GP PORTUGAL (RACE): STATEMENTS OF THE MOTOGP RIDERS

Publicado: 7 mayo, 2012 en MotoGP World Championship (english)
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CASEY STONER (1st – Repsol Honda): “In the end it was another fantastic weekend for us. This morning we were more confident but also a little concerned because yesterday afternoon when we had a very similar setting to FP3 the bike was a little bit worse in the warm conditions. In warm up we didn’t have a big problem with chatter but then for the race, under the warmer conditions, we struggled a lot more. This was very difficult to ride with, in the first part of the race I was confident and attacking the track but I closed the front twice due to the chatter. From this point I backed of a little, tried to stay smooth and just wanted to stay in front of Jorge and Dani, but Jorge was coming strong. I had to try and keep my pace and not make too many mistakes, I was changing t he mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem. Towards the end of the race I began to understand how to ride around it, this made things smoother and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race win”.

JORGE LORENZO (2nd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m happy with this second position because I was expecting to fight for third or fourth and not the victory. The bike improved a lot from the practices so it was possible. I had two problems, at the start I used a lot of clutch and burnt it so for two or three laps it was burning and I lost a lot of distance from Casey. Also at the end Casey was very strong. After this everything was working well and I made a fastest lap, which is not very common for me. We are just one point behind Casey, hopefully we can improve something on the bike tomorrow and be in front again”.

DANI PEDROSA (3rd – Repsol Honda): “It’s been a really tough race from the beginning, the pace was very very high from the first lap to the final one. Casey did a good race, unbelievably strong. I had a big shake in the first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During the race I had some issues in the middle of the corner, I was not fast with corner speed; each lap I tried to get a little better, to try and modify my riding style, the mapping, braking later, I tried everything, I managed to match the lap times but not to close the gap. Three races on the podium is very good overall, but in three races we missed something, so let’s try it again in the next one”.

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (4th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I am very satisfied with my performance in today’s race and particularly with the pace I could run because I was very fast and consistent throughout. It is a good way to end the weekend because a few small problems on Friday and Saturday meant we could not work as much as we would have liked to improve the bike. I am happy because the target this weekend was to reduce the gap to the fastest and we managed to achieve that. But the fact I could keep the speed for 28-laps that I was not able to find in practice is a very positive point. It is a good fourth place but there’s no doubt starting from third on the grid hampered me at the beginning of the race because I couldn ‘t even try to stay with the leading group. Maybe it would have been closer or maybe we could have even been with Pedrosa, but we will never know. Now I am looking forward to racing in Le Mans because it is the home race of the Tech 3 Team and it is also a raced sponsored by Monster Energy, so everybody has a lot of motivation to do well”.

CAL CRUTCHLOW (5th – Monster Yamaha tech 3): “I’m pretty happy with fifth place but I would like to have been a bit closer to the top three like I was in Jerez. Fair play to Andrea because he rode a great race once he passed me early on and it didn’t matter how much pressure I put on him, he never cracked. I certainly couldn’t have done anything else to try and pass him but it is another top five finish and I am still fourth in the points. I had a couple of issues, which didn’t help me. I knew rear grip was going to be an issue in the race and that’s how it turned out. I’m not really sure why so we will have to have a close look at the data to understand this. Stopping the bike was also a bit of a problem and it felt like I was having to push a lot harder than the four in front of me to run the times. But it was a good race with Andrea and we have carried on the momentum from the first two races and now we can look forward to Le Mans. That’s a massive weekend for Monster and Tech 3 Yamaha, so I’ll be determined to be back fighting for the podium again”.

ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “It was a tough race. After practice I thought I had the pace to be fighting for fourth place but I didn’t have a good feeling for the front and was struggling to turn the bike. It cost me a few valuable tenths that made me lose touch with Dovizioso and Crutchlow. Now we will have a close look at the data and try to understand why this happened, as well as working on our weak point which is braking. Sixth place isn’t a bad result but we should have been much closer to the two Yamaha Tech3 bikes. We have a test tomorrow and that will be very useful to us”.

VALENTINO ROSSI (7th – Ducati Team): “It went a bit better this time, in the sense that we started from a better base on Friday and we managed to prepare for today over the course of the weekend. I was able to approach the race knowing what to expect from the bike, and I therefore managed to push harder and get a little closer to the limit. The first laps were decent. I moved up a couple of positions and then I maintained a consistent pace, doing times that we expected to do. We must improve on corner exits and on acceleration because right now we’re not able to be as effective as the others due to the fact that we can’t get all of the power to the ground. We have a test tomorrow, and we’ll start working. Anyway, today I even managed to have some fun”.

BEN SPIES (8th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “Very mixed emotions today, this is actually the first time in three years that I’ve finished a race here. As I told the team, I made four or five big mistakes during the race, they cost me time and places. It was a rough race but I’m continuing to build my confidence, I don’t enjoy Estoril so I’m happy to have finished”.

STEFAN BRADL (9th – LCR Honda): “Well…, this has been a very hard weekend for us in general. We have struggled a lot with rear grip immediately on Friday morning but Saturday we have found some good adjustments. Unfortunately for the all race we had some issues going into the corners. My start was ok and I could make some good manoeuvres in the beginning but then I was a bit on the limit and in the middle of the race I was losing too much in the corners entries which was our problem all the time during this weekend. Especially in the fast corners I needed to wait in opening the throttle and this cost us a lot of time. We have never had this problem before and Spies had a better pace than us during the race but I can say this is another good weekend for me and the Team”.

HECTOR BARBERA (10th – Pramac Racing): “I am bitterly disappointed with today. After a lot of hard work by the crew this weekend we started the race with a very competitive setup and I was feeling good. On lap five I started to struggle a lot due to a physical issue with my shoulder and I wasn’t able to use the full potential of my GP12, losing the group in front of me that included Stefan Bradl and Ben Spies. Toward the end I decided to manage my position and I preferred to take home some important points in order to remain into the top ten in the overall World Championship”.

NICKY HAYDEN (11th – Ducati Team): “Starting from the first lap, there was an electrical problem and the bike didn’t know where it was on the track. I tried my best to ride around the problem and not make mistakes. It’s really a shame to work hard all weekend but not be able to take advantage of it with a result in the race. The team did a great job overnight, and I felt so much better this morning in the warm-up. I almost matched my qualifying lap and was pretty consistent. Of course I’m not saying I was going to fight for the win, but it would have been nice to at least have a decent race. We’ll focus on tomorrow’s test now and look forward to the next race at Le Mans”.

MICHELE PIRRO (14th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “With eight laps to go I could see on the big screen that Stoner was starting to lap people so I pushed extra hard to the end because I would have been really disappointed to get lapped. I’m happy we made it to the end and I picked up my first points of the season. Today I just tried to stay upright and make the most of what we had underneath us and hopefully in the future we can hope for more than that. I want to thank the team for their hard work here, hopefully we can have some new stuff to work with at Le Mans”.

MATTIA PASINI (Not classified – Speed Master): “We didn’t really start the race well, but after the sessions of yesterday we knew that the feeling with the bike was good and that there was a chance to make a good race. Mostly we knew that we could have made the difference at the end of the race. Little by little I was coming back, I managed to pass some riders and I was together with the other CRT machines, with De Puniet and Espargarò. I was saving some tyres for the last laps. Unfortunately I made a mistake, I crashed out so the race went to waste. However, all in all I am happy: the feeling with the bike improved quite a lot and we are kind of fast. Step by step we are making progress and we are understanding how to make our ART machine work. Let’s start again from Le Mans, charged and ready to work to improve more”.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Eduard Ballús

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