STONER TAKES FIRST WIN AT JEREZ
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner took his first premier-class victory at Jerez in Spain, beating championship rival Jorge Lorenzo in the second MotoGP race of the season.
With rain soaking the track until 30 minutes before the start and clouds looming overhead, a wet race looked certain. However, the rain held off - resulting in a thrilling race for both riders and fans.
Stoner worked his way through the field to take the lead on lap three. He then fought an epic battle with championship rival Jorge Lorenzo, who put the Respol Honda driver under immense pressure for the remaining 24 laps.
Despite the Spaniard's best efforts, Stoner was too strong and crossed the finish line 0.947 seconds ahead of him, with teammate Dani Pedrosa rounding out the podium.
"Jerez is a track I've never won at before and after yesterday we had to find something for the race, so today we took a bit of a gamble with our setup which gave us a lot better feel in the front and for me that's really important at this track," Stoner said.
"Thanks to my team because they turned it around for me today and gave me one of the best races of my career. It really was a fantastic race for us."
Bridgestone engineers worked very closely with teams to assist with tyre selection throughout the weekend. Thirteen of the twenty-one riders opted for the new specification front slick tyre in the hard compound option, with the softer construction giving riders extra confidence in the challenging conditions.
"Overall I was very pleased with how our tyres performed in the challenging conditions, in particular the new specification front tyre which was widely utilised for the race," said Hiroshi Yamada-Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department.
"Despite the damp patches on the circuit, the racing was very good with many close contests taking place in front of the large and passionate crowd. The first two races of the season have been very exciting and I look forward to what I am sure will be another interesting race next weekend at Estoril."