2012 Silverstone MotoGP | Rider Talk

Silverstone MotoGP Quotes

The 2012 MotoGP Championship headed to Great Britain this past weekend for the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Unlike the usual wet-weather conditions at the 3.666-mile track, Sunday’s MotoGP race was held under dry conditions. And for the fourth time in six rounds in the 2012 MotoGP Championship, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was victorious.

The Spaniard fought hard for his victory, but would eventually finish 3.313 seconds ahead of his main rival, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, the only other rider to win this season. Taking the final podium position was Stoner’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa.

Here’s what the riders were saying following Sunday’s Silverstone MotoGP (for a recap of the race, including full results and point standings, click here):

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today was a very difficult race, the front guys were very strong and very fast so it was very hard for me to catch them and stay with them. Little by little the rear tire drops a bit more, I had good confidence and I was faster than them and I started to catch them.

“When I caught up I didn’t want to crash so I waited for my moment and was patient. When I caught Casey we had a wonderful fight, luckily for us I had a better pace and I passed him. Four laps from the end I made a big mistake and almost crashed! I’m very happy with the result, and for the team who gave me a good bike again.”

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today was a bitter sweet day, we made a good start and had a really good pace in the beginning. After four or five laps we had a big problem with the rear tire and lost all our momentum and pace. It turned into damage control after that. From the start of the season to now, top five is a better result. The potential of the bike was great today and we could have been fighting for the podium or the win with Jorge.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I have mixed feelings after this race. I’m happy to be on the podium at this circuit for several reasons: it’s a track where I have always struggled a lot, we had a very tough weekend – it wasn’t easy for us to learn the circuit and set up the bike with these weather conditions, also I didn’t have one of my best race starts.

“I was seventh on the first lap, but I managed to remain calm and get faster lap after lap, maintaining my rhythm. I saw that Jorge was the man to follow, so I managed to pass Dovizioso, Bautista and Spies and caught Casey, who was second.

“But at this time, Jorge was gone and I tried twice to pass Casey, but he pulled a little again and in the last chicane, I tried to overtake him but I had a flash in my mind and I saw both Repsol Honda’s on the ground, so I settled for third place. It’s positive to both be on the podium if we consider that it’s the first race for the team with this new front tire, but for the championship it is not good. We need to make a step forward to solve the problems we have with the chattering because right now, Jorge [Lorenzo] is too strong for the Hondas”.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It wasn’t a great race for us today, we saw the pace the Yamaha’s had in the early laps and it was really worrying to me. As early as lap three the bike wasn’t feeling good, especially on the left side, the tire destroyed itself almost immediately.

“My plan was to try and get to the front and hold them up but Ben [Spies] was proving difficult to pass, then he made a small mistake and I was able to slip through and I tried to hold it from there.

“We knew we didn’t have a better pace than the other riders and it wouldn’t be long until they were on us so I did what I could to stay in front. We were loosing so much grip on the edge of the tire that we had no mid-turn corner speed and we were having to make up for this with the entry and a clean exit, which made things difficult. Today we needed a little more grip and we would have been able to fight for the win but looking at the rear tires at the end of the race, there was definitely something wrong with ours.”

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V MotoGP ) “It has been a great weekend and it has confirmed the progress we have made since Catalunya. I am so happy to finish so close to the podium. Maybe I could have attacked for third at the end but it would have been risky and I just wanted to run with them to the end and not make mistakes.

“We have brought home some big points for the championship which was important for me and the team. Yesterday on pole and today just five seconds off the win – that is a very positive weekend and I hope we can continue from here. I’m pleased with the progress we have made, which is credit to the team engineers and to Showa. Our objective now is to take another step forward and run with the front guys on a more consistent basis.”

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “That’s a weekend I won’t forget in a hurry. Yesterday was a disaster with the crash and I thought I was going to miss my home race again. But the Clinica Mobile team and medical staff at Silverstone did an amazing job and I am grateful that I could finally start my home Grand Prix. I never imagined I could get sixth position because normally if you start from the third row it is very difficult to get into that position. So starting from the back of the grid, I’d have been happy to finish the last prototype bike.

“It was a very tough race but I just had to try and ignore the pain and let the adrenaline and support of the British crowd get me through. When I got by Bradl I could see Nicky was a long way clear, but I just kept on pushing to see what happened. I’m really happy with my lap times because I was as quick as the guys on the podium, even with a broken ankle. So a little part of me can’t help but think without the crash yesterday that I could have been on the podium in the British Grand Prix.

“I’m not going to complain with sixth and I want to say thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew, who basically chose the set-up of the bike for me and it worked great. Also a big thanks to all the British fans who were unbelievable today. When I was lying in the gravel yesterday all I could think was they weren’t going to see me ride in my home race again. Their support helped me a lot and I hope they went home proud of the job I did for them.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It is a real shame because I had the possibility to fight for second place today. The rhythm of the race in the early laps was incredibly high and we were much faster than in practice. I really was at the limit early on but afterwards everybody apart from Lorenzo had to slow down a little bit.

“That allowed me to come back to the leading group and I really had a good pace. I had just taken third and was really confident I could finish on the podium when I crashed and I am not happy about it because I didn’t expect it. It happened when I felt most comfortable with the bike and I definitely was not over the limit. I just did a very small mistake losing the rear and I couldn’t keep control of the bike.

“That was very disappointing but from a positive point of view this was another race where I have improved my feeling with the YZR-M1 a lot and I’m sure I could have finished second and very close to the victory. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing an incredible job and the Yamaha is a fantastic bike to ride, so I go to Assen optimistic of another podium challenge.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “We did the sighting lap with the hard rear tyre, but with the sprinkles and dark clouds, we decided to play it safe and switch to the soft on the grid. Everybody else had it too, but we know our bike has been hard on tires here. I got an awesome start, and the beginning of the race was great.

“I took some chances to hang in as long as I could, and I enjoyed it and learned some things. Then the grip went, which brought on a lot of chatter. I couldn’t accelerate or carry speed on the straightaway, and we started having a little problem with the electronics in one corner, which cost us some time. Crutchlow got me on the last lap, which is frustrating, but I had my smallest gaps to the front this year in terms of race time and best lap. We need to figure out how to make me and the bike less hard on the rear tyre, but there were some positives.”

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “It was a difficult weekend apart from the wet first session, in which we were very strong, as we had trouble in every dry session except for this morning’s warm-up.

“From the start of the race, I wasn’t able to maintain the pace of the others. I tried to stay with them, but I struggled a lot with mid-corner chatter, and a couple of times I came close to losing control of the bike. After some laps, the rear tyre started to slide a lot, and at the same time an exhaust broke. To be honest, that didn’t affect us so much, though it did rob some power on the straightaway. We scored a few points, but Silverstone is still the most difficult track for me.

“I think that the ‘true’ Ducati today was that of Nicky, who had a smaller gap to the front at the finish, more or less the level we reached in Barcelona. Now we must try to understand why I was only able to ride a bit better this morning, in the warm-up, but above all we must try to be more competitive in the next race, at Assen, which is a track that I like and where we want to return to the level we had at Estoril, Le Mans, and Barcelona.”

Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing Ducati GP12 MotoGP) says: “It was a difficult race, affected by a quick rear tire deterioration, which restricted both corner entry and top speed. Now we have to understand what happened on our bike to avoid this kind of issue in the future.”

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We can be happy overall because today we improved our pace both in the warm up and in the race. Unfortunately yesterday I crashed in FP3 and that cost us a lot of track time but it could be worse than this: I mean I could break my finger.

“So it’s not been the perfect weekend for us but we have to take the positive things. Today my start was not perfect due to the injured finger and I lost the feeling for the first laps. Then I got stopped by some riders and it was tough to overtake them. In the middle of the race Crutchlow passed me and I made a small mistake with the clutch because the downshifting was harder with this painful finger. Anyway our lap times till the end of the race were pretty fast so this means we have a good potential: let’s see what we can do in Assen.”

Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar CRT) says: “I’m happier than ever today, as both my brother Pol and I got good results here at Silverstone. I started well and tried to follow the satellite bikes, but they kept leaving me behind on the straights. I was able to pull away from the other CRT riders, but little by little Randy caught me back up. I let him set the pace once he had passed.

“Two laps from the end, I took over in front and broke away, just as I did at Montmeló. I outbroke him on the first chicane, gritted my teeth and did what I needed to do in order to finish ahead. I have never had a more competitive rival who I get on so well with at the same time. I love this atmosphere that we have in Power Electronics Aspar. It is very difficult for me to beat him over the course of a single hot lap in practice, especially when we work more on the race, but I am getting good results recently.”

Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar CRT) says: “I didn’t get a very good start and I had to get past Pirro and make up ground in order to get back in touch with Aleix. Once I caught up with him I made a pass and stayed in front for practically the whole race, but I was having a lot of problems with the rear tire.

“I felt a lot of movement and I was lacking grip. I tried to put up with this throughout the course of the race and shake off Aleix’s moves, but in the end he must have seen that he was faster than me at certain points on the track. Once he’d got past he managed to open up a gap, and whilst I was able to pull it back on the final laps it wasn’t enough to try and regain the position.

“I am annoyed, because we did a good job and yet still didn’t find the best chassis setting. In the warm-up we improved the feel on the front, but it was the rear that gave us the most scares and affected us most in the race. We will have to keep on working in order to perfect the bike and be more consistent.”

Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing CRT) says: “I went faster during the race than I did in qualifying. I felt that I was just on edge; everything is so rigid and stiff that you can’t relax on this bike. Once the grip went down just a little bit then it just stops turning, it’s like driving a truck and it just doesn’t turn anymore.

“You’ve got to trust the electronics and kind of steer it with the rear. Electronics felt ok , obviously they could be better but the electronics aren’t going to fix the issues that we are having. They might make them better but we’ve got to get the bike to turn, that is nº1 priority. Get the bike to turn and just go straight because when I get it on my knee it just seems to go straight, until the speed comes down and then the bike will turn but by that time you are losing bike lengths to the guys in front of you.

“For Assen we will be trying something that hopefully will make the difference. I thank my team, it was a though weekend but my guys did everything they could given the difficulties we had.”