PEDROSA ON THE PODIUM, DOVIZIOSO FOURTH AT MISANO2009-09-06 10:05
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa scored his seventh podium finish of the season at Misano today after leading the San Marino Grand Prix for the first quarter of the race. From second on the grid, the Spaniard pulled out one of his shotgun starts and led the field on his factory RC212V for the first seven laps. On lap eight however he could fend off Valentino Rossi no longer and the Italian slipped through into the lead. Maintaining an impressively consistent race pace, Pedrosa then stayed ahead of Jorge Lorenzo for a further six laps. By finishing in third place, Dani earned 16 world championship points which promote him to third in the title standings ahead of the absent Casey Stoner.
Andrea Dovizioso was one place behind his Repsol Honda team-mate at the chequered flag after a spirited fight with Loris Capirossi that went down to the last lap. Riding in front of his home crowd, Dovi made a good start from eighth on the grid, steering clear of a first corner incident and guiding his factory Honda into sixth place on lap one. He passed Capirossi for fifth on lap two and then took Toni Elias for fourth - a position he held for most of the race. Though Capirossi came past with four laps to go, Dovizioso held station and skillfully retook the place on the final lap. Today’s result elevates Dovizioso one place to fifth in the world championship ahead of Colin Edwards.
As well as third and fourth places, it was a good day for the factory Honda team with the news that both riders have signed contracts to stay with the team for the 2010 season. The MotoGP season now has a break for three weekends before the Repsol Honda Team reassembles at the Estoril circuit for the Portuguese Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday 4 October.
DANI PEDROSA – 3rd – World Championship position: 3rd 157 points
“A podium finish is a good result for us and I think it fulfilled our potential here this weekend. I made a good start and pushed to the maximum in the opening laps to stay ahead of the others. I was riding really hard and getting quicker every lap which allowed me to keep in front for quite a long time. First Valentino and then Jorge came past though, and they were able to brake harder and get through the corners a little better that me which meant I just couldn’t stay with them. I was actually quite lucky at the end because I ran out of fuel on the slowing down lap and had to hitch a ride back to the pits with Toni Elias. Third is OK here and there was no way I could follow the leaders’ rhythm so I’m reasonably satisfied. I’ve moved into third in the championship, but with Casey not riding here it’s not an even situation so I’m not too concerned about that. This weekend I also re-signed with Honda and I’m very happy about this. They know my potential very well and I know their potential too, and I’m sure we can work well together into the future.”
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 4th – World Championship position: 5th 133 points
“I pushed 100 per cent in the first laps. I had a good feeling with the bike but unfortunately on lap seven I made a mistake at turn 11 and I lost contact with the front riders. This mistake compromised the race as after that I couldn’t stay with the leaders. In the last laps I had quite a battle with Capirossi for fourth place. He was braking very hard but in the end I passed him and closed every gap so that he couldn’t get past again. I’m reasonably happy with this weekend. This was the first weekend with Ohlins and of course we couldn’t have the perfect set-up but this is just the start and I’m very confident for the future. I’m happy too because I renewed my contract with Honda. This is my first year in the factory Honda team and I feel that I still haven’t shown my full potential. I know the machine better now and we are working together in preparation for next year. Honda is working very hard and I believe in the project.”
KAZUHIKO YAMANO - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
“Both riders did a good job today and we can take positives from this weekend even though we didn’t win. Dani’s race was very strong. He stayed in the lead for a good part of the race and this was really down to his own high performance and skill - we still have some work to do to improve our machine to match the level of our rivals. Andrea’s weekend was promising because it was the first race outing with new suspension and the team has collected a great deal of useful data. Plus, his result was strong thanks to the excellent job he and his crew did to get a good machine setting for the new components. With today’s announcement of the rider contracts for next year we have established valuable stability in the team which we will use to our benefit for the rest of the season and 2010. The Repsol Honda Team will come back fighting in Estoril.”
Source: Repsol Honda Team
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