2012 Japanese Grand Prix
Spoiler Alert: 2012 MotoGP Championship results from Twin Ring Motegi listed below
Heading into the AirAsia Japanese Grand Prix at Twin Ring Sunday, round 15 of 18 in the 2012 MotoGP Championship, Dani Pedrosa trailed Jorge Lorenzo by 33 points.
But the Honda Repsol RC213V rider slimmed the lead a further five points following a strong win at Motegi MotoGP, Pedrosa victorious ahead of the Yamaha Factory Racing rider Lorenzo and San Carlo Honda’s Alvaro Bautista.
The Motegi win was Pedrosa’s second consecutive win after taking Aragon two weeks ago, and his fifth this season.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It was a hard race because the pace was very fast from the beginning. I tried to understand the bike, as yesterday we had a lot of chatter so I didn’t know how it would be today. In the beginning it wasn’t too bad but then it got a little worse during the race. I managed it as best I could and I stayed with Jorge [Lorenzo], I was able to get a better line out of the corner and pass him and then I put in some good laps and controlled the gap. Jorge tried to stay with me, but then decided to settle for the second place.
“We did what we needed to do and it’s just a pity that there is no one else who can stay with us because every race I win, he’s been second. But anyway, it’s a great feeling to win races and we are doing it now. Thanks to Honda and the whole team, I’m really happy to win again here in Motegi!”
When the race got underway at the 2.983-mile circuit containing 14 turns, pole-sitter Lorenzo got to turn one first, followed by Pedrosa, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crtuchlow and Bautista.
Many accidents occurred on the first few laps, with Power Electronics Aspar CRT rider Randy de Puniet crashing out on lap one, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies crashing on lap 2, the American citing brake issues on the YZR-M1. Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez also crashed, suffering a left shoulder dislocation and a contusion to the left foot.
On the third lap, the returning Stoner, who’s still recovering from his qualifying crash at Indy (ankle), was overtaken by Bautista for fourth. Stoner put up a fight with Bautista, but began receiving pressure from LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso, who trailed in sixth and seventh, respectively. In eighth was Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who struggled to keep up with Dovi.
With 17 to go, Lorenzo and Pedrosa had pulled away from the remaining grid, leaving Crutchlow alone in third. Two laps later, Dovizioso passed Bradl for sixth, Bradl suffering from arm-pump.
With 13 to go, Pedrosa got a better drive out of turn four, and the Spaniard passed Lorenzo for the lead. The RC213V pilot immediately began pulling away from Lorenzo, as Bautista began closing in on Crutchlow. Behind, the battle intensified for fifth. And with eight laps remaining,Dovi finally made a pass stick, taking fifth from Stoner.
As Pedrosa opened up more of a gap at front, Bautista passed Crutchlow with six laps to go, the Spaniard slipping into third. The two began an intense battle, touching at one point, but Crutchlow would run out of gas on the last lap, causing a DNF.
Up front, Pedrosa would take the win 4.275 seconds ahead of Lorenzo, with Bautista finishing in a lonely third 6.752 seconds back. Dovisioso took fourth a further 16.397 second back, followed by Stoner in fifth.
Bradl would finish sixth, followed by the Ducati Team duo of Rossi and Nicky Hayden, respectively. Ninth went to Wildcard rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga aboard a Yamaha YSP Racing Team YZR-M1, with Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera in 10th. The top CRT finisher was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro in 13th.
With three rounds remaining, Pedrosa now trails Lorenzo by 28 points. The MotoGP Championship continues its three back-to-back race stretch next weekend with the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang (October 21), followed by the Austrialian Grand Prix at Phillip Island (October 28).
2012 Motegi MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||162.6||42’31.569|
|2.||20||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||162.3||+4.275|
|3.||16||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||162.1||+6.752|
|4.||13||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||161.5||+16.397|
|5.||11||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||161.3||+20.566|
|6.||10||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||161.0||+24.567|
|7.||9||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||160.9||+26.072|
|8.||8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||160.3||+36.724|
|9.||7||21||Katsuyuki NAKASUGA||JPN||Yamaha YSP Racing Team||Yamaha||160.3||+36.794|
|10.||6||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||158.2||+1’10.729|
|11.||5||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||157.9||+1’15.658|
|12.||4||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||157.5||+1’22.769|
|13.||3||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||157.3||+1’24.968|
|14.||2||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||157.1||+1’29.388|
|15.||1||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||156.8||+1’34.612|
|16.||84||Roberto ROLFO||ITA||Speed Master||ART||155.8||+1’50.853|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||162.1||1 Lap|
|9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||156.3||1 Lap|
|22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||155.2||10 Laps|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||153.3||10 Laps|
|11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||152.8||23 Laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||146.5||23 Lap|
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after 15 of 18 rounds):
|13.||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||53|