Rossi races through the field to take valuable Montmelo podium Valentino Rossi put yesterday's poor qualifying behind him today with a characteristic charge through the field from ninth on the grid to take second in the Grand Prix of Catalunya....
Rossi races through the field to take valuable Montmelo podium
Valentino Rossi put yesterday's poor qualifying behind him today with a characteristic charge through the field from ninth on the grid to take second in the Grand Prix of Catalunya. By the time Rossi made it through the pack the race-winner Dani Pedrosa was already some way off in front, but Rossi had a lively battle with Casey Stoner over the last few laps, a replay of last year's race but with the Italian prevailing this time.
After some hard work by his team and engineers overnight, it was clear from this morning's warm-up that Rossi was in better shape and the Italian began his race with the podium as his target. Starting form ninth, he gained one place on the first lap when he passed James Toseland and then made his way steadily through the field, out-braking several riders into turn one on consecutive laps and eventually passing first Andrea Dovizioso and then Stoner to take second on lap nine. Rossi tried to leave Stoner behind but the Australian remained in touch and passed him back on lap 17, sparking an entertaining battle for second spot over the closing stages of the race. Rossi eventually made the decisive move at the start of the penultimate lap and held on to cross the line just over half a second ahead of his rival, with Pedrosa 2.806 seconds in front.
An important 20-point haul sees Rossi hang on to his championship lead, seven points ahead of Pedrosa, whilst Lorenzo is still just ahead of Stoner in third despite having to miss today's race while he recovers from Friday's crash. It was another double top-six finish for the Tech 3 Yamaha Team meanwhile, with Colin Edwards and James Toseland finishing in their grid spots of fifth and sixth.
Valentino Rossi 2nd +2.806;
"I think that this was quite a good race! It's a long time since we've had a good fight for the top positions like that and today it was like last year with Stoner, but for second instead of first place! I was able to come out on top this year and I am honestly very happy with today's result. After three almost perfect races, yesterday was a very hard day for us but last night we had a very good meeting and today we were able to be much more competitive. My target was the podium so to come second is excellent. I want to watch the race on TV now because I had a lot of fun today and made some good overtakes, with my M1 and my Bridgestone tyres working very well to the end. Once I passed Stoner I tried to go away from him but it wasn't possible, so then I knew it would be a great battle to the end. Pedrosa was incredibly strong today and I think it's impossible to say whether or not I could have gone with him even if I had started from the front.
"As it was we were penalised by our grid position and, with Pedrosa as fast as this, from the third row it was impossible. In these circumstances I am very happy that we only lost five points to him, we're still leading the championship and I had a great race, so I am content! Tomorrow we will have a test and I think it will be quite interesting to see what we can find out about what happened this weekend and how we can improve for Donington. Thanks to all my team and congratulations to Dani."
Davide Brivio Team Manager;
"We're very happy about this result today because we struggled a lot over the weekend. The team and the engineers did a great job however to find a way to improve the setting in such a short amount of time, and we could see from the warm-up this morning that we had a chance to be competitive. Of course our starting position left us with a hard job to do and, with Pedrosa as fast as he was today, we are just happy to have taken 20 points! We only gave away five and the championship is long; our target is to be on the podium every time and today we've done that. Tomorrow we have a test and we will analyse the data from this weekend and try to learn more about our Yamaha-Bridgestone package, so that we can try to go one better in Donington. It was sad to make today's race with half of our team missing and one side of the garage empty, and on behalf of all the team I would like to wish Jorge all the best and we look forward to having him back very soon."
Masahiko Nakajima Team Director;
"This is a satisfying result for all of the team and Yamaha staff because we had a problem to find the right set-up here all weekend. Last night the engineers were working until midnight to try to fix the problem and their hard work paid off because the bike felt much better this morning. Of course we're always disappointed not to win but in the circumstances this is a very good result for us."
Jorge Lorenzo on the mend after another day's rest
Two days after the accident that forced him to miss today's Catalan Grand Prix at Montmelo, Jorge Lorenzo's recovery is progressing well at the Institut Dexues in Barcelona. The 21-year-old sustained head trauma and damage to his right hand in Friday's crash but is improving, although Dr. Xavier Mir confirmed tonight that he will need a small skin graft to replace the skin he has lost on his hand.
"After further observation we are pleased to say that the cranial trauma that Jorge suffered on Friday has improved without any further complications," commented the Doctor. "This still needs to be verified with another CAT scan, however, and for this reason we have moved Jorge to another part of the hospital this afternoon. Regarding other injuries, we have evaluated the abrasion on his right hand and we can confirm that he has more than two centimetres of skin missing from his fourth finger. For this reason we have decided that it will be necessary to make a skin graft, which will probably take place tomorrow morning."