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Alex Asigno
Alex Asigno

A disappointing day for Fiat Yamaha at Aragon

Jorge Lorenzo
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Jorge Lorenzo
The inaugural Aragon Grand Prix was a disappointing affair for the Fiat Yamaha Team today, with Jorge Lorenzo losing out in a last lap battle and finishing off the podium for the first time this season and Valentino Rossi coming home in sixth. It brought to an end an impressive run of 47 consecutive podiums for Yamaha, with the Factory having had at least one of its riders on the podium at every race since Valencia 2007 until today. Championship leader Lorenzo got a good start from second on the grid but it was soon clear that he lacked the pace to stay with eventual winner Casey Stoner as the Australian quickly began to open out a gap, while the Yamaha man came under pressure from compatriot Dani Pedrosa behind. On lap three Pedrosa passed the Mallorcan and, hampered by a lack of grip, Lorenzo was unable to run with him and spent most of the remainder of the race in third, just ahead of Nicky Hayden. He did everything he could to hold onto the final podium spot but a determined Hayden mounted a strong last-lap challenge and Lorenzo, not wanting to put his championship lead in jeopardy with too many risky moves, was powerless to keep the American from passing him on the final part of the track and missed out at the line by less than a tenth of a second. Rossi's problems were evident all weekend, as his shoulder issues meant he unable to run the best set-up for this track. He had hoped he might be able to improve a little under race conditions but it was not to be, dropping to ninth at one point before clawing back to his starting position of seventh by passing Hector Barbera and then fellow Italian Marco Simoncelli. A last-lap crash from Andrea Dovizioso elevated him to sixth but it was a disheartening weekend for the nine-time World Champion and his crew. Despite today's result Lorenzo's championship lead still stands at a healthy 56 points from Dani Pedrosa, with five rounds remaining. Rossi is still in fourth, one point ahead of Dovizioso and 15 behind Stoner. The next round comes in two weeks in Japan, the first of three consecutive race weekends in the Far East and Australia. Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 4Time: +9.580 "My start was very good, but during the race I struggled a lot with Nicky always behind me, very close! We can't be happy with the result and I am disappointed to finish my podium run, but the most important thing is that we did finish and we still took points for our championship. We have five more races to go and, although this is a complicated moment for us and we have some things to address, I am confident that we can improve again. Now we go to Motegi and I am looking forward to a good result at the home of Yamaha."
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Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi - Position: 6Time: +27.330 "This was a very difficult race for us; we had a lot of problems all weekend and I was very slow today. I had to try to arrive to the end but I couldn't do better than sixth. All the Yamahas have suffered here but my shoulder problems made it even worse for me and this, combined with the problems with our package at this track, made it extra hard. We're very sad this afternoon and we hope for better in Japan." Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager "Over the last couple of races we have struggled a bit to keep up with some of our rivals, so we were quite worried about this race and today wasn't great for us. We're at a point in the championship when we can't afford to take risks but there are other riders who have nothing to lose, and this was the story today. Jorge didn't have enough grip and in those last few laps he didn't have the confidence in the front to push hard and get away from Nicky, who clearly had a good feeling here. Finishing off the podium for the first time we're obviously disappointed, especially because he had to push to even finish fourth! It's definitely time to make a change so we will think hard about Motegi, which is luckily a track which Jorge likes and where the Yamaha goes well." Jeremy Burgess - Crew Chief "We ran into troubles from the start here and unfortunately we couldn't find a way to put a competitive package together. Valentino's shoulder is causing him problems too and this, together with the set-up issues, meant we couldn't finish any higher up the order today. We're disappointed but we have some ideas and we hope for a better weekend in Japan."

Heroic Spies storms to fifth at Motorland Aragon Ben Spies produced arguably the best MotoGP performance of his blossoming career at the spectacular Motorland Aragon tack this afternoon, the Texan winning an epic battle with Andrea Dovizioso to finish in fifth place. Spies was in scintillating form throughout the 23-lap race that was played out in front of a partisan home crowd of just over 70,000 Spanish fans at the challenging 5.078km circuit. A fast start saw Spies pounce on an early mistake by Dani Pedrosa to snatch fourth on the opening lap before he settled into fifth place, the reigning World Superbike champion looking threatening behind Nicky Hayden and Jorge Lorenzo as they tussled for third spot. Spies had brilliantly hunted down Hayden and Lorenzo but just when he looked like hauling himself into a tense battle for third, a small mistake and a loss of rear grip cost him precious time. He slipped back into the clutches of Dovizioso and what followed was a pulsating final ten laps that saw Spies produce some inspired riding on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine. Spies was riding at his brilliant best to keep Dovizioso at bay, the 26-year-old frequently able to produce stunning late braking moves to deny the tenacious Italian, who had a clear top speed advantage on the long Motorland Aragon straights. Spies lost fifth place on the penultimate lap, only to engineer yet another awesome overtake to the position back at the first corner on the final lap. With both refusing to give an in ch, Spies' super human effort was rewarded, his pace and determination pushing Dovizioso into a mistake on the final lap. Today's fifth was Spies' ninth top six finish of a stunning rookie campaign and he remains firmly in contention for a top three overall finish in the standings on 131-points. Today's race didn't go according to plan for Colin Edwards, the American making a poor getaway off the line before struggling to find his rhythm in the opening half of the race. The 36-year-old passed Hiroshi Aoyama on lap eight and Mika Kallio three laps later to finish in 12th position, a result which keeps him firmly in the hunt for eighth place in the points standings.

Ben Spies
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Ben Spies
Ben Spies - Position: 5thTime: +13.771 "That was a really good race. I like racing like that and I told my crew that even if I'd finished sixth it would have been the funniest race of the year for me. Dovi and me started going at it with four laps to go and it was fun. I wish it didn't end with him crashing and I'm sure he's mad he fell down but we were having a blast. We kept it clean and close and he just made a small mistake on the last lap. I must admit I wasn't too far away from making one myself because it was getting pretty hectic. On the last lap I got him at turn one and then he got me back at turn eight. Going into turn 11 I passed him but got in deep and when we went back to turn 12 I was ahead of him but I didn't have the right line. So he had to go around me but unfortunately he fell and that's a shame because he rode great. I did too and for a while I was pulling back Nicky and Jorge but fifth is still a great result. I wasn't far behind Jorge and I beat Valentino and I was the top non-factory rider again. And the points are good for my championship, so I'm looking forward to this big final run of races with a lot of c onfidence."
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Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards - Position: 12th Time: +45.360 "It wasn't a good race at all and it's a strange feeling because I really like the track. But for whatever reason I'm just not fast enough and I haven't figured it out yet. I made a terrible start and that put me on the back foot immediately but in the first few laps I couldn't get into my normal rhythm. And when I was trying to make up some time I just made a few silly mistakes here and there and it felt like I'd never done a lap here before. Once I got into a rhythm my pace wasn't too bad but I'd lost way too much time in the first ten laps. I ran the softer front tyre but I don't think that had anything to do with it. I was more comfortable on the soft front all weekend because I couldn't get the hard option to turn. It was a bit hotter today but I can't blame that and truthfully I just wasn't fast enough all weekend." Herve Poncharal - Team Manager "I am almost lost for words to describe the way Ben rode today. It wasn't his best result of the season but it is certainly one of the best feelings because he rode an incredible race. He was pushing on the limit for the whole race and to beat Dovizioso was really impressive. I think it was a fight that the fans really enjoyed. It was clear Andrea had a little bit of an advantage on top speed but some of Ben's braking moves were phenomenal and he was very brave. I am very happy with Ben and he is getting better and better and this race from him was stunning. He never gave up and showed unbelievable fighting spirit. It was a difficult afternoon for Colin. He didn't make a good start and he couldn't find a fast rhythm in the first laps and by the time he found a decent pace he had too much to recover. He carried on giving his maximum but it was still a positive week end at the fantastic Motorland Aragon. This is a great venue for MotoGP racing and the paddock has been given a wonderful welcome. We are already looking forward to coming back next season."

Circuit Length: 5345 Weather: Dry

Fastest Lap Ever: 1'48.942 (Casey Stoner, 19/09/2010)
2010 MotoGP Spain - Aragon 19/09/2010
Race 1
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 42'16.530
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'05.148
3 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0'09.496
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0'09.580
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0'13.771
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0'27.330
7 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 0'28.511
8 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 0'35.254
9 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0'35.393
10 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 0'35.467
11 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0'35.522
12 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0'45.360
13 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 0'48.319
14 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 0'58.047

 

Rider Standings 19/09/2010
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Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 284
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 228
3. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 155
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 140
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 139
6. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 131
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 125
8. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 81
9. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 74
10. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 74
11. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 70
12. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 66
13. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 50
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 49
15. Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 41
21. Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha JPN 1

 

Manufacturer Standings 19/09/2010
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Pos. Manufacturer Points
1. Yamaha 293
2. Honda 265
3. Ducati 195
4. Suzuki 72


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