Repsol Honda Team
Stoner takes podium with Pedrosa in fourth
Today at the Grand Prix of France, Casey Stoner scored his fourth podium of the season and his 19th successive in MotoGP with team mate Dani Pedrosa in fourth at a cold and slippery Le Mans circuit that once again proved to be a real challenge for all the riders.
In the 28 lap race that started with rain and ended with a dry line, the Australian World Champion crossed the finish line in third place after a thrilling battle with Valentino Rossi, resulting in the Italian passing Casey on the last lap. Stoner is now second in the Championship standings, with 82 points, 8 behind Jorge Lorenzo.
Dani Pedrosa, starting from pole, missed the podium for the first time this season. He lost contact with the leading group in the first laps and riding alone for most of the race, he managed to remain focused and score important Championship points, where he maintains third position.
"I was pretty happy to hold on for a podium today. In the early stages Cal, Valentino and Dovi were behind me putting on a lot of pressure, but we managed to pull a small gap on them as I was chasing Jorge. Then as soon as the rain stopped and the track was less wet, our tyre temperatures got too high, we started spinning and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I thought the three of them would catch up and perhaps overtake me but we managed to hold on for third. I enjoyed the battle with Valentino at the end, there was clean overtaking and we swapped positions a few times but in the end we knew that Valentino had better pace than us and after he passed there was no way I could stay with him. We did everything we could today and to come away with a podium is a good result.”
"I had no traction out of the corners, especially in first and second gear, and I wasn't able to advance. We made a few changes to the configuration of the bike after warm up hoping to improve it a bit, in the end it was the other way around, but these things can happen. In the race I immediately realised it was not my day, not a day to take any risk and it was important to simply reach the best position. I was lucky, after the crashes of both Tech 3 Yamahas I finished fourth. Wet races can be like this and today was just not our day. We lost many points to Lorenzo but the Championship is very long and we will have our time. This race is over and we must now think towards Catalunya. I'm really looking forward to going there, it's a circuit that motivates me a lot and I have all my family and friends with me. The team is working very well, we have a good bike and we've been fast in every race, but we need to be determined. Let's see if we can speed up a little and take our first win of the season in Catalunya.”