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Lorenzo scores a hat-trick with emphatic home win

Jorge Lorenzo took an emphatic home win in front of a passionate Catalan crowd at Montmel� this afternoon, his fifth victory of the season and third in a row. This means that Yamaha now has more wins than any other manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era, with 57. Wataru Yoshikawa, standing in for the injured Valentino Rossi, put in a brave performance to finish 15th in extremely hot conditions, taking a championship point in the process.

Starting from pole, also for the third consecutive race, Lorenzo lost ground to Dani Pedrosa into turn one but his fellow Spaniard then ran wide, leaving the Fiat Yamaha man in the lead. The next few laps saw Lorenzo at the head of a tight trio, as Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner pushed hard to stay with him. Early on lap four the Italian Dovizioso briefly got his nose in front but Lorenzo soon got back by him to lead once again the next time around. On lap six the trio became a twosome when Stoner ran off track, but it looked like Lorenzo might have a battle on his hands as Dovizioso showed no signs of letting him get away. With ten laps to go however Dovizioso crashed out, leaving Lorenzo nearly six seconds clear of Pedrosa in second. From then on it was just a case of keeping his head as the tyres started to slide more and more in the extreme heat, but the 23-year-old is a cool customer these days and he eventually flew over the line 4.754 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Stoner third. Lorenzo has taken a hat-trick of wins once before in his career, in his 250cc days, and is the first Yamaha rider to take three wins from three poles since Eddie Lawson in 1986.

Having not raced competitively since 2002, Yamaha test rider Yoshikawa was faced with a near impossible task this weekend in the testing conditions at a track he had never seen before. The 41-year-old fought on to the finish however, gathering important information for the M1’s future development in the process, and was rewarded with a championship point for his efforts.

Lorenzo now has an impressive 52-point lead in the standings ahead of Pedrosa, whilst Rossi drops to seventh after missing four races. Following three punishing weeks on the road, the MotoGP paddock now has a ten-day rest before it reconvenes at the Sachsenring in Germany for round eight.

Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1stTime: 43’22.805
“This is very special. After losing so closely last year I was happy but not completely so and today I can say I am completely happy, winning here at my home race. It was very difficult today because it was so hot and the front tyre was sliding a lot. I thought I was going to have a big battle with Dovizioso because he was pushing very hard but then he crashed and I was alone; it was lucky for me because then I was able to take it more gently to the finish. I think I rode a clever race today. I am so grateful to my team and to everyone at Yamaha and Bridgestone because they are working so hard to make our bike competitive at every track. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that came to watch today, it is a great feeling for me to win here in front of them all.”

Wataru Yoshikawa
Wataru Yoshikawa
Wataru Yoshikawa – Position: 15 Time: +1’35.237
“It was really hard to ride in the heat plus after eight years without racing 25 laps is a lot, but I am really happy to finish and to win one point. I hope that this experience will help me at Sachsenring and in my future work. I have really enjoyed working with the best team in the paddock; they were quick and professional at the same time as being relaxed and friendly and the atmosphere in the garage was great. I am glad that I have had the chance to work with them.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“What can we say? Five races won out of seven, three in a row…it’s amazing. I was a little bit worried about this one because it’s Barcelona, Jorge’s home track and there was maybe a little bit more pressure for him, I think he was even a little bit nervous! But finally we decided to use the same tyre as the others and just go for it. He was under pressure from Dovizioso plus Moto2 had changed the grip conditions quite a lot so the race pace was quite a lot slower, but he was clever and smart, stayed on two wheels and won the race. Well done to him and to our whole team.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We are really happy that Wataru was able to finish and he really deserved this championship point. He did very well this weekend in an extremely difficult situation; it was very hot, he’s been away from racing a long time and he didn’t know the track so I think he can be happy with what he has achieved.”

Top six for Spies in scorching hot Spain

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies maintained his excellent recent form in today’s Catalunya MotoGP race, the Texan producing a strong late attack to claim his third successive top six finish.

Starting from fifth on the grid, Spies found it difficult to find a consistent and fast pace in the opening half of the 25-lap encounter and he dropped down to 10th.

Adapting his style to cope with the lack of grip as track temperatures soared to 49 degrees, Spies was able to up his pace dramatically in the final ten laps.

He passed Marco Melandri on lap 18 for seventh position after Italian duo Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli had crashed out of the top six.

Showing his supreme strength once again on worn tyres, Spies was able to lap consistently in the 1.44 bracket and he quickly closed down on Loris Capirossi for sixth.

He swept by the Suzuki rider on lap 23 and then embarked on a hot pursuit of home favourite Alvaro Bautista. But despite a gallant effort to catch the Spaniard, Spies just missed out on fifth by under 0.2s.

Fellow Texan Colin Edwards maintained his record of scoring points in every race so far in 2010. But 11th was little reward for the American’s gritty performance.

A sluggish start cost Edwards five places on the opening lap but he fought back superbly and claimed 11th from compatriot Nicky Hayden on lap nine. But just as he prepared to shadow team-mate Spies he ran into front-end grip issues and eventually had to settle for 11th position.

Ben Spies
Ben Spies
Ben Spies – Position: 6thTime:
“I got an okay start but got shuffled around in the first couple of corners but I’m not really happy with today. We didn’t have the grip that the other guys have in the first ten laps and that lost me some places. When everybody had a big drop with their tyre performance and they were sliding and moving around, they were in the same boat as me and I could go through the field. For the last ten laps I was probably the fourth quickest guy on track. But coming from where I was it was the best result I could get. I rode as hard as I could and did everything I could. I made a couple of small mistakes and definitely should have been fifth. I’d have caught Bautista in time to pass him but I took too long to get around Loris. I’m not really satisfied with sixth because a couple of guys crashed out in front of me and that helped make us look a bit better.”

Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards – Position: 11th Time:
“That was a tough race. I had big problems all weekend and I tried a completely different set-up this morning. I put some more weight on the front and it seemed to work this morning when the temperature was a bit cooler. At the start of the race it felt good, even though I got an awful start. But I started pushing really hard and was able to get ahead of Nicky but immediately I started having a lot of trouble on the right side of the front tyre. After that it wasn’t a whole lot of fun because I couldn’t ride the bike how I wanted and kept running wide. I tried carrying less lean angle but nothing I could do was going to help me go any faster. I was riding as hard as I could and finished but 11th is not where I expect to be or where the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team expects to be.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“We are a little bit disappointed with the race today because it was clear that in the final laps that Ben was very strong as always. He did a race simulation yesterday and was really fast, so we felt quite confident. But he was unable to repeat that performance and had an issue in the first ten laps where he couldn’t push at the pace he wanted. But he came back really strong and unfortunately it was just too late to finish fifth. But I’d say in the last ten laps he was easily the fourth fastest rider on track and with a better first half to the race, I think fourth was a possibility. But another top six keeps the momentum going for Ben and he’s only ten-points off fourth place in the championship. Colin was the opposite and he had a very strong first ten laps but he was unable to keep his pace. As usual though he never gave up and continued to push and it was a shame because he deserved much better. It has been a hectic period in whi ch the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 has done well in MotoGP, so we hope for a good rest ahead of the Sachsenring and then a big race for Ben and Colin at Laguna Seca.”

Circuit Length: 4727
Weather: Dry

Lap Record: 1’43.195 (Valentino Rossi, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1’41.186 (Casey Stoner, 08/06/2008)
Last Years Winner: Valentino Rossi

2010 MotoGP – Catalunya 04/07/2010

Race 1 – 25 Laps

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 43’22.805
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’04.754
3 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 0’04.956
4 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 0’18.057
5 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 0’21.361
6 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’21.503
7 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 0’24.181
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’27.941
9 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0’28.046
10 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’32.439
11 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’38.406
12 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 0’58.257
13 Kousuke Akiyoshi Honda JPN 1’09.348
14 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’32.402
15 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha JPN 1’35.237

 

Rider Standings 04/07/2010
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 165
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 113
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 91
4. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 69
5. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 69
6. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 67
7. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 61
8. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 59
9. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 39
10. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 39
11. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 39
12. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 34
13. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 28
14. Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 25
15. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 25
19. Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha JPN 1

 

Manufacturer Standings 04/07/2010
Pos. Manufacturer Points
1. Yamaha 170
2. Honda 137
3. Ducati 97
4. Suzuki 37