Jorge Lorenzo took an emphatic home win in front of a passionate Catalan crowd at Montmeló this afternoon, his fifth victory of the season and third in a row.
Dani Pedrosa once again demonstrated one of his dazzling starts and despite starting from the second row of the grid; he overtook all his rivals ahead of him to reach the first braking point in first place. Pedrosa took second in the race and in the championship with 113 points.
Casey Stoner picked up his second consecutive podium in Catalunya, repeating his third-place finish from Assen eight days ago.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “It was a hard race but I think we rode an intelligent and clever one. The track conditions were worse than ever, especially for the front tyre. From the first corner the track felt slippery, but fortunately the front tyre didn’t drop so much by the end and I could be consistent. I didn’t know which rear tyre to use for the race, but we didn’t want to take any risks so we chose the softer tyre that it looked like everyone would use. It was a difficult race but for this finish I am so happy. It’s been an almost perfect start to the season and to win five races in seven is better than all my dreams.”
Wilco Zeelenberg says: “What can we say? Five races won out of seven, three in a row…it’s amazing. I was a little bit worried about this one because it’s Barcelona, Jorge’s home track and there was maybe a little bit more pressure for him, I think he was even a little bit nervous! But finally we decided to use the same tyre as the others and just go for it. He was under pressure from Dovizioso plus Moto2 had changed the grip conditions quite a lot so the race pace was quite a lot slower, but he was clever and smart, stayed on two wheels and won the race. Well done to him and to our whole team.”
Dani Pedrosa says: “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. 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 pushing as hard as possible but we had a bit of a front end issue through the race and the front end was closing in the corners – I think many riders were having this problem today though. 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”.
Andrea Dovizioso says: “Today we had a really good race pace and we could have fought with Lorenzo for the win at the end of the race. Unfortunately though, from lap one my rear brake was not really working properly in the last part of the corner entry and this gave me some problems entering corners and mid corner. I was still able to be fast, but this issue put more weight on the front, it was very difficult to control – I was always at the limit.”
“Then at turn nine of 15 lap I went a little bit over the limit and crashed. It’s a pity but I have to take the positives from today – and fighting at the front of the race is where we want to be and we achieved that for a time today. Anyway, I’m happy with my performance, and I’m sorry for the team because we are all working hard. Next time we’ll aim to be back up front again”.
Casey Stoner says: “I made a decent start and managed to pull away from the others along with “Dovi” and Lorenzo. 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.
Nicky Hayden says: “What a tough race! We thought we had found something in the warm-up this morning using a worn tyre but in the race with the extra grip from a new tyre the balance just wasn’t the same. I was really struggling over the first few laps and held myself up on my elbow a couple of times. The situation improved in the second half of the race, I was able to push a little harder to the point where I thought I could make up some positions. I lost too much time behind Melandri though and we finished eighth. It’s not a great result but at least we have brought some points home and we’re now fourth in the championship. If we want to stay there we have to do much better and get back to the level we were at a couple of races ago.”
Vittoriano Guareschi says: “It is another podium but we hoped for more after a positive warm-up that didn’t really bear fruit in the race. But I am happy to see that Casey is back to being… well, Casey! Even after running off track he recovered with a lot of determination and tried his best to the end but he could do no more than he did. Nicky hasn’t had a great weekend in general – he hasn’t been able to find a balance for the bike but he has picked up some important points. We have to work hard to get back to the level we set ourselves at the start of the season.”
Randy De Puniet says: “We have decided to go with the harder tyre and I struggled a bit with rear edge-grip in the beginning. I took a bad start from the front row but immediately push to catch the three riders in the front and after that my race pace was exactly what we were expecting. So I took the fourth position and decided to keep my rhythm till the end as I could easily control the gap to the other riders. Simoncelli tried to catch me but he made a mistake and crashed out. I knew I could get my best result of the season here and this 4th place is simply fantastic for me and the guys. We now hold 5th place in the world classification as best private Team and we keep on working in this direction to place our Honda in the front at every GP of the season”.
Ben Spies says: “I got an okay start but got shuffled around in the first couple of corners but I’m not really happy with today. We didn’t have the grip that the other guys have in the first ten laps and that lost me some places. When everybody had a big drop with their tyre performance and they were sliding and moving around, they were in the same boat as me and I could go through the field. For the last ten laps I was probably the fourth quickest guy on track. But coming from where I was it was the best result I could get. I rode as hard as I could and did everything I could. I made a couple of small mistakes and definitely should have been fifth. I’d have caught Bautista in time to pass him but I took too long to get around Loris. I’m not really satisfied with sixth because a couple of guys crashed out in front of me and that helped make us look a bit better.”
Colin Edwards says: “That was a tough race. I had big problems all weekend and I tried a completely different set-up this morning. I put some more weight on the front and it seemed to work this morning when the temperature was a bit cooler. At the start of the race it felt good, even though I got an awful start. But I started pushing really hard and was able to get ahead of Nicky but immediately I started having a lot of trouble on the right side of the front tyre. After that it wasn’t a whole lot of fun because I couldn’t ride the bike how I wanted and kept running wide. I tried carrying less lean angle but nothing I could do was going to help me go any faster. I was riding as hard as I could and finished but 11th is not where I expect to be or where the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team expects to be.”
Herve Poncharal says: “We are a little bit disappointed with the race today because it was clear that in the final laps that Ben was very strong as always. He did a race simulation yesterday and was really fast, so we felt quite confident. But he was unable to repeat that performance and had an issue in the first ten laps where he couldn’t push at the pace he wanted. But he came back really strong and unfortunately it was just too late to finish fifth. But I’d say in the last ten laps he was easily the fourth fastest rider on track and with a better first half to the race, I think fourth was a possibility. But another top six keeps the momentum going for Ben and he’s only ten-points off fourth place in the championship. Colin was the opposite and he had a very strong first ten laps but he was unable to keep his pace. As usual though he never gave up and continued to push and it was a shame because he deserved much better. It has been a hectic period in whi ch the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 has done well in MotoGP, so we hope for a good rest ahead of the Sachsenring and then a big race for Ben and Colin at Laguna Seca.”
Marco Melandri says: “That was a tough race – really tough. The temperature was incredible but the heat was the least of my worries and I was struggling most of all with my condition under braking. I could hardly get the bike stopped in the first corner but my pace was good and I was hopeful of following Spies and Capirossi to the end. Unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes and I started to feel more and more pain. I was practically riding using only the right side of my body and when the front started to lose grip it was hard for me to hold on. I made one last attempt to pass Hayden at the end but I couldn´t hold it on the brakes so it was impossible. ”
Marco Simoncelli says: “I was on course for the result we had hoped for and thought we were capable of. I knew if I could be consistent I could be up near the front and in fact I was setting low 1´44s. I was catching De Puniet but then I let off the brakes a little too early as I entered the corner and the front folded. What a shame! Today we were capable of finishing fourth and that would have given us a massive boost. We have made progress but it would be nice to just have that extra injection of morale. Now we are even more sure that we have taken big steps forward over the past three races but mistakes can happen. It is my first race crash but we didn´t want it! ”
Fausto Gresini says: “What a shame! What a shame! What a shame! Simoncelli was having a great race – he had belief in his potential and he was able to chase De Puniet, who is in great form at the moment. Unfortunately it was ruined by a crash and I feel sorry for him and for the team. Melandri did the best job he could and for a while there it looked like he was going to get us a result that looked impossible considering the shape he came to Barcelona in but in the end he was destroyed and he lost his rhythm – also a shame! We could have been looking back on some great results over the last few races but luck hasn´t been on our side. Hopefully things turn for us now and the results start to reflect the quality of our performances.”
Álvaro Bautista says: “I am very happy because this fifth position is like winning the race after the last few races we’ve had. 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 did that, but I did have a bit of a problem in the race with the hard-braking places because I didn’t feel that the bike was entering the corners like in the practice. 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.”
Loris Capirossi says: “I want to say well done to the whole team because this is the first real result of the whole year. For sure we did a good job all weekend, but we made a mistake with the tyre for the race. All the information we had said that it was impossible to use the softer tyre for the race and we used our ones in practice because we didn’t think we’d need them for this afternoon, but in the end I was the only rider with a harder tyre in the warm-up and I had a bit of a problem with grip and then in the race I was one of the only ones with the harder compound and I struggled a lot with feeling at the start. It worked well in the middle of the race, but the performance dropped for the last four laps and I struggled to keep a good rhythm. This is the first time this year I have felt that the bike has been right and this for us is a really important thing.”
Paul Denning says: “I am so pleased for Álvaro here today, because to see him come back from his injury – and the problems it’s caused him in the last few weeks – to such a high level, is a fantastic achievement. He thoroughly deserved his top-five finish. Loris also looked strong – especially in the middle of the race – and only lost out to Ben in the final laps when a finish rather than a crash – as his rear grip dropped away significantly – was the right decision. The team prepared well for the race today, but most importantly the riders have some belief back in the bike and in their ability to push hard. From a riding performance and a bike setting point of view, hopefully this is the start of our season.”
Hector Barber says: “This race was rather better for me than the last two, and today we began to find the right path to follow. However, I am not completely happy, because we still have room for improvement and have to work hard to place higher up with every race. I was about half a second down on pace today. My start wasn’t great, and I tried to follow Hayden during the race. Tenth isn’t a bad result, but it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth because I could have done even better. Our main gripe is having to fight to control the front end; from lap fifteen onwards the steering was locking up on nearly every corner. We have got better, because I was a lot more comfortable in the race than in practice, but we need to work more on this. The majority of riders were on hard tyres, but I chose a soft front -simply because I didn’t feel at all comfortable with the hard version. The end of the race had two fast turns in which I was sliding everywhere, losing me nearly half a second. We have taken another step forward with respect to other races, but we still have to improve.”
Fabiano Sterlacchini says: “Probably one of the worst race of the season for us. Aleix was really competitive during every session, but today he slipped twice, once in the warm up and once in the race, and this has compromised his home weekend. It’s a pity because Aleix deserved to conquer a good result for the good work he was doing. For what it concern Mika, instead, we didn’t make it to find the right way to follow and today’s race is the proof of it. Almost a minute of distance from the first rider is really too much. From Sachsenring, which is one of his favorite track, we will have to change a lot.”
Mika Kallio says: “What to say, I couldn’t go any way faster and I couldn’t conquer any more positions. I was riding at least one second slower at every lap compare to the riders in front of me. I made a very good start and this has allowed me to gain some position in the first lap. It has been a difficult weekend for me and for my Team that has worked hard to give me the best bike possible. We will have to make up for this result in the next Grand Prix in Germany.”
Aleix Espargarò says: “I’m very sad. After the positive results I have done in the last Gran Prix, I was hoping to have a good result also on this track. This morning I had a great lap time during the warm up and I was having good hopes for the today’s race. I was also able to have a very good start, something that has not happened in previous races. This morning during the warm up I had some problems with the front, problems that have recurred also in the race. During the first lap I have overtake Hayden, then its trajectory at the end of the braking line was a bit large and I went off the track to try to not hit him. Thanks to the security street I didn’t fall and I had to cut the first curve so that I have regaining my position. During the fifth lap I was pushing hard to reduce the gap that Capirossi had ahead of me. Unfortunately, in a corner my bike had closed the steering wheel while I was braking and the bike slipped on the asphalt. I tried to get back in the race but unfortunately my bike was off. I am very sorry for not being able to finish the race in front of my fans, but I am aware of the growth that we were able to do in the recent races. We must always continue to improve our results.”
Tohru Ubukata says: “Last year we brought the same tyre specifications to Catalunya and every rider chose the harder options. This year however even with a higher track temperature the softer option rear worked best in the race so I am very pleased with thisand it shows how much the teams have improved their bike packages on our single supply tyres. Front tyre wear appearance was good but, as some riders experienced, such hot conditions like today can affect front stability under hard braking at this kind of tough circuit. Many riders were fighting for position until the end and with the high track temperature, the circuit’s nature and the less than ideal track conditions, this made the challenge for the tyres quite severe, but the timesheets show that the consistency of both the front and rear slicks over race distance was good.”
Watura Yoshikawa says: “It was really hard to ride in the heat plus after eight years without racing 25 laps is a lot, but I am really happy to finish and to win one point. I hope that this experience will help me at Sachsenring and in my future work. I have really enjoyed working with the best team in the paddock; they were quick and professional at the same time as being relaxed and friendly and the atmosphere in the garage was great. I am glad that I have had the chance to work with them.”
Davide Brivio says: “We are really happy that Wataru was able to finish and he really deserved this championship point. He did very well this weekend in an extremely difficult situation; it was very hot, he’s been away from racing a long time and he didn’t know the track so I think he can be happy with what he has achieved.”
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 43’22.805
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 4.754
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team + 4.956
4. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP + 18.057
5. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 21.361
6. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 21.503
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 24.181
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team + 27.941
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 28.046
10. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team + 32.439
11. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 38.406
12. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team + 58.257
13. Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) Interwetten Honda MotoGP + 1’09.348
14. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team + 1’32.402
15. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Fiat Yamaha Team + 1’35.237
Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 12 Lap
Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 20 Lap
Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP