Bridgestone: Pedrosa tames torrential conditions for Sepang victory

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took his sixth win of the season at a rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang to close the gap to Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo to twenty-three points.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Starting on pole, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo selected the softer rear wet tyre for the race and got a good start to lead the first ten laps before Pedrosa made the race-winning pass under brakes into the final turn before the start of lap eleven. With the rain getting heavier, Lorenzo survived a late scare while in second place before the race was red-flagged with seven laps remaining. The race was scheduled to restart to run the final seven laps, but the persistent heavy rain resulted in race control deeming the race complete due to the unsafe condition of the circuit.

The final standings were Pedrosa first, Lorenzo second, with third place going to Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The highest-placed CRT rider was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who scored his best result of the season by finishing in eighth position.

The track temperature during the race was 32°C and all riders opted for the hard compound front wet tyre for the race, while rear tyre choice was evenly split, with ten riders each selecting the soft and hard compound wet tyre. Those riders that selected the hard compound rear wet included all four Honda riders and the factory Ducati’s of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.

Pedrosa’s latest win swells his points total to 307, while Lorenzo leads the way with 330 points. Stoner’s podium sees him consolidate third position in the championship on 213 points.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department “Well done to Dani and Repsol Honda for their win in today’s extremely difficult conditions and I must commend all the riders who braved the torrential rain to put on a show for the Malaysian fans. It was also good to see Casey back on the podium despite still recovering from his injury. During the whole weekend there was a large and vocal crowd at the circuit and it is great to see MotoGP becoming ever more popular in this part of the world. We now look forward to the next race at Phillip Island where Dani and Jorge will resume their exciting fight for the championship.”

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “The tropical weather turned extreme today with two heavy rain showers before and during the race. All riders selected the hard front wet tyre for the race as this option gives better cornering and braking stability, while rear tyre choice was split the soft and hard compound. The soft rear wet tyre gives better edge grip at a slight expense to durability but as the race was red-flagged after thirteen laps, the difference in performance between these two options didn’t have a major influence on the result. Overall, the low grip levels in the dry sessions this weekend combined with the intermittent rain made it challenging for the teams and riders, and resulted in every specification of tyre in our allocation for this weekend being used.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner “It was a really hard race because in the beginning because I was trying to follow Jorge and find my rhythm. Mid-race I managed to pass him and do some good laps but then it started to rain really heavily. It was tough but I’m really happy as it was my first win in a wet race and it’s a great feeling, so thanks a lot to my team.”

Source: Bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Masao Azuma , Casey Stoner , Aleix Espargaro , Dani Pedrosa , Phillip Island
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing , Repsol Honda Team
Article type Race report
Tags bridgestone, honda, malaysia, malaysian gp, pedrosa, sepang