Press releases issued by the MotoGP teams after the race at Laguna Seca on Sunday:
Stoner wins at Laguna Seca
Repsol rider claims fourth victory of 2012, with teammate Dani Pedrosa joining him on the podium in third.
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner returned to the top of the MotoGP podium, thanks to a victory today at the famous Laguna Seca circuit. The Repsol rider got past championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who had led the race until only 11 laps remained, and held the lead until the chequered flag. Teammate Dani Pedrosa also managed to finish on the podium with a third place. This result takes the Repsol Honda Team to a total of 300 podium finishes since its inception in 1995.
With this latest win, the fourth for the Australian rider this season, Stoner repeats his result at Laguna Seca from 2011 and remains in third in the World Championship standings, reducing the gap to 32 points between he and the current leader, Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa —second overall— is 23 points off his fellow Spaniard.
PASINI FORCED TO RETIRE IN THE RACE AT LAGUNA SECA
The tenth race of the 2012 season for the MotoGP class was held today, at the US track of Laguna Seca.
In the warm up of this morning, which was postponed because of the fog, Pasini and his crew tried out some possible extra solutions for the setting, in order to work out and finalize the choice for the race.
Starting from the sixth row, the Italian moved up a few spots in the initial phases of the race, reaching the top-15 easily. On the twelfth lap, Mattia had to deal with a technical issue and therefore he was forced to go back to the pitbox and retire.
Pasini leaves the circuit of Laguna Seca with a total of thirteen points in the Championship Rankings, in fifteenth position.
Mattia Pasini #54 - retired
“It’s a shame that we couldn’t finish this race. We started off pretty well, we moved up quite a few positions and we had a good pace. There was a chance to stay with Hernandez and De Puniet, and then attack and try to improve in the last part of the race, but on the twelfth lap a technical problem forced us to retire. We could have left Laguna Seca with a few points that would have helped in the classification, but now we can only look towards Indianapolis, where we’ll do our best to make up.”
POWER ELECTRONICS RIDER SCORES ANOTHER TOP TEN FOR CRT REVOLUTION
Aleix Espargaró repeats feat of his team-mate Randy De Puniet
There were no surprises at the front of the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca as the top three riders on the grid filled the podium positions, Casey Stoner taking the win ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo pushed hard to break the pair from pole position but after eleven laps he finally relented to intense pressure from the Australian, who went on to open up a 3.4 second advantage at the flag.
The last race before the summer break proved to be one to remember for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team, capping off an impressive first half of the season. Between them Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet have taken CRT honours in eight of the opening ten races, five of them going the Spaniard's way after today's ninth place. Aleix spent all 32 laps of today's race as the leading CRT on track although he would surely have come under more threat from Randy if it weren't for the Frenchman getting run off track by another rider in turn one. An impressive fightback to eleventh place means the pair are now tied on 33 points in the championship with eight races remaining.
9th Aleix Espargaró: "I am really happy with the result although I didn't actually enjoy the race as much as some others. I have struggled for front feel all weekend and not been able to get the bike turning as well as at other tracks. We improved it a little bit for today and after a good start I was able to push hard for the first three laps behind Valentino, which allowed me to open a gap and hold it to the end. I didn't know that Randy had run off but I did think it was strange that he wasn't running with me in the race because our pace was so similar. I would prefer to beat him fair and square but the important thing is to finish as the top CRT. This season has been fantastic so far, the team are giving me a lot of support and putting everything into every race so I want to thank them all for the results we have achieved together up to now."
11th Randy De Puniet: "I am really annoyed to have been pushed off track in turn one because it cost me my chance to finish as the top CRT here in America. I almost crashed but luckily I was able to stay on and finish the race. My pace after that was fast and consistent so I am happy with that. I had to stay focused and pass a few riders and managed to finish eleventh so we have to be pleased. I would have liked to have caught Karel and Aleix and I gave everything I had but the time we lost at the start was too much to make up. At the end of the day we could have come away from here with nothing but we have picked up some important points for the championship. Once again it was a great team effort and we just need to continue in the same way at the next race."
PETRUCCI RETIRED IN LAGUNA SECA
Also this morning the fog was on Laguna Seca Raceway and the Race Direction was forced to delay the warm up of one hour, while the race was sunny with 18 degrees.
Race to forget for Danilo Petrucci that ha sto retire during the 19th lap. The Came Iodaracing Team young rider after a bad start has rejoined fast the group of points. From the 9th lap Danilo began to feel that the front of his TR003 is closing and he risked to crash many times. When he has lost the contact also from Silva and Edwards he decided to retire at twelve laps to the end of the race.
"I’m very disappointed – Petrucci said – I didn’t a good start but I reached fast the group of points. At the begining of the race I had a good feeling with my TR003, but from the 10th lap the front of my bike began closing and I risked to crash many times, so I decided to retire. I’m very sad because is orrible to leave a race for problem like that and I’m also very sorry for my team that has worked very hard durning this week end”.
TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI OUT OF LUCK AT LAGUNA
After making promising progress in qualifying yesterday Team San Carlo Honda Gresini were unable to reap the fruits of their labour in the race, Alvaro Bautista struggling for confidence in the front end of his Honda RC213V in particular after a crash this morning and Michele Pirro tumbling out of the race on the first lap.
Alvaro Bautista ( 8th ) “I'm not sure why but today the bike felt really unstable on the front. Maybe we made the wrong decision by going with the soft tyre. I tried to push it at the start but I couldn't brake hard and I was really struggling in corner entry. It's strange because we had good race pace with this tyre yesterday but today it didn't work. It hasn't been a good weekend for us. Despite the positive signs yesterday it proved to be a difficult race today.
Michele Pirro (DNF) “They say things come in threes and unfortunately that is the case for me today with my third DNF in a row – this time after contact with De Puniet in the first corner. It is unfortunate but I don't want to be negative about it and I am sure that better times are ahead for me and the guys in the team.”
Fausto Gresini “After the crash in warm-up this morning it was important for Alvaro to finish the race here because it wasn't an easy situation for him. We have been suffering in the last few races and we need to help him find more confidence in the front of the bike. It is important we stay calm and work hard to achieve this because there is still a long way to go in this championship. Of course the crash this morning didn't help because yesterday it looked like we had the pace to have a good race. Unfortunately for Michele there is not much we can say about his race because he collided with De Puniet in the first corner and crashed. It is not an easy time for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini but we have to be patient, look forwards and stay positive because at times like this it is important to grit your teeth and do everything possible to turn things around.”
Tech 3 Yamaha celebrates double top five in America
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team heads off on a richly deserved summer break in high spirits after Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow rode to a fantastic double top five finish in this afternoon's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Dovizioso made one of his trademark blistering launches off the start line to quickly seize fifth place from Crutchlow on the run to the tight first corner.
The Italian then quickly found a fast and consistent rhythm in front of a sun-drenched Californian crowd o f 52,677 fans to mount a charge towards Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. Spies needed to call on all his vast home track knowledge to keep Dovizioso at bay. But a crash for the American exiting the spectacular Corkscrew section on lap 22 put Dovizioso into fourth position.
Dovizioso though never had the opportunity to relax, as a determined Crutchlow had remained glued to the back of his YZR-M1 machine right from the first lap.
In what has now become a familiar sight in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the two Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines were locked in an exciting battle together right until the chequered flag.
British rider Crutchlow couldn't have put in a bigger effort to try and take fourth, but Dovizioso was once again brilliantly calm and collected under pres sure. Dovizioso secured his eighth top five finish of the season by just 0.177s and he strengthened his grip on fourth in the overall World Championship standings having moved to 121-points.
Andrea Dovizioso 4th – 121 points:
“It would have been nice to have kept the podium sequence going for a fourth race in a row but we have to be very satisfied with today's result because it was the best we could achieve when you consider the pace the top three have shown all weekend. Ben was doing a fantastic race and credit to him because he wasn't in the best physical condition. It is a big pity that he crashed because at the end of the race I am sure we could have had a really nice battle. It wasn't easy to stay with him and I was pushing really hard but when Ellison crashed there was a lot of sand on the track and I hit it and los t some time. It is a positive result and this busy period in the Championship has been very successful but we have to say the gap to the top three was very big. We head to the summer break confident for the rest of the season and ready to return in Indianapolis refreshed and looking forward to improving our performance.”
Cal Crutchlow 5th – 106 points:
“I'm pretty happy with another solid finish inside the top five and that is a big improvement on last year where I struggled a lot at this track. All weekend I was inside the top six so to finish fifth and have another strong battle with Andrea is good for the Championship. Credit to Andrea again because he was faultless and it didn't seem to matter how much pressure I put on him, he remained ice cool and didn't put a foot wrong to give me a chance of passing. Any pas s would have been a desperate lunge and I certainly wasn't going to risk taking us both out in such an important race for Yamaha and Monster. It was a good battle with Ben for the first 20 laps and I feel sorry for him because it was building up to be a good fight between the three of us at the end. It was bad luck for Ben and I did everything I could without being able to take fourth from Andrea. It has been a great first half to the season for me. I've finished all 10 races and that was the consistency I was looking for. I'm now staying in America for a well earned break before coming back strong and confident for Indianapolis.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“This was a very positive result to send the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team into the summer break with a lot of confidence and optimism for the remainder of the season. The last few weeks have been very tough but we have enjoyed the most successful spell in our MotoGP history, so thanks to Andrea and Cal for their hard work. Today was another fantastic battle between the two of them and like we have seen a few times this season, they really gave the fans an impressive show. It is not good for my heart but to see both of them fighting for fourth against such tough competition proves again the tremendous job the whole Team is doing. The first half of the season has been amazing for us and to have Andrea and Cal inside the top five in the rankings is a great achievement. We have received brilliant support from Yamaha and hopefully we can be just as strong in the final part of the Championship.”
Casey wins in Laguna with Dani 3rd, marking Repsol Honda's 300th podium
The Repsol Honda Team leaves Laguna Seca very happy and ready for a well deserved summer break. Casey Stoner took his fourth win of 2012 and Dani Pedrosa, third, celebrating his ninth podium in ten races, a successful combination that allows the Repsol Honda Team to celebrate the 300th podium in the premier class.
After a difficult weekend trying to make the hard tyre work on his RC213V, Casey took a risky tyre choice just before leaving for the grid, opting for the soft rear, while Dani and Lorenzo took the hard. It was a good move for Casey to increase his confidence at a circuit he likes a lot and where only he and Wayne Rainey have won three times in the top class. Dani was unable to keep up with the pace of Casey and Lorenzo, but still managed to record a new fastest race lap on lap 5 with 1'21.229.
With this victory, Casey celebrates his 37th premier class win equalling Mike Hailwood and is joint 4th in overall premier class victories behind Rossi (79), Agostini (68) and Doohan (54).
Dani remained loyal on his podium visits and with his third place finish at Laguna, equals his longest sequence of successive podiums (5) in the MotoGP class and equals Casey in fifth position in premier class podium finishes with 65.
The Repsol Honda Teams takes now a breath for the summer break with Dani second in the MotoGP World Championship, 23 points behind Lorenzo, and Casey in the third position, 9 points behind Dani.
CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Standing: 3rd with 173 points
"It's been a difficult weekend for us in general especially trying to make the hard tyre work. So for the race I decided to go with the soft option and be a little more careful with the tyre, keep a little more traction and not spin so much. At the beginning of the race I tried to move to the front but Dani and Jorge were riding very good lines and it was impossible to get past. I decided to slow the lap times a little and try to save the tyres until the end and then we could start to come back. I was confident for the entire race that I had enough pace for the win, we just needed to make sure the tyre would last until the end. When we got to the front we put in some good laps and pulled some small advantage and just continued from there. I'm very, very happy and a big thanks to all the team".
DANI PEDROSA 3rd World Championship Standing: 2nd with 182 points
"I tried my best in this race and third place was the maximum I could get this time. At the beginning, I was quite confident and calm when Casey passed me because I knew he was on the soft rear tyre and this was the most risky choice for the race, but finally it worked out perfectly for him. I knew I also had a good pace, but when I caught Casey again and was ready to overtake him I was on the throttle too fast and I had too much momentum there, I almost found myself on the floor. I lost ground with the leaders, but when I started braking harder trying to close the gap again I lost the front many times and I was so close to not finish this race. Anyway, I'm satisfied because I kept pushing until the end, giving one hundred per cent althou gh today it wasn't enough. A small mistake it's just enough to not finish in front. Anyway, we were riding the new bike for the first time here and we took another podium. We know what we can improve to come back stronger in Indianapolis".
Lorenzo Increases Championship Lead in Laguna
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo put in an impressive performance today at Laguna Seca to take second in the Grand Prix of USA. Having started from pole, Lorenzo took the hole shot closely followed by rival Dani Pedrosa into turn one. He held the lead until a small incident in the corkscrew allowed Casey Stoner to close the already small gap, the Australian then passing him on the main straight on lap 21. Lorenzo tucked in behind in second, crossing the line just 3.429 seconds later.
Fellow Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies continued to experience his run of bad luck for his home race. Spies made a strong start from the grid, slotting in behind Casey Stoner in fourth through the first turn. Although unable to stay with the front pack the Texan was looking comfortable holding fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso until a dramatic crash in the corkscrew on the 22nd lap caused by a technical failure with his swingarm.
Lorenzo leaves Laguna having increased his Championship lead to 23 over Pedrosa, Spies remains in 10th with 66 points.
Position : 2nd Time: +3.429
“I tried my best the beginning to open a gap and I managed it but then in the corkscrew I almost crashed. For Casey maybe that was a motivation and he caught me in one lap. After that I couldn’t keep the pace I had in the beginning, maybe the soft tyre was the best option for this race. Without a doubt Casey was riding in an excellent form today and it wasn’t possible to beat him.”
Position : DNF Time:
“We had a technical failure in the swingarm. I was feeling really good, I didn’t have the grip that I had in the earlier sessions with the harder tyre but in the last ten laps I was starting to pull away and I had a little left up my sleeve. We started to stretch out a lead over Dovi then all of a sudden at the bottom of the corkscrew the bike went out from underneath me. I had no control, it didn’t slide or anything just completely went. At first I thought I’d hit a bump but there isn’t one there. It’s nobody’s fault but it’s more bad luck.”
“Another important result today. Jorge rode a brilliant race again, as we expected the tyre choice was very important. He had a small incident in the corkscrew that allowed Casey to catch up, but anyway his pace continued to be very good. It’s very important for the Championship to stay on the podium so today was a success and we have extended our lead over Dani a little. We’ll take a break now and then be ready for Indinapolis!”
“A good and bad day here in Laguna. The good is that we managed to increase the gap to Pedrosa. The bad is that we had a swingarm failure that caused Ben to crash. Unfortunately after his bad crash yesterday he was riding very well today and was pulling away from Dovi when he crashed. This is another part of his bad season, hopefully from Indy onwards we won’t have any more bad luck.”
Stoner’s soft approach leads to Laguna Seca victory
Round 10: United States Grand Prix – Race
Laguna Seca, Sunday 29 July 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 17-17°C; Track 43-43°C (Bridgestone measurement)
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.”
DIFFICULT WEEKEND FOR TONY ELIAS AND PRAMAC RACING TEAM
Tony Elias stands in for injured rider Héctor Barberà at the 10th round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at Laguna Seca circuit.
A difficult start for the Spaniard who was in 16th position when the rider in front of him crash making him lose valuable tenths while riding into the gravel. Tony was able to re-join the race but unfortunately when he was trying to catch he made a mistake in breaking a little too late causing him to lose the front and sliding into the gravel.
Despite the result, the Pramac Racing Team ended this weekend with a positive feeling. Thanks to two days of full work with the Pramac Racing crew, Tony was able improve progressively lap after lap, increasing his confidence with his Ducati.
From the first free practice session to the qualifying he lowered his best lap time by almost two seconds, with a personal fast lap in 1’23.898, which assured him the 17th position on the grid for today’s 32-lap race of the U.S. Grand Prix. Even if he is still far from the fastest riders, the qualifying result was encouraging knowing that Elias has not ridden a Ducati since the 2008 season. Unfortunately Tony finished his race too early to allow him to demonstrate his potential with the Ducati.
In the next two weeks Héctor Barberà will be continuing his rehabilitation and evaluated by Dr, Mir, who will will evaluate the physical progress that he is making after his leg surgery to repair the fractures left tibia and fibula.
The Pramac Racing Team in agreement with Héctor will come to a decision about who will ride the Pramac Ducati machine at the upcoming 11th round that will take place in Indianapolis in two weeks time.
Tony Elias –Not classified
“I am very sorry for how this weekend ended. Up until my crash I was gaining positions. I have to be happy with the progress we made in only three days with the Ducati. Every time I sat on the bike I managed to increase my confidence with the bike and I was able to improve my lap times, even if I was still learning the bike’s reaction on this untraditional track. Today I didn’t made a brilliant start, but I felt good. Unfortunately Pirro crashed in front of me, I briefly rode into the gravel but I was able to regain the confidence with my Ducati. I was planning to catch the riders ahead, but I braked too late and I lost the front finding myself off track. To conclude this weekend with a crash leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I hope to have the opportunity in the near future to collaborate again and continue to improve. I would like to thank the Pramac Racing Team for allowing me to be part of the team at this Laguna GP, thanks for a wonderful experience.”
Francesco Guidotti –Team Manager
“It was a tricky weekend. All the premier class riders had some trouble due to heavy fog, in particular during both the morning sessions. It was a shame, especially for us. We lost a lot of precious time, due to the poor visibility. However, we worked tirelessly in the whole weekend, staring from the research of a good feeling between Tony and the bike. From the first free practice session, Tony had some issues with the front, but we was able to steadily improve both his lap times and his confidence with the bike. It was a shame for the race result, but especially for the team’s development. We could gather important information for the Ducati’s future setup during the 32-laps race, but Tony crashed and the race finished too early.
Now we have to wait to make plans for the future. We will have to speak with both the doctors and Héctor in order to make a final decision.”
Hayden sixth at home race, crash for Rossi
Nicky Hayden took sixth place at the United States Grand Prix after putting in a determined and calculated performance, and despite being slowed a bit by an early encounter with Bautista.
Just off the start, the American and Spaniard touched lightly, causing Hayden to lose some ground, and despite riding at a pace similar to that of the group that was fighting over fourth place, he was only able to catch Bradl.
Valentino Rossi had a more difficult race, struggling with a setup with which he wasn’t able to ride quickly enough all weekend. Two laps from the end, a fall when braking for the Corkscrew prevented him from earning eighth-place points.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th
“The day got off to a rough start, as I crashed in the warm-up session when I didn’t have enough heat in the brakes. For the race, my bike was the best it’s been this weekend, and I got a good start, but then Bautista and I touched. I thought maybe I knocked my brake lever, so I was too careful in turns one and two. Then I got held up behind Bautista and lost a gap to that second group, which I spent most of the race trying to bridge. I got to Bradl, but the other guys were already gone, although I didn’t have the pace to run with them anyway. I was fighting the bike and running wide in the turns, but I pushed until the end. It’s frustrating to struggle so much all weekend at Laguna, and it’s not the way I wanted to go into the two-week break, but I think we can put up a better fight at Indy.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) DNF
“I wasn’t fighting for the podium, but a crash like that at the end of the race is still disappointing because I had done the whole race like the first lap and my rhythm wasn’t fast at that moment. Still, I lost the front when I was approaching the Corkscrew, when the bike was vertical, right when I touched the brake, a bit like happened at Silverstone. We have a real problem: again today, we had a hard time getting the front tyre to work, and it was like new after thirty laps. Fortunately I’m fine, although it was a pretty hard crash. It wasn’t a great weekend. Now we have a short break, two important weeks, and then we’ll see how it goes at Indy.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It’s a shame about Nicky’s start, as he and Bautista touched and he lost contact with the leaders. It took him a while to get by Alvaro, who was a bit slower, and then he rode at fourth-place pace, similar to Spies, Crutchlow and Dovi. But it’s obviously difficult when there’s a gap to close on strong riders who are pushing hard. Anyway, on a track where we had a hard time in practice, Nicky made a bit of progress in the race. As for Vale, unfortunately, we had a little more trouble, and we weren’t able to put him in a situation where he could interpret this track well. In particular, we didn’t find a good balance for the bike, as the rear was working too hard and the front not enough. We’ll have to take another look at the data and prepare well for Indianapolis.”
BRADL TAKES 7th PLACE AT HIS DEBUT RACE IN LAGUNA SECA
Monterey, 30th July: Stefan Bradl powered his Honda RC213V to the 7th place in today’s 32-lap race at Laguna Seca race track showing his strong attitude to quickly adapt to his machine even on an unknown circuit. The premier class rookie is now holding the 6th position in the world classification with 84 points.
This was Bradl’s first trip to Laguna Seca on a MotoGP machine and the 22-year-old finished with the ninth fastest time in yesterday’s qualifying session at the track in the hills east of Monterey. Despite the lack of experience needed to get the most out of his LCR RCV, Bradl was capable to fight for the 6th place till 6 laps to go when local hero Hayden passed him. LCR Team and his racer will be back on track for the second American round at Indianapolis Speedway on the 17th of August.
Stefan: “Actually it was a positive debut for us in Laguna. I am quite happy about this 7th final place. In general it was a pretty difficult weekend for us because we mainly started to work on the bike Saturday afternoon as on Friday I had to learn the track. Basically in the beginning of the race I was quite comfortable on the bike because we had full fuel on board but after ten laps I started to lose confidence compared to Dovi and Crutchlow due to the front end issues that we already had yesterday. From that moment it was too dangerous for me entering the corners with the same speed. Then I tried to keep Nicky behind him but I could see he was faster than me so I preferred to maintain my position scoring further points in the classification. I think we have done our best and we keep this experience for next season”.
One step forward for Edwards at Laguna Seca
After a complicated weekend at the Italian GP two weeks ago, Colin Edwards gets back in the points finishing the race in 13th position at the U.S. GP in Laguna Seca.
All the hard work done throughout the weekend by the Texan rider and the NGM Mobile Forward-Racing Team have allowed them to come up with important solutions, that could be key to a better performance in the upcoming rounds starting with Indianapolis in three weeks time.
Edwards is currently 17th in the championship’s general standing as of right now with a total of 11 points, close to the Pasini´s ART and James Ellison.
Colin Edwards – 13th
“Me, De Puniet and Espargaro were the only ones that have been here before. I expected the other CRT guys to have more trouble learning the track. We tried many different thing which made the bike seemed easier to ride. At the end of the day our electronics are still at a developing stage and it makes it hard because it cuts so much power. Right now we are at a point where it’s hard to make significant improvements. Lets hope that what we have found here benefits us at Indy in a few weeks.”
Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief
“We have done a small step since the Mugello race, we have been able to finish the race and get in the points but we expected something more. Some CRTs have finished ahead of us, which means that we didn’t achieve our goal. We hope that the modifications that we have seen that work will be useful in future races. We are now thinking about our next race at Indianapolis, another home race for Colin and we hope that it will be another opportunity for us to fight with the top CRTs.”
Having recovered from his injury, Abraham is back among the top ten
Czech MotoGP rider Karel Abraham is back after a two-month post-injury hiatus. His tenth place means the best, and the very first top-ten, result in this season. He was 1:22.076 slower than the winner of the race, Casey Stoner. Halfway through the season, having missed four races due to his injury, the Czech rider currently has ten points, which means eighteenth place overall.
“This time the start went well but I got stuck behind Hernandez from the very beginning. I knew I had what it takes to overtake him as soon as possible, but I couldn’t get in front of him. Ironically, he was able to get away on straights, even though he was riding the CRT bike. After I did get in front of him I managed to gain some distance. I was trying to eliminate Espergaro’s advantage, but sadly I did not overtake him. A few laps before the end of the race, following Valentino Rossi’s fall, some pebbles got onto the track. I was caught off guard a lot at first and Espergaro took advantage of it. There was no point in risking and trying to overtake him at all costs. The most important thing now is to collect points for good results. The hand hurts much more after the weekend, but the next race is in three weeks, which looks like enough for the full recovery. It does not hold me back any longer and I can practice.”