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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 14: Aragon

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
September 30, 2012

Pedrosa and Honda Rule Aragon Grand Prix

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.

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

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.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Jonathan REA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Jonathan REA (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner
“It's been a tough weekend in general, with discussions about the last race with race direction and the crash in qualifying yesterday which created a lot of hard work for the mechanics. In the race I remained calm and was able to focus, Jorge began very fast in the early laps, but I was able to stay with him and then after a few laps I saw I could increase the pace and I passed him and tried to find my own rhythm. I was concentrating so hard that I almost forgot that it was a race, then I realised there were only four laps to go! I had a few issues with the clutch into the corners, shifting down, as I did yesterday, but overall the bike was working well so thanks to all my team for their hard work last night and to my fans and family for their support. This victory is for them all!”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“Considering how practice went sixth place is a positive result. Obviously I'm not particularly happy with it because I think we can do much better and be fighting for results like Misano, but that was always going to be difficult today. I tried my best to chase the second group, but it wasn't possible and I was having to take too many risks so in the end I decided to play it safe and bring the bike home for as many points as possible. It is difficult to race like that and we need to find a solution to our front-end issues if I am going to be able to push the bike week in week out. We have salvaged a difficult situation today but we need to keep working and, knowing this team as I do, I'm sure that's what they'll do.”
Jonathan Rea, Repsol Honda: 7th
“I'm happy I achieved my goal of reducing the gap to the guys at the front, in the end we managed it by ten seconds, but it was another difficult race as I found myself on my own again. At the beginning I let Alvaro have too big a gap and when I tried to make a push, it wasn't enough and we were only taking tenths out of him, but I'm quite satisfied and I've learned a lot. In this race it was quite confusing for me as I was playing with the traction control buttons, the torque settings and the engine braking just to try and figure out what was happening, then there came a point where I told myself just to ride this thing and see what happens. It's been amazing to get this chance and I'm not totally sure what's happening for Motegi, but my best wishes go to Casey and I hope he comes back and shows the world the rider he is and ends his final season on a high. I want to thank all of HRC and the Repsol Honda Team for this opportunity and for treating me like one of their own, not like a replacement rider. It's been an amazing experience. This is my tenth year in the Honda family and hopefully I can come back here someday.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 15th
“We picked up a point which is a nice boost, but I am a bit disappointed to be honest because I was hoping for more. We had some problems with the bike after a few laps, so for me it was a case of making it to the end and salvaging what I could. It's a shame because after Misano we were hoping for a better result here but it hasn't been possible after a tough weekend all round. We'll try again at Motegi.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“It’s difficult to find the right words because we are all very disappointed, but this is racing. My feeling out there was very good today: good overall package, good start and good first laps. I felt very comfortable while braking and then I noticed I could go as fast as guys like Spies and Crutchlow so I wanted to push immediately because I knew that the rear tyre performance would drop off towards the end of the race. I overtook Spies and I lost the front in turn three: maybe I was a bit too aggressive and I am sorry for my team and my fans. Anyway we are in good shape and really looking forward to the next race.”


Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti: race winner
“That was incredible, just like my 125 win here in 2010! I think we are improving a lot. With the weather always changing it’s not been a perfect weekend, but we did our bit and fought, practice after practice, to get the best feeling with the bike. I’m happy with this win and the 25 points for the championship. We are a lot of points behind Marc, but now a little closer, so we have to keep pushing and do our best at the next few races to arrive at Valencia fighting for the championship.”
Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol: 2nd
“That was a difficult race, especially at the end when it was very tight with Andrea. This is another home race for me, so I wanted to try everything to win. When I passed Iannone near the end I thought I could try and catch Pol, but I decided that the risk would be too great and that I must think about the championship. Now I have to stay relaxed and concentrated for Japan and the last few races.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: 3rd
“That was tough, more at the beginning than at the end, before I had the adrenaline and the rhythm. It was difficult because some of the guys on the soft tyre were coming past me and at one point I was down to tenth. I fought hard and pulled back the places I needed to. Then when I was braking I felt the scar on my right arm open. I hoped it was okay, but I kept going to the end because that’s what I’ve been brought up to do. On the last lap I’d been all this way so I decided to go for one move. I made the move on Iannone and then focused on Marquez – we got a podium and that’s amazing considering my situation.”


Efren Vazquez, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse: 5th
“I’m happy. Because we really needed a race like that, especially at a home Grand Prix. It’s great that the team keeps getting better and moving ahead. The changes we made for the race were great and I felt very comfortable on the bike. I had of the fastest Hondas, even though at Misano my bike wasn’t so quick. I want to congratulate the team and our sponsors because I think with this perseverance we will be on the podium soon. We have a team leader who is committed to having the best and that is the most important thing.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0.0: 6th
“I got left behind a little at the start, but we recovered positions, bit by bit during the opening laps. I gave my all, although it is evident that a lack of power affected our end result. However, we should be happy with the job that we did. I want to thank the entire team and everyone who supports me. It was a nice race and it gives us strength and motivation ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.”
Louis Rossi, Racing Team Germany: 7th
“I crashed a lot at Indy and lost some confidence at the next few races, then I crashed again at Misano because I was in the middle of the pack, where it is always more dangerous. Today I was more aggressive like earlier in the year – it was really important that I came back to the front here. I was fighting in the lead group all the race and I hope we can keep on like this for the rest of the season. The race was a pleasure – very exciting for us and the fans!”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 14: Aragon

Rank Rider (Team)
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)
Rank Rider (Team)
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)
Rank Rider (Team)
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)

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