MotoGP Race Report: British Grand Prix
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, June 17, 2012 – Jorge Lorenzo is just 10 points behind MotoGP perfection this year after winning the British Grand Prix on Sunday, June 17 at the Silverstone Circuit, his fourth victory of the season.
2010 World Champion Lorenzo has dropped just 10 points in six starts this season on his factory Yamaha M1, with four wins and two runner-up finishes. He extended his lead over reigning World Champion Casey Stoner to 25 points – a gap of exactly one race.
“Today was a very difficult race,” Lorenzo said. “The front guys were very strong and very fast, so it was very hard for me to catch them and stay with them.”
2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Lorenzo beat Stoner to the finish by 3.313 seconds. Stoner’s Repsol Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished third, 3.599 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Surprise pole sitter Alvaro Bautista finished a career-best fourth on a San Carlo Honda Gresini, and American Ben Spies rounded out the top five with his best finish of the season on a Yamaha Factory Racing machine.
Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards finished seventh and 16th, respectively.
Spies shot to the lead early in the race and kept it for the first four laps. But then his Yamaha lost tire grip, and Spies went wide in a turn on Lap 5, allowing Stoner to pass him for the lead.
Lorenzo dropped from fourth at the start to fifth on Lap 1 and stayed there for a few laps until he began a rapid charge toward the front. By Lap 6, he had passed Hayden, Bautista and Pedrosa to take second behind Stoner.
Stoner and Lorenzo then began a thrilling, brief dice for the lead on Lap 9. Lorenzo passed Stoner on the last turn before Stoner regained the lead on the next turn. Then Lorenzo edged past Stoner for good shortly thereafter and rode away. Only a mistake that caused Lorenzo to sit up with four laps remaining kept him within reach of the intense duel between Stoner, Pedrosa and Bautista for the final two podium spots.
British rider Cal Crutchlow gained a stunning 14 spots, finishing sixth after starting 20th on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Crutchlow thrilled his home fans despite racing with a broken ankle suffered in a crash during qualifying Saturday.
The next race is the TT Assen on June 30 at Assen. The Red Bull Indianapolis GP is the 11th of 18 races this season, Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
PODIUM FINISHER QUOTES
JORGE LORENZO (Winner, Yamaha Factory Racing): “Today was a very difficult race. The front guys were very strong and very fast, so it was very hard for me to catch them and stay with them. Little by little, the rear tire drops a bit more. I had good confidence, and I was faster than them, and I started to catch them. When I caught up, I didn’t want to crash, so I waited for my moment and was patient. When I caught Casey (Stoner), we had a wonderful fight. Luckily for us, I had a better pace, and I passed him. Four laps from the end, I made a big mistake and almost crashed! I’m very happy with the result and for the team, who gave me a good bike again.”
CASEY STONER (Second, Repsol Honda Team): “It wasn’t a great race for us today. We saw the pace the Yamahas had in the early laps, and it was really worrying to me. As early as Lap 3, the bike wasn't feeling good, especially on the left side. The tire destroyed itself almost immediately. My plan was to try and get to the front and hold them up, but Ben (Spies) was proving difficult to pass. Then he made a small mistake, and I was able to slip through and I tried to hold it from there. We knew we didn't have a better pace than the other riders, and it wouldn't be long until they were on us, so I did what I could to stay in front. We were losing so much grip on the edge of the tire that we had no mid-turn corner speed, and we were having to make up for this with the entry and a clean exit, which made things difficult. Today we needed a little more grip, and we would have been able to fight for the win. But looking at the rear tires at the end of the race, there was definitely something wrong with ours.”
DANI PEDROSA (Third, Repsol Honda Team): “I have mixed feelings after this race. I’m happy to be on the podium at this circuit, for several reasons. It’s a track where I have always struggled a lot. We had a very tough weekend; it wasn't easy for us to learn the circuit and set up the bike with these weather conditions. Also I didn't have one of my best race starts. I was seventh on the first lap, but I managed to remain calm and get faster lap after lap, maintaining my rhythm. I saw that Jorge (Lorenzo) was the man to follow, so I managed to pass Dovizioso, Bautista and Spies and caught Casey (Stoner), who was second. But at this time, Jorge was gone, and I tried twice to pass Casey, but he pulled a little again. And in the last chicane, I tried to overtake him, but I had a flash in my mind and I saw both Repsol Hondas on the ground, so I settled for third place. It’s positive to both be on the podium if we consider that it's the first race for the team with this new front tire, but for the championship, it is not good. We need to make a step forward to solve the problems we have with the chattering because right now, Jorge is too strong for the Hondas.”
AMERICAN RIDER QUOTES
BEN SPIES (Fifth, Yamaha Factory Racing): “Today was a bittersweet day. We made a good start and had a really good pace in the beginning. After four or five laps, we had a big problem with the rear tire and lost all our momentum and pace. It turned into damage control after that. From the start of the season to now, top five is a better result. The potential of the bike was great today, and we could have been fighting for the podium or the win with Jorge.”
NICKY HAYDEN (Seventh, Ducati Team): “We did the sighting lap with the hard rear tire, but with the sprinkles and dark clouds, we decided to play it safe and switch to the soft on the grid. Everybody else had it, too, but we know our bike has been hard on tires here. I got an awesome start, and the beginning of the race was great. I took some chances to hang in as long as I could, and I enjoyed it and learned some things. Then the grip went, which brought on a lot of chatter. I couldn’t accelerate or carry speed on the straightaway, and we started having a little problem with the electronics in one corner, which cost us some time. Crutchlow got me on the last lap, which is frustrating, but I had my smallest gaps to the front this year in terms of race time and best lap. We need to figure out how to make me and the bike less hard on the rear tire, but there were some positives.”
COLIN EDWARDS (16th, NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “I went faster during the race than I did in qualifying. I felt that I was just on edge; everything is so rigid and stiff that you can’t relax on this bike. Once the grip went down just a little bit, then it just stops turning. It’s like driving a truck, and it just doesn’t turn anymore. You’ve got to trust the electronics and kind of steer it with the rear. Electronics felt OK today. Obviously, they could be better, but the electronics aren’t going to fix the issues that we are having. They might make them better, but we’ve got to get the bike to turn – that is No. 1 priority. Get the bike to turn and just go straight because when I get it on my knee it just seems to go straight until the speed comes down, and then the bike will turn. But by that time, you are losing bike lengths to the guys in front of you. For Assen, we will be trying something that hopefully will make the difference.”
Riders: Jorge Lorenzo 140, Casey Stoner 115, Dani Pedrosa 101, Cal Crutchlow 66, Andrea Dovizioso 60, Valentino Rossi 58, Alvaro Bautista 58, Stefan Bradl 51, Nicky Hayden 49, Hector Barbera 37, Ben Spies 35, Aleix Espargaro 20, Randy de Puniet 11, Michele Pirro 9, James Ellison 7, Mattia Pasini 6, Karel Abraham 4, Colin Edwards 4, Danilo Petrucci 4, Yonny Hernandez 4, Ivan Silva 1.
Manufacturers: Yamaha 140, Honda 126, Ducati 65, ART 24, FTR 9, Suter 4, Ioda 4, BQR 3, BQR-FTR 2.
MotoGP SUPPORT CLASS WINNERS
Moto2: Pol Espargaro, Spain, Pons 40 HP Tuenti Kalex-Honda.
Moto3: Maverick Vinales, Spain, Blusens Avintia FTR Honda.
2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at www.imstix.com, by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
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