Pictorial: Catalunya MotoGP

The images of the weekend

Casey Stoner will win the 2011 MotoGP championship a victory in the opening race at Qatar and now starting a winning streak from Le Mans to Catalunya. After the lull of being taken out of contention by Rossi at Jerez and the mysterious back spasm in Estoril the Repsol Honda rider is on-course to complete his transformation to a Doohan for the 21st Century. The result will be an absolute bore like the last round, but the slow-motion footage captured of Stoner in furious sync with the Honda RC212V is worth it.

[BTW thank you Casey to helping me win a £5 bet, keep it up as I need you to net me the overall. No pressure]

The combination of Stefan Bradl and the Kalex chassis continued the winning form that has seen the German rider win every other race to amass a lead in the championship of 59 points over second, after only five rounds. Granted the clear gap in the table is a result of an inconsistency of his rivals, as Catalunya was marred by two horrific crashes that collected class front-runners. Bradl has still shown a dominant performance and as our Niall puts it he has been consistent and perfect everywhere.

A fantastic finale to the 125 race was ruined, in someways, by a knee-jerk reaction from Race Direction. First position went back-and-forth between Johann Zarco and Nicolas Terol, coming down to the final corner of the final lap (circa Rossi/Lorenzo, 2009) with Zarco getting the upper hand (or elbow) by asserting himself over Terol. However, after sheepishly making his way around the celebratory lap and taking a talking to from Franco Uncini of Race Direction, he was ultimately deemed to have used an 'illegal manoeuvre' to gain his first win, docked 20-seconds and relegated to sixth.

The judges sitting in their high-chairs and casting the verdict on the racing have set a sorry precedent on racing, either a clearly regulated guidance on set of passing or a 'within reason' policy needs to be adopted.

Hide-and-seek, sums up both the riding style and performance of Toni Elias after stepping back up to MotoGP this season, with the lacklustre results continuing at Catalunya. Tiger Toni's problems in his return to the premier class have raised concerns on racers' progression from Moto2 to MotoGP, with the key talking points surrounding the development and preparation of their ability, combined with the difficulty of setting-up the high-maintenance MotoGP machines. The fears are a result of simple nature of the 600cc four-stroke, when compared to the previous 250GP bikes.

The LCR team also featured a new sponsor for the weekend, thanks to the Lucio Cecchinello poaching the Czech beer Effenbert from WSB for the Spanish round.

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