MotoGP: 2009 Catalunya rider comment

Find out who blamed who following yesterday's Catalunya Grand Prix

FOLLOWING YESTERDAY'S titanic Catalunya GP, here's what some of the top riders had to say about their team, machines, team-mates and competitors.

VALENTINO ROSSI - Fiat Yamaha - 1st

"As we say in Italy, "Mamma Mia!" I think I can honestly say that this was one of the best and hardest wins of my career. Maybe Laguna last year was more important but this was a great, great victory because it went to the very last corner and it's a long time since that has happened. I have dreamed about that move for the last two weeks and today it worked and I am so happy to have this 99th win.

"We did a perfect job all weekend and my M1 and Bridgestone tyres were brilliant, but we knew that Lorenzo was in the same situation and for sure he was very strong today. I had to be very brave and take it right to the limit in order to beat him. This victory today is more important than the 25 points and anyway now we all have the same, what a championship this is! As well as thanking my team, I especially want to dedicate this win to my Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess because his mother sadly died yesterday. I have to say thank you to her and to him because without him, for sure, I would never have arrived at 99 wins. Now I am going to go to sleep for quite a long time because I need to recover from this excitement!"

JORGE LORENZO - Fiat Yamaha - 2nd

“This was an incredible battle today and a brilliant show for everyone, I am happy to have been a part of it. Of course I am sad to have lost because I put my heart on my bike and in my career I am more used to winning these last-lap fights, but today Valentino was maybe a little bit cleverer or a little bit braver than me at the very end and he was able to beat me. In fact during that last lap, after I passed him, I expected him to pass me back on the brakes much earlier but he didn’t come, and then I just didn’t close the line enough on the final corner and that was it. I am proud however because I am young and I still have a lot to learn in this class. My team have worked so well all weekend so thanks to them, if we can continue as strongly as this all season then who knows what can happen?”

CASEY STONER - Ducati Marlboro Team - 3rd

“I haven’t felt in great shape all weekend – I wasn’t ill but I wasn’t quite myself. Then last night I couldn’t sleep, I probably got a couple of hours at the most, and after just a couple of laps this morning I was destroyed. I decided to race myself, basically, and bring home as many points as I could manage but my bike was fantastic and that is why I was able to ride it to a really valuable podium. The team did a perfect job after the warm-up and if I wasn’t so ill, I think I could have stayed with Valentino and Jorge until the end, although I’m not saying I could have beaten them. I started to suffer from really strong cramps and I could barely ride – I was falling over the front of the bike in the hard-braking areas and I was struggling to keep my concentration. I thought about stopping but decided to just back off for a while and try to hang on for a top ten. The bike was so good that I was able to keep up a decent pace and hold off Dovizioso. Tonight I’ll try to get plenty of rest and recover my strength for the test tomorrow because this is an important period in the championship and we need to test. After that it’s Assen and I’m already looking forward to it.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - Repsol Honda - 4th

"We had a great race today and we finished only nine seconds behind the winner - this is a very important point and we are getting closer every time. We only missed the podium by 52 thousandths of a second, which is a pity because I really like this racetrack and we were fast for the whole weekend, so the podium was the target and it was within the reach. I didn’t have a good start and it took me some time to overtake Randy and then Dani which meant I had a gap to close before I could reach Stoner. Maybe I should have tried to attack Casey with six laps to go, when he slowed down, because later I didn’t have any other chance. The race conditions were really demanding because it was really hot today, but the result was promising and we can move on from here."

LORIS CAPIROSSI - Rizla Suzuki - 5th

"This was the same position as Mugello, but this is a different one because we have worked so hard to get this and it is a great result. All the team - especially Stuart - have worked so hard to get us where we are today. After qualifying I didn't feel that the bike was quite right and Stuart worked with the guys until late to find a solution. He told me that he was going to make big changes for the race and we tried it during this morning's warm-up and the bike felt really good. During the race I kept my rhythm after a good start and when I got close to Pedrosa I lost some time off the front guys because his bike was so fast in some places I couldn't get past, and he held me up a bit. If I hadn't got stuck for a few laps I think I could have stayed with the next group and got a better result. I want to say a big thank-you to Suzuki because they have brought a new engine here and it was an improvement on the old one - I think if I'd had that engine in Mugello I'd have been on the podium! Most of all I want to thank all my guys individually Stuart, Ian, Gary, Jeff, George, Tex and Jez all did a great job and without them I wouldn't have got that result today!"

DANI PEDROSA - Repsol Honda– 6th

"It’s been a very hard weekend and I finished the race exhausted and in a lot of pain, but I don’t regret being here this weekend trying to do my best. I didn’t want to miss my home race and even though sixth position is not the best result in front of my fans, I’m happy with it. I could feel their enormous support during the whole weekend and it helped me a lot to race. It also wouldn’t have been possible without the doctors’ help: they kept me in the best possible condition to bear the pain. The injections I’ve had on each day worked, but obviously to do 25 laps it’s been very hard. The doctors told me that this fracture needs time to heal so I’m going to rest as much as possible and see what the progress is for Assen. The Team asked me not test tomorrow to give me the best chance to recover and it’s a sensible decision. I didn’t have a great start today, but I could manage to stay in the second group in the race. I tried to stay with Capirossi, but I couldn’t, so I choose to maintain the sixth position. I’m really tired now, but it was a worthwhile race."

NICKY HAYDEN – Ducati Marlboro Team - 10th

“I was hoping for a little more than this but realistically at the moment it was the best I could manage. I started from near the back but kept passing people and made progress throughout the race. I got close to Kallio and tried my best to pass him but made a couple of mistakes and he beat me. All in all it’s not a spectacular result but it is definitely a step forward. I’ve been close to the front guys all weekend, we’ve worked well and we’ve learnt a lot about the bike. I’m already looking forward to getting back on the bike for the test tomorrow and continuing to work down this path, which we think is the right one.”

CHRIS VERMEULEN - Rizla Suzuki - 11th

"It was a difficult race and although I got a good start I got a bit boxed in and found myself at the wrong end of the field. We made a change to the front-end of the bike for the race and that was a bit better and it gave me the confidence to push a bit harder. We did score some points today, but it is not where we want to be. We now to some tracks that have been good for us in recent seasons so I hope we get a bit of luck there and put together some good results."