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Monday, June 13, 2011

Stoner wins wet British GP

From motogp.com

It was a Repsol Honda 1–2 on the podium, with Casey Stoner taking his 27th victory and the MotoGP World Championship lead in the AirAsia British Grand Prix with team mate Andrea Dovizioso in second on Sunday.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) rode a brilliant race with a broken collarbone to land third on the podium.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) led a rainy start of the Silverstone race, chased by the two Hondas of Dovizioso and Stoner, with Marco Simoncelli on the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team Honda close behind. But Lorenzo made a mistake on the first lap, allowing the Repsol bikes to pass and clearing the way for Simoncelli to challenge the championship leader, who passed the Mallorcan for third several corners later.

Stoner contended Dovizioso for the lead on lap two, with the Italian holding the top spot for several corners until pole position starter Stoner took over the lead from his team mate.

Meanwhile, Simoncelli, who started from second position, hunted down the Repsol Hondas from his third position in the field until he ran wide on the fourth lap and lost the position back to Lorenzo.

With rain steadily falling and conditions worsening, Lorenzo highsided out of third position on lap 8, making the Silverstone race the first he did not finish since 2009.

This put the 25-year-old Simoncelli in third position, but he pushed to pass Dovizioso until he lost the front under braking on lap 10.

Stoner stretched a gap of 15 seconds ahead of field, eventually lapping Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) with three and a half laps left in the race, the two of whom finished 11th and 12th respectively.

"At the beginning of the race we didn't have a great start and I needed to wait for the tires to get up to temperature," Stoner said. "In the first few laps when I was behind the other riders, I got a lot of spray up inside the visor and it was hard for me to see, or for me to push. At this time I was being careful, trying to cover my lines to stop them coming inside, then after five laps my visibility got clearer and the water drained away from my visor and I was able to start doing the lap times we were looking for and started to open up a gap.

"I was just happy to stay up on the bike, it was incredibly cold and I was so nervous as in these conditions it's so easy to crash. We had a great race today in very tough conditions where anything could have happened, but to come away with a win is fantastic."

"I'm really happy with today's podium," Dovizioso said. "It's a second place that feels like gold. The track conditions were very tricky, with much more water than in the warm up this morning.

"We made a modification on the set up to have more rear grip and that was a very good strategy. It helped us doing two laps before the race to bring the tires up to temperature quicker. I had a very good start, then I focused to manage the second position with Casey. I was braking very hard to close the doors to Lorenzo and Simoncelli. I had a good rhythm, not too far from Casey's pace, but he is very strong with these conditions, so I preferred to manage my race the best I could."

The surprise of the weekend came with Edwards piloting his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike to a podium finish. The 'Texas Tornado', who broke his collarbone last week in practice at Catalunya, started from eighth on the grid to ride a consistent race. Edwards benefited from the setbacks of Lorenzo and Simoncelli, thus earning his first podium of the season.

"That was an unbelievable race and to finish on the podium feels amazing," Edwards said. "I was happy to qualify eighth but never in a million years did I think I'd be on the podium just over a week after breaking my collarbone. I need to thank Dr. Xavier Mir for the repair job he did on my shoulder and also my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 because they gave me a phenomenal bike today.

"My shoulder felt great and it was the muscle damage around my ribs that caused me the most pain. But the rain definitely helped because it was a lot less physical than in the dry. I just gritted my teeth and got on with it, just trying to stay smooth and not make any mistakes. Conditions were pretty bad and it was a case of working out when and where you could push. I'd have been happy to finish the race and then go home to think about Assen. But I saw a few people succumbing to the conditions and I saw P3 on by board and I couldn't believe it. At that time though there were still eight or nine laps to go and I couldn't feel my hands or my feet because it was so wet and cold."

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), who set the fastest lap of the race, followed fellow American Edwards across the line in fourth.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) was fifth and Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) finished sixth, in front of Czech rider Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing).

Toni Elias made a good launch off the start, putting his LCR Honda into eighth on the first lap from his 14th grid position. The Moto2 Champion crossed the line in eighth position, with Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) in ninth and Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) in 10th.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) crashed out of the race on lap 14.

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) won the AirAsia British Grand Prix Moto2 race, with British rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3) crossing the wet finish line in second and Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) in third.

Championship leader Bradl led off the start of a drizzly and cold 18 laps. Second position starter Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) challenged the German rider, passing him for the lead early in the race, but it was the championship points leader Bradl who led the field across the finish line, negotiating precarious track conditions that steadily worsened throughout the race.

Jonas Folger rode his Red Bull Ajo Motorsport to his first GP win, after battling with Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) for the entire rainy AirAsia British Grand Prix 125 race at the Silverstone circuit. Zarco crossed the line in second to take another season podium and Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) took third.

MotoGP Race Results
1. Casey STONER (AUS) Repsol Honda Team / Honda 47:53.459
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (ITA) Repsol Honda Team / Honda +15.159
3. Colin EDWARDS (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha +21.480
4. Nicky HAYDEN (USA) Ducati Team / Ducati +26.984
5. Alvaro BAUTISTA (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / Suzuki +35.569
6. Valentino ROSSI (ITA) Ducati Team / Ducati +1:04.526
7. Karel ABRAHAM (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing / Ducati +1:32.650
8. Toni ELIAS (SPA) LCR Honda MotoGP / Honda +1:51.938
9. Hiroshi AOYAMA (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini / Honda +1:52.350
10. Loris CAPIROSSI (ITA) Pramac Racing Team / Ducati +2:03.312
11. Hector BARBERA (SPA) Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP / Ducati +1 Lap
12. Randy DE PUNIET (FRA) Pramac Racing Team / Ducati +1 Lap
Not Classified
Marco SIMONCELLI (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini / Honda
Jorge LORENZO (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing / Yamaha
Ben SPIES (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing / Yamaha

MotoGP Point Standings
1. Casey STONER (Honda) 116
2. Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha) 98
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Honda) 83
4. Valentino ROSSI (Ducati) 68
5. Dani PEDROSA (Honda) 61
6. Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati) 60
7. Hiroshi AOYAMA (Honda) 43
8. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha) 37
9. Ben SPIES (Yamaha) 36
10. Karel ABRAHAM (Ducati) 33
11. Marco SIMONCELLI (Honda) 32
12. Hector BARBERA (Ducati) 31
13. Cal CRUTCHLOW (Yamaha) 30
14. Toni ELIAS (Honda) 28
15. Alvaro BAUTISTA (Suzuki) 22
16. Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati) 22
17. Randy DE PUNIET (Ducati) 10
18. John HOPKINS (Suzuki) 6

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