The Repsol Honda Team scored their eleventh double podium of the 2011 MotoGP season yesterday afternoon, with Pedrosa second, Stoner third, and Dovizioso in fifth position in the Grand Prix of San Marino.The three Repsol Honda riders battled hard during the 28 lap race in incredibly hot and humid conditions. Jorge Lorenzo took an early lead from the front row with Stoner and Pedrosa following closely behind. The Australian rider maintained the gap to Lorenzo at under three tenths of a second for the first ten laps, but then fatigue kicked in and he was unable to match Lorenzo's pace, who gradually pulled away. Stoner tried to keep a distance to third place Pedrosa, but was unable to fend of his Spanish team mate who passed him on lap 22.
Andrea Dovizioso was involved in a close battle for fourth with Simoncelli and Spies. The Italian jumped from sixth to fourth in the first corner off a great start, but was passed by Simoncelli on lap seven. He kept Spies behind him for the entire race and on lap 25 managed to pass Simoncelli to take fourth. But on the final lap, Simoncelli regained fourth place and Dovizioso had to settle for fifth.
The riders will now enjoy a week of rest before heading to Aragon for Round 14 of the MotoGP World Championship on Sunday 18 September.
Dani Pedrosa:"I'm a little disappointed with the race because the bike didn't feel as good as in practice. We wanted to make a change to the suspension to improve it but we had the opposite effect, sometimes it happens. From the first lap, I realised I couldn't keep up with Jorge and Casey, at the beginning the bike was closing the front and then it was sliding in the rear. The second part of the race was good, Jorge had a perfect race today, but I was able improve my times lap by lap and catch Casey. I overtook him and had another second place in two weeks, which is not so bad. We've been lucky today as it was cooler than yesterday the rain didn't come. It's been two demanding races in a row and this one in particular was the toughest of the season so far - the circuit is challenging with so many hard braking areas and it's been very hot again, also after Indy it's been difficult to recover from the jet lag. Let's hope we can get some rest and be stronger for Aragon."
Casey Stoner:"At the beginning of the race I was cautious as there were a few spots of rain, once this cleared up I was pretty comfortable behind Jorge, I didn't feel the need to push and then tiredness suddenly hit me. It was hard to find the braking points and change direction on the bike, there was nothing wrong with the tyres, nothing wrong with the bike, the team did a great job and gave me a fantastic package, I'm just worn out. I had to put in a lot more effort into Laguna and Brno, riding a lot harder than I normally would. This together with the neck injury from Assen has finally caught up with me. For the second half of the race I was just too tired, simple as that, I'm very grateful to have finished on the podium. All credit to Jorge, he had a fantastic race, hopefully by Aragon I'll be fully fit and recovered."
Andrea Dovizioso: “It was a tough race, I had to push hard and ride aggressively and we had to cut the power a lot due to fuel consumption issues. We suffered from this during the whole race weekend, but after the warm up I received the bad news that we had to cut even more power. This hasn't been such a big issue this year and in fact it's never been the case that I can't match Simoncelli in acceleration. This is due to riding style and set up of the electronics, especially engine braking. I knew that with this cut in power it would have been impossible to fight for the podium, so this affected my motivation. We had a good battle with Marco and Spies; for the first time this season Marco beat me so congratulations to him. Our target was to gain some points on Lorenzo and we didn’t manage it. We are still third in the Championship; we are confident and will continue working.”