Catalunyan GP: Bridgestone race notes

Casey claims fourth win of season in Catalan classic Ducati's Casey Stoner has this afternoon taken the first ever MotoGP victory on Bridgestone tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain after an epic battle with Valentino Rossi in the final...

Casey claims fourth win of season in Catalan classic

Ducati's Casey Stoner has this afternoon taken the first ever MotoGP victory on Bridgestone tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain after an epic battle with Valentino Rossi in the final half of the 25-lap race. The thrilling duel was played out in front of 112,000 cheering fans with local hero Dani Pedrosa crossing the line in a close third place.

The victory takes the total number of wins on Bridgestone tyres to five in seven races, representing the highest number of wins in a MotoGP season on Bridgestone tyres with eleven GPs still to play for in this electrifying 2007 championship.

The competitiveness of the Bridgestone hard compound tyres around the technically demanding Catalunya circuit was further demonstrated by excellent performances from Suzuki's John Hopkins, Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet, Ducati's Loris Capirossi, Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, Pramac d'Antin's Alex Barros and Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri who locked out positions four to nine this afternoon.

For Hopkins, it equals his result from Catalunya last year and puts him on equal points in the championship with team-mate Vermeulen. He also takes the accolade of setting the fastest lap of the race. De Puniet transformed his first ever front row start in MotoGP into his first ever top five result ending a competitive weekend for Kawasaki in fifth. Capirossi turned around a disappointing qualifying session and produced one of the rides of the day to take sixth place.

Hiroshi Yamada- Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Department
"That was truly an incredible race to watch and we are proud to have been such a big part of the show. Congratulations once again to the Ducati Corse team and to Casey for a perfect ride this afternoon to take their fourth win of the season. This victory is particularly special for Bridgestone because Catalunya has always been a challenge, so to have Casey win on our tyres today really means a lot. I would also like to say well done to all our teams for securing top ten finishes this afternoon, especially Suzuki for having two bikes in the top seven for the second consecutive Catalunya GP and to Kawasaki for a great fifth place from Randy de Puniet."

Junichi Kawajiri - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"The range of hard compound tyres that we used in this afternoon's race all showed a good level of competitiveness and to see Casey take a closely fought victory is very satisfying from a technical perspective. The demand placed on the right-hand sides of the tyres, especially in such heat, was always going to be an influencing factor and the final laps were indeed crucial. Casey produced 25 laps all within 0.7s of each other showing the same competitive consistent performance that he has displayed all weekend. Like earlier races this season, we were able to compete at a track where we have previously struggled and this shows our technical development to be on the right way."

Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - Race Winner and Championship Leader
"The first part of the race was quite quiet but it really stepped up a level when I was joined by Rossi and Pedrosa. Since Mugello, we have worked hard on the Ducati and we have improved a lot in a short space of time. It was an awesome race with lots of overtaking and I have to thank all the team and Bridgestone. We found a good set-up with the bike on Saturday and did not change anything for the race, and we also had some very competitive tyres. The performance in free practice showed that the tyres could go the distance and this was one of the main reasons why I was able to fight so closely with Valentino at the end and ultimately take the win."

-credit: bridgestone motorsports

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Alex Barros , John Hopkins , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa