Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier after Sunday's race at Sepang:
First victory for Pedrosa in the wet
Repsol rider takes a superb victory in the rain and further reduces the distance separating him from the leadership of the World Championship. Stoner joins him on the podium in third.
With a third straight win, his sixth of the season, Dani Pedrosa is unstoppable in the MotoGP World Championship. In a soaking wet race stopped due to the amount of water on track, the Repsol rider took victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.
As happened at the last two Grands Prix in Aragon and Japan, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa started from first and second on the grid and broke away together. At the mid-race point, Pedrosa went on the attack, passing Lorenzo on the brakes.
Five laps later, with two thirds of the race completed and the asphalt completely flooded, the Race Director called an end to procedings. The final standings saw a podium consisting of Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. Pedrosa has now beaten his record of 13 podiums in a season and continues to chase the title with two races remaining.
Second for Lorenzo in treacherous Sepang Race
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo endured a treacherous ordeal to take second in this afternoon’s Grand Prix of Malaysia. The Championship leader took the hole shot from pole on the wet track with closest rival Dani Pedrosa in pursuit less than half a second behind. Lorenzo maintained his lead until just before the last corner on lap nine where Pedrosa was able to pass. The rain increased at this point making riding extremely difficult for the entire grid, Lorenzo himself miraculously saving a near fall into turn 15. The red flags were eventually brought out to halt the race on lap 13 after a number of riders fell in the treacherous conditions. The second place finish means Lorenzo moves on to the final two races with a 23 point lead in the Championship.
Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies had dropped three places from the start grid, working hard to avoid another rider spinning off the line. As a result he went into the first corner in ninth position, then dropping to tenth on lap three. The Texan then found an impressive race pace matching the front runners and looked threatening to move up the field until disaster struck on the eighth lap as he became one of the many victims to fall in the incredibly slippery conditions. The DNF means Spies heads to the final two races of the season remaining on 88 points in tenth position.
Position : 2nd Time: +3.774
“If we were riding at 20km per hour it is easy to stay on the bike but it is very difficult to find the limit in these conditions. They made the right decision to stop the race, for us it was great because we might otherwise have finished on the ground and crashed. We used the soft rear where Dani and Casey used the harder one. When the conditions were ok they used less of the centre of the tyre so when the conditions became worse they had more to play with.”
Position : DNF Time:
“What a shocking race, the water on the track was incredible. I’m really sorry for rubbing into Nicky, I thought I had enough space to brake; I’m relieved we didn’t go down together and he was ok. It was a close one at the start as well, Dovi spun off the line and we were lucky not to make contact. That was one of the wettest races I’ve had in a long time, my shoulder’s really sore from the fall but thankfully nothing too serious so I’ll be able to ride in Australia.”
“A very wet race! I think Jorge did great, he tried in the beginning to get away and escape, finally he kept a bit of safety to stay on two wheels. In the end second position is great for the Championship. We still have two races to go and he is ready to try again in Phillip Island.”
“The conditions were very bad today, I think the decision to stop the race was the right one. The safety of the riders has to be guaranteed. We are leaving here with 23 points, still leading the Championship which is important. Hopefully Ben can have different results in the next two races; fortunately he didn’t receive any serious injuries and should be fine for Phillip Island. We won’t be going there looking to finish in second place.”
Dovizioso and Crutchlow fall in Malaysian monsoon
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow both fell out of contention while challenging for the top five in monsoon conditions at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this afternoon.
The 20-lap race started in treacherous conditions, but Dovizioso and Crutchlow quickly calculated how hard they could attack the rain-soaked Sepang track, despite having no previous wet time on track this weekend.
Italian Dovizioso immediately put himself in contention for a seventh podiu m finish of the season and he was in hot pursuit of reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. But with the rain getting heavier and track conditions worsening by the second, he crashed out of fourth position on lap 10.
Dovizioso was able to remount his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine and re-join the action in 14th position. The race was then red flagged on lap 13 with Race Direction halting proceedings as standing water began to appear in sections of the track.
With seven laps still to be completed, a scheduled restart was later abandoned with the conditions showing no sign of improving and full World Championship points were awarded, with Dovizioso picking up three points for 13th.
British rider Crutchlow was also having a very strong race after a cautious start. The 26-year-old expertly judged where he could p ush without too many risks to climb from 10th to fifth. He had just passed Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl when he fell out of contention at the final corner on lap 11.
The spill cost Crutchlow more precious points in his quest to finish fifth in the World Championship rankings but he is confident he can return to the podium battle in next weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Andrea Dovizioso 13th – 195 points:
“It's a real pity that the rain came this afternoon. We did such a good job during the weekend with the bike in the dry and we started strong from the first session, so to find these really bad conditions was unlucky for us today. I was ready for a really hard race in hot weather and I'm sure I would have been fighting for the podiu m in the dry. We can't change it and I certainly didn't have the same good feeling in the wet. I had a big slide off the start and lost some places but I managed to get into a fast pace quite quickly. It is very difficult to start a race in the rain with no other time on track in the wet all weekend. I was quite fast but I was lacking rear grip. I could brake very strong but I struggled at exit of the corner. I pushed really hard trying to pass Casey and I lost the front without braking while at maximum angle. I still managed to score some points and finish the race but we expected much more and I am determined to bounce back quickly next week in Australia.”
Cal Crutchlow – DNF:
“It has been a pretty disappointing weekend to be honest and another DNF has really hurt my chances of finishing fifth in the Championship because Val entino and Alvaro were behind me in the race. When I crashed the rain had really started to fall heavily and I was braking upright. I must have hit some standing water but I was down with no chance to save it. We struggled all weekend to find a good set-up in the dry and I had no rear grip. Unfortunately it was the same in the rain and we need to understand why for the future. I had to make up all my time on the brakes and I was pushing and got caught out. Phillip Island is a track I love, so hopefully I can put the disappointment of here and Japan behind me to finish the season strong.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“We were really confident last night after Andrea had finished on the front row of the grid. He was very positive that he could battle for the podium again and we were even thinking that he might be able to push Dani and Jorge in the dry. But the weather played a pivotal role today and it turned out to be a very disappointing afternoon for us. The conditions were very unpredictable but Andrea and Cal were doing a very good job. Andrea was pushing very hard and after only two laps he was back in fourth and in the hunt for the podium. It is a pity that he crashed because we were confident that he was going to put pressure on Casey and go for the podium. It is the same story for Cal. At the stage of the race he crashed the conditions were incredibly difficult and I suppose we can be thankful that both of them are fit for Phillip Island. It wasn't a good result for the Championship but at least Cal was fighting inside the top five again. I don't think anybody can say the race wasn't stopped at the right time and hopefully we will have dry weather in Australia and both of them will be pushing for the rostrum.”
Pedrosa takes maiden win in the rain with Stoner in 3rd as Repsol Honda celebrate Team Championship
The Repsol Honda Team returned to full power at the Malaysian Grand Prix with another superb win for Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner's return to the podium in third position.
The treacherous conditions today in Sepang caused the race to be cancelled with six laps remaining due to heavy tropical rain. Dani was 6.4 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey was chasing him for second place when the red flag was displayed and prevented him progressing any further.
Today, Dani celebrated his first victory in wet conditions, his sixth of the 2012 season and the 44th in his Grand Prix career, equaling Lorenzo and Casey in the ranking of all time winners. It's the first time that Dani has won three races in a row in the premier class and he is the first Spanish rider ever to win in Malaysia in MotoGP. He has also beaten his record of 13 podiums in a season and continues to chase the title with two races remaining.
Casey returned to the podium -his sixth of the season- in only his second race back after injury forced him to miss three races since Indianapolis. The 2011 World Champion was cautious and therefore unable match the pace of Dani and Jorge in the early laps, but his confidence grew and he began to find his rhythm as the race progressed and was closing the gap to Lorenzo when the race was stopped.
With today's double podium, the 7th of the season, the Repsol Honda Team have clinched the 2012 Team Championship with two races remaining. The combined points tally of 537 has secured the title with the second place team 119 behind and a maximum 90 points on offer in the last two races. The Repsol Honda riders have had an impressive season to date with Dani taking six 1st's, four 2nd's, four 3rd's and a 4th place. Casey, who missed three races due to injury has so far scored four 1st's, one 2nd, three 3rd's, two 4th's, one 5th and an 8th place. Replacement rider Jonathan Rea also added to the points with an 8th and 7th position respectively, when filling in for Casey in Misano and Aragon GP's.
DANI PEDROSA 1st World Championship Standing: 2nd with 307 points
"This victory is really amazing for me; it's the first time I've won in the wet in my life and I'm really, really happy. I want to thank my team and the people who helped me to get here because when I started racing in these conditions I was weak and they know how difficult it's been during all this time! Jorge set a really high pace at the beginning of the race and I remained calm to stay with him. I knew he was on a soft rear tyre and he could pull out some good laps at the start. Lap by lap I got a little more confident and I could still push and at half way in the race I overtook him and built a good gap. Some laps later the rain came down heave and it was hard to stay on the bike. I was lucky to be able to win this race, and also Jor ge to finish second because he was almost on the ground. So, I'm happy for the victory, but especially happy to be able to dedicate it to Ginés, a good friend and member of the Repsol Honda Team that sadly passed away yesterday. This one is for you!".
CASEY STONER 3rd World Championship Standing: 3rd with 213 points
"At the start of the race, I would have been very happy for a podium. I was considering not taking part in the rain at all as the risks were very high - if I had come off the bike again and hit my ankle, it would have been game over for the rest of the season. As the race progressed I slowly got my confidence back and I was working on different things as I hadn't ridden in the wet in quite some time. I slowly began to catch the front two but unfortunately ran out of time as the red flagged the race. In a lot of ways I'm disappointed, but I'm happy with the points haul we took today and another podium".
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO - HRC EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
"Today Dani and Casey had a great race! Another win and another double podium that allow the Repsol Honda Team to win the 2012 Team Championship. Now we must remain concentrated and focused for the Constructor and Rider Championships challenge in the next two races... we will not give up until the last lap of the season!"
Hayden fourth, Rossi fifth in Malaysian rain
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which was marked by very wet conditions.
Rain had already fallen during the Moto3 race, which saw German Sandro Cortese take the win and the title, and it had an even bigger influence on the Moto2 race, which started late and ended early. But it was the MotoGP race that was most affected, with delays, crashes and eventually a premature finish. Nicky Hayden passed the chequered flag in fourth place, having lapped at a competitive pace and avoided mistakes.
After an excellent start from the fourth row, Valentino Rossi was fifth at the end of lap one, and until eleven laps from the end, he was involved in a fight with Dovizioso and Stoner for the third step of the podium. With the rain increasing in intensity, he ran long in turn 7, dropping to ninth place as a result. From there, he once again advanced as high as fifth place, when the red flag fell seven laps before the scheduled finish. With the rain only falling harder after that, the decision was made not to restart the race.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 4th
“Those were really tough conditions. I got a good launch, but when Dovizioso got sideways in front of me, I shut off the throttle and lost positions. I was able to recover, but I lost some confidence when the rear tried to come around a couple times. I had to be really patient in the beginning, but once I got rolling, I had good rhythm. It was clearly the right decision to call the race. There was a lot of water those last couple of laps, and it was almost impossible to see, although the rear lights on the bikes helped a lot. In dry conditions, I would’ve been thrilled with fourth, but I know our potential is higher in the wet. It would’ve been amazing to give my guys a podium today, but it’s a decent result. Hopefully, it can help me come out of the difficult period and give us something to build on.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 5th
“Our race wasn’t bad because I got a great start despite being so far back, on the fourth row, and then I managed to be pretty fast. I was riding with Dovizioso and Stoner, when unfortunately I started having some problems with my visor fogging, and in those extreme conditions, with low light and a lot of water, it was very difficult. I made a mistake in turn 7, and I was lucky not to crash because it was the same point where Dovizioso, Spies and then Bradl went down. Without that mistake, I could have finished fourth because honestly, Stoner was a bit faster than I was, especially in T2. In general though, it didn’t go bad. Of course I would’ve liked to finish the full race, but there was really too much water. I think the decision to stop was correct because in these conditions, the bikes can aquaplane and you can go down in any corner.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It was certainly a strange Sunday, with conditions that we hadn’t ridden in the whole weekend. We started with the tyres as an unknown and opted for the hard rain, which in the end turned out to be a good choice. Both Nicky and Vale were very good because they brought home a good haul of points in an extremely difficult situation that cost many others. Our bike performs very well in wet conditions, and both riders took good advantage of that.”
RACE CUT SHORT DUE TO RAIN AT SEPANG
Heavy rainfall during the MotoGP race at Sepang today saw the red flags produced with seven laps remaining and eventually the decision came from Race Direction to call a result with full points awarded. Alvaro Bautista was lapping in sixth place when the conditions were deemed unsafe, a positive result after a difficult weekend. Michele Pirro also scored some important points in the CRT battle although he finished frustrated that the red flags came just as he was making up ground on the riders in front of him.
Alvaro Bautista (5th) “Racing in these conditions is always a lottery. It was raining at the start but not too much and I was able to ride well with confidence in the bike. The only problem was under braking and I had trouble trying to control the bike over the bumps. I was close to crashing but I tried to adapt as best I could. Towards the end the track was like a river and I was aquaplaning down the straight. It was the right call to stop the race. I am happy because we improved our feeling with the bike in the wet but we still need to work on our chatter problems.”
Michele Pirro (12th) “I am disappointed because we found a good solution for our chatter problems this morning and the race was looking good, especially for the second half – I felt we had a chance to fight to be the top CRT. Then the rain came and ruined everything for us because we still have so much work to do with this bike in the wet. Anyway, we fought hard and could have still fought to be the top CRT if the red flags came later because I was the only one with the hard rear tyre. Now we want to hang on to third place in the CRT standings. I want to thank the team for their efforts here. I wanted a better result to dedicate to Marco but it will have to be next time.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro had a great race in the wet conditions to say that he didn't have any wet set-up time in practice. Normally we have problems in the wet and we weren't in perfect shape here at Sepang either but we have still come away with a good result and we have achieved our objective here, which was to consolidate fifth place in the championship. Michele also did a good job and if the race had gone on longer he would have probably made some more positions up.”
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES BEST RESULT OF THE SEASON AT SEPANG
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider earns eighth place and extends lead in CRT standings. Randy De Puniet crashes in final stages of Malaysian round
The Malaysian GP always faces a risk of rain, and the MotoGP riders bore the brunt of just such a scenario this Sunday. Their race was delayed until 4:20pm, scheduled for 20 laps of the Speang circuit. A wet contest saw Lorenzo and Pedrosa pull away early, before the latter made a pass at the midway point. That was the final overtake for the lead in the race, as on lap thirteen Race Direction ordered the red flag to be shown due to the dangerous conditions. Thirteen riders had avoided crashing but the surface presented too much of a risk to allow the Malaysian GP to continue.
There were mixed feelings for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders in Sepang. Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet had continued to lead the CRT riders during the weekend, but during the race the heavy rain made things much tougher for the duo. Aleix Espargaró kept his bike upright and set a strong pace, riding round in eighth before Race Direction made the decision to stop the contest. Awarded the position, he added a further eight points to his tally for the season and claimed his best result of the campaign so far.
Teammate Randy De Puniet had his bike slip from under him in a lowside on the final corner of the Sepang circuit, on lap ten shortly before the race was red flagged.
In honour of Ginés Guirado, a friend of the Aspar Team and the entire paddock who passed away yesterday: "The Aspar family will always hold you in our hearts. Thank you for all our time together. RIP"
8th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy, because today we took a big CRT victory in a tough race. I started well and battled with some of the satellite riders at the start, then Randy passed me at a good pace and I struggled to keep with him. Soon that intensity dropped, so I decided to pass him again. Later I caught up with Barbera until it started to rain more heavily and it was almost impossible to stay on the bike -on every corner both wheels were sliding around. Seeing Randy had crashed, I decided to focus on staying upright and taking as many points as possible. That was a valuable result and we must continue like this in Australia, in order to reach Valencia calm and able to enjoy the weekend. I think the decision to stop the race was the right one, because the way the track was made it too dangerous for the riders."
Randy De Puniet (DNF): ""Today I made ??a pretty good start; on the first few laps I felt fine. But when the rain intensified I started to lose confidence. Aleix overtook me, I tried to follow him but he was going very fast, so I tried just to keep my position at all costs. I knew it would be difficult to re-pass him, so the most logical choice, seeing the state of the track, was to try and pick up as many points as possible. When it started to rain more I couldn't see anything at all. On lap ten, the final corner, I ran through too much water and lost the front. It's a pity, but we can't wallow in this and at least we are just ten points behind Aleix. We have to focus on catching him however we can; it will be difficult, but we won't throw in the towel."
An electrical problem constrains Edwards to retire
Complicated race for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team and Colin Edwards, constrained to retire due to an electrical problem while he was within the points.
The American rider had a good start being in the points in the very first lap with the other CRTs and Karel Abraham, the difficult weather conditions and an electrical problem with his Suter – BMW prototype prevented him from finishing when he was in fifteenth position.
Colin Edwards – Not Classified
“We had no real idea of what the rain setting was; we just kind of put what we had in Aragon. Got a good start of the race, felt immediately comfortable, there are still some things that we can still improve. Dry gearing with this bike in the rain is not really working, getting yanked of the corner so bad having to make it up on breaks and corner speed to stay with them. I had three aprilias right in front of me and was waiting to see if anyone makes a mistake but then something went wrong, we still have to go over the data to see what went wrong but it was just not safe to stay on the track. And when pit in.”
Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief
“Difficult day in which we started of in the warm up in the dry and the complete opposite conditions for during the race. Colin had a good feeling with the bike in the rain even though we didn’t have the opportunity to work on the right setting in wet conditions but the setup seemed to work well for the race. Unfortunately an electrical problem constrained him to retire.”
Dramatic race in Sepang saw Abraham finish tenth
Czech rider Karel Abraham finished tenth in last weekend's dramatic Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix and collected six points in the overall championship standings. A light rain was falling down on the riders on the grid before the start of the MotoGP class, but as the race progressed, the weather conditions kept getting worse and the track started to resemble a stream. During the early laps of the race, Abaja had to battle with himself and started to fall behind. Eventually his lap times started to improve and Karel managed to stay on his bike despite the terrible weather. With just seven laps to go, the race was red flagged due to the unacceptable track conditions. A lengthy debate ensued as to whether the race should be restarted and the remaining laps completed. The race directorate eventually decided to abandon the race and award points based on the standings in the last fully completed lap.
“It was one of the worst racing experiences in my life. It was hard to get used to the conditions from the beginning. I was extremely nervous and I did not pull the throttle as much as I should have. Eventually I got used to the wet conditions and started to race properly, as one can see from the lap times. Perhaps there was an opportunity to overtake one more rider, but that's just a pointless what-if debate. I am very disappointed about my today's performance.”
Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic, Cardion AB Motoracing
“Seeing the results, one could say it is a reason for optimism, but unfortunately the opposite is true. During the early stage of the race, Karel hardly raced at all. He mostly had to battle with his own mental condition. Sure, the weather was terrible, but everyone had the same rain to deal with. I am very upset because this is not a MotoGP level of performance. We need to find an effective solution.”
PETRUCCI FINISHES AT POINTS IN THE SEPANG RAINSTORM
A rainstorm has conditioned the Malaysian Gran Prix race day. The Race Direction had to dealy of 30 minutes the Moto2 race, while was forced to suspend the MotoGP race at 6 laps to go because the track was almost awash.
Danilo Petrucci has finished in 11th position getting 5 points with his new IODA-SUTER BMW, equaling his best result in MotoGP at Assen obtained in that race with the IODA TR003. After a bad start the Came Iodaracing Team rider after few lap has found a good feeling on the wet track with a good pace reaching Abraham’s MotoGP bike. Danilo stayed some laps behind the Czech rider’s Ducati untill the 10th lap when the track conditions got worst for the heavy rain then the race was suspended. After some minutes at the pit the Race Direction decided to approve the classification at the 13th lap where Danilo was in 11th position, third best CRT.
Simone Corsi has finished the Moto2 race in 24th position. The Came Iodaracing Team rider’s race has been ruined by the ride through penalty for jump start, rejoining the race in the last place.
Armando Pontone has finished in 28th position. Armando started from the pit lane with Webb’s Mahindra for exceeding allocation of engines and in few laps has reached and passed the english rider. He tried to keep Fujii but the gap was too big and in the last laps it started also a light rain.
"I’m very happy for this result – Petrucci declared – we begin to get the results of the hard work that we did in the past races on the new IODA-SUTER. I didn’t a good start but after few laps I found a good feeling with my bike doing a good pace despite I was forced to switch off the Traction Control because was too strong. I reached Abraham and I stayed with him for some laps, then the rain began to be strong and I had some problem to control the bike but after one lap the race was stopped when the track was awash”.
"Unfortunately I did a big mistake – Corsi said – I started before the red light off and I was rightly penalized. I hope that in Australia will be better”.
"Starting from the pit lane on the dry is very difficult – Pontone declared – but my target was to finish in front of Webb and I did it”.
MALAYSIAN GP: HECTOR EQUALLED HIS BEST RESULT OF THE 2012, CATCHING A POSITIVE SEVENTH PLACE
A difficult race at the Malaysian Grand Prix, affected by a torrential rain, a raft of crashes and a red flag that broke off the 16th round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at the Sepang circuit, due to the tricky weather conditions.
In a race that was declared wet from the start, the Pramac Racing team rider, Héctor Barberà got a good start, moving into sixth, but he immediately found a small issue with the electronic control unit, losing important positions as consequence.
Lap after lap, with the rain was getting heavier, the Spaniard was able to find a good rhythm with his Ducati, keeping his bike upright and gaining some places, also thanks to the numerous crashes.
With seven laps remaining, the race was red-flagged (due to safety reasons) and it was interrupted: Héctor finished his Malaysian weekend in seventh place, equalling his best result in this 2012 and taking home some important points for the world ranking.
Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – Position 7th
“I’m obviously happy for the seventh place. It was my goal, even if I thought I could catch it in a dry race. We worked well during the whole weekend and I was sure I could achieve a positive result. But the rain arrived and I was a little bit concerned about it because I certainly did not have the same great feeling with my Ducati in the wet. Fortunately, on the contrary, during the race I got my confidence back and I was able to stay on the bike, finishing the race and achieving a satisfying result.”
MALAYSIA GP: ROLFO CRASHES OUT WHEN HOLDING THE THIRTEENTH POSITION
Today’s race of the top class marked the end of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the sixteenth round of the 2012 season.
The warm up of this morning was useful for Rolfo and his crew, with the aim to improve the set up of the ART machine in the fourth part of the track, which allowed Roberto to have a better feeling on top of his bike and to get closer to the other CRT riders.
In the race, which was declared wet, Rolfo started from the nineteenth spot on the grid, and tried to stay with the other CRT riders: Roberto was in thirteenth position, when he crashed out. Despite the red flag and consequent interruption of the race, the Italian didn’t manage to get back to his pit box with his ART machine, which prevented him from achieving some points.
Roberto Rolfo #84 - disqualified
“This was quite a strange race. In the sighting lap, the tyres were working well and I was confident for the first part of the race, also because we chose a soft rear tyre. After the start, in few turns I managed to find a good pace and to keep close to the guys ahead of me. When the other riders started to put in a more competitive pace, I struggled to stay close to them, I had some problems when braking and to keep a good speed in the central part of the corners. I tried to improve, changing my lines as well, but it wasn’t easy. When it started raining again, I was in thirteenth position and I crashed out at the seventh turn, where some other riders fell, too. It’s a shame because I didn’t manage to get back to the pit box, therefore we achieved no points — which would have cheered us up a little. Now we’re headed to Australia and there we’ll try to do better.”
Pedrosa tames torrential conditions for Sepang victory
Round 16: Malaysian Grand Prix – Race
Sepang, Sunday 21 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium (Symmetric), Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 27-27°C; Track 32-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took his sixth win of the season at a rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang to close the gap to Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo to twenty-three points.
Starting on pole, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo selected the softer rear wet tyre for the race and got a good start to lead the first ten laps before Pedrosa made the race-winning pass under brakes into the final turn before the start of lap eleven. With the rain getting heavier, Lorenzo survived a late scare while in second place before the race was red-flagged with seven laps remaining. The race was scheduled to restart to run the final seven laps, but the persistent heavy rain resulted in race control deeming the race complete due to the unsafe condition of the circuit.
The final standings were Pedrosa first, Lorenzo second, with third place going to Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The highest-placed CRT rider was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who scored his best result of the season by finishing in eighth position.
The track temperature during the race was 32°C and all riders opted for the hard compound front wet tyre for the race, while rear tyre choice was evenly split, with ten riders each selecting the soft and hard compound wet tyre. Those riders that selected the hard compound rear wet included all four Honda riders and the factory Ducati’s of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Pedrosa’s latest win swells his points total to 307, while Lorenzo leads the way with 330 points. Stoner’s podium sees him consolidate third position in the championship on 213 points.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Well done to Dani and Repsol Honda for their win in today’s extremely difficult conditions and I must commend all the riders who braved the torrential rain to put on a show for the Malaysian fans. It was also good to see Casey back on the podium despite still recovering from his injury. During the whole weekend there was a large and vocal crowd at the circuit and it is great to see MotoGP becoming ever more popular in this part of the world. We now look forward to the next race at Phillip Island where Dani and Jorge will resume their exciting fight for the championship.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The tropical weather turned extreme today with two heavy rain showers before and during the race. All riders selected the hard front wet tyre for the race as this option gives better cornering and braking stability, while rear tyre choice was split the soft and hard compound. The soft rear wet tyre gives better edge grip at a slight expense to durability but as the race was red-flagged after thirteen laps, the difference in performance between these two options didn’t have a major influence on the result. Overall, the low grip levels in the dry sessions this weekend combined with the intermittent rain made it challenging for the teams and riders, and resulted in every specification of tyre in our allocation for this weekend being used.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“It was a really hard race because in the beginning because I was trying to follow Jorge and find my rhythm. Mid-race I managed to pass him and do some good laps but then it started to rain really heavily. It was tough but I’m really happy as it was my first win in a wet race and it’s a great feeling, so thanks a lot to my team.”
Top Ten For Battling Ellison
PBMUK rider James Ellison defied the worst of conditions to claim his best result of the season with a stunning ninth place at today's Malaysian MotoGP held at Sepang.
The 31 year old from Kendal in Cumbria had to overcome difficult conditions throughout the weekend and posted 17th fastest in the opening free practice session before claiming tenth in FP2 as the rain played havoc with proceedings.
Having qualified in 16th place aboard the CRT-specification Aprilia ART, Ellison was confident of a good result although race conditions were far from ideal and gradually deteriorated to the point that torrential rain caused the race to be red-flagged seven laps short.
At that point, Ellison was battling for the CRT lead with Aleix Espargaro but with the race shortened, he was denied the opportunity to claim his second CRT victory but the top ten placing meant he claimed the best result to date for the Penrith-based team in their rookie season.
The result sees James climb two places to 16th in the World Championship points table with the PBMUK team also climbing one place in the team's standings going into the next round at Phillip Island in Australia next weekend.
James Ellison: "I really enjoyed the race although we didn't have the front suspension just right but I managed to get around it by adapting my braking technique to compensate. I got into a good rhythm and passed quite a few riders while chasing down Aleix. I closed him down towards the end but the race was rightfully stopped so we bagged a ninth place. I'm so happy for all members of the PBMUK team and already looking forward to my favourite track Phillip Island."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "An excellent ride by James in extremely difficult conditions has rewarded PBMUK with our highest place finish. When other riders were making mistakes, James kept his composure to achieve our first top ten finish. We now go to Phillip Island with the intention of achieving another result that maximises our potential."