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Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner displayed a master class in riding at the Red Bull U.S. GP in Laguna Seca today.
The young Australian who started from second on the grid, dropped to third place at the start and took his time before launching his attack on Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa on lap eighteen of thirty two. After passing Pedrosa, who was suffering from fatigue and fitness problems, Stoner chased down Lorenzo for nine laps and wasted no time in passing him around the outside of turn one on lap twenty seven. From this point, he controlled the race comfortably, finishing five and a half seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Stoner has now increased his lead in the World Championship standings to twenty points over Lorenzo.
After being passed by Stoner, Dani Pedrosa retained third position comfortably. He knew his fitness would be tested here, at a track that demands a huge physical effort. He has now moved above Valentino Rossi in the Championship standings to 4th position with 110 points.
Andrea Dovizioso who had a great start, jumping from sixth to fourth, maintained this position for the majority of the race. He struggled to maintain his consistency for the long race in Laguna and with three laps to go was passed by Ben Spies. He remains third in the Championship standings with 143 points.
On this high note, the Repsol Honda Team will now enjoy a well deserved break before the next race in the Czech Republic on August 14.
"All weekend we've been struggling a little so we weren't too confident that we could run with Jorge and Dani in the race. However, this morning in warm up we found something I was a little happier with. Before the race I felt relaxed, confident and generally calm, we started a little slower to get the tyres warm gently but also with a full tank of fuel, the bike didn't feel that great. So I was patient and took my time, staying with Jorge and Dani to control the gap and make sure they didn't get too far away. I felt I had more speed but decided to wait and watch. I saw Dani struggling a bit and he started to drop back from Jorge so I had to attack at this point. Once I caught up to Jorge, I watched to see if he made a mistake and kept the pressure on him, then chose my moment to make the move and was able to slowly open up a gap and bring the race home. It's really fantastic to come from such a difficult weekend and get a great win and I'm very thankful to all my team".
"I'm very happy with another podium, the second after my come back from injury. I could have predicted this result before coming to Laguna because I knew it would be physically very tough for me and it has been great to keep up with the pace of Casey and Jorge in these past two races. Today, by the middle of the race, I was very tired, almost finished, I couldn't get my left arm strong enough and here at this track you don't rest for a moment, so I had to drop. It's been quite difficult to set up the bike this weekend, I had a lack of grip generally, but the team worked very well. Now we have some holidays and it will be good for me to have some days off to rest and relax my muscles and be back training to arrive fully fit in Brno".
“We knew that it was going to be a tough race because this track is short, with very strong braking and it's also very demanding. I made a good start and I was able to move into fourth position. In the first laps I pushed hard to stay with Casey, Dani and Lorenzo. I was loosing a lot in some corners, such as T3 and T11 and to recover I was pushing in the other areas. I used up a lot of energy and I couldn’t be consistent for the 32 laps. I’m disappointed because today we had the speed to fight for a good result, in fact I lapped two tenths behind the fastest lap, but I couldn’t be consistent. I lost the battle with Spies and this is the first time I've lost a battle this year. The good point is that we were able to be fast. Now we have to focus and continue working, we are third in the Championship and we want to keep on fighting. We will take advantage of the three week break to recharge the batteries and return in Brno more determined. My congratulations go to Casey and Dani”.
Repsol Honda press release.
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