Casey Stoner rode to an important victory today in the Grand Prix of Catalunya in front of 81,638 spectators, with team mate Andrea Dovizioso taking fourth position in a race which local hero Dani Pedrosa sadly missed.
The Australian rider controlled the race with determination after passing Lorenzo at the beginning of the second lap, he worked hard to put a gap between him and his rivals and when light rain began to appear with 12 laps remaining he did not lose his rhythm. The marshals showed white flags to indicate the pilots were able to enter the pit lane to change bikes if required, and although the track became slippery in places, none of the riders took this option. At this time, Casey's advantage over Jorge Lorenzo was already 2.2 seconds with Andrea Dovizioso just seven tenths behind Ben Spies in third position.
Stoner secured his third win of the season, which takes him to 91 points - just 7 points astray from Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
Dovizioso finished the Catalunya race nine tenths off the podium and is now fourth in the Championship with 61 points after beating Valentino Rossi.
CASEY STONER – 1st – World Championship position: 2nd with 91 points
“We got a reasonably good start but not as good as Jorge. I wanted to try to pass him early on but had to wait until the end of the first lap. From this point I just tried to put in the consistent laps as we did in the practice sessions to see if he could stay with me, fortunately I was able to open up an advantage without pushing too hard or feeling too much pressure. I was really happy, the bike was feeling fantastic and then it started to rain. There was enough rain there to make you think that it will affect the bike, and in the last corner there was enough rain to make the track slippery. As I was always the first to arrive to the wet area of the track, I watched what the others were doing and if they had started to catch me then I would push and if I start to pull an advantage then I would back off a little. I'm just happy I kept the bike upright at this stage and I want to thank all my team at Repsol Honda for all the hard work this weekend. We now head to Silverstone next week where we'll also be looking to fight for victory, I just hope Dani can make a return there also and I wish him a fast recovery”
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 4th – World Championship position: 3rd with 63 points
“After the warm up session in the wet the conditions during the race were tricky, especially when it started to rain with 12 laps to go. I didn't have a perfect start and this complicated the race. In the first laps with a full tank, I didn't have good stability in the front. With the hard tyres the traction was not so good compared to Lorenzo, Spies and Rossi who were riding with soft tyres. Even if we improved compared to Le Mans in terms of lap times, I'm not happy finishing 4th position, five seconds behind the winner. Today we were fast and I think that with a good start we could have at least fought for the podium. I'm sorry for my team as they worked hard during the whole weekend. Now I look forward to next weekend's race in Silverstone, a circuit that I like and where I hope to get a good result”
-source: repsol honda