Monday 28 May 2012
Aperol Grand Prix of Catalunya
ROUND FIVE 2012 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY JUNE 3
REDDING CHASES REPEAT PODIUM FINISHES
Gloucestershire teenager Scott Redding believes his third place Moto2™ finish in the previous round has set him up for more podium finishes starting this Sunday at the Aperol Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona.
The Marc VDS rider’s first podium finish of the season in the rain at Le Mans consolidated his fifth place in the very competitive Moto2 World Championship and sets him up for the 23 lap race round the 2.937 Circuit De Catalunya on Sunday.
Oxfordshire-based Bradley Smith is eighth in the Championship despite problems setting-up his Tech 3 machine to match the Suter and Kalex framed bikes. Hopefully some much needed testing may help his situation and he returns to the track where he finished second in the 125 cc race two years ago.
Londoner Gino Rea is a rider who has switched to a Suter frame on his Federal Oil Gresini machine. He was desperately unlucky at Le Mans where, after making a lightening start, he crashed after a collision with Frenchman Johann Zarco.
Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow was another faller in the MotoGP™ race at Le Mans but he remounted to finish eighth to hang onto fourth place in the Championship. It’s been a superb start for the Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha rider in just his second MotoGP season. The former World Supersport Champion is getting closer and closer to his first podium finish. Last year he finished seventh on his Barcelona debut.
Cumbrian James Ellison gave himself and his Paul Bird Motorsport team an enormous boost after finishing 11th at Le Mans. He was the leading CRT machine and looks forward to the 25 lap race on Sunday after a difficult start to the season.
The Moto3™ race at Le Mans was a disaster for British riders Danny Kent and Danny Webb who both crashed out in the rain. Wiltshire teenager Kent slipped to 12th in the Championship while Kent-based Webb has not opened his account. It’s tough for his Indian Mahindra team taking on the established factory teams but they did score their first points of the season at Le Mans, Webb’s team-mate Marcel Schrotter was 12th.
Seventeen year old Scotsman John McPhee makes a wild card entry in the Moto3™ race riding the KRP machine for the Racing Steps Foundation. He’s already secured two podium finishes in the Spanish-based CEV Buckler Moto3 Championship this season.
“I was really happy in Le Mans because it felt like a long time since I was on the podium and it was great result for me and the Marc VDS Team. We have been threatening to get a result like this all season and it felt great because last year was a bit of a disaster and we made a big gamble to change the chassis to Kalex. Right from the start of testing it made a big difference to my confidence. Apart from the result, the positive is that I felt confident in the rain. I had a great feeling with the bike and to be on the podium in the rain is a special feeling. Now we can move forward starting in Barcelona with a lot of confidence that I’m competitive in both wet and dry.”
THE LORENZO/STONER DUEL CONTINUES IN BARCELONA
The fight between World Champions Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner continues at the fifth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Aperol Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona on Sunday. Both riders have won two of the opening four rounds of the 18 round title chase with Spaniard Lorenzo leading the Championship by eight points after finishing second in the races he did not win while Stoner was third in both his non victory grands prix.
It promises to be another close 25 lap encounter round the 2.937 miles Circuit de Catalunya between two riders who have tasted Barcelona success. Lorenzo from Mallorca treats Barcelona as his home race and brought Yamaha success two years ago while Stoner has won on both Ducati and Honda machinery.
There is every chance it will not be a two horse race with Stoner’s Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa a previous winner at his home track. If it rains as it did in Le Mans a couple of weeks ago, nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi could be in with a shout after finishing second on the Ducati in France. He has won six premier class grands prix in Barcelona and arrives after two days of much needed testing for Ducati at Mugello.
The Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso have made a great start to the season. Both have nibbled at the podium and are separated by just one point in their battle for fourth. Last year Crutchlow was seventh on his Catalunyan debut while Dovizioso won the 250 cc race six years ago.
The Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl has made an equally impressive start to his MotoGP career and is seventh riding the LCR Honda. He won the Moto2 race last year and is joined on the grid by Barcelona winners Randy De Puniet, Hector Barbara, Alvaro Bautista and Matteo Pasini.
Local rider Aleix Espargaro leads the CRT challenge riding the Power Electronics Aspar machine. Last year he took his first ever grand prix podium finish after finishing third in the Moto2 race. He can expect a big challenge on Sunday from his team-mate De Puniet, Pasini and hopefully Colin Edwards who is expected to return after breaking his left collarbone in Estoril.
It’s a big weekend for Yamaha factory rider Ben Spies who’s had a tough start to the season. Last year he finished on the podium in third place and a repeat on Sunday would be a massive boost to his confidence as he fights back from 11th place.
Pol Espargaro, younger brother of Aleix, arrives home with a one point lead in the Moto2 World Championship after the fun and games in the Le Mans rain. There is a tremendous battle already developing for the Championship with Espargaro leading Marc Marquez, who crashed in France, by a single point. Le Mans winner Tom Luthi is just a further two points adrift while just two points separate Andrea Iannone and Scott Redding in their fight for fourth. As usual in Moto2 there are five previous Barcelona winners on the starting grid.
There were 20 crashes in the rain hit Moto3™ race at Le Mans. One of them was German Sandro Cortese who remounted to finish sixth and open up a 12 point lead in the Championship over Maverick Vinales who crashed out as did Luis Salom and Romano Fenati who are third and fourth respectively in the title chase. Frenchman Louis Rossi won the race to move up to seventh place.
The Moto3 riders in particular will be looking for some sunshine over the weekend at the circuit situated in the northern outskirts of the magnificent Mediterranean City.
CATALUNYA FACTS AND FIGURES
Circuit Length: 4.727 km
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 1047m
Left Corners: Five
Right Corners: Eight
Pole Position Record:
Casey Stoner Ducati 1m 41.186 (08)
Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m 42.358 (08)
Saturday 2 June
1200 – 1500 BBC Red Button & British Eurosport 2 –
Live Qualifying Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2,
Sunday 3 June
09450 – 1225 BBC Red Button & British Eurosport 2
Live Moto3 and Moto2 race
1230 – 1400 BBC 2/BBC HD
Live MotoGP race
14.00 British Eurosport
Nick will be available at the circuit from Thursday lunchtime until Sunday night. Please note Nick will not be available to answer the phone during qualifying or the races.
A time schedule for the event is attached.
Redding is hoping more podiums will follow
Gino Rea looking forward to building on Le Mans form