Motorsports Update – May 7, 2012
American Le Mans Series
Next race: American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron, May 11-12
Click here for more information and schedule of events.
Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril
The Repsol Honda Team pair of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner gave the crowd action from the start, as the two touched going into turn one, with Stoner taking the lead into turn two.
Factory Yamaha Team’s Jorge Lorenzo took full advantage of this to sneak into second to hunt down the Australian, who was soon pulling out a gap. Lorenzo’s teammate Spies, who had been in fourth, ran wide early on to drop back down the order into seventh. Meanwhile, four laps in, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso pushed past his teammate Cal Crutchlow to go into fourth place behind Pedrosa.
With the battle between the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair hotting up towards the end, Crutchlow was desperate to get past the Italian, but once again forced his bike off track.
Three laps before the end, just as Lorenzo seemed to be catching Stoner, the Australian put the hammer down to open the gap to more than a second once more. At the end it was Stoner who took the checker flag in front of Lorenzo and his Repsol teammate Pedrosa. Stoner has now won a race at every single track on the MotoGP calendar in the premier-class. Andrea Dovizioso held off the late charge from Crutchlow to take fourth, finishing in front of his teammate for the first time this season.
Note: American Colin Edwards missed only the second race of his MotoGP career, which started in 2003, due to a broken left collarbone suffered in qualifying. He will undergo surgery today.
AMA Pro Racing
Great Clips West Moto Jam, Infineon Raceway
What was presumed to be another easy victory for Josh Hayes at Infineon Raceway turned into a surprising and somewhat comfortable win for Blake Young in Sunday’s AMA SuperBike race.
Young capitalized on Hayes’ early misfortune to capture the West Coast Moto Jam’s 22-lap feature race by 3.467 seconds over Roger Hayden.
Hayes, who dominated Saturday’s SuperBike race, led after the first lap and was separating himself from the pack in the second lap when he lost control of his bike and fell off while exiting Turn 9. He dropped from first place to 17th.
Young assumed the lead and, after a brief battle with Hayden and Josh Herrin, pulled away as he earned his third SuperBike victory this season and his first career win at Infineon.
Hayes’ bike was not seriously damaged in the crash and he finished seventh. Still, he surrendered the lead in the standings to Young, who has 166 points to 162 for Hayes after five rounds.
GRAND-AM Road Racing
Next race: Global Barter 250, New Jersey Motorsports Park, May 11-13
Next race: Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Santander, May 13
Next race: Indianapolis 500, May 27
Aaron’s 499, Talladega Super Speedway
Brad Keselowski had a calculated plan that sent him to victory lane on Sunday. He used a big push from Kyle Busch to pass leader Matt Kenseth, and after leaving the Daytona 500 winner in their wake, Keselowski staved off Busch’s attempt to snatch the win. Using a move Keselowski said he had dreamed about, he held on for his second win of the season and second at Talladega.
“I had this whole plan if I ever got in that situation where I was leading; I thought about it and thought about it, dreamed about what to do, and sure enough, going into (turn) three, it was just me and Kyle,” Keselowski said.
Note: NASCAR clarified its stance on the intentional wreck caused by Danica Patrick at the May 5 Aaron’s 312 race saying they have no plans to discipline Patrick or Sam Hornish Jr. Although the organization admits that there are plans to discuss the wreck, there will not be any penalties or fines. The Wreck: Patrick responded to an earlier block from Hornish Jr. by intentionally wrecking him during the cool down lap. After the race, Hornish explained that his actions were caused by a flat tire and Patrick accepted his excuse.
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta Dragway
Ron Capps raced to his first victory of the season and ended John Force Racign’s season-long stronghold on the winner’s circle in Funny Car.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) scored his first career win and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won the only race at Monza Sunday, which was halted at half race distance due to rain, only half points were awarded.
Sykes won by a margin of 9.709 seconds over Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and with Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) third. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was a close fourth and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) was fifth.
In the championship Biaggi now has 97.5 points, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) has 95.5 after finishing seventh today, and Sykes has 91.5.
Sources: series websites, press releases and various independent motorsports websites