Casey Stoner was finally able to put one of his last bogey tracks, behind him with his first ever victory at Jerez this afternoon. The Australian managed to stay out of trouble in the hectic first laps and away from the wet patches and timed his pull to the front to the pefection and keep a never-give-up Jorge Lorenzo at bay in the final laps, despite his ongoing arm pump issues, which at the moment he refuses to deal with surgically.
“We didn’t get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble, there were people out braking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way!” commented Casey Stoner. “Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn’t try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge and Dani were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more, the bike on a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me”.
Dani Pedrosa was highly tipped to win this Spanish GP after dominating the practice sessions and qualifying second, but running alone is easier than being chased after by a group of aggressive riders who threw caution to the wind at the start of the race. The Spaniard admits he was too cautious riding on the wet patches after seeing the numerous crashes in Moto3 and Moto2 and considering his bad luck and numerous injuries over the past seasons, playing it safe for once seems a good idea.
“It’s been a strange race for me. On the grid I thought it might not be a completely dry race so I was very cautions at the beginning also after we saw so many crashes in the first laps of Moto3 and Moto2,” said Pedrosa. “So I started well but I was passed and then I lost too much time with Dovizioso and Hayden. When I managed to overtake them and take the third position, Casey and Jorge were already too far in front, 4 seconds ahead. So I put my head down and started increasing my pace but at the same time it was difficult to keep the concentration because Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps. In general, I feel happy with my performance on a really tricky weekend. A second and a third position finish is not the best, but it’s a good start to the season”.
Stoner is now second in the standings (41 points) and Pedrosa is third (36 points) heading to Estoril next weekend.