PEDROSA SECOND AT MUGELLO, BRADL A BRILLIANT FOURTH

2012-07-15 12:29
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) maintained his World Championship challenge with a strong ride to second place behind Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in this afternoon’s Italian Grand Prix. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) enjoyed a remarkable ride to fourth place, missing out on his first premier-class podium by just 0.046 seconds.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) had a challenging end to a difficult weekend, completing the race in eighth place after running off the track during the middle stages of the race

Pedrosa tried everything he knew to deal with Lorenzo. However, his fellow Spaniard was too strong today and he had to be satisfied with second place, which continues his unbroken run of a podium finish at all nine races so far. With nine races done and nine to go, Pedrosa sits second overall, 19 points behind Lorenzo.

After scoring a brilliant pole position yesterday, Pedrosa led into the first corner, but ran wide and Lorenzo slipped through on the inside. During the early stages Pedrosa kept up the pressure and even closed the gap with a new lap record just before half-distance. After that the former 125 and 250 World Champion had some issues with wheelspin and rear chatter, so he was unable to give chase to Lorenzo, who gradually built an insurmountable advantage.

Bradl’s ride was simply astonishing. This was the reigning Moto2 World Championship’s ninth race on a big bike, but he held third for much of the 23 laps, keeping the vastly experienced Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) behind him, lap after lap. Dovizioso did eventually find a way past, but even then Bradl did not give up, fighting back and then shrugging off a last-lap attack from Nicky Hayden (Ducati) to cross the line just behind his Italian rival. It was his best MotoGP result so far, bettering fifth-place finishes in France and in last Sunday’s German GP.

Stoner had an unhappier time. He struggled throughout practice to get heat into his rear tyre, qualifying fifth quickest. After a steady start to the race he started chasing down the leading group, only to run off the track at the Correntaio right-hander just before half-distance. He was unable to make the corner after experiencing some headshake exiting the previous corner, which knocked the brakes pads away from his RCV’s front disc brakes, so he had no brakes when he first squeezed the lever. A long ride through the gravel trap relegated him to tenth place, from which he recovered two positions.

Stoner stays third in the championship, now 37 points behind Lorenzo. Interestingly, he has so far only used two of his allocation of six engines, while most other riders are already on their third or fourth engines. Tomorrow Pedrosa and Stoner will test a new RC213V, an early prototype of the 2013 machine, which they will be able to race this year if they like the improvements engineered into the bike by HRC.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) rode conservatively to a tenth place, giving the Spaniard a useful points haul after a torrid two days of practice during which he slid off on three occasions.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) was a non-finisher, going out with the same technical glitch that ended his Qatar and German GPs.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) stormed to a brilliant victory in the Moto2 race, bringing the home crowd to its feet as he stole the lead from Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) at the start of the final lap. The Italian took his second victory of the year – his first came at Catalunya – by just 0.90s.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) finished third, less than a second back and just 0.128s ahead of Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3). Championship leader Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) came home in fifth spot, his first finish off the podium this year, but the Spaniard still holds a comfortable lead in the thrilling Honda-powered series: 34 points ahead of Espargaro and Iannone, who are now tied on points.

It was a typically hard-fought Moto2 race, with some breathtaking passes and some fascinating slipstreaming battles on Mugello’s long main straight.

Marquez was the early leader, then Luthi went ahead and then Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex), the Japanese rider having his best in a while. But being in front meant little at this stage, with up to a dozen riders breathing down the leader’s neck.

Espargaro made it to the front for the first time on lap 14 of 21 after tangling with Luthi in the first esses. A lap later Marquez’s challenge went awry when he nearly lost it at the same spot. After that he decided to score points, rather than risk a crash.

Espargaro was in astonishing form over the next few laps, building a 1.3s lead in just two laps. But local hero Iannone had the Spaniard in his sights and remorselessly closed the gap. Espargaro was also suffering from the right ankle injury he sustained yesterday when he was taken out by another rider.

Iannone dived inside Espargaro at turn one on the final lap, while Luthi ran wide and lost crucial metres on the leaders, which nearly took him back into the clutches of Smith.

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex) rode a brilliant race, crossing the line a fraction of a second behind Marquez after being down in tenth place at quarter distance. Nakagami ended up seventh, just 4.4s behind the race winner.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) won a brilliant Moto3 race – one of the best races so far from the already reliably entertaining new category. The first three riders over the finish line were covered by just seven hundredths of a second!

Spanish teenager Vinales beat Italian teenager Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) by a slender 0.02s, with Sandro Cortese (KTM) in third, a further 0.051s back. His fifth victory of the year moved Vinales to within nine points of Cortese, who had taken the championship lead at last Sunday’s German GP.

Six of the first eight bikes home were Honda-powered bikes, with Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda) leading the second group in fourth place, just ahead of Danny Kent (KTM), then Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) in sixth and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) in seventh. Jakub Kornfeil (Thomas Sabo GP Team – Honda) led home the third group in eighth position.

The race for the lead was a classic Mugello slipstreaming battle, with seven riders in the front-running group, chopping and changing at every corner. Then at three-quarters distance Vinales upped his pace, dragging Fenati and Cortese with him.

Cortese grabbed the lead as the trio attacked turn one for the 20th and last time, only to be immediately muscled back to third by the two Honda riders. Fenati now led, but Vinales swept back in front at Arrabbiata One. Cortese dived back into second place at the final turn and then it was a drag race to the chequered flag, won by Vinales by millimetres.

The Moto2 and Moto3 races now begin their summer break, while MotoGP reconvenes in the United States for the US GP at Laguna Seca on July 29. The smaller classes are back in action alongside the premier category at Indianapolis on August 19.


MotoGP rider quotes:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“I braked late at the first corner, but I missed something and Jorge was already there. Then a few corners later I was surprised by Dovizioso. He passed me also and it took a few laps for me to make the overtake on him as he was very strong into the first corner so I had to pass him in another part of the circuit. By this point Jorge had already opened up a small gap, but I tried to get back in my rhythm and I started to lap in the 47s. When I started to drop into these times though, my rear tyre began to spin a lot and I got some chatter so I was worried for the tyre. At this point I decided to slow down a little because to catch Jorge meant doing 47s. He was riding very strong, so I have to congratulate him. Finally for me a second place is a good result overall and I want to thank all the team for their hard work this weekend.”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th
“It’s a fantastic feeling for me and the whole Team. Doubtless a podium finish would have been simply perfect, but I am extremely happy about this great result on this track. I think that our bike was perfect from the beginning of the race because in the last couple of races we struggled a bit too much with a full fuel tank and could not feel the front tyre properly, but here we made a different set-up. It worked perfectly on this special layout but at the end of the race I missed a bit of front-end feeling on braking. So I preferred to stay calm and Dovi passed me, but after that I was trying to follow him and it was pretty easy for me. Then Hayden put in a brave move on me but he didn’t have the best exit on the right corner and I could pass him again. Probably my manoeuvre looked a bit aggressive on TV, but I think it was normal for a last lap. Being so close to the podium is fantastic and I feel happy for the team: they support me in the best way every weekend and especially Lucio. He is a hard worker and with this great result I want to give him something back.”

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 8th
“It's definitely not the way we planned it. We thought today we could be fighting for the podium and maybe have the pace to stay with Dani. Jorge has ridden fantastically all weekend and hasn't really put a foot wrong but I think third position would have been good today. However, we just couldn't get the bike working. During our last attempts in warm-up we couldn't get anything to work, we weren't very happy with the bike today and I just didn't feel comfortable. I made a mistake in the race, I had a bit of a shake exiting turn 11 and when I arrived at turn 12 I had no brakes. I was squeezing them as hard as I could and thought I had enough brake power to stop before the edge of the track but I had too much momentum and had to ride through the gravel trap which wasted a lot of time. I'm sorry for the incident with Alvaro, I went to make the pass into turn two and he started to close my front off and I couldn't do anything. It's a disappointing end to a difficult weekend. I thought I might be able to salvage something from but unfortunately not.”

Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 10th
“Thank goodness this weekend is over because from the first moment I struggled to get confident with the bike here. It is strange because at all the other circuits we've been to so far we have been close to the guys at the front, but here we have been unable to get on the pace. It has got to be down to the fact that we usually use the soft tyre and here we were forced to use the hard tyre for the race. We had to work around this and it made everything difficult for us, as did the three crashes and the brake problem. In the race I didn't have feel or grip at the rear. We made it to the end but I'm not happy. I just hope that in the next race we are not forced to make this choice and are able to work with the soft tyre because it suits our set-up and my riding style. I want to thank the team because they have worked so hard all weekend and I am disappointed for them and the sponsors here at their home Grand Prix.”

Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: DNF
“I am really disappointed to have to retire with the same problem as we had in Qatar and Germany. I practically changed gear twice and my race was over. I knew it was going to be a hard year working on a new project like this, but to have the same problem is bitterly disappointing for me, the team and the guys who always get through so much work. I would have liked to put on a good show in my home race but what can I say? We just have to hope for better luck at Laguna Seca.”


Moto2 rider quotes:

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up): race winner
“This is a fantastic, amazing feeling; it is so satisfying to be on top. It was so difficult out there and I hope I gave something good to all the fans today. It was a hard battle. When Pol made a gap I was a little worried, but I never gave up. I kept fighting all the way and I made it in the end.”

Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: 2nd
“I was lucky not to break anything in yesterday’s crash – it was a big one. The race was so difficult. At the start there were so many riders trying to be in front, trying to win the race on the second corner. It was a bit dangerous. I was fighting to be there with the front group. Then with eight laps to go I started to push and make a gap on the others. It was easier than I expected; strange. The only thing was that my bike wasn’t so fast on the straight and that Iannone was so hard to beat! We must keep working so we don’t lose any more horsepower. The good thing is that we took some points off Marc’s championship lead.”

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter): 3rd
“It’s a good feeling to be back on the podium after a couple of difficult races. I enjoyed the race. Early on I saw that my pace was good and that I had enough energy to fight for victory. But I made two mistakes at the first turn, the second when I was slipstreaming Pol and Iannone with two laps to go. I braked too late and ran wide. After that I couldn’t make up the gap and I had to fight with Smith to keep my place on the podium.”


Moto3 Rider Quotes:

Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: race winner
“This win is really important, coming after our difficult race in Germany last weekend. I’m really happy. It is very difficult to make a gap on the other riders at this track because of the slipstream effect on the big straight. I didn’t have a plan! I just did my best and I think I managed the situation well.”

Romano Fenati, Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda: 2nd
“This is really fantastic – to be back on the podium after quite a few races, and at the Italian GP. We worked very hard all weekend and I really enjoyed the race, it was fantastic fun. I want to thank my team and mechanics for doing such a good job this weekend.”

Niccolo Antonelli, San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda: 4th
“Fourth place isn't bad, even though we ended up a little way off the fight for the podium today. Unfortunately, because of one of the riders in our group, we lost contact with the front guys and we weren't able to recover. It's a shame but I think today we have taken a positive step forward. Obviously we have work to do to get more confidence on this bike but I think from now onwards we can start to have fun.”



RESULTS

MOTOGP
RACE: (23 laps = 120.635 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / KM/H / GAP
1 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 41'37.477 / 173.889 /
2 / Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 41'42.700 / 173.526 / 5.223
3 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 41'48.142 / 173.15 / 10.665
4 / Stefan BRADL / GER / LCR Honda MotoGP / HONDA / 41'48.188 / 173.147 / 10.711
5 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 41'49.172 / 173.079 / 11.695
6 / Cal CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 41'49.537 / 173.054 / 12.06
7 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 41'49.712 / 173.042 / 12.235
8 / Casey STONER / AUS / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 42'08.094 / 171.783 / 30.617
9 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Pramac Racing Team / DUCATI / 42'09.205 / 171.708 / 31.728
10 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / San Carlo Honda Gresini / HONDA / 42'12.066 / 171.514 / 34.589
11 / Ben SPIES / USA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 42'35.339 / 169.952 / 57.862
12 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / Power Electronics Aspar / ART / 42'37.440 / 169.812 / 59.963
13 / Aleix ESPARGARO / SPA / Power Electronics Aspar / ART / 42'48.677 / 169.069 / 1'11.200
14 / James ELLISON / GBR / Paul Bird Motorsport / ART / 42'48.935 / 169.052 / 1'11.458
15 / Mattia PASINI / ITA / Speed Master / ART / 42'49.305 / 169.028 / 1'11.828

Pole Position: Dani PEDROSA 1'47.284 176.000 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Dani PEDROSA 1'47.705 175.312 Km/h Lap 10
Old Circuit Record Lap: Jorge LORENZO 1'48.402 174.184 Km/h 2011
Circuit Best Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'47.284 176.000 Km/h 2012

CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 LORENZO 185, 2 PEDROSA 166, 3 STONER 148, 4 DOVIZIOSO 108, 5 CRUTCHLOW 95,
6 ROSSI 82, 7 BRADL 75, 8 HAYDEN 74, 9 BAUTISTA 73, 10 SPIES 66, 11 BARBERA 60,
12 DE PUNIET 28, 13 ESPARGARO 26, 14 PIRRO 16, 15 PASINI 13.


MOTO2
RACE: (21 laps = 110.145 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / KM/H / GAP
1 / Andrea IANNONE / ITA / Speed Master / SPEED UP / 39'52.523 / 165.733 /
2 / Pol ESPARGARO / SPA / Pons 40 HP Tuenti / KALEX / 39'52.613 / 165.727 / 0.09
3 / Thomas LUTHI / SWI / Interwetten-Paddock / SUTER / 39'53.420 / 165.671 / 0.897
4 / Bradley SMITH / GBR / Tech 3 Racing / TECH 3 / 39'53.548 / 165.662 / 1.025
5 / Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol / SUTER / 39'56.319 / 165.471 / 3.796
6 / Scott REDDING / GBR / Marc VDS Racing Team / KALEX / 39'56.434 / 165.463 / 3.911
7 / Takaaki NAKAGAMI / JPN / Italtrans Racing Team / KALEX / 39'56.948 / 165.427 / 4.425
8 / Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Technomag-CIP / SUTER / 40'03.889 / 164.95 / 11.366
9 / Claudio CORTI / ITA / Italtrans Racing Team / KALEX / 40'05.340 / 164.85 / 12.817
10 / Johann ZARCO / FRA / JIR Moto2 / MOTOBI / 40'05.554 / 164.836 / 13.031
11 / Mika KALLIO / FIN / Marc VDS Racing Team / KALEX / 40'05.652 / 164.829 / 13.129
12 / Randy KRUMMENACHER / SWI / GP Team Switzerland / KALEX / 40'05.885 / 164.813 / 13.362
13 / Nicolas TEROL / SPA / Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 / SUTER / 40'07.722 / 164.687 / 15.199
14 / Julian SIMON / SPA / Blusens Avintia / SUTER / 40'09.761 / 164.548 / 17.238
15 / Ricard CARDUS / SPA / Arguiñano Racing Team / AJR / 40'29.079 / 163.239 / 36.556

Pole Position: Pol ESPARGARO 1'52.369 168.035 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Thomas LUTHI 1'52.815 167.371 Km/h Lap 18
Old Circuit Record Lap: Stefan BRADL 1'53.362 166.563 Km/h 2011
Circuit Best Lap: Pol ESPARGARO 1'52.369 168.035 Km/h 2012

CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 MARQUEZ 163, 2 ESPARGARO 129, 3 IANNONE 129, 4 LUTHI 123, 5 REDDING 96,
6 KALLIO 77, 7 SMITH 69, 8 CORTI 59, 9 AEGERTER 52, 10 RABAT 51, 11 DE ANGELIS 48,
12 ZARCO 47, 13 CORSI 40, 14 NAKAGAMI 36, 15 ELIAS 34.


MOTO3
RACE: (20 laps = 104.9 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / KM/H / GAP
1 / Maverick VIÑALES / SPA / Blusens Avintia / FTR HONDA / 39'57.374 / 157.522 /
2 / Romano FENATI / ITA / Team Italia FMI / FTR HONDA / 39'57.394 / 157.521 / 0.02
3 / Sandro CORTESE / GER / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / 39'57.445 / 157.517 / 0.071
4 / Niccolò ANTONELLI / ITA / San Carlo Gresini Moto3 / FTR HONDA / 40'03.162 / 157.142 / 5.788
5 / Danny KENT / GBR / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / 40'03.210 / 157.139 / 5.836
6 / Efren VAZQUEZ / SPA / JHK Laglisse / FTR HONDA / 40'03.234 / 157.138 / 5.86
7 / Alex RINS / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / SUTER HONDA / 40'03.280 / 157.135 / 5.906
8 / Jakub KORNFEIL / CZE / Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta / FTR HONDA / 40'15.569 / 156.335 / 18.195
9 / Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN / MAL / AirAsia-Sic-Ajo / KTM / 40'16.606 / 156.268 / 19.232
10 / Hector FAUBEL / SPA / Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 / KALEX KTM / 40'16.682 / 156.263 / 19.308
11 / Niklas AJO / FIN / TT Motion Events Racing / KTM / 40'33.229 / 155.201 / 35.855
12 / Alexis MASBOU / FRA / Caretta Technology / HONDA / 40'33.246 / 155.2 / 35.872
13 / Adrian MARTIN / SPA / JHK Laglisse / FTR HONDA / 40'33.549 / 155.18 / 36.175
14 / Kevin CALIA / ITA / Elle 2 Ciatti / HONDA / 40'33.569 / 155.179 / 36.195
15 / Michael Ruben RINALDI / ITA / Racing Team Gabrielli / HONDA / 40'33.644 / 155.174 / 36.27

Pole Position: Maverick VIÑALES 1'57.980 160.044 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Sandro CORTESE 1'58.569 159.249 Km/h Lap 19
Circuit Record Lap: New category
Circuit Best Lap: Maverick VIÑALES 1'57.980 160.044 Km/h 2012

CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS:
1 CORTESE 164, 2 VIÑALES 155, 3 SALOM 104, 4 FENATI 85, 5 MASBOU 75,
6 KHAIRUDDIN 66, 7 RINS 63, 8 ROSSI 56, 9 ANTONELLI 55, 10 KENT 53,
11 VAZQUEZ 50, 12 FAUBEL 44, 13 OLIVEIRA 39, 14 SISSIS 38, 15 MONCAYO 36.


NEXT EVENT: ROUND10 JULY 29 LAGUNA SECA, USA

Source: Honda Pro Image

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