Repsol Honda press release
After a thrilling race, decided in the final three laps, the Repsol Honda Team started the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with a double podium at Losail circuit, with Dani Pedrosa in second place and Casey Stoner, in third.
Casey, who took today his 16th successive podium, managed to lead the race from the third lap and after recording the fastest lap on lap 4, opened up a two second gap over Lorenzo and Dani at one stage.
Dani Pedrosa performed one of his incredible trademark starts, jumping from 7th to 2nd by the first corner and managed to match the pace of Casey and Jorge in the opening laps. However, the current World Champion began to suffer from severe arm pump which affected his race greatly and finally he was unable to ride to his full potential. With 4 laps to go, Jorge Lorenzo passed Casey and took the lead followed shortly by Pedrosa and Casey retained third position.
DANI PEDROSA 2nd
"I'm very happy with this result because we have been able to turn around all the problems we had during the weekend. After a good pre season we got here and everything went wrong: I had flu and a fever, I crashed on Friday, then the qualifying practice was a disaster… So, it's very good to leave here with this podium, even if I feel little bit sad because I thought I could win this race, I had it in my hands for a while. The team did a fantastic job and we saw things very different after warm up; then I managed a perfect start which was a key moment in the race, and I was able to stay with Casey and Jorge. In the end, with 4 laps to go I tried to take the lead, but Lorenzo was cleverer than me this time and choose a better strategy. I passed him but he overtook me immediately and also Casey, then I was behind Casey for 1 lap and lost contact with Jorge. Anyway, it's a good start to the season and we will try to do better in Jerez".
CASEY STONER 3rd
"It wasn't really the way we wanted to finish the race weekend here, after FP3 and Qualifying it was always going to be a tough race for us but in the end it came in the wrong areas. The bike was working well for us, I definitely had the package and the pace to lead the field which was really positive. However, I suffered from really bad arm pump. After three or four laps I felt it but it gradually got worse, I tried to pull a little gap from Jorge and Dani and put in the minimal effort possible to retain the gap and try and win, but as the race continued it got worse and worse and eventually the muscles had nothing more to give. I couldn't hold onto the handle bars properly and it made things really difficult so it was a disappointing race for this reason, but for many other technical reasons it was very promising".