Lorenzo wins Spanish duel in Catalunya
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo extended his championship lead after emerging victorious from an exciting duel with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa got a great start from the second row to lead for the opening laps and after swapping the lead with Lorenzo a couple of times, Lorenzo made the decisive pass with six laps remaining and sped away to win by 5.003 seconds. Rounding out the top three and scoring a maiden podium with his new team was Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso who finished two-tenths of a second ahead of Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. Power Electronics Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro put in a great performance at his home circuit to be the first CRT rider across the line in 13th.
Rain began to fall early on Sunday and affected the morning warm-up session and though conditions for the race were dry, the earlier precipitation and the relatively mild track temperatures due to cloud cover resulted in lower grip levels than experienced on Friday and Saturday. Underlining the importance of optimum braking stability at Catalunya, all riders opted for the hard compound front slick tyre, with most of the riders selecting this option in the new specification, while most riders opted for the softer asymmetric rear slick tyre.
Jorge Lorenzo’s third victory of the season increases his points lead over Casey Stoner to 20 points, while Dani Pedrosa’s second place means he closes to within ten points of his teammate in the standings.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today we saw an intense battle for the race victory and I would like to congratulate Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo for taking the win in front of his passionate home crowd. Track conditions for the race suffered a little due to the cooler temperatures and morning rain but the wide operating temperature range of our 2012 specification tyres meant that both rear slick tyre options were used to good effect in the race. Our attention now turns to the tests at Catalunya tomorrow and Aragon on Wednesday which we will be supporting.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The weather conditions for today were quite different from yesterday with track temperatures for the race around 15°C cooler than Friday and Saturday, though tyre durability was still an important factor for today’s race. As I expected, the softer rear slick tyre was selected by most riders for the race, though both rear slick tyres performed well over the race distance and the new specification front tyre was once again preferred by most riders which is very positive news ahead of its full introduction at the next race at Silverstone. Overall, I am pleased that our tyres performed so well at this circuit and stood up to the tough conditions here at Catalunya.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“Today’s conditions were very difficult to race in. At the beginning of the race I was third and it was important to keep a good pace without making any mistakes while I was behind Ben and Dani. Later in the race I waited for my opportunity and could see Dani was slowing down, so when he made a mistake I profited from it and then pushed to the maximum to take the win.”