STONER SECOND AT LAGUNA SECA, POSITIVE FIFTH PLACE FOR HAYDEN Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner continued his recent podium streak with a solid second place in the USGP, whilst Nicky Hayden claimed local honour as the first American across the...
STONER SECOND AT LAGUNA SECA, POSITIVE FIFTH PLACE FOR HAYDEN
Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner continued his recent podium streak with a solid second place in the USGP, whilst Nicky Hayden claimed local honour as the first American across the line in fifth after a breathtaking challenge for the podium.
Stoner started well from the front row of the grid and was running in second place behind Dani Pedrosa when he set the fastest lap of the race on lap four, breaking his own circuit record from 2008 with a stunning 1'21.376. A little problem saw the Australian concede a place to Jorge Lorenzo on the fifth lap but he benefited from a crash for Pedrosa six laps later and was unchallenged from that point onwards, securing his best finish of the season so far and his fourth rostrum in succession.
Hayden started from seventh on the grid and eventually overcame his compatriot Ben Spies after a race-long battle that had the raucous crowd on their feet, chasing down Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso for a podium finish over the final few laps but missing out by just 1.2 seconds.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Team) 2nd
"The bike felt good at the start of the race but at this circuit you always have to wait for a lap, a lap and a half for the tyres to warm up. As soon as everything felt alright I thought I'd try to push and make a pass on Dani for the lead but I immediately lost the front. I pulled myself back together and tried to hunt him down again but made another little mistake. Another lap or two later I closed the front again and ran well wide, I was almost off the track. At that point I decided just to gather myself, ride smooth and consistent and try not to lose too much time to the two guys in front of me. I started to pull them in but lost the front again. It was a shame because the bike felt good around most of the circuit, we just struggled with the front in a couple of corners. Having said that I'm happy and thankful to my guys because we were able to put up more of a fight this weekend."
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Team) 5th
"We had a little problem with the bike when I did my practice start this morning and it happened again in the race but we put up a fight as best we could. The last five laps I was over my head, doing my fastest laps of the weekend almost because I thought there was a chance we might be able to get on the box if the guys in front made a mistake. I dug as deep as I could but it wasn't enough today. My first two years here at Laguna Seca were much more fun, that's for sure, but hopefully we can be back here fighting for the win next year -- that's the goal. I want to say thanks to all my guys for their hard work this weekend and to all the fans here at Laguna, their support is incredible -- I'm just sorry I couldn't be on the podium for them."
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
"Casey scored his fourth consecutive podium today and this time he was a step higher up, having set the fastest lap of the race and also starring in qualifying. Altogether it was a good weekend for him because he confirmed his constant progress from recent weeks and showed that the team are doing a good job with the bike. His result was complemented by fifth place for Nicky, who was just over a second off the podium. I think he had a good race because he was under more pressure than usual and didn't have an exceptional qualifying. He didn't get a great start either but he put a good pace together and his lap times at the end showed that the package underneath him is good. Now we want to win a race and we'll try to do that at Brno, but for today I am happy with our result as a team."