2012 Motegi MotoGP Race Result: Controlled Victory Settled At Halfway Point

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Motegi:

Dani Pedrosa has taken victory in the MotoGP race at Motegi, riding a controlled race to win by a comfortable margin over Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa is slowly closing the gap on Jorge Lorenzo, taking another 5 points out of Lorenzo and reducing the Yamaha man's lead to just 28 points.

Pedrosa did not win the race into Turn 1, however. A brilliant start by Lorenzo and an uncharacteristically slow start by Pedrosa saw the Yamaha man leading into Turn 1, though Pedrosa tried to grab the inside line as they rounded the first two corners. Lorenzo was having none of it, and closed the door on Pedrosa, the two men quickly opening a gap over Ben Spies, who got a fantastic start to shoot up to 3rd.

Spies looked like escaping with the two championship leaders, Lorenzo leading with Pedrosa on his tail. But Spies' challenge would last little more than a lap: as they crossed the line for the first time, Spies got too hot into the first corner, ran straight on and couldn't get the bike stopped. He was into the gravel and out of the race.

A tight duel unfolded over the first 11 laps, with Lorenzo pushing on while Pedrosa stalked him. But on lap 12, Pedrosa decided it was time to make his move. Getting excellent drive out of Turn 4, the Repsol Honda man slid easily past the Yamaha and into the lead. Once past Lorenzo, Pedrosa would not be stopped, ramping up the pace to break Lorenzo and open up a gap. The championship leader could not follow, and Pedrosa went on to take his fourth win in five races, crossing the line with a big margin back to Lorenzo.

Behind Lorenzo, a thrilling battle for the final podium spot was cut short by a technical problem for Cal Crutchlow. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man had held 3rd comfortably for the first half of the race, but Alvaro Bautista was closing rapidly. The Spaniard caught the Englishmen around the halfway mark, and started to challenge for the position. A sign of just how hard the two men were pushing was that both men had huge moments, sliding the front and nearly losing it, feet slipping off the pegs. Bautista got past Crutchlow on lap 20, diving past at the S Curve, but Crutchlow would not give up easily. Two laps later, Crutchlow was back at the same place, but Bautista got the better of Crutchlow again into Turn 10, passing on the way into the corner then slamming the door on the Tech 3 man, forcing him to roll off and lose ground. As Crutchlow chased Bautista down on the last lap, his bike lost power and died, sidelined by what looked like a fuel issue at a notoriously gas-hungry circuit. Bautista went on to take a very well-deserved 3rd, his second podium of the season for the San Carlo Gresini Honda team on the weekend that he extended his contract with the team.

With Crutchlow out, Andrea Dovizioso crossed the line in 4th, mounting a strong fightback after a difficult early part of the race. Casey Stoner took a highly creditable 5th place, losing pace as the race went on and he lost strength trying to ride around the handicap of his injured ankle. He spent the weekend acknowledging that he had return to racing too early, but in his last season, and just two weeks ahead of his home round at Phillip Island, he had no choice. Stefan Bradl took 6th, after a race which was for the most part fairly lonely.

Valentino Rossi crossed the line in 7th, a fairly dismal result after the podium at Misano had created such high hopes. Motegi was a track which they had hoped would suit the Ducati; it was not to be. Nicky Hayden struggled home in 8th, fighting both the Ducati and his still injured right hand, and holding off the challenge of Japanese wildcard Kats Nakasuga on what is essentially the basis for the 2013 factory Yamaha. Nakasuga put in highly creditable performance in front of his home crowd, adding a 9th place to the 6th he scored last year at Valencia, when he replaced Jorge Lorenzo for the final round. Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10, the Pramac Ducati rider showing that the Desmosedici had serious problems at the Motegi circuit.

Pedrosa's victory was impressive, and continues the Spaniard's momentum in the championship. He has now won four of the last five races, with the grid disaster at Misano the only blot on his recent record. He still trails Lorenzo by 28 points, which with three races left is starting to look like an insurmountable deficit unless Lorenzo encounters a serious problem. But Lorenzo will now have to work for his 2012 championship, and will be starting to worry about the start of 2013. The momentum has swung back in Pedrosa's favor.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 42'31.569  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 42'35.844 4.275
3 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 42'38.321 6.752
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 42'47.966 16.397
5 1 Casey STONER HONDA 42'52.135 20.566
6 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 42'56.136 24.567
7 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 42'57.641 26.072
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 43'08.293 36.724
9 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA YAMAHA 43'08.363 36.794
10 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 43'42.298 1'10.729
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 43'47.227 1'15.658
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 43'54.338 1'22.769
13 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 43'56.537 1'24.968
14 77 James ELLISON ART 44'00.957 1'29.388
15 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 44'06.181 1'34.612
16 84 Roberto ROLFO ART 44'22.422 1'50.853
Not Classified
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 40'52.384 1 lap
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA-SUTER 42'23.577 1 lap
  22 Ivan SILVA BQR 25'59.326 10 laps
  14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 26'18.639 10 laps
  11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'53.106 23 laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 1'57.956 23 laps


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and another yawnfest.

21 litres and the factories electronics R&D is costing this series dearly..it cost Crutchlow the chance to race for a podium.
What a complete waste of time, money and effort for his team. What a joke.

All we need now is Jorge starting from pitlane with engine allocation issues for MotoGP to slit it own throat.

Looking forward to some proper big bike racing, Brands BSB, to save the day and allay the hollow disappointment I'm feeling right now.

Same rules for all the prototypes; yet Crutchlow's T3 was the only bike to run out of fuel. Yes, waste of time, money & effort for his team. Seems like they need to figure out who made the mistake [IN HIS TEAM]; but, it isn't the rules.

That at the home of Honda this should happen, just as the MSMA are sitting down with Carmelo to defend the use of the fuel and electronics parameters they brought in.

These rules ARE the problem I'm afraid.

Malarky indeed.

There is no discussion about this point because it is good rule as all of R&D work done by teams is extremely usefull in real life and real vehicles /look at NC700/. And it is a limit of total power used at whole race which levels a a little all competitors. And no team has problem with it. There is a few mistakes done by team ecu technicians /and new engine capacity this year/- as we have seen 2 of them this year and this weekend and those mistakes WILL NOT happen next year as all teams will have data from this year and engines will stay the same...

The NC700 is absolutely NOT an example of trickle down GP technology. It is a trickle down from the Honda Civic. Under square cylinders for efficiency are a dismissal of all that is learned from racing to achieve a very different goal.
The "lessons" learned from fuel limited GP racing will only benefit fuel limited racing, they won't create tomorrow's fuel efficient transport.

for fuel economy R&D is on a test track not the race track. This is not a race to set fuel efficiency records, its to set race and lap records, thrill the fans and provide a breathtakingly exciting spectacle. Instead these brilliantly and carefully constructed rules the factories want have robbed us of another tooth and nail battle.

I sometimes think that watching a C90 do 100 brain out laps of a roundabout would be just as entertaining. It would cost less Mr Ezpeleta and use much less fuel Mr Honda. Would that make you happy?

yes, and in Moto2 MM walks on water. Next year is the second coming of the golden child so do you really expect anything to change regarding rider and machine weights in either class? I just can't believe how he gets so much more drive out of turns and top end down the straights against all the other machines fitted with equal engines. Are we supposed to believe it's ALL down to pure riding talent in such a tightly competitive field? It's like watching a drag race between an RCV213 and a CRT at times.

I did enjoy the riding skill of Lorenzo and Pedrosa. The race itself unfolded as most have over the past decade or two.
Moto3 and 2. Those classes always do compensate for the lack of spectacle in GP premier current AND past. So much for 1000cc. If they want to cut costs,and improve the spectacle,they should take a hatchet to capacity. 500 prototype twins would be a good starting point. Who needs a 250BHP 1000cc beastie to enhance the spectacle and technological developement. For your roadbike 1000cc,just multiply the 500 twin technology by two cylinders. What next ? G-suits. The human organism can't evolve at the pace its technology created.
Curious to find out who won the face off between Carmello and the MSMA.

Shockingly boring race, but another master class from Dani, congrats on another fantastic performance. Dani finished behind Casey 6 times(15 races) this year, despite Honda winning half again as many races as Yamaha they find themselves behind still, two top riders really can take points off each other.
Since Casey gambled on the soft tyre at LS after being miles off the pace, and won with zero tyre wear, the soft has been the tyre of choice at nearly every race, so why oh why are ducati with rear grip problems the only team on the first 3 rows with the hard tyre on?? mindboggling!! They need to change their BS technician.. Nicky nearly beat Rossi because he took the smart(only) option and as usual despite the talk the softs made race distance with ease( the hard BS tyre is a better touring tyre).
Which brings us to BS, they simply cannot build the race tyres that dorna asked for, so why are they still the preferred brand?? The tyres play a major part in the spectacle and with zero wear from any of bs tyres it doesn't look like improving anytime soon which is a real pity because it's probably the easiest, quickest and cheapest way of improving the racing and it doesn't infringe on the teams needs for privacy and development..
David, any chance we can get the low down on the tyre situation? it appears BS were told to make them more interesting, they failed and we appear to be back to the old tyres, if anything there is even less wear than there was before Dornas request, an overeaction to the complaints at how poor their new tyres were??.. Lets hope Rossi and Marquez and maybe Cal brighten up the 'show' next year it needs it, though it's not the riders fault.

Everybody used soft tyres today, including Rossi, and Nicky was 10 sec behind. That's just to get the race facts straight.

Now, regarding BS you're right, they haven't brought in tyres that make the race interesting. (What they have done though is getting rid of those first-lap high sides that we saw a bit too often last year.) I'm afraid that if the series were to adopt tyres that don't last race distance without any other change in the regulations this would translate into a 'race' on electronic strategies for the teams and presumably to a wider field at the finish line, albeit after some passes once tyre wear would start playing a role. A combination of unlimited electronics and increased importance of it (due to the extra tyre-wear factor) would then raise the costs even further for other teams and factories to (re)enter the series. On the other hand, if the spec ECU proposal goes through tyre wear is an efficient way to make racing closer. Maybe that's why Dorna and Ezpeleta see the spec ECU as a much more fundamental way to limit the costs and improve the show.

Did he Neuro?? Ah..apologies for that. Only picked up the later stages and his tyre didn't look to have a ring on it, dirty perhaps? Still he certainly looked like he had a harder tyre on!! ;-) ..
Tyre wear has proved a revelation in F1 and would be a another factor of interest in a sport that badly needs one or two more.. No doubt though something also needs doing about the electronics also, they've more rider aids than Joe public which can't be right..

Anyone else notice that Pedrosa's bike was chattering even while he was pulling a wheelie after the race?

Yes it was boring (but again the other class made it up) but I think that seeing Alvaro & Cal just few seconds of the winning time is a good sign. The British is second only to Spies in bad luck this year. But him & Bautista are two good promises for next year. As long as the factory gap doesn't get more wide!

After watching yet another metronomic performance in the "premier" class it is no wonder Carmelo positioned himself to a SBK takeover. If he can't control and improve the players in his sandbox then he may as well drop a few steamers into the SBK playground.

Again, i appreciate and am awed by the skill the premier class riders have but, that itched is scratched very quickly. Wheel to wheel racing is what I am paying to see.

If you are all so interested in wheel to wheel racing and bored with MotoGP.. why there is no comment on Moto2 race (crazy one) and so many comments on MotoGP race (so called - boring)?

Why did Crutchlow run out of fuel? You would think that the mapping program would sense the diminishing fuel load and lower the power level to enable the machine to make the finish. Granted, the dice between Crutchlow and Bautista was fantastic, but...?
And why was Crutchlow the only one affected? Can the rider override the programming to allow this to happen? Was it a team choice to allow full power until the end? Crutchlow himself alluded to the possibility of running out of fuel at the start of the race?

"Why did Crutchlow run out of fuel? You would think that the mapping program would sense the diminishing fuel load and lower the power level to enable the machine to make the finish"

The latest conspiracy I heard goes somebody from Cal's squad snicked in Spies garage and steal Spies code in a pen drive and downloaded to Cal's bike....he unfortunately didn't realized Spies program was bugged, it was the one intended to run out of fuel at the last lap ;)

(of course that was a joke, don't start a rumor!)

What a bunch of complainers, if you dislike the racing so much, take up another sport to follow.

I agree with those that would like to see fuel limits revised. There's an upper limit on how much power is actually useable on a roadrace bike and I'm just guessing, but Motogp is probably about there. Once again a boring race....hoping to see some fireworks in the last few races! At least those not in the US got to see coverage of the support classes. Here in the US, Speed decided to show Motogp at 6 Eastern time with 0 coverage of Moto2 or Moto3. Maybe we'll see them on Tuesday. At least they didn't cut off the last 8 minutes of coverage to switch to a NASCAR post race show like they did during race 2 at Magny Cours.....


I'm not saying the race was boring, but my baby daughter and I managed to get a two hour long nap. She didn't even wait for Pedrosa to pass Lorenzo. I made it to the end, though I had a dream that Jorge Lorenzo gave Crutchlow a man ride and wheelied despite all the advanced electronics.

...but I'm guessing not fuel economy when being thrashed. Everybody likes the idea of using less fuel at small throttle openings on the way to the shops, nobody really cares whether they can go for a brain-out thrash round the twisties for a morning for 80 pence less worth of fuel than they could on last years's bike, do they? So the electronics and software required to take best advantage of the fuel rules in MotoGP are a) incredibly complex, b) are only of any use for winning while complying with MotoGP rules, not really anywhere else and c) if you throw money at them you can gain a competitive advantage. It sounds like a perfect way of pissing money and intellectual resources up a wall to no useful R&D purpose, while ensuring that the richest team probably wins. Arguably, the might of Honda R&D being diverted to develop software to ensure that Danny Pedrosa's bike can deliver full power for longer than Jorge Lorenzos bike might even mean that they /aren't/ developing software to make your Deauville more frugal on your commute.

Its not the biggest company on the planet, the best way forward is to make the product so watchable that EVERYONE wants their name on the side of a bike, then Honda's (and Spain's) dominance will end.

During the pre-race gossip, one of those interviewed said that the WSBK had done a deal to race in India for about 1/10th the Motogp circus were going to do it for. Hence the move to consolidate the management. Conceptually they MUST come to ASIA and the sub continent, but get the ALL the details of BOTH series across ALL classes sorted. Let "prototypes" BE "prototypes", set a basic dimensions package and then butt out. If people want to watch their street bikes ridden by elites then let'em watch WSBKs... etc. etc.

It cant be that hard... Just work what each class stands for and who will watch it, and then leave it alone for 5 years. Nothing is more exciting than watching these young men race! Whatever flavour you want, just find it??

is questionable and my view it has spoilt these races for a few years now. The main reason I started watching bikes was because F1 was boring - and I havn't gone back.The Rossi era did it for me - I know there are other great riders of that early noughties period - and it was anything but processional. Same for WSB and BSB. And the TV coverage gave you a view of the races-within-races, which seems to have been watered down too - Randy Mamola was great to listen to and I really miss the serious pit lane stuff (although I have to say that the commentary is good on tech stuff there's nothing like seeing it).
Most of the technology can be developed by non-race testing and derived from cars etc.
Crutchlow/Bautista was the only bit of the race that warranted the description, even if Pedrosa's and Lorenzo's (and Stoners) performances were so skilful etc.
Racing is a luxury that mainly pays off in branding, not technology (I do say mainly).
If manufacturers do not evolve their road machines those who buy them will lose interest and take their money elsewhere, not just to a touring bike. If I couldn't get a decent sports bike I would buy a Caterham or Elise. BMW have learnt/shown that with their changes to make their bikes appear (and they are) more sporty. It sells bikes. Aprilia has done much the same for Piaggio.
Do road bikes need 'rain maps'- if so (with all the power we have) it would come. If not, use less throttle. The main thing that I would want on a fast road bike is ABS and that has probably got more to thank cars for than racing - it seems to be trickle-up/across tech.
My point? - strip off all the gizmos and make race bikes stripped-down versions of road bikes. Crashing gets cheaper and more people can afford to go racing at a competitive level. Let F1 develop the technology that trickles down. Use it where possible. Otherwise let's just enjoy racing for what it is - competition between people. Money and brains will still count, but not dominate. BSB has shown it works.
The only thing different about MGP should be a freedom to use whatever chassis and engine etc you wish with no homologation controls - the present 1000cc limit is plenty.
Fuel limits are pretty much irrelevant as noted by others and smack of token 'greenwash'. If it was an MSMA idea then they might have told us/explained as it is it ruined yesterdays race and my conclusion is it's another case of factories ruining the show, not improving it. Halving the number of trucks and airfreight would be a better and bigger technology push. I can save more fuel by driving intelligently (not always slower).Training better drivers would be a more useful investment than creating dumb ones with clever cars.
All tyre technology should have an application in normal transport - and I just can't see where the BS technology is taking us -the greatest improvement that can be made is better dry/wet grip and mileage - WSB/BSB does better as far as I can see.
A 'race' ECU makes sense for fair, fast, equal racing amongst riders who can make the difference - Honda's arguments don't IMO.
Lets get back to basics - win on Sunday......etc.

Yes this one wasn't much of a spectacle, but there will be another Sunday and all could be different.

You won't get close racing unless you have very similar spec bikes, to do this the governing body needs to set parameters, and when they do, other interested parties start jumping up and down and howling about interference.

Funny old world.

Congrats to Dani on another great race. I'm really pulling for him to somehow catch Jlo and win the championship this year (long shot, I know).

What I don't understand is all the complaining about "boring racing." What Dani and Jorge and others did yesterday and each race weekend is phenomenal to watch, regardless how close to one another they happen to be while doing it. This is prototype racing with the best riders in the world. Why do some so narrowly define "excitement" to include only wheel-to-wheel or bar-to-bar racing? Are we all so ADD or neanderthalish in our viewing that only the possibility of crashes or scrapes or photo-finishes keeps us "tuned in"?

Yes, the current rules are the problem, so I agree with many on that, especially the fuel limit, tire restrictions, narrow weight regulations, and any future ecu or rpm limits. Ezpeleta thinks that he can solve any "problem" of parity between manufacturers and satellites by imposing dumbing down of prototype bikes with regulations emanating from the stroke of his pen. Just idiotic. And the CRT experiment has been an utter disaster, IMHO. I agree with Stoner, here.

Proposal: Relax the rules to a very general format. Certain general or broad weight restrictions, engine size limits (1000 cc), wheel size and tire specifications but optional brands and choice of tire composition, prototype chassis and engine designs, be consistent, stop changing the rules every other year, and may the best team win. Yes, those with the biggest budgets will have an advantage (Honda and Yamaha). So what? If lesser budget teams and manufacturers can't get sponsorship for coming in 5th or below or whatever, and start to withdraw from the grid, then perhaps the larger-budget teams have an incentive to pay the lesser budget teams to come out and compete to fill the grid. Then lesser-budget teams get revenues, some sponsorship, and may eventually be able to put out a contender while racing brings benefits to production bike consumers from all or most brands. Maybe the answers lie in some race revenue-sharing internal to the MSMA. All I know is that all the Dorna rules to try to perfect some outcome of perfect parity is bound to run into a dead end, and we are seeing evidence of that now. It may be fine for Moto3 and Moto2, but not in the top class.

Imposing so many rules to produce artificial parity is like watching two equally ugly and obese women engage in weight-class mud-wrestling: it might be a close fight, but it sure ain't pretty to watch.

As of yesterday, in Motogp there's exactly 2 riders with a shot of winning a dry Motogp race. When Stoner's healthy, you can make it three. I don't watch racing for the crashes. I watch to see multiple riders, at the pinnacle of achievement battle each other using different lines, riding styles to achieve the same goal...winning a race. Yesterday you could have predicted the outcome and had a 50/50 chance of being right without even tuning in. Processional racing is boring to watch and it's boring as a rider. As a club racer I've won a couple races with almost no competition and felt almost no satisfaction in that. I've also placed 2nd or 3rd in a race where I had to fight back and forth with other riders and had much more satisfaction and fun even though I placed lower.

As far as the factories subsidizing the weaker teams.....Dorna's already doing that. Filling the grid with non-competitive teams has done little for the sport.


Cal's bike=out of fuel
Dovi's bike= out of brakes
Spies bike=out of brakes
Jorge's bike=no problems at all

The little dwarfs were busy making sure no points were lost to anyone daring push to the front, were they?

It all makes sense now!

Let's be honest. We love mtorcycle racing, especially prototypes. That's why we watch it and why so many are upset with the rules. Dorna has control again. They can fix the series with simple changes.

Cost: Significantly increase the fuel allocation. Not a miserly 3 liter increase. Bring the maximum allowable fuel up to an amount where teams can decide between power v. weight. Then manufacturers wouldn't have to spend disguisting amounts of money developing engines and electronics that can go race distance on so little fuel.
Increase the engine allocation. Again not 6 to 8. Make it significant. Give them 12 or even 18 engines for the season. The amount of money spent on physical engines would increase, but again development costs and price per unit would go down. Prototype materials and techniques would still be needed to remain competetive, but a manufacturer wouldn't need the wealth of Honda to design an engine that can go through 3 entire race weekends.

Competetiveness: Get 2 feaking tire manufacturers and limit how many compounds they can develop. No fly by nights. No special Rossi or Lorenzo tires. Simply allow teams and riders to pick between 2 different types of carcasses with 3 or 4 compounds per carcass. Then the Elias' of the world might be able to adapt to GP.
Shove the spec ECU down the MSMA's throat. Dorna were fools for allowing the MSMA to write the rules, but it was the MSMA that have brought us to this state and renegged on their promises of full grids. The MSMA (and whiny Honda) have no credibility. Let the teams write a few important bits of software, but the hardware and the basic programming become spec. That one saves money and allows teams to be more competetive.

Publicity: Dorna needs to come out of the Dark Ages of media coverage. I can't count the number of times I have wanted to show a coworker some cool bit of racing only to arrive at a YouTube screen that says, "This video was removed for privacy violation..." or some such nonsense. The sport can't grow if you won't let people watch it. Here in the States almost everyone I know downloads the races illegally because the NASCAR Channel (Speed TV) sucks and a Dorna subscription fee is outrageous. If they would allow us, it's fans, to promote the sport for them for free we could create new fans, get more people to buy Dorna subscriptions, and lower the fee to a reasonable price.

With all of that said, GP fans will stick with the sport, but it does need changes. Two factory riders running away from a group of 4 then running away from each other can only be so exciting over 20+ laps.

While Rea is a very capable racer and got decent results in his GP races, he likely should have got the same results no matter what bike he was on, bar a CRT. It's more about the riders and teams. There is an unwritten formula in Motogp. Ducati just didn't get the memo. If the field were an mixture of 21 RCVs & M1s, Lorenzo would still be in the top 4 no matter how low a version that M1 was. Since there are only four riders on the planet that can fully exploit the current technology, why not freeze the technology for a few seasons. Let the price come down and talent come up.