Track bump catches out Pedrosa while leading race at Laguna Seca
Leading player from the moment the lights went out, Dani Pedrosa was on his way to his third win of the season − second in a row − when in the twelfth lap of the United States Grand Prix, he lost control of the front of his Honda in turn five of Laguna Seca and fell. A tough setback for the Repsol rider, who had taken another step forward between the practices and the race.
Another lighting start for Dani Pedrosa put the Repsol Honda Team rider in first by turn one, followed by Casey Stoner, Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. Just a turn later, Dovizioso dropped a position, which he recovered in the third lap after overtaking American Ben Spies, but now way behind the leading three. Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo did not take long to ride at under one minute and twenty-two seconds beating the current circuit record held since 2008. In lap six, when Pedrosa set the fastest lap, an error from Stoner allowed Lorenzo to take second and set off in pursuit of Pedrosa, who was setting his best times of the weekend.
However, just six laps later, the Repsol Honda Team rider saw how the front wheel of his Honda RC212V lost grip in turn 5 – when he ran over a pothole in the track –, falling at high speed over the Laguna Seca gravel. This was the end of a good race for the Repsol Honda Team rider, who had a good chance of taking the final victory.
With the Spaniard out of the race, the road to victory was left wide open for Lorenzo, while Andrea Dovizioso automatically climbed a position and had a place on the podium within his grasp. The Italian had controlled the pressure from fellow Italian Valentino Rossi throughout the race until five laps from the end, when in the turn running up to the finish line, he overtook him. Dovizioso tried to recover third place up until the last minute, but finally had to make do with fourth.
After the United States Grand Prix, the World Championship will now take a well-earned rest – three weeks – until the traditional Czech Republic Grand Prix, which will mark the start of the second half of the 2010 World Championship.
Dani Pedrosa: “At the time I that I crashed I was pushing hard to maintain the gap to Lorenzo and my rhythm was good. Unfortunately though I hit a bump on the way into the corner and I couldn’t do anything – I was down. It’s very very disappointing obviously but this can happen when you’re trying everything to win. You have to push as much as you can and take risks – and I really wanted to win this race. The one thing we can do now is to remember that we were having a good race until this moment, and we were leading the race – this is what I want to take from the weekend. You cannot sit there with your arms crossed thinking about what could have been. For the whole weekend me and the team were working well and we put ourselves in a winning position. It hasn’t worked out for us but we’ll come back fighting at the next one”.
Source: Repsol Media Service