Bridgestone is celebrating an historic performance this afternoon after its riders dominated the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul. Ducati's Casey Stoner took the lead on the opening lap and never looked back, leading home Honda Gresini's Toni Elias...
Bridgestone is celebrating an historic performance this afternoon after its riders dominated the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul. Ducati's Casey Stoner took the lead on the opening lap and never looked back, leading home Honda Gresini's Toni Elias and team-mate Loris Capirossi for the first ever Bridgestone 1-2-3 in a MotoGP event. The win marked the tenth victory on Bridgestone tyres in MotoGP.
Pramac d'Antin's Alex Barros hounded Capirossi for the final podium place in the closing laps but settled for an equally impressive fourth at the chequered flag. Marco Melandri took fifth for Honda Gresini with Suzuki's John Hopkins in sixth, both men putting in excellent performances. Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet and Pramac d'Antin's Alex Hofmann made it eight Bridgestone-shod riders in the top ten, by far the most competitive performance by Bridgestone tyres in the corporation's comparatively short MotoGP history.
An early crash involving Dani Pedrosa (Honda), Colin Edwards (Yamaha), Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki) and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) resulted in only Vermeulen able to rejoin the race. Such was his competitiveness coming back up through the field, the Australian was able to set the quickest lap of the race (1m54.026s) on his penultimate lap to reclaim a fighting eleventh place.
The consistency of Stoner's race winning pace meant that the young Australian posted seven laps of 1m54.2s with only his opening and final lap over 1m54.8s, a variation of just 0.6s over twenty laps.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Department
"Today's result is fantastic for Bridgestone as we celebrate our tenth MotoGP victory with our first ever MotoGP 1-2-3. For me this is a real dream come true. Congratulations to Ducati, who sit at the top of the championships, as well as to the Honda Gresini team for their first podium this year. Turkey has always been a tough track for us and it has been particularly gratifying that we have been able to find a breakthrough for this year's performance. We had five riders in the top eight with each of our teams, which is an incredible achievement. I would like to express my thanks to all five of our teams for their patience and support while we have worked hard to find solutions for this circuit and we look forward to continuing this trend in the upcoming races."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We are obviously delighted with the results from today's race. As an engineer, we are always looking for continuous improvement in our technological development, so we are not going to take today's performance for granted. Nevertheless we take great pride in the technical advances we have made since last year's Turkish GP, a race in which we really struggled. Our direction for tyre development appears to be correct and certainly paid dividends today. I hope we can confirm this in the next GP in China in two weeks' time."
Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - Race Winner
"We had a great race today. Really, with the way the Ducati and the Bridgestone tyres were today we couldn't do anything wrong. I got past Colin (Edwards) on the first lap because I wanted to make sure I didn't get held up and bumped back like in Jerez. Then Valentino ran off the track, pretty much gifting me first position. From there we put some good laps together, built a gap and continued from there because some of the other riders were having a battle. The Bridgestone tyres were absolutely perfect, in fact the whole package was just perfect. With everybody working together I think we can do a really good job and I think and I hope that we can get stronger as the season goes on."