MotoGP Spaniards: Catalunya Race Recap
MotoGP round seven was held at Catalunya in very warm conditions and 81,426 fans witnessed yet another hometown rider take the Motorcycle Grand Prix race win in second of three Spanish races of the 2010 season.
Starting from pole, also for the third consecutive race, Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha M1 lost ground to Dani Pedrosa into turn one but his fellow Spaniard then ran wide, leaving the Fiat Yamaha man in the lead.
The next few laps saw Lorenzo at the head of a tight trio, as Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner pushed hard to stay with him. With ten laps to go Dovizioso crashed out, leaving Lorenzo nearly six seconds clear of Pedrosa in second. Jorge won by 4.754 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Stoner third
Lorenzo now has an impressive 52-point lead in the standings ahead of Pedrosa, whilst Rossi drops to seventh after missing four races.
1st – Jorge Lorenzo says: “It was very difficult today because it was so hot and the front tyre was sliding a lot. I thought I was going to have a big battle with Dovizioso because he was pushing very hard but then he crashed and I was alone; it was lucky for me because then I was able to take it more gently to the finish. I think I rode a clever race today.”
From Dani Pedrosa’s perspective, the battle was focused on getting his Honda RC212V onto the podium: on the fifth lap, having just overtaken Randy De Puniet, he was able to take advantage of a mistake by Casey Stoner to put himself third.
In an intense struggle with the Australian rider, Pedrosa managed to hold off all the attempts of the Ducati to overtake him and took a hard-fought second place. Pedrosa takes second place in the championship with 113 points.
2nd – Dani Pedrosa says: “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 took it slowly to get back on track because I didn’t want to be to be penalized [for cutting the corner]. 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”.
Spaniard Alvaro Bautista scored a career best MotoGP result of fifth, as he controlled his race from start to finish, before bringing his Suzuki GSV-R home for the team’s best result of the season. He got a good start from ninth on the grid and was up into sixth place at the end of lap one.
Bautista benefitted from Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli crashing out when they were in front of the Rizla Suzuki man, but he then never looked like giving up his fifth position, even as he came under pressure from Ben Spies on the final lap.
5th – Alvaro Bautista says: “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 tire 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.”
After three races outside the top ten, Páginas Amarillas Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was back in the upper end of the results table at Montmeló. The Spaniard rode at a slower speed to normal on the opening three laps, before finding his way on the back wheel of Ducati factory rider Nicky Hayden.
Nine laps from the end, Barberá was up to tenth, and he kept the place until the checkered flag was shown. Lacking confidence in his front end for the entire weekend, the race result was the most positive part of the weekend for the MotoGP rookie.
10th – Hector Barber says: “My start wasn’t great, and I tried to follow Hayden during the race. 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.”
Spanish rider Aleix Espargar crashed out during the fifth lap, when he was in eleventh position and while, thanks to a good rhythm, was reducing the gap from the riders in front of him. Next chance for Aleix is in fifteen days at the Sachsenring, where the “green” riders will have the opportunity to revenge his opaque Spanish performance.
DNF – Aleix Espargar says: “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 (low-side crash) on the asphalt.”