Motoette -in forward motion

Pit lane penance for Rossi at Aragon

Motorland Aragon MotoGP Post Race Review: 

Wow is the best way to describe Sunday’s race at Motorland Aragon with an exuberant start which lead Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner to the center podium for the 8th time this season and a 100th win for his team. Teammate, Dani Pedrosa in his classic modest resilience, kept a beautiful consistent pace, placing him in second in the parc ferme and keeping his promise to the fans, was Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, rounding it off in third.

The 14th round at Motorland Aragon started off with a slight inconvenience on Friday when the second free practice round was cancelled, due to a downed power transformer causing a blackout at the Spanish circuit. Technical officials tried to rectify the problem, but had no luck and the remaining sessions in all classes had to be cancelled for safety reasons.

Saturday’s practice rounds were granted an additional 75 minutes to make up for the time loss from Friday’s power failure, so the boys could play catch up from the odd occurrence.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi was not so fortunate after he went down in a minor crash during the qualifying practice, using up his 6th and final engine for the season. The good-natured Italian took it in stride and opted to start 10 seconds behind in the pit lane on race day. The resourceful Ducati team managed to bolt the new nonconforming 7th engine into Rossi’s prototype aluminum chassis, choosing to take the penalty at Aragon rather than Motegi in October.

Under cool cloudy skies, the immediate 23 lap start off the grid was intense with Pedrosa and Stoner briefly out in front barely touching fairings as Yamaha’s Ben Spies whizzed by the two riders. But, before the first lap was completed, Stoner and Pedrosa passed the American like he was standing still, never to regain his front position again.

By the second tight corner, Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham went into the gravel giving Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, who was right behind, nowhere to go. The historical Frenchman was able to keep his composure and reenter the track in last place and in the end crossed the finish line in 11th.  Almost simultaneously, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso went down at turn three, ejecting him prematurely from the race.

As Stoner and Pedrosa started to isolate themselves from the procession just behind, San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli tilted his helmet down and set aim for his targets ahead, Spies and Lorenzo. With Ducati’s Nicky Hayden on his tail, Simoncelli kept his cool and passed Lorenzo in perfect form in the third lap, giving him a clear shot at Spies and another sweet taste for the podium in third.

As Simoncelli closed in the gap to Spies, a six man battle went down with LCR Honda’s Toni Elias leading the pack for 6th place in the fifth lap. With Hiroshi Aoyama, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi putting the pressure on, the Spaniard could not hold the line for long and was passed by Monster Yamaha’s Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and the rest of the clan soon after.

The remarkably patient Simoncelli laid in wait for Spies, like a lion stalking its prey and pounced on the Texan in turn 15 coming into the 9th lap. But, like so many times before, the wild haired Italian suddenly ran wide in the very next lap, allowing Spies and Lorenzo to recapture their 3rd and 4th positions.

Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista and Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera hounded Nicky Hayden for 6th, capitalizing on an error in judgment when the Kentucky Kid also ran wide in the 10th lap, giving Bautista an unencumbered entry. The situation didn’t last long when Hayden was able to pull it together and pass the frosty tipped Spaniard on the next go around.

While Stoner ran away with the victory, breaking lap records in the process, the heart of the race rallied on. Valentino Rossi, in his Championship excellence, reminded the 63.000 fans who he was by pulling himself up by his (pit lane) boot straps and worked his way up the line. Picking off a few of his contenders one at a time, the scruffy faced Italian advanced up to 9th, but not without some intimidation from Aoyama and Crutchlow. Rossi was finding it difficult to stay in the game with a rear tyre that was disintegrating rapidly in the last seven laps. He held fast, keeping the bike under control and pulled through just making it into the top ten.

Lorenzo, finding rear grip that he thought he had lost, makes his move and passes the declining Spies in the 13th lap for third with Simoncelli following in his wake in fourth.  Spies was obviously losing ground, which turned out to be the premature destruction of his rear tyre, as with Rossi and settled for 5th.

Bautista came out fighting hard from the grid and later with his continual back and forth banter with Hayden and Barbera for a good portion of the race. But the homeboy wanted to do his fans proud and made a tremendous effort to secure an impressive 6th position, leaving the two Ducati’s to duke it out briefly until Rossi and Crutchlow got involved. With Bautista now out of the mix, the three riders meant business and “went for it” in the last 2 laps of the race, fighting hard for 8th. After a near paint exchange with Crutchlow, Barbera claimed the spot after an aggressive last-minute pass.

Two more riders go down in the 16th lap when Pramac’s soon-to-be retiring Loris Capirossi clips the back-end of Toni Elias. Capirossi smacked the pavement pretty hard, but the two premiere riders were able to dust themselves off and exit the track, while the classy Elias gestured to Capirossi to see if he is okay.

Look for the next Grand Prix round to be held at the twin ringed Motegi in the resilient country of Japan. Commencing on Friday, September 30th starting with the first free practice at 10:10am (GMT+9)

Race day Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.7 42’17.427
2 20 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.2 +8.162
3 16 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 164.8 +14.209
4 13 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 164.4 +20.646
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 163.9 +27.739
6 10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 163.7 +30.373
7 9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 163.5 +34.288
8 8 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 163.3 +37.305
9 7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 163.2 +39.652
10 6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 163.1 +39.832
11 5 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.1 +39.997
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.2 +54.717
13 3 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.0 +58.430
Not Classified
    24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 162.0 8 Laps
    65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.0 8 Laps
    4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda   0 Lap
    17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati   0 Lap

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 284
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 240
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 185
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 170
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 146
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 114
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 106
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 90
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 87
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 52
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 33
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3
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September 19, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aragon, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

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