Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) took victory in the wet MotoGP race at the Gran Premio bwin de España after a chaotic series of events saw Casey Stoner taken out by Valentino Rossi’s bike early on, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) crash out whilst leading and a series of other riders struggle to deal with the conditions. It was a Spanish one-two with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) claiming second position and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) in third.
Lorenzo started from the front row and was able to pick up 25 points and claim his first victory of the 2011 season at the Gran Premio bwin de España, thus assuming the Championship lead. This result was his second successive win at the Andalusian circuit and a replica one-two with Pedrosa. The Mallorcan finished a clear 13.256s over his fellow compatriot after a gripping race which was unpredictable until the very last lap.
On a wet track Simoncelli appeared to be on his way to his first victory in the premier class with a three-second advantage over Lorenzo, but the Italian suffered a nasty highside at turn one with 16 laps remaining and was unable to continue. Pedrosa had made a tentative start to his race but managed to get back in the hunt for the win. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) had passed the Spaniard for second in the closing stages of the race, but made a mistake and ended up in the gravel, losing a potential 20 points.
It was the same story for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who due to Spies’ error, was on course to take a rostrum place behind Pedrosa. However the American also ended up visiting the gravel trap and was unable to restart. It was Hayden who finished in third to take the first podium for Ducati Team this season and his second of his career with the team.
Qatar race winner Stoner (Repsol Honda) was the victim of a mistake from Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) which ended his race prematurely. The Ducati rider, who started from 12th, tried to pass Stoner on the inside but lost the front of his GP11, thus taking the Australian down with him. Rossi was able to rejoin the race but Stoner could not, the Italian eventually finishing fifth.
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) took fourth position, his best result in MotoGP, Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar Team) built on his performance in Losail to finish sixth, ahead of Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) who after crashing during the race was able to remount to take seventh place. Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was able to take eighth after a similar fate to the Czech rider, when he crashed whilst riding in a solid top five position in his first ride at the circuit. Last season’s Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías (LCR Honda) brought his bike home in ninth place with the final place in the top ten going to Rizla Suzuki’s John Hopkins, replacing the injured Álvaro Bautista.
Jorge Lorenzo post-race interview
In Moto2 Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) mastered the rain to take his fourth victory in the category, a first of the season, and joining him on the rostrum were Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project). Lüthi took the early control in the race and was on course for his first win in Moto2, until the Italian rider passed him for the lead and pulled a large advantage. His winning margin was 7.850s. Building on the second place the Speed Master rider achieved in Losail, Iannone takes the lead of the 2011 World Championship after scoring 25 points for the win. The race started in damp conditions and more rain fell throughout, leading to a slippery and difficult circuit. Starting from 18th position Corsi was leading the race after a lap and half, but was caught by Iannone and the Swiss rider and took the final spot on the rostrum to take his third podium in the intermediate class.
Bradley Smith (Tech 3) who started from fifth, finished in fourth place in only his second ever Moto2 race. With a few laps to go, he was in fifth place until Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) made a costly error when he nearly lost control of his bike and Smith was there to take his fourth position. Bradl had been aiming to become the first German rider to win back-to-back races in the intermediate class since Ralf Waldmann in 1996 but dropped a handful of places at the start. Lüthi and Bradl now share second place in the standings.
Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) was the first Spanish rider to cross the line in sixth place, ahead of Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who salvaged seventh position after a ride through penalty for jumping the start. Scotsman Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castelló) finished in eighth place after qualifying back in 24th position, scoring his first Grand Prix points. Rookie Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) took ninth place and it was a titanic tussle until the final corner between MZ Racing team-mates Anthony West and Max Neukirchner with the German taking tenth and the Australian 11th.
Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) who had been involved in the fight for third, crashed out at high speed at turn 12 losing front grip and missed out on a potential 16 points. Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) failed to pick up his first points of his Moto2 debut season after Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) was unable to stop his bike in time and ran into the back of the current 125cc World Champion after a battle for sixth place. The incident put them both out of the race.
Nico Terol led the way to score another 25 points in the 125 race ahead of Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) in a thrilling race. It looked set to be a Bankia Aspar one two until Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar), after battling with his team-mate through out the race, fell on the last lap in his 150th Grand Prix start and eventually finished 11th. Terol claimed his 11th successive podium with this victory and his seventh win of his 125cc career, finishing a massive 17.446s ahead of second placed man, Folger.
The race got underway in damp, patchy conditions with all the riders starting on wet tyres. However it became much tougher with the rain becoming stronger midway through the race leading to many accidents in the difficult conditions.
17 year old Folger took only his second ever rostrum position with second place in a frantic race, ahead of Zarco who joined him on the podium. The Frenchman’s previous best result had been a sixth place. Folger and Zarco had been involved in an intense fight with pole sitter Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and kept their composure to take the podium, whilst Cortese fell in the battle for third place. The German remounted to finish in sixth. Vázquez suffered a similar fate as he also ended up in the gravel but like Cortese was able to rejoin and eventually finished in ninth.
It was a happy day for two British riders with Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing) crossing the line in fourth and fifth. Kent whose previous best result had been 13th, whilst Mackenzie’s had been 18th, were impressive results for relative newcomers to the class. Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) took seventh position scoring good points ahead of Hiroki Ono (Caretta Technology Forward Team). The Japanese rider’s career best had been 24th after two starts in the 125cc category. Tenth place went to Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-SIC-Ajo).
Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) had also been involved in the very exciting and close tussle with Cortese, Zarco and Vázquez but suffered a clutch problem which took him out of the race. The Finn Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Events Racing) crashed out very early on and as the rain fell, followed by 16 year old Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) who was in third place at the time he tumbled out at turn. Spaniard Luis Salom (RW Racing GP), after securing his best qualifying result in sixth place, was another victim of the final turn of the circuit and dropped out whilst in a top 10 position.
Stoner scores second straight pole
Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner took his second pole of the 2011 MotoGP season in as many rounds, topping an eventful qualifying session for the Gran Premio bwin de España on Saturday afternoon. He will be joined on the front row by his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
The Australian set the fastest time of the weekend with a 1’38.757 which was just 0.158s ahead of his team-mate, who had set the early pace in the morning practice. Stoner had a moment towards the very end of the session where he ran on at Turn 1, but he held top spot on the timesheet regardless of the minor mishap.
The session was run in slightly cooler conditions compared to Friday with the wind that had played a large role on day one picking up slightly towards the end of the hour. Lorenzo was leading the session for the most part, but was unable to match the pace of the Repsol Hondas in front of him, with a deficit of 0.161s behind Stoner’s pole lap and just three-thousandths off his fellow Spaniard’s time. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) will head the second row of the grid in fourth place, despite crashing at turn one in the last five minutes of the session. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) will start in fifth place and continued to set times to place him as third fastest Honda, with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) completing the second row in sixth.
Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) crashed at Turn 5 in the final ten minutes of qualifying but finished as the top Ducati rider in seventh position, 1.135s behind the pole position lap. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who scored a rostrum finish here in 2007, will start in eighth position after a fall in the dying moments of qualifying which he accepted with a bow to the crowd. His team-mate at Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Cal Crutchlow, was one place behind in ninth in his first qualifying session at the Andalucian circuit.
There was a high speed crash for Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) when he went off in the Àlex Crivillé corner early on, but the Japanese rider was able to remount his RC212V and took the final spot in the top ten.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) did not have the best of starts to his one-hour qualifying session after a nasty tumble into Turn 8 when he lost the front and finished up in the gravel. The Italian was able to make it back to the pits to jump on his spare bike and finished outside the top ten in 12th place.
Stefan Bradl followed up his first career pole – taken in Round 1 at Qatar – with a second in the Moto2 category as he topped the intermediate category session. The German, who won the opening round a fortnight ago, posted a best lap of 1’42.706 to finish 0.282s ahead of Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing), the only other rider under 1’43” in the session.
Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) will complete the front row, with Marc Márquez heading up row two on his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol machine which he crashed towards the end of the session. Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) took impressive second-row positions.
Completing the top ten in the QP session were Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing), Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), Claudio Corti (Italtrans STR) and Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar).
Sandro Cortese secured pole for the 125 category with a fine late lap of 1’47.399 to beat Championship favourite and early standings leader Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) to top spot in qualifying by 0.209s. The Intact Racing Team Germany rider and his Spanish rival will be joined by Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) on the front row.
Avant-AirAsia-Ajo pair Efrén Vázquez and Johann Zarco, along with Luis Salom (RW Racing) took second-row positions, with Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport), Miguel Oliveira (Andalucia Banca Civica) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) all on the third row. Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Banca Civica) timed in tenth fastest, with Sergio Gadea (PEV-Blusens-SMX-Paris Hilton) 11th.
Stoner Fastest on Day 1 at Jerez
Casey Stoner was the quickest rider on the opening day of the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez on Friday, as his time from the first practice session in the morning stood as the quickest of the day.
The Repsol Honda rider put down a best effort of 1’39.551 in FP1, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa the only other rider under 1’40” on day one, also during the first session. Indeed the top seven in MotoGP on Friday all set their best times in FP1, as strong wind during the afternoon’s second free practice made it hard to improve on lap times.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team), Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Jorge Lorenzo (Factory Yamaha Racing), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Ben Spies (Factory Yamaha Racing) were those who completed the top seven, with Dovizioso unaffected by a fall during the first session.
The sun was in full force on day one and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) both managed to improve on their lap times in the FP2 session to get into the combined top ten, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) tenth. John Hopkins, riding as a substitute for the injured Álvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki team, made progress throughout the two sessions, eventually timing in 2.754s off the top time in his first competitive session MotoGP ride since Valencia 2008.
In Moto2 Tom Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) led the way with a best lap of 1’43.528, placing him 0.315s ahead of season-opening race winner Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing). The two set their times in FP1, with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing), Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) and Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) posting FP2 times that placed them in the combined top five. Takahashi was clearly unaffected by a crash in the morning session as he went on to improve his lap time.
Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) completed the top ten across the combined sessions timesheet.
The 125s were the bikes most affected by the increased wind in the afternoon, with Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) setting the fastest lap of Friday during FP1 – a best effort of 1’48.384. Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) topped the later session to place second across both, 0.333s off Terol, with Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) third – he escaped uninjured from a FP2 crash which cut his session drastically short – and Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) fourth and fifth respectively across the combined times.
PEV-Blusens-SMX-Paris Hilton duo Sergio Gadea and Maverick Viñales, Luis Salom (RW Racing), Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) all set top-ten times on Friday.