Spoiler Alert: 2011 Catalunya MotoGP results below
Round 5 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship at Catalunya began a string of six races in just eight weeks. And from the outset, it was intense.
The Catalunya circuit in Barcelona, which was the second venue of four in Spain, was dominated by one rider who took the top times in all three free practice sessions: Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.
Before 82,000 fans, Stoner beat out track-favorite Jorge Lorenzo, who took second aboard the Yamaha Factory Racing M1. Finishing third was Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies; it was the American’s first podium in the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: "Everything’s been working so well here it’s like a dream. The bike and hard compound tires were working well for us all weekend and we knew we had good race pace. There is a lot of degradation on this track so I tried to hold the pace we had in qualifying and get some consistent laps in whilst the tires were good.
"Then the rain came and I didn’t know how hard to push. The track hasn’t been very grippy all weekend so it was a little nerve wracking because it would have been very easy to come down in those conditions. I’m very happy to bring it home for another win."
The race began with a horrible start from pole-sitter Marco Simoncelli aboard the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V. The Italian was shoved back to seventh by Turn 1, behind the Ducati Team duo of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Getting the holeshot was Lorenzo, followed by Stoner and Spies. Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso also got a good start, and began battling with Rossi. But on the second lap, Stoner’s Honda passed Lorenzo, and the Australian maintained the lead for the rest of the 25-lap race.
With 22 to go, the only crash of the race occured; Pramac Racing Ducati’s Randy de Puniet and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Hiroshi Aoyama crashed at Turn 1, both unable to restart.
The white flag came out with 12 laps to go, allowing riders the option of switching to their MotoGP prototypes setup for the rain. But none of the MotoGP grid left the track. By this time, Dovizioso already had fourth over Rossi, and began chasing down Spies, but was unsuccessful in his efforts.
Dovizioso would finish fourth, followed by Rossi. Simoncelli would finish sixth after taking his first MotoGP-career pole, with the rookie Cal Crutchlow taking seventh on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Rounding out the top 10 were Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Pramac Ducati Racing’s Loris Capirossi and Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati’s Karel Abraham.
Missing from the race was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, due to breaking his shoulder in the controversial Le Mans crash with Simoncelli, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, who broke his shoulder at Catalunya MotoGP practice.
With his solid podium finishes, Lorenzo remains in the lead with 98 points, seven more than Stoner. Dovizioso moves into third with 63 points.
2011 Catalunya MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||163.6||43’19.779|
|2.||20||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||163.5||+2.403|
|3.||16||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||163.4||+4.291|
|4.||13||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||163.3||+5.255|
|5.||11||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.2||+7.371|
|6.||10||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||162.9||+11.831|
|7.||9||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||162.0||+26.483|
|8.||8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||161.6||+33.243|
|9.||7||65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||161.0||+43.092|
|10.||6||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||161.0||+43.113|
|11.||5||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||160.9||+44.224|
|12.||4||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||160.8||+45.239|
|13.||3||24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||160.1||+58.268|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||157.7||22 Laps|
|7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||157.4|
2011 MotoGP Championship Standings (after 5 of 18 rounds):
|17.||Randy DE PUNIET||Ducati||FRA||6|