Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Motorland Aragon:
Casey Stoner has taken his 8th victory of the season at the Motorland Aragon circuit, running away with the race after a first-lap tussle with Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies, and taking a big step toward securing his second World Championship. With Jorge Lorenzo finishing 3rd, Stoner's advantage over the Spaniard has grown to 44 points, with just 4 more races to go in the championship.
The first corners of the Motorland Aragon circuit produced strong battles in all three classes, with Ben Spies getting a fantastic start and elbowing his way into the lead at Turn 1, ahead of Dani Pedrosa who had got his usual rocket start. Casey Stoner sat right on the tail of his teammate, passing Pedrosa on the way to the downhill section nicknamed the Sacacorchos or Corkscrew, before blasting past Spies along the downhill back straight. In his attempt to hold off the charging Hondas, Spies pushed hard on the brakes, but ran wide in the attempt and allowed by Stoner and Pedrosa.
Once Stoner was past, no one would challenge him, Pedrosa incapable of matching the scorching pace set by the Australian. Stoner commanded the race from the front, finishing a long way ahead of Pedrosa, the Spaniard in turn finishing well ahead of the battle for 3rd.
That battle at least generated some interest. Spies led his teammate Jorge Lorenzo in the early laps, but Marco Simoncelli soon caught and then passed first Lorenzo and then Spies. But passing Spies turned out to be tougher than he thought, Simoncelli outbraking himself and running wide at Turn 12, allowing both Spies and Lorenzo to pass. With Simoncelli gone, Lorenzo started to push forward, the Spaniard's tires holding up a little better than the Texan's on the abrasive Aragon surface. On lap 14, Lorenzo was past, and quickly dropped his teammate, going on to secure 3rd. The top two steps of the podium were beyond his reach, but at least he could limit the damage from Stoner. After a difficult weekend, grabbing 3rd was something of a relief.
Simoncelli's mistake may have cost him a shot at the podium, but he quickly recovered to chase down Spies. As Spies' tires deteriorated, Simoncelli reeled the Texan in, passing the Yamaha on lap 17. In the end, the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider took 4th by a comfortable 7 seconds, Spies slipping to 5th.
Behind Spies, Alvaro Bautista won the battle with Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden, Hayden fading after a strong start to the race. Bautista's second 6th-place finish in three races is a positive sign going into the Japanese MotoGP round, and may encourage Suzuki to stay in the series. Barbera and Hayden's tussle ended when Barbera made a mistake at the very end, allowing the Marlboro Ducati rider to finish ahead of the Mapfre Aspar bike.
Behind Barbera, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow came out on top of a battle with Valentino Rossi and the second San Carlo Gresini bike of Hiroshi Aoyama, with Crutchlow beating the Marlboro Ducati with an audacious outside pass to take 9th. Rossi's 10th place finish was a strong recovery, after starting the race from pit lane due to infringing the engine durability rules (taking a 7th engine to allow him to use the new aluminium chassis in both is bikes). Choosing Aragon to start from pit lane proved to be a sensible decision, Rossi finishing the first lap just 7.4 seconds behind the leader, Casey Stoner, and just 2.2 seconds behind the last man in the pack, Loris Capirossi. The aluminium chassis did not deliver the improvement he had hoped for, Rossi's best lap still nearly 1.7 seconds slower than Stoner's on the Honda. There is still a lot of work to do.
Stoner's victory at Aragon puts him 44 points clear in the championship. He could wrap up the championship at his home round at Phillip Island the day after his birthday. Jorge Lorenzo has his work cut out for him - and will require assistance from others - if he is to retain his MotoGP World Championship.
|12||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||43'12.144||54.717|
|24||Toni ELIAS||HONDA||28'12.276||8 laps|
|65||Loris CAPIROSSI||DUCATI||28'12.364||8 laps|