Pedrosa strengthens championship position with another podium finish
Once again there were uneven results for the Repsol Honda Team at a Grand Prix, this time in Italy. Dani Pedrosa was on the second step of the podium at Mugello, whilst Casey Stoner had to fight back to eighth after a midway point run off track. The Repsol riders thus reach the halfway mark of the season with the Spaniard in second —19 points off leader Jorge Lorenzo— and Stoner in third -37 points off the top.
When the lights went out, Dani Pedrosa used his pole position to take the holeshot at Mugello, but he ran slightly wide and Jorge Lorenzo was able to take him on the inside of the long opening turn. Andrea Dovizioso had moved up into the fight by the end of the first lap of his home race, whilst Casey Stoner had suffered a bad start and dropped to eighth.
The Australian recovered two positions on the second lap and attempted to catch up with Nicky Hayden. Meanwhile, Pedrosa got past Dovizioso on lap five slotted into second. By then, Lorenzo had already opened up a gap of around a second at the head of the field, with his Yamaha a few tenths faster per lap despite a push from the Repsol Honda Team rider. Stoner was again suffering from chattering on his Repsol Honda RC213V from lap ten onwards, a problem which caused a loss of braking power on one occasion that dropped him down to tenth when he rode off track.
As the laps progressed, Stoner managed to catch up and pass Bautista and Barberá. He would have to settle for eighth place in the end. Pedrosa was having issues with his rear tyre stepping out, as he tried to up the pace in pursuit of Lorenzo. He placed second, ahead of Dovizioso.
Lorenzo leads the standings with 185 points, Pedrosa has 166 and Stoner has 148. The MotoGP class returns in two weeks at Laguna Seca.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd at 5.223 sec.
“I braked late at the first corner but I missed something and Jorge was already there. Then a few corners later I was surprised by Dovizioso, he passed me also and it took a few laps for me to make the overtake on him as he was very strong in the first corner so I had to pass him in another part of the circuit.
By this point Jorge had already opened up a small gap but I tried to get back in my rhythm and I started to lap in the 1’47’s. When I started to drop into these times though, my tyre began to spin a lot in the rear and I got some chatter so I was worried for the tyre. At this point I decided to slow down a little because to catch Jorge meant laps in 1’47’s. He was riding very strong so I have to congratulate him, finally for me a second place is a good result overall and I want to thank all the team for their hard work this weekend”.
Source: Repsol Media Press Release