Stoner and Hopkins end Bridgestone's competitive season in style 2007 MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner ended his title-winning season in style by laying claim to his 14th podium finish of the year with a solid second place in this afternoon's...
Stoner and Hopkins end Bridgestone's competitive season in style
2007 MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner ended his title-winning season in style by laying claim to his 14th podium finish of the year with a solid second place in this afternoon's Valencia GP behind Spanish Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
Departing Suzuki rider John Hopkins rounded out a five-year career at the team with third place, his fourth podium of the 2007 season, which secures him an excellent fourth place in the championship, just two points ahead of Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri who finished in fourth place this afternoon.
Loris Capirossi enjoyed a strong afternoon in his final race for Ducati with fifth place ahead of Chris Vermeulen, whose sixth place rewards Suzuki with third in the team's classification, just one point adrift of the Repsol Honda squad. Pramac d'Antin rider Alex Barros and Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, also in their final races with their respective teams, ensured that all five Bridgestone-equipped teams finished the season with top ten results.
The twenty points earned for second ensure Stoner has taken points at every single event of the season and his total points tally to a remarkable 367. Valencia marked Bridgestone's 100th race participation in MotoGP bringing to an end its most competitive season by far. Bridgestone-shod riders have taken 12 race wins this season with Stoner and Hopkins's rostrum trip today increasing the number of podiums to 33 from a possible 54. For Bridgestone, though, the 2008 season begins in Valencia on Tuesday when testing resumes.
Hiroshi Yamada- Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"That was a tough thirty laps for all riders today and a very high standard set by Dani Pedrosa. I would like to say well done to all five of our teams for taking top ten results in this final race of the season. Casey has performed like a true champion in every race this year and his second place today was another fine example of this. He has taken top six results at every race and thoroughly deserves his championship title. John's podium was another great result in a competitive season for Suzuki, congratulations to them also. Of course the racing season never truly stops but, for Bridgestone, we will enjoy a brief moment of reflection on our most competitive season ever, after our 100th MotoGP race. Overall though, I am overjoyed with this year's results and performance and I would like to convey my personal thanks to our staff and to all our teams and riders for their invaluable contribution throughout the season. But our preparations for 2008 will already start on Tuesday."
Atsushi Tomura - Bridgestone Corporation - General Manager, Motorcycle Tyre Development
"I am pleased with the performance of our tyres in today's race, especially considering the challenging nature of this Valencia circuit. The degradation and grip levels were within our expectations, but it was a long race and tough on the tyres, particularly on the left hand side in the closing stages of the race. Looking back on this amazing season, I am very happy with our results and I would like to say thank you to everyone involved in Bridgestone's MotoGP activities, both at the track and in Japan, for a great job this season. Also thanks to our five teams - I sincerely hope that they have enjoyed as many benefits from our technical relationship as we have. Our sights are already on 2008 and we will keep pushing hard to improve our tyre performance."
Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - 2nd place in Valencia GP and 2007 MotoGP World Champion
"I'm happy with the way I rode today and I think I got the most of out the bike and I'm reasonably happy with th e way the weekend has gone. Dani just rode a faultless race and didn't make anymistakes and deserves this win. Definitely I expected the pace to be in the low 1:33s, but I didn't expect it to be quite that fast for so long. At the beginning of the race everything seemed quite good and then Dani came past and pulled a bit of an advantage straight away and I just wasn't able to claw it back.With five laps to go I started to lose quite a lot of grip on the left hand side of the rear tyre, and I just decided to call it a day. We were quite a distance in front of the rest and our pace had been really strong."