Updated: Stoner Wins His Fourth MotoGP Race Of The Season, At Catalunya

Updated: Stoner Wins His Fourth MotoGP Race Of The Season, At Catalunya

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2007 FIM MotoGP World Championship Catalunya, Spain June 10, 2007 Race Results: 1. Casey STONER (Ducati), Bridgestone, 25 laps, 43:16.907 2. Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha), Michelin, -0.069 second 3. Dani PEDROSA (Honda), Michelin, -0.390 second 4. John HOPKINS (Suzuki), Bridgestone, -7.814 seconds 5. Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki), Bridgestone, -17.853 seconds 6. Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati), Bridgestone, -19.409 seconds 7. Chris VERMEULEN (Suzuki), Bridgestone, -19.495 seconds 8. Alex BARROS (Ducati), Bridgestone, -24.862 seconds 9. Marco MELANDRI (Honda), Bridgestone, -24.963 seconds 10. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha), Michelin, -35.348 seconds 11. Nicky HAYDEN (Honda), Michelin, -36.301 seconds 12. Makoto TAMADA (Yamaha), Dunlop, -38.720 seconds 13. Alex HOFMANN (Ducati), Bridgestone, -40.934 seconds 14. Sylvain GUINTOLI (Yamaha), Dunlop, -44.399 seconds 15. Shinya NAKANO (Honda), Michelin, -54.103 seconds 16. Kenny Lee ROBERTS (KR-Honda), Michelin, -59.655 seconds 17. Carlos CHECA (Honda), Michelin, -62.315 seconds 18. Kurtis ROBERTS (KR-Honda), Michelin, -63.322 seconds 19. Toni ELIAS (Honda), Michelin, -11 laps, DNF, mechanical 2007 FIM MotoGP World Championship Point Standings (after 7 of 18 races): 1. STONER, 140 points 2. ROSSI, 126 points 3. PEDROSA, 98 points 4. MELANDRI, 75 points 5. TIE, VERMEULEN/HOPKINS, 72 points 7. CAPIROSSI, 57 points 8. BARROS, 51 points 9. TIE, ELIAS/EDWARDS, 45 points 11. HAYDEN, 41 points 12. HOFMANN, 38 points 13. DE PUNIET, 30 points 14. CHECA, 20 points 15. NAKANO, 19 points 16. TIE, TAMADA/GUINTOLI, 16 points 18. Fonsi NIETO, 5 points 19. TIE, JACQUE/Kenny Lee ROBERTS, 4 points More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone: Casey claims fourth win of season in Catalan classic Round 07 – Catalunya – Race Circuit de Catalunya, Montmeló, Spain – Sunday 10 June 2007 Ducati’s Casey Stoner has this afternoon taken the first ever MotoGP victory on Bridgestone tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain after an epic battle with Valentino Rossi in the final half of the 25-lap race. The thrilling duel was played out in front of 112,000 cheering fans with local hero Dani Pedrosa crossing the line in a close third place. The victory takes the total number of wins on Bridgestone tyres to five in seven races, representing the highest number of wins in a MotoGP season on Bridgestone tyres with eleven GPs still to play for in this electrifying 2007 championship. The competitiveness of the Bridgestone hard compound tyres around the technically demanding Catalunya circuit was further demonstrated by excellent performances from Suzuki’s John Hopkins, Kawasaki’s Randy de Puniet, Ducati’s Loris Capirossi, Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen, Pramac d’Antin’s Alex Barros and Honda Gresini’s Marco Melandri who locked out positions four to nine this afternoon. For Hopkins, it equals his result from Catalunya last year and puts him on equal points in the championship with team-mate Vermeulen. He also takes the accolade of setting the fastest lap of the race. De Puniet transformed his first ever front row start in MotoGP into his first ever top five result ending a competitive weekend for Kawasaki in fifth. Capirossi turned around a disappointing qualifying session and produced one of the rides of the day to take sixth place. Hiroshi Yamada- Bridgestone Motorsport Manager, Motorcycle Sport Department “That was truly an incredible race to watch and we are proud to have been such a big part of the show. Congratulations once again to the Ducati Corse team and to Casey for a perfect ride this afternoon to take their fourth win of the season. This victory is particularly special for Bridgestone because Catalunya has always been a challenge, so to have Casey win on our tyres today really means a lot. I would also like to say well done to all our teams for securing top ten finishes this afternoon, especially Suzuki for having two bikes in the top seven for the second consecutive Catalunya GP and to Kawasaki for a great fifth place from Randy de Puniet.” Junichi Kawajiri Bridgestone Motorsport Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development “The range of hard compound tyres that we used in this afternoon’s race all showed a good level of competitiveness and to see Casey take a closely fought victory is very satisfying from a technical perspective. The demand placed on the right-hand sides of the tyres, especially in such heat, was always going to be an influencing factor and the final laps were indeed crucial. Casey produced 25 laps all within 0.7s of each other showing the same competitive consistent performance that he has displayed all weekend. Like earlier races this season, we were able to compete at a track where we have previously struggled and this shows our technical development to be on the right way.” Casey Stoner Ducati Corse Race Winner and Championship Leader “The first part of the race was quite quiet but it really stepped up a level when I was joined by Rossi and Pedrosa. Since Mugello, we have worked hard on the Ducati and we have improved a lot in a short space of time. It was an awesome race with lots of overtaking and I have to thank all the team and Bridgestone. We found a good set-up with the bike on Saturday and did not change anything for the race, and we also had some very competitive tyres. The performance in free practice showed that the tyres could go the distance and this was one of the main reasons why I was able to fight so closely with Valentino at the end and ultimately take the win.” Bridgestone Race Results Front Rear P1 Casey Stoner Ducati 43m16.907s WINNER Slick Hard Slick Hard P4 John Hopkins Suzuki 43m24.721s +7.814s Slick Hard Slick Hard P5 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 43m34.760s +17.853s Slick Hard Slick Hard P6 Loris Capirossi Ducati 43m36.316 s +19.409s Slick Hard Slick Hard P7 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 43m36.402s +19.495s Slick Hard Slick Hard P8 Alex Barros Pramac d’Antin 43m41.769s +24.862s Slick Hard Slick Hard P9 Marco Melandri Honda Gresini 43m41.870s +24.963s Slick Hard Slick Hard P13 Alex Hofmann Pramac d’Antin 43m57.841s +40.934s Slick Hard Slick Hard DNF Toni Elias Honda Gresini 24m23.184s +11 laps Slick Hard Slick Hard Weather: Dry. Air 31°C, Track 43°C, Humidity 13% More, from a press release issued by Rizla Suzuki: Fighting fourth for Hopkins in Catalonian thriller Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer John Hopkins continued with his great run of form today as he stormed to a brilliant fourth place at the Catalan GP at Montmelo near Barcelona, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Hopkins was fifth on the grid and got of to a great start, as he and three other riders made a break away right from the beginning. Hopkins swapped places with Valentino Rossi in the early stages as the two riders went head-to-head for the second race in succession. Hopkins posted the fastest lap-time of the race on lap eight as he battled to stay with Rossi, championship leader Casey Stoner and local hero Dani Pedrosa. Try as he might the Anglo-American just couldn’t find his way past and brought his Rizla Suzuki home in a very creditable fourth, to consolidate his sixth place in the championship standings. Chris Vermeulen had a tough start to the race as he was down on the fourth row of the grid. He also got boxed in early on and lost a couple of places, but the Australian showed his race ability to the full again as he made his way through the field. He nearly grabbed sixth place right at the end of the 25-lap race, but was just beaten to the line by Loris Capirossi. Vermeulen stays in fifth in the championship and Rizla Suzuki MotoGP strengthens its third place in the teams’ title race. Today’s event was held in very warm sunshine with temperatures reaching over 30°C. The huge Catalan crowd of over 112,000 were treated to a thrilling race that saw Stoner on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati just edge out Rossi in the final few yards of the race. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will now stay in Catalunya for a two-day test before it moves on to its ‘home GP’ at Donington Park in England for round eight of the MotoGP World Championship on Sunday 24th June. John Hopkins: “I’ve got to that point where I am now disappointed not to be on the podium, obviously I’m happy to be in the top five but I want more! It was a tough race and I held in there with the first three for as long as I could, but with about eight laps to go I started to lose a bit of pace and as hard as I tried I was losing that little bit more each lap – so I had to settle for fourth place. We’re really happy with the Suzuki and Bridgestone tyre package this season and the tyres are working a lot better than they did last year – so no complaints there at all. Now we have a couple of days testing here and I am looking forward to bettering my times and then moving on to the next two tracks that I think will really suit the GSV-R800. I am sure that we will soon have a good chance of getting on the podium every weekend!” Chris Vermeulen: “I got a reasonable start from the fourth row, but then got boxed in a bit and dropped back a couple of places. I had a tough fight with Alex Barros early on and found it really hard to get past his Ducati – as it’s pretty quick in a straight line! I got through the field and the bike felt very good and consistent right till the end. I had a battle with Loris Capirossi on the last lap, and although I got past him he just went by me on the next straight. Seventh place from 11th is not too bad, and we now have lots of work to do in the next couple of days to make sure we are stronger for Donington!” Paul Denning Team Manager: “As Team Manager it is not easy to say exactly how I feel after this race! Both the guys rode very well, John set the fastest lap, and fourth and seventh place is a good result at this circuit for the whole team and for Bridgestone. It is a measure of how our expectations have risen that both John and Chris want to finish higher. But we have no right to complain – for Chris to come from right down the field and almost grab sixth on the final lap, and for John to race so hard against the top three in the championship can’t be bad. When the combination works to our advantage, I think we now have the bike, rider and tyre package to win one of these things in the dry!” More, from a press release issued by Konica Minolta Honda: KONICA MINOLTA Honda takes hard-fought point at scorching Catalunya KONICA MINOLTA Honda scored a point at today’s exciting Catalan MotoGP race. Ducati’s Casey Stoner took the win after a fierce battle with Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. KONICA MINOLTA Honda will now stay on at the Barcelona track and spend tomorrow looking at the data from this weekend to test further set-up and tyre combinations in a bid to improve their performance before heading to Donington Park for the British Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. Gianluca Montiron Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda “Today was a very exciting race and probably one of the best that I have ever seen! Perfect for the 112,000 fans watching at the circuit. Obviously for us we were expecting to get a better result today, but we suffered a little from the nature of the Montmeló circuit where the grip levels can change with the track temperature or conditions. When Shinya tried to push hard in the corners he would run wide, but tonight we can look at the data again as we are staying at the circuit to test tomorrow and I’m sure all the Team members will be working hard to find an improved set-up combination for our Honda RC212V. I think we are in a transitory period at the moment, where we have to work hard with the package we have, safe in the knowledge that our Technical Partners and the Team will find a solution for improved performance. We have a proven, race-winning Team and this along with having one of the best sponsors in the paddock means I am confident that we will soon be racing with the top group of riders once more.” Shinya Nakano Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (15th position) “It was a very frustrating and difficult race for me. I said yesterday that I had a good feeling in hot conditions but we just didn’t have that today for some reason. When I pushed hard the bike would run wide in the corners. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and having more time out on the track so we will be working hard again to make more improvements. This is important as we still have a further two races to come this month.” Giulio Bernardelle Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda “This morning we tested our race setting and were satisfied, but temperatures were lower than this afternoon’s race. Shinya’s comments were that he felt he had less grip than yesterday and this was the reason why he could not push as hard as he would have liked during the race. The Catalunya circuit is well known for the changeable track conditions, but it was the same for everybody. At the beginning of the race we were able to do a good lap time but again we lost out a little when it came to running consistently good times. We now need to look at the data once again and find ways of moving forward before the next Grand Prix, which takes place at Donington Park. Tomorrow we will test some new Michelin tyres, which have a new construction and these will be the tyres we will look at using in the next few MotoGP races. We are confident both in our Technical Partners and the Team’s ability to find a solution to help us to improve performance for the remaining races in the 2007 season.” More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications: Fearless Stoner takes win in Barcelona Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya – June 10th Report Day 3 Stoner wins fourth race of the season motogp Casey Stoner took his fourth World Championship victory of the season in an absolute thriller of a race at Catalunya. The Ducati factory rider rode the race of his life to deny Valentino Rossi his third consecutive win at the Spanish circuit, but was pushed all the way as he headed a podium separated by under four tenths of a second. Stoner absorbed every manoeuvre that Rossi threw at him in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the Circuit de Catalunya, never losing his cool despite being put on the back foot on more than one occasion. The Australian first took the lead on the second lap as he roared down the home straight, but had home rider Dani Pedrosa to contend with in the early going. When Rossi finally showed his cards on lap ten to give the Spaniard a back seat view of an epic battle, the two way duel between the championship leader and the experienced race winner was set. Stalking Stoner at every turn, Rossi assessed his options in cerebral fashion; letting the 21 year old know that he was there as he slipped through on a number of corners. ‘The Doctor’ finally made the lead stick on lap 21, resisting an attempt at a quick comeback on the home straight. Stoner learnt his lesson, and pulled ahead on the next lap before predicting his Italian rival’s line. He continued in the lead until the finish line, passing the flag just 0.069 ahead of Rossi. After taking the holeshot, Pedrosa had been expected to push for the win on his Honda RC212V, but was only really able to make advances on the second placed rider after the midway point. Tucked in behind the leading duo, the Spaniard waited to capitalise on any possible mistake from either rider, making overtures towards overtaking moves when Rossi or Stoner strayed from their lines. In the end Pedrosa had to settle for third, meaning that his winless run extends to fifteen races; the last time that he stepped onto the top of the rostrum being at Donington Park where the riders return in two weeks time. A home victory in MotoGP still eludes the former 125cc and 250cc World Champion. John Hopkins took a comfortable fourth place on the Suzuki GSV-R800, separated from the top three dragging each other further away from the Anglo-American as the race went on. Gutsy Frenchman Randy de Puniet took his best ever MotoGP result from second on the grid, gritting his teeth to take fifth despite a nasty haematoma in his leg restricting his movement onboard the Kawasaki ZX-RR. Loris Capirossi took the second Ducati home in sixth from seventeenth on the grid, ahead of Chris Vermeulen, Alex Barros , Marco Melandri and Colin Edwards. Toni Elias was the only rider not to finish the race, retiring with engine problems. 250cc Jorge Lorenzo bounced back from his Mugello disappointment with a dominant victory at his home circuit, his first ever win at the Circuit de Catalunya. The reigning 250cc World Champion was in a class of his own after storming off the pole spot, and put on a masterclass for the 100,000 fans gathered at the Barcelona track. The 20 year old’s fifth win of the season continues the quarter litre class trend of victories from pole, something quite different to the current state of affairs in the MotoGP class. The Spain’s No1 Aprilia rider celebrated his triumph with two lookalikes and a giant microphone, and certainly has something to sing about with a 36 point advantage in the general classification. Alex de Angelis took second in the race to close the gap between himself and Andrea Dovizioso to just two points, with the latter unable to repeat his 2006 victory in the face of such strong competition and having to settle for the final podium place. He was ten seconds behind De Angelis on crossing the line. Thomas Luthi had another great ride that belied his relative inexperience in the 250cc category, taking fourth ahead of fellow rookies Alvaro Bautista and Mika Kallio. Hiroshi Aoyama, Hector Barbera, Marco Simoncelli and Julian Simon completed the top ten. There was late disappointment for Aprilia wild card Alex Debon, who crashed whilst in fifth position with just six laps remaining. He remounted to complete the race in 16th. 125cc Tomoyoshi Koyama took his maiden World Championship win in a great 125cc race at the Circuit de Catalunya, giving the class it’s sixth different winner of the season. The Japanese rider had started from the second row, but had not really been in the running for victory until the latter stages. An amazing finale saw the 24 year old snatch victory on the closing lap and deny the home team Spain’s Aspar squad- the win. ‘Koyamax’ has had something of a stuttering start to his first season with Red Bull KTM, but finally confirmed his potential and showed just why Harold Bartol was so keen to draft him into his 125cc project. An extremely tight leading pack, separated by little more than a second, meant that nothing could be taken for granted on the final time round the Barcelona circuit. Second placed finisher Gabor Talmacsi was out of the podium spots at the beginning of lap 22, but took advantage of an error by team-mate Sergio Gadea to take another rostrum finish and the championship lead. Starting from fifteenth on the grid and with little experience of being involved in the top positions, Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher shocked everybody with his maiden podium place onboard the second KTM machine. Krummenacher led a 125cc race for the first time on lap sixteen, putting in times faster than those clocked during qualifying. Talmacsi’s experience may have been the deciding factor in preventing a KTM one-two, but the young rookie seems to have a bright future ahead of him in the lower cylinder class. Having had to sit up on the penultimate corner, Gadea was denied a home podium on the Aspar Aprilia, finishing ahead of birthday boy Pol Espargaro. The latter quickly made his way up from eighteenth on the grid to fight with the front runners, and celebrated both his highest ever Grand Prix finish and his sweet sixteenth by blowing out the candles of his cake trackside. It was a disappointed Bradley Smith who took sixth position, with the Briton believing that he could have won the race. Making a small mistake on lap nine provided those in front of him with the opportunity to break away from the sixteen year old, who benefited from a late crash between title contenders Lukas Pesek and Hector Faubel in front of him to move up by two positions. Simone Corsi, Joan Olive, Stefan Bradl and Michael Ranseder completed the top ten, whilst Mattia Pasini once again failed to finish the race after suffering a nasty looking crash. The Italian who has experienced more than his fair share of frustration this season- literally put the boot into his bike after the incident, enraged by his situation. More, from a press release issued by Team Roberts: KENNY JR. OVER KURTIS IN FAMILY FEUD Kenny Roberts Jr. won the battle of the brothers by beating younger brother Kurtis in the Catalunya Grand Prix in Montmelo, Spain. This was the first time the brothers, who’ve spent their whole lives pushing each other on the dirt tracks of the Roberts’ ranch in Hickman, California, have raced each other to the finish at a world class level, and they came away with a renewed appreciation of each others’ skills. Kenny Jr. finished 16th today, two spots in front of Kurtis, who spent much of the race in front of his far more experienced brother. Kurtis led Kenny Jr. from the first lap to the 19th of 25. It was then that Junior put his considerable experience to good use, cleanly drafting past Kurtis down the front straight of the 4.727 kms. Circuit of Catalunya, site of the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship. Once Kenny was in front, he was able to track down and pass fellow Honda rider Carlos Checa and come within one position of scoring more points for the team. Instead, that will have to wait for two weeks time when the series reconvenes for the team’s home race, the British Grand Prix at Donington Park. The Honda-powered hybrid, built in the Team Roberts factory in England, will be improved for the Donington race, but team principal Kenny Roberts said a new chassis is in the early stages of development. It will make its debut at the Roberts’ family home race, the end of July U.S.GP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Today’s race was run under a steaming hot 31 degree sun before 112,600 passionate spectators at the circuit north of Barcelona. Championship leader Casey Stoner (Ducati) held off five times MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) for the victory. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa gave the home crowd a hard-fought third. KENNY ROBERTS Jr – 16th position Kurtis did really good. He was much quicker than I was in the beginning of the race and I was squaring off all the corners and I couldn’t get any grip to stay with them guys. And then my bike…the power started coming around, the grip level started getting closer front and rear. Just was trying everything I could to get up with him. Once I got within a second, from then on I was just trying to pass him, if he made a mistake at all. And he didn’t make a mistake, didn’t get off line. He was braking hard, going through the corner the same speed as me, but accelerating smoother, because I was trying to get a jump on him, so I would just spin. And I finally was able to get a draft off him down the front straight. And then I concentrated on Carlos (Checa) ahead and then he had something go wrong with his tire or bike. KURTIS ROBERTS – 18th position Yeah, it was the first time I’ve ever been in front of Kenny. That probably screwed me up more than anything, because I thought I heard him back there. But what really screwed me up halfway through the race, just for like a lap-I thought he was right behind me the whole race-and it was plus 1.6 seconds. Because I’d see his lap times and I wasn’t paying that much attention to the lap board at first. And I would see he’d have a faster one than me. I figured he’d be right behind me. And then he kind of caught me off guard. And trying to catch (Carlos) Checa, I started rushing everything a bit. I just didn’t have any grip from the start. I was just hung out to dry, just sliding the thing everywhere. I knew I was catching Checa, but Kenny, when he passed me, I thought I screwed up. I didn’t even realize he was towing me along that good. But it was fun. When you watch Little Kenny, he’s Mister No Mistake and I make a lot of mistakes. KENNY ROBERTS – Team Principal I’d never seen them race like that at this level, of course, but it would be better if we were racing further up the field instead of where we are at the moment. It’s apparent that the motor doesn’t accelerate, but then we have no grip. I think that we are learning, but it’s going to take six weeks to build something different. We just have not been anywhere all year, because it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. When they turn it on, it just doesn’t go. Of course the motor isn’t the best. But it’s still not as bad as what we’re riding. The tires I think are actually a little more of a problem than the motor, because we can’t seem to get grip. So either the chassis’s not getting grip or the motor’s not getting grip, but we don’t know which one that is. More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki Racing Team: ELATED KAWASAKI CELEBRATE DE PUNIETÂ’S RIDE AGAINST THE ODDS Against all probability, Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Randy de Puniet, finished this afternoon’s MotoGP from Catalunya in fifth position: his best ever result in the premier class. Despite riding with an agonising knee injury, sustained last week at Mugello, and a shoulder strapped up after an earlier tumble in Le Mans, the 26-year-old Frenchman maintained a monumental pace, keeping many of the series’ usual front runners at bay. After starting from his first ever front row position on a MotoGP grid, he reached the first corner in fifth but lost out to Toni Elias soon after. A few laps in, despite the Spanish Honda Gresini rider trying to correct an error and briefly running in to de Puniet, hitting his handlebar and, ironically, his injured left knee, Randy kept his cool and, re-passing Elias, regained fifth position, which he maintained for the rest of the gruelling 25-lap race. In front of a crowd of 112,600 fans, Randy amazed everyone by not once giving in to the painful and debilitating swelling in his leg. Furthermore, incredible heat, an aching collarbone and significant problems trying to breathe steadily, similarly failed to detract him from his task. Lap time after lap time proved he was both concentrated and consistent over the full race distance. As he crossed the line, an exhausted but elated Randy celebrated his fantastic achievement with a mammoth wheelie of almost Biaggi-like proportions. It marks the end of a weekend which has seen the Ninja ZX-RR pilot making consistently fast runs around the circuit at Montmelo, near Barcelona, putting him second only to world championship leader, Casey Stoner, on the free practice combined timesheets and second, again, to seven times world champion, Valentino Rossi, on the grid. Bearing in mind these two riders claimed first and second positions after today’s hard-fought race, it bodes well for the future of both Kawasaki’s bike and rider who had, throughout the weekend, proved the ones for them to beat. Randy’s previous best finishes were two eighth places, gained earlier this year in Turkey and China. Today’s fifth gained him a further 11 championship points to add to his existing 19, moving him up to 13th on the leaderboard. After a crash in yesterday’s third free practice session, Randy’s Kawasaki stable mate, Olivier Jacque, was unable to qualify for today’s race. After tests, the 33-year-old Frenchman remains in hospital in Barcelona, under orders to rest after injuring his neck. However, he did not, thankfully, receive any serious injuries after his highside at the circuit’s turn five hairpin. His absence from the Gran Premio Cinzano de Catalunya is an undoubted blow to the Kawasaki team, who are keeping a close eye on his progress. It is two weeks until the next race of the season: the Nickel and Dime British Grand Prix at Donington Park. Traditionally another hugely popular and well-attended round, the team look forward to further improving on their results and showing off the ever-advancing Ninja bikes in front of another loud and passionate crowd. Randy De Puniet 5th Position “Even though now it is difficult for me to breath, I am really happy about what I did today. Not only because I got the best MotoGP result of my career so far, but because I did it regardless of my physical condition. I already knew it was going to be hard and the knee, the shoulder and the heat didn’t make it easy. I did a regular start and I lost a couple of positions and one more when Elias passed me after a fright in La Caixa turn. I was sixth after the first lap but I was certain my bike was much better than his. I don’t know what happened but a few laps later he touched my knee and my handlebar and, even though it didn’t take much to overtook him that made me lose contact with the front guys. I kept pushing and rode a good rhythm but they were definitely faster. We did a good job this weekend and my Ninja ZX-RR and my Bridgestone tyres worked so well today. I was completely focussed on my lap time, my braking points”¦ At the end, Capirossi was coming closer but I managed to maintain a distance and got this fifth position that has a really good taste. I would like to thank everybody, the team, Kawasaki, Bridgestone, for helping me make this race a success. I hope that we can now build on this result.” Michael Bartholemy Kawasaki Competition Manager “I think the only word that can be used to describe Randy’s performance today is: impressive. Despite carrying injuries, his pace has been extraordinary all weekend, where he’s virtually made second place on the timesheet his own throughout practice and qualifying. The pain is etched on his face every time he takes his helmet off, but he managed to stay consistent throughout the race today, and he wasn’t fazed at all by the collision with Elias in the opening laps. Towards the end I thought Capirossi and Vermeulen might catch Randy, but he realised they were closing and kept his rhythm to maintain the gap to the line. In the end, he achieved a career best finish in MotoGP and gave Kawasaki our best result of the team’s new era. Randy’s result goes someway to compensating for the fact that Olivier was unable to race today after his crash on Saturday. After some disappointments, this weekend couldn’t have turned out better for us, and I hope Catalunya will prove to be the turning point in a season that seems to have been plagued by bad luck up until now.” More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha: ROSSI SECOND IN SCINTILLATING SPANISH THRILLER Valentino Rossi rode his Yamaha M1 to a fighting second place in Catalunya today after an exhilarating battle with Casey Stoner, the Australian eventually taking the flag just 0.069 seconds ahead of the Fiat Yamaha rider after a nail-biting final few laps. Rossi 96th premier-class podium gives him yet another record as it takes him above Mick Doohan as the rider with the most podium finishes ever in the top class of Grand Prix racing. His team-mate Edwards suffered from grip issues throughout and was unable to stick with the leading pack from sixth on the grid, eventually finishing in tenth. After starting from pole, Rossi found himself down in fourth on lap one and was then forced to push hard in the first three laps to get past John Hopkins before he could begin to close the gap to Dani Pedrosa, who was by then following Stoner in second place. On lap eleven of 25 Rossi made his move on the local favourite, the cheer from the grandstands proving that there was however a sizeable Italian element amongst the 112,600-strong crowd. Rossi soon started looking for passing opportunities on Stoner, making his first successful bid at the end of lap eighteen before relinquishing the lead back to the Australian on the next lap. From then on the fans were treated to some vintage wheel-to-wheel racing from the pair, with Pedrosa also in close contention, and an incredible number of passes made in several different parts of the track. Going into the penultimate lap however Stoner made his decisive move and Rossi was unable to peg him back, despite throwing every effort at it. Despite a promising qualifying performance yesterday, today’ was not Edwards’ day and he slipped several places at the start and ran a lonely race further down the order, although a last-lap pass on Nicky Hayden moved him up one position to take tenth and six points. Twenty points for Rossi today means he is now fourteen behind Stoner after seven races, whilst Edwards remains tenth in the standings. After two races on the trot there is now a ten-day break before the MotoGP circus heads to Donington for the Grand Prix of Great Britain, another of Rossi’s favourite hunting grounds. Valentino Rossi Position: 2nd Time: +0.069 “What a race! Even if I’m disappointed not to win, it’s a great emotion to be part of a race like that and fantastic fun. It really was an amazing battle to the end with many wonderful overtaking manoeuvres by both of us in all different parts of the track! Unfortunately I lost a bit of time at the start and then it was quite hard to pass Hopkins because he was fantastic on the brakes. Then with Stoner it was a great fight and honestly I couldn’t have tried harder to win, but he was a very hard rival. There were some places were we could have been better today, not just on the straight but also in some corners, but anyway it was a great experience and it will help us to understand what we need to do to keep on improving. Yamaha and Michelin are working very hard and the fact that we could fight like this today to the very end showed this. Of course I’m sad because I’ve won a lot of times here in Montmelo and I wanted to win again, but like I said, I don’t think I could have done anymore today! We know that we can beat Stoner but today he rode like a god and he’s a fantastic rival, so congratulations to him.” Colin Edwards Position: 10th Time: +35.348 “Today was pretty much impossible for me; I had no grip in the rear from the start and I just couldn’t get into a rhythm. Basically I couldn’t load the front or turn the bike how I wanted. We’ve done everything this weekend, changed all the settings, springs, load etc, but we haven’t been able to crack the problem. Qualifying was okay but today I just couldn’t ride it. Tomorrow’s our last test until after Brno and the only thing to do is use every single possible minute we have on track to get to the bottom of the problem so we’re in better shape for the next few races, which are at some of my favourite tracks.” Davide Brivio Fiat Yamaha Team Director “Not to win after an incredible race like that, with a rider that can fight like Valentino, is of course a strange feeling! It was a fantastic spectacle for everyone between three great riders but Stoner was very strong today and he won, despite Valentino doing everything he could. It’s a very exciting championship but we’re not even half way yet and we’re only fourteen points down. Now we have to work hard to try to give Valentino the best possible bike at every track so that he can continue to ride like this, and win! With Colin we’ve had a difficult weekend but now we have two of his best circuits to look forward to. We’ll look at the data from the last two races and use it to try to find the right package for him so that he can transmit his good qualifying performances to the race. We’ll keep on fighting!” More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati: STONER WINS EPIC CATALAN CONFRONTATION, CAPIROSSI FIGHTS BACK FROM LUCKLESS SATURDAY Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner won a breathtaking three-man battle for victory at Catalunya this afternoon to extend his points lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship. Team-mate Loris Capirossi also rode a storming race, riding to sixth place from his sixth-row start, the legacy of a luckless qualifying session here. Stoner had it all – stunning attack and superb defence – as he fought with Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa throughout the 25 laps to keep 112,000 sun-soaked fans on their feet. The Australian enjoyed the lion’s share of the lead, attacking immediately whenever passed. The trio crossed the line in that order, covered by seven tenths. In 31 degree heat, Capirossi charged through from 17th on the grid, getting into an impressive rhythm to keep moving forward. Stoner’s fourth win of 2007 keeps Ducati at the top of the constructors’ championship and the Ducati Marlboro Team ahead in the teams’ championship. CASEY STONER, winner, World Championship leader on 140 points “Going into this weekend we weren’t sure how things would go. At Mugello we had a few difficulties and we thought it might be the same here. On Friday we weren’t exactly on the pace, we were losing a lot in a couple of areas. Fortunately, the team worked really hard, we came up with a solution on Saturday morning and since then we’ve kept the bike exactly the same. The whole team did a great job this weekend and proved wrong people who said we can’t win on European tracks. There were some nice passing manoeuvres going on everywhere. All three of us had our strong points and our weak points around the circuit, I was just trying to minimise my weak points and cover my lines, and it worked out. It was such a close race, no one could go away, it was very, very enjoyable to be racing that close. It was really good because our bike was set up quite well for the braking points, so for Valentino to pass us he usually had to run wide and we were able to pass him back immediately a lot of times. The way the team has set up the bike for me is fantastic, and the Bridgestones worked great again, at a circuit where they’ve struggled in the past, so they’ve really changed things around. Today was another great race for us, I’m still not thinking about the championship, maybe later in the season we can really start aiming for that.” LORIS CAPIROSSI, 6th place, 7th in World Championship on 57 points “I made a good start but I wasn’t so fast into the first corner because I’ve not got good memories of turn one from last year. Anyway, at the end of the first lap I was already 11th, but after I’d passed Edwards I lost a few seconds fighting with Melandri, otherwise I could have been fifth. Anyway, 17th to sixth is not so bad, I’m not disappointed. I knew I could ride at a decent pace and if I had had a better grid position I could have gone with John [Hopkins], though maybe not with the first three. I really want to say thanks to the team because they stuck with me throughout the weekend. For warm-up we completely changed the set-up to find better traction, and we did well because the bike was better. I was very depressed after qualifying but the people around me really love me, so after an hour I was ready to fight again. We used the standard engine spec today because it’s got more speed, but we will give the new spec another try at other tracks.” LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project director “That was one of the most beautiful races we’ve seen, and an special feeling because two years ago here we struggled with tyres, but Bridgestone have done an unbelievable job. Casey proved once again that he is an unbelievable talent – very smart, with a great capacity to manage a race. We are very proud to have him on board – it’s not the top speed, it’s the man! We are also happy for Loris, who came back from yesterday’s difficulties to ride a good race at a fast rhythm which should be good for his confidence. I’d like to thank everyone involved, including our technical partners Bridgestone and Shell Advance for their crucial support. More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing Honda: TOUGH RACE FOR MELANDRI AND ELIAS AT MONTMELO The Grand Prix of Catalunya ended in disappointing fashion for the Honda Gresini team. Toni Elias, contesting the seventh round of the season on home soil, got a good start to move straight up to fifth place and establish a fast race pace. Unfortunately, the Spaniard was forced to retire from the race for a technical problem when he seemed certain for a good finish. Marco Melandri also tried to make positions up after starting from the third row but he struggled with the same problems he had during practice and could only manage ninth place. MARCO MELANDRI (9th in the race, 4th in the championship on 75 points): “We’re going through a rough patch. The team are giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren’t coming. The bike doesn’t give me any confidence and I can’t ride it how I want. I’m really disappointed. We’ve struggled with the front end all weekend and after a few laps I lost confidence in it – it was skipping around and it was really hard to ride. We’ll have to make some drastic changes.” TONI ELIAS (DNF , 9th in the championship on 45 points): “I’m really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like 5th place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap. These things happen in racing but I’m really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans.” FAUSTO GRESINI: “I think this has been one of the toughest races for our team. We’re in a critical situation – we need Honda to react and give us a hand so that we can be compeitive again. The fact that Marco was the second Honda rider today shows that the riders and the team are giving absolutely everything to the cause.” More, from a press release issued by Honda: Catalan Grand Prix at Montmelo Sunday June 10, 2007 Weather: Sunny. Temperature: 30 degrees. Crowd figure: 112,600 race day. 201,000 weekend. Fighting third keeps Dani Pedrosa in championship hunt An intense MotoGP race fought out over 25-laps of Montmelo went to Casey Stoner (Ducati) who held off a fierce challenge from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who finished second with valiant local idol Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) a close third. A crowd of 112,000 race fans witnessed one of the best battles in recent premier class history as the three main contenders for World Championship honours pulled clear of the field to contest a three-way dice for what may prove to be one of the more significant races of what is already a tense season. With the track at a heady 43 degrees and ambient temperature nudging 31 degrees, the lights went out and Dani made it to turn one at the head of the field. The first lap passed without any of the multiple crash drama that marred last year’s race and it was Stoner who led across the line for lap two having edged past Dani. The Aussie Ducati man held an advantage of just 0.2 seconds as Dani harried Stoner with Rossi in pursuit, the Yamaha rider in turn pursued by John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V). Stoner and Pedrosa had pulled clear of Rossi by half a second as lap six began and it was soon clear that these four were setting a pace no others could match. Hopkins set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight at 1m 43.252s and by mid-race distance just 1.4 second covered the top four of Stoner, Rossi, who had found a way past Dani, and Hopkins, who would eventually find the going just too hot to handle in the closing laps. Elias, who had been running in sixth place, dropped out of the race on lap 16 with a machine problem as Stoner headed Rossi by just by 0.2 seconds with Pedrosa shadowing their every move from third place. Hopkins was by now losing ground and this race would now rise to a frantic intensity as the three leading contenders in the World Championship fought it out around this challenging 4.727km track. Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki), in fifth, was 9.3 seconds behind Hopkins in fourth as all eyes were fixed on the all-out war for the podium positions. On the penultimate lap Stoner led into turn one and held it for the lap although all three riders were clearly prepared to ride right on the edge to grab maximum points. Stoner had showed his ability to ride under significant pressure in Turkey when pressed by Rossi, and he again failed to wilt under a last lap onslaught from the Italian. Dani lurked behind them in prime position to pounce should a mistake hamper one or both of his rivals, but he had to settle for third at the flag, just 0.321 seconds behind the winner. Pedrosa said: “Third is OK and I finished right with the leaders so I’m happy for that. It was difficult to keep up with Casey and Valentino, especially in the middle of the race, but with 10 laps remaining I was able to get close again. I was actually enjoying watching them because they weren’t overtaking each other in typical places and that’s why I wanted to get in there too! However, in one part of the track I was losing a lot and I needed the other part of the track to recover, so all the time I was right there with them, but I couldn’t fight with them.” Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) finished ninth and said: “We’re going through a rough patch. The team is giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren’t coming. The bike doesn’t give me any confidence and I can’t ride it how I want. I’m really disappointed. We’ve struggled with the front-end all weekend and after a few laps I lost confidence in it. We’ll have to make some drastic changes.” Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) was 11th. The reigning World Champion said: “The race was a tough one. Somewhere along the way it looks like the rear tyre became unbalanced and started to vibrate and chatter really badly especially in the last five or ten laps, I could hardly ride it. After that I just started losing positions and it wasn’t a fun race because it was hard to tip it into any of the corners. We didn’t need that problem today so we’ll just have to look into why it happened and move on to the next one at Donington.” A dejected Elias, who failed to finish, said: “I’m really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like fifth place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap. I don’t know exactly what it was. These things happen in racing but I’m really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans.” Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) came home in 15th place and said: “It was a very frustrating and difficult race for me. I said yesterday that I had a good feeling in hot conditions but we just didn’t have that today for some reason. When I pushed hard the bike would run wide in the corners. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and having more time out on the track so we’ll be working hard again to make more improvements.” “I’d never seen them race like that at this level,” said Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR212V), who finished 16th “It would be better if we were racing further up the field instead of where we are at the moment. It’s apparent that the motor doesn’t accelerate, but then we have no grip. I think we’re learning, but it’s going to take six weeks to build something different.” Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) split the Roberts brothers as 17th finisher. He said: “This is a difficult moment for me, I cannot remember when I had a worse feeling in a race and this is not the result I wanted. Everyone in the LCR team has worked very hard over the weekend but we could just not find the balance or feeling that gave me any confidence to push. It is not fun to race like this but now we must look forward and hope the situation can improve.” “I was just hung out to dry,” said Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) in 18th. “Just sliding the thing everywhere. I knew I was catching Checa, but Kenny, when he passed me, I thought I screwed up. I didn’t even realize he was towing me along that good. But it was fun. When you watch Little Kenny, he’s Mister No Mistake and I made a lot of mistakes.” The World Championship points table looks like this after seven of 18 rounds. Stoner has 140 points after four wins, Rossi is on 126, Dani lies third on 98 and Marco Melandri has 75 points in fourth. The 23-lap 250cc race was the preserve of Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia). Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) was second and Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) third. It was Thomas Luthi (Aprilia) who hit turn one in the lead from the lights but the pace was such that the Swiss rookie could not live the men who established the race rhythm. Lorenzo, de Angelis and Dovizioso took control by mid-race distance and as the closing laps drew on Lorenzo held second-placed de Angelis at bay by 2.2 seconds with Dovi 1.2 seconds adrift of the Italian Aprilia man in third. Lorenzo took the flag to record five wins from seven races so far this year and extend his World Championship lead Lorenzo has 153 points with Dovizioso in second place on 117 points. Alex de Angelis has 115 points in third with Alvaro Bautista on 100 fourth overall. Dovizioso said, “On one hand I must be happy because the race pace I ran was fantastic very, very fast. On the other hand I must say the level at the front this year is so high. I gave 100% but also the competition is at the same high level so it’s hard racing. My team and I did a fantastic job this weekend we cannot give anymore. The bike handles really well and helps me a lot but we have to work hard to find a little more power.” Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished tenth and his team-mate Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) managed 11th. “It’s been a very complicated weekend,” said Simon. “To be honest, the race did not go very well. I made a good start and I had the chance to be in the front during the first few laps but I lacked a lot of engine power. It’s not a good result but at least I got some points.” Tommy Koyama (KTM) recorded his first ever win in the 125cc class in a tight four-rider dice for the podium positions. Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) was second and the Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher (KTM) was third. Hector Faubel (Aprilia) led into turn one with Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) in close attendance before Talmacsi shoehorned himself into second. As the luckless Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) fell on lap two, Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) held sixth place as an eight-rider group began to leave the field in its wake. By the halfway stage of this 22-lap race, just 1.1 seconds covered the eight-rider breakaway, and Smith soon began to drop off the leading seven before Lukas Pesek (Derbi) and Faubel tangled and fell. This left Gadea, Randy Krummenacher (KTM), Koyama and Talmacsi heading the field in that order. This would then be a four-way fight to the flag. On the final lap Gadea led into turn one as Talmacsi leap-frogged Gadea for third. Koyama burst through for the lead as his team-mate Krummenacher took third from Gadea and Talmacsi then managed second at the flag. Smith finished sixth. Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 12th. Bradley Smith said: “I pushed really hard from the first lap to stay with the front group. I passed Pasini in the first corner through the outside and then Koyama through the inside. I had made a really good start, looking forward to make a good race. It was much better than in Mugello during the first few laps and that’s something to be happy about. It’s been a shame because every time we got to the straight and I was in front of the group, they would pass me and I would fall back again. So it’s been very difficult for me to overtake them, because I lost a lot of time on the straights. I tried really hard to outbrake them but I made a mistake. I’m looking forward to the next three races, and I hope we’ll be able to make the bike be faster.” Smith’s team-mate Tito Rabat said: “I made a very good start but there were lots of us together right after that and I fell back. The bike worked well, not so the chassis. I lost a lot in the fast corners and the rear end gave me trouble when I opened the throttle. I did all I could, but my hand hurt a lot when braking. In any case I want to thank the team for helping me.” Talmacsi heads the World Championship points table with 115, Hector Faubel lies second with 102, Pesek is third on 94. ends HONDA RIDERS QUOTES MotoGP. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd.”Third is OK and I finished right with the leaders so I’m happy for that. It was difficult to keep up with Casey and Valentino, especially in the middle of the race, but with 10 laps remaining I was able to get close again. I was actually enjoying watching them because they weren’t overtaking each other in typical places and that’s why I wanted to get in there too! However, in one part of the track I was losing a lot and I needed the other part of the track to recover, so all the time I was right there with them, but I couldn’t fight with them. I just had to wait until the last laps and hope I could find something but I wasn’t quite close enough. I want to say thank you to all the crowd who came this weekend because they gave me a lot of support and created a great atmosphere. I’ve had some good results in recent races and the performance is steadily getting better so I hope keep improving for the next races.” Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 9th.”We’re going through a rough patch. The team are giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren’t coming. The bike doesn’t give me any confidence and I can’t ride it how I want. I’m really disappointed. We’ve struggled with the front end all weekend and after a few laps I lost confidence in it it was skipping around and it was really hard to ride. We’ll have to make some drastic changes.” Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 11th. “Through this weekend I’d been moving up and getting faster and faster in every session and going up a few places. I got a decent start in the race and I was looking to get a decent result here because my pace in the warm-up was reasonable too. The race was a tough one though. Somewhere along the way it looks like the rear tyre turned on the rim and unbalanced it, which meant it started to vibrate and chatter really badly – especially in the last five or ten laps I could hardly ride it. After that I just started losing positions and it wasn’t a fun race because it was hard to tip it into any of the corners. We didn’t need that problem today so we’ll just have to look into why it happened and move on to the next one at Donington.” Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 15th.”It was a very frustrating and difficult race for me. I said yesterday that I had a good feeling in hot conditions but we just didn’t have that today for some reason. When I pushed hard the bike would run wide in the corners. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and having more time out on the track so we will be working hard again to make more improvements. This is important as we still have a further two races to come this month.” Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 16th.”Kurtis did really good. He was much quicker than I was in the beginning of the race and I was squaring off all the corners and I couldn’t get any grip to stay with them guys. And then my bike”¦the power started coming around, the grip level started getting closer front and rear. Just was trying everything I could to get up with him. Once I got within a second, from then on I was just trying to pass him, if he made a mistake at all. And he didn’t make a mistake, didn’t get off line. He was braking hard, going through the corner the same speed as me, but accelerating smoother, because I was trying to get a jump on him, so I would just spin. And I finally was able to get a draft off him down the front straight. And then I concentrated on Carlos (Checa) ahead and then he had something go wrong with his tire or bike.” Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 17th.”This is a difficult moment for me, I cannot remember when I had a worse feeling in a race and this is not the result I wanted. Everyone in the LCR team has worked very hard over the weekend but we could just not find the balance or feeling that gave me any confidence to push. It is not fun to race like this but now we must look forward and hope the situation can improve.” Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 18th.”Yeah, it was the first time I’ve ever been in front of Kenny. That probably screwed me up more than anything, because I thought I heard him back there. But what really screwed me up halfway through the race, just for like a lap-I thought he was right behind me the whole race-and it was plus 1.6 seconds. Because I’d see his lap times and I wasn’t paying that much attention to the lap board at first. And I would see he’d have a faster one than me. I figured he’d be right behind me. And then he kind of caught me off guard. And trying to catch (Carlos) Checa, I started rushing everything a bit. I just didn’t have any grip from the start. I was just hung out to dry, just sliding the thing everywhere. I knew I was catching Checa, but Kenny, when he passed me, I thought I screwed up. I didn’t even realize he was towing me along that good. But it was fun. When you watch Little Kenny, he’s Mister No Mistake and I make a lot of mistakes.” Kenny Roberts Team Principal.”I’d never seen them race like that at this level, of course, but it would be better if we were racing further up the field instead of where we are at the moment. It’s apparent that the motor doesn’t accelerate, but then we have no grip. I think that we are learning, but it’s going to take six weeks to build something different. We just have not been anywhere all year, because it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. When they turn it on, it just doesn’t go. Of course the motor isn’t the best. But it’s still not as bad as what we’re riding. The tires I think are actually a little more of a problem than the motor, because we can’t seem to get grip. So either the chassis’s not getting grip or the motor’s not getting grip, but we don’t know which one that is.” Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: dnf technical problem.”I’m really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like 5th place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap. I don’t know exactly what it was. These things happen in racing but I’m really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans.” 250cc: Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 3rd.”On one hand I must be happy because the race pace I ran was fantastic, very, very fast. On the other hand I must say the level at the front this year is so high. I gave 100% but also the competition is at the same high level so it’s hard racing. My team and I did a fantastic job this weekend we cannot give anymore. The bike handles really well and helps me a lot but we have to work hard to find a little more power.” Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 10th.”It’s been a very complicated weekend. To be honest, the race did not go very well. I made a more or less good start and I had the chance to be in the front during the first few laps. I tried but I lacked a lot of engine power. The truth is that the bike wasn’t fast enough and I just wasn’t able to reach the front group. I joined Barberá, Bautista and Aoyama during a few laps. I fought hard to stay at their tyres but then I had a muscle problem in my arm. It didn’t get completely well and I lost contact with the group. I was finally caught by Simoncelli and finished tenth. It’s not a good result but at least I got some points. As regards Donington, we’ll have to gather this fury for having finished tenth and to try to do it the best possible.” Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 11th.”I managed to start better than in the previous race and I was able to follow the leading riders in the early stages. But that was just during a few laps because then I had trouble controlling the front end. The feelings were good this morning because we had found a good configuration in the different practices. However, during the race, I think that it was due to the heat, it was much more difficult and I wasn’t able to follow the leading group. I had no problems with the brakes but I was close to loosing control during the corners. I’m very sorry for the sponsors and for the team’s work.” Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 17th.”It was a very special day for me, as there were people from my country supporting me, including people from A.P. Honda and the media. We knew it would be a tough race because of the high temperatures and we knew this track wouldn’t be easy for us. Obviously I would have liked to score points, but I couldn’t. However the experience we gained this weekend will prove useful in the near future.” Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 19th.”I made up five positions on the first lap and was hoping to stay in the group with Jules Cluzel who finished 13th. But on hot days we seem to have a chassis problem that affects rear grip and my rear tyre was spinning up a lot, it felt like the track was wet. And the engine was cutting out just after the start, so things could have been much better for me.” Yukio Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: dnf crash. “On the last lap of the race I was in 12th place behind Shuhei (Aoyama). I tried to pass him on the inside but there was not enough room so I switched to the outside but used too much rear brake and slid to the right side on to the gravel and crashed. Pity because I was running consistently good times considering my body condition.” 125cc. Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 6th.”I pushed really hard from the first lap to stay with the front group. I passed Pasini in the first corner through the outside and then Koyama through the inside. I had made a really good start, looking forward to make a good race. It was much better than in Mugello during the first few laps and that’s something to be happy about. It’s been a shame because every time we got to the straight and I was in front of the group, they would pass me and I would fall back again. So it’s been very difficult for me to overtake them, because I lost a lot of time on the straights. I tried really hard to outbrake them but I made a mistake. I was just pushing too hard, trying to recover too much and when I lost the slipstream it was just impossible to stay in the group. I managed to catch them in twisty sections but as soon as we got on the straight off they went again. I’m happy because this sixth position is the best result of the season. I have to be happy for it and because I gave my very very best. I’m looking forward to the next three races, and I hope we’ll be able to make the bike be faster.” Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 12th.”I made a very good start but there were lots of us together right after that and I fell back. The motorbike has worked well, not so the chassis. I lost a lot in the fast corners and the rear end made trouble when I opened the throttle. I did all I could, but my hand hurt a lot when braking. There’s nothing more I could do because it really hurt a lot. It’s been a whole bunch of things that did not allow us to do any better. In any case I want to thank the team for helping me.” Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 16th.”I¹m so angry not to collect at least one point for my team after the difficult week-end I just put them through! My Honda was working well, the tyre choice was good. For sure we made the bike setup in the warm-up and was lapping 1¹53s, whilst I was in 1¹52 during the race, which means the chassis setup wasn¹t ideal. I didn¹t catch a good pace at first but nevertheless gave it all I had, especially in the closing stages despite tyre wear under the scorching heat. I tried all I could to pass Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter, but things just didn¹t work out! And yet I felt better mentally today.” “I¹m going to give it a good break before the next Grand Prix, first isolate myself for two days, try to forget everything and start my physical and mental training again to have the right approach for the British Grand Prix. I need to fight my way back and work for the future. I¹m happy to race in Donington next, I like the track which has plenty of acceleration and braking ­ and I¹m quite good at braking!” Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: 19th.”I am very disappointed with my race today. We had a lot of detonation after just four- five laps and I just could not run with the fast group after that. It is very strange because we ran the same settings as in qualifying and the engine temperature was the same, it’s a mystery we will have to take a good look at the data to see what happened.” Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 26th. “I got a so so start and was in a group with Terol, Muresan, Hugo (Van den Berg) and a wild card rider. There were a couple of crashes in font of us on the first couple of laps so we wee held up a little. The engine was a little down on power today but I managed to cut 7/10ths of a second off my qualifying time so that was a positive. I couldn’t get out of the group and we had a good race. The wild card rider crashed out leaving the four of us. Finishing 26th is not a good result but I finished the race and learned a few things.” Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: dnf crash “I got my usual super start and passed a few riders but Ranseder did not he was trying too hard to catch up and hit me sending me off the track and out of the race. There is nothing else to say I didn’t even get to complete one lap!” Dino Lombardi, Kopron Scot Honda: dns due to injuries sustained in qualifying. Lombardi broke his left ankle. More, from a press release issued by Michelin: MICHELIN MEN SO CLOSE TO VICTORY AT CATALUNYA Michelin riders Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) were in the thick of today’s superbly entertaining Catalan GP showdown, enjoying a thrilling contest with winner Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP7). Rossi finished less than seven hundredths of a second behind the Australian, with Pedrosa only 0.390 seconds further back. The Italian, who has won two races so far this year, and Stoner traded the lead on numerous occasions, sometimes several times a lap. Pedrosa stayed right with them all the way for his best ride of the year, for the first time using a stronger construction rear slick, the same as that used by Rossi. “It was a wonderful race, an amazing battle, especially between Vale and Casey,” said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin’s director of motorcycle racing. “It was the most beautiful race of the season so far, the lap times were fast all the way to the finish, with Valentino able to attack Casey all the way, one of his passes at turn one was just amazing, and Dani could stay with them no problem. Dani used a stiffer construction rear here, for the first time he used exactly the same tire as Valentino. It was a good choice and it definitely helped him run at the front. “We wanted to win, of course, and although we are happy with the performance of our tires, we didn’t have the whole package to beat the Ducati today, Casey could still pass on the straight without using the slipstream. But it was very positive that we had two different makes of bike on our tires able to fight with the Ducati today.” After two brilliant races in Italy and Spain, the MotoGP circus now moves northward for the British Grand Prix on June 24 and the Dutch TT on June 30.

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