Pedrosa ends Honda win drought

Dani Pedrosa has taken his and Honda's first victory in more than a year with a commanding yet tight victory in the United States Grand Prix

Pedrosa ends Honda win drought

The Spaniard, who made a perfect start from fourth on the grid to take the lead before the first corner, opened a lead of over three seconds mid-way through the 32-lap race, but while slowing down towards the end he risked being overtaken by Valentino Rossi at the very last corner.

Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, who suffered major crashes in yesterday's qualifying at Laguna Seca, both had fine performances today.

The Yamaha rider, who was not even sure he would be fit enough to take part in the race before this morning's warm-up, made a great recovery and almost managed to snatch second away from team-mate Rossi.

Stoner stayed with Rossi for the first twenty laps before suffering a dip in performance that in the end saw the Ducati man finish ten seconds away from Lorenzo at the chequered flag.

Behind Pedrosa immediately taking the lead at the start, Stoner got ahead of Rossi, with Toni Elias's Gresini Honda and Andrea Dovizioso's factory Honda following behind.

Lorenzo made a bad gateway from pole and was soon down in eighth place, with Americans Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati) also getting ahead of him. But by the end of the first lap Lorenzo was fifth, which became fourth on lap seven when Dovizioso crashed after losing grip at the front.

Positions soon settled, with all the excitement left for the end, when with five laps to go Lorenzo tried to overtake Rossi at the last corner but wobbled dangerously and barely managed to stay on the bike. The move resulted in him going wide and losing a second from the Italian.

Back then Pedrosa had 2.5s over the Yamaha duo, but that lead dropped to 1.5s at the beginning of the last lap, with the former 250cc champion further slowing down and allowing Rossi to catch him after the Corkscrew.

The reigning world champion tried all he could at the last corner, where he tried to outbrake Pedrosa from a long way behind, but it was just too far.

Stoner eventually fell 12s adrift of the leaders as he took fourth, ahead of his Ducati team-mate Hayden. The American enjoyed his best race of a difficult 2009 season as he fended off Elias to take fifth.

The race saw unusually high attrition. Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) both retired on lap four, with the Hungarian crashing and the Italian having an off after which he went back to the pits and got off the bike. Sete Gibernau also crashed his Hernando Ducati on lap eight and retired on the spot.

James Toseland made a jump start from 15th on the grid and was penalised with a ride-through on lap five. But the Briton failed to comply with the penalty and on lap 11 was shown the black flag, after which he inexplicably did the ride-through on lap 12 and retired his Tech 3 Yamaha on the next lap.

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap 1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 44m01.580s 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 0.344s 3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 1.926s 4. Casey Stoner Ducati + 12.432s 5. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 21.663s 6. Toni Elias Gresini Honda + 22.041s 7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 30.201s 8. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki + 32.857s 9. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 40.325s 10. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki + 48.028s 11. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda + 48.810s 12. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati +1m18.531s Retirements: Andrea Dovizioso Honda 6 laps Sete Gibernau Hernando Ducati 6 laps Loris Capirossi Suzuki 3 laps Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda 3 laps James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha DSQ 

shares
comments
Lorenzo feels fit enough to race

Previous article

Lorenzo feels fit enough to race

Next article

Lorenzo shrugs off 'terrible' pain

Lorenzo shrugs off 'terrible' pain
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa
Author Michele Lostia
Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics Plus

Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics

Alex Marquez's form was one of MotoGP 2020's biggest surprises and, by firmly stepping out of his six-time world champion brother Marc's shadow, proved a few people wrong. Not that he cares about this, as he tells LEWIS DUNCAN...

MotoGP
Feb 20, 2021
How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales Plus

How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales

After the electrifying start to his Yamaha MotoGP career in 2017, Maverick Vinales has struggled for consistency. Many anticipate that the arrival of Fabio Quartararo could spell disaster, but the departure of Valentino Rossi could be just the impetus he needs

MotoGP
Feb 16, 2021
Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge? Plus

Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge?

Fears from rival MotoGP manufacturers that KTM would build a 'super engine' for 2021 have ultimately come to nothing with the revealation that the RC16 hasn't been radically changed over the winter. But does it really need that to win the title?

MotoGP
Feb 13, 2021
How Ducati can channel Stoner with its latest MotoGP Aussie Plus

How Ducati can channel Stoner with its latest MotoGP Aussie

OPINION: Australians on Ducatis is an iconic partnership, the marque's last one yielding its sole MotoGP crown to date. But its latest Aussie union with the often underestimated Jack Miller can end this drought

MotoGP
Feb 10, 2021
The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats Plus

The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats

Senna vs Prost is regularly cited as motorsport's greatest rivalry. But it can easily be argued Rainey vs Schwantz can stake that claim. That rivalry was in full swing during the 1991 500cc season, remembered fondly by both stars 30 years on...

MotoGP
Jan 19, 2021
The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back Plus

The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back

The 2020 MotoGP campaign featured a standout pair of rookies, but one flew under the radar as he adjusted to a shock step-up armed with very little racing experience. However as his veteran team boss explains, the faith shown in him was not misplaced

MotoGP
Jan 18, 2021
Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within Plus

Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within

With its charismatic leader Davide Brivio leaving for F1, the Suzuki MotoGP squad he turned into a world championship-winning force in 2020 has a major recruitment headache that it needs to resolve carefully to build on the foundations Brivio built up

MotoGP
Jan 8, 2021
Why Binder was destined to lead KTM in MotoGP Plus

Why Binder was destined to lead KTM in MotoGP

Brad Binder's debut MotoGP season featured extreme highs and a few rookie errors. The South African gives no excuses for his errors, but it is precisely this trait that explains why KTM believes he is the right man to lead its post-Pol Espargaro era

MotoGP
Jan 6, 2021