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2012 MotoGP – Rnd 15 – Motegi – Race

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo took his eighth second place finish of the season today in the Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. Having started from pole, Lorenzo took the hole shot and led rival Dani Pedrosa until lap 11 when he was passed. Unable to better his rival’s pace, Lorenzo settled in behind and secured second place at the line to take 20 valuable Championship points. The result brings his total to 310, 28 ahead of Pedrosa with three races remaining.

Team mate Ben Spies had his Motegi race brought to a premature halt on the second lap of the race. The Texan’s brakes over heated going into turn one, leaving him no option but to run straight off the track for safety. The DNF means Spies remains in 10th place on 88 points.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 2nd – Time: +4.275

“I was completely at the maximum trying to stay with Dani but today we had such different performance on the straights and he was also riding really well. I tried to stay with him but it was impossible, maybe next time it will be different. For sure the Championship is closer now, but we are still very competitive and have the chance to win.”

Ben Spies


“I’m incredibly frustrated with today’s result. We’ve known all weekend that the brakes could be an issue due to the tough nature of the track but I did not expect to have trouble on the second lap. The team has worked really hard all weekend and we’ve delivered podium pace with the bike so it’s not the result we deserve. We’ll go to Sepang now and try to put this behind us and hopefully have a trouble-free weekend.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“An important second place of course but a little disappointing to lose the win to Dani. You have to keep in mind that we have a lot to lose at the moment. We know how Jorge is, he would like to win each one but also in his mind is the Championship and you can see that during the race.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“Ben had an issue with the brakes on the second lap of the race. This circuit is very demanding for the braking system and most of the riders highlighted the same problems, although Ben suffered more than anybody else. The warm-up lap and lap one of the race went relatively smoothly but then on the second lap he was not able to stop the bike. Data does not show anything different on that corner compared with previous practices. Jorge once again showed his talent and cleverness. He tried at the beginning to stay in front but then used his experience to maintain second position and look forward to bigger results. We are going to Sepang not aiming for another second but for the win.”

Dovizioso fourth, Crutchlow frustrated in Japan

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team experienced mixed emotions in today’s Grand Prix of Japan after Andrea Dovizioso took a hard fought fourth position, but Cal Crutchlow was forced to retire out of podium contention on the final lap.

Crutchlow produced an outstanding performance to engage in a titanic battle for third position with Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista that went right down to the last lap in front of a crowd of over 37,000 appreciative fans.

Determined to score his second rostrum finish of the 2012 World Championship campaign, Crutchlow was just preparing his attack on the final lap when his YZR-M1 machine ran out of fuel as he entered Turn 3.

Crutchlow’s cruel misfortune moved Dovizioso into fourth position after he had fought his way through from outside of the top six in the early stages. The Italian moved into the top six on lap 10 when he powered his YZR-M1 by Stefan Bradl and he seized fifth on lap 17 from reigning World Champion Casey Stoner.

Dovizioso maintained a constant rhythm and he was satisfied to end a difficult weekend with a top five finish when Crutchlow’s unfortunate retirement moved him to fourth. He now trails Stoner by just five points in the battle for third position in the overall standings heading to the next phase of the flyaway triple-header at the Sepang track in Malaysia.

Andrea Dovizioso

Position 4th – Time: +16.397

“It’s hard to be satisfied with this fourth place and there is a few reasons why. First of all I was not as fast as I believe I should be. It was actually a strange weekend because of the problems with the brakes. This track is so hard for braking that we worked a lot and tried many things to solve that problem. But at the beginning of the race the brakes did not work properly and I did not understand why and I had to keep some margin in the corners, as I could not stop as I normally do. After a few laps it started to get better and I could push more and more but I had already lost a lot of time. I did not ride as smooth as I wanted as well, so I could not catch up to Alvaro and Cal. It’s a pity because I expected more from this weekend, so I suppose fourth is not so bad. Now I’m looking forward to going to Sepang next week where I am confident I will be battling for the podium again.”

Cal Crutchlow


“All I can do after the way the race finished is take the positives from this weekend and there are a lot. This isn’t a good track for me and I was struggling on Friday, yet I managed to get on the front row of the grid again and for the whole race I was fighting for the podium. The improvements we made from Friday were massive and I am proud of the job that my crew and myself did this weekend. But there is no denying that I am disappointed as well because I was confident I could have passed Alvaro on the last lap. It wouldn’t have been easy because he was riding very well and it was a very enjoyable battle with him. I had a lot of fun and I’m sure he did too and it is just unfortunate that we couldn’t take the fight right to the very end. Even fourth would have been good for my hopes of finishing fifth in the Championship but I lost a lot of points today. We knew fuel consumption was going to be critical. I was very fast and for almost the whole race I was on my own with no slipstream, so I used more fuel. I’ve proven again though that I can fight with the best in the world and now I’m looking forward to Sepang. I had two good tests there earlier this year and I’m excited to go back and try to battle for the top three again.”

Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“It is a pity that we were not able to enjoy our normal strong showing in Yamaha’s home race but Cal could not have done anything more to score a podium. He was giving his maximum right from the first lap to the last and it was a pity that he had to retire when he was so close to third. We knew this track was going to be critical for fuel consumption. It is all hard braking and hard acceleration and Cal’s pace was incredibly fast. The temperature was cooler too and we knew it would be on the limit. When we saw Cal slowing and then stopping on the last lap we were pretty sure he had run out of fuel. It is a shame but we have to look at the positives and once again he started on the front row and put up another fantastic battle for the podium. Cal is certainly giving the fans some entertainment this year because he always seems to be in a big fight. He deserved to finish but once again he has proved to be fast enough to fight for the top three. It was a steady race from Andrea and he was able to score some very important Championship points. He never gave up despite not feeling totally comfortable and confident with the bike and I know he was expecting more. He is very fast at Sepang, so hopefully next weekend he will be closer to the fight at the front.”

Katsuyuki Nakasuga of Yamaha YSP Racing Team finishes 9th

In the Yamaha YSP Racing Team’s first-ever MotoGP race, rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga finished the race in 9th place, scoring 7 points. Starting from 11th position on the fourth row of the starting grid on the YZR-M1, Nakasuga moved up one position to 10th place in the first lap. On the second lap, however, he was passed by Nicky Hayden to fall back to 11th place once again, but when Ben Spies ran off the track while in 3rd position, Nakasuga again found himself in 10th position. Down to the last lap Nakasuga continued to chase Hayden closely with the gap varying from 0.3 and 0.5 seconds, at times running faster lap times than his rival. Coming out of the final corner and onto the finish straight Nakasuga used the slipstream to move alongside Hayden as they crossed the finish line, but fell just 0.07 seconds short of passing him. With Cal Clutchrow dropping out of the race in the final lap, Nakasuga managed to score a solid a 9th place finish.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga – Position 9th – Time: +36.794
“I really appreciated this opportunity to compete for the YSP team in MotoGP, the pinnacle of road racing and the competition that all riders dream of racing in. My entry this time was partly as a test rider, so I was glad to get through race weekend without any falls and, although I wasn’t able to pass him, I felt fortunate to complete the race running close behind Nicky Hayden and seeing the performance of one of the top riders in the world. I feel this experience has improved me as a racer. I wasn’t able to reach my goal of finishing 6th or better, but I was able to score a top-ten finish and to run in the 1’47 lap range as I had planned. Now I want to apply the experience I gained here to my racing in Japan’s JSB1000 class series. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to race in such an intense, highly competitive race and for the support I have received from the fans, the YSP team and staff and everyone involved.”

Koji Tsuya, Yamaha YSP Racing Team Supervisor
“During the race some minor machine trouble developed that required some adjustment in Nakasuga’s pace, but he was still able to defend his position in a field of MotoGP regulars, so I’m sure this has been a big confidence boost for him. As a test rider he also gave us some precious data during the race week, and along with his performance in the race, I feel he did a fine job for us. I want to express our thanks to everyone who supported the Yamaha YSP Racing Team and Nakasuga. Thank you all.”

Kazuo Itabashi, Yamaha YSP Racing Team Manager (YSP Members Club Chairman/YSP Narimasu)
“I want to say how grateful we are to have had this opportunity to compete in such a great race as the MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan with Katsuyuki Nakasuga as rider and with the support of Yamaha Motor and Yamaha Motor Marketing, despite the tough conditions in the Japanese motorcycle market these days. This has given us a needed shot of new energy in the midst of a depressed market. And I feel this has been a good stimulus not only for YSP but also for the entire industry. At the same time, having the YSP logo put so prominently on the MotoGP machine that competes at the very highest level of the sport, and to have the team crew on the MotoGP tarmac wearing the same YSP uniforms we use in our daily business, has surely boosted the YSP brand image in front of an international audience. Also, as representative of the YSP Members Club, I want to express our gratitude to all the spectators in the stands today wearing headbands and waving the big YSP flag, and to all Yamaha fans around Japan, to the sponsors and the many other people that have supported us in our race activities. This time, Nakasuga had important responsibilities as a machine development rider, and in a couple of weeks time he will be competing for the title in Japan’s JSB1000 championship, which meant he was in a position where he couldn’t afford any falls or injuries. Nonetheless he was able to deliver a fantastic performance in the world’s pinnacle race arena. I want to thank him for the great job of getting 9th place and seven series points. I was truly grateful seeing the way he performed. And, I think this must have been a big boost for his confidence as well. I hope he will go on to win the JSB1000 championship and the entire team staff will be able to celebrate with him.”

2012 MotoGP Japan

Twin Ring Motegi 14/10/2012 24 Laps

race I
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 42’31.569
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’04.275
3 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’06.752
4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 0’16.397
5 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 0’20.566
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’24.567
7 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’26.072
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’36.724
9 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 0’36.794
10 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’10.729
11 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’15.658
12 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’22.769
13 Colin Edwards Suter USA 1’24.968
14 James Ellison ART GBR 1’29.388
15 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’34.612

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 15 of 18

1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 310
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 282
3. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 197
4. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 192
5. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 144
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 137
7. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 135
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 125
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 101
10. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 88
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 70
12. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 55
13. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 53
14. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 37
15. Yonny Hernandez BQR-FTR COL 28
16. Michele Pirro FTR ITA 26
24. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 7

Circuit Length:



Lap Record:
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1/1/2012)

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Jorge Lorenzo, 10/14/2012)

Last Years Winner:
Daniel Pedrosa

Manufacturer Standings


1 Honda 337
2 Yamaha 326
3 Ducati 161
4 ART 79
5 BQR 31
6 FTR 26
7 Suter 25
8 Ioda 11
10 Kawasaki 2
11 BQR-FTR 2

Team Standings


1. Repsol Honda Team 496
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 398
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 327
4. Ducati Marlboro Team 238
5. San Carlo Honda Gresini 170
6. LCR Honda MotoGP 125
7. Power Electronics Aspar 108
8. Pramac Racing Team 80
9. Avintia Blusens 40
10. Cardion AB Motoracing 37
11. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 25
12. Paul Bird Motorsport 21
13. Speed Master 13
14. Came Ioda Racing Project 11

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