Casey Comes Home Third In Tightly Fought Mugello Race

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With hundreds of tifosi invading again the Italian track, Mugello saw two Repsol Honda Team riders again taking two of the three steps of the podium. Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner had an exciting duel in the last lap that finished with the Italian in second place, ahead of his team mate, who keeps the lead of the World Championship with an advantage of 19 points. In his particular battle, Dani Pedrosa had a difficult race in his return to competition that finished with a creditable eighth position.

When the red lights went out, Casey Stoner rushed forward to the first corner, where he took the first place, followed by Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. The Australian quickly took some advantage, which was nearly of one second after the first lap, which Dani Pedrosa finished in a low thirteenth position. Lap after la, Stoner was able to put some more tenths between him and the rest of the group, where Andrea Dovizioso was at the wheel of Jorge Lorenzo until he overtook him in the eight lap, cheered by the local fans.

He kept the second place for five laps, but the Spaniard launched a counterattack and, after some laps, he also caught up with Stoner. With tyre problems, the Australian of the Repsol Honda Team started to loose his advantage and, six laps from the end, was overtaken by the Yamaha rider. Behind him, Andrea Dovizioso also reduced the distance with his team mate and overtook him at the start of the last lap —at the end of the main straight— to reach the chequered flag in second.

Dani Pedrosa crossed the finish line in eight position, after an impressive recovery in the first half of the race. The Repsol rider was twelfth in the fifth laps and, keeping a consistent pace, he recovered two more positions, got rid of Karel Abraham and caught up with the group including Álvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi, Héctor Barberá and Colin Edwards. After overtaking the American, the Repsol rider remained in ninth place, at the wheel of Bautista, who had an off-track excursion eight laps from the end that allowed Pedrosa to take the eight place.

The World Championship moves in two weeks to Germany, where Casey Stoner will arrive still as the leader of the championship with 152 points, 19 ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (133 points). Andrea Dovizioso keeps the third position, only 14 points behind the Spaniard. After his result today, Dani Pedrosa is seventh, with 69 points.

Casey’s View…

“I can’t say I’m totally happy with the result today, we started the race very strong and everything felt fantastic on the bike, however, we had a problem with the tyres after a few laps.
We believe this was related to incorrect tyre pressures for today’s track temperature and we should have probably reduced them a little compared with what we used in warm up because as soon as the tyres got up to a certain pressure, I lost all the grip in the rear and this led to me starting to close the front. I think this is why we were able to be so fast in the beginning of the race, as the tyres were able to warm up very quickly, but then the tyre overheated and I lost all the grip.
I’m disappointed as our potential to win today was high, I thought I might still have potential to fight with Jorge and Andrea, but Jorge came past and he was too fast for me. Then Andrea came past and I thought I could respond, but I didn’t have any traction. It’s still a podium, and important points but I’m here to win races”.