On the eve of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca at Thursday’s press conference, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, joined by championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards, confirmed that he will be leaving the team at the end of the year, yet remained tight-lipped on his plans for 2013. This has subsequently sent so-called “silly season” into overdrive with regards to riders’ contracts, especially with Ducati Team’s Rossi considering his future options for next year.
Grand Prix racing numbers
75 – Stefan Bradl has scored 75 points from the first nine races since moving up to the MotoGP class – this is already the highest number of points scored in a single season by a German rider in MotoGP. The record was held by Alex Hofmann who scored 65 points in the 2007 season.
33 years – On race-day at the US Grand Prix it will be exactly 33 years to the day that Randy Mamola finished second at the 1979 Finnish Grand Prix at Imatra to become the youngest-ever rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class. The record of 19 years and 260 days still stands to this day.
- Spanish riders have taken all three front row places for the first time ever in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing,
- Dani Pedrosa starts from pole for the second time this year. Following his win in Germany, Pedrosa will be aiming to take back-to-back wins for the first time since at the Indianapolis and San Marino Grand Prix in 2010.
Following two weekends of action-packed racing, the MotoG grid heads south to the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello for the final race of the triple-header. Having encountered mixed weather and high-profile crashes in both of the preceding races, the teams and riders will no-doubt be hoping for an incident-free and sunny weekend in Italy.
On a weekend that featured tremendous races in all three MotoGP™ classes, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who stormed to victory in the premier-class at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in front of his home crowd ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
After a wet morning warm-up, the field got away in dry conditions this afternoon, and it was Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa who got the holeshot from the second row, hotly pursued by Yamaha´s Ben Spies, who also had a tremendous start from fourth. Lorenzo pushed his way past Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner into third, as the whole grid was tightly bunched in the first lap.
Casey Stoner announced yesterday that he will withdraw from MotoGP at the end of the present season, something that was published two weeks ago in a spanish magazine but even Casey said the opposite when was asked about it.
Becasuse of this, his definitive withdraw announcement was a completely shock in the paddock of Le Mans. Everybody in the press room was talking about except the ones who were joking the past two weeks because of the failed of the spanish magazine.
Anyway, the Stoner’s withdraw will be an irreparably loss and, without any doubt, we will miss his incredible riding style.
We’ve made a quick video selection for your enjoyment. Have fun!
-Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the second successive race. He will be aiming to become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2001 to win the opening two races of the year in the premier class.
-Dani Pedrosa, who starts from second place on the grid, has finished either first or second in all six appearances at Jerez in the MotoGP class. Pedrosa is making his 100th start in the MotoGP category.
-Nicky Hayden is third fastest qualifier, which is his first front row start since the Portuguese GP in 2010. This is also the first front row start for a Ducati rider since Casey Stoner was on pole at the final race of 2010 in Valencia.
-Cal Crutchlow heads the second row and will be aiming to be the first British rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class since Jeremy McWilliams was third in the 500cc race at Donington in 2000.
-Casey Stoner is fifth on the grid, which is his worst starting position since joining the Honda factory team at the beginning of last year.
-Taking the final place on the second row of the grid is Ben Spies, who has not managed to finish on his previous two MotoGP appearances at Jerez.
-Andrea Dovizioso heads the third row, making it four Yamaha riders in the top seven on the grid for the second successive race.
-Eighth-fastest qualifier Alvaro Bautista missed the Jerez race last year with injuries
sustained in the opening GP of 2011 in Qatar.
-The best of the CRT riders on the grid is Randy de Puniet in tenth, who has qualified in front of three of the Ducati riders.
-Valentino Rossi, who is thirteenth fastest qualifier, will be making his 200th start in the MotoGP class; the only two other riders to have reached this milestone are Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi.
WINNER – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)
“What an amazing race! I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying. Casey was very strong at the beginning and opened a gap. Fortunately for us he struggled at the end and dropped his pace where I could keep mine so I managed to pass him. I am very grateful to Yamaha because they have made a big step this winter on the YZR-M1.”