by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 100
CASEY Stoner won the GP of Aragon, taking his Marlboro Ducati from pole to lead from the first corner. A brief nose-past on lap one by Lorenzo was dealt with instantly. Sounds simple. But it is the first time since the Australian GP last year, and it brings to an end a drought for the rider and the marque that has lasted ever since. With Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) fading away in second, Nicky Hayden brought redoubled joy to Ducati, hounding Jorge Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha all the way, then forcing past on the final lap for his own first podium finish since Indianapolis last year. The 70,124 fans made the long journey to the remote but spectacular new 5.078-km Motorland Aragon only to see the grip of Spanish riders on the top class wrested away. Stoner's run came after setting changes that at last solved the balance problems that have spoiled his year, although a crash in morning warm-up after touching a white line raised a few questions. "I stayed far away from the lines in the race," he beamed, adding: "To win is a big relief, to be honest. We've had a lot of problems trying to find the last few tenths to run with Dani and Jorge, but we changed the bike completely to adjust my position on it, and it is working almost how we want it." His job had been eased by Pedrosa's first- lap problems. Slow for once off the start, he was fourth into the first corner when a sudden big slide under power forced him to back off. He was still fourth at the end of the lap, and powered past Hayden for third next time down the ultra-long straight ... the Honda by far the fastest bike on the track. He did it to Lorenzo next time round, but by now Stoner was almost 1.5 seconds clear. Pedrosa closed to within less than a second on lap nine with fastest lap of the race. But Stoner upped his pace, and the gap see-sawed between one and 1.5 seconds over the next seven laps. Then wheelspin meant Pedrosa started dropping away. Casey won by better than five seconds. Behind them, points leader Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) seemed in control of third, in spite of the constant close attendance of Hayden. Nicky wasn't for giving up, even though every attempt at nosing alongside was immediately repulsed. Finally, on the last lap, "a kinda little backyard move" on the right-left leading onto the back straight saw him force the issue, and he crossed the line less a tenth ahead. The Spaniard stormed out of his pit after the race. His anger was not surprising. The four Yamahas were the slowest bikes on the weekend, Lorenzo's 320.7 km/h compared with Pedrosa's weekend best of 329.5. When he'd calmed down, he said: "I didn't close the door on Nicky because I thought he would try anyway and maybe we would both crash. Fourth is better than nothing, and losing seven points to Dani is not so bad." Behind him, Ben Spies (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) had been close to Hayden, until he came under fierce attack from Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) in the closing stages. Riding defensively, he dropped back, and the faster Honda powered past on the 46