MotoGP 2007 - Catalunya Report

MotoGP 2007 Round 7

Grand Prix of Catalunya - June 10, 2007

1. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 16.907 secs
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 43min 16.976 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 17.297 secs
4. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 24.721 secs
5. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 43min 34.760 secs
6. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 36.316 secs
7. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 36.402 secs
8. Alex Barros BRA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP (B) 43min 41.769 secs
9. Marco Melandri ITA Gresini Honda (B) 43min 41.870 secs
10. Colin Edwards USA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 43min 52.255 secs
11. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 53.208 secs
12. Makoto Tamada JPN Dunlop Tech 3 Yamaha (D) 43min 55.627 secs
13. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP (B) 43min 57.841 secs
14. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Dunlop Tech 3 Yamaha (D) 44min 1.306 secs
15. Shinya Nakano JPN Konica Minolta Honda (M) 44min 11.100 secs
16. Kenny Roberts USA Team Roberts (M) 44min 16.562 secs
17. Carlos Checa SPA Honda LCR (M) 44min 19.222 secs
18. Kurtis Roberts USA Team Roberts (M) 44min 20.229 secs

Race Results
A scribe in the traditional print press recently wrote that the 800cc MotoGP bikes were causing boring, processional racing.

I don't know what MotoGP series he's watching, but on this planet, it doesn't get any better than this. The 800cc bikes have brought some incredible battles in 2007; look at today's results (below) and you'll find 5 different motorcycle manufacturers finishing in positions 1 through 5. When's the last time that happened?

Not to mention the incredible battle between the super-smooth, unflappable Casey Stoner and the Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, which has apparently gained a few more horsepower since the last race, because it was nearly as fast as Stoner's Ducati on the long Cataluyna straight.

In the end, Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner won a breathtaking three-man battle for victory at Catalunya this afternoon, extending his points lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship.

Stoner had it all - stunning attack and superb defense - as he fought with Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa throughout the 25 laps in 31 degree (88F) heat to keep 112,000 sun-soaked fans on their feet. The Australian enjoyed the lion's share of the lead, attacking immediately whenever passed. The trio crossed the line in that order, covered by seven tenths.

Stoner's fourth win of 2007 keeps Ducati at the top of the constructors' championship and the Ducati Marlboro Team ahead in the teams' championship.

Casey Stoner, winner, World Championship leader on 140 points: "Going into this weekend we weren't sure how things would go. At Mugello we had a few difficulties and we thought it might be the same here. On Friday we weren't exactly on the pace, we were losing a lot in a couple of areas. Fortunately, the team worked really hard, we came up with a solution on Saturday morning and since then we've kept the bike exactly the same."

"The whole team did a great job this weekend and proved wrong people who said we can't win on European tracks. There were some nice passing maneuvers going on everywhere. All three of us had our strong points and our weak points around the circuit, I was just trying to minimize my weak points and cover my lines, and it worked out. It was such a close race, no one could go away, it was very, very enjoyable to be racing that close. It was really good because our bike was set up quite well for the braking points, so for Valentino to pass us he usually had to run wide and we were able to pass him back immediately a lot of times."

"The way the team has set up the bike for me is fantastic, and the Bridgestones worked great again, at a circuit where they've struggled in the past, so they've really changed things around. Today was another great race for us, I'm still not thinking about the championship, maybe later in the season we can really start aiming for that."

Yamaha Team Report
Valentino Rossi rode his Yamaha M1 to a fighting second place in Catalunya today after an exhilarating battle with Casey Stoner, the Australian eventually taking the flag just 0.069 seconds ahead of the Fiat Yamaha rider after a nail-biting final few laps. Rossi 96th premier-class podium gives him yet another record as it takes him above Mick Doohan as the rider with the most podium finishes ever in the top class of Grand Prix racing. His team-mate Edwards suffered from grip issues throughout and was unable to stick with the leading pack from sixth on the grid, eventually finishing in tenth.

After starting from pole, Rossi found himself down in fourth on lap one and was then forced to push hard in the first three laps to get past John Hopkins before he could begin to close the gap to Dani Pedrosa, who was by then following Stoner in second place.

On lap eleven of 25 Rossi made his move on the local favorite, the cheer from the grandstands proving that there was however a sizeable Italian element amongst the 112,600-strong crowd. Rossi soon started looking for passing opportunities on Stoner, making his first successful bid at the end of lap eighteen before relinquishing the lead back to the Australian on the next lap.

From then on the fans were treated to some vintage wheel-to-wheel racing from the pair, with Pedrosa also in close contention, and an incredible number of passes made in several different parts of the track. Going into the penultimate lap however Stoner made his decisive move and Rossi was unable to peg him back, despite throwing every effort at it.

Twenty points for Rossi today means he is now fourteen behind Stoner after seven races, whilst Colin Edwards remains tenth in the standings. After two races on the trot there is now a ten-day break before the MotoGP circus heads to Donington for the Grand Prix of Great Britain, another of Rossi's favorite hunting grounds.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2ndTime: +0.069: "What a race! Even if I'm disappointed not to win, it's a great emotion to be part of a race like that and fantastic fun. It really was an amazing battle to the end with many wonderful overtaking maneuvers by both of us in all different parts of the track!"

"Unfortunately I lost a bit of time at the start and then it was quite hard to pass Hopkins because he was fantastic on the brakes. Then with Stoner it was a great fight and honestly I couldn't have tried harder to win, but he was a very hard rival. There were some places were we could have been better today, not just on the straight but also in some corners, but anyway it was a great experience and it will help us to understand what we need to do to keep on improving."

"Yamaha and Michelin are working very hard and the fact that we could fight like this today to the very end showed this. Of course I'm sad because I've won a lot of times here in Montmelo and I wanted to win again, but like I said, I don't think I could have done anymore today! We know that we can beat Stoner but today he rode like a god and he's a fantastic rival, so congratulations to him."

2007 MotoGP - Catalunya - June 10, 2007

Temp: 31. Attendance: 112,600. Weather: Hot and Sunny

Race 1 - 25 Laps

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time

1 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 43'16.907

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0'0.069

3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'0.390

4 John Hopkins Suzuki USA 0'7.814

5 Randy De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 0'17.853

6 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 0'19.409

7 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 0'19.495

8 Alex Barros Ducati BRA 0'24.862

9 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0'24.936

10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0'35.348

11 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 0'36.301

12 Makoto Tamada Yamaha JPN 0'38.720

13 Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 0'40.934

14 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 0'44.399

15 Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 0'54.103

Rider Standings June 10, 2007

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points

1. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 140

2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 126

3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 98

4. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 75

5. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 72

6. John Hopkins Suzuki USA 72

7. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 57

8. Alex Barros Ducati BRA 51

9. Toni Elias Honda ESP 45

10. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 45

11. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 41

12. Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 38

13. Randy De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 30

14. Carlos Checa Honda ESP 20

15. Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 19

16. Makoto Tamada Yamaha JPN 16

17. Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 16

Team Standings June 10, 2007

Pos. Team Points

1. Ducati Marlboro Team 197

2. FIAT Yamaha Team 171

3. Rizla Suzuki 144

4. Repsol Honda Team 139

5. Honda Gresini 120

6. Pramac D'Antin 89

7. Kawasaki Racing Team 39

8. Tech3 Yamaha 32

9. Honda LCR 20

10. Konica Minolta Honda 19

11. Team Roberts 4

Manufacturer Standings June 10, 2007

Pos. Manufacturer Points

1. Ducati 143

2. Yamaha 126

3. Honda 125

4. Suzuki 95

5. Kawasaki 39

6. KR212V 4

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