Spoiler Alert: 2012 MotoGP results from Catalunya, Spain, listed below
Heading into round five of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at Catalunya, Spain, only two former World Champions were victorious – Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Lorenzo won the opening round at Qatar, then Stoner took back-to-back victories at Jerez and Estoril. But Lorenzo returned to the top at Le Mans two weeks ago, hungry for his second title in the premier class.
And although the reigning champion had some struggles during the free practices, mostly due to tire choices, Stoner was in top form at qualifying, taking his second pole of the year as he chased his 20th-straight podium.
But Stoner would just miss the podium; when the 25-lap race at the 2.937-mile circuit containing 13 turns got underway, Stoner got shuffled back to fourth, where he would eventually finish.
And although Pedrosa looked strong at his home circuit to possible take his first win of 2012, a few mistakes allowed his fellow compatriot to secure his third win this season – Lorenzo. Pedrosa would finish second, with a hard-fought third going to Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso.
When the race got underway, Pedrosa got his usual fantastic start, launching the Honda RC213V from fifth on the grid to first. Behind, the American who has been struggling this year, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, also got a great start, going from fourth on the grid to second.
In tow behind Spies were Lorenzo, Stoner and Dovizioso. But by mid lap, Dovi passed Stoner to take fourth.
Behind, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who gave Ducati its best-ever finish at Le Mans (second), was into eighth after a ninth-place start, and a lap later would pass teammate Nicky Hayden for seventh. On that same lap (2), Stoner would lose yet another position after getting passed by Dovi’s teammate Cal Crutchlow.
Up front, Spies was putting much pressure on Pedrosa. And on the third lap, Spies made a pass stick on Pedrosa, but heading into turn four Spies ran wide. He tried saving the YZR-M1, but couldn’t keep the edge of the Bridgestones on the tarmac. Spies hit the gravel trap and crashed, ruining what would have likely been his best finish this season, if not his first win. Spies would rejoin the grid behind the CRT bikes, but battle his way to a 10th-place finish.
This left Pedrosa and Lorenzo up front, the two Spaniards starting a race-long battle. Behind, the usual battle ensued between Dovi and Crutchlow, the satellite Yamaha boys followed by Stoner, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Rossi.
With 20 to go, the Spaniard Bautista took Bradl for sixth, but it was the battle up front that had the crowd going wild. After stalking Pedrosa closely, Lorenzo made a daring pass on turn 16 with 19 to go, throttling into the lead. Behind, Rossi passed Bradl for seventh, the position the nine-time World Champion would finish.
Pedrosa was struggling to remain with Lorenzo for a few laps, but with 14 to go, Pedrosa retook the lead at the end of the straight. A lap later, Lorenzo ran wide on turn one, losing some time. But Lorenzo would quickly make up some time, and with six to go the 2010 MotoGP Champion passed Pedrosa on the exit of turn 10, securing his third win of the season.
Lorenzo would immediately open a gap, and finish 5.003 second ahead of Pedrosa. Dovizioso would hold of a late-charging Stoner for third, with Crutchlow finishing fifth. Bautista would take sixth, followed by Rossi, Bradl, Hayden and Spies. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro would take the top CRT honors, the Aprilia-powered bike finishing 13th.
With his win, Lorenzo now has 115 points after five of 18 rounds, 20 ahead of Stoner. In third with 85 points is Pedrosa.
The 2012 MotoGP Championship now breaks for two weeks before resuming at Silverstone in Great Britain June 15-17.
2012 Catalunya MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||164.4||43’07.681|
|2.||20||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||164.1||+5.003|
|3.||16||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||163.8||+9.361|
|4.||13||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||163.8||+9.544|
|5.||11||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||163.6||+12.506|
|6.||10||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||163.5||+13.948|
|7.||9||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.3||+17.555|
|8.||8||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||162.9||+23.478|
|9.||7||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||162.5||+30.410|
|10.||6||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||162.3||+32.897|
|11.||5||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||162.1||+36.144|
|12.||4||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||160.9||+56.229|
|13.||3||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||160.2||+1’08.054|
|14.||2||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||160.1||+1’08.775|
|15.||1||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||160.0||+1’10.483|
|16.||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||159.9||+1’13.090|
|17.||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||159.4||+1’20.903|
|18.||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||159.4||+1’21.235|
|19.||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||158.2||+1’41.207|
|20.||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||158.2||+1’41.888|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||151.5||1 Lap|
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after five of 18 rounds):
|13.||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||7|