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Double podium for Stoner and Dovizioso, positive return for Pedrosa

Double podium for Stoner and Dovizioso, positive return for Pedrosa

The Repsol Honda team scored another fantastic double podium in a dramatic Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.

The Mugello race, attended by the former President of Honda Motor Mr. Takeo Fukui saw Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso scoring a well deserved second place and his third consecutive podium finish of the season, and Casey Stoner taking third place, the seventh podium from eight races.

Casey Stoner led the race with relative ease for 17 laps, but after a few laps he suffered a lack of grip probably due to wrong tyre pressures for the 54 degree track temperature which was much higher than in the practice sessions. He was not able to respond when Lorenzo took the lead with 6 laps to go and at this moment an intense battle began between Casey and Andrea, with the Italian giving a hundred percent in front of his home fans to overtake his team mate on the last lap and cross the finish line in second place.

Team mate Dani Pedrosa celebrated an impressive return to the competition after a month and a half away from the double operation on his right collarbone. The Spanish rider overcame intense pain and kept a strong race pace, crossing the finish line in eighth position. Neither the pain in his shoulder or a problem with the clutch at the start, prevented Dani Pedrosa to shine in Mugello on his return to MotoGP. The Spanish rider not only lasted a 23 lap race at one of the most physically demanding circuits in the World, but was also able to match the lap times of the leading group.

Casey Stoner maintains his lead in the MotoGP World Championship with 19 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso is third, 14 points behind the Yamaha rider, and Dani Pedrosa is now seventh in the overall standings.

Tomorrow, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will be back on track in Mugello in an Official Test, where development work will continue on the 800cc machine, it is yet to be confirmed if Dani Pedrosa will join them, a decision will be made tomorrow morning.

Andrea Dovizioso:
“Mugello is always a special event and the feeling on the podium is unbelievable. Today I was the first and only Italian rider on the podium and this makes the result even more special. The support of the fans was incredible, they were all pushing for me and they motivated me a lot especially when I was tired because of the heat and this track which is so physically demanding. This morning we fine tuned the set up to have more stability with the front and I had a good feeling. We made a good start and we were able to be consistent for the whole race despite the fact there was not so much grip and the tyres were spinning. In the first part of the race I had some good battles with Jorge for the second position. Then, at the end of the race, overtaking Casey gave me the second place. I could see Casey was spinning a lot but he was very strong in some corners so I couldn’t pass him where I wanted, in the end I managed it on the last lap. This second position is so important for the Championship, because I earned some good points and reduced the gap. Casey and Jorge are really strong but we have shown that we are there, the season is long and we just need to believe it. I want to thank the team and all the people around me. We have a winning bike and we are working hard in all areas.”

Casey Stoner:
"I can't say I'm totally happy with the result today, we started the race very strong and everything felt fantastic on the bike, however, we had a problem with the tyres after a few laps. We believe this was related to incorrect tyre pressures for today's track temperature and we should have probably reduced them a little compared with what we used in warm up because as soon as the tyres got up to a certain pressure, I lost all the grip in the rear and this led to me starting to close the front. I think this is why we were able to be so fast in the beginning of the race, as the tyres were able to warm up very quickly, but then the tyre overheated and I lost all grip. I'm disappointed as our potential to win today was high, I thought I might still have potential to fight with Jorge and Andrea, but Jorge came past and he was too fast for me. Then Andrea came past and I thought I could respond, but I didn't have any traction. It's still a podium, and important points but I'm here to win races."

Dani Pedrosa:
"I'm very happy with my performance and the result was worth it in the end, even if I'm still far from 100% fit. Historically in the past, when I have tried to go back racing after an injury I wasn't able to finish the race and today I managed to. I see that even being out for a quite a long period of time, I haven't lost the speed, so I'm sure that I'll back on top when my physical condition improves. At the start of the race, I had a problem with the clutch and I couldn't operate the gears for a lap and a half, so I lost everything in this moment. I lost many places and when the clutch started working again I tried to get into rhythm and find my pace, even though I was very tired very soon. I was improving step by step and caught the group ahead consisting of Valentino, Barberá and Bautista. However, by that time I already had no energy to push any harder. I am extremely tired now, I gave everything I had and to take eighth position and eight points in my conditions, together with this clutch problem is quite a good result in my view. I'm satisfied with my race pace, I didn't think I would be able to lap in the high 1'49's, low 1'50's during the twenty three laps, so I'm happy about this. Congratulations to Jorge (Lorenzo) for his good race and many thanks to my fans and doctors for helping me to be back."

Repsol Honda press release.

MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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