Le Mans Bugatti Circuit
Stoner and Dovizioso complete fantastic Repsol Honda 1-2, but despair for Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda team has experienced the best and worst sides of racing in the Grand Prix of France. Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso reached the first and second steps of the podium, but at the same time in the circuit medical centre, team mate Dani Pedrosa discovered his right collarbone was broken.
It was the second victory of the season for Casey Stoner who was untouchable throughout the whole weekend at Le Mans, and the first podium of the season for Andrea Dovizioso. Dani Pedrosa, who set the new circuit record with a time of 1’33.617 on his 9th lap, was also fighting for a podium finish when on lap 18, a risky manoeuvre from Marco Simoncelli sent him into the gravel. Casey increased the gap at the front and Andrea showed his best performance to fight for second position with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
This is the third time this season the Repsol Honda team sees two of its three riders reach the podium, after also doing so in Qatar and Estoril with Stoner and Pedrosa. With this result, Jorge Lorenzo still leads the Championship with Stoner 12 points behind in second, Pedrosa 17 points behind in third and Dovizioso 28 points behind in fourth.
Dani Pedrosa left the circuit immediately after the race in order to check in Barcelona if a new operation will be necessary.
The race came to me and I was able to focus on my consistency and win.
CASEY STONER – 1st – 2nd in Championship, 66 points
“The whole weekend has gone so well for us, arriving here from the Portugal test with the bike almost the same and we have improved small things here and there and only needed to adjust the set up for this circuit. We went into the race confident, at the beginning of the race Dani was very fast and he was difficult to pass as he as being cautious. When I overtook him I thought I might be able to take some advantage but he was able to match my times and follow me for some laps, so I continued to push more than I prefer to and eventually I put a gap between us. From this point the race came to me and I was able to focus on my consistency and win. A big thanks to the team and everyone for all their hard work, but my thoughts are with Dani at this moment, I hope he can recover soon as he is a very strong contender for this Championship”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 2nd – 4th in Championship, 50 points
“I’m really happy with the second position today, it’s so important for the Championship and it arrives after a start of the season, where we didn’t get the results we expected. We did a very good job with the team since the beginning of the weekend and I knew I could fight for the podium, but I didn’t expect second place. I had a great battle with Valentino and to beat him always has a special taste, and it’s a good fun to get the podium after a hard fight. I was losing a lot in two areas but I was strong in braking, so I made a good strategy and once I overtook him, I pushed 100 percent not to have him too close especially in turns 10 and 11, where he was faster. Concerning the race, I had a good start, Lorenzo’s strong overtaking slowed me down a little, but then I pushed to recover the gap. We had good pace, but we need to be faster. We have to keep on working to reduce the gap to stay with the front riders from the beginning. Dani today was very unlucky and I hope he can recover soon”.
DANI PEDROSA – DNF – 3rd in Championship, 61 points
“I was having a good race, the goal was to ensure another podium and I had it in my grasp. But it counts for nothing. Simoncelli overtook me, I passed him back and I had the better line, he just came into me releasing the brakes and I could do nothing. I leave here with a broken collarbone and he with a ride through penalty, good for him! Yet again I come out worse off. We only just recovered from the nightmare of the last operation and now I’m hurt again. It is very unfair, I don’t deserve it”.
-source: repsol honda