MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Honda team-mates Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) shared the podium with race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at Silverstone.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) made it three Hondas in the top four with a fighting ride to fourth, his best-ever MotoGP result, just behind his fellow RC213V riders.
Stoner was in the lead group from the very beginning, shadowing Ben Spies (Yamaha) in the early laps before moving into first place on lap five. The Australian kept pushing hard, opening a gap of almost one second at one point, but in the end he could not resist Lorenzo because he lacked edge grip, especially from the left side of the rear tyre.
Championship leader Lorenzo first took the lead on lap 11, Stoner immediately fighting back. The pair swapped position several times on the next lap, Lorenzo coming out of this skirmish in front and leaving his rival to come under increasing pressure from Pedrosa.
During the latter stages of the race Stoner, Pedrosa and Bautista circulated together, the two full-factory riders eventually dropping Bautista. In the final lap Pedrosa did everything he could to pass Stoner, but then decided that attacking at the final chicane might be too risky, so they finished in that order, 0.286s apart.
Stoner and Pedrosa also struggled with the new construction Bridgestone front tyre, which from this race is the only option for the rest of the season. Both men find the tyre deflects too much during braking, making it difficult for them to stay with their rivals.
Bautista turned his season around this weekend, scoring his first-ever pole position yesterday, then running with the lead group throughout the race to finish just 5.196s behind the winner. The secret to this renaissance was two recent test sessions, during which his crew modified steering geometry and front suspension settings to put more weight on the front for better braking stability and turning.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) rode to a brave eighth-place finish after injuring the fourth finger on his left hand when he crashed on Saturday morning. The injury made the start and the rest of the race a real challenge for the reigning Moto2 World Champion.
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) had a strong ride to 13th, crossing the line as the third CRT machine, just three seconds behind top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). Pirro used a new FTR frame and fairing for the first time here.
Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) scored a brilliant victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, first event of the day. The Spaniard was joined on the podium by Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex) and Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) who fought a thrilling battle for second place during the final few laps.
Espargaro started from pole, but it was Britons Redding and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) who made the early running, swapping the lead no less than four times in the first lap. Espargaro was right behind them, however, with Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) and Marquez next up.
By one-third distance Espargaro was homing in on Redding, eventually finding his way past as they swept down Hangar straight for the eighth time. And that was that – Espargaro had more pace than anyone here and quickly built an unassailable lead. His second win of the year – after Jerez – puts him second in the championship, six points behind Marquez.
Things were less certain behind the leader, with Marquez, Redding and Iannone swapping places repeatedly. During the closing stages Iannone slipped backwards to argue over fourth place with Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR), focusing the interest on the Redding/Marquez duel.
With four laps remaining Marquez moved past the Briton, using a slight speed advantage on Hangar straight. But every time he got in front, Redding counter-attacked. On the final lap Marquez again outpaced Redding down Hangar, but he got into Stowe a bit hot and had to fight a wobble on the exit. That allowed Redding to get alongside and make a pass on the brakes into Vale. The pair touched as they fought for position at the final corner and were separated by a mere 0.059s at the flag.
Iannone bettered Corsi by less than one second for fourth place. Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex) finished sixth, just a fraction ahead of Smith and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter). Luthi had a difficult weekend. He fell in practice and then nearly fell on the first lap today, which lost him contact with the leaders. Later he recorded the fastest lap of the race, but his eighth-place finish lost him the World Championship lead.
Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) came out on top of a breathtaking Moto3 race, the last GP event of the day. At one point in the second half of the race there were 11 riders in the lead group, positions changing constantly from first place to 11th. In the final laps, however, Vinales upped his pace and only Luis Salom (KTM) and Sandro Cortese (KTM) were able to go with him.
Spaniard Salom led on several occasions and got back in front on the penultimate lap, but Vinales always seemed able to find a way past his compatriot. Cortese also found his way past Salom on the last lap but Salom counter-attacked at the final chicane to grab the runner-up sport. Vinales’ third win of the year moved him back into the World Championship lead, two points ahead of Cortese.
In the final few laps the second group comprised seven riders, the six survivors crossing the finish line separated by just 1.108s. Le Mans winner Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) was the only one of the group not to finish, the Frenchman tumbling with just a few hundred metres to go. Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology – Honda) came out on top of this particular contest, his best result of the year.
Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was next up in fifth, with Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) seventh. Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) finished tenth, six seconds behind the second group.
The MotoGP circus now returns to the continent for a gruelling run of three GPs on consecutive weekends. The Dutch TT first, on Saturday June 30, then the German and Italian GPs.
|1||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|2||Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|4||Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|5||Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|6||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|7||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|8||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|9||Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)|
|10||Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|12||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|13||Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|14||James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)|
|15||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)|
|1||Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|2||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)|
|4||Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)|
|5||Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|6||Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|7||Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)|
|8||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)|
|9||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)|
|10||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|11||Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|12||Toni ELIAS (Mapfre Aspar Team)|
|13||Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|14||Randy KRUMMENACHER (GP Team Switzerland)|
|15||Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2)|
|1||Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)|
|2||Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)|
|3||Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|4||Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)|
|5||Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK Laglisse)|
|6||Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|7||Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)|
|8||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|9||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)|
|10||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|11||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|12||Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team)|
|13||Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)|
|14||Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)|
|15||Alberto MONCAYO (Bankia Aspar Team)|