News 5 Jul 2010

MotoGP: Lorenzo wins another race from pole at Catalunya

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo became the first Yamaha rider to win three successive premier class races from pole position since Eddie Lawson back in 1986 in his home round at Catalunya on Sunday.

Lorenzo won his third GP from pole in succession at Catalunya.

Lorenzo won his third GP from pole in succession at Catalunya.

Jorge Lorenzo became the first Yamaha rider to win three successive premier class races from pole position since Eddie Lawson back in 1986, when he took his fifth victory of his 2010 campaign at today’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

The Mallorcan is now 52 points clear at the top of the championship standings as a result of his phenomenal run of form and his second win on home soil this season.

“This is very special. After losing so closely last year I was happy but not completely so and today I can say I am completely happy, winning here at my home race,” Lorenzo commented. “It was very difficult today because it was so hot and the front tyre was sliding a lot.

“I thought I was going to have a big battle with [Andrea] Dovizioso because he was pushing very hard but then he crashed and I was alone – it was lucky for me because then I was able to take it more gently to the finish. I think I rode a clever race today.

“I am so grateful to my team and to everyone at Yamaha and Bridgestone because they are working so hard to make our bike competitive at every track. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that came to watch today, it is a great feeling for me to win here in front of them all.”

Dani Pedrosa made one of his trademark rapid starts from the second row to lead into Turn One, but he then ran wide coming out and had dropped down to ninth by the end of the first lap. It was an error Pedrosa managed to recover from in the early laps however, as he quickly fought his way back to third.

Aleix Espargaró had a run-off as he pushed hard to move up the order and Andrea Dovizioso started a fight for the lead with Lorenzo on lap three when he overtook to move into first, but it was a lead Lorenzo regained on the next lap as the battle lines were drawn.

Running in third place, Casey Stoner ran off track shortly after and dropped to fifth as Randy de Puniet and Pedrosa came through. Espargaró then suffered disappointment in his home race when he crashed out on lap six.

Lap 14 proved to be an eventful one as first Marco Simoncelli crashed out of sixth place, as he chased his best premier class finish to date. Then, in a decisive moment for the race, Dovizioso also went down as he pushed himself when chasing Lorenzo at the front, rejoining the race in 15th place shortly after.

With that, Lorenzo was clear by just over 5.5s with less than half the race to go, and Stoner and Pedrosa began duelling for second place with de Puniet further back in fourth. Lorenzo’s lead proved to be too much and he crossed the line 4.754s clear to take his fifth win of the season. Pedrosa won the scrap for second by just two-tenths of a second from Stoner, as the podium of the previous round at Assen was repeated.

“I made a really good start and was leading towards turn one. I had a bit of a front end shake on the way to the first corner but I didn’t think anything of it until I hit the brakes and for a moment there was nothing,” Pedrosa commented. “I was surprised because it was not such a bit shake, but anyway I pumped a few times and it came back, but by then it was too late and I had to run wide.

“I took it slowly to get back on track because I didn’t want to be to be penalised [for cutting the corner]. And then I tried to recover as quickly as possible and make up the positions I’d lost. I got past Casey when he made a mistake and we raced together for many laps.

“I was able to hang on until the end of the race though and I’m happy enough with second place after that first lap. We’ve linked two good results together which was our target and now we must maintain this consistence and fight for the win at the next races.”

For Stoner, the weekend marked his second podium in succession – number two of the year.

“I made a decent start and managed to pull away from the others along with Dovi and Lorenzo,” Stoner explained. “Unfortunately after a few laps I made a mistake, without which I think I could have stayed with them for the whole race – I just ran wide under braking and lost a lot of time.

“The bike felt more balanced in the second half of the race and I was able to make up a bit of ground but once I caught Dani I just couldn’t find a way past him. He rode really well – clean and faultless, without leaving me a single gap.

“To be honest I am a little disappointed but another podium is good for us and we have to be positive. We are working well, my feeling with the bike is good after the last three races and now we have to start making the most of our potential.”

Fourth place and his best result of the campaign so far went to de Puniet after yet another impressive ride on the satellite RC212V of the LCR Honda team. In fifth with a superb ride was rookie Álvaro Bautista, as he produced a magnificent effort on his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R.

“I am very happy because this fifth position is like winning the race after the last few races we’ve had,” Bautista said of his best result in MotoGP. “We really needed this result, for me, for my team and especially for Suzuki. I was very strong all weekend and was confident that I could do a good race here.

“I was very concentrated at the start because I knew if I could start well I could stay with the group in front. I got a good rhythm in the race and tried to control what was going on behind me and go for a good result.

“In the last laps I saw that Spies was coming very fast and I tried to push a bit more, but the rear tyre was used up and I couldn’t do any more, so I rode tight for the last lap to make sure I got fifth position. I want to say thank-you to all my team, to Suzuki and the sponsors Rizla and especially everybody that is here to support me, all my fans and family.”

Ben Spies continued his progress with sixth place on another new circuit, and Loris Capirossi, Nicky Hayden, Marco Melandri – on his return from a dislocated shoulder and fractured sternum – and Héctor Barberá all finished inside the top ten, with Dovizioso eventually finishing 14th.

Lorenzo now has 165 points with Pedrosa on 113 in second. Dovizioso remains third on 91, with Hayden, de Puniet and Stoner all leapfrogging the absent Valentino Rossi to fill positions four to six.

Yuki Takahashi took his first Grand Prix victory since 2006 when he won today’s somewhat chaotic Moto2 race at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. The Tech 3 rider won from second place on the grid, profiting from a mistake by Andrea Iannone who was penalised for overtaking at Turn 1 when the yellow flags were out.

A typically frantic Moto2 start was marred by a huge crash in Turn 1 as Alex Debón, Mike di Meglio, Roberto Rolfo, Robertino Pietri, Shoya Tomizawa, Héctor Faubel, Dominique Aegerter, Sergio Gadea and Alex Baldolini all went down.

Clear of the pile up were Thomas Lüthi, Toni Elías, Takahashi, Iannone and Julián Simón and it was this group that ended battling for the top positions throughout the race.

With the yellow flag still out from the opening lap and no overtaking therefore allowed, Iannone’s move on Takahashi to assume the lead resulted in the Italian being demoted back to second, a message his team tried desperately to convey to him but without success.

Shortly after Niccolò Canepa crashed out at Turn 9 and his bike caught fire in dramatic fashion, and Ratthapark Wilairot was another faller as the pace remained at the limit.

With eight laps remaining and Iannone not having taken his demotion the Italian was issued with a Ride Through penalty – he eventually finished 13th – and his surrendering of the lead placed Takahashi at the head of the race.

Following behind the Japanese rider were Lüthi and Simón, but at a distance of almost five seconds as the end of the race approached. Victory was therefore safe for Takahashi and he crossed the line 5.037s clear of the pair, who fought to the last corner with Lüthi edging it by just 0.163s for his third successive podium. Simón’s third place was his third podium of the 2010 campaign.

Completing the top six were Karel Abraham, Toni Elías and Simone Corsi. There was a spectacular crash for Carmelo Morales as he tried to slipstream Kenny Noyes for seventh on the start/finish straight. Apart from a minor contusion on his hand the substitute rider was uninjured in the crash.

The race result means Elías remains at the top of the standings on 111 points, with Lüthi second on 94 and Simón third on 77. Tomizawa is fourth, just a point behind Simón, after his DNF today.

Marc Márquez became the youngest ever rider to take four successive Grand Prix wins today when he triumphed in the 125cc Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. Taking the record off Valentino Rossi, the 17 year-old Spaniard won by a comfortable margin as he underlined his dominance of the category with his third victory from pole position.

Bradley Smith got a fantastic start from the front row and led into Turn 1 but when he ran wide at the exit it was Márquez who took advantage to shoot through and immediately start building an early lead as the field settled into their rhythm. Unfortunately for Esteve Rabat his race was ended prematurely – as it had been in the previous round at Assen – when he crashed out at Turn 10 on the opening lap.

Randy Krummenacher made an impressive start to rise from 14th to seventh, whilst towards the front a battle for second started to settle between Smith, Nico Terol and Pol Espargaró, as they became detached from the remainder of the field and Márquez continue to build his lead.

There were further fallers in the form of Alexis Masbou and Sturla Fagerhaug as they pushed for positions further down the field, but the real battle was unfolding between the trio competing for the remaining two podium positions. Luis Salom was forced to retire shortly after.

As the final quarter of the race approached Márquez had established an unassailable lead, which stood at close to four seconds, but Smith, Espargaró and Terol were incredibly closely matched as they engaged in a tactical contest. The distance back to fifth placed Sandro Cortese had stretched to almost 40 seconds as the last two laps beckoned.

Drama on the final lap saw Terol try to make a move but have to pull back suddenly to avoid hitting Espargaró and he ran wide and dropped to the back of the trio. The tension peaked further when the Bancaja Aspar rider then had a highside as he pushed hard, ending his participation. That left Smith to take his second podium of the season and cross the line in second place at 4.638s off winner Márquez. Espargaró was a further 0.358s back as he took third.

Cortese won the battle with Efrén Vázquez for fourth place, with Tomoyoshi Koyama sixth and Krummenacher seventh. Johann Zarco, Jonas Folger and Danny Webb completed the top ten.

The result moved Márquez onto 132 points and into top spot in the standings, with Espargaró now second at just a point behind. Terol’s non-finish means he is now third on 118, with Smith remaining in fourth and now on 94 points.