Motorsport Wrap for Monday 5th June 2011
 

STONER ON TOP IN SPAIN

Australia's Casey Stoner has won his third race of the MotoGP season with a dominant ride at the Catalunya Grand Prix in Spain.

Starting second on the grid, the Honda rider took the lead on the second lap and was never headed, despite persistent drizzle which threatened to turn the race into a lottery.

Thankfully, the track never became truly wet, allowing Stoner to concentrate on building his lead over Spain's Jorge Lorenzo and US rider Ben Spies.

"Everything's been working so well here it's like a dream. The bike and hard compound (Bridgestone) tyres were working well for us all weekend and we knew we had good race pace," Stoner said.

"There is a lot of degradation on this track so I tried to hold the pace we had in qualifying and get some consistent laps in whilst the tyres were good. Then the rain came and I didn't know how hard to push. The track hasn't been very grippy all weekend so it was a little nerve wracking because it would have been very easy to come down in those conditions. I'm very happy to bring it home for another win." 

The conditions were such that the teams were allowed to prepare bikes with Bridgestone's wet weather tyres in case conditions worsened. However, the track stayed dry enough to allow the riders to remain on the slick Bridgestone compound.

"The rain drops mid-race made it very tricky for the riders, especially as areas of the circuit were greasy and others still dry," said Hirohide Hamashima - Assistant to Director, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division.

"I am pleased that we saw all our tyre options in use today, and the performance of both rear specs was comparable on different bikes, but this also clearly demonstrates how different bike and rider packages can use our tyres in different ways and the importance of optimising the entire bike, rider and tyre package to achieve good performance, durability and consistency over race distance." 

Stoner's win has further narrowed the gap at the top of the championship standings, with the Australian now just seven points behind Lorenzo after five races.

The British MotoGP Grand Prix will be held at the Silverstone circuit on June 12th.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Lorenzo (Sp)  98 points
2. Stoner (Aust)  91 
3. Dovizioso (Italy)  63 
4. Pedrosa (Sp) 61