Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's race at Jerez:
Casey Stoner prevails in Jerez
Repsol rider takes first victory of the season, with Dani Pedrosa in third.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Sunday 29/04/2012
Fans at the Spanish Grand Prix were witness to a tight victory for Casey Stoner, taking his first win on the new RC213V. The reigning MotoGP World Champion took advantage of his superior pace to maintain a lead and gradually extend a gap from the rest of the field, pursued only by his most persistent of rivals. All this came after a slow start for the Australian, who found himself in fifth after the opening corners.
Once he had the race under control, Stoner racked up a series of fastest laps that established a cushion between him and main contender Jorge Lorenzo. On the final laps the Spaniard had drawn closer, but Stoner held on to cross the line first, win for the first time at Jerez and move four points clear in the overall standings.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa had a fantastic start to take the holeshot, after taking off from second on the grid. His lead did not last long, however, as the Repsol Honda Team rider settled into third place and took a valuable third place and 16 points. He is currently third in the overall standings as well.
FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON FOR MATTIA PASINI IN THE GRAND PRIX OF JEREZ
The circuit of Jerez de la Frontera hosted today the race of the second event of the 2012 World Championship.
In the MotoGP class, Mattia Pasini and his crew worked on some last modifications to the set up in the warm up, making sure to have a good base for any type of weather and setting the thirteenth time.
Starting from sixth row, Pasini maintained a consistent pace throughout the race, crossing the finishing line in fourteenth position and achieving the first two points of the season.
Mattia Pasini #54 - 14th
“This race went well, I’m really happy. We have to consider that, during this weekend, we didn’t manage to work much on dry track. With this type of conditions we had some extra problems, and our objective was to put in a consistent performance and to see the chequered flag, which we did. These are our first points in MotoGP and that makes me happy. We improved a little during this weekend, for Estoril we’ll do our best to make some further step forward to be more competitive
THE GREEN TEAM FOUGHT AND ACHIEVED THE TOP TEN
After a warm up which was being run on a damp track condition mixed with rays of sunshine, the race started with dark clouds looming over the 4.423 km of the Spanish Circuit and with the track partially damp.
When the red light switched off Hèctor was been able to gain a couple of positions, leading a group composed by Valentino Rossi, Ben Spies and Karel Abraham, who were fighting for the 9th place.
During the race Hèctor struggled a lot with himself due to his less confidence with these mixed track conditions, but he was able to fight for the whole race with the most experience rider Valentino Rossi.
The 25 years old Spanish rider got a positive 10th place under the white and black flag, taking home some important points for the ranking.
Next race is scheduled for the next week, on the Portuguese circuit of Estoril.
Hèctor Barberà - Rider Pramac Racing Team
"During this weekend I struggled a lot, even if this race was one of my home races.
The Andalusian circuit layout didn’t fit my riding style and, to be honest, I had some issues also with the track condition because I wasn’t able to find the right confidence with the track.
Despite that I tried to overcome the problems and I had fun, fighting with Vale, who is a great rider.
My mood is pretty high and now I’m focused on the next race, which will take place in Estoril, a track that I like a lot".
Francesco Guidotti - Team Manager Pramac Racing -
"We knew that on this track we probably could have had some problems and the weather didn’t help us.
However, Hèctor was been able to fight with riders who have had a great background in the races and this give us a lot of confidence for the next appointments.
It’s important, for me, to mention that the Green team had made a tirelessly and resounding work to give Hèctor a perfect bike to ride".
Strong Second for Lorenzo in Jerez
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his unbroken premier class podium run at Jerez for the third year running today, taking second in the Grand Prix of Spain. Starting from pole, Lorenzo initially dropped to third, then swiftly moved up to second by lap three behind race leader Casey Stoner. The gap never grew to more than a second, then closed to just over 0.2 seconds in the last laps. Unfortunately by this point the soft front tyre choice left Lorenzo unable to make a pass. He crossed the line 0.947 seconds behind Stoner, taking 20 Championship points and as a result heads to Estoril leading the Championship by four points with a total of 45.
Ben Spies suffered a second disappointing race today, despite starting well the Texan was unable to find a good feeling from the front end of his M1 and was cautious to push to hard and risk a fall. He took the same result as in Qatar, finishing in 11th to take a further five Championship points, bringing his total to ten and 11th in the standings.
Position : 2nd Time: +0.947
“Today I knew it would be a very important decision on the grid to choose the right front tyre. Finally we chose the soft one, unfortunately we were wrong and had a lot of problems during the race, I wasn’t as confident as in practice. Without good feelings to finish second is not so bad, we are still leading the Championship and have good motivation for Estoril.”
Position : 11th Time: +38.041
“I don’t really know what happened, I got off to a pretty good start from the line but after that I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, it was a pretty pathetic race really for me. I’ve apologized to the team and we’ve had a long meeting about what I was feeling with the bike. I just wasn’t comfortable, I rode as hard as I could but the speed just wasn’t there. We need to find something because we can see the Yamahas are working well but my feeling with the bike is not great. It was a bad day at the office today.”
“A very difficult weekend but a very good result, second place was the maximum we could get today. The front tyre was gone so an attack would have been a disaster at the end. We’re leading the Championship and we’re on to the next round. The team worked really hard here in constantly changing conditions to deliver a competitive bike for Jorge.”
“It’s been a very challenging weekend for the whole team, obviously we are delighted with Jorge’s performance, he’s shown great maturity again today to collect the maximum possible points and retain the lead going to Estoril. A disappointing race for Ben, we know he tried his hardest but unfortunately he couldn’t find a good feeling with the set up so was unable to fight with the front groups. We will work hard between here and Estoril to see what we can do to improve this for the next race.”
Crutchlow fourth after stunning podium challenge in Jerez
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow produced the best performance of his MotoGP career in an enthralling Spanish Grand Prix today to finish fourth after an epic podium battle with Circuito de Jerez specialist Dani Pedrosa.
The British rider finished fourth for the third MotoGP race in succession having been in podium contention right from the start of a 27-lap race that started under grey skies that threatened rain and finished in arguably the best conditions of a weather disrupted weekend.
Having had only one dry session all weekend, Crutchlow's decision to race with the ha rd compound front Bridgestone tyre was fully vindicated and his fantastic surge towards the top three began with 19 laps remaining when he passed Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden in quick succession.
The 26-year-old then embarked on a relentless pursuit of Pedrosa for the remainder of the race, with Crutchlow exerting immense pressure on the Spanish rider to try and secure his maiden MotoGP rostrum.
The engrossing battle captivated a crowd of over 103,000 fans and went right down to the last lap but despite his best efforts, Crutchlow was unable to find a way to make a pass on Pedrosa, who was having to showcase all his talent to keep the former World Supersport Champion at bay.
At the chequered flag, Crutchlow was just over 0.4s behind Pedrosa and only 2.465s away from race winner and reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. He also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1.40.019 on the 15th lap, which was over 0.3s quicker than factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo's personal best.
Andrea Dovizioso also played a major part in an exciting opening half of the race. The Italian rider was right in the heart of the battle for the top three for the opening 10 laps but he was unfortunately unable to sustain his challenge to score his first Yamaha podium.
Dovizioso opted to use the softer compound Bridgestone front tyre and as he pushed hard to keep himself in the hunt for the rostrum places he experienced a loss in grip. Rather than take unnecessary risks he settled for a comfortable fifth place.
Cal Crutchlow 4th - 26 points:
“That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium. One of the pleasing aspects is that I don't really like Jerez that much. It's a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic. The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well today and I can't say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but they gave me a great bike today and our decision to run the hard front was definitely the right one. I was fourth in Qatar but today I could actually see the winner and there is no reason why I can't be up there battling for the podium from now on. There will still be some races where I won't be that close to the podium but now I know we can be there. I gave it everything I had to pass Dani but there was nothing I could do. He is phenomenal round this track, so I'm happy to have challenged him so closely. But he was the better rider today and it was really hard to stay with him. I set the fastest lap of the race though, so that proves the progress I've made since last season.”
Andrea Dovizioso 5th - 22 points:
“It has been a very tricky weekend because I don't particularly like this track and while I am not completely comfortable with the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine it means I struggled quite a lot. What I need more than anything is time in the dry to improve my performance and show what I know I am capable of. I am really happy with my start today and for the first laps of the race I was able to fight in the leading group and this helped collect a lot of information that will help me improve in the future. It was very interesting following Cal because he is still much faster than me entering the corner and I need to adapt my style more to take profit in this area, which is the strong point of the Yamaha. I also made the wrong choice with the front tyre. I wanted to race with the hard one like Cal but I cha nged on the grid to the soft option as all the top guys selected the softer tyre. But from the middle of the race I couldn't maintain my pace to stay with Cal and Dani. It was still a positive experience with everything I learned, so I am looking forward to hopefully a completely dry weekend in Estoril.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:
“What more can you say about Cal? Considering this was only his third time at Jerez and how much experience Pedrosa has riding here, he did a phenomenal job. When you finish right behind a rider of Pedrosa's calibre in his home race, you know you have delivered an outstanding performance and Cal did that. He never gave Pedrosa one moment to relax and there is nothing more he could have done to try and get on the podium. There are so many positive points when you think that he was less than 2.5s behind Casey at the front and he set the fastest lap of the race. This shows he's made incredible progress since last season and I'm sure we are going to be seeing a lot more of Cal challenging at the front in the future. Andrea didn't have the same exciting race as Ca l but I am still happy with his performance. It is clear he needs more time to adjust to the Yamaha, but we know he has the talent and experience to do this, so it is only going to be a matter of time before he is battling for the podium. Today he went the wrong way with the front tyre choice, but that can happen sometimes and it is part of the learning process. He rode very aggressively in the first 10 laps, so it was fantastic to see both Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bikes battling for the podium. We have made a brilliant start to 2012 and confidence is very high, so we are looking forward to Cal and Andrea fighting for the podium in Estoril in a few days time.”
Superb win for Stoner and another podium for Pedrosa at Jerez
Casey Stoner took his first ever MotoGP victory at the Grand Prix of Spain and Dani Pedrosa, third on his 100th race in MotoGP, joined him on the podium at the Jerez circuit, where the Repsol Honda Team has celebrated the second consecutive double podium of the season.
The current World Champion had a difficult start but quickly recovered proving to have something extra in his pocket to fight for his first victory of the season after a superb race in front of a strong Lorenzo.
Dani Pedrosa had a perfect start again, but he got passed on the second lap and dropped to the fourth position. The Spaniard was quite cautious at the beginning and lost precious time that he was unable to regain in the second half of the race, when he started lapping faster than the leaders.
Dani recovered 3 seconds in the last 13 laps and held off the pressure from Cal Crutchlow to finish third and taste the podium at Jerez for the eighth successive year.
CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Position: 2nd with 41 points
"We didn't get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble, there were people out braking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way! Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn't try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge and Dani were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more, the bike on a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me".
DANI PEDROSA 3rd World Championship Position: 3rd with 36 points
"It's been a strange race for me. On the grid I thought it might not be a completely dry race so I was very cautions at the beginning also after we saw so many crashes in the first laps of Moto3 and Moto2. So I started well but I was passed and then I lost too much time with Dovizioso and Hayden. When I managed to overtake them and take the third position, Casey and Jorge were already too far in front, 4 seconds ahead. So I put my head down and started increasing my pace but at the same time it was difficult to keep the concentration because Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps. In general, I feel happy with my performance on a really tricky weekend. A second and a third position finish is not the best, but it's a good start to the season".
BRADL CLAIMS THRILLING SEVENTH PLACE AT JEREZ
Jerez, 29 April: German rookie Stefan Bradl was again a strong performer today at Jerez de la Frontera circuit conquering the 7th place overall after a thrilling 27-lap race which saw the Moto2 reigning world champion strongly battling with Hayden for his final result.
In his second MotoGP race, LCR rider riding the Honda RC213V qualified 9th on the dry but the 22-yer-old demonstrated his potential even on the wet through the first three free sessions showing everybody his confidence aboard the Honda machine. Now Bradl and his Team will move to Portugal for the third round of the season at windy Estoril.
Stefan - 7th: “I am very happy with this result. First of all I think it was a difficult week end for everybody due to the weather conditions so I want to thank the whole Team for their great job. During the sighting lap I was very nervous because I thought that the last part of the track was wet so I changed my helmet visor and everything was clearer. I was capable to attack my competitors since the beginning of the race but I found it a bit risky so I waited a little bit and after some laps I was fighting with Bautista and Hayden. We were doing well but Hayden blocked me a little bit in the middle of the race and Bautista got away from us. When he was gone I started my fight with Nicky which I enjoyed very much especially in the last two laps. I got some problems with my right arm because it was sore in the middle of the race and this cost me a bit of time because I had to force the bike in a different way. Basically this was another positive week end for me and I really enjoyed the applause the Team made for me when I was back at the garage”.
BAUTISTA RACES HARD TO TAKE SIXTH, ELECTRONIC PROBLEM FOR PIRRO
Alvaro Bautista improved on his result from Qatar by one place today as he took sixth place in his home Grand Prix at Jerez at the end of a difficult weekend. Bizzarre weather has thrown a spanner in the works of the teams and riders ever since first practice on Friday but for Bautista this result is an important platform to build from as the series heads on to the next round at Estoril in just a week's time and a positive way to celebrate his 150th Grand Prix appearance. Michele Pirro also rode well today and was fighting for points when an electronic problem forced him to retire with seven laps remaining.
Alvaro Bautista (6th) “It has been a difficult weekend because of the weather but finally we got dry conditions for the race even though there were a few spots around. It was really important to be patient over the opening laps but maybe I was too careful over the opening laps and I wasn't able to get involved in the battle at the very front. Once I got comfortable with the track conditions I was able to pass Bradl and Hayden but Dovizioso, Pedrosa and Crutchlow were too far ahead by then and I just had to defend the position I was in. We have gone one better than Qatar and improved our confidence with this bike, which are the main things we take away from the weekend. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done especially in such challenging conditions this weekend.”
Michele Pirro (DNF) “Our dream melted like snow in the sunshine. I was on my way to my first MotoGP points when I ran out of luck and an electronic problem forced me to retire. It is another teething problem for this new project but we have taken a step forward here and if we keep working as hard as we have been doing it won't be long before we achieve our goals. My guys have a lot of work to do but they have unbelievable commitment to our cause and I have the utmost faith that they can develop a bike that will allow me to be competitive.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro had a good race after a very difficult weekend because of the weather. He struggled a bit at the start but after his crash yesterday it was important he stayed upright over the opening laps and managed to bring home the kind of result I was expecting. Maybe if he'd been more decisive in the opening stages he could have fought with Dovizioso but he rode well anyway and we're happy because we're on an upward curve. It is a shame about the CRT bike because Michele was denied points by an electronic problem but it was nice to see him fighting for points and it would have been even nicer to see him cross the line. We have taken steps forward from the first race though and there is margin there for further improvement next time out.
Superb Stoner seizes first Jerez victory
Round 2: Spanish MotoGP - Race
Circuito de Jerez, Sunday 29 April 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium
Weather: Dry. Ambient 16-21°C; Track 19-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner scored his first MotoGP victory at Jerez after fending off Factory Yamaha Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in a closely contested Spanish GP.
Starting from P5, Stoner worked his way through the field to take the race lead on the third lap and for the remaining 24 laps was put under intense pressure from Lorenzo. Despite the Spaniard’s best efforts, Stoner was too strong and crossed the finish line 0.947 seconds ahead of Lorenzo with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa a further 1.1 seconds back in third place.
Rounding out the top five yet again were the Monster Tech3 Yamaha duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso in fourth and fifth respectively, with top CRT honours at Jerez going to Power Electronics Aspar‘s Aleix Espargaro in 12th place.
Rain soaked the Jerez circuit until approximately 30 minutes before the start of the MotoGP race with wet patches on track making conditions less than ideal for the beginning of the race. With clouds looming overhead, all riders opted for the soft compound rear slick tyre for improved warm-up performance in the slightly cool temperatures. Thirteen of the twenty-one riders opted for the new specification front slick tyre in the hard compound option, with the softer construction of this new development giving riders extra confidence in the challenging conditions.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to both Casey on his first ever victory at Jerez and also to the Repsol Honda team. Thankfully the rain stopped before the race which meant we had relatively dry track conditions for the race compared to the rest of the weekend, though the unsettled weather meant riders didn’t make their final tyre choice until lining up on the grid.
“Despite the damp patches on the circuit, the racing was very good with many close contests taking place in front of the large and passionate crowd. Overall I was very pleased with how our tyres performed in the challenging conditions, in particular the new specification front tyre which was widely utilised for the race. The first two races of the season have been very exciting and I look forward to what I am sure will be another interesting race next weekend at Estoril.”
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Jerez presented every possible kind of track condition from fully wet to fully dry and so our engineers worked very closely with teams throughout the weekend to assist with tyre selection. With circuit conditions for the race being dry but still less than optimal, all riders selected the soft rear slick tyre. For the front, most riders selected the new specification front slick tyre in the hard compound for better durability, while also benefitting from the improved rider feel provided by the new construction. However, the top three finishers in today’s race went for the medium compound front slick tyre for its better warm-up performance and better ability to remain in the optimal temperature range in case of rain during the race.
“I am happy with how both our wet and slick tyres performed at Jerez in what were very challenging operating conditions.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda - Race Winner
“Jerez is a track I’ve never won at before and after yesterday we had to find something for the race, so today we took a bit of a gamble with our setup which gave us a lot better feel in the front and for me that’s really important at this track. Thanks to my team because they turned it around for me today and gave me one of the best races of my career. It really was a fantastic race for us.”
HISTORIC RESULT FOR THE CAME IODARACING TEAM
The weather for the last day of the Gran Prix of Spain permits to race with the slick tyres despite the asphalt of the Jerez was still damp.
Historic result for the Came Iodaracing Team in MotoGP thanks to Danilo Petrucci that gets with the thirteenth place conquest the first points in the championship for him and for the TR003. Despite the grey sky it doesn't rain for all the race even if the asphalt is still damp in some parts. The Umbrian rider doesn't start well but catchs and overtakes Pasini after four laps. From that moment Danilo begins to force the pace reaching Ellison and Pirro overtaking the italian at the eighteenth lap and then the five laps later conquering the fourteenth position. The retire of De Puniet allows to the Came Iodaracing Team rider to finish the race in thirteenth place, best second CRT, conquering his first three points in the world championship classification. Thanks to Danilo’ great race also the italian factory Iodaracing Project conquers the first points in the constuctor ranking, reaching the sixth place.
The Moto2 race has been strongly conditioned by the rain, departed with the damp track, but with all the riders with the slick tyres, has been stopped at the eighteenth lap for a squall. The difficult conditions have strongly compromised the race of Simone Corsi that has not find the good feeling with his FTR. At the end the Came Iodaracing Team rider has finished at the seventeenth place.
Luigi Morciano in Moto3 crashes after only two laps. Despite the damp track all the riders have chosen the rain tyres with the consequence of many crashes. Gigio, after a good start, was making a good pace when at the beginning of the third lap he crashes for high side and heis forced to retire.
"I’m very happy - Petrucci has declared - this fantastic result is thanks to the great job done by my team and by Iodaracing that in a very short time has created a competitive bike. I didn’t started well and in the first two laps I was not fluid, then I have found a good pace and I have reached in first Pasini and then Pirro and Ellison. We did a great exploit because with a "homemade” bike we have already gotten the first points in the championship at the second race and here we were also the second best CRT. Next week we will race at the Estoril, I never practice on this track, where we have to work hard trying to repeat this result”.
"Unfortunately the conditions of the track have compromised my race - Simone Corsi said - I never found a good feeling with my bike and a good pace. Now I must forget this unlucky race and I have to concentrate myself on Portugal GP of next week."
"I’m disappointed for the crash - Luigi Morciano has declared - because I had a good pace. Unfortunately in the beginning of the third lap I have lost the rear of my bike and I crashed. The TR002 is growing, we have solved many problems and I think that in Portugal we will be more competitive".
Karel Abraham finished seventeenth in Spain
Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham finished seventeenth in the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. During the MotoGP class race, on a slowly drying track, he was a part of a group that competed for ninth place. After a fall, he managed to return to the race but all he could do with his damaged bike was improve his times while chasing racers in front of him.
“The whole weekend everybody expected it was going to be a wet race. But the track was dry during the race. It was a problem for us. I think we were well prepared for wet conditions, but on the other hand the settings were not particularly suitable for dry conditions. Only a very small portion of the programme actually took place on dry surface - only the qualifying session. The bike was not behaving perfectly, but I still wanted to stay in the same group with Rossi, Barbera and Spies. It just went wrong in one turn and my front wheel slipped as it has a few times before. It is my second unfinished race after Qatar where I did not finish due to technical difficulties. It is a very bad start of a new season. It is hard for me and it is hard for the entire team but we have to leave these worries behind and have our minds set on the next race, one week from now in Portugal.”
Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic, Cardion AB Motoracing
“This was a very bad race, even though it looked very promising at first. Our warm-up time was very good. Too bad it eventually ended this way. This weekend was very tough for everybody. The weather was playing tricks on us and we were unable to deal with it. We have to try something different now. We will work on the bike and even Karel has to work on himself. We need a restart and we need to get back on our feet and keep totally focused on Estoril.”
Hayden, Rossi eight and ninth in Spanish Grand Prix
The weekend’s last rain shower fell less than an hour before the Spanish Grand Prix, leaving time for the water to evaporate enough to have the race declared dry, so the MotoGP riders started on slick tyres. Nicky Hayden, who started from the first row, was involved in a back-and-forth battle for third place with Crutchlow and Pedrosa. The American then steadily lost ground as grip decreased, eventually finishing eighth. Valentino Rossi, who started from the fifth row, steadily improved his pace as he climbed to eighth place.
Both riders will continue working on the setup of the GP12, starting this Friday when they again take to the track for free practice at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril, and also during the post-race test on Monday.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
“It was fun for a couple of laps. We know our bike is great at generating heat in the tyres, and for the first few laps, I was able do what I wanted. Then about the time it looked like the other guys’ tyres came up to temperature, mine had already started losing grip, especially in the front. I was pushing wide in places and guys started coming past me. We knew it would be tough in the dry. My setup was okay, but to really try to go with those guys wasn’t possible. I was able to close back down on Bradl at the end and have a bit of a race the last couple of laps, but he beat me. Eighth place is certainly not what our goal is. The bike’s got a lot of potential, but at the moment, the gap to the rest is still too far. Hopefully we can get a dry weekend in Estoril and try to be closer to the front on Sunday.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th
“The positive thing from today’s race is that I think it might help us to do a bit better in the coming events, starting next week in Portugal. Today we used a setup that’s new for us, and it gave some positive signs. First we tried some solutions to give me a feeling similar to what I’ve had in the past, but it doesn’t work. Today’s setting was very similar to what Nicky has used for a while, though not exactly the same. I must get used to riding the bike a bit differently than I’m used to, and today that caused me to lose some ground in the early laps because I was basically starting blind. I wasn’t going bad once I found my rhythm, in the sense that I was matching the times of those who were fighting for sixth place, and I was able to push until the end, doing a 1:41.0 on the penultimate lap. This helps me to be a little more optimistic as I look ahead to the next races because if I’m able to ride a bit better, it could be a place for us to start from. In fact, we’ll use this setting when we start on Friday. Naturally, we’ll have to keep working, be more effective in qualifying so that we can start further forward, and improve acceleration and a number of other things, which we’ve already discussed at Ducati as we try, together, to improve the GP12.”
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
“Today we wanted to see both Nicky and Vale finish the race closer to the front, but overall, there are several positive things to take from this weekend as we continue our work and our development path for the GP12. We received confirmation that we’re very fast in the wet, and in the dry, we had a good qualifying session with Nicky, who made the first row. Nicky was very competitive in the early laps of the race, and now we must also improve over race distance with him. Vale found qualifying difficult, but in the race, using a setting that he’d never tried, he felt okay and was steadily gaining confidence and going faster. These are signs that show us the direction to follow starting with the next round in a few days in Portugal.”
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM BEST CRT IN SPANISH GP
Aleix Espargaró first CRT across the line at Jerez. Randy de Puniet retires from race with mechanical issue.
The MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix took place without the presence of rain at the Circuito de Jerez, although track conditions were still tricky for the premier class riders in their first European contest. Dampness on the asphalt had cleared up after the rain-affected Moto2 race, ready for the 1000cc bikes to have a clean run at glory. The race saw reigning World Champion Casey Stoner take his first win at the circuit, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
For the POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM, Jerez saw an improvement on the opening round of the season in Qatar. Aleix Espargaró finished the race as the top CRT rider, twelfth overall at his home GP. That was despite his not having been able to practice in fully dry conditions all weekend. Focusing on clocking consistent laps, he received an unexpected reward in the form of a trip to parc fermé. His four points, added to the one point claimed in Qatar, take him up to five after two races.
Randy de Puniet had looked set to take the honour of best CRT as he diced with factory and satellite riders in the early going. His race later turned sour with a fuel pump issue, which forced him to retire from action two laps from the finish. He remains on three points in the overall standings, heading into next weekend's Portuguese GP.
Aleix Espargaró (12th, Top CRT): "We had a lot of problems all weekend, but in the end it worked out well for us. Things weredifficult in the first part of the race, with the track damp and tricky. I took things too calmly then, which allowed Randy to get away from me. I matched his speed later on, but he was already too far ahead to be caught. It is a shame for him that his bike broke down. I was the highest placing CRT, which gives me even more motivation ahead of Portugal and Le Mans."
Randy de Puniet (DNF): "I am very disappointed. This had been a perfect weekend for us, as we were tenth on the grid with some non-CRT bikes behind us. I got a good start and had to make a big effort tofollow Barberá, Abraham, Spies and the rest of that group. I decided then to take things more calmly and to manage my pace, with an advantage of around ten seconds over the next best CRT. Seven laps from the end I had a problem when engaging second gear, which got progressively worse and caused me to have to pull up with two laps to go. It wasn't a serious issue, just a problem with the fuel pump, but it is a pity because we could have taken four points and moved ahead in the CRT championship. That's the way it goes, so we will see if we can continue to do well at Estoril."
Not much luck for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team at Jerez
It has not been as positive Colin Edwards and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team The weather has yet again played the main role in the Andalusia weekend forcing the MotoGP team to work on wet track conditions up until the race day, when there was no longer time to find the right setup for the Suter-BMW bike.
It has been important to finish the race and acquire valuable data to continue the development of the prototype for its third World Championship appearance.
There will be time and a way to make-up for it in less than a week at the Portuguese GP at Estoril starting Friday may 4th.
Colin Edwards - 16th
“We didn’t have much dry time this weekend, so dry setup was kind of a guess; we shortened the bike a lot this weekend compared to what when we tested here in March and that got rid of some of the chatter. We put on the new Bridgestone front and it worked pretty good. With a shorter bike and no dry time it took a few laps to get use to it and trying to control the wheelie. We knew it was going to be an uphill battle here after how it went during the winter test.
It was hard, nothing fun about today. The rear wheel was locking up, with the shorter bike also and no dry time we started getting a lot of underbred, snapping me sideways and that is something we haven’t deal with this year. Thanks to my guys, we tried everything, trying to find a setup. We just didn’t have enough dry time to find it.”
Kornelis Veldeman - Crew Chief
I am happy we finished the race after yesterday’s crash and the problems we had with the second bike. On one hand I am happy with the result and because now we have done race distance in wet conditions and we created a lot of data that we will be analyzing for next race. We have learned a lot and realized that we are not at the pace we need when we encounter situations with weather changes from dry to wet or wet to dry, which is something that we need to work on. On the other hand we are disappointed with the results, we expected to be within the points.
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner/ CEO
“Not a very fortunate weekend compared to the one we had in Doha. We have not been able to solve in time for the race the problems that we encountered yesterday on the electronic system during the qualifying session. The only positive note to this weekend is the fact that we have worked very hard and have acquired data that indicate in which direction to peruse our development for the following race. Estoril is only a few days away and we hope to be able to translate our data into the right modifications in time for next week’s race and be more competitive.”