MOTO GP ARAGON SPAIN
DANI'S SPANISH MASTERCLASS
Dani Pedrosa was simply in a class of his own two Sunday's ago, winning the Aragon Moto GP by over 6 seconds from fellow Spaniard and Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
With a faultless start from pole position, Jorge Lorenzo took an early lead which was quickly closed down by Pedrosa by the end of lap1. For the next 5 laps, the two Championship protagonists battled over first place, until Dani, with the inside line, took the lead when Lorenzo went wider than usual, a sign that his bike wasn't handling as sweetly as the Honda of Pedrosa.
Lorenzo, with the Yamaha not using its tyres as well as the Honda, hung on for a valuable 2nd place, some 6 seconds behind Pedrosa, but still more than 5 seconds ahead of the rest.
The 3rd place contest was a cliffhanger from start to finish, with Ben Spies, Lorenzo's works Yamaha team mate, being hounded throughout by the Satellite Tech 3 Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovisioso.
With only 5 laps to go, it seems that Ben Spies had run into the same tyre issues as Lorenzo, and could not hang on to the two battling Tech 3 boys. He finally finishing in 5th, almost 3 seconds behind.
After Spies's fallback, the battle for 3rd place turned into an epic tussle between the Tech 3 team mates, passing and re-passing on virtually every corner with Andrea easing over the line for 3rd place by 0.1 secs over Cal Crutchlow in 4th leaving the Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncheral finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Valentino Rossi, the 7 times World Champion riding a Ducati, had a good start, but outbraked himself at the end of the fast + 200 mph straight. He touched Jonathan Rea and was forced to go into the run off area, losing 13 secondss in the process and re starting in last place.
The Valentino Rossi of old then re-surfaced, producing a brilliant ride through the field to finish in 8th place. The consistent Jonathan Rea finished behind him after having completed his second and last ride on the works HRC Honda as injured Casey Stoners replacement. Rea now goes back to World Superbikes after filling in for Casey and giving HRC two valuable top ten points finishes.
Unfortunately Nikki Hayden wasn't so lucky. He missed a corner, cutting across gravel and grass, only to hit a harder than expected barrier head on. He was pitched clean over it and was taken to hospital. It was later declared that he was merely battered and bruised.
The CRT honours went to Aleix Espargaro in 10th , after a race-long battle with Randy De Puniet finishing only 1 second behind him in 11th. The ongoing developments of the CRT bikes, which are based mainly on Superbikes, and the increasing restrictions placed upon the prototype Moto GP bikes, means that all bikes are bocoming more evenly matched. This is good news for the 2013/14 seasons, especially with all the fresh riding talent moving up from Moto 2.
Stephan Bradl, the young German prospect for "Rookie of the Year", had a bad day as he unusually fell out of the race whilst having just taken 3rd place from Spies on Lap 4.
All in all, it was a fantastic day for Spain. Louis Salom won a very closely contested Moto 3, Pedrosa taking the Moto GP honours and Aleix Espargaro, CRT victor seeing his younger brother on Pol, winning what was in my eyes, possibly the best Moto 2 race of the season, from arch rival and Championship leader Marc Marquez .