2012 Aragon MotoGP Sunday Post-Race Press Releases
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Aragon:
Pedrosa claims fourth win of 2012
Repsol rider returns to the top spot for fourth victory of the season, cutting gap to Jorge Lorenzo. Jonathan Rea places seventh.
One day after his 27th birthday, Dani Pedrosa gifted himself a victory at the Aragon Grand Prix —ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. The latter took the early initiative, with Pedrosa slotting in behind him on the opening corner. >From then on, both extended a gap ahead the rest of the field, until Pedrosa made his attack on lap seven. The Repsol rider quickly extended an advantage of a few seconds which only grew after a scare for Lorenzo and Pedrosa’s storming pace. He took the chequered flag with a lead of over six seconds.
With this result, Dani Pedrosa reduces the difference in the title standings to 33 points. Teammate Jonathan Rea improved upon his eighth place finish from Misano with seventh today.
Lorenzo Settles for Second in Aragon
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo took his seventh second place finish of the 2012 season today at the Grand Prix of Aragon. Starting from pole the Mallorcan took the holeshot into turn one and began to try and build a gap to Dani Pedrosa chasing in second. As the race progressed tyre grip dropped, allowing the gap to close until Pedrosa was able to pass on the sixth lap. Lorenzo initially attempted to keep pace with the race leader but after a near high side in turn one he made the decision to slow his pace and secure second at the line. The resulting point score sees him head to the tripleheader overseas races with a 33 point lead in the standings.
Ben Spies made a promising start to the Aragon race, climbing a position off the line to drop into the first corner in third behind Pedrosa and hotly pursued by Stefan Bradl and Yamaha Tech3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. As the two front runners pulled away, Bradl made a move past Spies and then immediately crashed out of the race. The Texan worked hard to fend of the two satellite riders, eventually conceding his third place to Dovizioso on lap 14 and fourth place to Crutchlow on lap 17 to take his third fifth place finish of the year. Spies heads to Motegi in two weeks time still in tenth place in the Championship, now with 88 points.
Position : 2nd Time: +6.472
“I was thinking to try for the win at the beginning of the race and if that was not possible then second place was the best possible result for the Championship. Dani had a better pace in the end, I was stronger at the start then little by little I was a bit slower, the tyres were slipping a lot and I couldn’t follow him. I nearly crashed in one corner and decided then to stay in second place and wait for the end of the race.”
Position : 5th Time: +13.786
“I struggled a bit with the front tyre today at the beginning and then in the middle of the race. I tried to keep Dovi and Cal at bay as long as I could. Once they passed me I tried to hold onto the back of them in case they made a mistake. The bike was working well we just didn’t have it working as exactly as we needed to stay with them. We did our best they were just too quick in the end.”
“A difficult race, a bit of damage control I think. Jorge tried to escape in the beginning but Dani was able to follow. There was no need to win, the Championship situation allows us to have some second places and still win the title. Jorge kept everything under control and finished second.”
“The way to the championship title is proceeding well. We’re leaving Europe for the last three overseas races with a good margin in the standings, that is important and gives us confidence. Second position today was key for this. Unfortunately Ben’s race didn’t go as we expected but we know he is there so we’re sure that before the end of the season he will be on the podium.”
Pedrosa celebrates his birthday with a race win in Aragón, Rea finishes 7th
In an intense battle between the two Championship contenders, it was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa who emerged as victor, for the fourth time this season. His team mate, Jonathan Rea, took an impressive 7th in just his second MotoGP outing.
After an early crash in yesterday's qualifying session, Dani's team had to completely rebuild the bike to prepare for today's 23 lap race and the dominant victory was the best present for himself and his crew on his birthday weekend.
Starting from second on the grid, Dani took the lead on the seventh lap, after setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 3 (1'49.109) and running consistently in 1'49's he pulled away from Lorenzo until crossing the finish line with more than a 6 second gap. Pedrosa is now 33 points behind Lorenzo in the World Championship standings with 4 rounds remaining.
Jonathan Rea completed his second strong race for the Repsol Honda Team. The British rider, who is replacing injured Casey Stoner, maintained a consistent gap to Honda rider Alvaro Bautista but was unable to chase him down.
Honda lead the Constructors Championship by 6 points as they head to their home Grand Prix in Motegi, Japan. It will be confirmed next week by Honda Racing Corporation if the 2011 World Champion, Casey Stoner, will return for the next round in two weeks time, he remains 3rd in the standings with 186 points.
DANI PEDROSA 1st World Championship Position: 2nd with 257 points
"It's been a tough weekend in general, with discussions about the last race with race direction and the crash in qualifying yesterday which created a lot of hard work for the mechanics. In the race I remained calm and was able to focus, Jorge began very fast in the early laps but I was able to stay with him and then after a few laps I saw I could increase the pace and I passed him and tried to find my own rhythm. I was concentrating so hard that I almost forgot that it was a race, then I realised there were only 4 laps to go! I had a few issues with the clutch into the corners, shifting down, as I did yesterday, but overall the bike was working well so thanks to all my team for their hard work last night and to my fans and family for thei r support, this victory is for them all!".
JONATHAN REA 7th World Championship Position: 19th with 17 points
"I'm happy I achieved my goal of reducing the gap to the guys at the front, in the end we managed it by 10 seconds but it was another difficult race as I found myself on my own again. At the beginning I let Alvaro have too big a gap and when I tried to make a push, it wasn't enough and we were only taking tenths out of him but I'm quite satisfied and I've learned a lot. In this race it was quite confusing for me as I was playing with the traction control buttons, the torque settings and the engine braking just to try and figure out what was happening, then there came a point where I told myself just to ride this thing and see what happens. It's been amazing to get this chance and I'm not totally sure what's happening for Motegi but my bes t wishes go to Casey and I hope he comes back and shows the World the rider he is and ends his final season on a high. I want to thank all of HRC and the Repsol Honda Team for this opportunity and for treating me like one of their own, not like a replacement rider, it's been an amazing experience. This is my tenth year in the Honda family and hopefully I can come back here someday".
Dovizioso pips Crutchlow to podium after exciting Aragon duel
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrated a brilliant return to the MotoGP podium in the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon today after Andrea Dovizioso came out on top of an exciting race long battle with teammate Cal Crutchlow.
Dovizioso secured his sixth podium of the 2012 World Championship campaign after he showed ice cool nerves to fend off the relentless challenge from hard charging Crutchlow to claim a richly deserved third place.
Italian Dovizioso and Crutchl ow were barely more than two tenths apart for the duration of the 23-lap race, which took place in sunny but cool conditions at the magnificent Motorland Aragon track.
After Stefan Bradl's early crash, Dovizioso and Crutchlow were pitched into an entertaining battle for third place with Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies.
Crutchlow led the chase of the Texan until he ran slightly off line exiting the final corner on lap 11 and Dovizioso pounced to grab fourth on the long run to the first corner.
Dovizioso seized third from Spies on lap 15 at the second corner and it was at the same point of the track that Crutchlow also made his move on the American on lap 18.
The 26-year-old had brilliantly upped his pa ce by that stage and he launched a sustained attack on Dovizioso that went right down to the wire. The British rider briefly snatched third with a gutsy move at Turn 15 on the penultimate lap but Dovizioso responded instantly to seize the last podium position back.
Seeking to score his second podium in the last three races, Crutchlow tried the same manoeuvre again on the final lap, but Dovizioso was able to launch an instant counter attack and he held on to score his first rostrum since the Indianapolis round.
Dovizioso's outstanding ride moved him to within seven-points of Casey Stoner in third place in the World Championship standings, while Crutchlow's 13-points for fourth proved invaluable in his bid to secure fifth in the rankings.
He is now seven-points clear of Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista with only four races remaining heading off on the flyaway tour to Japan, Malaysia and Australia.
Andrea Dovizioso 3rd – 179 points:
“It was a very good race and I am very happy to be back on the podium. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a fantastic job and the bike was very strong in the race. It was a very strategic race for me because right from the start I was quite slow in a few corners so I had to work very hard to stay in front of Ben and Cal. I knew Cal would be pushing very hard at the end of the race because a few times we have battled together like this and I have beaten him, so I knew he would not be giving up without a fight. He tried in the same place on the last two laps but at that point he couldn't stop the bike and I had a better exit speed to immediately take the third position back. And I know I am very strong on the brakes, so going to the last corner I was confident I could keep him behind me. It is great to be back on the podium, so I want to say a big thanks to my crew for doing such a wonderful job again.”
Cal Crutchlow 4th – 135 points:
“Obviously it would have been great to be back on the podium after the disappointment of Misano but credit to Andrea because he did a great job as always and I'm taking nothing away from him. I did my best in those last two laps to take third but I knew he had a little better exit speed than me coming out of Turn 15 and that's how it turned out. It was impossible for me to try again at the last corner but I am happy with fourth because this result once again shows the huge step I have ma de from last season. Today I was close to the podium and last year struggling to be in the top 10. It was a good result for the Championship too because I pulled a small gap on Valentino and Alvaro. I can go into the last four races with a lot of confidence and hopefully enjoy some more good battles with Andrea. I tried my best to beat him today and didn't quite manage it, so hopefully next time we are in a fight like that it will be me that comes out on top.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“I don't think anybody can say that Andrea and Cal didn't put on a fantastic show for the crowd today. I have to congratulate both of them because they have been very fast and really close to each other but at all times they treated each other with the utmost respect. They were very professional because they were very aggressive but without ever stepping over the limit. It was clearly the best battle of the whole race and it could have gone either way. Cal could not have done anything else to get back on the podium but on this occasion he couldn't quite get the better of Andrea. We know Andrea is fantastic on the brakes and he has a lot of experience, and he needed to dig really deep to keep Cal behind him and get another brilliant podium. They are both so evenly matched and so is the performance of the YZR-M1 that it is always going to be a close battle and hopefully we will see more of that in the last four races. I'm sure the fans won't be complaining and once again I think the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team put on a brilliant display.”
Difficult race, but positive signs for Ducati Team at Aragon
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi both had costly off-track excursions in the early stages of the Aragon GP, with the former crashing upon striking a tyre wall and the latter having to fight through the pack after re-entering the circuit and completing the first lap in last place.
Fortunately, there were no serious consequences from the American’s frightening incident, which occurred after exiting the track at same point where he had crashed yesterday. This time, he stayed upright until striking the wall and flying over it. Hayden was initially transported to the circuit medical centre and then to the Hospital de Alcañiz for precautionary checks. He has been released and plans to compete in the next round, the Japanese Grand Prix.
As for Valentino Rossi, he went off the track on the first lap to avoid contact with Jonathan Rea, and after re-entering in last place, he had to work his way forward. The Italian had a good pace for the entire race, making up twelve positions to take the chequered flag in eighth place.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 8th
“It’s a shame about the mistake on the first lap. I was a bit faster than Rea, and when we spread out on the straightaway, and he braked a bit earlier, I went to the right. He couldn’t see me and pushed me close to the curb, and I went straight to avoid him. I should have gone to the inside, not the outside. Without that incident, I think I could have fought with Bautista for sixth place, which was our potential at this track today. In fact, things went better in the race than in practice, when we suffered a lot on acceleration both in the wet and in the dry. We made some changes after the warm-up, and that helped us to lap consistently at a decent pace for the whole race, without using up the tyres too much. This is a positive sign, considering that we were also able to do that at Misano. There’s still much work to do, but it’s also true that for us this was probably the most difficult track among those left on the calendar, so we hope to be more competitive at Motegi in two weeks.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNF
“I spun the tyre a lot on the start but was able to get past Rossi and Johnny Rea. The rear brake wasn’t working great from about halfway around the lap, maybe because I overheated it. I was trying to keep the group in front of me in sight, but I pushed the front in the last turn. I was able to pick it up, but I came up on that wall really fast. I thought I might hit it headfirst if I jumped off, so I let go right before impact. I’m sorry to tear up the bike, but I’m thankful for great safety equipment and to be okay.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“We had a very challenging weekend here at Aragon because we started the race having had very little time to work on our setup. With the new frame and swingarm, it’s a period when we needed to ride as much as possible, but the only dry session was qualifying, where it was more important to do a good time than to try different settings. We had the warm-up this morning, and I must say that the team did a good job of finding solutions that allowed Vale to ride until the end at a good pace, without wearing the tyres too much. Obviously, we could have done with the two off-track excursions, but fortunately for Nicky the worse outcome was a bad scare for us all. I think that today, apart from the results, there were some positive signs, which show that we’re working in the right direction.”
TOP SIX FOR BAUTISTA AND PIRRO IN POINTS AT ARAGON
The sun finally shone on the third day of the GP of Aragon today, with home favourite Alvaro Bautista able to overcome his difficulties in practice to seal sixth place in the race. The result was an improvement of six places on his grid position and it keeps him well in the hunt for fifth in the championship, whilst his team-mate Michele Pirro fought hard to pick up a valuable point in fifteenth place.
Alvaro Bautista (6th) “Considering how practice went sixth place is a positive result. Obviously I'm not particularly happy with it because I think we can do much better and be fighting for results like Misano but that was always going to be difficult today. I tried my best to chase the second group but it wasn't possible and I was having to take too many risks so in the end I decided to play it safe and bring the bike home for as many points as possible. It is difficult to race like that and we need to find a solution to our front-end issues if I am going to be able to push this bike week in week out. We have salvaged a difficult situation today but we need to keep working and, knowing this team as I do, I'm sure that's what they'll do.”
Michele Pirro (15th) “We have picked up a point which is a nice boost but I am a bit disappointed to be honest because I was hoping for more. We had some problems with the bike after a few laps so for me it was a case of making it to the end and salvaging what I could. It's a shame because after Misano we were hoping for a better result here but it hasn't been possible after a tough weekend all round. We'll try again at Motegi."
Fausto Gresini “After the way practice went we managed to make up some good positions today but it is unfortunate that we haven't been as competitive as Misano and I'm disappointed with that because we want to be consistently fighting at the front. A few problems today despite the obvious competitiveness of the RC213V meant it wasn't possible but we know it's a fantastic bike so we need to get more out of it between now and the end of the season. It wasn't a great day for our CRT project and the race didn't go as well as Misano but to take a point home is positive and it gives us a nice boost to keep working on improving.”
Peerless Pedrosa wins at Aragon
Round 14: Aragon Grand Prix – Race
Aragon, Sunday 30 September 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 29-30°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa dominated the Aragon Grand Prix today to clinch his fourth win of the season and breathe life back into the championship fight.
It was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo who got the better start before Pedrosa took the lead on lap six from where he managed to build a sizeable gap over his compatriot. Pedrosa eventually crossed the line 6.472 seconds ahead of second-placed Lorenzo, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso won an exciting battle with teammate Cal Crutchlow to take the final podium place. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top placed CRT rider and finished in tenth place and now sits just two points behind teammate Randy de Puniet in the championship standings.
Front tyre choice for the race was influenced by the increased track temperatures today, with all but three riders selecting the harder front slick, which due to cool conditions was hardly used in practice and qualifying. Rear tyre choice was more straightforward with all riders choosing to stick with the softer rear slick, the asymmetric construction brought to Aragon for the first time proving its performance over a wide range of conditions.
Pedrosa’s fourth win of the season reduces the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in the championship standings to thirty-three points with four rounds remaining.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The change in weather today created vastly different conditions to yesterday with track temperatures for the race the highest they were all weekend. The elevated track temperatures resulted in all but three riders deciding to run the harder front slick for the race, while all riders selected the softer rear slick. Overall I am very satisfied with how the tyres performed during the race as even though Dani just missed out on setting a new circuit lap record, the race time was seven seconds quicker than last year which indicates that grip levels remained predictable throughout the race.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“Overall it was a hard weekend after all the problems from the last race and then I had a crash in qualifying where I broke my bike. In the race I was calm and focused, and though Jorge had a good start I could stay with him and once I got past him was able to do some quick laps and build a good gap. The bike was working well so thanks to my team, my mechanics and all my family and I dedicate this win to them.”
CRASH MISERY FOR BRADL AT ARAGON
Aragon, 30th September: LCR Honda Team’s Stefan Bradl failed to finish the 23-lap race today at Aragon Motorland. The German rookie was in 3rd place on the 5th lap when he lost the front end in turn three and fell unhurt.
Bradl was once again up with the leaders throughout the Spanish weekend, finally taking fifth spot on the grid in yesterday’s qualifying. He started the race in the middle of the second row between Yamaha Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso looking very comfortable in today’s warmer conditions but lost the front pushing too hard.
Stefan: “Well…it’s difficult to find the right word for me because we are all very disappointed but this is racing. My feeling out there was very good today: good overall package, good start and good firsts laps. I felt very comfortable on braking and then I noticed I could go as fast as guys like Spies and Crutchlow so I wanted to push immediately because I knew that the rear tyre would have dropped towards the end of the race. I overtook Spies and I lost the front in turn 3: maybe I was a bit too aggressive and I am sorry for my Team and my fans. Anyway we are in good shape and really looking forward to the next race”.
DUEL BETWEEN POWER ELECTRONICS RIDERS GOES DOWN TO FINAL LAP
Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet engage in battle in the CRT sub-category, with the former winning out in Spain
Dani Pedrosa completed a Spanish treble in Aragón (MotoGP: Pedrosa, Moto2: Espargaró and Moto3: Salom) with another storming victory. Although Jorge Lorenzo made a good start, Pedrosa was right up with the MotoGP series leader and had caught him by lap three. The two rode side-by-side for five laps, until a wobble for Lorenzo allowed his rival to escape. Pedrosa extended his advantage to 6.4 seconds at the chequered flag, with Lorenzo second and Andrea Dovizioso third.
More competitive at every race, the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar duo were in a class of their own at Aragón. Randy De Puniet was the first to lead the way in the CRT subsection of the race, but teammate Aleix Espargaró was hot on his heels. Karel Abraham watched the two dice for position and joined in with the battle, but it was the duel for best CRT which went right down to the wire. Espargaró got the final pass, rounding off the top ten ahead of De Puniet. Just two points separate the duo in the overall standings, with four races remaining. Just two points separate CRT standings leader Espargaró from his teammate, with four races remaining.
10th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy. Today both my brother and I won our own personal races, so it has been a great day. We have to continue to be just as focused, because shortly we will have three races in a row to contend with. I hope that in Valencia, when the season finishes, that we can be five times as happy because of winning the CRT title. Beating my teammate is never easy, and today was no exception because it was a tough race right to the flag. I pushed my hardest for the entire race, but there was no way of passing Randy beforehand. On the final two laps I had to close in on him and put it all on the line. Maybe today's result is the hardest fought of the entire season so far. I love having a rival like Randy and I love the team spirit that we have. When I joined POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar I knew what he could do. We are rather far ahead of the other CRTs, which shows that we are doing very well. I wasn't expecting anything less."
11th Randy De Puniet: "On the start I was a little blocked in, which is normal when you take off from the fifth row. Luckily I moved up positions quickly, and soon I was the top CRT. I pushed hard to open up a gap, with Rea ahead of me to use as a reference. However, at the halfway point I nearly crashed on turn thirteen and I lost the initial advantage. Aleix and I exchanged numerous passes and Abraham also got ahead of me. We rode as a trio as we passed one another, but I knew that Aleix would push again. He passed me on the corkscrew-imitation series of corners, I tried to get alongside him on the outside and I ran slightly wide. That was when I lost touch with him and couldn't keep up. It is a shame, because the little mistake that I made affected me a lot. I am still happy, because it was a very interesting race."
SIXTEENTH POSITION FOR PASINI IN THE RACE OF THE GRAND PRIX OF ARAGÓN
Today the circuit Motoland Aragón hosted the fourteenth race for the MotoGP class of 2012 season.
The warm up was important to finalize the last choices as far as it concerns the dry setting for Pasini and his crew, who tried out some small changes during the twenty minutes at disposal.
Pasini started from the sixth row of the grid in today’s race. The Italian was holding the fifteenth position, when he left the track on the fourth lap, and that moved him away from the group of CRT machines he was in. The rest of the race was quite solitary for Mattia, who still proved to have a consistent rhythm and ended in sixteenth position.
Mattia Pasini #54 - 16th
“I’m not really happy with how this race ended, we could have done better and we could hace completed a better race. On the fourth lap I went straight as I was entering the last turn, when I was trying to close the gap from the riders that were ahead of me, and in that moment I lost a lot of time. From then on, I was on my own and I did all I could to move closer to the other CRT machines. In any case it’s positive that we finished a race and we had a good pace, the bike was working well.”
12TH PLACE FOR HECTOR BARBERA AT THE GRAN PREMIO DE ARAGON
Pramac Racing Team rider, Hèctor Barberà, rode hard to take 12th position, during the Gran Premio de Aragon under sunny and clear skies at least.
Starting from the 10th spot on the grid, Héctor slipped a place at the start, exiting turn two in eleventh position.
After another two laps, the 25-years old established himself in a group that included Abraham, Espargarò and De Puniet, fighting for 9th place.
Despite pushing hard to remain in the battle for the top nine, the Spaniard wasn’t able to maintain his early pace, holding in 12th place alone until the chequered flag due to a lack of confidence with his Ducati.
The next appointment is scheduled in two weeks, when the MotoGP riders will visit the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan.
Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – 12th place
“The bright spot of today was that I finished the race, even if obviously, it wasn’t where I wanted to be.
I had no feeling with the bike and I need to re-acquaint myself, following the long summer break due to the injury and the difficult weekend in Misano.
Now we have to look forward, working hard to finish the 2012 World Championship in the best way”.
Marco Rigamonti – Track Engineer Pramac Racing Team –
“It’s a shame because we expected a better result. Héctor told us that he still had a lack of feeling with the bike and he would like to have a one-day test, but at this point of the season, it is not possible. We should use all the free practice sessions in each round until the end of the season, trying to catch the best result’s possible.”