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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 12: Czech Republic

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  • Race Results
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Czech Republic
Czech Republic
August 26, 2012

Pedrosa & Honda Score Thrilling Victory at Brno

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored a magnificent and crucial victory at Brno this afternoon, defeating World Championship rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in a breathtaking last-lap duel.

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

Pedrosa’s second win in eight days confirms that he is on the charge and reduces Lorenzo’s series advantage to 13 points with six races remaining.

With Pedrosa’s team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) absent due to an injury sustained at last weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix, the two Spaniards were in a class of their own today, quickly pulling clear of the pack and settling into a tense duel. Throughout the 22 laps they were never separated by more than half a second, the pair usually just a few metres apart around the majestic Czech circuit.

Lorenzo led into the first corner from pole position, with Pedrosa right behind him. From there on the pair traded fastest laps, Pedrosa taking the lead for the first time at turn three on lap 12. He stayed there until the last lap when Lorenzo managed to get pass on the inside at turn seven. Half a lap later, as they sped up the hill towards the final esses, Pedrosa was able to use his Honda’s superior power to retake the lead. Lorenzo then tried to go round the outside into the esses, but that pushed him wide and Pedrosa was ahead once more. He crossed the line 0.178s in front, triggering jubilant celebrations in the Repsol Honda camp.

Pedrosa’s third victory of the year (following wins at the Sachsenring and Indianapolis) is also his 11th podium finish from the first 12 races. So far the only race he has finished outside the top three was the rain-lashed French GP, which he finished in fourth position.

MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) had a great ride to fifth place, the reigning Moto2 World Champion enjoying a mid-race skirmish with Valentino Rossi (Ducati). Earlier in the race he had lost some time when Rossi’s machine started smoking, throwing oil onto his visor. Once back in the groove the German was fast and consistent, moving past several riders to record another strong result in what is turning out to be a very impressive rookie MotoGP season.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) ran with Bradl and Rossi, also getting the better of the Ducati rider, but the Spaniard was unable to run Bradl’s pace and he finished the race four seconds behind his fellow RCV rider in sixth place. Bautista believes that today’s cooler conditions caused him some issues with front-end chatter and rear-end grip.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) had another challenging weekend, but his crew worked hard to solve their problems and the Italian was able to score some points in 14th place, a morale booster following several DNFs at recent events.

Stoner is currently in Australia awaiting surgery on his right ankle, which sustained complex ligament, cartilage and bone damage when he crashed heavily during Indy GP qualifying nine days ago. He heroically rode to fourth place in the race but on arrival at Brno he was told by his Australian surgeon that he risked doing permanent damage if he continued riding. Thus Stoner flew to Australia the same day and will undergo an operation within the next few days, once the swelling has subsided.

In the Moto2 class Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) won a tense four-way tussle with Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter), Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) to take his sixth victory of 2012 in the always thrilling Honda-powered series. Marquez’s winning margin over Luthi was just 0.061s, while the four riders were covered by just half a second. With six races to go, Marquez heads Espargaro by 48 points.

The ever-impressive Marquez played his hand perfectly, spending nearly all the race in second place, while Luthi did all the leading. Right behind them Espargaro and Iannone swapped places frequently. Both of them briefly made it into second place but didn’t quite have the pace to stay there.

Marquez made his winning move at turn three with three laps to go, sweeping past Luthi, backing into the corner and yet keeping his Suter perfectly on line. Luthi was able to stay with the 19-year-old and tried everything he knew to retake the lead but couldn’t quite make it.

The duel between Espargaro and Iannone was just as intense, and complicated somewhat when Espargaro made a pass under yellow flags. He was ordered to drop back to fourth to escape punishment and although he tried everything to get back on terms with the leading duo – including setting the fastest lap – he could not get close enough to attack. Espargaro finished less than three tenths behind Luthi, with last year’s Brno winner Iannone less than a tenth further back in fourth.

Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR) led the rest of the pack, finishing just ahead of Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR) who rode a brave race after taking a big tumble yesterday. Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2 – Motobi) was top rookie in seventh, just in front of Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex). Just 1.2 seconds separated Kallio in ninth from Corsi in fifth.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) had a tough ride to fourth place in today’s opening race, the 11th round of the 17-event Moto3 series. The 19-lap race got underway on a partially damp track, so there were plenty of position changes in the early stages as some riders were braver than others in the treacherous conditions.

All but two riders chose slick tyres despite damp patches all round the track, but title rivals Vinales and Sandro Cortese (KTM) made steady starts, fully aware of what they would be throwing away if they crashed out.

The man who made the best of the drying circuit was Jonas Folger, who took the lead on lap four from Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda), one of the two riders who had started on rain tyres. Vazquez finished the race in 25th position. At the end Folger crossed the line almost six seconds ahead of fellow KTM rider Luis Salom. It was rookie Folger’s first Grand Prix victory, just two races after he had switched teams.

Cortese lost out to Salom at the final esses, but won his duel with Vinales to finish third and further extend his championship lead over Vinales to 32 points. Vinales did everything he knew how, but he lacked top-end performance at a track where horsepower has always counted.

The next two Honda riders were both rookies and both of them finished fractions of a second behind Vinales: Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) in fifth and local star Jakub Kornfeil (Thomas Sabo GP Team – Honda) in sixth. Kornfeil’s result was his best so far, but also a bit of a disappointment because he had held second place for much of the race, before being overcome by Cortese, Vinales and others.

Spanish GP winner Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) finished eighth, just ahead of Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda).

MotoGP riders will stay on at Brno for a day of testing tomorrow. The paddock reconvenes at Misano for the San Marino Grand Prix on September 16.

Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner
“Today was one of my best races in MotoGP ever. To win with a big gap is always nice, but to have a battle like today with Jorge, it’s sometimes more rewarding. It was a difficult last lap because I knew that Jorge was very fast in the middle of the corners and I could hear the bike right on me and I knew that just the smallest gap would allow him to pass. In fact, in that left corner I opened the door just a little more than normal and ‘boom’ he was there. I could see his bike in my face! With just half a lap to go, I was a little more nervous than before, but I knew I had some strong points coming to the end of the lap. I tried to get the best drive up the hill and then in the last corner I was beside him. When I released the brakes we were side by side in the corner and I was able to take my line and win the race. It was amazing and I’m really happy with this victory, for all my team and also for my father because it is his birthday! For the Championship we must keep up this momentum as Jorge is riding very strong and consistently in the top two. Testing will be important to set us up for the final part of the season, so let’s see what we can do.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th
“I am quite happy because after some technical issues we found a good race set-up. I could not push as hard as I wanted yesterday and the warm-up session was wet so we could not test the last adjustments, but the team made a very good job and I could make another positive race. During the race I was quite confident and motivated: I took a good start and Rossi was in front of me in the beginning but suddenly he had a technical problem and some smoke came out from his exhaust. After that I thought he was having an engine problem and some oil soiled my visor, which cost me a bit of time because I did not what was going on. Also Spies slowed down and Bautista overtook me, but after that I started to set my pace. It took some laps to pass Bautista and Rossi again to do my own race. I had a better speed compared to the guys behind me so it’s a pity that we lost the race at the beginning, but in any case it was a strong race from my side and I want to thank my crew for their concentration and their efforts.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“I am not happy because the change in conditions from yesterday to today created a lot of front-end chatter on our bike and I was close to crashing on several occasions. I also had a problem on the rear with the bike sliding around so much that it felt like I was running the hard tyre. I couldn’t push it like I wanted to and it wasn’t a good race for us because of this. Tomorrow we have a day of tests and I hope we can use it to resolve our problems.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th
“The only good thing about the weekend is that we managed to finish the race. Other than that it has been nothing, but problems. We have had some annoying setbacks in every session here and I hope we can improve the situation soon so that we can finish off the season in better shape.”

Moto2

Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter: race winner
“Yesterday in practice I felt very comfortable; I knew that I was ready for the race and that I could be up at the front, and also that nobody could escape with us all running a similar pace. That was how it panned out, because there was less grip today, but I still rode comfortably. That was how I was able to study Luthi over the course of the race. The pace was slower than I had expected and I was able to make a plan for the final laps. When there were three to go I gave 100% to get in front, then on the last lap I closed every door in order to win. It was a different tactic to normal, but this track is a difficult one for me and I wanted to keep something in reserve.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten-Paddock-Suter: 2nd
“For sure it’s a little frustrating to lead so much of a race and not to win. But the result is okay and my team did a good job. My plan was to stay in front if no one came past, to keep my rhythm, to save the tyres by using round lines and to prepare for the end of the race. When Marc passed me he tried to break away, but I could follow him and I was strong into the corners. But his bike was so fast, so I couldn’t attack and I had to settle for second place.”
Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: 3rd
“I pushed so hard in the last few laps. I had tried to follow Marc and Tom, but finally it was impossible. I could stay with them in the middle of the race, but I couldn’t get with them at the very end to battle for the win. Anyway, third position isn’t so bad. We have to improve a lot of things; maybe one of them is the aerodynamics, to compete with the Suters.”

Moto3

Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: 4th
We could possibly have done better, but when the race began we had to take things with care because the track was wet. On the opening laps I focused on following Cortese. I lacked a bit of power and he was getting away from me. I tried to do everything within my power, but when I tried to pass him the bike didn’t respond. I didn’t want to risk things. We were able to up our pace at the end, because we were riding in the dry, and we are happy because in Germany when the conditions were similar I placed 15th. We also recovered confidence in the wet and the conditions were difficult, so we have to continue fighting and going for it.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda: 5th
“The moments before the race on the grid were very difficult and I was a little nervous about the tyre choice. However, once the race started I calmed down a bit. I got a good start and was able to push alongside Cortese until I got into fifth, so I am happy with the result. I focused on following the riders in front and I was able to keep up with them, which put me close to the podium. I want to thank my team and the sponsors for their support.”
Jakub Kornfeil, Thomas Sabo GP Team – Honda: 6th
“We decided for the semi-dry settings before the race. The bike was perfect in the early stages of the race, but later on I was not able to ride so quickly. Cortese and the others in the group behind me had the setup for complete dry track. They were a bit slower in the beginning, but the drying track helped them a lot. I knew they are coming. I knew they would probably chase and overtake me. Cortese was behind me at the start of the last lap. I was pushing so hard but they were closer and closer. I was able to fight only with Alex Rins who got me in the last chicane. To ride the whole race in second is simply amazing. Ten points are a very good help for me. Being back in the fight for top-ten position currently is very positive for me. I would like to thank all my fans and sponsors that came to this race. I could hear their cheering every lap and it was a very good feeling for me.”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 12: Czech Republic

MotoGP
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5 Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
7 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
9 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
10 Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
11 Toni ELIAS (Pramac Racing Team)
12 Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)
13 Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
14 Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15 James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)
Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
3 Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
4 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
5 Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
6 Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
7 Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
8 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
9 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
10 Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
11 Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
12 Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
13 Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
14 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
15 Axel PONS (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
2 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
3 Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4 Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)
5 Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
7 Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
8 Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
10 Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
11 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
12 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
13 Adrian MARTIN (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
14 Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
15 John McPHEE (Racing Steps Foundation KRP)

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