Rossi takes maiden Bridgestone win in China, Stoner scores podium Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi took a triumphant victory at the Shanghai International Circuit in China this afternoon to secure his first ever MotoGP victory...
Rossi takes maiden Bridgestone win in China, Stoner scores podium
Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi took a triumphant victory at the Shanghai International Circuit in China this afternoon to secure his first ever MotoGP victory using Bridgestone tyres. The Italian was embroiled in a race-long battle with Honda's Dani Pedrosa, but a string of record-breaking lap times in the closing laps ensured a well earned first win of the season, 3.8 seconds clear of Pedrosa. Rossi becomes the sixth rider to take MotoGP victory using Bridgestone tyres after Makoto Tamada, Loris Capirossi, Troy Bayliss, Chris Vermeulen and Casey Stoner.
Ducati's Casey Stoner took his second podium result of the season after a fine run to third place, while his team-mate Marco Melandri also rode superbly to a season-best fifth position. All three riders used medium compound rear tyres of the same construction. Three additional Bridgestone-shod riders scored top ten results with Toni Elias underlining the strong performance of Ducati with eighth place for the Alice Team, Loris Capirossi in ninth for Suzuki and Honda Gresini's Shinya Nakano in tenth.
Morning rain made last minute race preparations complicated. Bridgestone's tyre fitters worked diligently to prepare tyres to suit all conditions with shallow and full wet weather tyres, cut and full slick tyres all readied for the starting grid. Ultimately, a dry line had emerged by the end of the 125 and 250cc races to allow full slicks to be used. Most riders, however, used softer specification tyres compared to the practice sessions in a bid to combat the lower track temperatures, with the majority of riders opting to use the medium compound range rather than the hard.
Osamu Inoue - Bridgestone Corporation - Senior Vice President
"I would like to say many congratulations to the Fiat Yamaha Team and to Valentino Rossi for their first MotoGP win using our tyres, in only their fourth race weekend working together with Bridgestone. Ducati also performed very well this weekend with Casey Stoner on the podium. The weather was very unpredictable today, which did not make the job straight-forward for anyone, so it was a good job and I thank all the teams, manufacturers and riders we work with for their continued support to Bridgestone."
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Race Tyre Development
"I am satisifed with the performance of our tyres here in Shanghai this weekend. We could see from the practice sessions that our latest slick tyres, both medium and hard specifications, performed well and allowed us to find renewed competitiveness after two difficult weekends in Jerez and Estoril. It was a great and hard-fought victory by Valentino and Yamaha today. Ducati, too, had a strong weekend with three riders in the top eight and Casey on the podium. The tyre choice was not so easy with the morning rain which left track conditions much cooler than at any other time over the weekend, but the results show some impressive performances by a lot of Bridgestone riders even with the changed conditions. Our tyre fitters and engineers had to prepare more tyres than usual because of the changed weather and they did an excellent job to cover all eventualities at the start of the race."
Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team - Race Winner
"I am very pleased with this result because it has been a long time without a victory. This is also my first victory using Bridgestone tyres, so it is an important result. We have worked hard with the change to Bridgestone, but the results have been improving all the time and we have now taken a win after two podiums. I knew that we had good potential and we felt good from Friday practice. I had to push hard because Dani kept coming with me, but we had a quick pace right up to the end and we could set some very quick lap times."
Weather: Dry - Air 20C, Track 25C ( Bridgestone measurement)