Fantastic podium finish for Pedrosa, disappointment for Stoner and Dovizioso
Dani Pedrosa continues to maintain a great romance with the Jerez circuit, but Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso still have a score to settle with it.
The Spanish rider achieved a fantastic second place in the Grand Prix of Spain, while Stoner was forced to withdraw after being taken out by Valentino Rossi in a collision on the eighth lap. Andrea Dovizioso finished twelfth - and last due to traction problems with the rear tyre, he entered the pits with 10 laps to go and rejoined the track in order to gain some points.
The race, held in the rain after two days of dry practice sessions, has been a real test of survival. Casey took the lead from pole with Andrea in fourth place and Dani, engulfed by the group at the start, was delayed and dropped down to eleventh position. The Australian remained in front until lap six when he was overtaken by Simoncelli, then two laps later he was knocked to the ground - pulled down by Valentino Rossi in his fall.
Dani Pedrosa, who will undergo surgery tomorrow on his injured left arm, leaves Jerez with another podium finish, sixth in this circuit in his six years in MotoGP, and the second podium this season which puts him second in the World Championship standings - 9 points behind Jorge Lorenzo, the new leader in the Championship with his win today. Casey is third overall and Andrea seventh.
DANI PEDROSA- Race position: 2nd – World Championship position: 2nd with 36 points
"It's been a very difficult race. At the start, many riders overtook me and I thought "that's it". Anyway, I knew there were 27 laps and the situation was difficult for the tyres. I was a little nervous after my bad start, but when I realised that in the first lap I was faster than in the warm up, I calmed down and started to improve. I took a good pace and had to ride at maximum concentration in order not to not make any mistakes, it was very easy to crash. Some riders started falling down and it was a matter of resisting there. I tried to catch Lorenzo when I saw that his gap was about a second, but at 10 laps to go the tyres were almost finished; I couldn't even open the throttle on the straight because the track was very slippery. When Spies crashed, my gap with Nicky was big enough to keep the second place and I crossed the finish line very very happy. It's been a t ough weekend for the arm injury, today I also had numbness and lack of strength, but to ride in wet has helped me because it's not as aggressive as in dry conditions. To leave Jerez with a second place finish, after the third place in Qatar, is amazing. We are 9 points behind the Championship leader and it's a good gap to resume the Championship again in Estoril. On Friday we considered whether it was worth racing here or better to pull out thinking about the operation. So this second place is amazing. We've been doing great, but now comes the hard time, the surgery. Nobody likes to undergo surgery, but this time I almost wish for it because I want to end the pain and problems and start competing fully fit".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - Race position: 12th – World Championship position: 7th with 17 points
“I am very disappointed with what happened today. We have to understand exactly the reason why, but I felt the rear tyre was not working properly, moreover the set up of the traction control was not perfect for today's situation and this made things worse. The traction control was too "low", the bike was spinning a lot and the tyres overheated. With ten laps to go I felt it was dangerous to go ahead so I entered the pit lane to change tyre and finish the race to get some points. It was a real pity because we have always been competitive in the wet and today it could have been a good occasion to achieve a good result. In the warm up everything was fine and I had no issues”.
CASEY STONER - Race position: DNF – World championship position: 3rd with 25 points
"We made a good start to the race and the bike felt good for the first few laps, then the tyres seemed to move a little so we tried to conserve them in case it rained again. I really wanted the chance to fight the Spanish riders here in a dry race, so it was disappointing for me that that it was wet. However, we were competitive here in the wet and dry and this is very important for us - at a track that hasn't been that great for me in the past. After so much hard work I hate to have a race like this because the team did a great job all weekend and now we go home empty handed. With the accident, I heard Valentino arriving and I wasn't worried about anyone passing me at that point in the race so I gave him plenty of room. It was a racing incident and there's not much we can do, what is more frustrating is the reaction of the stewards and their assistance for Valentino and not for me, it was unbelievable. I want to just get to the next race now in Estoril, where I'm sure we can be competitive again".
-source: repsol honda