MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 02: Spanish GP > Race Results
MotoGPSpainMarch 30, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez Race Results

Dani Demolishes Rivals With Peak Performance

Qualifying >>

At a home track, under royal gaze in the form of King Juan Carlos of Spain, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode a regal race to record his first win of the 2008 season. He beat Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo (both Yamaha) into second and third places.

Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa & Nicky Hayden

Equally encouraging was the showing from Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) who finished fourth. But for a massive front-end slide when he was all over Lorenzo for third, the former World Champion might well have made it two Repsol Hondas on the rostrum.

Dani led into turn one from the lights and romped off into the distance after shaking off the early attentions of Lorenzo and Pedrosa’s Repsol team-mate Hayden. He set a fastest lap of the race on lap two, a race record lap on lap three of 1m 40.116s, and it was abundantly clear from that early on he was the dominant force.

Much is made of the 4.423km of Jerez as the first real barometer of the prevailing powers in MotoGP and so Dani’s destruction of a tough field here will suggest that with more to come from Honda’s 2008 RC212V Pedrosa and Hayden will be ready to work on getting even more from the bike in Estoril in two weeks time.

Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) had a day to forget. The Aussie ran off track twice (in the same place) and finished an eventual 11th to salvage something from what proved a very troublesome weekend.

While Dani serenely strode above the massive pressure heaped on him at a home race with a fierce rival in Lorenzo right on his heels, there was plenty of revealing action behind the diminutive yet destructive Dani.

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) was unlucky to lose out on fifth place in a four-bike fight across the line out of that tricky final left-hand hairpin here. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) got the verdict for fifth, with James Toseland (Yamaha) sixth, John Hopkins (Suzuki) seventh and Dovi eighth.

But Andrea’s ride over 27 punishing laps was both measured and mature. He mixed it with more experienced riders throughout. Of the new crop of rookies to the class, both Dovi and Lorenzo have proved there will be upsets to come as they rapidly get to grips with racing at the very highest level.

While Dovi’s eighth-place emphasized his burgeoning talent in the premier class, an old-stager in the form of Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) showed with a ninth-place finish that his new lease of life with Gresini might well yield the sort of results he has long craved – if he can go forward from here.

Less encouraging was Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) in 14th place and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) failing to finish.

Dani now heads the points standings with 41 from Lorenzo on 36, Rossi on 31 and Stoner still in the early reckoning with 30. Dovi lies fifth with 31 points.

Mika Kallio (KTM) inherited his first win of the season when longtime race leaders Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) and Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) collided on the last lap and fell to gift the Finn the win. Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) stole over the line in second to relegate gutsy Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) to third.

Simoncelli took a tight line up the inside of Bautista but the two men collided when Bautista’s engine broke mid-corner and both riders went down after the pair had swapped places with a degree of decorum during the closing laps. But the incident deprived them both of valuable points and World Championship advantage.

This was a gripping race with a tragicomic finale but the main beneficiary is Pasini who now leads the World Championship points standings with 45 to kallio’s 41 with Hector Barbera (who was fifth here today) on 31. Takahashi lies fourth with 27 points.

Simone Corsi won this 23-lap contest from his team-mate Nicolas Terol with British rider Bradley Smith third to notch his first podium of the 2008 season. German rider Stefan Bradl was edged out to fourth by the determined Smith across the line (all Aprilia).

Corsi’s margin of 3.2 seconds over Terol made this win seem perhaps more comfortable than it was. And Smith was in contention for the win until he began to lose contact with the top pair with ten laps to go.

Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) finished 24th just two spots behind fellow Honda runner Ivan Maestro (Alpo Atletico Honda RS125R). The World Championship table is now headed by Corsi with 34 points to Bradl’s 29 with Terol third on 26 points.

Yuki Takahashi

Yuki Takahashi

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: Race winner. World Championship leader.
“This is my first MotoGP win at Jerez and I’m very happy about today’s performance because it comes after a difficult winter during which we couldn’t test so much after I crashed and broke my right hand in January. To score good results in two complicated races and lead the championship is very important. I got a good start, not spectacular like in Qatar, but effective, so I was able to take the lead. I did my best, I focused on not making mistakes and I was able to manage the race all the way to the finish and get a win in front of the Spanish fans. The crowd gave me incredible support, I hope they enjoyed the race, and it was an honor to get my trophy from the King. Today we are happy but we know that we have to keep working because Yamaha and Ducati are very competitive. We stay here for two days testing that will be crucial in helping us continue development of the RC212V in preparation for the next races.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“It was fun to be competitive, to come into that stadium section the first lap with 130,000 people coming alive, bombs going off, it was cool, it was nice to be there in the mix. Obviously we’d like to have been having some bubbly afterwards, but the bike worked the best it’s worked all weekend and I was pushing hard. After I dropped back a bit I made a run on them, I was trying to give those guys a fight. Then I stayed on the brake a bit too long into turn one and pretty much crashed. It was elbow down and I thought it was done, but the front tyre was good, so I picked it up on the knee and saved it. You can ride these bikes so hard now and the front tyres are so good, that’s the first time I’ve done that. All in all it’s been a good day for Repsol Honda, so thanks to my team and for the support from all the guys. We came in here a lot more competitive, hopefully we can keep rolling from here and keep moving up.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 8th.
“We didn’t have the best start, but we ran a strong race. Despite our poor grid slot I was able to go to near the head of the race, which was good. From the first corner I was last – I don’t know why – but from there I was forced to attack on cold tyres. Obviously this was risky but I pushed very hard until I was in fifth position and ahead of Capirossi. After I made the pass I was tired and unable to pull away and I was also asking a lot of my Michelin tyres. I was ready to fight in last corner, but I was going a little too wide and was trying to accelerate when James and I touched each other and it moved my bike wider still and I lost grip. After this contact there was no chance to keep fifth and I ended up eighth. It’s clear that I wanted to celebrate my 100th Grand Prix in a better way, but now it’s important to work hard to improve our qualifying performance. The test here tomorrow will be important for this reason.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th.
“Today my start was goo and I quickly gained some places and was with the riders who were a little faster than me in practice. At the end of the race I was fighting with Chris Vermeulen but I wasn’t able to keep the same rhythm as the riders in the second group. Over the weekend I improved my lap times step by step and this makes me optimistic for the next races..”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 14th.
“I’m not satisfied with my position today. Unfortunately on the first lap, despite a good start, I lost many places and had to battle hard to recover. I was able to pass riders under braking but they would repass me down the straights. In addition to that the traction control makes the bike slower when its sliding. We had the same problem at Qatar. Tomorrow we will be testing tyres for Bridgestone and I hope we can solve the problems we have.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: dnf – crash.
“I am very disappointed about the crash. Honestly I made a bad start and lost several positions in the first lap. Then, I found my pace again and was ready to catch the firsts. I was in the middle of the corner on lap three and my line was correct but suddenly I lost the front and crashed. When I came in I checked the data with my Team but we still do not understand the reason why I finished in the gravel. I was expecting something better here after the top-ten finish in Qatar. By the way we will continue our set-up work tomorrow and we will focus on suspension regulations to be in a competitive form at Estoril”.

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 3rd.
“What an incredible race! I’m very happy. I knew I had to attack without any mistakes after qualifying and I attacked for the entire first lap to get a few positions. In fact, from 11th position on the grid I overtook six riders and gained five positions on the first lap! I continued to push very hard as I knew it was my only possibility to get a good result, but when I was second the tyres slid a lot and Pasini overtook me just on the finish line. Despite this I’m very happy, as my Honda is last year’s bike that Andrea Dovizioso had and I wanted to get the same result as him. Thanks to the team because they have prepared the bike perfectly and this result is very important for the championship.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 12th.
“I am happy with my race result but not my race time. I got a good start but at the first corner several riders got underneath me and pushed me out and I went backwards. I had to push very hard to try and catch the group in front of me. But the bike was very good today, the best set up I have found this season in testing and at Qatar, and I found a good rhythm I was much more confident than in practice and qualifying.”

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 24th.
“My start was good and I was with a good group and I was very relaxed during the race. I was braking deeper into the corners and getting on the gas faster, really enjoying myself. But later in the race I made a mistake and lost some time. In the race my best lap was 0.4s faster than in qualifying but even so I am not super happy because I want to be better. The most positive thing about Jerez is that I learned more in the race today than I did in 10 days at Qatar.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez Race Results

1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
6 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
7 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
9 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
11 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
12 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
13 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
14 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)

Dani Pedrosa
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
2 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
3 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
6 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
7 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
8 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
9 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
10 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
11 Alex BALDOLINI (Matteoni Racing)
12 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
13 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
14 Manuel HERNANDEZ (Blusens Aprilia)
15 Imre TOTH (Team Toth Aprilia)
1 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
2 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
3 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
4 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
5 Pablo NIETO (Onde 2000 KTM)
6 Stevie BONSEY (Degraaf Grand Prix)
7 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
8 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Motorsport)
9 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
10 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
11 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
12 Esteve RABAT (Repsol KTM 125cc)
13 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
14 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
15 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (I.C. Team)

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