World Champion Jorge Lorenzo put in a superhuman effort today for the Grand Prix of U.S.A, battling for victory with Championship rival Casey Stoner to finish second on the podium. Lorenzo made a strong start from pole and led the GP field for an impressive 26 lap run before conceding to Stoner as the effects of yesterday’s massive crash took its toll on his energy levels.
Fellow Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies had a less than perfect start from the grid, initially dropping to seventh behind Valentino Rossi on the first laps of the race. Rossi was eventually dispatched by the Texan on lap three, freeing him to focus on Dovizioso ahead. Spies put in an incredible ride to close a gap of over five seconds and take fourth with just three laps to go.
The weekend’s results leave Lorenzo heading into the short holiday break trailing Championship leader Stoner by 20 points. Team mate Spies will arrive at Brno still in sixth place in the standings but now just 12 points behind Dani Pedrosa in fourth.
Position 2nd – Time +5.634
“Well first of all I’m lucky to be in the second position, after the crash yesterday I thought it wasn’t possible to race for a little while. After qualifying I hoped I might be able to fight till the end for victory but sometimes expectations are not reality. Casey was faster today, I couldn’t match his pace at the end. My physical condition is not so perfect which makes us a bit slow as well. Second is ok, we are only 20 points behind Casey and we’ll try again next time.”
Position 4th – Time +20.562
“I got a really good start but going uphill to the steep part of the track basically we didn’t have enough power. I got stuck behind Valentino, I tried to get around as quick as I could but he’s really good on the brakes so it was pretty tough but I did the best I could. Once we got around him it was quite a big gap to Dovizioso but I just kept my head down and kept going. I’m happy we were able to track him down and get fourth. It was a really good race for us it just got spoilt in the first five hundred feet. I would have liked to have been on the podium as I think we had a package to fight with Dani, I guess that’s racing and I gave it 100% as always.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A spectacular race by Jorge with a great 20 points secured. It is obvious we wanted to win this one but I think yesterday’s crash gave us not the best physical condition for a 32 lap race. At the end of the day, to take 20 points after a crash like that is not so bad. We’ll take some rest now and head to Brno recovered and in fighting form ready to challenge Casey again.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We leave here with some good points; second position is the best that Jorge could achieve considering his condition, which is very important for the Championship. Unfortunately Ben lost too much time behind Valentino, then when he was able to pass him there was already a big gap to the front guys. He did really well and caught Dovizioso to finish fourth which is good for him and for his standings. We’re looking forward to the next one already in Brno, the team have worked really hard this weekend and it’s been a special time to celebrate our 50th anniversary of Grand Prix racing with everybody here at Laguna.”
Home top ten for Edwards, Crutchlow crashes early
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought eighth place finish in front of a large home crowd at the Laguna Seca track earlier today.
Today’s race started in gloriously sunny conditions with temperatures reaching 23 degrees and a sun-drenched crowd of 52,670 were treated to an exciting battle throughout the 32-lap encounter.
Edwards seized eighth from Hector Barbera exiting the famous Corkscrew section on lap 14 but he was already six seconds adrift of the battle for sixth place involving Ducati duo Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
He was able to run identical lap times to nine-times world champion Rossi and double Laguna Seca MotoGP winner Hayden in the middle phase of the race. But he was unable to reduce the gap and he opted not to take any unnecessary risks to ensure he collected eigth valuable World Championship points.
Today’s result, which was the 37-year-old’s seventh top ten finish of the campaign, moved him up one place in the overall rankings after to consolidate his position as the leading non-factory rider in 2011.
Cal Crutchlow’s debut at the spectacular Laguna Seca circuit was unfortunately a short experience, the British rider’s hopes of a return to the top 10 ended by an early crash.
Starting from the front of the fourth row, Crutchlow was shadowing tenth placed Alvaro Bautista when he lost the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine at Turn 2.
The 25-year-old was unhurt in the fourth lap incident but it was a disappointing conclusion to a weekend that had promised much from the 2009 World Supersport champion after he’d brilliantly got to grips with the 3.610km track.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now commences a richly deserved two-week summer break before the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes in Brno on August 14.
Position 8th – Time +45.502
“Honestly I’m really disappointed because I came here for my home race and I expected bigger and better things. I struggled all weekend with the set-up and we made a wrong turn somewhere in the last couple of races that have knocked us out of stride a little bit. This morning we just put in the same setting I ran in last year’s race and that wasn’t great, but at least I felt more comfortable with it than what I’d been running all weekend. It wasn’t the best setting but at least I felt comfortable to a poi nt where I could push for some decent lap times. I just lacked front and rear grip. I’ve never ridden so hard in my life but I was a second off the pace and when Cal went down in front of me, there was no way I could go with Bautista. I just had to be smooth because if I pushed I just ended up going slower. I still moved up in the Championship and got some good points, so now I’m just looking forward to a couple of weeks relaxing to get ready for the final part of the season.”
“I lost the front at the second corner and it was a similar problem to what we’ve been experiencing in recent races. It was fine this morning in cooler conditions but as soon as the track temperature goes up, I have a few problems. Strangely it was only at that corner. It is a shame because I think we had a good pace. Bautista wasn’t getting away from me and he quic kly got up to Valentino and Nicky, so I think I could have gone with him and been in that battle. I’m disappointed I didn’t finish the race and it is not good for the Championship but I wasn’t the only one to crash today and it shows all of us are pushing on the limit. We have still learned quite a bit this weekend and the bike certainly felt better than it did in the last few races. Now we go to some tracks that I know and I’m looking forward to it because it has been a tough run and I need to recover the form I was showing in the beginning of the season.”
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“Colin had a really strong race today and he worked hard for some good points He never gave up his pace, the rhythm was very constant and he was very near the pace of the factory Ducati for almost the entire race. He asked me on the grid what I would like and I said that an eighth position would make me happy because it had not been an easy weekend for Colin. So I am happy with his performance. On the other side of the garage we had a very big disappointment for Cal. He got a reasonable start and his lap times were very good in the first few laps but he crashed early and that is a big pity. This is Cal’s rookie year where he needs to be gaining lots of experience and learning a lot, so to crash so early is very disappointing because we lost a lot of points in the championship. But he also lost a lot of potential data that would have been very useful for next year. I would have liked him to finish the race and go into the summer break with a more positive feeling. Everybody is ready for a break after a very intense period of the Championship. The whole team is going to Colin’s Boot Camp tomorrow and we are all excited about that. Hopefully we will all be back with fully recharged batteries when the season continues in Czech Republic.”
2011 MotoGP United States
Laguna Seca 25/07/2011
1 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 43’52.145
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’05.634
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’09.467
4 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’20.562
5 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’20.885
6 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’30.351
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’31.031
8 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’45.502
9 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’51.549
10 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’08.850
11 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’09.132
12 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA -1Laps
13 Toni Elias Honda ESP -1Laps
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 10 of 18
1. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 193
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 173
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 143
4. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 110
5. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 108
6. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 98
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 94
8. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 67
9. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 63
10. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 60
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 56
12. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 46
13. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 39
14. Toni Elias Honda ESP 38
15. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 34
16. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 26
(Casey Stoner, 01/01/2010)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 20/07/2008)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 235
2 Yamaha 204
3 Ducati 117
4 Suzuki 45
1. Repsol Honda Team 301
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 271
3. Ducati Marlboro Team 202
4. San Carlo Honda Gresini 118
5. Monster Yamaha Tech3 101
6. Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 56
7. Cardion AB Motoracing 46
8. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 45
9. Pramac Racing Team 41
10. LCR Honda MotoGP 38