MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored a brilliant and emphatic victory at Motorland Aragon today after overpowering title rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in the early stages.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) followed up his Misano podium with a solid ride to sixth, just ahead of MotoGP novice Jonathan Rea (Repsol Honda RC213V).
Pedrosa triumphed at the end of what has been a complicated weekend, with rain affecting all three practice sessions, before the circuit dried out for qualifying yesterday. The former 125 and 250 World Champion then took a heavy tumble during the early stages of qualifying and was beaten to pole by Lorenzo.
From the start of today’s race the two Spaniards were in a class of their own, quickly leaving the rest of the pack behind as they disputed the lead. Lorenzo led the first few laps, while Pedrosa watched, waited and worked out his plan. On lap seven he moved ahead at turn 12 and although Lorenzo tried to go with him, a big moment two laps later convinced him it would be better to settle for second place.
Pedrosa’s fourth win of the year followed his DNF at the preceding San Marino Grand Prix and reduces Lorenzo’s championship lead to 33 points with four races remaining.
Unlike Pedrosa and Lorenzo, Bautista did not take part in an Aragon test session earlier this month, and with so little dry track time over the past two days he was unable to perfect his set-up for today’s race. Starting from the fourth row of the grid he made up places during the early laps before settling into a rather lonely sixth place. He might have done better, but the lack of set-up told because he didn’t feel comfortable pushing any harder.
Rea did well, considering his lack of knowledge of MotoGP machinery. The Ten Kate Honda World Superbike rider – who is substituting for the injured Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) – qualified an impressive seventh and rode another intelligent race, just like he did in his MotoGP debut at Misano. During the closing stages he managed to slightly close the gap on Bautista, but in the end had to be satisfied with seventh.
This was Rea’s last ride on Stoner’s RCV because the reigning World Champion is due to return to action at the Japanese GP in two weeks. Stoner has been recuperating from an operation to fix his right ankle, injured during a qualifying crash at last month’s Indianapolis GP.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was once again in the fight for a podium finish when he slid off on lap five. The German had just taken third place from Ben Spies (Yamaha) when he fell.
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) achieved his eighth points-scoring result of the year, coming home in 15th position after a difficult race. A few minor technical issues prevented Pirro from repeating his top-ten performance at Misano.
Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) won a brilliant victory in a magnificent Moto2 race. The Honda-powered class produced an edge-of-the-seat battle for the top positions that saw the top six completing the 21 laps separated by just 2.999s.
The main contenders were Espargaro, Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex), Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) and pole-man Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR). Positions changed throughout, with Espargaro making his successful victory push in the final laps. He took the lead from Iannone with four laps to go and then managed to make the break. His third win of the year moves him slightly closer to Marquez who now leads the championship by 48 points.
Marquez, who started the race from the third row of the grid after a difficult qualifying session, tried to go with Espargaro but instead had his hands full with several rivals, most notably Iannone. The Spaniard and the Italian had a breathtaking duel during the final two laps, Marquez toughing it out to stay second, while Redding took advantage of the confrontation to slip past Iannone as they came down the hill for the final time.
Redding’s third-place finish was a remarkable achievement considering that only nine days ago he underwent an operation designed to cure arm-pump problems in his right arm. During the later stages of today’s race the scar opened and started bleeding.
Right behind Iannone at the finish were Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) and Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2 – Motobi). Corsi had been up with the leaders after his first start from pole position in Moto2, but he slipped back to seventh at the flag, still only 4.3 seconds down on the winner. Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team – Suter), Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex) and Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team – Speed Up) completed the top ten.
Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) played a starring role in a thrilling Moto3 race that had ten riders in with a chance of winning until the last lap. The Spaniard led on several occasions, including briefly on the final lap, but crossed the finish line in fifth place, just 1.1s behind winner Luis Salom (Kalex KTM).
Salom took his second win of the year despite suffering pain from two crashes during practice here. The victory moves him into second in the World Championship standings, behind title rival Sandro Cortese (KTM) who took second place today, just 0.155s back. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM completed the podium.
Vazquez gave everything during the 20 laps, but his FTR Honda didn’t have the straight-line speed he needed. He led a tightly packed quartet of FTR Hondas with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda), Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) and Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) right behind him at the finish. Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda) was the tenth finisher, a mere 2.5s behind the race winner.
Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) suffered a major blow to his title hopes when his machine suffered an engine issue and stopped on the warm-up lap. He now lies third overall, 66 points behind leader Cortese.
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship now heads east for the Japanese, Malaysian and Australian GPs on consecutive weekends. The 18th and final event takes place at Valencia on November 11.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|3||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|4||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|5||Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|7||Jonathan REA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|8||Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)|
|9||Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)|
|10||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|11||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|12||Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)|
|13||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)|
|14||James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)|
|15||Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|1||Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|2||Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)|
|3||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|4||Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)|
|5||Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)|
|6||Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)|
|7||Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|8||Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|9||Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|10||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|11||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)|
|12||Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|13||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|14||Mike DI MEGLIO (Kiefer Racing)|
|15||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)|
|1||Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)|
|2||Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|4||Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|5||Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)|
|6||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|7||Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)|
|8||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|9||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|10||Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)|
|11||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|12||Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)|
|13||Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)|
|14||Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)|
|15||Alex MARQUEZ (Ambrogio Next Racing)|