Casey Stoner ranked his ride to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix as one of his greatest ever after finally breaking his duck at Jerez. The World Champion recovered from a poor qualifying session to beat Jorge Lorenzo by just under a second, despite suffering from arm pump for the second consecutive race.
Stoner felt the secret to his success was avoiding incident in a manic first few laps and getting to the front of the field as quickly as possible.
“We didn’t get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble, there were people out braking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way! Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn’t try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge and Dani were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more, the bike on a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me”.
Dani Pedrosa took third on the second Repsol Honda having lost out in the manic early laps where his teammate was so strong. The Spaniard was disappointed to fall back the way he did but thought third was a good result under the circumstances.
“It’s been a strange race for me. On the grid I thought it might not be a completely dry race so I was very cautions at the beginning also after we saw so many crashes in the first laps of Moto3 and Moto2. So I started well but I was passed and then I lost too much time with Dovizioso and Hayden. When I managed to overtake them and take the third position, Casey and Jorge were already too far in front, 4 seconds ahead. So I put my head down and started increasing my pace but at the same time it was difficult to keep the concentration because Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps. In general, I feel happy with my performance on a really tricky weekend. A second and a third position finish is not the best, but it’s a good start to the season”.