Motoette -in forward motion

GP riders compete on shaky ground at Motegi

Motegi MotoGP Post Race Review:

This last Sunday the rebounding Motegi Grand Prix of Japan delivered another multiple podium finish for the Repsol Honda Team. Dani Pedrosa ran another flawless race and brought home a third trophy for the season, pushing him within a one point difference to teammate Andrea Divizioso for the Championship with 195 points and a solid 4th place in standings. Yamaha’s reigning World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo landed another second, which inched him closer to rival, Honda’s Casey Stoner. Stoner came in at a surprising third place after a successful pre race weekend, breaking a GP pole record, with ten for the season and beating the best lap time of 1’45.267 set by Lorenzo in 2008.

After 3 months of indecision, the primary Grand Prix teams arrived in full attendance to the majestic island historically known as “the land of the rising sun”. But the premiere riders were back on shaky ground with a very exciting race right out of the grid. In a rare moment, Andrea Divizioso jumped the start as the lights were just about to go out, causing a chain reaction to San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, as they followed suit. The reprimanded threesome were mandated to take a ride through and did so on the third lap, pushing them back several positions.

As the riders set out to take on the most intense hard breaking circuit on the schedule, it was a continuation of excitement from back on the start line. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi shocked the fans when he went down in the second turn by becoming a Yamaha sandwich courtesy of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies. Deploying his airbag suit and instantly ejecting him from the race. The handsome Texan had a rough start to the pre race weekend when he came down with food poisoning, but Spies managed a quick recovery by displaying a great start. This soon came to an end when another rider clipped him from behind, bumping his hand off the handlebars and off the track as Rossi came off. But Spies maintained his M1 up right through the gravel and reentered the race, sending him back several positions.

With Casey Stoner leading out in front right out of the gate and teammates Pedrosa and Dovizioso right behind, it was business as usual for the Honda trio. Lorenzo had a bad start and settled into a 4th position until a series of events happened. After nearly crashing along with Rossi, the Mallorcan capitalized on mistakes made by Stoner and Dovizioso. In the 5th lap, Stoner went wide and off the track after a hair raising shimmy that could have been much worse. The Aussie reentered the track and quickly picked off his contenders one at a time, ultimately giving him third. Dovizioso dropped from his cushy 3rd position from the first lapwhen two laps later he was forced to take his mandatory ride through, putting him aback 6 spots to 9th. Crutchlow, also having to take the pit lane penalty, attempted to make up some time that he was going to lose by kicking it up a notch. Putting the pressure on Elias in turn 3, the Czech rider unexpectedly braked hard forcing the British rider to take a temporary detour off the track.

Now the playing field was getting interesting with Pedrosa out front, Lorenzo, Simoncelli, Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner putting the heat on in 6th. Ducati’s most successful rider, Mapre Aspar’s Hector Barbera went down in the 2nd lap after obtaining a comfortable 9th position. The Spaniard was transported off the track on stretcher and was later diagnosed with a broken right collarbone, which could keep him from racing in Australia in less than two weeks time.

In hot pursuit of a pit lane recovery, Dovizioso double-times it and passes LCR Honda’s Toni Elias, Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards and San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama, while Stoner emulates the same, passing Bautista and Hayden 10 laps in. Hayden also goes into the gravel in the next lap , but jumps back into the thick of things and gains 7th place after cruising by the checkered flag.

Stoner continued to recover from his crippling error and cunningly claimed third on the podium, despite the 10 second gap between Pedrosa and Lorenzo, who was leading the pack.

Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi replacement, Damian Cudlin got a little over his head with the intimiating GP session and slides out in the in the 14th lap. Toni Elias soon follows suit an goes down four laps later, lessening the count from 18 to 13 riders.

The real dramatic battle was in the 18th lap for 4th place with Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Divizioso, who currently has no ride for next season. The two Italian Honda riders have made no secret about the lack of love they have for each other because of disapproving race etiquette and secured contracts, making it more personal than professional. With patriotic flags waving in the stands, the boys went at it, using their two-wheeled machines as boxing gloves for the next two laps. Going back and forth, Simoncelli made the final jab and won the fight, demoting Dovizioso to 5th….for now.

Edwards passes Spies for 7th in the 19th lap but Spies kindly repays the gesture in the very next lap, giving Edwards an 8th spot. The proud Aoyama demonstrated great form to his homeland fans with a sound race coming in just under the top ten in 9th and Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, rounded up the top ten.

The 16th GP round will be the Iveco Australian Grand Prix commencing on Friday, October 14th starting at 11:10 (GMT+11) with the first free practice.

MotoGP Race Classification 2011

Motegi, Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 161.6 42’47.481
2 20 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 161.1 +7.299
3 16 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.4 +18.380
4 13 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 160.1 +23.550
5 11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.1 +23.691
6 10 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 159.2 +37.604
7 9 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 159.1 +39.167
8 8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 158.8 +45.023
9 7 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 158.5 +49.074
10 6 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 157.9 +59.022
11 5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 157.0 +1’13.964
12 4 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI JPN LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 156.6 +1’21.709
13 3 72 Shinichi ITO JPN Honda Racing Team Honda 156.3 +1’26.381
Not Classified
  24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 158.8 7 Laps
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 159.7 11 Laps
  6 Damian CUDLIN AUS Pramac Racing Team Ducati 156.7 11 Laps
  8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 147.6 23 Laps
  46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati  0 Lap

MotoGP World Standing 2011PDF

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 300
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 260
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 196
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 195
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 156
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 123
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 119
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 98
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 94
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 57
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 39
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 7
19 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
20 Shinichi ITO Honda JPN 3
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October 4, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, melissa paris, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Randy De Puniet, Red Bull, toni elais, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

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