Our sports contributor and dear friend Harkamal Singh has been associated with Motoroids since early days of our publication. He has done several motorsports stories and has covered many events up in north India. He is a highly skilled biker and is nothing short of being spectacular on a set of two wheels. There are a lot of people (including me) who wish to be as good as him. Above all, he is a very soft spoken and down to earth guy who loves hanging out with his friends (and bikes!!). Some time back, he was bogged down by some physical ailment and could not keep up with posting at the website. We are happy that he has recovered well and we are glad to have him posting again. Welcome back ”Dirty Harry”. . —Yatharth
2012 Air Asia Australian Grand Prix
Words- Harkamal Singh
Pics- Official MotoGP Pics
The 2012 MOTOGP World Championship could have been more exciting if Dani Pedrosa was more careful while entering the Honda corner of Philip Island Track. It was an old routine at the Australian Circuit; the soon to be retired Casey Stoner was dominating every practice session from Friday. Every Rider said he was riding like a Devil on another planet. Stoner’s Pace was almost one second ahead of every other rider including his own team Mate. The Monster Tech 3 Riders qualified on 2nd row of the Grid. For the Red team it was a disaster as they were seen struggling to qualify with CRT bikes. Multi time MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi was running two seconds off the pace of the Leader.
The weather conditions on the race day were close to perfect. With the sunny Philip Island the Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo was leading the race on very first Lap. Only after few Corners his Championship Rival Dani Pedrosa made a move to stamp his authority. Dani was familiar with the fact that if he has to improve his chances to win the championship he would have to lead the race from early stages. As soon as he was leading he ran wide at Honda hair pin and lost his front end. According to him it was nothing strange as he said, “I just went wider on the corner, I had some chatter and lost the front; maybe the tire was not warm enough as well, but it’s like it is.”
From that particular moment Casey Stoner took the lead and went on to win by over nine-seconds from Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, who secured his second world title. Jorge Lorenzo also held a safe second place to the finish, continuing his extraordinary record of finishing no lower than runner-up in all but one of the 17 races this season, the exception being when he was taken down out at Assen. For the Final spot on the Podium the British Rider Cal Crutchlow scored his second Podium finish of his MotoGP Career. Despite having his own fever problems he was riding at a great pace. He pulled a gap of one second at the end of the eighth lap and increased his advantage to 3.5 seconds four laps later to move into a clear third place. His team mate Andrea Dovisiozo finished at 4th spot after battling hard with both Honda Riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
The Ducati boys Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finished 7th and 8th respectively. According to Rossi the seventh spot is the best he was expecting. Furthermore The CRT Battle was won by Aleix Espargaro as he was having a close fight with his team mate Randy De puniet. It was a record breaking crowd on Philip Island track as the local hero Casey Stoner was racing for the very last time and he did not disappoint the fans as he scored his 6th successive Moto GP win in Australia.
Riders Thoughts after the Race
“What a day! I’m very happy, it was easier than I expected because Dani made a mistake in a corner and crashed. I wanted to keep with Casey but he was so strong. Today all I had to do was finish the race and I have become World Champion for the second time. It’s such a sweet feeling! I want to thank all the team, Yamaha, my family, my friends, sponsors and fans that support me. Today is an amazing moment. We’ve been very patient, very concentrated and finally the World title arrives!”
“It was very important for me to win a race before the end of the season and I’m really happy to do it here, at home, in front of the huge crowd. My biggest worry was to be fit again and competitive for this race, but we managed it and we had something over everyone else and this was the perfect way to say goodbye here. I was pretty nervous going into the race but the conditions were fantastic for a Phillip Island race! When I knew I only had a few laps left and a big lead, I was watching the crowd and it was fantastic to see everyone cheering me on, it made me very proud to be Australian. My biggest congratulations to Jorge, he’s ridden an almost perfect season finishing 1st or 2nd when possible and I’m just disappointed not to be in the championship fight, but I made my own mistakes and this is how things go. My condolences to Dani – I saw him crash out in front of me – but he had to push today and go out and win the race to keep his championship hopes alive. It was a small mistake, easy to do in this corner and I feel very sorry for him. Thanks to everyone for coming down and showing their support!”
Cal Crutchlow 3rd
“I am really happy with this result because it is a great way to finish this period of three races in a row. After the disappointment of running out of fuel while battling for the podium on the last lap in Japan and then crashing in Sepang, I really needed a positive result here and that’s what we’ve got. Considering how ill I’ve felt with the fever and bronchitis, to be back on the podium is a fantastic feeling and we definitely deserved it. Another podium is a great result and we’ve backed up the third in Brno. It was a big thrill to be on the podium here with Casey winning. The fans gave him a great reception and I’m glad I could be part of it. I want to say big congratulations to Yamaha and Jorge too for winning the World Championship. They have done an amazing job and they both deserve this success.”
Andrea Dovizioso 4th
“I knew that it was going to be a tough race because I didn’t had the same pace as Cal. All I could do was to try during the first laps to get in front of him or to put him under pressure but it was not possible. He was riding very well so I decided the best strategy was not to take too many risks. The battle with Bradl and Bautista was really exciting and I had a lot of fun. I’m sure the fans appreciated it as well because we were pushing and changing places for the whole race. I am satisfied to finish in front of the group and it was a strong battle right to the chequered flag.”