MotoGP 2007 - Shanghai, China

MotoGP 2007 Round 4

Grand Prix of China, Shanghai - May 6, 2007

Race Results
John Hopkins secured his first MotoGP podium at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today, as he stormed his Rizla Suzuki home in third place - a result that also moves him into the top five in the MotoGP Championship.

Hopkins started from the front row of the grid and got off to a great start. He then traded places with Marco Melandri and Dani Pedrosa early on, before getting away from them and chasing down Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.

The hard-charging Anglo-American caught up with the leaders and the three of them produced incredibly fast lap-times as they pulled away from the chasing pack. Hopkins tried to make a bid for a higher position, but decided that bringing his GSV-R home for his first top-three finish was more important than any last lap heroics.

Hopkins was visibly overcome as he crossed the line in front of his cheering team, he will now go onto the next round in France with high confidence as he looks to build on this success.

Today’s race was held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures reaching 23°C. An exuberant crowd watched Stoner win his third race of the season on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati.

Meanwhile, Casey Stoner did a fantastic job on the Ducati and is now leading Valentino Rossi by 15 points in the Championship. Stoner's Ducati was incredibly fast in the straightaway, sometimes pulling from way behind Rossi to way in front by the end of the straight. The bike was also able to turn quicker and accelerate faster than Rossi's Yamaha. Rossi made a great effort to fight back, but went wide on one turn too many and came in second in the race.

And Toni Elias made yet another error on Lap 1, coming into a turn too fast and taking out two riders.

John Hopkins: “I am so happy with the way the race went and I want to dedicate my first podium to my Dad! Without doubt he was watching me and he certainly helped get me through to the finish - there will be more of these to come! I want to also give a big thanks to everyone who has supported me and especially my family. I also owe a huge thank-you to my crew who have been right behind me all the time. I really want to congratulate Bridgestone for the great tires and Suzuki for the huge steps forward with the bike that is enabling me to run at the front now."

“As far as the race went, I got a good start and then got passed by Marco and Dani; I started to get a bit frustrated because Casey and Valentino were pulling away. I made a couple of aggressive maneuvers on both Dani and Marco to get round them and started to chase down the front two. From there on it was all about trying to hang on to them, they were running a tremendous pace and I just couldn’t get past. In the end I made sure I brought the bike home in third. I was praying nothing would go wrong in the last two laps – and it didn’t so I guess my Dad was looking down on me! Now I can’t wait for Le Mans – I’m looking into backing this up with another podium!”

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd; Time: +3.036 : "I enjoyed today a lot, it was a great race, a really exciting battle and my Yamaha was fantastic to the end. We knew that this track would be difficult for us so to be able to fight with Stoner at 100% for the entire race was a great feeling. Of course it's not a win, but I think second place is a very good result for us here. I didn't want to give up and just ride for second, I wanted to try to pass him and I made some good overtaking maneuvers but wasn't able to stay in front down the straight."

"Then I made a mistake when I hit a bump when braking, had to release the brake and ran off track. It was a pity, but when you're riding on the limit lap after lap then things like this can happen; that's racing! Anyway I knew I couldn't give up, I had a nice battle with John and then was able to take second. I think these twenty points are really important and we're still second in the championship. I'm really more sad for what happened in Turkey because if we hadn't had the problem there then I might have been level with Stoner in the championship now. But the season is long and now we have several races in Europe at some of my favorite tracks and I think we're in good shape for them!"

2007 MotoGP Shanghai, China - May 6, 2007

Circuit Length: 5451

Temp: 23

Weather: Dry

Race 1 - 22 Laps

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time

1 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 44'12.891

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0'3.036

3 John Hopkins Suzuki USA 0'6.663

4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'14.090

5 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0'17.276

6 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 0'26.256

7 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 0'26.591

8 Randy De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 0'27.025

9 Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 0'28.108

10 Carlos Checa Honda ESP 0'32.957

11 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0'35.053

12 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 0'37.327

13 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 0'50.705

14 Alex Barros Ducati BRA 0'55.264

15 Kenny Roberts KR212V USA 0'57.736

Best Lap

Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time

Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'59.857

Rider Standings as of May 6, 2007

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points

1. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 86

2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 71

3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 49

4. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 41

5. John Hopkins Suzuki USA 39

6. Toni Elias Honda ESP 35

7. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 31

8. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 30

9. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 30

10. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 30

11. Alex Barros Ducati BRA 27

12. Carlos Checa Honda ESP 20

13. Randy De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 19

14. Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 19

15. Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 15

16. Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 6

17. Makoto Tamada Yamaha JPN 4

Team Standings as of May 6, 2007

Pos. Team Points

1. Ducati Marlboro Team 116

2. FIAT Yamaha Team 102

3. Repsol Honda Team 79

4. Honda Gresini 76

5. Rizla Suzuki 69

6. Pramac D'Antin 46

7. Kawasaki Racing Team 23

8. Honda LCR 20

9. Konica Minolta Honda 15

10. Tech3 Yamaha 10

11. Team Roberts 4

Manufacturer Standings as of May 6, 2007

Pos. Manufacturer Points

1. Ducati 86

2. Yamaha 71

3. Honda 69

4. Suzuki 46

5. Kawasaki 23

6. KR212V 4

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