In a thrilling MotoGP race at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón on Sunday Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa took a dominant victory under sunny skies at his home race ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
The result marks Pedrosa’s fourth win of 2012 and 19th of his MotoGP career, one day after celebrating his 27th birthday.
“It was good overall, especially after all of the problems at the last race,” he commented. “This weekend I had a crash and broke one bike, so it wasn’t easy for the mechanics, but I was calm and well-focussed. I started well and was able to stay with him [Lorenzo] and keep the pace.”
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo got the holeshot ahead of Pedrosa, with Yamaha’s Ben Spies in tow.
The first two laps were not good for the Ducati team, as Valentino Rossi touched the rear wheel of Repsol Honda’s Jonathan Rea, with the Italian forced to run off. This was followed by a big crash from Nicky Hayden, who was violently thrown over the advertising boards in Turn 16, after failing to slow down on time. He received instant medical attention and was later declared ok by the medical centre, yet has been given a neck brace and will undergo more precautionary checks to rule out internal injuries.
Lap four saw Pedrosa close in on Lorenzo’s rear wheel. Meanwhile LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl took Spies for third, yet crashed out a few turns later as he lost the front pushing too hard. This left the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso to hunt down the American for a spot on the podium.
It took Pedrosa until lap seven to make his move on Lorenzo, taking the lead for the first time. On lap nine Lorenzo had a big wobble giving Pedrosa a bigger gap at the front.
With 13 laps left, Crutchlow ran wide coming onto the home straight, letting Dovizioso into fourth. Six laps later Pedrosa had pulled out a gap of over four seconds at the front, as Dovizioso made his way past Spies, with Crutchlow probing the inside line of the American, but to no avail.
The Brit was however not to be deterred and got past with five laps to go, immediately setting his sights on his Italian teammate. The Tech 3 pair provided a thrilling last couple of laps fighting for the final podium spot, with the Brit desperately looking for a way past. In some hard passing where the two went fairing-to-fairing Crutchlow was altering his line in numerous corners to get past the Italian who was defending aggressively.
In the end it was Pedrosa who crossed the finish line first over six seconds ahead of second placed Lorenzo, with Dovizioso taking his sixth podium this year. Pedrosa has now cut the championship gap to Lorenzo to 33 points.
“I tried to maintain my rhythm and put some good laps in, so I was able to open up a good gap and the bike was working quite well,” Pedrosa said. “The bike was working well overall and especially in the corners. Thanks to all of the mechanics, my fans and my family – this victory is for them.”
Lorenzo was fortunate to remain in the race as he experienced a large slide at the first corner.
“I wanted to follow Dani,” Mallorcan Lorenzo admitted. “In those early stages I wanted to push the maximum possible to stay with him, as we had pulled away from the others. His bike had very good pace and I was unable to catch him. So now we have to think about improving the bike a little bit but we are still in good shape to try and win the championship.”
Dovizioso was delighted to hold on for third position after he and Crutchlow continued to trade places in the closing stages of the 23-lap race.
“Cal tried to overtake me on the last two laps,” Dovizioso recalled. “He actually did twice, but at those points he wasn’t able to stop the bike in the best places. It was nice to fight with him and I’m happy both with third position and my strategy in the race because I was quite slow in a few of the corners. To get back onto the podium is so important because we couldn’t in the last two races, so this is very good for the championship position.”
Crutchlow came in a close fourth, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, Rea, Rossi, and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham completing the top nine. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró came in 10th as top CRT.
Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró charged to a spectacular win in a thrilling Moto2 race at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón in front of Marc Márquez and Scott Redding. Márquez still keeps the lead in the championship by 48 points, while Redding celebrated his fourth podium this season
In an exciting Moto3 race RW Racing’s Luis Salom emerged victorious for the second time this season in front of Sandro Cortese and Jonas Folger. With the retirement of Maverick Viñales, Cortese is now 51 points clear at the top of the championship, with Salmon in second, 15 points ahead of Viñales.
Karel Hanika won the final Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season after a superb race long tussle, crossing the Motorland Aragon finish line just ahead of Cup Champion Florian Alt and Saturday’s winner Lukas Trautmann.
— from motogp.com