Aragón suits Stoner, Repsol Honda

Aragón is another Repsol Honda track, with Pedrosa leading on Friday, Stoner taking pole Saturday and the win on Sunday

Casey Stoner took another 25 points home at the Gran Premio de Aragón as the Australian took his eighth win of the 2011 season, with Dani Pedrosa crossing the line second and Jorge Lorenzo third.

Stoner’s victory at the MotorLand circuit on Sunday gave Repsol Honda their 100th GP win as well as putting the Australian 44 points clear of defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Dani Pedrosa finished the round in second place behind his team mate, while Lorenzo made his way to the final podium spot. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) crossed the line 6 seconds behind Lorenzo to take fourth, a strong finish for the Italian despite running off track during his first attempt at passing the YZR-M1 of Ben Spies. Spies had a great start off the outside of the first row, leading into turn one in front of fellow front row starters Stoner and Pedrosa, but the two Repsol Honda riders passed him by lap two, and the American finished the race in fifth place.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) crossed the line sixth from an eleventh place start, passing Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) on lap 10 and holding the position to the finish line. Hayden and Héctor Barberá had a scrap for seventh, with the American passing the Mapfre Aspar rider on the penultimate lap.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) finished ninth, ahead of Valentino Rossi who started his Ducati Team machine from Pit Lane having used his seventh engine of the season in the warm up, with Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) in 11th.

A first lap crash for Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) caused Randy De Puniet to run off track to avoid the Czech rider, the Frenchman rejoining the race to finish 12th. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) also fell on the first lap and was unable to rejoin, while Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) collided with Toni Elías (LCR Honda) on lap 15, both riders going down in the gravel.

Stoner interview


Marky Marc Márquez leads the Moto2 field

Spanish Moto2 star Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) took the holeshot from pole position, with Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) immediately challenging for the lead, Redding taking over at the front by the end of lap one and Bradl taking over on lap four.

Meanwhile Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) made his way up to the lead pack off his tenth place start, along with Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), which then marked the start of a breathtaking five-way fight for first position. Márquez broke from the pack on lap 13, but not without Iannone making it very difficult for the young Spaniard to get away.

The fight for second then commenced, with Iannone eventually crossing the line a tenth of a second ahead of fellow countryman Corsi, while De Angelis followed by half a second to take fourth. Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) was fifth ahead of Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing), and Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) who made a great comeback to take seventh, after dropping down into 16th position on lap 8.

Bradl dropped out of the leading pack by lap 16 with what appeared to be mechanical issues to finish the race in eighth, the lower than expected finish further denting the German rider’s Championship lead, with Márquez now trailing by just 6 points.

Ninth place went to Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) after a video image was required to determine his position in front of Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) in tenth, the two crossing the line so closely it appeared simultaneous, while Redding finished 15th after dropping out of the lead group on lap 9.

Nico Terol translates to English as “nearly unstoppable”

With wind gusts up to 30kph, the 125 race commenced with Bankia Aspar’s Nico Terol heading first into turn one at the MotorLand circuit pulling an immediate gap on the rest of the field and holding it to cross the line over 6 seconds ahead of second place finisher Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo).

A poor start from Zarco off the second row once again saw the Frenchman desperate to make his way up to the front, finally breaking from the pack to catch pole starter Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) with whom he then scrapped with for the second podium spot the entire race. Their battle lasted until the last lap when Faubel made a late braking pass in the second to last corner and lost the front, crashing out spectacularly and handing second to Zarco and third to Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), who had run the race in a lonely fourth position.

A thrilling race long battle for fifth place, which turned into fourth after Faubel’s DNF, saw Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) finish ahead of Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo), Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany), Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) in eighth, the pack of five finishing with just fractions of a second between each other and requiring a video image to determine sixth and seventh positions. Directly after the finish however, both Salom and Cortese were penalised for passing under a yellow flag and were therefore reclassified as finishing fifth and seventh, while Vázquez and Kent were moved to fourth and sixth respectively.

Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) completed the top ten, ahead of eleventh place finisher Marcel Schrötter (Mahindra Racing) and Luigi Morciano (Team Italia FMI) in 12th.

Stoner takes 9th pole at Aragón

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) will start Sunday’s Gran Premio de Aragón from pole position, his ninth of the season, after a blistering display on Saturday at the 14th Round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.

Stoner broke the 1’49” barrier and set a new lap record with 13 minutes of the one-hour qualifying session to go to before running off into the gravel and tipping over. It was a minor off but meant the Australian had to use his second bike for the remainder of the session. With five minutes left the Championship leader took two more tenths out of his provisional pole lap to seal the front row spot with an effort of 1’48.451.

A late push from his team-mate Dani Pedrosa to challenge for the pole position ended with him running off the track and unable to better his time of 1’48.747, though that time set on his penultimate lap was quick enough to grant him a front row start from second position.

Yamaha Factory’s Ben Spies was unfazed by a crash he had in the morning session and posted a lap four-tenths off that of Pedrosa to take the last spot on the front row, while defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo followed just a tenth off his team mate to head up the second row.

Third Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso ranked fifth in the outing and was the last rider within a second of leading man Stoner, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) again following his fellow countryman and rival on the timesheet, this outing by a margin of 0.156 seconds.

Nicky Hayden, who was on the podium here last year with Ducati, landed seventh on the grid, ahead of rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and San Carlo Honda Gresini man Hiroshi Aoyama who completed the third row.

Randy de Puniet, who had jumped to the third spot in the timings just before running off into the gravel, finished the session in tenth position, while Valentino Rossi crashed 15 minutes into the session, returning to the outing with 30 minutes to go and setting a best time of 1’49.960 to start 13th on the grid.

Stoner interview

Moto2 qualifying saw Marc Márquez crush the competition as he led the times for the entire session. The young Spaniard’s time of 1’53.296 was 0.684s ahead of second place starter Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), who crashed at the end of the session but was up and walking away, and 0.708s ahead of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) who starts on the front row for the first time this season.

Starting from the head of the second row is current Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), who ran off track during a fast lap push in the final minutes and was unable to improve on his time of 1’54.075 which earned him fourth place. Completing the second row is Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), who follows the Championship leader by a tenth, and Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), four-hundredths behind De Angelis.

Jules Cluzel (NGM Forward Racing) leads the third row and is the last in the field within a second of Márquez, with Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) completing row three. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) completes the top ten, ahead of Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project).

Héctor Faubel

Héctor Faubel’s last lap flyer earned him pole position in the 125cc category, his first of the season and the Spaniard’s first since 2007. His effort of 1’59.222 bumped Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing), who looked set to be the pole starter, out of the lead by a margin of 0.009s.

Faubel’s team-mate and the current Championship leader Nico Terol had dominated most of the session and was the first to dip under the two-minute mark, leading until the late surges began in the final four minutes. Terol’s time of 1’59.374 has him starting in the third spot on the front row alongside his fellow countrymen.

Morning session leader Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) heads up the second row after setting a time 0.376s off the pole of Faubel. The Frenchman, who is still looking for his first win in the category after finishing second five times this season, is joined by Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) in the fifth and sixth grid positions and the last two in the field under the two-minute mark.

Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany), who sits just one point behind Viñales in the Championship, will start from row three after finishing seventh fastest, with Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) completing the third row.

Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) completed the top ten and will head row four, with Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) and permanent replacement for Sergio Gadea on the Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing team, Josep Rodríguez, joining the German rider.

Pedrosa shoots out the lights in Aragon

Dani Pedrosa led on a day with only one practice session due to a power failure

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa started the Gran Premio de Aragón as the fastest rider on Friday, setting a best time of 1’50.281 as he laid down the marker at his home race. Pedrosa’s time came in the morning session, following which the afternoon practice for the premier class was delayed and then cancelled due to power shortages at the track. A rescheduled programme for Saturday morning will see the affected MotoGP and Moto2 classes received an extended practice session prior to the afternoon qualifying sessions.Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was 0.449s behind his fellow compatriot as he continues with his attempt to reel in Championship leader Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda), who was third in the timings at just under eight-hundredths behind.

Two more Hondas followed in the order with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli and factory rider Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) completing the top five, and the duo were the last two riders to get within a second of Pedrosa’s blistering pace.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) was the highest placing Ducati in sixth ahead of factory team rider Nicky Hayden, with Valentino Rossi eighth on the latest version of the Desmosedici GP11.1 at 1.395s off the top time. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completed the top ten, with Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) 11th.

Moto2 experienced the same issue as their MotoGP counterparts, and were only able to run a morning session in which Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) was the quickest around the MotorLand Aragón layout.

The Spaniard posted a time of 1’54.857 to shade fellow countryman Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) in the order by just 0.023s, with Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) completing the top three at three-tenths of a second off Márquez.

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) was hot on the heels of the Italian in fourth, just 0.013s behind, with Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Anthony West (MZ Racing Team) all ahead of Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) who placed eighth. Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) and Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) completed the top ten.

The 125cc riders were unaffected by the problems and did manage to run two sessions, and it was Championship leader Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) who led the way with a best time of 2’01.163 placing him at the top of the timesheet.

Spanish rookie Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing) had topped the morning session and was second fastest of the day overall, at 0.365s off his compatriot, with Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) the only non Spaniard in the top five which was completed by Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo).

Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo), Terol’s main challenger for the title, was 1.356s off his rival’s pace in sixth spot, with rookies Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Miguel Oliveira (Andalucia Banca Civica), Adrián Martín (Bankia Aspar) and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) all setting top-ten times.

The rescheduled Saturday programme will see the 125cc category’s final practice session start earlier and run from 8.45am-9.25am local time, with MotoGP running from 9.35am-10.50am and Moto2 from 11am-12.15pm. The afternoon qualifying sessions in all classes will run as originally scheduled.

courtesy of MotoGP

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