share this page

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 02: Spain

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
April 29, 2012

Honda Finishes One-Three in Difficult Spanish Grand Prix

Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa finished first and third, respectively, in the tensely fought Spanish Grand Prix on the partially wet and treacherous Jerez Circuit in southern Spain.

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

For Stoner, the win was his first at the Andalucian circuit and well-deserved. After a hectic first few laps that saw serial maneuvers, not always gentlemanly, Stoner made his way to the front on a track littered with patches of wet tarmac. Once there, he was joined by Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, the winner of the past two races in Jerez, who was eager to make it three in a row.

Lorenzo closed the gap by half a second on the 18th of 27 laps when Stoner made a mistake, running wide as a result of a return of his arm pump issues, and the battle was truly joined. But on the final lap, Stoner went to the whip and pulled out his first victory of the season, and 41st grand prix win of his career, by a deceptive .947s.

Pedrosa had led early in the race, then fell back before mounting a charge. Fifth on the sixth lap, he jumped two places to third on lap seven and was never off the podium. But it was also never easy. To keep alive his record of never finishing off the podium in the MotoGP class in Jerez, Pedrosa had to hold off the advances of Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow, who was never far from the Spaniard’s shadow.

But just as Stoner had done to win the race, Pedrosa never relented in his quest to take third and significantly cut the gap to Lorenzo in second. Had the race been a few more laps the order could have changed, but Pedrosa was happy to give Honda a one-three finish.

Stoner now sits second in the championship to Lorenzo by four points, 41 to 45. Pedrosa is a close third with 36.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) improved on his finish in Qatar by riding to a mostly lonely sixth place. The Spaniard had an early battle before establishing a comfort level that allowed him to move swiftly forward, after which he found himself alone for most of the race.

In his second MotoGP race, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) battled veteran Nicky Hayden (Ducati) to the flag. The race was educational for the young German, whose learning curve shot up this weekend with practice, qualifying, and the race all held in less than ideal conditions. Yet in the race, he was not intimidated by mixing it up with a former world champion and passed Hayden on the final lap to finish seventh, one spot better than he had done in Qatar.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) had an electrical problem on his still developing FTR-Honda CRT machine that forced an early retirement while he was in a points-paying position. The fact that he was more competitive than he had been in Qatar was taken as a positive and the electrical issue is easily resolved. Pirro is looking forward to getting back on track in less than a week’s time to continue the crucial development of the CRT machine.

Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex ) won his first Moto2 race by being in the lead the lap before the race was stopped by rain on the 18th of 26 laps. Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) was second at the stoppage and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) was third.

The race began under threatening skies on a not entirely dry track. From the start the battle was fearsome, with the leader in peril from one corner to the next and multiple lead changes.

The lead combatants were Espargaro, Luthi, and Marquez, with Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex) also in the mix.

Luthi took the lead from Marquez ending lap 14, then it went back to Marquez a lap later as rain began to fall on different parts of the track. By now the riders were aware that the race might be stopped as they approached the two-thirds mark needed to make it official.

Espargaro bowled his way into second on the 16th lap to take Luthi for second and on the 17th lap the Spaniard would make what was the decisive move on Marquez in turn six. That set the order for the end of lap 17 at Espargaro, Marquez, Luthi, with a gap to Redding who was hounded by Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex) in a career best fifth place.

Marquez took the lead in the Dry Sack curve on the 18th lap and was in the lead when the red flag came out shortly after he had crossed the line. With scoring reverting a lap, Espargaro, 20, had his first Moto2 win and first win since taking the 125cc race at Aragon in 2010.

Marquez continues to lead the world championship with 45 points to 41 for Espargaro. Luthi takes over third with 27 points.

Marquez takes the championship lead with 25 points to 20 for Iannone and 16 for Espargaro.

Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI, Honda-FTR) made history by becoming the third youngest grand prix winner in only his second grand prix in a hectic and incident-filled Moto3 race on a mostly dry track with wet patches.

From tenth on the grid, Fenati flew into contention right from the start, finishing the first of 23 laps in fourth place. By then three riders had crashed and many more would fall victim to the irregular wet spots.

Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0, Suter-Honda) took the lead on the fourth lap after teammate Miguel Oliveira crashed, with Fenati taking over second. The 2012 Spanish 125cc champion controlled the race and built up a lead of over 3.5s before running off the track on lap eight, allowing Luis Rossi and Fenati to close up, with Rossi passing through the stadium section.

Rossi was the first of the leaders to drop out, falling in turn one on the tenth lap, leaving the battle to Rins and Fenati. Then Fenati went through in the Dry Sack corner at the end of the back straight.

Rins battled until crashing on the 14th lap. That put Fenati into the lead by 18.281 secs. With such a big lead the Italian could have backed off, but he didn’t. Instead he set one fast lap after another, stretching his lead to an impressive 36.139s at the end of the 23-lap race.

The 16-year-old becomes the third youngest winner after Brit Scott Redding and fellow Italian Marco Melandri.

The win was the first for an Italian in the smallest category since Andrea Iannone won in Catalunya in 2009 and many believe signals the beginning of the Italian resurgence from the ground up.

The win put Fenati in the championship lead with 45 to 35 for Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia, FTR-Honda) and 33 for second place finisher Luis Salom. A miscue on the second lap dropped Vinales to 28th, from where he’d charge back to a sixth place finish.

Salom took second from Rins on the penultimate lap, with Rins falling to a close fourth behind Sandro Cortese at the flag.

Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology, Honda) was alone in fifth after a physically demanding race. The Frenchman was on crutches as the result of a broken bone in his foot in Qatar and found the pain to be increasingly distracting. Still, fifth place was a worthy finish in such difficult conditions.

Now the teams pack up for the five-hour drive northwest to Estoril for next weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, the third round of the championship.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI)zoom
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI)


Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“We didn't get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble. There were people outbraking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way! Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn't try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge (Lorenzo) and Dani (Pedrosa) were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more. The bike as a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again, but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general, and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“It's been a strange race for me. On the grid I thought it might not be a completely dry race so I was very cautious at the beginning, also after we saw so many crashes in the first laps of Moto3 and Moto2. So I started well but I was passed and then I lost too much time with (Andrea) Dovizioso and (Nicky) Hayden. When I managed to overtake them and take the third position, Casey and Jorge were already too far in front, four seconds ahead. So I put my head down and started increasing my pace, but at the same time it was difficult to keep the concentration because (Cal) Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps. In general, I feel happy with my performance on a really tricky weekend. A second and a third position finish is not the best, but it's a good start to the season.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“It has been a difficult weekend because of the weather, but finally we got dry conditions for the race even though there were a few spots around. It was really important to be patient over the opening laps, but maybe I was too careful over the opening laps and I wasn't able to get involved in the battle at the very front. Once I got comfortable with the track conditions I was able to pass (Stefan) Bradl and (Nicky) Hayden, but (Andrea) Dovizioso, (Dani) Pedrosa and (Cal) Crutchlow were too far ahead by then and I just had to defend the position I was in. We have gone one better than Qatar and improved our confidence with this bike, which are the main things we take away from the weekend. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done especially in such challenging conditions this weekend.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 7th
“I am very happy with this result. First of all I think it was a difficult weekend for everybody due to the weather conditions, so I want to thank the whole team for their great job. During the sighting lap I was very nervous because I thought that the last part of the track was wet, so I changed my helmet visor and everything was clearer. I was capable to attack my competitors since the beginning of the race but I found it a bit risky so I waited a little bit and after some laps I was fighting with (Alvaro) Bautista and (Nicky) Hayden. We were doing well, but Hayden blocked me a little bit in the middle of the race and Bautista got away from us. When he was gone I started my fight with Nicky, which I enjoyed very much, especially in the last two laps. I got some problems with my right arm because it was sore in the middle of the race and this cost me a bit of time because I had to force the bike in a different way. Basically, this was another positive weekend for me and I really enjoyed the applause the team made for me when I was back at the garage.”
Michele Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: DNF
“Our dream melted like snow in the sunshine. I was on my way to my first MotoGP points when I ran out of luck and an electronic problem forced me to retire. It is another teething problem for this new project, but we have taken a step forward here and if we keep working as hard as we have been doing it won't be long before we achieve our goals. My guys have a lot of work to do but they have unbelievable commitment to our cause and I have the utmost faith that they can develop a bike that will allow me to be competitive.”


Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex: Race winner
“It’s incredible. Always win here in the house, in Spain, it’s fantastic, no, for the people, for my family, my team. And all the people who come to see a Spanish rider, it’s so nice to win here. The race was completely difficult, it was so difficult. The track was not completely dry at the start and it was so difficult to take a good line to not touch the water and finally we cross the line first. The rain starts a lot, too much hard at the final, and it was so difficult to follow Marc (Marquez) and, finally, we win the race. I’m very happy, thanks to my team and my people because they always are there to help me.”
Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter: 2nd
“The race was very difficult, above all at the start and right at the end when the asphalt condition was very delicate. It was hard for me to find my pace at the beginning and it was two-thirds in that I finally pushed for the lead, knowing that anything could happen. When the rain began to fall, my experiences in 125cc and from last year came to mind. I knew that it was more important to take 20 points than push and take zero, so second place is a good result. Bearing in mind the track conditions, we have to be very happy and start thinking about Estoril.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock-Suter: 3rd
“It’s nice to be back on the podium. It’s nice. I mean the season is still long and a long way to go. But today was, first of all, it was difficult with the wet, it just was wet all the way around the track. The ideal line was mostly clear, it was dry, but if somebody overtook you have to go immediately always on the wet part and it was very difficult to follow. I mean, the pace was high, it was strong. I tried to break away immediately from the beginning, that wasn’t possible. I saw that quite early. And after the rain starts it was even more difficult. I couldn’t do any more to fight back to try to get the victory. I had to let them go and just bring back safe this third place. And first of all, it’s good, and next week there’s one more race and I’m looking forward to Estoril.”


Romano Fenati, Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda: Race winner
“I'm very happy about the victory. I started well, getting into the top positions, then kept my pace until the end. I want to thank the whole team, and of course my family, who supported me throughout the weekend as I was getting to grips with the wet track. It was a great race and we now lead the championship. I go into the Estoril round with great humility and the curiosity to discover a track with such a great tradition.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda: 4th
“That was a very eventful race, because at the Nieto and Peluqui corners the track was very wet and provided a scare with every lap. I had a good start, got out in front and pushed, but once I ran off track I was caught by Fenati. After that I made mistake and had an unfortunate crash. I didn’t throw in the towel though, because I knew that I had the pace to get back up there. Fourth is a great result. I was faster when I was in the lead, but I calmed things down after a few scares and after the crash my bars weren’t in great condition. I think the result would have been even better were it not for the crash.”
Alexis Masbou, Caretta Technology – Honda: 5th
“I kept calm in the first laps in order to try to find the right rhythm. After a few laps I increased the feeling and I managed to recover several positions. The front riders, however, were quite strong before and after the fall of (Alex) Rins I tried to push more but for the foot pain was hard. I preferred to slow down trying to bring home the result.”
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 02: Spain

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6 Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
7 Stefan Bradl (Lcr Honda MotoGP)
8 Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team)
9 Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team)
10 Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing Team)
11 Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing)
12 Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar)
13 Danilo Petrucci (Came Iodaracing Project)
14 Mattia Pasini (Speed Master)
15 Ivan Silva (Avintia Blusens)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 Hp Tuenti)
2 Marc Marquez (Team Catalunyacaixa Repsol)
3 Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock)
4 Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5 Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team)
6 Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team)
7 Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8 Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP)
9 Toni Elias (Mapfre Aspar Team)
10 Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2)
11 Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing)
12 Alex DE Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
13 Xavier Simeon (Tech 3 Racing)
14 Andrea Iannone (Speed Master)
15 Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI)
2 Luis Salom (RW Racing GP)
3 Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4 Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5 Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology)
6 Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia)
7 Alberto Moncayo (Bankia Aspar Team)
8 Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
9 Hector Faubel (Bankia Aspar Team)
10 Zulfahmi Khairuddin / Mal / Airasia-Sic-Ajo)
11 Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI)
12 Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
13 Ivan Moreno (Andalucia JHK Laglisse)
14 Alan Techer (Technomag-Cip-TSR)
15 Giulian Pedone (Ambrogio Next Racing)

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.