Casey Stoner leads Dani Pedrosa at Brno
Casey Stoner captured his sixth win of the season in front of 155,400 fans at Brno for Sunday’s Cardion ab Grand Prix ?eské republiky, stretching his Championship lead to 32 points over Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) got the hole shot from his first pole position of the season, with Lorenzo taking the lead from him on the second lap. Stoner then took second from the Yamaha rider, just as Pedrosa crashed out of the front of the field, handing the Australian the lead.
While Stoner lengthened the gap at the head of the pack, Lorenzo came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), the Italian passing the Spaniard to take and hold second position for his fifth podium of the season. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) then caught and passed Lorenzo, moving into the third podium spot and keeping it until the finish line, the first podium of his MotoGP class career.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) slowly moved in on Lorenzo, but the American was unable to get close enough to make a move for fourth position, finishing the race behind his team mate in fifth.
Valentino Rossi was the first Ducati Team rider across the line, finishing sixth from his best qualifying position of the season, also sixth. The Italian’s team mate Nicky Hayden followed in seventh, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) rounding out the top ten.
Cal Crutchlow crashed out in turn one, resulting in the fourth DNF of the season for the British rookie. Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) also had a fall; he rejoined the race but later retired with a mechanical failure. The two were joined in the pits in retirement by Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who low sided trying to make a move on Rossi for sixth position.
Andrea Iannone hoists it
Andrea Iannone took his first Moto2 win, and consequently podium, since his triumph at the second round in Jerez. The Italian Speed Master rider crossed the line ahead of Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) in second, Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) in third and Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) fourth as the four riders scrapped for all podium positions, bodies and bikes touching in the struggle.
Championship leader Bradl led into turn one off the start, with Márquez and Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) close behind. By lap three, it appeared the German rider had a solid lead, with De Angelis, Iannone, and Márquez forming the chasing pack, until Iannone took started his charge to the front, catching and passing Bradl on lap 13.
With three laps to go, it was a free for all between the four riders, with Iannone making a pass on Márquez on the last lap to take the top spot on the podium, moving the Italian from seventh to fourth in the Championship chase. Fourth place for de Angelis moves the San Marino rider up into third in the Championship.
Lüthi crossed the line in fifth, followed by Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) in tenth.
Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing), Carmelo Morales (Desguaces La Torre G22) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) all had falls and retired from the race.
A great start from 125cc pole sitter Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar) put him in the lead at the start of the 19 lap race, where he was joined Sachsenring race winner Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) and Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), who got a tremendous launch off the fourth row. Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) quickly passed into the second position, and the two Championship leaders broke from the pack.
But with 11 laps to go, 22 year old Terol dropped out of the lead with a mechanical problem, forcing the Spaniard to retire and opening the class Championship charge up. The battle for first then ensued between Zarco and 21 year old Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany). A lead swapping battle ensued, their lap times dropping as both fought it out for their first Grand Prix win.
Side by side in the last corner, Cortese took the inside line and fiercely held onto the lead, the Frenchman making an attempt to pass and nearly going down, giving the German rider his first victory and moving him up into the fourth spot in the Championship. Zarco finished second yet again, his fourth of the last five races, the final race denying him the win by a photo finish in Germany.
The last podium spot was up for grabs after Terol retired, and a five man skirmish unfolded between Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), Faubel, Gadea, Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) and Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica). Moncayo crossed the line at the front of the pack taking his first podium, as Oliveira crashed in the last corner.
Faubel took fourth, followed by Gadea, Viñales, Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) and Simone Grotzkyj (Phonica Racing). Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-SIC-Ajo) and Jasper Iwema (Ongetta-Abbink Metaal) had their best finishes to date, finishing in the ninth and tenth positions.
Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) had a crash in the morning warm up, fracturing his right hand and leaving him unable to participate in the race.
Pedrosa Takes First 2011 Pole
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the front position on the grid with a time of 1’56.591 in qualifying on Saturday, a time fast enough to put him on pole but still not a fast as the crushing lap he dealt Friday by a margin of 0.268s.
The premier class took to a dry track after the morning wet practice session, with reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) taking an early provisional pole and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) leading in second half of qualifying. But Pedrosa retaliated, grabbing back the top spot and keeping it until the end of the outing.
Lorenzo pushed hard, bettering his previous best time by four tenths with a time of 1’56.704, giving him a front row start in the second spot, followed by Stoner with lap of 1’56.860 to put him in the final front row spot.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from the front row least year in his MotoGP rookie season, qualified four with a 1’57.178. The Texan is joined on the second row by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), whose time of 1’57.351 placed him in fifth to start. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) joins the second row after posting a time of 1’57.367, giving him his best qualifying of the season so far.
Andrea Dovizioso will start from the third row, his time of 1’57.442 placing him seventh fastest. American duo Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) take the final two spots on the third row, while Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), riding for the first time in the MotoGP class at Brno after missing last year’s race through injury, completed the top ten.
Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed out of eighth position with 12 minutes remaining, running back to the pits to mount his second bike, finally concluding the qualifying in eleventh. The British rider’s crash was followed by Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham crashing out of qualifying, the 21 year old from Brno will start his home race from last on the grid.
John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) did not participate in the qualifying session due to injuries sustained in his FP3 crash pronouncing him unfit for racing.
Moto2 rookie Marc Márquez will start from the head of the front row after setting a new class record for the Brno circuit with a time of 2’02.493 aboard his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol machine. Márquez nabbed the top spot after a scrap for the lead with Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing). The German rider, whose best time was 2 tenths behind Márquez, has seen the young Spaniard chip away at his Championship lead and will start second behind him for the third successive race.
Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) joins the Championship leaders for his second start of the season on the first row thanks to his best lap of 2’02.725.
Making his first appearance in the top ten this weekend is Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), who will start the race from the head of row two. The Swiss rider starts ahead of Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) who made his best qualifying position of the season so far with a 2’02.943 to place him fifth on the grid. The last spot on row two will be occupied by Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) who posted a time of 2’03.461 despite still struggling with a fractured a vertebra sustained in the previous Sachsenring round.
Row three is an all Italian composition made up of Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) and Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing), giving the latter two their best qualifying positions of the season. Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing), who crashed out of the session, completes the top ten starters.
After crashing on the first lap, Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) was taken to the Medical Centre and did not return to qualifying, his fitness is yet to be determined for the race. Other riders not completing the session due to falls include Tito Rabat (Blusens-STX), and Santiago Hernández (SAG Team).
With weather conditions completely changed from the morning practice, the 125cc qualifying took place on a dry track with Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) leading the category, progressively bettering his lap times until Nico Terol stepped up to his accustomed position as leader of the pack to post a final lap of 2’08.118, the fastest of the weekend so far.
Zarco’s time of 2’08.503 was 0.385s behind the Championship leader’s pole setting lap and half a second ahead of third place qualifier Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany). Frenchman Zarco, who will start from front row for the fifth time this season, is edging closer to his first win after being denied the victory by a photo finish in Germany.
Sachsenring race winner Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) heads up an all Spanish row two after posting a time of 2’08.689. Faubel is joined by Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) who had an early run off during the session, and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) who was ranked ninth fastest in the dry on Friday.
Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) leads row three, which is the British rider’s best qualifying of the season. Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica), who bounced back from a crash in morning practice, sits next on the grid with Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), whose fall in the last five minutes dashed the rookie’s hopes for another front row start after his pole in Germany, starts from the final spot on the third row.
Italian Simone Grotzkyj (Phonica Racing), Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) and French rider Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology Forward Team) comprise row four.
Pedrosa dominates day one at Brno
MotoGP returned to action after a two and a half week break for the opening session of the Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceske republiky, with Dani Pedrosa emerging the fastest man ahead of Casey Stoner and Marco Simoncelli.
The 25 year old Repsol Honda rider set off into the second practice session at a blazing pace after crushing the field in the first outing of the day, though was unable to better his time of 1’56.328 that he achieved in the earlier session.
The rest of the field responded, with team mate Stoner moving into second in the later half of the practice with a time of 1’56.831, an improvement of 0.436s over his FP1 time and the only other rider to break the 1’57” barrier.
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) was unshaken by his crash at the end of FP1, improving his time by three tenths with a lap of 1’57.136, keeping him third fastest of the day. Last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) improved his time by four tenths with a lap of 1’57.174 to place him in fourth in the standings.
Andrea Dovizioso was fifth quickest of the day, posting a best time of 1’57.535 on his Repsol Honda RC212V, ahead of Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) in sixth position by a margin of 0.096s.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team), who finished fifth last year at Brno, improved on his FP1 time by over a second with a time of 1’57.745, moving him into seventh, while team mate Nicky Hayden was down in 14th for the day. Álvaro Bautista rode his Rizla Suzuki into eighth place, while wild card John Hopkins, who returns for a second race aboard the Rizla Suzuki, set an impressive tenth fastest time.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards were ninth and twelfth, respectively, while Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) time of 1’58.120 placed him in 11th for the day.
MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) was down in 17th at his home race, while Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), who is riding with injuries from a crash in qualifying at Laguna Seca that put him out of the race, had a fall in the last minutes of the FP2 session.
Moto2 got underway on Friday morning at Brno with Stefan Bradl laying down a best lap of 2’03.586 on board his Viessmann Kiefer Racing machine, nearly one second faster than the official circuit record set by Toni Elias in 2010.
The 21 year old then improved on his time in FP2 by four tenths, thus setting himself as the man to beat at the Brno circuit. His time of 2’03.166 was 0.158s ahead of that set by Italian Iannone aboard his Speed Master machine and 0.185s faster than JiR Moto2 rider De Angelis, who were second and third fastest of the opening day.
Marc Márquez progressed from the his 18th position in FP1 to fourth in FP2, though the lap times set by Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) and Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) in FP1 were faster than Marquez’s time of 2’03.923, placing the Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol rider sixth for the day behind the other two Spaniards.
Tito Rabat (Blusens-STX) was also unable to improve on his best time of 2’03.999 set in FP1, which placed him seventh for the day, his FP2 time down in 14th. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing), Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) and Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing) all improved on their earlier times to make it into the day’s top 10 of the Moto2 field.
Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) had been the pace setter in FP1, but Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) finished top of the timesheets in the afternoon practice with a lap time of 2’08.762 which was three seconds faster than his FP1 time.
Terol was unable to improve on his earlier time and recorded a lap close to one second slower, however he remained the quickest rider on show in the combined practice times, three tenths ahead of Cortese in second.
Skies were darker for the second practice session of the Cardion ab Grand Prix ?eské republiky weekend for the 125cc field, with a light rain beginning to fall halfway through the session, though the majority of the field was able to improve on their times from the earlier session.
Championship challenger Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) was second in FP2 with a time of 2’08.800 after leading much of the session, putting him third for the day, followed by Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) with his best day’s time of 2’09.295 placing him in fourth.
Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) followed successively in fifth and sixth, improving on their earlier positions, while Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) set a time of 2’09.416 that bumped him down to seventh position and Héctor Faubel’s (Bankia Aspar) moved down to eighth from his earlier sixth with a lap time of 2’09.538.
Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) finished the day ninth, while rookie Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing), who currently sits third in the Championship, ended the day tenth in the field.