MotoGP USA – Another Aussie 1-2
Australia‘s Casey Stoner was able to shake the 2007 hoodoo of not winning from pole to claim the Laguna Seca MotoGP. He dominated the race to further extend his lead over Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.
Rewardingly fellow Aussie and Suzuki pilot Chris Vermeulen scored a dry race podium to finish over 9 seconds behind a blistering Stoner, riding his Ducati.
Marco Melandri, on a Honda, was a distant third, 25.641 seconds behind the Kurri Kurri Kid (Stoner).
In post race interviews Stoner said “I felt really comfortable sitting on the grid, I felt good about the tyres and bike. I just had to go and do the job.”
Surprisingly for most of the race the Ducati was faster than the 990cc lap record for the US track, set last year by Pedrosa on a Honda. Obviously engineering has won over the rule makers, with the introduction to 800cc an attempt to slow them day.
Nicky Hayden’s recent run of good luck ended on the first lap when he was involved in a collision with Suzuki rider John Hopkins. He was able to rejoin the race but had to retire with 10 laps to go. The result will surely hit the Kentucky Kid hard as he (and the parochial crowd) was expecting a good weekend after his solid run of podiums in the last few races.
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi finished fourth, five seconds behind Melandri and 30 seconds behind Stoner, who now tops the standings at 221 points to Rossi’s 177. The pressure is well and truly on the Italian to recapture the consistency that has seen him dominate the championship in previous years.
Ant West, riding for Kawasaki put in another solid result after qualifying 12, he climbed to finish 7th. Surely the formal offer for 2008 from Kawasaki is forth coming for the plucky Australian, who has again proven his undeniable talent.