2012 Catalunya MotoGP Race Result: Tough Duel Decided In Last Few Laps
Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Barcelona:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken a classic victory in his home race at Barcelona, disposing of Dani Pedrosa after a tense race-long duel with his Spanish rival. With Casey Stoner off the podium for the first time since Jerez last year, Lorenzo's win puts him firmly in charge of the championship, leading Stoner by 20 points.
Pedrosa had taken an early lead, taking advantage of his usual rocket-propelled start to get into Turn 1 in the lead, with a strong Ben Spies right behind him, and Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner not far behind. Andrea Dovizioso would push through past Stoner to 4th, while at the front, Spies began to press Pedrosa. The Texan, determined to make good after a dismal start to the season, was all over the back of the Spaniard, looking for a way past. He thought he had found it at Turn 4 on the third lap, but running wide in his attempt to dive underneath Pedrosa, the Texan just touched the grass at the outside of the turn and tumbled off, escaping unhurt and with his bike relatively undamaged. But Spies was out of contention.
Factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo immediately took over where Spies had left off, pressing at the tailpipe of Pedrosa's Repsol Honda. The two gradually started to escape, with only Andrea Dovizioso on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha capable of following. Casey Stoner, after passing Cal Crutchlow, could not match the pace of the front runners.
Dovizioso could at first, but he could never get close enough to pose a serious threat. As the race approached the halfway point, it was clear that the win would go to either of the two men racing at home, to be decided by who wanted it more. Both men were close, with Lorenzo taking over the lead from Pedrosa with a tough pass into Turn 1 at the start of lap 7, then Pedrosa returning the favor at the start of lap 12. A lap later, just how hard the Yamaha man was made clear as he ran wide into Turn 1 and lost over a second to Pedrosa.
But that would not be enough for the Repsol Honda man to keep the lead. Lorenzo hunted Pedrosa down, slowly at first, but faster as he got nearer, pushing hard on lap 20, so hard that he forced Pedrosa into a mistake. The Repsol Honda man ran wide at Turn 10, allowing Lorenzo through. Once past, he was gone, and Jorge Lorenzo went on to win unchallenged, taking his second victory in a row and taking a huge lead in the championship. Pedrosa settled for second, and Andrea Dovizioso was delighted with his first podium in 3rd.
The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man nearly didn't make it, having had a massive moment on lap 15, and lost a lot of time for a couple of laps recovering his composure, but picked up his pace again once Casey Stoner and Cal Crutchlow came uncomfortably close. Stoner's 4th place broke his string of 19 podiums in a row, and puts a big hole between himself and Lorenzo in the championship. Cal Crutchlow pushed hard to get past Stoner, but try as he might, he just could not.
After a strong start, San Carlo Gresini's Alvaro Bautista lost touch with the leading group, and was almost caught by Valentino Rossi. The factory Ducati rider had his best race in the dry this year on the Ducati, but had used up his rear tire in the chase for Bautista.
Stefan Bradl came home in 8th, ahead of the second factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden, while Ben Spies redeemed his early mistake to get back into the top 10, putting a hard pass on Hector Barbera along the way.
Lorenzo's victory leaves him sitting comfortably atop the championship standings, 20 points clear of Stoner, while Dani Pedrosa is another 10 points shy of his Repsol Honda teammate. There is still a very long way to go in the championship, but Lorenzo has gotten off to a very good start.
|15||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||44'18.164||1'10.483|
|Finished through pits|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||SUTER||44'55.263||1 lap|