MotoGPAragonSeptember 18, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 14
Grand Prix of Aragon Race Results

Stoner & Pedrosa Score Fifth Repsol Honda One-Two

Qualifying >>

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode another faultless race in the Aragon Grand Prix to win his eighth victory of the season and further strengthen his position at the top of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) finished second to complete Repsol Honda’s fifth one-two of the year, while Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) scored a hard-fought fourth-place finish.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Stoner had been race favorite after dominating practice and qualifying, but track conditions were very different from yesterday, with much cooler temperatures and a strong tail-wind on the back straight. Today’s track temperature was 15 degrees lower than during qualifying, which created grip issues for several riders during the 23 laps.

Nothing, however, could stop Stoner who started from pole position for the ninth time this year. Despite being beaten into third place during the first few corners by Pedrosa and Ben Spies (Yamaha), the 25-year-old Australian had regained the lead by the end of the first lap. From there he never looked back, establishing a new track record on lap four and steadily increasing his advantage over Pedrosa. The success also increased his championship advantage to 44 points over reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with four races to go.

Stoner ended the race 8.162s seconds in front of Pedrosa who also had a lonely ride to his third consecutive runner-up result. Pedrosa always knew it was going to be difficult running Stoner’s pace because throughout the weekend he had been losing several tenths through the track’s first section. During the later stages of the race he also struggled with wheel-spin issues, though he was always well clear of third- and fourth-place finishers Lorenzo and Spies.

Today all three Repsol Hondas ran a special one-off livery created by Spanish designer Davidelfin, a superb way to celebrate the partnership’s 100th Grand Prix victory. Repsol Honda achieved its first premier-class win with Mick Doohan at the 1995 Australian GP. Although the Stoner/Pedrosa one-two made today an almost perfect day for the team, Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) was unable to complete the race after sliding off on the first lap.

Simoncelli did everything he could to make it an all-Honda podium, just as he had done at last month’s Czech GP. The lanky Italian came through strongly after finishing the first lap in sixth place, passing Nicky Hayden (Ducati), then Lorenzo and Spies to move into third on lap nine, only to run wide the next lap and ruin all his hard work. Demoted to fifth, Simoncelli kept his cool and slowly worked his way back towards Spies, from whom he took fourth place with seven laps to go. But with his rear tyre past its best there was nothing he could do about Lorenzo.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) enjoyed a spirited battle with seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who started the race from pit lane after exceeding his ration of six engines per year. The pair spent the last half of the race with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) who won the three-way contest after making contact with Aoyama on the last lap. Aoyama – who had great hopes after qualifying on the third row – finished just behind Rossi in 11th.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) was unable to complete the race after being taken down by Loris Capirossi (Ducati) as they attacked the turn eight/nine chicane with eight laps remaining. Capirossi dislocated a shoulder in the incident.

Today’s strong winds produced some big top speeds, with Aoyama’s RC212V the fastest bike of all at 330.5km/h (205.3mph).

Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) continued his unfaltering march towards the top of the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship with another remarkable victory in another titanic race.

Once again the teenage rookie seemed to have everything worked out. He kept things steady during the early stages, unwilling to push too hard in the windy conditions. Then later in the race he escaped from the frenzied pack, increasing his pace until he was more than three seconds in front. Using a new chassis and swingarm, the reigning 125 World Champion crossed the line 2.466s ahead for his seventh win of the year, which was also his sixth of the last seven races. Marquez now trails World Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex), who finished eighth today, by just six points.

The race was another breathtaking confrontation between the top Moto2 riders, with innumerable overtakes and edge-of-the-seat action from start to finish. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter) did all he could to better Marquez until he made a minor error which helped Marquez get away. During the closing stages his attention switched to defending second place from Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR) and Alex De Angelis (JIR Moto2-Motobi).

Iannone kept hold of second, his third podium from the last four races strengthening his third place in the points chase. Corsi won a tense duel with De Angelis for his first podium since May’s Jerez GP.

Seven seconds further back, Aleix Espargaro (Pons HP40-Pons Kalex) finished at the front of a hectic crowd of 13 riders, most of them swapping positions every other corner. Espargaro finished barely a metre in front of Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3) who came through from 15th on the grid. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter) was next, just two tenths up on Bradl, who fought for the lead in the early stages and set the second fastest lap, only to run into trouble when his rear tyre moved on the rim.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP-Suter) and Mike Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter) completed the top ten, followed at close quarters by the final points finishers: Anthony West (MZ Racing-MZ), Mike Di Meglio (Tech 3 Racing-Tech 3), Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing-MZ), Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up-FTR) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter).

To highlight the ultra-close, topsy-turvy nature of Moto2, Redding had been one of the main players in the battle for the lead during the early laps. At the chequered flag just 3.5 seconds separated Redding in 15th from Aleix Espargaro in fourth.

The MotoGP paddock now packs up and heads eastward for the first of three ‘flyaway’ races outside Europe: the Japanese, Australian and Malaysian GPs. The action then returns to the Continent for the season finale at Valencia, Spain, on November 6.

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: race winner
“Before the race everyone was a little cautious with the wind picking up after the morning warm-up session and conditions being a lot different to those we had seen all weekend. This was on our mind and also warming the hard tyres to makes sure everything was good for the beginning of the race. Our start was pretty average, I pulled to the left a little on the start and managed to avoid hitting Dani but Ben came around the outside and I ended up third at turn one, from there we were able to settle down and feel pretty comfortable with the bike. I wanted to get to the front as soon as possible as the bike has been working perfect all weekend and it was our race to lose, so I wanted to try and get out in front and pull a gap. I passed Dani as soon as I could and tried to pull that gap, Dani kept with me for the first few laps but slowly I was able to push and put in a gap and from there manage the race. I think everyone was struggling with tyres to some degree but the bike was fantastic and I don’t mind the bike when it slides around a little! A big, big thank you to the whole team and to take this hundredth win for Repsol Honda is something special.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 2nd
"We already saw in practice that Casey was very fast here and it was also like this in the race. I was loosing some tenths in the first sector and I was unable to reduce the gap in the other parts of the lap. The second half of the race I was sliding all the time and I had some fun, but it was a shame not to be closer to Casey, I had many problems with the rear tyre for the whole race. My priority was to control the gap to Spies and Jorge in the final laps and get another podium. We've been second in the last three races, which is not so bad, but we want to keep improving in the coming races".

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 4th
“I am pleased with this result – we had to grit our teeth and I’m sure that even without the mistake I wouldn’t have been challenging for the podium anyway. Lorenzo was faster than me on used tyres so no complaints there. I didn’t get a great start but I managed to get into my rhythm quickly and make some passes to get up to third place. From the tenth lap onwards the tyres really dropped off and then again after another five laps, although Spies was in even worse shape than me so I was able to fight back to fourth.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 11th
“It was a nice race and a fun battle with Rossi and Crutchlow. The final position isn’t great but I am happy with the way I rode in difficult conditions with much less grip than yesterday, which made it tough. Valentino, Cal and I passed each other a few times and it was great fun. Now I am hoping to put up a much stronger performance at my home GP.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: DNF
“I made a small but fast slide at the first right turn, all the weight went on the front, I wasn’t able to control the bike and I immediately lost it as the front tyre was still not at temperature. It’s so disappointing to see your race over on turn two of the first lap after all the hard work done during the race weekend. This morning we struggled during the warm-up on used tyres and of course a bad session can affect you slightly, but at the start I was 100% focused and motivated for the race. It’s a pity because we had the pace to fight for the podium and the team did a good job. Leaving Aragon without scoring any points is also so bad for the championship. We are still third with 15 points advantage over Dani, but now we need to return to the podium and have some good results. Last year we had a strong end of the season, especially in Japan and Malaysia, so I look forward to the next GPs.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“Despite the crash I feel satisfied because I pushed hard for the whole race. Once again I made a very good start and during the first laps I tried hard to follow the group. But, as happened in the past races, I missed traction control and the guys started to pass me. I could not maintain the same pace and then Loris hit me with seven laps to go. We went both out in the gravel but I am not angry because this is racing.”

Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: race winner
“It’s great to win another race, especially in front of my home crowd. In the beginning I couldn’t get a good feeling with the bike because of the very windy conditions. At first I wasn’t pushing so hard because I was trying to get the right feeling, but then Iannone and Corsi arrived. They were riding very hard and some of the passes were at the limit but it was a nice battle. Later I felt I could push and I was able to open a gap. I want to say thank you to my team and also to Suter because I really enjoyed riding the bike with the new chassis parts. At the next four races we will do the same – start from zero each time and do our best.”

Andrea Iannone, Speed Master-Suter: 2nd
“That was a great race and I had a great battle with Marc. I was struggling with the rear, especially in the longer, faster corners, so I had to do all my work on the brakes to make up time. I could do that but then I made a slight error, went a bit wide and Marc was clever enough to escape at that point. We need to work at getting the settings correct earlier in the weekend – we only really improved the rear end just in time for the race. Anyway, I’m happy to be on the podium and my congratulations to Marc – he’s riding a great championship.”

Simone Corsi, Ioda Racing Project-FTR: 3rd
“That was a fun race. I started a bit behind in 12th so I had to push very hard during the early laps. Luckily the pace wasn’t so quick at that point of the race, so that gave me a chance get up there. After that it was a fantastic battle with the others. At recent races we have struggled with rear grip in the later stages of races, and we’ve worked really hard to fix that. At the end Marc had a little more pace than the rest of us but I am happy to get back on the podium and this result gives me confidence for the last four races.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 14
Grand Prix of Aragon

1 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
4 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
5 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
7 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
8 Hector BARBERA (Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP)
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
10 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
11 Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
12 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
13 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
3 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
4 Alex DE ANGELIS (JIR Moto2)
5 Aleix ESPARGARO (Pons HP 40)
6 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
7 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
8 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
9 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
10 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
11 Anthony WEST (MZ Racing Team)
12 Mike DI MEGLIO (Tech 3 Racing)
13 Max NEUKIRCHNER (MZ Racing Team)
14 Pol ESPARGARO (HP Tuenti Speed Up)
15 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
1 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
2 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
3 Maverick VINALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
4 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
5 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
7 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
8 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia Banca Civica)
9 Adrian MARTIN (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
10 Jonas FOLGER (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
11 Marcel SCHROTTER (Mahindra Racing)
12 Luigi MORCIANO (Team Italia FMI)
13 Jakub KORNFEIL (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14 Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
15 Danny WEBB (Mahindra Racing)

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