Spoiler Alert: 2012 MotoGP Championship results from Sepang listed below
The 2012 MotoGP Championship headed to Malaysia this weekend for the second of three back-to-back races.
And it was a wet one, filled with many crashes. But when the race was complete, it would be Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who took the win ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and the other Repsol rider, Casey Stoner.
This was Pedrosa’s sixth win of 2012 MotoGP, and third straight. It was also the first time the Spaniard won in wet conditions.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “This victory is really amazing for me; it’s the first time I’ve won in the wet in my life and I’m really, really happy. I want to thank my team and the people who helped me to get here because when I started racing in these conditions I was weak and they know how difficult it’s been during all this time! Jorge set a really high pace at the beginning of the race and I remained calm to stay with him. I knew he was on a soft rear tire and he could pull out some good laps at the start. Lap by lap I got a little more confident and I could still push and at half way in the race I overtook him and built a good gap.
“Some laps later the rain came down heave and it was hard to stay on the bike. I was lucky to be able to win this race, and also Jorge to finish second because he was almost on the ground. So, I’m happy for the victory, but especially happy to be able to dedicate it to Ginés, a good friend and member of the Repsol Honda Team that sadly passed away yesterday. This one is for you!”
When the race got underway, Lorenzo, starting from the pole, took the holeshot ahead of Pedrosa. Within the first lap, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi went from 11th to fourth. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso got a bad start, but made it through the pack and up to fourth.
Lorenzo, having opted for the softer option wet rear tire, had a small margin over Pedrosa with 18 laps to go, who had the harder rear tire. All Yamaha YZR-M1s on the grid as well as Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham had opted for the soft-rear, hard-front combination, with all others running with hards front and rear. A lap later however and Pedrosa was breathing down Lorenzo’s neck having closed the gap to a fraction of a second.
Further afield Stoner was leading a group, about five seconds off the leading duo, with Dovizioso, Rossi, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.
With 12 laps remaining, Pedrosa was continuing to stick to Lorenzo’s rear wheel as the pair looked locked in a stalemate out on track. Further back on the same lap, Yamaha’s Bes Spies suffered a heavy crash out of tenth place, putting a premature end to his race. He was taken to the medical centre to check on a shoulder injury, and was later declared ok.
Rossi also dropped from behind Dovizioso back into ninth, as his teammate Hayden fought his way up to fifth. A lap further on and it was drama for Dovizioso as he also slid out of the race, which continued to be pummelled with rain. It was in the final turn of this lap that Pedrosa made a move stick on Lorenzo to take the lead just over the halfway point, and the Repsol rider instantly looked more comfortable in front, pulling a small gap. In the meantime, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards retired with a mechanical option.
As the grid headed into lap nine there were further crashes in the final turn as Crutchlow slid off, followed almost directly in the same place by Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet. It was a crash strewn lap, with Bradl also losing the front of his satellite Honda, and Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva also crashing out. Back on track Rossi looked in his element as he squeezed past Bautista into fifth. Things were also getting interesting at the front as Lorenzo was being not only dropped off by Pedrosa, but also being closed down by Stoner at a very quick rate.
The rain was coming down heavily with 15 laps left, and Lorenzo suffered a very scary moment, where he saved a near crash just seconds before the Red Flag was shown due to safety concerns. After much deliberating as to whether a re-start would be possible, conditions deteriorated, and the win was awarded to Pedrosa, with Lorenzo and Stoner completing the rostrum. This now puts Pedrosa within 23-points, less than one race-win, of title rival Lorenzo, with 50-points still up for grabs in the final two races. Hayden recorded a fantastic fourth, ahead of Rossi, Bautista, Barberá, De Puniet’s teammate Espargaró, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison and Abraham.
2012 Sepang MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||146.8||29’29.049|
|2.||20||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||146.5||+3.774|
|3.||16||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||146.2||+7.144|
|4.||13||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||145.9||+10.518|
|5.||11||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||145.4||+16.759|
|6.||10||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||145.4||+17.276|
|7.||9||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||142.7||+50.282|
|8.||8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||142.6||+51.585|
|9.||7||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||142.2||+56.676|
|10.||6||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||142.1||+57.622|
|11.||5||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||141.7||+1’02.805|
|12.||4||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||141.7||+1’02.891|
|13.||3||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||139.7||+1’28.989|
|84||Roberto ROLFO||ITA||Speed Master||ART||0 Lap|
|6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||145.5||2 Laps|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||145.7||3 Laps|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||142.7||3 Laps|
|22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||140.8||3 Laps|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||137.5||3 Laps|
|11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||144.8||5 Lap|
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after 16 of 18 rounds):
|13.||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||53|