Spanish Grand Prix: Frustrated Casey Taken Out By Valentino

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This Sunday Jerez has seen an amazing Grand Prix, with mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda team riders. From the happiness for Dani Pedrosa’s heroic race to Casey Stoner’s misfortune, who after being hit by Valentino Rossi, was forced to retire. Andrea Dovizioso had his own troubles in this race, where he finished twelfth after having to stop in the garage.

The race began with a good start for the three Repsol riders, although while Stoner was able to hold his first place, Dani Pedrosa lost ground and dropped to the eleventh position. Andrea Dovizioso, who had gained two places and was fourth, saw how Valentino Rossi overtook him in the third lap, two laps before Simoncelli overtook Stoner, who fell to the second place.

Three laps later, Rossi was third after overtaking Lorenzo and Casey Stoner was hit by the Italian who had lost control of his bike at the end of the straight. The Australian rider of the Repsol Honda Team tried to go back to the track, but was not able to do it and was frustrated to see that no steward helped him to start his bike again.

In the same lap, Pedrosa took fifth place after overtaking his team mate Andrea Dovizioso and, in the following lap, the Repsol rider caught up with Ben Spies. It only took him a lap to try to overtake the American at the “Sito Pons” corner and take the fourth position at the end of the Dry Sack straight. The rider from Castellar climbed steadily in the classification and on lap 11 he overtook Nicky Hayden to place himself in podium position.

Some seconds after that, Marco Simoncelli, leader of the race, lost control of his bike, leaving Pedrosa in second position. Without slowing his pace, Dani recovered some ground over Lorenzo and was able to be only one second behind the rider from Mallorca. But the Repsol Honda Team rider was riding with an injury and he knew that his physical conditions will take his toll sooner or later. After the first part of the race, he had to stop trying to catch his fellow countryman and a new race started for him, managing his advantage over the third -Spies- and trying to stay on the bike without making any mistakes.

Five laps from the end, Alberto Puig’s pupil had to face a new attack from Spies and in the next lap he was overtaken by the American on Dry Sack, although this time fortune helped the Spaniard, as one lap later he recovered a well-deserved second place when Spies crashed. A hard-earned and valuable podium for the Spanish rider of the Repsol Honda Team who in the next 48 hours will undergo surgery -the titanium plate and screws will be taken out- with the aim to recover the feeling in his left arm.

Dovizioso had to return to the garage to change the tyres as he was having many problems and the tyres were completely destroyed. Despite returning to the race in the last position, the Italian finished twelfth and his effort was rewarded with four valuable championship points.

In the overall classification, Pedrosa gains a position and is now second with 36 points, 9 points behind Lorenzo and 11 ahead of Stoner, who is now third in the World Championship with the 25 points he gathered in Qatar. Andrea Dovizioso, with 17 points, is seventh in the overall classification.

Casey’s View

“We made a good start to the race and the bike felt good for the first few laps, then the tyres seemed to move a little so we tried to conserve them in case it rained again. I really wanted the chance to fight the Spanish riders here in a dry race, so it was disappointing for me that that it was wet.
However, we were competitive here in the wet and dry and this is very important for us – at a track that hasn’t been that great for me in the past. After so much hard work I hate to have a race like this because the team did a great job all weekend and now we go home empty handed.
With the accident, I heard Valentino arriving and I wasn’t worried about anyone passing me at that point in the race so I gave him plenty of room. It was a racing incident and there’s not much we can do, what is more frustrating is the reaction of the stewards and their assistance for Valentino and not for me, it was unbelievable. I want to just get to the next race now in Estoril, where I’m sure we can be competitive again”.