Published on 02 Oct 2011 by Toni M.
This year’s controversial Motegi GP was one strange race, and Casey Stoner who was tipped to win it and continue his winning streak suffered a big technical issue that left him third, while Andrea Dovizioso had jump start that psyched out several other riders.
Dani Pedrosa who last year lost his 2010 title chances in Japan due to a faulty throttle and picking up a fractured collarbone, instead took the first win ever for the Repsol Honda team at the Twin Ring and now is just one point behind Andrea Dovizioso (3rd) in the championship standing.
With three rounds to go, Stoner still leads the championship by 40 points over Jorge Lorenzo.
Dani Pedrosa - 1st
“I’m super happy with this victory, for the team that has been working so well, for HRC because this is the first win in Motegi with the Repsol Honda Team and for myself because it is the first time I’ve won here in MotoGP after doing so in 125cc and 250cc. The race was strange at the beginning with Stoner and Dovi really fast on the first few laps, they pulled away and then Casey had some problem and Andrea had a ride through for his jump start. I was alone in front with Lorenzo close, but I tried to put my head down and push every lap to pull away. I’m happy because at this track I’ve had a mix of good and bad results and some bad injuries, so to come back one year later and win in MotoGP is fantastic.”
Casey Stoner - 3rd
“The whole weekend had gone so well for us and we got a great start and I was able to pull a small advantage. Andrea was riding very well on the soft tyre compound and we knew ours would work well towards the end of the race, so the pace we had at that stage I was very comfortable with. As I came out of the back straight I got a wobble on the bike, we hit the big bump and as the front came down it practically shook the bars out of my hands. I went for the brakes and there was nothing there so I had to pump them up a couple of times, when I pumped it the second time if flicked me up over the front and I was lucky to stay on the bike. Thankfully I avoided hitting the wall at the end of the gravel trap but it’s really disappointing as we had the bike to win here to day, but in the end I guess I should be thankful that we were able to climb back up to a podium spot after other people’s misfortunes and mistakes on track. I’m looking forward to going to Phillip Island now and to see what we can achieve there, I’ve got a Championship lead to protect but I also want to win races.”
Andrea Dovizioso - 5th
“I cannot believe it. I have never had a false start in my career and it happened today, in a race where I felt that I could fight for the win! I don’t know why the bike moved a little before the green light but I realised it immediately and expected the ride through. In the first laps I had a good feeling and I was pushing hard because I knew I was the only rider up there with soft tyres, in my opinion this was the right choice today and I was catching Casey. Then Casey went wide and I found myself leading the race, but unfortunately it didn’t last long. When I rejoined after the ride through I pushed hard but it’s not the same as when you are fighting for victory. In the last five laps the rear tyre started to drop off and I was no longer able to be fast in the middle of the corner. Meanwhile, Simoncelli recovered and was behind me, I did all I could to defend my position but I wasn’t able to. I’m really disappointed as I’m sure today I could have fought for the win, we can see the final gap to Dani is similar to the time it took to do the ride through. I’m sorry for the team, we did a great job and I felt competitive. It’s also a shame for the Championship points, anyway I look forward to Phillip Island because once again I showed to be fast.”