Rossi and Stoner take Catalan podiums with 2nd and 3rd Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi and Ducati Corse's Casey Stoner both claimed podium results at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon after a gruelling 25-lap race which was won in...
Rossi and Stoner take Catalan podiums with 2nd and 3rd
Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi and Ducati Corse's Casey Stoner both claimed podium results at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon after a gruelling 25-lap race which was won in dominant fashion by Spanish Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
Rossi, starting from ninth on the grid, made his way up through the field in the first third of the race and enjoyed a close battle with Stoner for the rest of the event. Both riders took turns to hold second place, setting consistent and quick lap times, but it was Rossi who ultimately took the runner-up position behind Pedrosa, sneaking past Stoner on the penultimate lap of the race.
Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen was involved in a battle for sixth place on the final lap but lost out to James Toseland by less than one-tenth-of-a-second. Eight-tenths further adrift was Honda Gresini's Shinya Nakano who finished ninth for the third race in a row. Kawasaki's John Hopkins completed the top ten with a heroic display following his accident in Saturday morning free practice.
Second place marks Rossi's sixth consecutive podium on Bridgestone tyres and consolidates his lead of the world championship, albeit by a reduced margin of seven points. Stoner's third place represents his fourth trip to the podium this season and also boosts his fourth place in the championship by an additional 16 points.
Most Bridgestone riders opted for the harder specification rear tyre this afternoon to combat the aggressive nature of the Catalan track. Podium men Stoner and Rossi were able to set quick times right up to the chequered flag, demonstrating an encouraging consistency. Rossi set the second quickest lap of the race, 1m42.555s, seven-tenths-of-a-second from last year's race best. Stoner was third in the fastest lap classification ahead of Suzuki's Loris Capirossi.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"I am very happy that Valentino and Casey were able to enjoy a competitive fight for the podium this afternoon. Both riders demonstrated a good consistency over the race distance, and were able to set times in the final couple of laps that were just a tenth-of-a-second from their race best. In preparing for this event, we always had consistency and durability at the front of our minds, so in this regard, I think we can be quite satisfied. However, we did not have the grip to match Dani. His performance, especially in the early stages of the race, was really impressive. With two more podiums, as well as the pole position achieved by Casey yesterday, I think we can be reasonably content with the results, but we have two days of testing here in Catalunya tomorrow and Tuesday which, if the weather stays dry, we will use to better understand our weaknesses around this track, as well as to continue our development items for the forthcoming races."
Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team - 2nd Place and Championship Leader
"I'm very happy with the result and I had great fun during the race. I did a lot of overtaking, like in the old times. My target was the podium, but in the end I was able to battle with Casey, and we had a great, great battle with a lot of overtaking. I enjoyed it a lot. This second place and the twenty points are very important for my championship. We lost five points to Dani today, but we know that to beat Dani we have to start in front and yesterday was a bad day for us, so second place is a great achievement."
Weather: Dry - Air 23C, Track 40C ( Bridgestone measurement)