It’s been a decent comeback to racing for Álvaro after the brief summer break, taking home a good fifth place from Indianapolis. After a solid start from eight position, having moved up one place with Nicky Hayden unfit to race, he settled in the second group around sixth place while at the front home rider Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa, who so far dominated the proceedings this weekend, were running away from the rest of the field. Unfortunately for Spies it was yet another race that ended badly as with just a handful of laps gone his engine blew up on the straight and he left behind him a lot of smoke and a bit of oil on the track which fortunately was off the racing line, so the race could continue normally.
But that incident was enough to put several seconds between the group Álvaro was in and Jorge Lorenzo riding in second place, already far behind Pedrosa, with no chance for the group to make up the gap. The group initially consisted of Andrea Dovizioso, a very brave Casey Stoner who also battled his severe ankle injury, Alvaro, Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow. With Crutchlow soon crashing out there were only four riders left to fight for the final podium position and once Álvaro passed Bradl for fifth place he opened up a gap of several seconds which the German could not close again until the finish line.
Álvaro kept up his good pace to stick with Dovizioso and Stoner, posting his best laptimes of the weekend and getting into the 1’39s for the first time. Only with half of the race gone he slowly started to lose out a bit more, the gap getting to over a second, but he managed to keep it steady and continue his good pace until the end where he took a solid fifth place with a gap of 2.7 seconds to Stoner and just over five seconds to Dovizioso in third.
With no crashes this weekend and solid progress in all sessions, having the podium positions in sight until the finish line, it was a good confidence boost for Álvaro who finally seems to have found his pre-Mugello form again and it should give him and the team a lot more motivation for the upcoming race next weekend in Brno.
Pos. Rider Team Time/Gap
1 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 46’39.631
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing +10.823
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +17.310
4 Casey STONER Repsol Honda Team +19.803
5 Alvaro BAUTISTA San Carlo Honda Gresini +22.556
6 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP +30.072
7 Valentino ROSSI Ducati Team +57.614
8 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing +1’08.442
9 Yonny HERNANDEZ Avintia Blusens +1’11.106
10 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar +1’14.079
11 Toni ELIAS Pramac Racing Team +1’26.305
12 Ivan SILVA Avintia Blusens +1’40.274
13 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1 Lap
14 James ELLISON Paul Bird Motorsport 1 Lap
15 Steve RAPP Attack Performance 1 Lap
16 Aaron YATES GPTech 1 Lap
Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 19 Laps
Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar 20 Laps
Ben SPIES Yamaha Factory Racing 22 Laps
Michele PIRRO San Carlo Honda Gresini 27 Laps
Mattia PASINI Speed Master 0 Lap
Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project 0 Lap