Stoner rules Silverstone weekend

AirAsia British Grand Prix | Report Day 3

Sunday, 12 June 2011

It was a Repsol Honda 1 - 2 on the podium, with Casey Stoner taking his 27th victory and the Championship lead in the AirAsia British Grand Prix MotoGP race on Sunday. Team mate Andrea Dovizioso finished second, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) riding a brilliant race with a broken collarbone to land the third podium spot.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) led a rainy start of the Silverstone race, chased by the two Hondas of Dovizioso and Stoner, with Marco Simoncelli on the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team RC212V close behind. Lorenzo made a mistake on the first lap, allowing the Repsol bikes to pass and clearing the way for Simoncelli to challenge the Championship leader, who passed the Mallorcan for third several corners later.

Stoner contended Dovizioso for the lead on lap two, with the Italian holding the top spot for several corners until pole position starter Stoner took over the lead from his team mate. Meanwhile, Simoncelli, who started from second position, positively hunted down the Repsol Hondas from his third position in the field until he ran wide on the 4th lap and lost the position back to Lorenzo.

With rain steadily falling and conditions worsening, Lorenzo highsided out of third position on lap 8, making the Silverstone race the first he had not finished since the Phillip Island race in 2009.

This put the 25 year-old Simoncelli in third position, but not content to settle for his first podium position to be higher, he pushed to pass Dovizioso until he lost the front under braking on lap ten.

Stoner stretched a gap of 15 seconds ahead of field, eventually lapping Hector Barbera (Mapfre Aspar) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) with three and a half laps left in the race, the two of whom finished 11th and 12th respectively.

The surprise of the weekend came with Colin Edwards piloting his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike to a podium finish. The 'Texas Tornado', who broke his collarbone last week in practice at Catalunya, started from eighth on the grid to ride a consistent race. Edwards benefited from the setbacks of Lorenzo and Simoncelli, thus earning his first podium of the season.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), who set the fastest lap of the race, followed fellow American Edwards across the line in fourth with Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) in fifth. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) finished sixth, in front of Czech rider Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing).

Toni Elias made a good launch off the start, putting his LCR Honda into eighth on the first lap from his 14th grid position. The Moto2 Champion crossed the line in eighth position, with Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) in ninth and Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) in tenth.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) crashed out of the race on lap 14.

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) won the Moto2 race, with British rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3) crossing the wet finish line in second and Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) in third.

Championship leader Stefan Bradl led off the start of a drizzly and cold 18 laps whilst second position starter Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) challenged the German rider, passing him for the lead early in the race, but it was the Championship points leader Bradl who led the field across the finish line, negotiating precarious track conditions that steadily worsened throughout the race.

Smith had a fantastic start off the grid, moving to 13th on the first lap after starting 28th. He steadily made his way through the field, at one point locking horns with fellow Brit Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing), to take the second spot on the podium, his first podium for the 2011 season. Redding crossed the line in fifth.

Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project), looking for his first Moto2 victory, chased the front runners from the start of the race, setting some of the fastest laps of the race to catch the front. The Italian passed Bradl for the lead on lap 5 and quickly pulled away, until he crashed out of the race on lap 6.

Michele Pirro started from sixth to finish in the third spot on the podium, moving him into tenth in the championship. Fourth place finisher was Jules Cluzel (NGM Forward Racing) who also started from fourth. Sixth to cross the line was Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) followed by Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) in seventh and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP), who earlier was in second position until he ran off track on lap 11, rejoined to finish in eighth.

Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX), after crashing on the sighting lap, finished the race in ninth followed by Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), who pitted early in the race with a problem but rejoined to finish tenth.

Pole position starter Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol), after a poor start off the grid, crashed out on lap 6.

The difficult conditions and standing water on the track produced more several casualties, including Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who crashed early in the race, Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing) who was caught with nowhere to go behind a battle between Corsi and Marquez, Axel Pons (Pons HP 40) who crashed in the first lap, after crashing out of qualifying the day before, and Raffaele De Rosa (SAG Team) who crashed on lap 9.

Anthony West (MZ Racing), who moved as high as 16th lap after starting 36th and Kenny Noyes (Avintia-STX) both retired from the race.

Jonas Folger rode his Red Bull Ajo Motorsport machine to his first GP win, after battling with Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) for the entire 125cc race. Zarco crossed the line in second to take another season podium and Hector Faubel (Bankia Aspar) took third for his first rostrum of the campaign, in wet conditions.

Seventeen year-old Folger who started from eighth spot on the grid, shot to the lead on the first lap of the race. Folger battled with Zarco for the lead from the first lap of the race, beating the Frenchman across the line to finally clinch the first win in his 44th GP race start, moving the German into second place in the Championship.

Faubel finished third, and Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) passed Efren Vazquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) to finish fourth, with Vazquez finishing fifth in front of Adrian Martin (Bankia Aspar). Martin ran off the track when saving a highside with 7 laps to go, rejoining to finish sixth in front of Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany).

Championship leader Nico Terol (Bankia Aspar) took a cautious approach in the hazardous conditions to collect eight more points for his eighth place finish. Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) finished ninth, in front of Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) in tenth.

Danny Webb (Mahindra Racing) collected his first points of the season at the British Grand Prix, crossing the line 11th, followed by Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing), who ran off the track at the start of the race, but rejoined to finish twelfth and in the points.

As expected, the weather ended the race early for several riders, including pole position starter Maverick Vinales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), who had a good start and slotted himself into third position for most of the competition until he crashed out of his sixth GP race with just six laps to go.