A kid on the way hasn’t slowed Casey Stoner. After miserable weekend up until the race that saw the toys firmly out of the pram with set-up trouble, Stoner trounced the rest of the field at Brno.
Pole man, Dani Pedrosa looked likely to piss off with serious race pace all weekend. But Lil’ Dani crashed out early and robbed us of a Repsol Honda showdown with Stoner, turning the race into a bit of a snooze-fest. Thankfully, Pedrosa didn’t break any bones.
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Behind Stoner it was fairly interesting, albeit without any real overtaking or action. Jorge Lorenzo made a massive error with front rubber choice, opting for the softer Bridgestone which saw him save a big front end slide after just a few laps. The only other man to roll the dice was Alvaro Bautista, who chucked it down the road after losing the front – still an encouraging outing for Suzuki, despite losing John Hopkins with some mangled fingers sustained in a qualifying crash.
Ensuring Honda domination was out-of-favour Andrea Dovizioso and, finally making his podium debut, Marco Simoncelli. Up until the weekend, Super Sic was behind his painfully slow team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama in the points table but still hasn’t beaten Dovi all season. With the pair possibly fighting over a ride next year as well as race etiquette, this skirmish will continue.
Next up were the two factory Yamahas. Whoregay managed to fend off the slightly crippled Ben Spies, who struggled with a ‘pinched nerve’ in his arm but still managed to beat The G.O.A.T. And what of Rossi I hear you cry?
Things were looking shabby before the last few minutes of qualifying, with the same old story from Ducati’s non-existent front-end. Apparently, some changes to the headstock and riding position gave Valentino a huge boost and allowed him to lap within a few tenths of the podium hoppers. Only a slow start prevented him from a serious podium attack. Whether or not this is a permanent solution remains to be seen, but Ducati has to do something for 2012 and even for the remainder of this year. Enough is enough. Still, with Pedrosa crashing out, Rossi jumped back into fourth place in the standings. Stoner extends his lead to 32 points.
Cal Crutchlow had another nightmare as he launched his M1 into the kitty – he’s getting well and truly smashed with the MotoGP stick at the moment, and hopefully he can sort the front-end issues for the last third of the season.
The rest were there, just miles behind…
Today sees the debut of Yamaha’s 2012 1000cc at the Brno test, while the Honda makes its second outing in the hands of Pedrosa and Stoner. Rossi and Nicky Hayden are persevering with trying to make Ducati’s 800cc go into corners. Noticeable absentees include Simoncelli and Dovizioso who aren’t sure what they’ll be riding next season, and Suzuki haven’t even got a 1000cc bike on the drawing board yet. At the time of writing, Stoner is riding his motorbike really fast, lapping nearly a second quicker than his race pace of yesterday. When things are dandy, nobody on this planet is quicker than Casey.
The Brno Moto2 race backed up the reasoning for some riders using lever guards. Marc Marquez, Steffi Bradl, Alex De Angelis and Andrea Iannone traded paint and Dunlop rubber for the majority of the race, with the later taking the victory. Bradley Smith crashed out and Scott Redding had another dog-poo race finishing 26th.
The 125s carried the best hopes for England. Danny Kent had a free upgrade to a pukka factory Aprilia when he checked in to Brno, after his Red Bull team-mate had ‘a virus’ and couldn’t race. Danny was top six all weekend and was sniffing a podium when the bike broke. The same issues hampered championship leader Nico Terol. Johann Zarco got shafted for the umpteenth time this year and lost out to Sandro Cortese – the German with the Italian name. Danny Webb managed to get the fickle Mahindra home in 12th, just ahead of fellow-Brit Harry Stafford who had his best result of the year
Next up is another trip Stateside and the Indianapolis GP.Enjoy more Fast Bikes reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.