The Ducati Team’s experiment with “slightly modified weight distribution” on the Desmosedici GP10 was well worth the invested time, the work giving Casey Stoner his first win of the 2010 MotoGP season at Motorland Aragon Sunday.
Stoner, who started from the pole, went on to lead every lap and finish 5.148 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. Taking the final podium spot was Stoner’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, which was his best finish of the season.
Casey Stoner says: “This win is a big relief, to be honest! We had the first race in Qatar wrapped up until I made a mistake and their have been other opportunities to win this year that I have missed out on through my own errors. We have had a lot of problems trying to find the final two or three tenths to run with Dani and Jorge this season but we changed the bike completely this weekend to adjust my position on it and got it working almost how we want it to.”
“I had a little slip off in warm-up this morning which was a worry going into the race. I was staying away from every white line that I could over the first few laps but we were able to pick up the pace when we needed to and bring home a win. I want to thank the team, the factory and everybody who has stuck by me – I’m just sorry it took so long!”
The 16-rider grid, lacking Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi due to injury, was mostly unfamiliar with Motorland Aragon, only a few riders being able to test the track before this weekends 13th Round of the World Championhip. And one man who didn’t have even a taste of the track until Friday was Stoner, but this didn’t stop the Australian from simple dominance.
The start initially appeared like Pedrosa would get through turn 1 first, but the Spaniard had a slight wiggle under acceleration that placed him back in fifth. Up front were Stoner and Lorenzo, and the two swapped swapped the lead twice before the GP10 pulled away from the M1, never being challenged again.
Following Stoner on lap one was Lorenzo, the other factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies. But within the following two laps, Pedrosa fought his way up to second, passing both Hayden and Lorenzo as if they were standing still on the back straight, which is the longest straight out of all 18 circuits on the 2010 schedule.
The front remained the same order of Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo until the last lap, when Hayden passed Lorenzo for the final spot on the podium. This was the first time of the season that Hayden finished on the podium, and the first for two Ducatis on the podium.
Another intense battle occurred for fifth place between Spies and Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso. The rookie Spies got the best of the Italian on the final lap, and then on Turn 13 Dovi went down, the only rider to go down at Aragon besides LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, who went down on lap 16.
After struggling all weekend, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi managed sixth. Taking seventh and eight were two rookies, San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli and Rizla Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista. Rounding out the top ten were the other Gresini rider, Marco Melandri, and Pramac Racing Team rider Aleix Espargaró.
2010 MotoGP Motorland Aragon Results:
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 42’16.530
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 5.148
3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team + 9.496
4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 9.580
5. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 13.771
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 27.330
7. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 28.511
8. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 35.254
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 35.393
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team + 35.467
11. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team + 35.522
12. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 45.360
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP + 48.319
14. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team + 58.047
Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 1 Lap
Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 8 Lap
2010 MotoGP Championship Standings (after 13 of 18 rounds):
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 284
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 228
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 155
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 140
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 139
6. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 131
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 125
8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 81
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 74
10. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 74
11. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 70
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 66
13. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 50
14. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 49
15. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 41
16. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 33
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 29
18. Alex de Angelis (ITA) Interwetten Honda MotoGP 11
19. Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) Interwetten Honda MotoGP 4
20. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Fiat Yamaha Team 1