Honda's Casey Stoner dominated every lap at Catalunya and claimed the win ahead of Yamaha's Lorenzo and Spies.
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner
pocketed his third win of the season and his 26th victory in MotoGP
at Catalunya on Sunday. The Aussie secured the lead in the second corner and led for the entire duration of the race, eventually taking the checkers more than two seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo
"We got a reasonably good start but not as good as Jorge," said Stoner. "I wanted to try to pass him early on but had to wait until the end of the first lap. From this point I just tried to put in the consistent laps as we did in the practice sessions to see if he could stay with me, fortunately I was able to open up an advantage without pushing too hard or feeling too much pressure."
Meanwhile, the Spaniard’s teammate, Ben Spies, finally nabbed a podium finish this season in third.
The contest began with Lorenzo getting a great start from third on the grid as he took the lead heading into the first turn. However, the Mallocran couldn’t hold Stoner off, and just moments later the No. 27 bike was out front with 25 laps ahead of him. After starting from fourth, Spies made a pass to advance into third as rain began to fall on the track. A white flag was then issued, which allowed riders to change bikes in anticipation of the wet conditions, but shortly after the rain let up and no one had opted to pit.
Jorge Lorenzo never posed a threat against Stoner at Catalunya but grabbed another podium result in second.
“I’m really happy with the result, I gave it the maximum," Lorenzo said. "I overtook Casey on the start but I knew he could overtake me. I tried to stay with him and not to lose his back wheel for as long as possible. At the end it started to rain a little and it was tough to keep concentration in the last sector but we managed it. We are still leading the championship so let’s see what happens in Silverstone.”
“We just kept pushing and pushing and we were slowly catching up to Jorge, not necessarily to try and catch and pass him but to stay away from Andrea [Dovizioso]," said Spies. "The bike was great and I felt good on it and just needed a good result. After the first couple of laps I realized we had a shot at a podium so I rode as hard as I could. The tire was a good choice for us today; we did what we came here to accomplish and that’s good enough."
’s Andrea Dovizioso made a pass around Ducati’s Valentino Rossi
for fourth in the order, but despite his best attempts the Italian couldn’t get around Spies for third. For Rossi the contest was much different than his last appearance at the Catalunya circuit in 2009, during which he had a heated battle with Lorenzo for the win. This year Rossi could only muster two passes and ran a largely silent race to finish just inside the top-five.
Andrea Dovizioso (#4) placed fourth ahead of Valentino Rossi but wasn't happy with his result.
Despite starting from pole for the first time in a MotoGP race, San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli
simply couldn’t match the pace of the top-five and had to settle for sixth.
“I don’t know if I held the clutch too long at the start, but it slipped and a lot of riders passed me, costing me a lot of time," said Simoncelli. "After that I was unable to get back into the rhythm I had during practice and I was struggling, even though the pace in general was slower. I had a gap of over a second to the guys in front of me and I got it back down to three-tenths to Valentino, but after a few laps I was taking too many chances in certain areas where it was a little damp and decided to pull my oars in and bring the bike home."
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow had a major moment in the race when he passed Ducati
’s Nicky Hayden for seventh on Lap 10. Behind the Kentucky Kid Pramac Racing’s Loris Capirossi and Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham crossed the finish line in ninth and 10th, respectively.
The two crashers of the day were San Carlo Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama and Frenchman Randy de Puniet. Both riders hit the mat early in the contest at nearly the same corner, but were lucky enough to walk away uninjured.
Although Monster Yamaha
Tech 3’s Colin Edwards was sidelined at Catalunya due to breaking his collarbone in practice on Friday, the American still tried to gain clearance to race. Edwards was hoping to continue his record of 141 consecutive premier class starts, but doctors ultimately refused to let him ride.
Lorenzo now maintains just a seven-point lead in the overall standings ahead of Stoner at the series heads to Great Britain for Round 6.
Catalunya MotoGP Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
3. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
Ben Spies saw the podium for the first time this season in third.
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
5. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
6. Marco Simoncelli (Honda)
7. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
9. Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
10. Karel Abraham (Ducati)
11. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
12. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki)
13. Toni Elias (Honda)
DNF Randy de Puniet (Ducati)
DNF Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
2011 MotoGP Championship Points:
1. Jorge Lorenzo, 98
2. Casey Stoner, 91
3. Andrea Dovizioso, 63
4. Dani Pedrosa, 61
5. Valentino Rossi, 58
6. Nicky Hayden, 47
7. Ben Spies, 36
8. Hiroshi Aoyama, 36
9. Marco Simoncelli, 32
10. Cal Crutchlow, 30
In the Moto2 class Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Stefan Bradl picked up his third win of the season after getting an excellent start from pole position. The German rider finished more than four seconds ahead of local rider Marc Marquez, who claimed runner-up just ahead of Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro.
Stefan Bradl took his third win of the season over Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro in Moto2.
“The race wasn’t easy,” said Bradl. “Simon was pushing very hard and the lap times weren’t coming so easily. I concentrated on myself. It was a great feeling to lead the whole race and make a gap on the others. It was a difficult weekend but now we are happy.”
Bradl led the field early and was unchallenged for the remaining laps. Meanwhile Espargaro, who had a great start after achieving his best qualifying run to date, followed close in second. With just 11 laps remaining Mapfre Aspar’s Julian Simon overtook Espargaro for second, but the Spaniard was determined and refused to call it quits on his home turf. Later Simon was involved in a major crash after Technomag-CIP’s Kenan Sofuoglu made contact with his rear wheel. The contact resulted in a major highside by Simon, which fractured both the tibia and fibula in his right leg. A hearing has been scheduled by Race Direction that will look further into the matter.
A tense battle also took place for fifth in the final half of the contest, with GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing’s Randy Krummenacher nabbing the position ahead of JiR Moto2’s Alex de Angelis and Blusens-STX’s Esteve Rabat. Marc VDS Racing’s Mika Kallio finished more than 13 seconds adrift of the leader in eighth, while Blusens-STX’s Yonny Hernandez and MZ Racing’s Max Neukirchner rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Catalunya Moto2 Results:
1. Stefan Bradl (Kalex)
2. Marc Marquez (Suter)
3. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex)
4. Simone Corsi (FTR)
5. Randy Krummenacher (Kalex)
6. Alex de Angelis (Motobi)
7. Esteve Rabat (FTR)
Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro (#40) earned his first podium finish in his GP career in third at Catalunya.
8. Mika Kallio (Suter)
9. Yonny Hernandez (FTR)
10. Max Neukirchner (MZ-RE Honda)
11. Scott Redding (Suter)
12. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki)
13. Alex Baldolini (Suter)
14. Xavier Simeon (Tech 3)
15. Andrea Iannone (Suter)
2011 Moto2 Championship Points:
1. Stefan Bradl, 102
2. Simone Corsi, 59
3. Andrea Iannone, 49
4. Julian Simon, 49
5. Yuki Takahashi, 47
6. Thomas Luthi, 47
7. Marc Marquez, 45
8. Alex de Angelis, 42
9. Aleix Espargaro, 31
10. Bradley Smith, 27