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|09-29-2014, 04:31 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Wet and Wild MotoGP Race Results From Aragon
Mobile/touchscreen users, slide sideways to view all 20 photos in the gallery above.
The lead changed several times as the rain began to fall.
Conditions at the beginning of the 23-lap Aragon Grand Prix were completely dry and the entire MotoGP grid started out on slicks. Ten laps into the race, a light rain started to fall and steadily increased, changing the track conditions from dry to fully wet in a matter of a few laps. The first rider to pit and change to the wet-tire bike was Aleix Espargaro with 7 laps remaining. Other riders followed suit during the next two laps, while the three race leaders Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo stayed out on their slick tires, battling for the lead.
Dani Pedrosa lost the front of his Repsol Honda just as Lorenzo pulled in to switch bikes with four laps remaining.
With four laps to go, Lorenzo pulled into the pit to swap bikes just as Pedrosa lost the front and crashed. Marquez continued on slicks while Pedrosa was close enough to run back to his pit and mount his second bike with wet tires.
Marquez gambled and lost on the slick tires with less than three laps to the finish. Here he pits on the damaged bike and switches to the wet-tire bike.
The Repsol Honda team was ready and waiting for Marquez to come in to switch bikes. But with three laps remaining, Marquez made the costly decision to stay on slicks, sliding out just moments after passing the pit entrance. Both Marquez and Pedrosa were able to finish the race but the decision to stay out on slicks set them back to 13th and 14th place positions at the end of the final lap.
On rain tires, Lorenzo was able to finish the race at a strong pace in the wet conditions, taking the win by 10.295 seconds from NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who claimed his first ever MotoGP podium finish. Espargaro’s second-place finish came after a close drag race down the final straight with Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow. Crutchlow crossed the finish line just 0.017 seconds behind the Spanish rider to claim the third podium position.
Aleix Espargaro (41) and Cal Crutchlow (35) made contact as they crossed the finish line in second and third place, respectively.
The tricky conditions also caused Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to crash out near the end of the race before he could swap to his wet bike. He was taken to the medical center for checks on a hip trauma. The top five was completed by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) as they took advantage of the crashes ahead of them. Smith just beat his teammate Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) to the line by 0.203s.
The top ten was completed by Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) and Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) led for the opening laps but ran wide and crashed early. He looked as though he might stay upright but wet grass sent him skyward. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had a similar incident just four laps into the race. Rossi ran wide and touched the grass resulting in a vicious highside. He lost consciousness briefly after the crash but regained it quickly and was taken immediately to the Medical Centre for a check up. No injuries were diagnosed, but he was transferred to the local hospital for a precautionary check up.
Valentino Rossi was unconscious after a mean highside during lap four. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital with a concussion.
Clinica Mobile Medical Director Michele Zasa explained, “Valentino suffered a concussion with a suspected loss of consciousness. From a neurological point of view he has recovered very well. He was taken to hospital in Alcańiz to make a further check, in particular a CT scan of the skull that has ruled out any bleeding in the brain. As a precaution he will be observed in the coming hours, but there are no special reasons for concern.” Rossi’s DNF means he stays third in the general standings on 214 points, now three behind Dani Pedrosa who is second.