Round 2 Jerez - Casey's greatest race
The Jerez results:
1 Casey Stoner (Honda), 45 mins 33.897 secs (race average speed 157.253 km/h)
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), 0.947s behind
3 Dani Pedrosa (Honda), 2.063s
PP Lorenzo, 1:39.532 = 159.976 km/h • FL Crutchlow (Yamaha), 1:40.019 = 159.197 km/h
1 Pol Espargaro (Kalex), 30 mins 12.879s (race average speed 149.313 km/h)
2 Marc Marquez (Suter), 0.241s behind
3 Tom Lüthi (Suter), 0.483s behind
PP Marquez, 1:43.005 = 154.582 km/h • FL Randy Krummenacher (Kalex), 1:44.905 = 151.783 km/h
1 Romano Fenati (FTR Honda), 43 mins 50.885s (race average speed 139.201 km/h)
2 Luis Salom (Kalex KTM), 36.139s behind
3 Sandro Cortese (KTM), 36.895s behind
PP Alex Rins (Suter Honda), 1:57.507 = 135.505 km/h • FL Fenati, 1:49.760 = 145.069 km/h
MotoGP: “THERE’S ALWAYS A FIRST TIME”
Australia’s Casey Stoner rode what he called “probably one of the greatest races of my career” to record his first World Championship Grand Prix victory at Jerez on Sunday. Despite starting from fifth, his worst grid position since his move to Honda, Stoner swept into the lead on lap 3 of 27; he kept a little in reserve to edge away from the persistent Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha in the closing stages and win by almost a second. Stoner’s 41st victory was also his 17th straight podium in the senior class – equal third overall with compatriot Mick Doohan.
Qatar winner Lorenzo still leads the Championship standings with 45 points to Stoner’s 41, while third in the race and in the title chase is Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard was making his 100th start in the senior class but could not quite maintain his record of finishing first or second in six previous MotoGP outings at Jerez.
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden had done superbly to qualify third and make it three different manufacturers on the front row alongside Lorenzo and Pedrosa. But the American was bumped by the combative Cal Crutchlow early on and dropped steadily back to finish down in eighth. British rider Crutchlow completed another sterling ride to come home in fourth place ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Rounding out the top six was Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, making up for the disappointment of missing the Jerez race last year, while newcomer to the top flight Stefan Bradl again impressed with seventh on the LCR Honda.
Starting 13th was not a good omen for Valentino Rossi and once again the multiple World Champion struggled home in ninth on the second works Ducati, more than half a minute slower than Stoner’s race-winning time. It was an inauspicious way to mark his 200th MotoGP start, which put Rossi in an elite club of three along with Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi.
Best of the CRT finishers was another Spaniard, Aleix Espargaro on the Aspar ART in 12th, just behind Yamaha’s Ben Spies, again struggling to find anything close to teammate Lorenzo’s pace. In all, 17 of the 21 starters made it home. Colombian Yonni Hernandez had start-line problems and failed to make it through the opening lap while Espargaro’s teammate Randy de Puniet, James Ellison and Michele Pirro all had to retire.
Moto2: Marc on pole but Pol on the mark
A potentially barn-storming finish to the Moto2 encounter was cancelled out when rain intervened with 11 of the 26 laps to go. Though polesitter Marc Marquez had his Team Catalunya Suter in front when the red flag fell, the result was taken back to the last full lap – and that handed Pol Espargaro his maiden class victory on the Pons Kalex. Marquez retains the overall lead on 45 points to Espargaro’s 41 with Tom Lüthi (in his 150th GP) third, 14 points adrift.
The early stages saw some entertaining lead changes as Lüthi, Britain’s Scott Redding (Kalex) and Espargaro diced hard. By the finish Redding was fourth ahead of Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) with Claudio Corti (Kalex) completing the top six. Australian Ant West was doing his usual outstanding job on his Moriwaki in difficult conditions and was up from 29th on the grid to 16th when the premature end came.
Moto3: Romano rules!
While Valentino Rossi’s star may be on the wane, there’s a new one rising on the Italian horizon. Romano Fenati, in only his second Grand Prix, became the third-youngest winner in history (behind Scott Redding and Marco Melandri) when he brought his FTR Honda home safely through an accident-strewn Moto3 race. Polesitter Alex Rins was one of many to come to grief, though he recovered to finish fourth behind Luis Salom and Sandro Cortese. Fenati moves into the overall lead on 45 points, 10 clear of Maverick Viñales, who rescued a decent sixth place after a problematical weekend.
Among the fallers were early race leader Jakub Kornfeil, whose FTR Honda started from his best-ever grid position of fifth, and both Australian hopefuls, Jack Miller (Honda) and Arthur Sissis (KTM). Both youngsters qualified in the top eight and Miller was lying second when he high-sided on the second lap, suffering a fractured collarbone. Sissis was fourth when he came to grief, ending up with nothing worse than bruising to chest and hand.