Motoette -in forward motion

Stoner aims and hits target in a western shoot-out

Red Bull US Grand Prix- Laguna Seca California 

Under glorious sunny skies in beautiful northern California, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner stripped the lead and the win away from Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the final laps of the Red Bull US Grand Prix race at Laguna Seca.

The reigning World Champion held his ground right from the start with his first in pole position, but could not hold off his close and personal rival, Casey Stoner, reluctantly reducing his efforts to second on the podium and still separating the two by 20 points in standings.

Casey’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, pulled another rabbit out of a hat by placing third on Sunday. His second podium win in two back-to-back races, both being his first since taking an extended leave of absence to properly recuperate from a collarbone surgery.

The 32 lap race started like business as usual with Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner, leading the pack from the moment the lights changed from their front row start on the grid. The trio soon sequestered themselves from their contenders with a sizable lead over the closest contestant, Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso within the first few laps of the race. But the intensity grew as Casey Stoner began to put pressure on Dani Pedrosa, as he hung on to second for dear life, before being passed with a gutsy move by the Aussie in the tight corkscrew at turn eight. Stoner, soon after, set his sights on the Mallorcan for the next nine laps and took his pending victory at the Andretti hair pin bringing the fans to their feet with excitement. As the top premier riders passed the checkered flag, the Seca saga faltered very little from behind, with a few minor mishaps and position changes. 

The local boy who showcased his talents in front of the home crowd was Yamaha’s Ben Spies, crossing over the finish line in 4th, just missing the podium. Spies and Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso went head to head in the final 4 laps of the race, duking it out for the 4th position. The even-tempered Italian graciously took 5 th   after Spies passed him in last two laps. The handsome rookie premiere rider took a fall in the qualifying round trying to push it to the limit in an attempt to make it to the front line on the grid, but had to settle for 2nd with a slightly bruised hand.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi finally opted to go with newly improved GP11.1 and lessened the gap on the time sheet over the weekend. He was marginally pleased with the positive results and put in a solid race with little to no error, placing 5th   and secured his 4th place in standings once again. The only threat to the well received Italian was a small feud with teammate Nicky Hayden and Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista at the halfway point of the race. Bautista went packing after a low side a few laps later and handed the 6th spot to Hayden. Innocently, Rizla Suzuki’s contract is up with MotoGP at the end of this year, time will tell which way the pendulum will swing with the Factory team.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards rode hard for his 53,000 fans at Laguna Seca, saying he put in his best effort to date with the US track and deservedly stole 8th away from Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera, following behind in 9th. San Carlo Honda Grisini, Hiroshi Aoyama rode well with his first introduction to the stateside circuit, placing last in the top ten. Along with Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, Pramac’s Loris Capirossi and LCR’s Toni Elias bringing up the rear in 11th, 12th and 13th.

Cal Crutchlow cut his race short with a low-side at turn 2 on the 3rd lap, subsequently from a front end issue due to a misdiagnosis on track temperatures, an ongoing problem that has plagued the British rider for the last few races. Three laps later, San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli went off without a clue, possibly having something to do with his front tyre. Two laps after Simoncelli, 37 year-old American wild card rider LCR Honda, Ben Bostrom took a plunge into the gravel pits saying later, “The bike is better than the rider”.

Now the GP paddocks can take a much-needed three-week rest before heading to the Cardion AB Grand Prix, Brno in the Czech Republic on August 12, Friday starting with the first free practice round at 10:10 am (GMT+2)

 

Mazda Raceway,Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap

1

25

27

Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda

158.0

43’52.145

2

20

1

Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha

157.7

+5.634

3

16

26

Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda

157.4

+9.467

4

13

11

Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha

156.8

+20.562

5

11

4

Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda

156.8

+20.885

6

10

46

Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati

156.2

+30.351

7

9

69

Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati

156.2

+31.031

8

8

5

Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha

155.3

+45.502

9

7

8

Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati

155.0

+51.549

10

6

7

Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda

154.0

+1’08.850

11

5

17

Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati

154.0

+1’09.132

12

4

65

Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati

152.3

1 Lap

13

3

24

Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda

150.9

1 Lap
Not Classified
   

19

Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki

155.5

19 Laps
   

23

Ben BOSTROM USA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda

142.6

24 Laps
   

58

Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda

155.6

26 Laps
   

35

Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha

150.8

29 Laps
 

MotoGP World Standings 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 168
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 153
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 132
4 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 98
5 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 94
6 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 85
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 85
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 60
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 59
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 57
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 49
12 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 41
13 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 39
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 35
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 34
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 15
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN  
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July 26, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Elena Myers, girlracer, Hector Barbera, Jorge Lorenzo, Laguna Seca, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, melissa paris, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Red Bull, Valentino Rossi

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