Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the Red Bull US GP from Laguna Seca:
Casey Stoner wins at Laguna Seca
The Repsol rider achieves his fifth victory and increases his advantage on top of the World Championship standings to 20 points. Dani Pedrosa, third, was beside him on the podium and Andrea Dovizioso finished fifth.
The current Championship leader, Casey Stoner, took an intelligent victory at the United States Grand Prix, with the Repsol rider increases his advantage over his rivals in the overall classification. His team mate at the Repsol Honda Team, Dani Pedrosa, third, took his second consecutive podium and gets the fourth place in the standings. Andrea Dovizioso finished in fifth position.
After keeping the third position during most of the race, behind Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, the Australian of the Repsol Honda Team decided to push more in the 17 lap and do his best to take the lead of the race. Lap after lap, Stoner set the fastest time and, after overtaking first the rider from Castellar and later Jorge Lorenzo, rode alone until crossing the finish line in first place.
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ CONTINUES POSITIVE STREAK AT LAGUNA SECA
MAPFRE Aspar rider finishes ninth in his 150th GP, banishing the demons of his 2010 race retirement.
The first section of the season has come to a close for the MotoGP riders, as they headed into a short summer break with an exciting race at the 3,610m-long Laguna Seca track. Casey Stoner was the eventual winner of a United States Grand Prix that looked to be Jorge Lorenzo's to lose. The latter had started from pole and got of to a storming start, but the World Championship leader was able to reel him in and take advantage of the reigning titlist's fatigue to make a pass. Stoner then pulled away for the last six laps, winning by just over five seconds. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium, as the three fastest men of the weekend lived up to their promise.
The series returns in mid-August with the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
Riding at Laguna Seca for the second time, MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá was able to claim his first finish in a US GP. Last year he was forced into retirement with a mechanical problem, but he managed to make amends in 2011. A merit-worthy ninth place was his end position, and kept up a run of strong form from the last three races. His main difficulty Stateside emanated from the decision to run a softer rear tyre for the race, and the gamble didn't pay off for the Spaniard. Riding solo for most of the race and lacking rear-end grip, Barberá focused on keeping the bike upright and completing the 32-lap contest. It was a positive result on the sophomore MotoGP rider's 150th GP appearance in all classes; besides home rider Colin Edwards, no satellite rider placed ahead of Barberá.
9th Héctor Barberá: "To tell the truth, it was a strange race for me today. At the start everything pointed towards me being able to achieve my target, which was to keep up with the factory Ducati bikes. However, I started to feel that I was losing the rear later on. We had put a softer tyre on the rear and the bike was moving about a lot. I had an awkward time getting onto the straights on a couple of occasions and I'm not sure why. That was when Valentino and Nicky got away from me, because I lost nearly a second over the course of two laps. I opted for a more powerful engine map after that, and I had to muscle the bike around a lot with my arms. After ten laps my shoulders began to tighten up and fatigue. The race wasn't as good as our practice sessions, but nonetheless we managed to finish ninth. On the one hand it is positive, because I consider it to be a good result. However, I am a bit disappointed with myself because I know that I could have done even more."
DE PUNIET FORCED TO MISS LAGUNA SECA RACE
Pramac Racing Team's Randy de Puniet was keen to try to race right up to the last moment in today's United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. However after yesterday's crash, which caused fractures to the transverse process on the right-hand side of his L3 and L4 vertebrae, the rider suffered overnight and with added trauma to the pelvis he has been forced to withdraw from the race today. The Frenchman will undergo further medical examinations tomorrow.
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing rider
"I am very sad about what happened yesterday, we really didn't need this. Until that moment it was a really good weekend for us - in all the practice sessions we were fast and today we could have done a good race. I'm sorry for my teammates who always give their best to make the bike as competitive as possible for me. I'm also sorry for our partners who support us at all times, even through these difficult moments. Yesterday I thought it was my mistake but I have check telemetry with my engineer and I did the same thing as all the other times. In Sachsenring many riders crashed in their first lap out, I guess this time was my turn, but I hope the situation will improve soon. I wanted to believe until the last moment that I was able to ride, but yesterday night the pain was truly unbearable and I had to call the doctors from the mobile clinic to ease it. Contrary to what we thought yesterday, the pelvis seems to be the biggest problem: my hip is swollen like a football, and I can barely even walk. Tomorrow I am going to take further medical examinations in Los Angeles where we can see more clearly if the pelvis also suffered a fracture. We hope that after the summer break we will be able to return to the track without any problems and leave this bad luck behind. We must do whatever it takes now to turn around the second part of our season in the championship."
HEROIC CAPIROSSI AT LAGUNA SECA. DESPITE THE PAIN HE CONCLUDES THE RACE IN TWELFTH POSITION
Heroic race for Loris Capirossi. The Pramac Racing Team rider grits his teeth and finishes the race despite the injury to his right shoulder, so gaining four world championship points thanks to the twelfth final position. It was well known that was going to be a difficult race for Loris: after a good start, where the Italian rider has gained two places, his shoulder hurt too much and the final position, however, rewards its determination. Now two weeks off to make sure that both riders of the Pramac Racing Team, Loris Capirossi and Randy De Puniet, will recover in the best way for the race scheduled for August 14th in Brno, Czech Republic.
Fabiano Sterlacchini – Pramac Racing Technical Director
"It has been a very difficult race. We were once again very unfortunate, but we hope that bad luck went away because it would be impossible to go on like this. Loris was very brave, however, until the shoulder has held up he was keeping a good pace. Then, once the pain was too strong, he completed the race without risking further damage to his physical condition. All this shows that he is on the right direction to recovery and we hope to see him in top form at Brno. On the countrary is going for De Puniet after the fractures suffered in yesterday's crash. He will surely need more time to recover. Fingers crossed and we hope that when we will return from vacation luck will finally be on our side."
Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing rider – 12th in the race – 16th in the championship
"This race was a gamble for me. In Germany I only ridden for a few laps but the shoulder was really too bad. I made the decision to come here and for me the most important thing was to finish the race. We knew it would be difficult because during the test was very hard to ride. The result is bad, but I'm happy because I achieved the goal to finish the race. Now I will try to get back to full fitness in Brno, one of my favorite tracks, because there I really want to prove that we can fight for better positions."
Home top ten for Edwards, Crutchlow crashes early
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought eighth place finish in front of a large home crowd at the Laguna Seca track earlier today.
Today's race started in gloriously sunny conditions with temperatures reaching 23 degrees and a sun-drenched crowd of 52,670 were treated to an exciting battle throughout the 32-lap encounter.
Edwards seized eighth from Hector Barbera exiting the famous Corkscrew section on lap 14 but he was already six seconds adrift of the battle for sixth place involving Ducati duo Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
He was able to run identical lap times to nine-times world champion Rossi and double Laguna Seca MotoGP winner Hayden in the middle phase of the race. But he was unable to reduce the gap and he opted not to take any unnecessary risks to ensure he collected eigth valuable World Championship points.
Today's result, which was the 37-year-old's seventh top ten finish of the campaign, moved him up one place in the overall rankings after to consolidate his position as the leading non-factory rider in 2011.
Cal Crutchlow's debut at the spectacular Laguna Seca circuit was unfortunately a short experience, the British rider's hopes of a return to the top 10 ended by an early crash.
Starting from the front of the fourth row, Crutchlow was shadowing tenth placed Alvaro Bautista when he lost the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine at Turn 2.
The 25-year-old was unhurt in the fourth lap incident but it was a disappointing conclusion to a weekend that had promised much from the 2009 World Supersport champion after he'd brilliantly got to grips with the 3.610km track.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now commences a richly deserved two-week summer break before the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes in Brno on August 14.
Colin Edwards 8th - 67 points:
"Honestly I'm really disappointed because I came here for my home race and I expected bigger and better things. I struggled all weekend with the set-up and we made a wrong turn somewhere in the last couple of races that have knocked us out of stride a little bit. This morning we just put in the same setting I ran in last year's race and that wasn't great, but at least I felt more comfortable with it than what I'd been running all weekend. It wasn't the best setting but at least I felt comfortable to a poi nt where I could push for some decent lap times. I just lacked front and rear grip. I've never ridden so hard in my life but I was a second off the pace and when Cal went down in front of me, there was no way I could go with Bautista. I just had to be smooth because if I pushed I just ended up going slower. I still moved up in the Championship and got some good points, so now I'm just looking forward to a couple of weeks relaxing to get ready for the final part of the season."
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 34 points:
"I lost the front at the second corner and it was a similar problem to what we've been experiencing in recent races. It was fine this morning in cooler conditions but as soon as the track temperature goes up, I have a few problems. Strangely it was only at that corner. It is a shame because I think we had a good pace. Bautista wasn't getting away from me and he quic kly got up to Valentino and Nicky, so I think I could have gone with him and been in that battle. I'm disappointed I didn't finish the race and it is not good for the Championship but I wasn't the only one to crash today and it shows all of us are pushing on the limit. We have still learned quite a bit this weekend and the bike certainly felt better than it did in the last few races. Now we go to some tracks that I know and I'm looking forward to it because it has been a tough run and I need to recover the form I was showing in the beginning of the season."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
"Colin had a really strong race today and he worked hard for some good points He never gave up his pace, the rhythm was very constant and he was very near the pace of the factory Ducati for almost the entire race. He asked me on the grid what I would like and I said that an eighth position would make me happy because it had not been an easy weekend for Colin. So I am happy with his performance. On the other side of the garage we had a very big disappointment for Cal. He got a reasonable start and his lap times were very good in the first few laps but he crashed early and that is a big pity. This is Cal's rookie year where he needs to be gaining lots of experience and learning a lot, so to crash so early is very disappointing because we lost a lot of points in the championship. But he also lost a lot of potential data that would have been very useful for next year. I would have liked him to finish the race and go into the summer break with a more positive feeling. Everybody is ready for a break after a very intense period of the Championship. The whole team is going to Colin's Boot Camp tomorrow and we are all excited about that. Hopefully we will all be back with fully recharged batteries when the season continues in Czech Republic."
Stoner storms to dominant victory in the United States
Round 10: United States GP – Race
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sunday 24 July 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Soft, Medium
Casey Stoner demonstrated fantastic race pace today using the harder compound Bridgestone slicks to climb from third and take a decisive victory at Laguna Seca. Initially following the lead battle between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, as their pace faded Stoner's consistency meant he took the lead by lap 27 of 32 and never looked back.
Lorenzo took the early lead from pole position and Pedrosa put him under great pressure until the mid-way point of the race at which point Stoner started his charge to the front, passing his teammate and taking the Honda fight to the Yamaha of the 2010 World Champion. Lorenzo finished second whilst Pedrosa took the final step of the podium.
The top three riders all used the harder option front and rear slicks today, as did Andrea Dovizioso who finished fifth and Marco Simoncelli who crashed out when running in fifth. Despite the high track temperature that reached 46 degrees, three riders used the softer front tyres and 12 of the 17 starters opted for the softer rear. Consistency even of the softer spec rear was reasonable and Ben Spies used it to good effect to hunt down Dovizioso and snatch fourth position from him in the closing laps.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Casey delivered an impressive performance today to fight back to his first victory at Laguna Seca since his title-winning year of 2007, and I am pleased to see the popularity of MotoGP growing in the USA with a record crowd this weekend. Laguna Seca is the only race on the calendar at which Bridgestone-shod riders have taken all three steps of the podium every year since 2007, that season and 2008 still being a situation of tyre competition, so it has always been a good place for us and this year's no different. I am happy with the feedback from our softer rear tyre selection which we will continue to implement for five of the remaining eight races this season."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"The harder option front and rear slicks were clearly the faster options today and, especially in the case of Casey, consistency was impressive. Whilst his fastest lap was a few tenths off the lap record, the total race time was 2.7seconds faster than the previous record which is a very good indication of consistency and durability. On lap three Casey set the fastest lap of 1m 21.673s and on lap 29 his pace was still 1m 21.865s which is a further demonstration of tyre durability. I am pleased too with the performance of our softer slicks this weekend. We brought them to improve warm-up performance in the cooler morning sessions, but actually 12 riders chose to use them for the race and Ben finished fourth using a softer rear so I am satisfied with their race-distance performance as well as our decision to revise rear tyre options here."
Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
"All weekend we didn't really have the pace of Dani and Jorge and weren't comfortable running that pace, but we made some changes overnight and were a little more confident going into the race. The bike didn't feel great with a full tank of fuel so we had to wait and be patient, but as Dani and Jorge started to struggle with rear grip our bike got better and better each lap. It's definitely one of my best races and one to enjoy."
Bautista crashes out while challenging for the top-six
Publish Date: Monday, July 25, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista ended today's U.S. Grand Prix in the gravel after crashing out on the 14th lap of this afternoon's race.
Bautista made a confident start from 12th on the grid and had moved up a place by the end of lap one. He produced a couple of very strong passes over the next few laps to move into eighth place and join the battle for sixth between the two Ducati's of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi. Bautista closed the gap on the pair and it looked like the crowd was in for a repeat of last week's exciting battle between the three, but unfortunately Bautista low-sided his Suzuki GSV-R and, although he remounted his bike, he was unable to get it restarted and had to retire from the race.
The crowd of 52,670 that gathered on the hillsides that surround the Laguna Seca circuit were again treated to bright blue skies and brilliant sunshine, as they witnessed current championship leader Casey Stoner take his fifth victory of the season on a Factory Honda. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was second with Dani Pedrosa filling the final podium place.
Rizla Suzuki and Bautista now embark on a short summer break before resuming the 2011 season at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 14th August, when Bautista will be joined by John Hopkins who is making a wild-card appearance at the eastern European circuit.
"I am very, very disappointed after today and really frustrated because although we did a really good job all weekend, we didn't get the result we deserved and I crashed. We tried many different things here this weekend and used a completely different setting to last year and we managed to get the same good feeling as we had in Germany. This is the best I have felt on a bike in my MotoGP career so I know things are moving in the right direction. I think we made a mistake on Friday and Saturday, because we didn't try the soft front tyre in the afternoons. I think the hard tyre here wasn't too bad, but it didn't give me the feeling I wanted in the corners - the grip wasn't too bad, but it just didn't transmit enough information. For the race I started with a hard front and I now think it was a mistake not to use a soft one. I got a good start, but some riders closed up in front of me and I couldn't get past, but I did make up one place on the first lap. I overtook some other guys and got behind the Ducati's, but I was a bit far away and had to catch them up. My rhythm was really good and I had a lot of confidence in the bike, but I lost the front without any reason and crashed. I had entered that corner at the same speed and in the same place in previous laps so I don't know what happened. I am happy with the work we did this weekend and pleased with my level on the bike. Before the crash I was fighting for sixth or seventh and I know we can be there now and we have to keep working at this level and higher in the next races We now have some time to relax and charge our batteries, so we can be full gas for Brno."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"I am really disappointed today for everyone at Suzuki, Rizla, the team itself and of course for Álvaro. Starting from 12th was never going to make the job easy, but a very aggressive first couple of laps, and then settling in to a good rhythm saw him right back in the fight and another entertaining duel with the Factory Ducati's was on the cards. Equally, once the race settled down, our lap-times were not so different from Dovizioso and Spies battling for fourth, so despite today's' disappointment there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend at Laguna Seca. We'll be arriving in Brno with two riders and looking to keep the positive momentum going!"
LAGUNA SECA LETDOWN FOR SIMONCELLI
A crash in the USGP brought an early end to an otherwise promising weekend for Marco Simoncelli at Laguna Seca, which has seen him consistently on the coattails of the leading riders. Unfortunately the Italian rider lost front grip in turn eight at the Californian circuit and paid a heavy price. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider is disappointed not to continue his run of points finishes and heads for his summer holidays with a bitter taste in his mouth. His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama crossed the line in tenth place – not an outstanding result but an important one as the Japanese rider continues to recover confidence with his bike.
Marco Simoncelli (DNF) "I am really disappointed. I don't know whether I would have caught Pedrosa if I'd stayed in the race, it's impossible to say, but I could have definitely had a battle with Dovizioso and Spies so it's a real shame. We had worked so well and managed to improve from session to session but I realised early in the race that the front was giving me more trouble than it had in practice. It closed in turn seven on the first lap, which is a strange place for it to go, and then again two laps later in turn eight. All we can do right now is dust ourselves down and head to Brno looking to do our best again."
Hiroshi Aoyama (10th) "Starting from 14th place is never easy so I had to make a few passes before I could get into my true rhythm. I am partly satisfied to have finished tenth but it was a tough race because I am still not physically fit. My intention was to make it to the end and I am happy I did that because this was my first race here at Laguna. Now we have a short break and I hope I can come back stronger in the next race at Brno, ready to fight for a good result."
Fausto Gresini "I am especially disappointed for Marco. I can see how gutted he is because he wanted to continue the positive trend of results from the past couple of races but this has been a tougher weekend and he has still been close to the pace of the top guys. We knew it would be difficult for him to stay with them today because they had two or three tenths more in terms of race pace but fourth or fifth place was within Marco's grasp. It's a shame but this is racing, so what we do now is put this race behind us and look forward to the next one in good faith. Tenth place for Hiroshi is not a result worthy of celebration but it was important for him to finish this one and I am sure he will be much more motivated for the next one at Brno."
Stoner storms to fantastic victory in Laguna Seca
Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner displayed a master class in riding at the Red Bull U.S. GP in Laguna Seca today.
The young Australian who started from second on the grid, dropped to third place at the start and took his time before launching his attack on Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa on lap eighteen of thirty two. After passing Pedrosa, who was suffering from fatigue and fitness problems, Stoner chased down Lorenzo for nine laps and wasted no time in passing him around the outside of turn one on lap twenty seven. From this point, he controlled the race comfortably, finishing five and a half seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Stoner has now increased his lead in the World Championship standings to twenty points over Lorenzo.
After being passed by Stoner, Dani Pedrosa retained third position comfortably. He knew his fitness would be tested here, at a track that demands a huge physical effort. He has now moved above Valentino Rossi in the Championship standings to 4th position with 110 points.
Andrea Dovizioso who had a great start, jumping from sixth to fourth, maintained this position for the majority of the race. He struggled to maintain his consistency for the long race in Laguna and with three laps to go was passed by Ben Spies. He remains third in the Championship standings with 143 points.
On this high note, the Repsol Honda Team will now enjoy a well deserved break before the next race in the Czech Republic on August 14.
CASEY STONER – 1st – World Championship Position: 1st with 193 points
"All weekend we've been struggling a little so we weren't too confident that we could run with Jorge and Dani in the race. However, this morning in warm up we found something I was a little happier with. Before the race I felt relaxed, confident and generally calm, we started a little slower to get the tyres warm gently but also with a full tank of fuel, the bike didn't feel that great. So I was patient and took my time, staying with Jorge and Dani to control the gap and make sure they didn't get too far away. I felt I had more speed but decided to wait and watch. I saw Dani struggling a bit and he started to drop back from Jorge so I had to attack at this point. Once I caught up to Jorge, I watched to see if he made a mistake and kept the pressure on him, then chose my moment to make the move and was able to slowly open up a gap and bring the race home. It's really fantastic to come fr om such a difficult weekend and get a great win and I'm very thankful to all my team".
DANI PEDROSA – 3rd 1'21'385 – World Championship Position: 4th with 110 points
"I'm very happy with another podium, the second after my come back from injury. I could have predicted this result before coming to Laguna because I knew it would be physically very tough for me and it has been great to keep up with the pace of Casey and Jorge in these past two races. Today, by the middle of the race, I was very tired, almost finished, I couldn't get my left arm strong enough and here at this track you don't rest for a moment, so I had to drop. It's been quite difficult to set up the bike this weekend, I had a lack of grip generally, but the team worked very well. Now we have some holidays and it will be good for me to have some days off to rest and relax my muscles and be back training to arrive fully fit in Brno".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th – World Championship Position: 3rd with 143 points
"We knew that it was going to be a tough race because this track is short, with very strong braking and it's also very demanding. I made a good start and I was able to move into fourth position. In the first laps I pushed hard to stay with Casey, Dani and Lorenzo. I was loosing a lot in some corners, such as T3 and T11 and to recover I was pushing in the other areas. I used up a lot of energy and I couldn't be consistent for the 32 laps. I'm disappointed because today we had the speed to fight for a good result, in fact I lapped two tenths behind the fastest lap, but I couldn't be consistent. I lost the battle with Spies and this is the first time I've lost a battle this year. The good point is that we were able to be fast. Now we have to focus and continue working, we are third in the Championship and we want to keep on fighting. We will take advant age of the three week break to recharge the batteries and return in Brno more determined. My congratulations go to Casey and Dani".
Lorenzo Battles for Laguna Victory
World Champion Jorge Lorenzo put in a superhuman effort today for the Grand Prix of U.S.A, battling for victory with Championship rival Casey Stoner to finish second on the podium. Lorenzo made a strong start from pole and led the GP field for an impressive 26 lap run before conceding to Stoner as the effects of yesterday's massive crash took its toll on his energy levels.
Fellow Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies had a less than perfect start from the grid, initially dropping to seventh behind Valentino Rossi on the first laps of the race. Rossi was eventually dispatched by the Texan on lap three, freeing him to focus on Dovizioso ahead. Spies put in an incredible ride to close a gap of over five seconds and take fourth with just three laps to go.
The weekend's results leave Lorenzo heading into the short holiday break trailing Championship leader Stoner by 20 points. Team mate Spies will arrive at Brno still in sixth place in the standings but now just 12 points behind Dani Pedrosa in fourth.
Position : 2nd Time: +5.634
"Well first of all I'm lucky to be in the second position, after the crash yesterday I thought it wasn't possible to race for a little while. After qualifying I hoped I might be able to fight till the end for victory but sometimes expectations are not reality. Casey was faster today, I couldn't match his pace at the end. My physical condition is not so perfect which makes us a bit slow as well. Second is ok, we are only 20 points behind Casey and we'll try again next time."
Position : 4th Time: +20.562
"I got a really good start but going uphill to the steep part of the track basically we didn't have enough power. I got stuck behind Valentino, I tried to get around as quick as I could but he's really good on the brakes so it was pretty tough but I did the best I could. Once we got around him it was quite a big gap to Dovizioso but I just kept my head down and kept going. I'm happy we were able to track him down and get fourth. It was a really good race for us it just got spoilt in the first five hundred feet. I would have liked to have been on the podium as I think we had a package to fight with Dani, I guess that's racing and I gave it 100% as always."
"A spectacular race by Jorge with a great 20 points secured. It is obvious we wanted to win this one but I think yesterday's crash gave us not the best physical condition for a 32 lap race. At the end of the day, to take 20 points after a crash like that is not so bad. We'll take some rest now and head to Brno recovered and in fighting form ready to challenge Casey again."
"We leave here with some good points; second position is the best that Jorge could achieve considering his condition, which is very important for the Championship. Unfortunately Ben lost too much time behind Valentino, then when he was able to pass him there was already a big gap to the front guys. He did really well and caught Dovizioso to finish fourth which is good for him and for his standings. We're looking forward to the next one already in Brno, the team have worked really hard this weekend and it's been a special time to celebrate our 50th anniversary of Grand Prix racing with everybody here at Laguna."
Karel Abraham finishes eleventh despite the technical problem
U.S. Grand Prix had a successful end for Karel Abraham despite the technical problem which caused that the Cardion AB Motoracing rider finished his premiere race at the Laguna Seca in eleventh place.
"Start of the race and the enter to the first corner wasn't very good," said Karel Abraham, who started from the fifth row on the grid.
While the three other riders crashed out and Ben Bostrom withdrew from the race, Karel Abraham moved forward to the tenth place and started to chase Hector Barbera, whose lead was only 1,405 second on lap 30. Unfortunately, the technical problems caused that Karel Abraham wasn't able to pass Hector Barbera in the last moments of the race.
"Suspension of the rear wheel broke down when I was getting close enough to overtake Hector Barbera," admitted Karel Abraham. Mudguard was touching the rear tire when Karel Abraham was passed by Hiroshi Aoyama in the last corner. "I am a bit disappointed that I finished just 0,282 second behind him, but I am still satisfied with the result of the race," said twenty-one years old Czech rider after he crossed the finish line in eleventh place.
Karel Abraham and members of the team Cardion AB Motoracing now heads to the Czech Republic for the Cardion AB Grand Prix České republiky which will be held from 12th to 14th of August at the Brno Circuit.
"I am looking forward to the Cardion AB Grand Prix České republiky which will be home Grand Prix for me and for my team. I believe that lots of fans will arrive to the Brno Circuit to support me," added.
ELIAS MANAGES TO FNISH 13th AT TRICKY LAGUNA SECA RACE TRACK
BOSTROM ENJOYS HIS MOTOGP DEBUT DESPITE AN EARLY RACE FINISH
Monterey, 24 July: On a near perfect summer's day with air temperature of 23 degrees LCR Honda MotoGP Team racer Toni Elias managed to finish the 32-lap Californian round in 13th position despite his usual front end issues. His team mate Ben Bostrom took a good start from the last spot on the grid ahead 52.070 country fellows dropping his lap time of one second after the first lap. Unfortunately the American SBK rider went wide into the gravel twice and preferred to enter the garage trying not to crash his RCV no. 23.
Now the MotoGP Championship is "on holiday" and premier class riders will be back on track on the 14th of August for the Czech Republic GP in Brno.
Elias: "In this morning warm up we have changed rear set up of the bike and I felt immediately better. As always I took a good start but on this track you get stuck if you start from the last row so I pushed but in the first corner I went a bit wide. I was 12th when I suddenly lost the front running off into the gravel. I could rejoin the race but for the rest of the race I felt like I was lapping on a frozen surface. We have finished the race in 13th position but the situation is still very tough for us".
Bostrom: "I took a good start and immediately felt very comfortable on the bike. I improved my lap time of one second from the practice so I was very optimistic to see that so early in the race. As I was riding so much faster I started to be uncomfortable in the first corner when I had to shift down because my foot hit the ground and after few laps I made a mistake running off the track into the gravel. It took me 30 seconds to rejoin the race but I wanted to continue but the next lap I had the same problem. So I have decided to enter the pits even if the bike was fantastic. Honestly I was thinking about my race and didn't want to crash this bike. Once again I want to thank MJM, Lucio and all the guys here: it was an incredible experience for me!"
ROSSI AND HAYDEN SIXTH AND SEVENTH AT LAGUNA SECA
Valentino Rossi finished in sixth place at Laguna Seca, one spot ahead of his teammate Nicky Hayden. The two Ducati Team riders lapped at a good pace, even if it wasn't quite enough to stay with the faster group.
The team worked very hard on both the GP11 and the GP11.1, and they'll continue the development of the 800cc bikes during the next round at Brno, in the Czech Republic, which will follow a short two-week break. On the Monday after that race, the season's second official test for the team riders will take place.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th
"We worked well this weekend. We started from a better position than we have in recent races, and I got a good launch on the start and tried to stay with the leaders. I did a lap in the mid-'22s, but then I closed the front twice in a row on the bumps in Turn 5 and nearly crashed. I still had a tough race after that, because Nicky stayed glued to me and didn't give me a chance to breathe. We obviously don't want to be fighting for sixth place, but we're having some problems at the moment and we have to try and do our best with what we have. We're losing too much on corner entry, where I'm very slow because I don't have enough feeling, but Ducati is working and we must stay focused and positive, making progress step by step. In the short term, we have to make up those missing tenths in order to stay with the group with Spies, Sic and Dovizioso. Then we'll think about the others."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th
"I've won this race before, so I'm not going to jump up and down celebrating seventh place. We knew it was going to be tough, and crashing in qualifying didn't help. I got a decent start, but I didn't get to go with that second group like I had hoped. It was kind of like the Sachsenring: a good battle with Valentino, but thirty seconds behind the front. Vale was no faster than me, but he's a racer: he doesn't make mistakes and give you anything. A couple of times I thought I might be able to go up the inside, but I'm not just going to close my eyes and knock us both down trying for sixth place. People who think he's not trying are crazy. I saw his right foot come off the peg a couple of times when he almost went down. We'll take two weeks off, regroup and go to Brno. Now is no time to be negative. I believe in my team and Ducati, and I really think we're still going to have a good season."
Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager)
"I think the guys on the team and both of our riders deserve a big thank-you for what they did this weekend. The two crews were ready to give Vale and Nicky both the GP11 and the GP11.1, and they worked without a moment's break in both directions, which was an enormous effort that allowed us to collect a lot of data for the engineers back at the office. With Vale we continued focusing on the setup of the GP11.1, thinking toward the future. Vale was able to improve over the course of the weekend, and in the race he made the most of the package that's currently available to him. Nicky did comparative tests between the two bikes. Then for his home round he opted to race with the one that he knew better, although he liked a number of aspects about the new bike, which he'll try again at Brno."