Casey Stoner eighth at Mugello after mid-race run off
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 Ã¢â‚¬â€19 points off leader Jorge LorenzoÃ¢â‚¬â€ 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 BarberÃƒÂ¡. 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.
Casey Stoner – 8th at 30.617 sec.
“It’s definitely not the way we planned it, we thought today we could be fighting for the podium and maybe have the pace to stay with Dani, Jorge has ridden fantastically all weekend and hasn’t really put a foot wrong but I think a third position would have been good today. However, we just couldn’t get the bike working. During our last attempts in warm up we couldn’t get anything to work, we weren’t very happy with the bike today and I just didn’t feel comfortable. I made a mistake in the race, I had a bit of a shake exiting turn 11 and when I arrived at turn 12 I had no brakes, I was squeezing them as hard as I could and thought I had enough brake power to stop before the edge of the track but I had too much momentum and had to ride through the gravel trap which wasted a lot of time. I’m sorry for the incident with Alvaro, I went to make the pass into turn 2 and he started to close my front off and I couldn’t do anything. It’s a disappointing end to a difficult weekend that I thought I might be able to salvage something from but unfortunately not”.
Source: Repsol Honda