Pedrosa back on the podium but “third place was the maximum I could get this time”
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner was back on the top step of the podium on Sunday, winning the US Grand Prix at the famous Laguna Seca circuit. The Repsol rider got past championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who had led the race until only 11 laps remained, and held the lead until the chequered flag. Teammate Dani Pedrosa also managed to finish on the podium with a third place. This result takes the Repsol Honda Team to a total of 300 podium finishes since its inception in 1995.
Starting from the second row, Dani Pedrosa overtook his teammate off the line, but was unable to catch poleman Jorge Lorenzo into the first corner. Stoner defended an attack from Ben Spies at Turn 1, but despite this distraction managed to keep up with the two Spaniards ahead of him. Lorenzo broke free and Stoner used his superior pace to get past Pedrosa on lap three. He then pegged onto Lorenzo’s rear wheel in search of a move, although Pedrosa was not far behind —clocking the fastest lap of the race on lap five.
The trio had an even start to the race, but Lorenzo made a push ten laps in at just the moment that Pedrosa almost crashed. The Repsol rider’s scare came when trying to reel in Stoner, accelerating excessively in a move which led to his rear tyre stepping out. After making a save, the Spaniard attempted to reach his rivals, but lost tenths with every lap that left him just too isolated.
Dani Pedrosa still lies in second in the championship and is 23 points off the top. MotoGP takes a brief break of 2.5 weeks after this round, with a return to action set for August 17th at Indianapolis.
Dani Pedrosa 3rd at 7.633 sec. “I tried my best in this race and third place was the maximum I could get this time. At the beginning, I was quite confident and calm when Casey passed me because I knew he was on the soft rear tyre and this was the most risky choice for the race, but finally it worked out perfectly for him. I knew I also had a good pace, but when I caught Casey again and was ready to overtake him I was on the throttle too fast and I had too much momentum there, I almost found myself on the floor. I lost ground with the leaders, but when I started braking harder trying to close the gap again I lost the front many times and I was so close to not finish this race.
Anyway, I’m satisfied because I kept pushing until the end, giving one hundred per cent although today it wasn’t enough. A small mistake it’s just enough to not finish in front. Anyway, we were riding the new bike for the first time here and we took another podium. We know what we can improve to come back stronger in Indianapolis”.
Source: Repsol Media Press Release