MotoGP 2012 Season Review
Another exciting year in the MotoGP is over. Defending Champion Casey Stoner was unable to re-gain his title in a season with a number of twists and turns.
Pre-season there were a few changes to the rules. Firstly the bikes got bigger, rising from the 800cc machines up to 1000cc. Also there was the introduction of the CRT (Claiming Rule Team) class which gives independent teams with lower budgets the chance to compete.
It all kicked off in Qatar at the Losail circuit back in April. Jorge Lorenzo took the first win of the season which was to be a theme throughout. Stoner took the next two wins but Lorenzo continued his dominance taking the next three. Returning British hope Cal Crutchlow on his Tech 3 Yamaha had a great start to the season picking up two fourths and a fifth ahead of some of the factory team riders including Ben Spies who was having a nightmare on the M1 Yamaha. Nine times Champion Valentino Rossi looked to be still having problems with his Ducati and failed to challenge any of the front runners.
Just as things were hotting up between Lorenzo and Stoner, the Australian rider announced he planned to retire at the end of the season. This put somewhat of a dampener on things and Stoner never really had the fire or passion that we've seen in the past seasons. He still rode well but it felt like he didn't want it. Picking up an ankle injury in qualifying at Indianapolis he then missed the next three races ending his title chances. Lorenzo was encouraged by this and kept up his form.
In the eighth race of the season Dani Pedrosa finally picked up his first win after Stoner crashed out. From then on the little Spaniard went onto win another six races challenging Lorenzo for the title. But in every race Pedrosa won, Lorenzo finished in second, keeping him ahead on points. Lorenzo eventually took the title after finishing second in Australia to Stoner after Pedrosa crashed out.
Crutchlow's mid to late season was varied. Battling with team mate Dovizioso, Bautista and Valentino Rossi for the fourth position in the championship. Dovi quickly made his intentions known picking up a number of third place podiums in the mid season securing fourth position. Bautista who had a consistent season always finishing in the top ten and only missing one race left him in fifth. It was a similar story for Rossi taking sixth position. Cal had an interesting end to the season only finishing three of the last eight races but of those three he picked up his first podiums gaining thirds at Brno and Phillip Island.
After two years with Ducati, Rossi has decided to return to Yamaha for the 2013 season. Hopefully this will give him the bike he deserves and will see him being competitive again next year. Cal's staying with the Tech 3 Yamaha team and as long as he stays on the bike he could be a real force next year. Dovi's off to Ducati; let's hope he gets on with the bike better than Rossi did. Pedrosa will stay with the Repsol Honda team and race alongside Moto2 Champion Marc Marquez who will make the move up in 2013.
Champion Lorenzo is going nowhere, the consistent Spanish rider can never be discounted and he showed that this season finishing all but two races (where he crashed out) in either first or second.
MotoGP 2012 - Standings
- Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha Factory Racing - 350
- Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda Team - 332
- Casey Stoner - Repsol Honda Team - 254
- Andrea Dovizioso - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 218
- Alvaro Bautista - San Carlo Honda Gresini - 178
- Valentino Rossi - Ducati Team - 163
- Cal Crutchlow - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 151
Repsol Honda took the constructors Championship.
13.11.12 - James Davey