Stoner’s soft approach leads to Laguna Seca victory
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner once again claimed a come-from-behind win at Laguna Seca to claw back valuable points in the MotoGP championship battle.
Unlike his main championship rivals Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Dani Pedrosa, Stoner opted for the combination of the softer rear and harder rear slick for today’s race. After trailing Lorenzo for most of the race, Stoner managed his tyres well and was able to exploit the extra rear grip on offer to pass Lorenzo down the main straight on the entry to turn one on lap twenty-two. Lorenzo continued his imperious podium record by placing second, while Pedrosa finished in third place. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the highest placed CRT rider and grabbed a good haul of points by crossing the finish line in ninth place.
Weather conditions today were the same as the previous two days, with cloudy and cool conditions in the morning before becoming warm and clear in the afternoon and track temperatures for the race remained stable at 43°C. Only six of the twenty-one riders on the grid selected the harder compound for the rear, while all but three riders selected the harder front slick for today’s race.
Stoner’s remains in third position in the riders standings, though his fourth victory of the season means he narrows the gap to Lorenzo to thirty-two points and just nine points to Pedrosa.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Casey on his fourth win of the season and Repsol Honda for once again having both riders on the podium. The quick pace we witnessed on Friday and Saturday continued today, with Dani setting a new fastest lap record on lap five and the overall race time was six seconds quicker than last year. It was another good crowd here at Laguna Seca and it is always good to see how much MotoGP is supported in the United States. This is a challenging circuit for riders with its highly variable weather between the morning and afternoon sessions and I am pleased that our tyre allocation helped riders manage the conditions comfortably.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s race was held under very similar conditions to Friday and Saturday and with cloud cover once again being heavy this morning, tyre choice, particularly for the rear was not clear for the riders until right before the race as teams monitored track temperatures before making a final decision. In the end, six out of the twenty-one riders selected the harder option rear slick, though both rear tyre compounds worked very well during the race, with Dani setting the fastest lap on the harder rear slick early in the race and Casey winning on the softer rear option.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“We knew with the soft tyre we had to be gentle to start with, though I tried to get to the front as soon as possible but Dani and Jorge got in front of me at the start. Jorge was riding well and taking good lines, so I sat back and tried to slowly pick up the pace. Eventually I could get past and the race was surprisingly similar to last year so it was good to get another win here.”