MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 07: Catalunya GP > Race Results
MotoGPCatalunyaJune 8, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Catalunya

Dani Destroys Opposition To Close Title Gap

Qualifying >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was in a class of his own in Barcelona winning by 2.8 seconds from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) second and Casey Stoner (Ducati) who was third. His margin of victory, however, understates the crushing nature of this triumph on home soil.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

The Spanish sensation has now won here on a 125cc machine, a 250 and now in MotoGP. He’s also wrapped up wins in two of the three Spanish races this year and remains Honda’s most reliable points finisher this season – he’s never been out of the top four in seven races now.

Pedrosa scorched off the line and led the pack into turn one, Stoner behind him and the lightning-starting Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) now running third from seventh on the grid. When Stoner ran wide on lap one Dovi pounced on second place. He was in peak form and the ace rookie would eventually finish fourth.

By lap two Dani’s lead was a staggering 0.7 seconds as he headed Dovi, Stoner, Colin Edwards (Yamaha), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V). Rossi lay eighth at this point but he was on the move.

Dani fired in a fastest lap on the third tour of this 4.727km Montmelo track. His 1m 42.617s time an early indicator that he was the man to beat. By the time lap four rolled around he was a full three seconds ahead of Stoner who had regained second spot. Barring error or disaster Pedrosa was unstoppable.

Rossi had moved up to fourth by lap seven of this 25-lap affair and Dovi had retaken Stoner for second at precisely the same point on track the Aussie World Champion had made the mistake on lap one. Dani was blissfully unaware of all this, now more than five seconds clear of his rivals.

Dovi was slipping slightly off the pace now on lap eight and Rossi soon overhauled him for third, taking second off Stoner that same lap. Dovi would lose touch with the duo dicing for second but his mature ride to fourth signaled he will be a podium proposition in this class very shortly.

As mid-race distance approached Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) crashed out in an incident involving Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) too. The San Marinese man looked capable of a mid top-ten finish. De Puniet’s race would be cut short on the next lap when he crashed while defending sixth spot.

The Stoner/Rossi battle was the main event with Dani disappearing over the horizon, but down the order there were several spirited disputes for the points places and with just 13 riders remaining in the race after that rash of crashes, all places were worth points.

James Toseland (Yamaha) was working on Hayden for sixth and Stoner had shot past Rossi on the main straight to retake second on the brakes into turn one. Dovi held fourth ahead of Edwards and Dani was long gone, nearly nine seconds in front of the field.

The end of this race was in sight now with five laps to go and with Dani so far ahead, Rossi and Stoner locked in combat, and fiery disputes for sixth between Toseland and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) and for eighth between Hayden and Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), round seven of this 18-race series had everything.

Dani and Dovi had every reason to be delighted with their day’s work. Nicky remains shy of his best with an eighth place and Nakano, who finished ninth, made the top ten, but not the top six as he wished. The crashers, all uninjured, will nurse wounded pride and look forward to Donington Park in two weeks time.

The World Championship points table look like this: Rossi 142 points, Pedrosa 135, Lorenzo (who did not race after a heavy fall in practice) 94 and Stoner on 92 points.

250cc Grand Prix
As if to emphasize the utter unpredictability of motorcycle racing, this race provided a timely reminder that the only lap that really counts is last one. Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) won this race from Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) after the Spanish rider made an error on the final left-hander on the last lap.
Hector Barbera (Aprilia) was third.

Bautista led from the off with Simoncelli pushing hard to stay with him throughout this 23-lap encounter. Barbera was on their pace too until the closing laps when he dropped off to finish more than 11 seconds shy of the lead pair at the flag.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) was in the thick of the early action until he tangled with Roberto Locatelli (Aprilia) on lap one and ran into the gravel, staying aboard to rejoin and finish a fighting 12th behind Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) who rode to 11th.

World Championship points leader Mika Kallio (KTM) suffered a breakdown while lying sixth four laps from the finish and Mattia Pasini (Aprilia), his immediate title rival, inherited that place and held it to the flag. Kallio still leads the series on 106 to Simoncelli with 103 now and Pasini holding third on 98.

125cc Grand Prix
Mike Di Meglio won this 22-lap race from local hope Pol Espargaro (both Derbi) with defending World Champion Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) third. This is Frenchman Di Meglio’s second win of the season so far and he has now established a 14 point lead over Simone Corsi (Aprilia), who finished fifth today, in the title standings.

Espargaro led into turn one from pole and but was unable to make any escape from the pursuing pack. By mid-race distance a seven-rider lead group had established itself with Di Meglio making the running at the front.

As the final laps approached this became a five man affair and when Joan Olive slid off Derbi two laps from the end followed by NicolasTerol abandoning his Aprilia on the penultimate lap the three podium finishers were left to slug it out on the last lap.

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st.
"I'm very happy about this win, my thanks to all the people around me. Today was also very important for the championship, I am now five points closer to the lead, but there are still many races ahead of us, so we need to keep pushing and be consistent. We had a few issues in practice here, so my team was thinking what they could do and they made a small adjustment before the race that improved the bike and helped me to run that pace. Once again, a big thanks to them. I couldn't believe the fans, it seems like every year there are more and more. I'm very happy they were here because I know it was difficult to get into the track today. I was all alone, pushing to go faster and faster and I could see everyone cheering me on. At one point I lost a bit of concentration, but I got my focus back and kept pushing. Now we have two days of tests which will be very important for the next few races."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 4th.
“This was a great race which gave me a lot of satisfaction. Since practice I tested many starts to be ready to go when the red lights went off which is why I had such a good start so I was able to be fast to be able to gain some positions. This is why at the end of lap one I was second. Dani was incredibly fast today, but I was able to stay with Valentino and Casey and was able to keep that pace. The level of competition was very high but when Vale passed Stoner I lost half a second and sadly I was not able to regain this time. Fourth is the same result as Qatar, but the value of this race is different: that was my first MotoGP race but now I have more experience, so this is why I’m looking at improved race-by race results. If I hadn’t lost that half-second I could have fought for the podium and the final satisfaction could have been even bigger. Either way, I’m very happy as even when I was alone I was able to maintain a good rhythm and this is good. I want to thank the team for the excellent technical package we had today!”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 8th.
"We knew the race was going to be tough. Our bike has worked quite well when we had grip but something with the set-up right now we're not getting the tyre life we need. It was okay in the beginning but I couldn't maintain the pace. Something in the set-up is hurting the tyre life, it's quite frustrating. We were in there early and thought we might be on for a good result and then we lost touch and went backward. The rear brake went out towards the end which didn't help things. Eighth place is not what we want. We've got a really important two days of testing which we need. I'm certainly looking forward to it, hopefully we can get a couple of things sorted out."

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th.
“Yet another difficult race and I cannot be satisfied with it, despite coming out of it with some decent points and a good lap time. It was clear the result wasn’t going to be much better from the opening laps, when the riders immediately in front of me quickly began to escape. We clearly need something to help us towards better results and I think the answer could like in changing some aspects of the bike set-up so that it is more suited to my style of riding. I need to be able to ride with more aggression so that I can be fast from the opening laps and stay in touch with the riders in front.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: dnf – crash.
“I’m disappointed with the way the race has finished today. I was making up positions after a bad start and had closed in on Capirossi. Loris went too deep into the first corner and ran a little wide, so I tried to get up the inside of him. Unfortunately he closed the door on the exit of the corner and we hit each other and crashed. It’s a shame because I think today was a race where we could have picked up some important points. Despite that, in general it has been a good weekend.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: dnf – crash.
“I am very disappointed because I made a very good qualifying, the best of this season so far, and got a very good start. On lap one I was fifth and could keep my position easily because my pace was consistent and fast. When I got the sixth place I knew that I could overtake Edwards and was waiting for the correct moment but, at turn one on lap twelve, I lost the front and crashed out. I suffered the same crash on Friday in the free session but do not understand why because the bike set-up was good and in the previous laps I did not feel any particular problem in the front-end. Honestly I do not make any mistake and will check the data to understand what happened”.

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 11th.
“I am really pleased with my race today. I got a good start and could run a good pace in the early stages racing with Pesek and Hiro Aoyama. We were passing each other quite a lot but at the half way point I did something to hurt my back again it was very painful to move about on the bike, worse when I was flat on the tank. After that it was not possible to fight with Aoyama and he pulled away from us. The bike was running really good today chassis tyres suspension, everything, if I had a problem it was the rear end sliding late in the race but that was the same for all of us.”

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 12th.
“I want to thank the team for the great job they did this weekend and I’m sad I was not able to give them a great result that here at Barcelona was in our grasp. I started very well, fourth at the first corner but coming into a corner Locatelli was just a little bit wide from his normal line and I saw a space to make an overtake but when I was very near to him he recovered his position and regained the line for the corner and it was impossible to avoid him. I went off the track without falling and I got back into the race but I was last and it was difficult! I rode well but my rhythm could have been better if I was with the leaders. The bike was well prepared so thank you to the team once more. After the race I went to see Roberto to apologise because hefell and couldn’t continue the race. Now we have to look to Donington Park.”

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 25th.
"The outcome of the weekend is a little mixed. It had started well with steady progress until I fell in the last qualifying session. I had a good start to the race and led my pack for a few laps. We then fought hard but I wasn't able to overtake Muresan who was ahead of me during the last laps. It's a shame, especially as I like this track, even if it doesn't favour our bike with its long and fast curves. We'll be more comfortable on tracks like Donington. Despite all this, we've gathered good momentum and on the whole we've progressed, even if our race results don't necessarily reflect it."

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Catalunya

1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
6 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
7 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
12 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
13 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
3 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
4 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
6 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
8 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
9 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
10 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
11 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
12 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
13 Alex BALDOLINI (Matteoni Racing)
14 Manuel POGGIALI (Campetella Racing)
15 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
1 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
2 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
3 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
4 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
5 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
6 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
7 Stevie BONSEY (Degraaf Grand Prix)
8 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
9 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
10 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol KTM 125cc)
11 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)
12 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Motorsport)
13 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
14 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
15 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)

< MotoGP
Related Links

· Honda Worldwide | MotoGP - FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
· Spain

Page Top

Honda Worldwide site

Home | Site Map | Site Index | About this Site

Copyright, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.