MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP

07/24/2011 @ 7:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP US GP Laguna Seca MotoGP

The Golden State played host to MotoGP this weekend, with the premier class racing under perfect California weather (despite a typically dreary coastal morning). With riders having to contend with the cold mornings and hot afternoons, the record gate-atteneded Laguna Seca circuit, with its roller-coaster Cork Screw turn, threw every trick it had at the GP racers.

Despite its best efforts, Seca could not get the better of Jorge Lorenzo, who had been strong all weekend and sat on pole for Sunday’s race. Despite being joined by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner on the front row, Lorenzo looked ready to take on the Repsol Honda squad single-handedly, though teammate Ben Spies sat right behind the reigning World Champion in the fourth grid spot.

With Spies seemingly finding the extra half second he needed during the warm-up session, all eyes were on the Texan to see if he could win in front of a home crowd, find out how he and the other MotoGP riders lapped after the jumped.

For Spies, the race was perhaps decided at the start, as the factory Yamaha rider was 7th going through the first few turns, following Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli, Andrea Dovizioso, and Valentino Rossi. Quickly getting by Rossi for sixth position, Spies still found himself completely out of touch with the first group, as Jorge ran away with the racing pace.

It would take several laps for Pedrosa to catch back up to Lorenzo, but once he did, he latched onto his fellow Spaniard as hard as he could. Behind them, loveable but crashable Marco Simoncelli hit the California beach in the form of a gravel trap, dashing the Italian’s hopes for a podium bid.

By the ninth lap, Casey Stoner had caught up to the two Spanish front-runners, making it an international three-way train through Laguna Seca’s 30,000+ laps. Sitting in wait, little action occurred until Casey got past Pedrosa on Lap 17, and could finally put pressure on Lorenzo. It would take another six laps before Stoner would zoom by Lorenzo on T1, the kink on the long straight, and once by, Stoner never looked back.

With Pedrosa and Lorenzo in cruise control, the rest of the racing action came from Ben Spies, who slowly chipped away at his abysmal start. The American finally closed in on Andrea Dovizioso by Lap 30, making his move at the bus stop that is Turn 11. Fending off Dovi to the finish line, Spies made the best of the day with his fourth place finish, thus keeping the great white hope of another American MotoGP Champion alive in the minds of attending race fans (though not this year it would appear).

With Edwards taking the honors as the fastest satellite rider, finishing eighth, the only unaccounted for American was Ben Bostrom. After having an off-track excursion nine laps in, B-Boz brought the second LCR Honda bike back into the pits and retired for the day. Though an expert on the Laguna Seca circuit, Bostrom struggled with the precision and differences that come with riding a MotoGP machine, though it wasn’t for a lack of effort or enthusiasm. MotoGP racing resumes at Brno in three weeks’ time.

Race Results from the US GP at Laguna Seca:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamDiff.
127Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda Team-
21Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory Racing+5.634
326Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda Team+9.467
411Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory Racing+20.562
54Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda Team+20.885
646Valentino ROSSIITADucati Team+30.351
769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati Team+31.031
85Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3+45.502
98Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGP+51.549
107Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda Gresini+1’08.850
1117Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB Motoracing+1’09.132
1265Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing Team1 Lap
1324Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGP1 Lap
Not Classified
19Alvaro BAUTISTASPARizla Suzuki MotoGP19 Laps
23Ben BOSTROMUSALCR Honda MotoGP24 Laps
58Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda Gresini26 Laps
35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 329 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. Ades says:

    Good level-headed race from Stoner with some very brave passes. He deserved the victory today. The only unfortunate note from the day seems to be Bostroms effort with the LCR Honda. I understand he had an AMA Superbike race straight after the Moto GP race, but you don’t get given a ride like that to only do a couple of laps and then pull in because you weren’t used to the brakes and tyres.

    Before I get chastised, Bostrom himself said that was the reason he retired during the in-race interview. Nothing wrong with the bike, he just couldn’t ride it.

    If I were a sponsor or team owner, I would be VERY unhappy.

    I hope next time, the ride goes to someone who will make the most of it, for fans, sponsors and the team alike.

  2. Beary says:

    I agree Ades. I think it’s unforgiveable for someone to be given a ride in the greatest 2-wheeled show, and pull in with 2/3 of the race remaining, just cause he couldn’t cut it. That’s BS, Bostrom should never be given another opportunity with that kind af attitude.

    Give the once in a lifetime chance to someone who has the balls to make something of it. Bostrom should never be given another chance for that weak, pussy-assed effort.

  3. "@Asphalt_Rubber: MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP – http://bit.ly/nSuCcE #motorcycle"

  4. stephen says:

    I think he was just minimizing the chance of wrecking something that he didn’t feel safe on and had no stake in. I’m sure LCR is happier with a stand-by bike in one piece as well. In the end, as much as I am a fan, Ben was the wrong choice for a wild-card.

    Stoner sure did pick the most interesting spots to make those passes. When he overtook Jorge even my heart leaped into my throat.