a different result on his home soil. The Spaniard lacked corner-exit drive during qualifying but took a very good start from the last row finishing the first lap in 9th position. Unfortunately the Spaniard could not maintain the same pace for the whole race and his competitors caught him lap by lap. At 7 laps to go Elias and Capirossi collided but they both escaped unhurt from the incident. Elias – crashed: “Despite the crash I feel satisfied because I have pushed hard for the whole race. Once again I took a very good start and the first laps I have tried hard to follow the group. But, as happened in the past races, I missed traction control and the guys started to pass me. I could not maintain the same pace and then Loris hit me at 7 laps to go. We went both out in the gravel but I am not angry because this is racing and I am happy we are both okay”. More, from a press release issued by Yamaha: Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo made the weekend’s hard work count today, taking his first ever Aragon Grand Prix podium with third place. Having dropped from fourth on the grid in the early laps, the reigning World Champion gradually picked up the pace, running well under his qualifying time to gradually reel in the front runners. By lap 10 he had caught both his team mate Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli, passing them both to take third which he held to the line. The results mean the gap to Championship leader Stoner has now increased again to 44 with four races remaining of the season. Fellow Yamaha Factory Racing rider Spies had probably his best start of the season so far, shooting off the line to outride both Stoner and Dani Pedrosa for the lead into turn one. Having then dropped to third the Texan was maintaining a gap to fourth, scoring the third fastest lap of the race on lap four with a 1’49.593. A dramatic drop off in grip on the sixth lap then affected his pace. He was passed by team mate Lorenzo and then Simoncelli, dropping to fifth place. The result sees Spies retain fifth in the Championship standings, now 24 points behind Pedrosa in fourth as they head to Motegi next week. Jorge Lorenzo Position : 3rd Time: +14.209 “We struggled a lot from the beginning of the race, losing positions and having to recover step by step. We couldn’t get more than a podium; that is the best result we could get today! I didn’t have confidence in the rear and it is impossible to catch Dani on this track. It’s a pity, but at least I got the podium I couldn’t get last year. We are still fighting for the Championship and that’s the most important thing, we are going to Japan with hope still alive.” Ben Spies Position : 5th Time: +27.739 “I knew the start wasn’t going to last long the way Casey and Dani were riding but I felt pretty good in the beginning. Even when we got to the fourth or fifth lap I thought our advantage to fourth place was growing. I felt really comfortable and thought we had a podium fight in us. Then the sixth or seventh lap the tyre just made a huge drop and just kept going down. Usually they make one drop then stay consistent. I had no confidence in the rear and no grip. I’m frustrated as before that we were riding well and the bike was working great.” Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager “For Jorge P3 was maximum damage control so we are happy with the result today. This morning we discussed that this was the maximum possible. Finally in the race he was going half a second faster than in qualifying which is pretty good so he must be happy to be on the podium. I’m sorry for Ben, tyre drop off means you can’t do anything; luckily we didn’t have that problem. We had a lack of grip in the beginning and couldn’t do 49s but were very consistent on low 50s which is the only reason we were able to finish in third place. The team worked really hard all weekend to deliver the best possible set up for Jorge, so a big thank you to them.” Massimo Meregalli Team Director “The drop in temperature this afternoon probably compromised the work we’ve done up to this morning in set up. Ben really couldn’t do more because the rear tyre was really bad after just a few laps. Jorge achieved the best result possible, I think he did good job and thinking about the final championship standings, third place is still a good result. For sure it doesn’t make it so easy but we’ll keep going to the end.” More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone: Stoner runs away with Aragon victory as tyre wear key factor Round 14: Aragon GP Race Motorland Aragon, Sunday 18 September 2011 Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Ex Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium After a strong showing all weekend, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner used his tyres very well to take his eighth victory of the season at Motorland Aragon today, strengthening his World title bid. With four rounds remaining, he leads reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo by 44 points. Although it remained dry today and the weather warning issued overnight didn’t materialise, conditions for the race were much cooler and windier. Nevertheless, Stoner set a new lap record on just his fourth lap of the race, indicating strong tyre warm-up performance, and ran consistently in the 1m 49second bracket over the first half of the race. His pace meant that he finished over eight seconds clear of teammate Dani Pedrosa, whose best effort was also under the previous lap record, and behind him Lorenzo crossed the line third after fighting back from fifth. Throughout the race, tyre management proved very important as wear rate on the surface was relatively high. Off-line the tarmac was dirty and this always leads to increased tyre wear, especially for those in battles further down the field who cannot always stick to the ideal and clean line. Every rider opted for the harder option rear slicks, and most also used the harder option fronts with the exception of Alvaro Bautista, Hiroshi Aoyama, Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi who used a medium compound front. Bautista in particular used his to good effect, battling hard with Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden throughout to finish sixth. Hiroshi Yamada Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department “Congratulations to Casey and the Repsol Honda team for marking their 100th GP victory in style this weekend, extending their lead of the Riders’ Championship with four rounds remaining. Next we head to Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix and what is the home race of many manufacturers in the paddock, of course including Bridgestone, so we look forward to being able to show our solidarity and support for this nation and hope for another thrilling race after last year’s encounter there.” Masao Azuma Chief Field Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport “Conditions for the race today were completely different to the rest of the weekend as the track was much cooler and there was a strong wind blowing down the main straight. This meant that the situation for the tyres and bike setups was very different. Even though our tyre compound options were the same this time as at Aragon last year, because the track conditions were different this year so was tyre behaviour. It is a prime illustration of the balance between warm-up performance and durability warm-up performance was clearly very good today in the cool conditions with the top ten fastest riders all setting their best times within the first six laps, and Casey’s lap record coming on lap four. Conversely, it was also clear that tyre wear was a key factor for some riders towards the end of the race, but this is the trade-off of achieving better warm-up performance that the riders have been asking for this season.” Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team Race Winner “It was a good weekend all round really. We missed an afternoon of running on Friday so we thought this would affect us today, but what we found were completely different conditions with a lot of wind for the race. We had to set the bike up totally differently, and I think the colder conditions helped us with tyre wear. We knew the tyres warmed up fairly quickly and well so after the first few corners we wanted to get moving as we knew the bike was working well here. I want to thank the team because every time I head to the track this year, we have a good package and good rhythm.” More, from a press release issued by Rizla Suzuki: Rizla Suzuki’s Ãlvaro Bautista produced a thrilling performance in front of his home fans at Aragon in Spain today to equal his best dry result of the season so far. Staring from 11th on the grid, Bautista got boxed in on the first corner and was lucky to avoid a crash between two other riders, but by the end of the first lap the hard-charging Spaniard had moved up to eighth position. He then got involved in an almost race long battle with the Ducati’s of Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden as the three of them traded places many times throughout the race, before Bautista got the better of the pair and made a break in the latter stages to secure a hard-fought, but deserved, sixth place. A crowd of over 63,000 spectators arrived at Aragon today to be greeted by overcast skies, strong winds and temperatures considerably below what they had been previously this weekend. Championship leader Casey Stoner produced another commanding performance to take victory on his Honda and further strengthen his position at the top of the standings. Rizla Suzuki and the rest of the MotoGP paddock now embark on a far eastern tour that will see them all race in Japan, Australia and Malaysia in the month of October. The first of these three races will be the re-scheduled round at Motegi in Japan on Sunday 2nd October, a race that was originally planned for earlier in the year, but was postponed due to the tragedy that struck that country shortly before the GP was due to take place. Ãlvaro Bautista: “Today we had very different conditions from the practice and the temperature was much lower. I wanted to have a good race in front of my home fans, so I pushed as hard as I could to make the bike and tyres work right from the beginning, but I didn’t get a good start and other riders got in my way in the first corner and it was quite difficult to overtake early on. I got up to Hector and Nicky we had a big battle and fought a lot between us and when I got into sixth the riders in front were very far away and I was still fighting with the other two, so I couldn’t get a good rhythm. In the last laps I made a break from the other two and was able to ride more consistently and smoother and pull away to secure the sixth place. It was a good result, but I think if the conditions had been the same as qualifying we had the potential to be with the group fighting for podium positions. I am happy with all we have done this weekend and looking forward to the next race and to continue with this work.” Paul Denning Team Manager: “Another strong race performance by Ãlvaro, he again kept things tidy and used controlled aggression to climb from a fourth row start to a sixth placed finish. We are really happy with Ãlvaro’s efforts and the performance of the GSV-R, and the focus continues to be the same as it has been – that is to qualify better and get more out of the fresh tyres at the start of the race. Those two things are definitely connected, in that if we qualify better and are following the quick guys in the early laps we have a much better chance of hanging in there with them. I think Motegi will suit Ãlvaro and the Suzuki, and we are looking forward to giving Suzuki’s Japanese fans something to remember when we go there next month.” More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3: Top 10 for battling Crutchlow at Motorland Aragon Cal Crutchlow produced one of his best performances of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider claiming a richly deserved ninth place in blustery conditions at the Motorland Aragon track. But it was a frustrating 23-lap race for Colin Edwards, who won’t remember his landmark 150th MotoGP with fond memories after he finished in 13th position. Crutchlow quickly found his pace after losing time in the braking zone at the first corner and his charge into the top 10 kicked off when he claimed 11th place from Edwards on the fourth lap. He then launched an immediate attack on Hiroshi Aoyama and Toni Elias, pas sing both with masterful overtakes to claim ninth on lap six. Nine times world champion Valentino Rossi then dropped the British rider back into 10th on lap seven. From that stage of the race until its conclusion 16 laps later, Crutchlow was involved in the most exciting battle on track in front of a windswept crowd of over 63,000 fans. The 25-year-old, Rossi and Aoyama were barely split by more than a second and as their intense fight reached an exciting climax, Crutchlow produced a brilliant attacking display. He passed Rossi and Aoyama on lap 18 and despite coming under intense pressure from the more experienced duo, he managed to keep them at bay to claim his best result since the Catalunya race in early June. The seven valuable points collected today moved Crutchlow two places up the World Championship rankings into 13th position and he moved back ahead of Karel Abraham in th e coveted Rookie of the Year classification. The race proved to be a difficult affair for Edwards, who struggled to find the right set-up to give him the rear grip he needed to push with his normal confidence. He made more weight distribution modifications to his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine ahead of the race, but the tweaks didn’t have the desired effect and he finished in 13th. Cal Crutchlow 9th 52 points: “I’m really pleased with how the race went today because I was back inside the top and having a really good and enjoyable fight with two of the best riders on the grid, who have had a lot of success in Grand Prix racing. It is a shame that I lost a couple of places at the first corner because I’m sure with a better start I could have been battling with Bautista and Hayden. I got on the inside on the d irty part of the track and when I braked I locked the front wheel and nearly crashed. What pleases me the most is that I could make up for the lack of speed on the straight in the corners because the Yamaha handles brilliantly and my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team gave me a really good bike today. But to hold off Valentino and Hiroshi at the end took a massive effort. I think if they’d started the final lap in front of me on the straight it would have been hard for me to slipstream. There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend because I’ve got back in the top 10 on a track I’d never seen before and beaten two guys with a lot more experience than me. I gained a lot of experience today riding with Valentino and that has given me a lot of confidence for the next few races.” Colin Edwards 13th 90 points: “That certainly wasn’t a great way to celebrate my 150th race in MotoGP. We tried to get the bike right all weekend but we were pretty much chasing our tails the whole time. We were trying to improve the rear grip to compensate for the speed we lose on the straight and for the race we altered the weight distribution again. We put a lot of weight on the rear but it never really worked. After about five laps the grip just went down and I wasn’t expecting it to drop off that quickly. Once that happened I couldn’t stay in that group I was in and I just went backwards. If somebody gave me 10 million Euros to do a 1.51 right now, there is no way I could do it. The last two races have been pretty tough, so we’ll get our heads together and try and come up with a solution for Japan and aim to be fighting back in the top 10 where I have been all season.” Herve Poncharal Team Manager: “I am really pleased to see Cal back in the top 10 and ridi ng with the same confidence that he showed in the first part of the season. I think it was the best ride of the year for him. Maybe not in terms of the final position, but the way he rode was fantastic. The start was difficult, but he never gave up and what was really good is that he was riding with Valentino and Hiroshi and he would have learned a lot from those two. Today he could battle with a nine times World Champion and I’m sure that will do a lot for his confidence in the future. He didn’t only race with them but he beat them and that makes it even more satisfying. With a better start it is not unrealistic to imagine he could have been with Bautista and Hayden, but ninth position is still a very positive result. It was a difficult weekend for Colin and definitely not the way any of us wanted to mark his 150th MotoGP race. He took a gamble on the set-up and he also used the soft front tyre and unfortunately this time it didn’t pay off. All he could do was finish and ge t some points and we hope he can quickly forget this weekend and return to the form we know he is capable of in Japan.” More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda: Fantastic double podium as Repsol Honda Team celebrates 100th win Today in the Grand Prix of Aragon, Casey Stoner claimed his eighth win of the season in front of over 63,000 spectators. Not only did Casey celebrate another fantastic weekend where he recorded fastest pole position (1’48.451) and also fastest race lap (1’49.046), but he also took the Respol Honda team’s 100th Victory since the partnership was born in 1995 when fellow Australian Mick Doohan won the very first race of the factory HRC team in Repsol Livery in Eastern Creek. Dani Pedrosa completed a 1-2 finish for the Repsol Honda Team, which had a special livery for race day in Aragon, with a comfortable margin over Lorenzo. Unfortunately team mate Andrea Dovizioso had an accident on the first lap and was unable to continue. Championship leader Casey Stoner now enjoys a forty four point margin over Lorenzo in second place, with Dovizioso in third position and Pedrosa close behind in fourth. The Championship now heads east to Japan for round fifteen in Motegi on October 2nd where alongside it’s contracted riders, HRC will enter Shinichi Ito as a wild card entry in a HRC Team while Kosuke Akiyoshi will ride alongside Toni Elias for LCR as a show of support for the East Japan area. CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Position: 1st with 284 points “Before the race everyone was a little cautious with the wind picking up after the morning warm up session and conditions being a lot different to those we have seen all weekend. This was on our mind and also warming the hard tyres to makes sure everything was good for the beginning of the race. Our start was pretty average, I pulled to the left a little on the start and managed to avoid hitting Dani but Ben came around the outside and I ended up third or fourth going into turn one, but from there we were able to settle down and feel pretty comfortable with the bike. I wanted to get to the front as soon as possible as the bike has been working perfect all weekend and it was our race to lose, so I wanted to try and get out in front and pull a gap. I passed Dani as soon as I could and tried to pull that gap, Dani kept with me for the first few laps but slowly I was able to push and put in a gap and from there manage the race. I think everyone was struggling with tyres to some degree but the bike was fantastic and I don’t mind the bike when it slides around a little! A big, big thank you to the whole team and to take this hundredth win for Repsol Honda is something special”. DANI PEDROSA 2nd World Championship Position: 4th with 170 points “We already saw in practice that Casey was very fast here and it was also like this in the race. I was loosing some tenths in the first sector and I was unable to reduce the gap in the other parts of the lap. The second half of the race I was sliding all the time and I had some fun, but it was a shame not to be closer to Casey, I had many problems with the rear tyre for the whole race. My priority was to control the gap to Spies and Jorge in the final laps and get another podium. We’ve been second in the last three races, which is not so bad, but we want to keep improving in the coming races”. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO DNF World Championship Position: 3rd with 185 points “I made a small but fast slide at the first right turn, all the weight went on the front, I wasn’t able to control the bike and I immediately lost it as the front tyre was still not at temperature. It’s so disappointing to see your race over on turn two of the first lap after all the hard work done during the race weekend. This morning we struggled during the warm up on used tyres and of course a bad session can affect you slightly, but at the start I was 100% focused and motivated for the race. It’s a pity because we had the pace to fight for the podium and the team did a good job. Leaving Aragon without scoring any points is also so bad for the Championship. We are still third with fifteen points advantage over Dani, but now we need to return on the podium and have good results. Last year we had a strong end of the season, especially in Japan and Malaysia, so I look forwa rd to the next GPs”. More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati: CHALLENGING WEEKEND FOR THE DUCATI TEAM AT ARAGON The Aragon weekend was particularly challenging for the Ducati Team and its riders, who are working to speed up the development of the Desmosedici. On one hand, the choice to use a seventh engine for Valentino Rossi enables his team to have two identical motorcycles available to work on during the last races of the season, but on the other hand, he was obliged to start from pit lane today, ten seconds after the race start. That didn’t prevent the Italian from stubbornly climbing to ninth place, even if a worn rear tyre prompted him to subsequently lose a position to Cal Crutchlow. Nicky Hayden started very well from the third row and finished in seventh place after a nice battle with Hector Barbera that lasted until the final corner. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th “I had a good start and was decent at the very beginning. We knew tyre wear was going to be an issue, and we had a drop in performance after the first couple of laps. It lost grip, and I also wasn’t able to load the bike well for turning. I was okay in parts of the track, but compared to the fast guys, I was losing time in the last corner. I hoped to hang onto the second group for a while, but it just wasn’t possible. I’d like to have fought with Bautista on the last lap because he was on our pace, but Barbera and I were going back and forth, which hurt both of us and let him escape. It’s unfortunate, because coming here we hoped that we could put up a better fight. Still, this is the first race I’ve finished normally with the GP11.1, since at Indy I reentered just to get points. Hopefully that will help us to get some data and be better off in the future.” Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th “It was definitely a difficult race, even if objectively speaking, we could have done a little better than we did. We used the setup from yesterday morning, with which I had done some good laps with a very used tyre. Unfortunately, in the race the rear tyre was sliding much more than it did in practice. It was almost used up just when I was catching Nicky and his group. That said, we’re still not where we should be. We’re working on several fronts, with short-term solutions that haven’t been conclusive, and others that are longer-term and that I still hope can bring more substantial improvements. We’ll see what they think at the factory. For now, we’re still pretty far, and given that time is our biggest enemy, we’ll continue also working on development during the races.” Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager) “This race was very difficult for us, but it was also important because we began a project that, while it caused a penalty for Valentino, is also one of the first steps in the direction of the Desmosedici’s development. We know that it’s not easy for a rider to knowingly sacrifice any chance of having a better performance, and this gives us enormous motivation to try to speed up our work as much as possible. Nicky and his team are also trying extremely hard to gather as much information as possible on his GP11.1 which, despite not having the updated front chassis part like Valentino’s, is still a new bike with a lot of margin for improvement with regards to its setup.” More, from a press release issued by Honda: STONER & PEDROSA SCORE FIFTH REPSOL HONDA ONE-TWO Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode another faultless race in today’s Aragon Grand Prix to win his eighth victory of the season and further strengthen his position at the top of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) finished second to complete Repsol Honda’s fifth one-two of the year, while Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) scored a hard-fought fourth-place finish. Stoner had been race favourite after dominating practice and qualifying, but track conditions were very different from yesterday, with much cooler temperatures and a strong tail-wind on the back straight. Today’s track temperature was 15 degrees lower than during qualifying, which created grip issues for several riders during the 23 laps. Nothing, however, could stop Stoner who started from pole position for the ninth time this year. Despite being beaten into third place during the first few corners by Pedrosa and Ben Spies (Yamaha), the 25-year-old Australian had regained the lead by the end of the first lap. From there he never looked back, establishing a new track record on lap four and steadily increasing his advantage over Pedrosa. The success also increased his championship advantage to 44 points over reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with four races to go. Stoner ended the race 8.162s seconds in front of Pedrosa who also had a lonely ride to his third consecutive runner-up result. Pedrosa always knew it was going to be difficult running Stoner’s pace because throughout the weekend he had been losing several tenths through the track’s first section. During the later stages of the race he also struggled with wheel-spin issues, though he was always well clear of third- and fourth-place finishers Lorenzo and Spies. Today all three Repsol Hondas ran a special one-off livery created by Spanish designer Davidelfin, a superb way to celebrate the partnership’s 100th Grand Prix victory. Repsol Honda achieved its first premier-class win with Mick Doohan at the 1995 Australian GP. Although the Stoner/Pedrosa one-two made today an almost perfect day for the team, Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) was unable to complete the race after sliding off on the first lap. Simoncelli did everything he could to make it an all-Honda podium, just as he had done at last month’s Czech GP. The lanky Italian came through strongly after finishing the first lap in sixth place, passing Nicky Hayden (Ducati), then Lorenzo and Spies to move into third on lap nine, only to run wide the next lap and ruin all his hard work. Demoted to fifth, Simoncelli kept his cool and slowly worked his way back towards Spies, from whom he took fourth place with seven laps to go. But with his rear tyre past its best there was nothing he could do about Lorenzo. Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) enjoyed a spirited battle with seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who started the race from pit lane after exceeding his ration of six engines per year. The pair spent the last half of the race with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) who won the three-way contest after making contact with Aoyama on the last lap. Aoyama who had great hopes after qualifying on the third row finished just behind Rossi in 11th. Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) was unable to complete the race after being taken down by Loris Capirossi (Ducati) as they attacked the turn eight/nine chicane with eight laps remaining. Capirossi dislocated a shoulder in the incident. Today’s strong winds produced some big top speeds, with Aoyama’s RC212V the fastest bike of all at 330.5km/h (205.3mph). Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) continued his unfaltering march towards the top of the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship with another remarkable victory in another titanic race. Once again the teenage rookie seemed to have everything worked out. He kept things steady during the early stages, unwilling to push too hard in the windy conditions. Then later in the race he escaped from the frenzied pack, increasing his pace until he was more than three seconds in front. Using a new chassis and swingarm, the reigning 125 World Champion crossed the line 2.466s ahead for his seventh win of the year, which was also his sixth of the last seven races. Marquez now trails World Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex), who finished eighth today, by just six points. The race was another breathtaking confrontation between the top Moto2 riders, with innumerable overtakes and edge-of-the-seat action from start to finish. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter) did all he could to better Marquez until he made a minor error which helped Marquez get away. During the closing stages his attention switched to defending second place from Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR) and Alex De Angelis (JIR Moto2-Motobi). Iannone kept hold of second, his third podium from the last four races strengthening his third place in the points chase. Corsi won a tense duel with De Angelis for his first podium since May’s Jerez GP. Seven seconds further back, Aleix Espargaro (Pons HP40-Pons Kalex) finished at the front of a hectic crowd of 13 riders, most of them swapping positions every other corner. Espargaro finished barely a metre in front of Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3) who came through from 15th on the grid. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter) was next, just two tenths up on Bradl, who fought for the lead in the early stages and set the second fastest lap, only to run into trouble when his rear tyre moved on the rim. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP-Suter) and Mike Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter) completed the top ten, followed at close quarters by the final points finishers: Anthony West (MZ Racing-MZ), Mike Di Meglio (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3), Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing-MZ), Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up-FTR) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter). To highlight the ultra-close, topsy-turvy nature of Moto2, Redding had been one of the main players in the battle for the lead during the early laps. At the chequered flag just 3.5 seconds separated Redding in 15th from Aleix Espargaro in fourth. The MotoGP paddock now packs up and heads eastward for the first of three ‘flyaway’ races outside Europe: the Japanese, Australian and Malaysian GPs. The action then returns to the Continent for the season finale at Valencia, Spain, on November 6. MotoGP rider quotes Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: race winner “Before the race everyone was a little cautious with the wind picking up after the morning warm-up session and conditions being a lot different to those we had seen all weekend. This was on our mind and also warming the hard tyres to makes sure everything was good for the beginning of the race. Our start was pretty average, I pulled to the left a little on the start and managed to avoid hitting Dani but Ben came around the outside and I ended up third at turn one, from there we were able to settle down and feel pretty comfortable with the bike. I wanted to get to the front as soon as possible as the bike has been working perfect all weekend and it was our race to lose, so I wanted to try and get out in front and pull a gap. I passed Dani as soon as I could and tried to pull that gap, Dani kept with me for the first few laps but slowly I was able to push and put in a gap and from there manage the race. I think everyone was struggling with tyres to some degree but the bike was fantastic and I don’t mind the bike when it slides around a little! A big, big thank you to the whole team and to take this hundredth win for Repsol Honda is something special.” Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd “We already saw in practice that Casey was very fast here and it was also like this in the race. I was loosing some tenths in the first sector and I was unable to reduce the gap in the other parts of the lap. The second half of the race I was sliding all the time and I had some fun, but it was a shame not to be closer to Casey, I had many problems with the rear tyre for the whole race. My priority was to control the gap to Spies and Jorge in the final laps and get another podium. We’ve been second in the last three races, which is not so bad, but we want to keep improving in the coming races”. Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 4th “I am pleased with this result we had to grit our teeth and I’m sure that even without the mistake I wouldn’t have been challenging for the podium anyway. Lorenzo was faster than me on used tyres so no complaints there. I didn’t get a great start but I managed to get into my rhythm quickly and make some passes to get up to third place. From the tenth lap onwards the tyres really dropped off and then again after another five laps, although Spies was in even worse shape than me so I was able to fight back to fourth.” Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 11th “It was a nice race and a fun battle with Rossi and Crutchlow. The final position isn’t great but I am happy with the way I rode in difficult conditions with much less grip than yesterday, which made it tough. Valentino, Cal and I passed each other a few times and it was great fun. Now I am hoping to put up a much stronger performance at my home GP.” Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: DNF “I made a small but fast slide at the first right turn, all the weight went on the front, I wasn’t able to control the bike and I immediately lost it as the front tyre was still not at temperature. It’s so disappointing to see your race over on turn two of the first lap after all the hard work done during the race weekend. This morning we struggled during the warm-up on used tyres and of course a bad session can affect you slightly, but at the start I was 100% focused and motivated for the race. It’s a pity because we had the pace to fight for the podium and the team did a good job. Leaving Aragon without scoring any points is also so bad for the championship. We are still third with 15 points advantage over Dani, but now we need to return to the podium and have some good results. Last year we had a strong end of the season, especially in Japan and Malaysia, so I look forward to the next GPs.” Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF “Despite the crash I feel satisfied because I pushed hard for the whole race. Once again I made a very good start and during the first laps I tried hard to follow the group. But, as happened in the past races, I missed traction control and the guys started to pass me. I could not maintain the same pace and then Loris hit me with seven laps to go. We went both out in the gravel but I am not angry because this is racing.” Moto2 rider quotes Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: race winner “It’s great to win another race, especially in front of my home crowd. In the beginning I couldn’t get a good feeling with the bike because of the very windy conditions. At first I wasn’t pushing so hard because I was trying to get the right feeling, but then Iannone and Corsi arrived. They were riding very hard and some of the passes were at the limit but it was a nice battle. Later I felt I could push and I was able to open a gap. I want to say thank you to my team and also to Suter because I really enjoyed riding the bike with the new chassis parts. At the next four races we will do the same start from zero each time and do our best.” Andrea Iannone, Speed Master-Suter: 2nd “That was a great race and I had a great battle with Marc. I was struggling with the rear, especially in the longer, faster corners, so I had to do all my work on the brakes to make up time. I could do that but then I made a slight error, went a bit wide and Marc was clever enough to escape at that point. We need to work at getting the settings correct earlier in the weekend we only really improved the rear end just in time for the race. Anyway, I’m happy to be on the podium and my congratulations to Marc he’s riding a great championship.” Simone Corsi, Ioda Racing Project-FTR: 3rd “That was a fun race. I started a bit behind in 12th so I had to push very hard during the early laps. Luckily the pace wasn’t so quick at that point of the race, so that gave me a chance get up there. After that it was a fantastic battle with the others. At recent races we have struggled with rear grip in the later stages of races, and we’ve worked really hard to fix that. At the end Marc had a little more pace than the rest of us but I am happy to get back on the podium and this result gives me confidence for the last four races.”
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