2012 Mugello MotoGP Sunday Post-Race Press Releases
Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and other circuits after today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
MUGELLO GP: PASINI ENDS THE RACE IN FIFTEENTH POSITION
The MotoGP class got out on the track today for the ninth race of the 2012 season, for the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.
Pasini managed to improve notably his lap time during the warm up session of the morning, setting the time of 1’50.136, turning into the second fastest CRT on track.
Starting from the sixth row of the grid, Mattia moved up a few placements quickly, getting hold of the thirteenth position and maintaining a consistent pace. On the last two laps, the Italian did all he could to defend his position, eventually crossing the finishing line in the fifteenth spot.
After today’s race, Pasini goes up to 13 points in the 2012 Championship Classification (fifteenth position).
Mattia Pasini #54 - 15th
“This race went quite well. It’s a shame how the last two laps turned out, we had a good start and we had a consistent pace. I was behind De Puniet for a few laps, then I lost a little from him and I spent the central part of the race on my own. At the end of the race Ellison and Espargaró reached me: they overtook me and I tried to fight back, but it was tough. In the corners we are competitive and fast, now we’ll try to make some further steps forward to improve the performance of the ART machine.”
Podium for Pedrosa, difficult 8th for Stoner
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took an important second position in the Grand Prix of Italy, but team mate Casey Stoner could only manage 8th in a warm race at Mugello circuit, where air temperatures reached 25ºC and track temperatures 45ºC.
Dani made a good start but was unable to hold off Lorenzo who led every lap from of the race, Dani - who set a new fastest race lap (1'47.705 on lap 10) kept within reach of the leader but in the end found himself in a race alone, after Lorenzo opened up a gap of 5 seconds and Dovizioso was a further 5 seconds behind.
Casey, starting from 5th on the grid, lost a few spots on the first corner but gradually made his way up to 5th by lap 9. Then a mistake on lap 10 saw him run on at the 'Correntaio' turn, which dropped him down to 10th but he fought back to pass Barbera and Bautista to finish 8th.
This Mugello podium marks Dani's 64th premier class podium, equaling the record of 3 x 500cc Champion Wayne Rainey. He remains 2nd in the championship standings behind Lorenzo with Casey in 3rd as the season reaches the halfway point.
The Repsol Honda Team will be back testing in Mugello tomorrow before the flying west to the USA for the Laguna Seca race on 29th July.
DANI PEDROSA 2nd World Championship Position: 2nd with 166 points
"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 in 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 1'47's. When I started to drop into these times though, my tyre began to spin a lot in the rear 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 laps in 1'47's. He was riding very strong so I have to congratulate him, finally for me a s econd place is a good result overall and I want to thank all the team for their hard work this weekend".
CASEY STONER 8th World Championship Position: 3rd with 148 points
"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 a 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 2 and he started to close my front off and I couldn't do anything. It's a disappointing end to a difficult weekend that I thought I might be able to salvage something from but unfortunately not".
RANDY DE PUNIET TOP CRT ONCE AGAIN IN ITALY
Teammate Aleix Espargaró comes back from early run-off to take thirteenth
The MotoGP World Championship raced in Italy this Sunday, but the victory would go to Spain. Jorge Lorenzo took the win at Mugello, followed by Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Bradl were all part of an early leading group, with Lorenzo opening a slight gap at the front. Pedrosa then pounced on Dovizioso to slot into second. 1.5 seconds clear, Lorenzo managed the race and increased his lead to 5.2 seconds by lap fourteen, as Pedrosa dropped back. Battles between Stoner and Bautista, Dovizioso and Bradl and Rossi, Crutchlow and Hayden provided some added enjoyment for spectators.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Randy De Puniet completed a trio of races in which he has been the top CRT rider. The Frenchman was the leading rider of the new sub-class at Mugello, following on from success in Holland, Germany and Great Britain. He looked to lay down the same pace today as in practice and was once again out on his own. He leaves Italy as leader of the CRT riders, with 28 points to his name.
Had it not been for a run-off on the second lap, Aleix Espargaró could well have challenged his teammate. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider lacked feel at the beginning of the race with a full fuel tank, but responded to his setback by making a great comeback for thirteenth.
12th Randy De Puniet: "I am very happy. This is the third time in a row that we have reached our target of being the top CRT. These past two races there has even been a big difference between us. My start wasn't great, but I quickly focused on finding the pace that I had in practice. Soon I was riding alone, and once again it was a tough race in which I had to struggle to keep my concentration. I saw Spies ahead of me and he was useful as a reference point for keeping my pace up. I caught up to him and passed him, but he was able to return the favour before the line. I am very satisfied and I think that my team did a sensational job. It is very rewarding to take results like today's and I hope to do the same at the next GP. We have a good base and I think that at Laguna Seca we can get another great result."
13th Aleix Espargaró: "Today I started very well and on the first corner I was able to pass two official bikes on the outside. The opening two laps were really fun. Then, with the tank still full, I was unable to get a good pace going and I noticed that the bike wasn't cornering well. I wasn't comfortable, lost concentration and ran off track when I locked up the front. I recovered as well as quickly as I could and focused fully, trying to do my best to recover positions. I went fast and was able to cross the line as the second best CRT, behind my teammate Randy. I am happy, because I kept up a good pace despite the run-off, but our aim is to be the best CRT, so we will have to work hard and try again at Laguna Seca."
Lorenzo Scores Magnificent Mugello Victory
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo delivered his second consecutive Mugello masterclass today, repeating last year’s performance to take victory in the Grand Prix of Italy. Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo was quick to pass pole man Dani Pedrosa and take the lead on the first lap. Although initially difficult to pull away, the Mallorcan put everything into his pace, dropping into the 1’47s to become unbeatable and gradually extend a lead to finish 5.223 seconds clear by the finish line. The win, his fifth this season, puts him on 185 points, 19 clear of Pedrosa in second.
Ben Spies’ run of bad luck continued today in Mugello, the Texan struck down with possible food poisoning on one of the hottest race days of the year so far. Despite experiencing physical sickness and dizzy spells he hung on to complete the race, taking five Championship points. He remains in tenth with a total of 66 points heading to his home race at Laguna Seca in two weeks time.
Position : 1st Time: 41'37.477
“From the beginning I felt great on this track, the asphalt was completely different to Sachsenring which was a nightmare for us. From the first practice here I felt very strong, very good on the bike and a fast constant pace. It was a pity that we had the problem in the last lap of qualifying but the important thing was the race. Today I was hammering a lot to open a gap at the beginning of the race as I thought my competitors would have problems on cold tyres. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it immediately. Only hammering every lap and going faster and faster from 1’48.1 then into the 47s could I open a bit to Pedrosa then little by little it got better and I could start to breathe. It’s been a great win for the whole team’s efforts and for Yamaha who have given me such a good bike.”
Position : 11th Time: +57.862
“I’m so disappointed, not just for me but for my whole team and Yamaha who have worked so hard this weekend. I was feeling really not right from before warm up this morning and it just got worse over the day. I was struggling to put three laps together at a time in the race and fighting waves of dizziness and trying not be physically sick in my helmet. Clinica Mobile did their best to help me before the race but it was a huge challenge to focus on the bike at the speeds we do.”
“A fantastic weekend with a fantastic end result. Jorge was always the fastest except for qualifying with our little issue. The race was great; he had great pace and that made the difference. Dani had good pace but Jorge was more consistent and was able to break away step by step. A six second lead in this category is a good one!”
“Another weekend of highs and lows. A perfect race by Jorge, which we all expected, his pace was unbeatable all weekend and he really deserved the victory. I am very sorry for Ben and the team, they all worked hard this weekend and we were confident in a decent race pace for today. Unfortunately Ben was pretty ill from this morning onwards and honestly put in a huge effort just to finish the race. I am confident we will be back fighting in Laguna next week for his home race.”
A LACK OF FEELING FOR HECTOR IN A DIFFICULT RACE AT MUGELLO CIRCUIT
Pramac Racing Team rider Hèctor Barberà rode hard to take the 9th position in scorching hot temperatures during the Gran Premio D’Italia at the Mugello track in Tuscany this afternoon.
Starting from the third spot on the grid for the first time in his whole MotoGP career, Barberà slipped a few places at the start, exiting turn two in seventh.
After another three laps, the Spaniard established himself in a group that included Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow, fighting for sixth position.
Despite pushing hard to remain in the battle for the top six, Hèctor was unable to maintain his early pace, holding onto 8th place alone, until three laps to go, when he lost his place in favour of Casey Stoner.
The 25-year-old rider struggled to find the right confidence with his Ducati, finishing the Pramac Racing Team's home race in 9th position.
The next appointment is scheduled in two weeks, when the MotoGP riders will visit the Laguna Seca circuit in the U.S.
Hèctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider –
“I’m really disappointed and a bit mystified because I’ve felt good all weekend and we got the bike working really well on this track.
I don’t know what happened during today’s 23-lap race, but I struggled a lot to find the right confidence with my bike, especially when I had to change direction, as my Ducati slid a lot. And at this track you have got a lot of fast changes of direction that are crucial to setting good times and maintaining a fast race pace.
Both the air temperature and the track temperature were quite similar to yesterday and I don’t understand what changed compared to the practice sessions.
Today I didn’t enjoy myself and it was a shame, because Mugello is one of my favourite tracks.”
Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team Manager –
“Today wasn’t a great Sunday. We expected a better result, after the amazing qualifying session of yesterday and the positive work made in the last two days.
Hèctor told us that he had an issue during the race, struggling with a bike that slid too much.
Now we need to analyze the data to understand what happened today and to solve the issue by the next race, at Laguna Seca.”
Dovizioso claims podium at magnificent Mugello
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso produced a masterclass in aggressive riding under pressure to claim a richly deserved rostrum finish in front of his sun-drenched home crowd at the Mugello track this afternoon.
Dovizioso secured his fourth podium in the last five races to delight a passionate home crowd of nearly 65,000 fans after he came out on top of a fascinating battle with German Stefan Bradl. The Italian was in contention for the top three from the start of the 23-lap race after he rocketed from seventh on the grid to third at the first corner with a typically fast launch off the line.
He led Dani Pedrosa in second for the opening four laps before the Spaniard retaliated, which pitched Dovizioso into an epic battle with Bradl that went right down to the chequered flag. Bradl moved into third position on lap 10 but Dovizioso was determined to score a second successive MotoGP podium at Mugello and put the LCR rider under intense pressure until he pounced to take third back on lap 21.
Dovizioso used all his experience to fend off Bradl's challenge and his 61st Grand Prix podium was secured by just 0.046s after a tense run to the finish line.
British rider Cal Crutchlow was locked in a superb battle of his own throughout the race with h ome crowd favourite Valentino Rossi. At the halfway stage of the race the pair were six seconds behind Dovizioso and the podium battle but both showed stunning speed, spurring each other on to close down on the battle for third in the final stages.
Crutchlow could not have put Rossi under any more pressure but the Italian refused to buckle and an exciting last lap saw the 26-year-old brilliantly grab his seventh top six finish of the season after passing Nicky Hayden at the final corner. At the chequered flag Crutchlow was only 1.4s away from the podium after his tremendous tussle with Rossi.
Andrea Dovizioso 3rd – 108 points:
“To get a podium is always special but to do it in front of the Italian crowd and after s uch a strong battle makes it feel even better. I got the perfect start and was third at the first corner and I felt very strong in braking at the start so passed Dani at Turn 5. Immediately though I could see that Lorenzo was faster in some parts of the track, but it was good to see again the small points I need to improve to get the best out of the Yamaha. The fight with Bradl for the whole race was fantastic and he did a great job. When he passed me he was making it look easy and I was having to push right at the limit to make sure he couldn't open up a gap that I couldn't recover. He was trying for his first podium and I was pushing hard to be on the podium in Italy, so it made for a great battle. I knew I was a little bit stronger in the brakes than him so with three laps to go I decided to attack and I was confident I could hold him off. He didn't give up but I am so happy with another podium and I want to say a big thanks again to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. We are working so well together and our results show it. After three podiums in a row now I am really looking forward to going to Laguna Seca.”
Cal Crutchlow 6th – 95 points:
“My start and the first five laps pretty much decided my race because I got a terrible start. Once I found my pace I was pretty comfortable but I didn't have a very good feeling on a full fuel tank and that is something we need to work on. The battle with Valentino was fantastic and I learned a lot from him. His knowledge of this track is unrivalled and his consistency was awesome. I was faster than him in the final section but I was not close enough to pass him on the brakes and he had a fast bike down the straight. I did everything possible but he is incredible on the brakes and didn't give me a chance. But we came from way back to almost get in the fight for the podium and I am happy to have got Nicky on the last lap for the top six. I was really strong at the last corner and made a good move, and to finish 1.4s off the podium having come from so far back is a positive outcome. I also want to say congratulations to Andrea. He is doing a phenomenal job and to get three podiums in a row in this class is a great achievement. He did it in front of his home crowd too and it shows what an unbelievable job the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing in 2012.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“That was another incredible weekend for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and to be on the podium in four of the last five races feels like we are dreaming. I have to give all the credit to Andrea, his crew and the Yamaha staff because together they are doing a fantastic job. These kin d of results are very difficult to achieve but Andrea's success is giving us an incredible feeling. Andrea's start today was unreal and that was the key to him getting on the podium. He was close to the front at the start and then he got involved in a really exciting fight with Bradl and I think the Italian fans really enjoyed his performance. When Bradl passed him I wasn't worried because Andrea is a very intelligent rider and I was confident he was saving his tyres to attack again at the end. He did that but Bradl certainly didn't give up and Andrea showed nerves of steel at the end to get third. I'm also happy to see Cal back in the top six. The second half of the race from him was really impressive and he was fast and consistent and never giving Valentino a moment to relax. A better start might have put him in the battle for the podium because he came from way back to finish less than 1.5s behind Andrea. That shows Cal never gives up and both of them back in the top six means it is another great weekend for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”
Lorenzo extends championship lead after Mugello masterclass
Round 9: Italian Grand Prix – Race
Mugello, Sunday 15 July 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard* (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
* The hard compound rear slick tyre was available in both regular and special constructions at Mugello this weekend.
Weather: Dry. Ambient 28-28°C; Track 49-48°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo unleashed the strong pace he showed all weekend to win the Italian Grand Prix in dominating fashion ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo managed to squeeze his way past pole-sitter Pedrosa on the exit of turn one on the first lap and then set a relentless pace to eventually finish over five seconds ahead of his compatriot at the checkered flag. Pedrosa passed Dovizioso to move up into second place on the fourth lap and despite setting a new race lap record of 1:47.705 on lap ten, the Spaniard couldn’t catch Lorenzo and had to settle for second place ahead of Dovizioso who once again rode brilliantly to score his third successive podium. The first CRT rider across the finish line today was Randy de Puniet on the Power Electronics Aspar ART machine in twelfth place.
Like the rest of the weekend, track conditions for today’s race were good with track temperatures very similar to yesterday’s qualifying session. Fourteen of the twenty riders on the grid selected the harder compound for the rear, with only one rider selecting this compound in the special construction rear slick, while front tyre choice was uniform across the field with all riders selecting the harder front slick.
Lorenzo’s fifth win of the season increases his lead in the championship over Pedrosa to nineteen points at the halfway point of the season, while Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner remains in third position overall and thirty-seven points off Lorenzo.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Jorge and the Yamaha Factory Racing team for capping off an impressive display at Mugello with their fifth win of the season. The race was run at an impressive pace with the winning race time over thirteen seconds faster than last year and in particular, the battle from third to seventh position was a thrill to watch. I would like to offer my thanks to all the teams and riders for their cooperation these past few days and for taking the time to evaluate both specifications of rear slick tyre. The addition of the special construction rear slick to our tyre allocation for this weekend required extra effort from our engineers to ensure teams could incorporate this additional supply of tyres into their programme without too much disruption. Our technical team now turns its focus to tomorrow’s MotoGP test at Mugello where they will support all the teams taking part before heading over to Laguna Seca for the U.S. Grand Prix.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s race was held under very similar conditions to Friday and Saturday and this was the first race weekend since Qatar where rain didn’t interrupt any sessions, so this was a welcome change. As track temperatures for the race were the same as yesterday, most riders selected the harder compound rear slick in the regular construction for the race, and only one rider chose the harder rear slick in the special construction. Front tyre choice was much more straightforward with all riders deciding that the superior durability and stability of the harder front slick was the best choice for the race. This race was quite unique in that we offered three specifications of both front and rear slick tyres, so we had to work closely with teams throughout the weekend to ensure the best choice of tyre for the race conditions we had today.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“I knew it was going to be a very difficult race because Dani had very good race pace so I tried to overtake him in the first corner as I thought his pace early in the race on the new tyres wouldn’t be the best, but in the end it didn’t turn out that way. I managed to pass him but couldn’t open much of a gap in the first ten laps, so I kept on pushing and set a few 1’47 laps and then towards the end of the race it was a bit easier, so I could concentrate on riding smooth.”
Rossi and Hayden close to podium at Italian GP
Today at Mugello, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were protagonists in a great race that saw them cross the finish line in fifth and seventh positions, respectively, both coming very close to making the podium.
It was the best dry performance of the season for the Ducati Team, in terms of the gap to the front and the excellent rhythm that both riders were able to maintain to the end.
After a poor start, the Italian made a determined charge forward from twelfth place to fifth, making a last-lap pass on his teammate, who himself had fought for the podium before finishing just behind Bradl and Dovizioso.
Tomorrow the team will return to action for a one-day post-race test on the Tuscan circuit.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th
“Overall, I think today was the best dry result of the year for Ducati, because Nicky had a great race as well. We’re quite happy, as our pace was very good, especially toward the end. Unfortunately, I lost time at the beginning. Not only was I on the fourth row, but I also had a bad start. I got by some riders pretty quickly, but by then I had already accumulated too much of a disadvantage. Otherwise, I think it would have been possible to make the podium. We’re having too much trouble in practice. Normally we’re able to have a decent rhythm with the hard tyres, but when we put on the soft, we can’t manage to cut those six or seven tenths that the others drop. For two races, we’ve worked on a setting that allows us to be consistent until the end of the race, but at the same time, it gives me more trouble with the front. When I put on the soft tyre, the extra grip makes that problem worse and I’m not able to effectively initiate corner turn-in. We have to work on that area. We have a test day tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th
“I got a good start, but I was spinning a lot in the beginning, and I thought I was going to destroy the tyre. Once I went to a smoother map, I was able to really start driving off the corners and bringing the group back. Those last seven, eight laps, I really gave it everything; I wasn’t sure I was going to finish, but I was sure I was going to go for it. On the last lap, after I went by Bradl for fourth, I was only thinking about trying to pass ‘Dovi’ and get the Ducati on the podium, so I don’t regret the fact that I tried. In the end, we can’t be happy with seventh, but I hope all the Ducati fans that came to support us can be proud of this team this weekend. They gave me a good bike, and we really had a shot at the podium today.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“Today we got to see a nice race for both Vale and Nicky, and it was the result of the good work done by the team over the weekend. We found some settings that were adapted to the needs of both riders so that they were able to take advantage of our current potential. Now we must continue working to take a step forward with the bike’s development. Tomorrow we’ll test some things with the chassis in order to improve the bike’s balance, and we’ll try some details with the motor in an effort to further improve rideability.”
No luck for Edwards at Mugello
The NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team’s efforts have not paid-off and have not been enough this weekend to be able to repeat last week’s result in Sachsenring.
The good feelings from the German GP have not been confirmed here at Mugello where the team has struggled to find the right setting for the Suter-BMW. The team will continue to work on the problems with the electronics during tomorrow’s MotoGP official test.
Colin Edwars – not classified
“I don’t have much to say, basically it’s the problems we have been having all year. When ever Espargaro run off and passed me it was kind of the icing on the cake, whatever issues I was having with traction control it just made it really hard to ride and unsafe and had to enter pits. Thanks to everybody for their efforts.”
Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief
“We were really looking forward to our team’s home race here in Mugello but unfortunately we have not been able to finish the race. We have not been able to find the right bike setting for this circuit after the Sachsenring race, where we were the second best CRT. Here we have found some difficulties in finding the right electronics setting and caused Colin to retire but in the end he was the one that had to make the choice.”
BRADL TAKES AN INCREDIBLE 4th AT HARD-FOUGHT MUGELLO GP
Mugello, 15th July: Stefan Bradl and his Team enjoyed a special weekend at Mugello circuit thanks to the excellent 23-lap race conducted by the German rookie on his RC213V who put in an impressive performance today nearly climbing up the Italian podium.
Bradl had shown his superb speed and progression earlier in the season when he powered his Honda machine into the fifth place at Le Mans and Sachsenring rounds. Coming to the Italian race track Bradl was confident of a good race as he is a big fan of the 5.245Km circuit and having increased his confidence in the front end in yesterday’s qualifying the German could fight for third place till 3 laps to go when Dovizioso passed him to get the podium on his home track.
Stefan – 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 asset was perfect since the beginning of the race because in the last couple of races we struggled a bit too much with 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 had not the best exit on the right corner and I could passed 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”.
MotoGP RACE REPORT: GRAND PRIX OF ITALY
Lorenzo tightens grip on points lead with dominant win; Two American rounds next
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 15, 2012 - One big question swirls around the MotoGP World Championship as it heads to America for the next two rounds, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Can anyone reign in Jorge Lorenzo?
Lorenzo rode to a dominant victory in the Italian Grand Prix on July 15 at Mugello, expanding his lead in the World Championship to 19 points over Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo thrust his factory Yamaha under pole sitter Pedrosa's Repsol Honda at the exit of the first turn on the first lap, leading all 23 laps en route to a 5.223-second victory over Pedrosa.
It was the fifth victory in nine races this season for 2010 World Champion Lorenzo.
"From the first practice here I felt very strong, very good on the bike and a fast constant pace," Lorenzo said. "Today I was hammering a lot to open a gap at the beginning of the race as I thought my competitors would have problems on cold tires. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it immediately. Only hammering every lap and going faster and faster, from 1:48.1 then into the 47s, could I open a bit to Pedrosa. Then, little by little, it got better, and I could start to breathe."
Andrea Dovizioso finished third on his Tech 3 Yamaha, his third consecutive podium finish on a satellite machine.
The next two rounds of the MotoGP World Championship will take place in the United States. The American tour starts with the Red Bull United States Grand Prix on July 27-29 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., and ends with the fifth running of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 17-19 at IMS.
A healthy serving of home cooking might help the three full-time American riders in MotoGP, who had tough results July 15 at Mugello.
2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden ran a strong fifth for most of the race on his Ducati. He made a bold, aggressive pass of Stefan Bradl for fourth on the final lap and was chasing Dovizioso for third, which would have been the first dry-weather podium of the season for Ducati. But Bradl countered with a hard move past Hayden to regain fourth, pushing Hayden wide. Hayden ended up seventh.
Ben Spies was weakened by suspected food poisoning and finished 11th on his factory Yamaha despite suffering from dizzy spells during the race. Colin Edwards' troubling season on Claiming Rule Teams machinery continued, as he withdrew from the race after 10 laps due once again due to mechanical problems with his NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter-BMW.
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner also needs to rebound at the two U.S. rounds. He entered the German Grand Prix on July 8 tied with Lorenzo atop the points. But he fell out of that race in the penultimate corner while chasing Pedrosa for victory and finished a disappointing eighth on his Repsol Honda today at Italy after running wide into the gravel during the race, returning to the track well down the running order.
Stoner is third in the standings, 37 points behind Lorenzo.
PODIUM FINISHER QUOTES
JORGE LORENZO (Winner, Yamaha Factory Racing): "From the beginning, I felt great on this track. The asphalt was completely different to Sachsenring, which was a nightmare for us. From the first practice here, I felt very strong, very good on the bike and a fast constant pace. It was a pity that we had the problem in the last lap of qualifying, but the important thing was the race. Today I was hammering a lot to open a gap at the beginning of the race as I thought my competitors would have problems on cold tires. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it immediately. Only hammering every lap and going faster and faster, from 1:48.1 then into the 47s, could I open a bit to (Dani) Pedrosa. Then, little by little, it got better, and I could start to breathe."
DANI PEDROSA (Second, Repsol Honda Team): "I braked late at the first corner, but I missed something and Jorge (Lorenzo) was already there. Then a few corners later, I was surprised by (Andrea) Dovizioso. He passed me also, and it took a few laps for me to make the overtake on him as he was very strong in 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 1:47s. When I started to drop into these times, though, my tire began to spin a lot in the rear, and I got some chatter, so I was worried for the tire. At this point, I decided to slow down a little because to catch Jorge meant laps in 1:47s. He was riding very strong, so I have to congratulate him. For me, a second place is a good result overall."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (Third, Monster Yamaha Tech 3): "To get a podium is always special, but to do it in front of the Italian crowd and after such a strong battle makes it feel even better. I got the perfect start and was third at the first corner, and I felt very strong in braking at the start so passed Dani (Pedrosa) at Turn 5. Immediately, though, I could see that Lorenzo was faster in some parts of the track, but it was good to see again the small points I need to improve to get the best out of the Yamaha. The fight with Bradl for the whole race was fantastic, and he did a great job. When he passed me, he was making it look easy, and I was having to push right at the limit to make sure he couldn't open up a gap that I couldn't recover. He was trying for his first podium and I was pushing hard to be on the podium in Italy, so it made for a great battle. I knew I was a little bit stronger in the brakes than him, so with three laps to go I decided to attack and I was confident I could hold him off."
AMERICAN RIDER QUOTES
NICKY HAYDEN (Seventh, Ducati Team): "I got a good start, but I was spinning a lot in the beginning, and I thought I was going to destroy the tire. Once I went to a smoother map, I was able to really start driving off the corners and bringing the group back. Those last seven, eight laps, I really gave it everything. I wasn't sure I was going to finish, but I was sure I was going to go for it. On the last lap, after I went by Bradl for fourth, I was only thinking about trying to pass Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) and get the Ducati on the podium, so I don't regret the fact that I tried. In the end, we can't be happy with seventh, but I hope all the Ducati fans that came to support us can be proud of this team this weekend. They gave me a good bike, and we really had a shot at the podium today."
BEN SPIES (11th, Yamaha Factory Racing): "I'm so disappointed, not just for me but for my whole team and Yamaha, who have worked so hard this weekend. I was feeling really not right from before warm-up this morning, and it just got worse over the day. I was struggling to put three laps together at a time in the race and fighting waves of dizziness and trying not to be physically sick in my helmet. Clinica Mobile did their best to help me before the race, but it was a huge challenge to focus on the bike at the speeds we do."
COLIN EDWARDS (Not classified, NGM Mobile Forward Racing): "I don't have much to say. Basically, it's the problems we have been having all year. Whenever (Aleix) Espargaro run off and passed me, it was kind of the icing on the cake. Whatever issues I was having with traction control, it just made it really hard to ride and unsafe, and I had to enter the pits."
2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at www.imstix.com , by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
Ellison Bags More Points In Mugello
Britain's James Ellison rounded off a very busy period in the MotoGP World Championship with yet another points scoring ride when he brought the PBMUK Aprilia ART home in a fine 14th place at the Mugello circuit in Italy.
After qualifying in 16th position and fifth place Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification rider, the 31-year-old from Kendal got a good start to run with a couple of the prototype bikes including nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in the early stages.
Continuing his battle with the CRT riders, the Cumbrian rider was strong for the duration of the race and at the flag at the end of 23 laps, was just a third of a second off 13th place and the regular front-running CRT Aspar Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro and 11 seconds behind CRT winner Randy De Puniet meaning the Penrith-based team claimed third in the CRT class.
The result sees Ellison consolidate 16th position in the MotoGP World Championship having scored points in the last four successive races. The PBMUK team has moved up a place to tenth in the team standings at the half way point in the championship and lie third in the CRT rankings in their debut season in MotoGP.
James Ellison: "I really enjoyed the race. I got a really good start and was clinging onto to Rossi until near the end of the first lap but I folded the front and lost the tow and then got passed by Pasini whilst under pressure from Hernandez. I had a real good battle with Hernandez and managed to make a gap from him and start to pull in Pasini with a couple of laps to go. I had to pass him a couple of times to make it stick and thought 13th place was in the bag until Espargaro passed me down the start and finish straight. I pushed so hard on the last lap to stay with him and was glued to his back wheel until the end but just didn't have enough to get past. My last lap was only a tenth of a second slower than my best so I was very strong at the finish and happy with more points. I'm looking forward to going to Laguna Seca in two weeks time to try to improve again but it's been another great team effort this weekend."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "James produced a good ride this weekend. We had a swinging arm modification which gave him a little more confidence and although there were times we struggled during the weekend, it all came together for the actual race. He got a good start and ran a good pace early on before dropping off a little but then he picked it up towards the end with some aggressive riding which saw him pick up places. Overall we are pleased as this was a satisfying round for us and we look forward to the Laguna race in the USA later this month."