Sunday, 12 June 2011 09:34
MotoGP report - Casey Stoner delivered a wet weather master class and ran away from the field at a drenched AirAsia British Grand Prix today, not putting a wheel wrong in incredibly tricky conditions to take his fourth win of 2011, his third in succession and the lead of the World Championship.
After fine weather for yesterday’s qualifying, the rain was relentless today leaving a great deal of standing water on the circuit and really testing Bridgestone’s wet tyres.
Spray was also an issue in the race as visibility for any rider following another closely was greatly reduced.
In such difficult conditions, in what was the first fully wet race since the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of 2009, there were three high profile retirements as Ben Spies, Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli all crashed out whilst running towards the front.
Andrea Dovizioso, who won the wet British GP at Donington in 2009 and finished on the podium at Silverstone last year, also put in a strong performance to finish second.
Colin Edwards completed a remarkable recovery, having broken his collarbone just nine days ago during the opening day of the Catalunya Grand Prix, to finish third.
Bridgestone wet compounds available:
Wet. Ambient 13°C; Track 13°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Taka Horio - General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“For Casey to have taken the championship lead after such a tough race is very fitting as he is showing he is very deserving of it at the moment. He and the Repsol Honda Team are working very well together, and it was also a good weekend for Andrea and it is good to see him on the podium again.
"What Colin achieved today is remarkable, coming back so soon after his injury and then finishing on the podium. I’d also like to say congratulations to Silverstone circuit for all the work they have put into the new ‘Wing’ complex we used this weekend. I believe they have done a great job and delivered a motorsport facility to be proud of.”
Hirohide Hamashima - Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“Firstly I must say that the conditions today were made incredibly challenging by the amount of standing water around the circuit. The amount of spray showed just how wet the tarmac was, and the fact that we saw three crashes amongst the leaders shows just how easy it was to make a mistake.
"Casey however showed very good lap times from early on even when there was so much water which was very impressive. By the end of the race the rain had eased and there was less standing water which made the times slightly faster, although those at the front had eased off to manage their gaps.
"I am pleased with the performance of our wet tyres in these soaking and cold conditions as they dealt adequately with puddles that got deeper as the race went on and the times were consistent.”
Casey Stoner - Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“That was a very very hard race. We didn’t make the best start and behind the riders I was getting drenched. I got some water inside my helmet so I couldn’t see where the deeper water puddles were, but when I got ahead it cleared and I tried to just be steady and constant and not make mistakes.
"It was so easy to make a mistake as it was cold and we were aquaplaning more. I think the hardest thing was keeping the tyre temperatures up. If you slowed down too much the tyres would cool and it’d feel more nervous, in a vicious cycle. I’m very happy with this race and to come away with three wins in a row and with the championship lead is awesome.”
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