Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner finished a strong weekend with a decisive MotoGP victory at Motorland Aragon, resisting an early challenge from Jorge Lorenzo to run away from the pack and finish over five seconds clear of Dani Pedrosa.
The Repsol Honda rider chased Stoner throughout, setting the fastest lap in the process, and at one point the gap was just 0.8seconds, but ultimately the Australian’s pace was too strong.
Completing a return to form for the Ducati Team, Nicky Hayden snatched third position from Jorge Lorenzo on the final lap having trailed the championship leader for most of the race.
The result is Hayden’s second premier class podium finish on Bridgestone tires, the first being at Indianapolis last season.
Every rider used the harder option rear for its improved consistency over race distance, especially as the track temperature reached its highest of the weekend, and the harder front slick was also preferred by all riders except Alvaro Bautista, Colin Edwards and Mika Kallio who used the softer option.
Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista demonstrated the performance of Bridgestone’s softer front slick with an excellent ride to eighth place, at the head of a four-rider group who all crossed the line split by less than 0.3seconds.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “Congratulations to Casey and Ducati for their win, and also to Nicky for a hard-fought and well deserved podium. It was good to see an exciting race at this new venue, which has proved itself to be world class this weekend. Even for the first GP here there were over 70,000 spectators on race day which is a good sign of how strong the sport is in Europe especially.”
“At this point in the season Dani and Casey are looking particularly strong and the result of the last few races has closed the championship standings a little as we head into the final five races in six weeks.”
Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “Today the conditions were the warmest of the weekend and after the 125cc and Moto2 races the track was much cleaner, both of which helped the performance of the harder rear tyre. Race pace was reasonably consistent, and the fastest lap was just 0.6seconds from yesterday’s pole time, set by Casey on a grippier softer option rear slick, so this illustrates that conditions were better today. Overall, I’m happy about our tire compound choice for this new circuit.”
Casey Stoner says: “It’s a big relief to be honest! It’s been too long between wins. All weekend has gone more or less ok, and we tried something totally different and changed the bike completely and had a much better feeling with the front end. The track got better with more rubber and we got better and better. I tried to stay consistent and smooth to keep the tires as good as possible until the end. For the team and everyone who’s stuck by me, sorry it took so long.”