Casey Stoner picked up his second consecutive podium in Catalunya today, repeating his third-place finish from Assen eight days ago, whilst his team-mate Nicky Hayden, who struggled to find the right balance for his Desmosedici GP10 in practice, finished in eighth place – a result that lifts him to fourth in the championship.
Stoner, who himself moves up to sixth overall, came through a demanding race after making a good start to follow early leaders Lorenzo and Dovizioso as they opened up a gap over the field. An off-track excursion on the fifth lap ruled him out of the chase for victory but he returned to the track in determined fashion to pull himself back into the podium hunt.
After three back-to-back races the Ducati Marlboro Team now has a week to rest before returning to action on the 18th July at Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3°
“I made a decent start and managed to pull away from the others along with “Dovi” and Lorenzo. Unfortunately after a few laps I made a mistake, without which I think I could have stayed with them for the whole race – I just ran wide under braking and lost a lot of time. The bike felt more balanced in the second half of the race and I was able to make up a bit of ground but once I caught Dani I just couldn’t find a way past him. He rode really well – clean and faultless, without leaving me a single gap. To be honest I am a little disappointed but another podium is good for us and we have to be positive. We are working well, my feeling with the bike is good after the last three races and now we have to start making the most of our potential.
NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) 8°
“What a tough race! We thought we had found something in the warm-up this morning using a worn tyre but in the race with the extra grip from a new tyre the balance just wasn’t the same. I was really struggling over the first few laps and held myself up on my elbow a couple of times. The situation improved in the second half of the race, I was able to push a little harder to the point where I thought I could make up some positions. I lost too much time behind Melandri though and we finished eighth. It’s not a great result but at least we have brought some points home and we’re now fourth in the championship. If we want to stay there we have to do much better and get back to the level we were at a couple of races ago.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It is another podium but we hoped for more after a positive warm-up that didn’t really bear fruit in the race. But I am happy to see that Casey is back to being… well, Casey! Even after running off track he recovered with a lot of determination and tried his best to the end but he could do no more than he did. Nicky hasn’t had a great weekend in general – he hasn’t been able to find a balance for the bike but he has picked up some important points. We have to work hard to get back to the level we set ourselves at the start of the season.”
Circuit Record: Daniel Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1’42.358 – 166.251 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’41.186 – 168.177 Km/h
2010 Race best lap: Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’43.154 – 164.968 km/h