Stoner and Melandri take Bridgestone 1-2 in Sepang Casey Stoner rode his Ducati superbly to victory in this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix to register his tenth win of the season, the twelfth in total by a rider on Bridgestone tyres ...
Stoner and Melandri take Bridgestone 1-2 in Sepang
Casey Stoner rode his Ducati superbly to victory in this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix to register his tenth win of the season, the twelfth in total by a rider on Bridgestone tyres in 2007. Stoner also claimed the fastest lap of the race, a 2m02.108s, which represented a slight increase over the existing record set by Loris Capirossi in 2006, while the total race time, 43m04.405s, was three seconds quicker than last year's 990cc race.
Marco Melandri scored an equally impressive second position, just 1.7s adrift of Stoner's race-winning time, to take his fourth podium position of the season and the sixth in total for the Honda Gresini team in their debut season using Bridgestone tyres.
It was a strong afternoon for Bridgestone-equipped riders around the recently resurfaced Sepang track in an extremely competitive race with several team, bike and tyre manufacturer combinations on potential podium pace over the 21 laps. Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet has been on tremendous form all weekend and a fourth place finish is just reward for a spirited ride today, just 1.5s from a second podium of 2007. Melandri's team-mate Toni Elias took a hard-fought sixth place ahead of the Suzuki duo of Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins who rounded out the top eight.
Stoner and Melandri's Sepang success makes Malaysia the eighth race of the year where Bridgestone-shod riders have claimed a 1-2 and the third race in a row after Japan and Australia. Stoner extends his championship-winning season tally to 347 points, while Melandri leap frogs the Suzuki riders for fourth spot with just five separating him from Hopkins in fifth and Vermeulen in sixth. De Puniet's fourth place takes his points total over the 100 mark for the first time in his MotoGP career.
Hiroshi Yamada- Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"Congratulations to Casey and Ducati for another hard fought win in very competitive circumstances this afternoon. The field was very evenly matched this afternoon, so everyone should be commended for excellent work at this resurfaced Sepang track. Marco and Honda Gresini also performed exceptionally well today and it is great to see them score another podium with Marco getting his best 'dry' result of the season on our tyres. Kawasaki, too, have enjoyed a strong weekend and Randy was unfortunate to miss out on the podium, even if fourth place is still a great result. It has been a busy and demanding two weekends in a row, so thanks to all the Bridgestone team for usual high standard of work, and we will continue to push our hardest to prepare for the Valencia GP in two weeks which will be our 100th MotoGP participation."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorsport Race Tyre Development
"This afternoon's race was held with the hottest track temperatures we have faced this weekend and I think that our range of tyres worked quite well. The grip and consistency provided by the front and rear tyres over the full race distance was pleasing, but I was surprised by how close and competitive everybody was in the race. Many riders set their fastest laps in the last third of the race, which is quite incredible in these conditions. The new track surface has given all tyre manufacturers a big challenge here in Sepang, so I am pleased we can see Casey win again with Marco so close behind. I must admit that our rivals appeared very strong again today, so we have to push hard to keep up our rate of development to end the season on a high note."
Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - Race Winner and 2007 Moto GP World Champion (347 points)
"The bike, tyres and everything were performing really well but it was a very difficult race. The biggest battle I had was being in front by myself and not really having anything to focus on. I've been fine with it all year, but this track seems to just take it out of you a little bit more. Probably until halfway through the race everything was performing very well, then I had a couple of front end losses. So then I just tried to back it off and keep a similar pace but with some different lines and different riding techniques. Some laps when I decided just to back off a little bit, I backed off too much and gave Marco and Dani a bit of an advantage so I had to increase the pace again. I'm very lucky and very happy to have come out on top."