After Rossi talking about his favourite Mugello helmets and the making of his 2012 lid, you now get to see a some of the rest of the Monster Energy sponsored riders and the Yamaha Tech3 squad and Rossi addressing his many fans from the podium (after Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso received their trophies).
Regarding the latest silly season rumor, French website GPInside.com is reporting that an unnamed source that is very close to Rossi and Andrea Iannone, has said that Rossi will be replacing Ben Spies in Yamaha, and Ducati will be fielding Cal Crutchlow and Moto2 rider Andrea Iannone in 2013. Both Crutchlow and Iannone have previously said they want to ride for the Italian manufacturer.
Apparently Ben Spies has been catching up on the rumors involving his future and tweeted these two messages to his fans, “U can say next year will be a bit diff I’d say. excited at all prospects stay tuned” and then added “I thought I’d be dramatic like all the sites and reporters are haha maybe nothing changes except to be back were we are meant to be!”
Yamaha is expected to announce their second rider during this weekend’s Laguna Seca GP, if Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli is to be believed.
As usual in the wake of a major racing event, we offer a collection of pics taken at the track away from the action, meaning shots coming from paddock, pits and starting grid. This time around it is about the Italian GP, which saw Yamaha Factory Racing star Jorge Lorenzo simply outpacing ther rest of the pack to clinch a prestigious victory at the Mugello track. Fellow spaniard Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) got the second spot ahead of local hero Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha Tech3), who got himself his third consecutive podium finish in a row. With the win in Italy, Lorenzo reached 185 points, stretching his lead in the championship even further: now he’s 19 points ahead of rival compatriot Dani Pedrosa and 37 points ahead current champion Casey Stoner.
While we are waiting to see how the post-race test at Mugello is going to pan out - yesterday’s winner Jorge Lorenzo is still the fastest rider at 3pm (with Colin Edwards testing different CRTs, Honda debuting a new RC213V, Ben Spies is still sick and not testing and either is Ioda, PBM and Speed Master teams) so why not check out our fantastic gallery of pics from this weekend’s 9th round of the 2012 championship season.
Stay tuned because we have even more pictures coming up later.
Andrea Dovizioso grabbed his fourth podium this season at Mugello and the Italian is still one of the contendors for a Yamaha factory ride, but apparently his podium placements aren’t enough to guarantee him a move back up the ladder, and just to add to the 2013 silly season he admitted that he has gotten an offer from Honda to return to the fold. but with San Carlo Gresini. Dovizioso is also considering a switch to World Superbikes.
Max Biaggi also showed up to see the Italian GP and it was the first time in seven years that he visited the MotoGP paddock and he was a guest of his friend Jorge Lorenzo. Biaggi was asked if he missed it GP racing and he replied that the prototypes are fascinating, but in World Superbikes there are a lot of battles and you never know who the winner will be.
There are also rumors that Spped Master’s CRT team is running low on budget and there could be a change in plans in the following weeks that could concern Mattia Pasini and Colin Edwards.
Here are more rider quotes from the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM:
Andrea Dovizioso - 3rd
“To get a podium is always special but to do it in front of the Italian crowd and after such a strong battle makes it feel even better. I got the perfect start and was third at the first corner and I felt very strong in braking at the start so passed Dani at Turn 5. Immediately though I could see that Lorenzo was faster in some parts of the track, but it was good to see again the small points I need to improve to get the best out of the Yamaha. The fight with Bradl for the whole race was fantastic and he did a great job. He didn’t give up but I am so happy with another podium and I want to say a big thanks again to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. We are working so well together and our results show it.”
“From the beginning I felt great on this track, the asphalt was completely different to Sachsenring which was a nightmare for us. From the first practice here I felt very strong, very good on the bike and a fast constant pace. Today I was hammering a lot to open a gap at the beginning of the race as I thought my competitors would have problems on cold tyres. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it immediately. Only hammering every lap and going faster and faster from 1’48.1 then into the 47s could I open a bit to Pedrosa then little by little it got better and I could start to breathe. It’s been a great win for the whole team’s efforts and for Yamaha who have given me such a good bike,” said Lorenzo.
Ben Spies really needs to see an exorcist this season. The Yamaha rider endured still another bad race, but this time it wasn’t a question about his Yamaha or the tires, but a physical ailment, a bout of food poisoning that left him down in 11th and fighting with a CRT rider. According to Yamaha’s communication manager William Favero, Spies insisted that wanted to race even if he was suffering from dizzy spells -not exactly the best thing to have when you’re at 340 km/h down the Mugello straight or down the Casanova Savelli while not trying to upchuck in your helmet, Here’s what Spies had to say:
“I’m so disappointed, not just for me but for my whole team and Yamaha who have worked so hard this weekend. I was feeling really not right from before warm up this morning and it just got worse over the day. I was struggling to put three laps together at a time in the race and fighting waves of dizziness and trying not be physically sick in my helmet. Clinica Mobile did their best to help me before the race but it was a huge challenge to focus on the bike at the speeds we do.”
After being thoroughly dissed after his disastrous qualifying at Mugello with both Hector Barbera and team mate Nicky Hayden finishing in front of him on the starting grid, Valentino Rossi had the small satisfaction of finishing fifth in today’s race at Mugello and his best finish in the dry.
The Italian even joked about all the negative comments he received and asked journalists where Barbera finished, because he didn’t see him … , but he turned serious when he talked to Sportmediaset about his commitment which he says “is always 110%” adding “I certainly don’t like be slower than the other Ducati’s and finding myself in 10th -11th. “The Ducati bike is diametrically opposite to my riding style: I’d like to win this challenge, or at least try to be better than today, so we must we try to the end. For me there’s a way: it isn’t easy, but we have to find the right idea to solve these problems. Compared the last few races we have improved, but it’s hard to fight with Yamaha and Honda because they are scarily fast and have taken another step forward. “
“Overall, I think today was the best dry result of the year for Ducati, because Nicky had a great race as well,” commented Valentino Rossi. “We’re quite happy, as our pace was very good, especially toward the end. Unfortunately, I lost time at the beginning. Not only was I on the fourth row, but I also had a bad start. I got by some riders pretty quickly, but by then I had already accumulated too much of a disadvantage. Otherwise, I think it would have been possible to make the podium. We’re having too much trouble in practice. Normally we’re able to have a decent rhythm with the hard tyres, but when we put on the soft, we can’t manage to cut those six or seven tenths that the others drop. For two races, we’ve worked on a setting that allows us to be consistent until the end of the race, but at the same time, it gives me more trouble with the front. When I put on the soft tyre, the extra grip makes that problem worse and I’m not able to effectively initiate corner turn-in. We have to work on that area. We have a test day tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
Nicky Hayden showed fans that the Ducati can be fast even if he finished 7th after tangling with an impressive Stefan Bradl. He also admitted that the used tire that he mounted for this morning’s warm-up had blistered and Bridgestone wanted him to use the extra-hard compound which he refused to do because he hadn’t tested it during practice, instead they went for a different tire pressure that caused him some trouble at the start of the race.
“I got a good start, but I was spinning a lot in the beginning, and I thought I was going to destroy the tyre. Once I went to a smoother map, I was able to really start driving off the corners and bringing the group back. Those last seven, eight laps, I really gave it everything; I wasn’t sure I was going to finish, but I was sure I was going to go for it. On the last lap, after I went by Bradl for fourth, I was only thinking about trying to pass ‘Dovi’ and get the Ducati on the podium, so I don’t regret the fact that I tried. In the end, we can’t be happy with seventh, but I hope all the Ducati fans that came to support us can be proud of this team this weekend. They gave me a good bike, and we really had a shot at the podium today,” said Hayden
Dani Pedrosa may have set the fastest lap (1.47.705) in today’s MotoGP race at Mugello, but the Spaniard just didn’t have the pace that his fellow countryman on the Yamaha had, a spinning rear tire and chatter made him decide to cease and desist on trying to chase Lorenzo down, and he settled in another comfortable podium and keep his second place in the standings.
“I braked late at the first corner but I missed something and Jorge was already there. Then a few corners later I was surprised by Dovizioso, he passed me also and it took a few laps for me to make the overtake on him as he was very strong in the first corner so I had to pass him in another part of the circuit. By this point Jorge had already opened up a small gap but I tried to get back in my rhythm and I started to lap in the 1’47’s. When I started to drop into these times though, my tyre began to spin a lot in the rear and I got some chatter so I was worried for the tyre. At this point I decided to slow down a little because to catch Jorge meant laps in 1’47’s. He was riding very strong so I have to congratulate him, finally for me a second place is a good result overall and I want to thank all the team for their hard work this weekend,” said Pedrosa
First off, Casey Stoner was not punished for his pass on Alvaro Bautista, apparently the Race Direction viewed the pass (along with the one that Bradl did on Hayden) and deemed it just a racing incident. However, the Australian has been struggling all weekend long with tire issues and his nervousness showed through in several occasions, but in the post race conference he apologized to Bautista in a round about way, saying that the blame was to be divided 50/50, stating that he had braked late, but when they touched they were pratically side-by-side and that Bautista must have see him and decided to close the door on him anyway.
“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,” said Stoner. 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 Álvaro, I went to make the pass into turn 2 and he started to close my front off and I couldn’t do anything.”
As it was highly expected Jorge Lorenzo ran away with today’s MotoGP race at Mugello to take his fifth victory of the season. It took the Yamaha rider exactly one turn to take the lead and never give it up riding almost constantly under the 1.48s and he even started waving to the crowds halfway through the last lap and he crossed the finish line with a 5.223 second margin.
Dani Pedrosa tried his best to stay with Lorenzo, but he just didn’t have the pace to stay with him but he kept his second place in the standings as team mate Casey Stoner struggled all weekend long with tire problems. The Australian decided to start the race with the extra hard tire was running in fifth, but he missed his braking mark and ran off track and rejoined in tenth and when he passed Alvaro Bautista for 9th he harshly pushed the Gresini rider wide at the Luco-Poggio Secco and touching the Spaniard’s leg and shoulder leaving some tire rubber on his leathers, Stoner finished the race in 8th.
The battle for third was highly entertaining between Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl. The MotoGP rookie gave the vetran rider a ride for his money, the two exchanged the third spot several times, but with three laps to go Dovizioso put in his decisive pass at the San Donato that would in the end let him take the third spot on the podium. The battle for fourth spot was also exciting as Bradl found himself with his hands full on the last lap with Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi (who came from 12th after the first lap) and Cal Crutchlow who caught him.
Hayden passed Bradl at the Luco, but the German returned the pass pushing the Ducati rider wide which let a pouncing Valentino Rossi through and then Cal Crutchlow caught and passed him on the next turn. For Rossi it was his best result in the dry so far, while Hayden would end up a disappointing 7th.
Hector Barbera after his maiden front row start faded to 9th while Bautista ended up tenth. Ben Spies had another horrid race. The American was suffering from stomach pains and dizziness that started this morning and only on the last lap was able to overtake Randy de Puniet who was ahead of him for half the race distance.
Spain may be suffering economically like Italy and driving their citizens mad with austerity measures, but in grand prix racing they are at the top of the food chain. In today’s MotoGP qualifying session at Mugello for the first time in history there were three Spanish riders on the front row, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and an amazing Hector Barbera.
Jorge Lorenzo may have ended up second because of an electronic glitch, but as Cal Crutchlow said, “We’re not on Lorenzo’s pace but I don’t think anyone is,” so unless something disastrous happens like some rider wanting to the win the race on the first lap or if the Repsol Honda riders happen to squeeze out some extra pace, tomorrow we should see a Lorenzo’s Land flag at Mugello.
Casey Stoner is suffering with his tires and can’t get them to work and Bridgestone won’t let the riders use the softer option as they are afraid that they won’t last the distance, but Stoner does get the virtual prize as the best braker at Mugello according to Brembo. At the Italian circuit the maximum speed from the end of the straight drops from 357 to 121 km/h in just 6.1 seconds and in 327 meters and the carbon discs reach a scorching 700°C.
Nicky Hayden denied that he has talked about a World Superbike ride with Ducati because he wants to stay in MotoGP (rightly so we might add). He said that he is almost two seconds faster this year at Mugello so the team is working hard. The American also said that he believes he’ll get his best result tomorrow, but is wary of excessive rear tire wear, and he also had some comforting words for team mate Valentino Rossi saying he believes the Italian will be farther up front than his 10th position.
Valentino Rossi complained that he couldn’t get his soft tire to work and that it gave him chatter and he doesn’t know why, and using the hard tire is making him lose more than four tenths from the Biondetti to the Bucine. He mentioned that his ‘new’ rival [Barbera] held him up -not that it would have made a difference he said - but the fact is he still got smoked by his team mate and br a Ducati satellite rider on an old version of his machine, and it looks like his gig is finally up.
Dani Pedrosa - 1st
“We definitely made another step forward today and to get the pole position here is great, although to always be on the front row is what really matters to me. We had a good practice in the morning and managed the timing well in qualifying to be on track when everybody started to improve the lap times. It will be a very hard race for sure, it’s very hot out there and the race pace will be also very high looking at the lap times this afternoon. I’m quite happy with the set up of my bike, we’ve had better grip today and I’m pretty confident, but we have to keep very focused and push at the maximum because Lorenzo has an incredible pace.”
Jorge Lorenzo seemed almost unbeatable in the start of the Italian GP weekend and everyone was expecting that the Yamaha rider would also take the pole position, instead in the finale of the session when he on route to confirm the top of the timesheets he was stopped by an electronics problem on his M1 that forced him to pit and unable to complete his last flying lap.
The pole position instead went to a fantastic Dani Pedrosa, who in the time attack stopped the clock with a blistering lap of 1’47″284 and breaking the Mugello pole position record by almost a second and take his second pole start of the season
Lorenzo’s previous lap before his problem was good enough for second - but his race pace is still easily faster than the rest of the field. The other upset of session was an amazing Hector Barbera who grabbed the final spot on the front row. The Pramac rider flying around the track without a tow (which he is notoriously known for) - to secure his first ever front row start in MotoGP. What was so amazing is that Barbera did it with the Desmosedici GP12 Zero (the same machine that was dropped by Rossi and Hayden after the post race Valencia tests last season).
Ducati factory rider Nicky Hayden took fourth, and the Kentucky Kid was just 0.381s from Lorenzo. If Barbera and Hayden shone on Ducati’s home circuti the same can’t be said the same for a bitter and laconic Valentino Rossi (10th and a massive 1.2s off pace) who said Barbera blocked him in his last lap and that he has no idea how to fix the situation he finds himself in.
Casey Stoner set-up and tire problems continued into the qualifying session as he finished ‘just’ fifth, and one of his worst qualifying sessions this season after the Jerez GP.
Yamaha Tech3s Cal Crutchlow took the sixth spot and this despite a crash at the Correntaio, the same turn that also saw Yamaha factory rider Ben Spies crash out earlier in the session - the American ended up 8th. Andrea Dovizioso ended up 7th hampered by James Ellison and Stefan Bradl brought his LCR satellite Honda into 9th.
If Rossi is having a bad weekend, it’s even worse for Alvaro Baustista who crashed in every single practice session, but avoiding it in qualifying and he ended up in 11th.
While many though the CRT machines would suffer mightly at the long Italian circuit, Aleix Espargaro proved it otherwise with his ART as he was 2.1 seconds from Pedrosa and less than half a second from Bautista.