Local hero Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode to a determined second-place finish in today’s Catalan Grand Prix after a long battle with compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) had a tough race, crossing the line in fourth place, just behind Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha).
Following a wet morning warm-up, Stoner started from pole, but it was the fast-away Pedrosa who shot through from the second row to lead into turn one. The Spaniard stayed there for the first half dozen laps, except for a split second on lap three when Ben Spies (Yamaha) came past, ran wide and slid off.
Lorenzo, however, was soon shadowing Pedrosa and moved ahead on lap seven. For the next few minutes Pedrosa bided his time, then moved ahead once more at the start of lap 12. For a while it looked like he might have made the race his own, but Lorenzo fought back after running wide at turn one and was able to take Pedrosa when the Honda rider ran wide at turn ten with five laps to go.
Reigning World Champion Stoner was never quite able to get on terms with the leading pair. Fifth at the end of the first lap he moved into fourth a few laps later, but was unable to make further progress due to issues with chatter and a rear tyre that did not work the way he had hoped.
He spent the rest of the race behind Dovizioso, closing right up on the Italian in the final couple of laps, but he was unable to find a way past. This was the Australian’s first race finish off the podium since he joined Honda for the 2011 MotoGP season.
Pedrosa and Stoner were the only factory riders to choose the hard compound Bridgestone rear for this race because during practice they found the medium tyre ran too hot. Their factory Yamaha and Ducati rivals all went for the medium rear.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) had a strong race from the third row of the grid, coming through to a sixth-place finish after completing the first lap in tenth place. This result was the same as he scored at Jerez and Estoril, but this was his best race so far on the Honda because he was closer to the front than before.
MotoGP Rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) finished eighth following a brilliant showing in the early laps when he showed brilliant fighting spirit while battling with much more experienced rivals. From mid-distance the reigning Moto2 World Champion found himself all alone and he ended the race almost five seconds behind Valentino Rossi (Ducati).
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) enjoyed a great battle with several fellow CRT riders, eventually crossing the line in 14th for the third consecutive race. The Italian finished second best CRT, less than a second behind top CRT finisher Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 05: Catalunya
|1||Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|2||Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|4||Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)|
|5||Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|6||Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|7||Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team)|
|8||Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|9||Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team)|
|10||Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|11||Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing Team)|
|12||Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing)|
|13||Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|14||Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|15||Randy De Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar)|