Spoiler Alert: 2011 Aragon MotorLand MotoGP results below
One of the longest circuits on the 2011 MotoGP schedule, the MotorLand circuit in Aragon, Spain, features 16 turns and a long back straight where the prototypes reach over 200 mph.
Due to the 3.154-mile length and high speeds, many challenges are present. And this was evident after Sunday’s 23-lap Aragon Grand Prix was complete; out of 17 MotoGP riders, only 13 finished.
Although a challenge, one rider piloted his MotoGP machine with ease – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The Australian rode flawlessly, taking his eighth win in 14 races so far this season.
Stoner was joined on the Aragon MotoGP podium by his teammate Dani Pedrosa, and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “It was a good weekend all round really. We missed an afternoon of running on Friday so we thought this would affect us today, but what we found were completely different conditions with a lot of wind for the race. We had to set the bike up totally differently, and I think the colder conditions helped us with tire wear.
“We knew the tires warmed up fairly quickly and well so after the first few corners we wanted to get moving as we knew the bike was working well here. I want to thank the team because every time I head to the track this year, we have a good package and good rhythm.”
The action was intense right from the beginning of Aragon MotoGP, Round 14 of 18. As the American Ben Spies piloted his Yamaha Factory Racing M1 to the front ahead of Stoner and Pedrosa, the third Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizoso, lost the front end of his RC212V heading up the hill at Turn 2.
The Italian crashed out, causing his first DNF of the season. But he wasn’t the only rider to crash during the opening turns of lap one; Cardion AB Ducati’s Karel Abraham and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Randy de Puniet had some contact, and Abraham suffered a nasty low-side, the Czech assisted off the track by MotorLand personnel.
As for De Puniet, who was starting his 100th race, the most of any Frenchman in MotoGP, the Ducati rider rode off the track during the incident, but was able to rejoin the grid.
As this occurred, Spies was able to hold off the two Repsol Honda boys, but on the back straight heading into lap 2, both Stoner and Pedrosa passed Spies with ease. Stoner would began his usual dominance, the man who took his ninth pole of the season at Aragon eventually finishing 8.162 seconds ahead of Pedrosa.
The Spaniard Pedrosa also ran a flawless race, finishing in a lonely second, six seconds ahead of Lorenzo.
Lorenzo had much work to make it to the podium, though. Lorenzo was in fourth until the third lap of the race when San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli made a clean pass on the Spaniard.
The Italian then took Spies five laps later, but while battling with the American Simoncelli ran off the track, falling back to fifth.
With 12 to go, Lorenzo passed Spies for third, remaining there for the final-podium spot. Simoncelli would then pass Spies a few laps later, giving him fourth. Spies would finish fifth, ahead of Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista.
Taking seventh was Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, followed by Hector Barbera (Mapfre Ducati), Cal Crutchlow (Monster Tech Yamaha).
Although he started from pit lane due to a penalty for Ducati using a seventh engine in the GP11.1, Valentino Rossi finished in 10th.
Besides the opening lap crashes, the other big one occurred with eight laps to go. During the incident, Pramac Racing Ducati’s Loris Capirossi, who will retire after this season, ran into Toni Elias’ LCR Honda at Turn 14. Capirossi high-sided, hitting the concrete hard. Both him and Elias would not be able to restart the Aragon MotoGP, but did walk off the track on their own.
With his win, Stoner has now extended the points’ lead to 44 points as he chases his second World Championship to add to his first in 2007 while competing on the Ducati.
The riders get a one-week break before heading to Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix Oct. 2.
|1.||25||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.7||42’17.427|
|2.||20||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.2||+8.162|
|3.||16||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||164.8||+14.209|
|4.||13||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||164.4||+20.646|
|5.||11||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||163.9||+27.739|
|6.||10||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||163.7||+30.373|
|7.||9||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.5||+34.288|
|8.||8||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||163.3||+37.305|
|9.||7||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||163.2||+39.652|
|10.||6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.1||+39.832|
|11.||5||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||163.1||+39.997|
|12.||4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||162.2||+54.717|
|13.||3||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||162.0||+58.430|
|24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||162.0||8 Laps|
|65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||162.0||8 Laps|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0 Lap|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||0 Lap|