Tag Archives: MotoGP

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: motogp.com

Jorge Lorenzo took his first premier class victory at the Losail International Circuit to open the 2012 MotoGP™ season in the best possible manner, after battling reigning World Champion Casey Stoner and the Australian’s Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for the duration of the 22-lap race. It was also a superb start to the new 1000cc era in MotoGP, as the CRT machines also made their debut in an action-packed race.

Starting from pole for the first time since the US Grand Prix last July, Lorenzo held the lead until the third lap before Stoner assumed first position with a pass on the start/finish straight. Lorenzo then followed Stoner for the majority of the race before passing his rival with three laps to go, and he eventually crossed the line 0.852s ahead of Pedrosa who placed second as Stoner ended the race third.

After a difficult weekend which had seen Pedrosa qualify in seventh the Spaniard shot from row three of the grid into third position on the opening lap, and on lap 20 passed his team-mate Stoner with a superb move on the brakes going into Turn 1 to take second. Stoner, who had won in Qatar for four of the past five seasons, took his 16th successive podium finish as he got his title defence underway.

With the leading trio involved in an eye-catching contest for the podium positions at the front, an excellent duel between Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso played out in their wake. The Italian, in his first race on the M1, was in front with his British team-mate all over his exhaust until lap 17, when Crutchlow got past Dovizioso and held out for fourth to equal his best-ever MotoGP result.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was the highest placing Desmosedici, beating Álvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini) to sixth by just 0.033s on the Spaniard’s debut with the team, and 2011 Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) capped an impressive debut MotoGP ride with eighth place.

Héctor Barberá (Pramac Racing) had been in the hunt for sixth but ran off when he pushed too hard in the closing stages and the Spaniard finished ninth, and the final spot in the top 10 went to Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) who had appeared to be struggling with his Desmosedici GP12 in the early stages of the race.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies ended the race in 11th, whilst the honour of the highest placing CRT went to Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team). The American held off the challenge of Randy de Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar) to place his BMW-Suter 12th, with Yonny Hernández (Avintia Racing MotoGP) and Aleix Espargaró (Power Electronics Aspar) taking the last points on offer.

Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing), Danilo Petrucci (Came Iodaracing Project) and Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all suffered the disappointment of not finishing the race.

The MotoGP class returns to action in just under three weeks, for the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez, which takes place from April 27-29.

Motorsports Mondial

 Ciao Simoncelli

               

Photo. BBC

Marco Simoncelli killed in Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. On the weekend Dan Wheldon was laid to rest in Florida, another tragedy has struck the world of motorsports. The penultimate round of the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix was only on its second lap when the popular Italian lost control of his Honda bike.

The 24-year old Italian, in his second season of MotoGP competition, was fighting for fourth place with Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista when he lost the front of his Gresini Honda. The bike and the rider slid across the Sepang track giving Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi no chance or time to take evasive action.

Both Edwards and Rossi made heavy contact with Simoncelli, forcing his helmet to come-off. The Texan also crashed heavily and suffered a dislocated shoulder.

Rossi managed to stay on the bike and, with Simoncelli motionless on the track, the race was red-flagged.

Medical Director Michele Macchiagodena described Simoncelli’s injuries as “very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest.”

The last fatality in MotoGP was in the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka when local rider, Daijiro Kato, succumbed to his injuries after crashing into the wall.

Australian Casey Stoner, who re-gained his crown in the last event on home soil said, “As soon as I saw the footage it just makes you sick inside. Whenever the helmet comes off that’s not a good sign.”

Motor cycle events at Mugello this weekend were cancelled and major Italian sporting events observed a one minute silence in memory of Simoncelli.

Marco Simoncelli was born on January 20, 1987 in the Rimini town of Cattolica. At age 15, he won the 2002 European 125cc Championship. In 2008, he scored his first 250cc victory on home soil and was crowned 250cc Champion at the end of the season.

The following season he finished third in the same category and for 2010 moved to the premiere league with Gresini Honda team. His first MotoGP pole came this year in Barcelona, and first podium appearance was in Brno, Czech Republic.

His highest career finish in MotoGP was in the previous round at Phillip Island where was second to Stoner.

Like Wheldon, 2012 season promised greater glory as Simoncelli and Gresini team had agreed to continue their co-operation with full Honda blessing

Sadly, tragic events on back-to-back weekends have robbed the motorsports world of great performers and characters.

F1 Weekly extends sympathies and condolences to Simoncelli’s family and friends.

— Nasir Hameed