Sep 29, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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A map of Motorland Aragon.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
September 29, 2013
Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 23 laps, 42:03.459
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -1.356 seconds
3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), -12.927
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -13.787
5. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -13.973
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -14.662
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -31.220
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -40.671
9. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -53.413
10. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), -55.067
11. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), -58.001
12. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), -65.513
13. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), -66.589
14. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), -68.674
15. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), -69.130
16. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), -72.041
17. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), -105.152
18. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), -105.228
19. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -105.583
20. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -15 laps, DNF, retired
21. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -18 laps, DNF, crash
22. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), -20 laps, DNF, retired
23. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -23 laps, DNF, crash
24. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), -23 laps, DNF, crash
MotoGP World Championship Point Standings (after 14 of 18 races):
1. Marquez, 278 points
2. Lorenzo, 239
3. Pedrosa, 219
4. Rossi, 185
5. Crutchlow, 156
6. Bradl, 135
7. Bautista, 125
8. Dovizioso, 112
9. Hayden, 102
10. Smith, 80
11. Espargaro, 76
12. Michele Pirro, 50
13. Iannone, 47
14. Edwards, 31
15. Barbera, 27
16. TIE, De Puniet/Petrucci, 23
18. Hernandez, 11
19. Ben Spies, 9
20. TIE, Corti/Aoyama, 8
22. TIE, Alex De Angelis/Karel Abraham, 5
24. Laverty, 3
25. Staring, 2
26. Javier Del Amor, 1
Moto2 Race Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):
1. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 21 laps, 40:15.232
2. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), -1.736 seconds
3. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), -3.530
4. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), -3.783
5. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), -4.049
6. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), -11.602
7. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), -16.298
8. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), -18.765
9. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), -22.266
10. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), -23.757
11. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), -23.924
12. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), -24.487
13. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), -28.011
14. Alex MARIÑELARENA, Spain (KALEX), -33.120
15. Danny KENT, UK (TECH 3), -43.909
Moto2 World Championship Point Standings (after 13 of 17 races):
1. Redding, 215 points
2. Espargaro, 195
3. Rabat, 171
4. Kallio, 143
5. Nakagami, 130
6. Aegerter, 122
7. Zarco, 113
8. Terol, 108
9. Luthi, 94
10. Torres, 83
Moto3 Race Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Alex RINS, Spain (KTM), 20 laps, 40:04.214
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KTM), -0.426 second
3. Alex MARQUEZ, Spain (KTM), -12.377 seconds
4. Luis SALOM, Spain (KTM), -16.416
5. Miguel OLIVEIRA, Portugal (MAHINDRA), -16.496
6. Philipp OETTL, Germany (KALEX KTM), -21.539
7. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX KTM), -25.255
8. Romano FENATI, Italy (FTR HONDA), -27.711
9. Arthur SISSIS, Australia (KTM), -27.888
10. Efren VAZQUEZ, Spain (MAHINDRA), -28.977
Moto3 World Championship Point Standings (after 13 of 17 races):
1. Salom, 259 points
2. Rins, 250
3. Vinales, 247
4. Alex Marquez, 149
5. Folger, 129
6. Oliveira, 115
7. Miller, 79
8. Masbou, 69
9. Vazquez, 62
10. Khairuddin, 60
More, from a press release issued by FIM and Dorna:
Race Direction wishes to advise that the incident in the MotoGP™ race of the Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón 2013 involving the crash of rider number 26 Dani Pedrosa, is under investigation. This is the result of further technical information provided to Race Direction after the end of the race, which must be assessed.
The announcement of a Race Direction decision on this matter will be made as soon as possible.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:
Double Delight for Yamaha in Aragon
Aragon (Spain), 29th September 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought an intense battle this afternoon to take second and third respectively in the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon.
Defending world champion Lorenzo made a flying start from second on the grid to lead the MotoGP field into turn one with rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in pursuit. The Mallorcan’s stunning first lap pace saw a one second gap created as they headed into the second lap. Pedrosa and Marquez remained hot on the heels of Lorenzo until with 18 laps to go the two chasing riders made contact, Marquez running wide and Pedrosa crashing out. With ten laps to go Marquez caught and passed Lorenzo, but was unable to pull away as the reigning champion tucked in behind to give chase. Lorenzo eventually crossed the line in second, just 1.3 seconds back from Marquez.
Teammate Rossi held his fourth grid position off the line and into turn one, closely followed by Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl. The nine-time world champion, promoted to third by Pedrosa’s crash, was able to hold the provisional podium spot until a late attack by Bautista with six laps remaining. The fight for third ran until the penultimate lap, Rossi making the decisive move through the uphill section of the track to retake the final podium spot and hold it to the line.
The race result keeps Lorenzo in second in the standings, 20 points ahead of Pedrosa and 39 behind Marquez in the lead. Rossi remains in fourth place after his podium finish, now on 185 points, 29 clear of Cal Crutchlow in fifth.
2nd / +1.356 / 23 laps
“My tactic was to start well and open a gap like I did in the last races. I could make one second at the beginning but then simply Marc was faster. When he caught me I closed the throttle to try to save some energy until the end; then he passed me and tried to go away. I tried my best to catch him but it was impossible. Today he was faster than me; there are no excuses. We have to congratulate him and now we think about the next races. The championship is more difficult now than before the race but we are going to fight for it until the end. We will try to win as many races as possible.”
3rd / +12.927 / 23 laps
“Third position is positive, to be on the podium is good. I expected to go a little bit faster after the practice this morning where I was very strong. I decided for the hard front tyre whilst Marc and Jorge went for the soft and I think it was a better choice for this afternoon as I was a little bit slower. In the end the third position is very positive.”
“Again second in Aragon, same result as last year. We have been much faster than last year anyway, 12 seconds faster. We have improved a lot but not enough to win. It shows our potential at what is not one of our favourite tracks. Hopefully at the next four rounds we will have a little bit more so we can battle for victory.”
“Even though it didn't go as we planned we were still able to put together good results and have both riders on the podium. For us in a circuit where we always suffer this is a great result. As usual we took a lot of information to use. The championship is still open so we will prepare as much as we can and be ready for another exciting round in a couple of weeks.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Marquez takes sixth win and extends lead after incident with Pedrosa
The Grand Prix of Aragón has been an event of mixed emotions for the Repsol Honda Team.
Championship leader Marc Marquez, starting from pole for the seventh time this season, extended his Championship lead with a fantastic win - his sixth of the season, but en route he and teammate Dani Pedrosa touched on lap six and as a result, Dani crashed out of the race.
Marc and Dani slipped back to 2nd and 3rd on the first lap but they both chased Lorenzo down and Dani set a new fastest race lap on lap two with 1'48.565. Dani passed Marc on lap five and the two Repsol Honda riders began to catch Lorenzo. It was during this chase that in the back straight, Marc and Dani briefly touched and during the contact, Marc caught a cable on Dani's real wheel and it snapped - disabling Dani's traction control and causing him to crash.
It is another disappointing blow for Dani in his bid to become World Champion. He remains on 219 points, 59 points off leader Marc on 278 points with four rounds remaining, Lorenzo is on 239 points - 39 off Marc.
Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 278 points
“Today was a very gruelling race, because I had to make two comebacks; the first was to catch Jorge after he broke free at the start, then I needed to make another after Dani passed me and I wanted to overtake him after two laps. I felt comfortable but I went a little wide under braking, lifted the bike up and made light contact with him. I'm not sure he even noticed it, but it was a bit of bad luck because the team told me I caused his traction control cable to snap and I'm sorry for that - it's something very unusual to see. The important thing is that Dani is OK. I was eventually able to overtake Jorge and take the victory, which is important in terms of both the 25 points and for my morale"
Dani Pedrosa DNF Championship Standing: 3rd - 219 points
“Fortunately I'm fine physically. I took a heavy knock to my hip and my groin area, but I was unable to escape relatively unhurt from what was a big crash. Marc went in too wide on the corner entry, clipped me from the outside and I went flying when I got on the gas. My mechanics told me later that the traction control cable had been cut by the contact"
More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:
Successful MotoGP debut:
Luca Scassa seventeenth riding Cardion AB bike
Luca Scassa riding Cardion AB Motoracing bike instead of injured Karel Abraham finishes on seventeenth position in his MotoGP debut in Aragon. From 22th position on the grid Italian showed a great chasing ride after he got into collision with Petrucci and Laverty in first lap of the race and overtaking by degrees Barbera, Pesek and Staring. Followin this weekend results the Czech team engages Luca Scassa in place of the injured Karel Abraham for the rest of the season 2013.
Luca Scassa, substitute rider of Cardion AB Motoracing
„It’s been my first race in MotoGP and I have to admit that it was very very tough. I have strained left shoulder because there are many left turns. Anyway I’m very happy, it’s an incredible experience for me and I have to say thank you to Mr. Abraham who decided to give me this opportunity. I’m quite satisfied with the result, we did not make bad times and it’s just shame that I lost a lot of time because of collision of Petrucci and Laverty after which I had to get of the track. However I tried to do my best to reach riders in front of me. I can´t wait to see another race weekend.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„At the start of the race weekend we were completely at the beginning, Luca had no experience and because he his heavier and taller that Karel he needed different setup of the bike. We had to go step by step and we were able to make improvements. Luca is very excited about the bike and we are happy of his result. At the beginning of the race he had a bad luck when Petrucci and Laverty collided in front of him and he lost about ten second. However he was able to speed up quickly and he was getting over riders in front of him. The fact that Luca could shift from Supersport to one of the strongest bike in the world is a good result and good basis for coming races in which Luca board with us.“
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Marquez seizes sixth victory of the year at Aragon
Round 14: Aragon MotoGP™ - Race
Motorland Aragon, Sunday 29 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 24-25°C; Track 31-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez returned to winning form at Motorland Aragon, his sixth victory of the season helping the Repsol Honda to take a stranglehold on the MotoGP™ championship with four rounds remaining.
Starting from pole position, Marquez lost out to Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo as the lights went out and found himself in third place after his teammate Dani Pedrosa passed him on lap five. Marquez regained second place after Pedrosa crashed out on the exit of turn sixteen on lap six, after which Marquez reeled in and passed Lorenzo for the lead on lap thirteen. Although he was pressured over the remainder of the race by Lorenzo, Marquez held on to take the chequered flag by 1.356 seconds ahead of his compatriot, while Valentino Rossi took third place on the other Yamaha Factory Racing M1 after an entertaining battle for the final podium position. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT finisher at Aragon, finishing in eleventh place.
Ambient and track temperatures were cooler today, with a reading of 31°C recorded at the start of the race. The lower temperatures resulted in all riders selecting softer rear slick options, while four riders – including Marquez and Lorenzo – opted for the soft compound front slick. The pace of this year’s Aragon Grand Prix was the fastest ever recorded at this circuit, with the overall race time bettering the old mark by seven seconds and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa setting a new race record lap of 1’48.565 on lap two.
Marquez’s sixth win of the year stretches his lead in the championship over Lorenzo to thirty-nine points, while Pedrosa remains third in the standings and a further twenty points behind after his second DNF of the season.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Repsol Honda and Marc on their victory today, both he and Jorge gave everything they had and it was fantastic watching them push each other to the limit. It was a great shame that Dani suffered from a technical issue today as he was looking so strong in the race, but I am sure we will see him back challenging for the win at Sepang. I think the prospect of watching an exciting battle between the championship contenders was a key factor in the large crowds at Aragon this year compared to last, and I hope that we will see big crowds at the remaining races as the championship heads towards a thrilling conclusion.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s temperatures were the coolest of the race weekend but they didn’t drop to a level that resulted in many riders opting for the soft compound front slick, with ultimately only four riders selecting this option. The cool weather also meant that no riders selected harder rear slick options for the race. Both the soft and hard compound front slick performed well in the race, as the teams and riders were able to take advantage of the different characteristics these two compound options offer. The overall race time was the quickest ever here and new qualifying and race lap records were set, so on the whole this was a positive weekend for Bridgestone.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“The start of the race was not so good but I was able to be aggressive on the opening few corners and only lost around a second to Lorenzo on the first lap, after which I was able to recover step by step. After Dani passed me I started to feel better with the bike though I did lose some time after I touched him at the end of the back. I was on the limit for many laps after that point, but I could catch and pass Jorge quite quickly and getting twenty-five points here was very important.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
BRADL (FIFTH) ENJOYS LAST LAP BATTLE WITH ROSSI AND BAUTISTA AT THE MOTORLAND
Aragón, 29 September: LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl raced amongst the protagonists once again in today’s 23-lap race at Aragón Motorland exciting his squad and his fans with a breath-taking last lap which saw him challenging Rossi and Bautista till the chequered flag. The German had realistic podium aspirations after his impressive pace throughout the weekend and today’s positive performance reflects a return to strong form for the 23-year-old.
“Probably it was an exciting race to watch and it was fun also for me. Overall we had a good weekend and a good race although I lost the last-lap battle with Rossi and Bautista but I am happy anyway. Of course I was dreaming about the podium as we were fast and consistent over the three days, but Alvaro was very strong in the last lap. After Silverstone and Brno tough weekends, our performance is getting stronger and stronger and I gained more confidence on the bike. I only need some more experience to manage the last laps and the drop of the tyres but we took the right direction”.
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
In front of over 61,000 spectators, on a warm and breezy day at the circuit of Aragon, Yonny Hernandez ended his first race as a substitute rider for Ben Spies with the Ignite Pramac Racing Team.
Riding at a pace that was just a few tenths of a second from that of his fellow Ducati riders, Yonny fought for the entire race to stay close to the top ten before eventually crossing the finish line in twelfth place.
All in all, it was a positive day for the Colombian, whose main goal was initially to understand the bike’s behavior and the duration of the tyre in view of the challenging races that he’ll face during the upcoming tripleheader, scheduled start in Sepang on Sunday, 13 October.
Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I’m very happy that I was able to finish the race. I kept a good pace, and now I know some more important things pertaining to the behavior of the bike. Compared to a CRT, it’s indeed very different in terms of tyres, traction control and power. I think it’s been a good start, and I’d like to continue on this path, improving step by step and getting better results.”
More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:
The the fourteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, hosted at the Aragón circuit, saw Andrea Iannone defend his tenth position to the finish, putting him third among the Ducati riders. Along the way, the Italian posted a best time of 1.50.824, recorded on the second of twenty-three laps.
The early stages of the race went well for Iannone, who held the pace of Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden and even managed to put himself between them at times. However, he eventually began struggling with a lack of grip. At that point, his goal became to preserve a top-ten result, and although it was challenging, he was successful in the end.
Next on the schedule is the challenging tripleheader, which will begin at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday, 13 October, to be followed by the Phillip Island round before finishing at Motegi on 27 October.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“It was a difficult race. I wasn’t fast in cornering and I was sliding while braking. This time I’m not very happy. It wasn’t a good race, and I continued to have problems with the lack of grip. We have to work to solve this problem. Today I didn’t have the right confidence, but on the positive side, now I’m managing the bike better throughout the race. My goal now is to stay with Nicky and Dovi, as I did today in the beginning. Unfortunately, I had to let up after that to keep from falling, and they pulled ahead. I'm disappointed because every time I try to push harder, I risk falling. We’ll tackle the coming races the best we can in order to take some small steps forward.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Unsatisfying day for Ducati Team at MotorLand Aragón
The results of the Aragón Grand Prix, the fourteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, were less than satisfying for the Ducati Team. Both Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were able to improve slightly on their grid positions (on the third and fourth row, thanks to ninth and eleventh place finishes in qualifying), but at the finish line, they had to settle for eighth and ninth place, respectively, the same results they posted at the previous round.
After a difficult start, Dovizioso found himself in eighth place on the sixth lap, followed by his teammate. The Italian then tried in vain to stay with Bradley Smith, while Hayden ceded a position to Andrea Iannone when he went off the track four laps from the end. The American was able to take ninth place back, and he and Dovizioso held their positions to the end.
The MotoGP teams and riders will now get a weekend off before embarking on a trip to Asia and Australia that will include three races in three weeks.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th
“I knew that the best I could hope for was to stay with Smith, but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. The first three-quarters of the race were good, as I gritted my teeth and tried to stick with him, but with nine laps left, the rear tyre began to lose grip and I couldn’t stay with him to the end. I’m disappointed, but like I said Friday, this track doesn’t suit us very well. The fact that we have trouble in fast corners is a big disadvantage here, and when the tyres are worn, this problem becomes worse.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
“It’s been a tough weekend. We’ve tried so many things to find grip and get the bike to stop, but we didn’t make much progress. On the start, I got a good jump off the line but bogged and lost some positions. I made up a couple and then ran wide in the last corner two different times. Toward the end I went straight at turn twelve, where I’d been having trouble stopping all weekend, and went into the gravel trap. I lost twelve seconds and one spot, which I had to fight to get back. It was a very tough race, and the feeling with my Desmosedici GP13 wasn’t great for the whole weekend, but I also made too many mistakes. I’m not very happy at all, so I look forward to getting to Malaysia to put this behind us.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“After the practice sessions, we knew that it would be difficult for our riders to do better than eighth place today. Unfortunately, this seems to be our potential at the moment. Andrea battled with Smith until his rear tyre began losing grip, whereas Nicky’s race was more difficult, as he never found a good feeling with his bike. Obviously, we’re not satisfied, and there’s not much else to say.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
Marc Marquez has increased his possibilities of becoming a rookie MotoGP™ World Champion by claiming his sixth victory of 2013 in the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon. Current title holder Jorge Lorenzo was overtaken by the newcomer en route to second place, as Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the race on the sixth lap.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo grabbed the lead at the start, as the Repsol Honda Team riders immediately went to battle at the second corner. The critical moment of the afternoon, and perhaps of the 2013 World Championship, would come on Lap 6. As both Hondas closed in on Lorenzo for the lead, Marquez ran third but appeared to out-brake himself at Turn 12. Moments later, Pedrosa dramatically highsided out of the race and it was later confirmed that the two teammates had made contact, which had caused a rear wheel speed sensor on Pedrosa’s bike to fail, leaving him without traction control. After the race it was confirmed that Race Direction would be reviewing the incident between the Repsol Honda teammates.
That moment allowed Lorenzo to extend his lead to 1.7 seconds, although he was caught by Marquez and overhauled at the same corner eight laps later. The championship lead now increases to 39 points with 100 left on offer. Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi finished on the podium for the first time since Laguna Seca, fending off GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow in a highly entertaining four-rider contest. Crutchlow was vocal about a lack of top speed, which he hopes to fix before the next race.
Tech3’s Bradley Smith, Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone completed the top ten, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was once again the leading CRT runner in 11th spot. In 17th place, Italian Luca Scassa ended his debut with Cardion AB Motoracing ahead of two other CRT machines, covering for Karel Abraham who has been ruled out of action for the rest of the campaign.
A total of five riders failed to finish. Pedrosa retired for the first time this year, while PBM’s Michael Laverty and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were put out of action on the opening lap in an incident also involving the aforementioned Scassa. On his return to MotoGP™, Australia’s Damian Cudlin suffered gearbox problems while Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera pulled into the pits, having already changed bikes after having to start from pit-lane with bike number two after a camshaft sensor failure on bike one.
Nico Terol completed a dominant performance in the Moto2™ Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon, celebrating a lights-to-flag victory on Sunday afternoon. Tito Rabat finished second while Pol Espargaro came out on top after a superb battle with title rival Scott Redding, who finished fourth from 13th on the grid.
As Terol enjoyed a clean start, arguably the best getaway came from Redding who just minutes into the race was already inside the top five. Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami was also lightning quick off the line, rising to second at Turn 2 before dropping down the field due to a mistake on the fourth lap; the Japanese rider, who had finished second at the previous four races, would fight back up to 11th spot.
At the front, Terol was untouchable and would enjoy career victory number 15 after taking the chequered flag 1.7 seconds in front of Rabat. Espargaro finally came out on top in the duel for the final podium slot, but only after a mesmerising, fairing-to-fairing contest with Redding as the Spaniard and Englishman continued to swap positions over the second half of the race - at one point making contact as the championship leader overtook in a daring maneuverer at the final corner. The final exchanging of places came on the penultimate tour, with Espargaro defending the line into Turn 16 while Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio kept a watching brief from fifth place, having performed a climb of ten places since the start of the race.
As Redding’s championship lead over Espargaro reduces to 20 points with four rounds remaining, Terol’s teammate Jordi Torres ensured Aspar bikes bookended the top six while reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese finished tenth. However, the Dynavolt Intact GP rider was involved in a last-lap incident on the exit of Turn 14 which caused the demise from proceedings of NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis, with Technomag carXpert rider Dominique Aegerter also becoming involved but continuing to finish 13th. In 15th, Alex Mariñelarena (Blusens Avintia) scored his maiden World Championship point in only his fifth Moto2™ race, achieving the feat at the same track on which he made his debut last year.
Other incidents included a second corner retirement for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi, who bounced across the gravel trap, while there was a similar scenario for Xavier Simeon whose race finished at the end of his first run down the back straight; thankfully, the Maptaq SAG Zelos Team rider was not collected by Argiñano & Gines Racing’s Steven Odendaal, who crashed in the same place.
Alex Rins has won the Moto3™ Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon, beating Maverick Viñales after a race-long battle. Alex Marquez made the podium, while championship leader Luis Salom fought up to fourth place, but saw his points advantage decrease.
Having grown up just minutes from the MotorLand Aragon circuit, which first became part of the World Championship in 2010, Rins claimed his sixth pole position of the season on Saturday afternoon. He would never drop out of the fight for the lead on Sunday, which was first between himself, Team Calvo’s Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate Marquez before becoming a two-horse race. The leaders – who in the points table both closed in on championship leader Salom – would take the battle down to the wire, but a well-judged piece of riding from Rins saw him head onto the kilometre-long back straight in front on the final lap, then extending the gap.
Marquez experienced a somewhat quiet race en route to the final podium slot, while Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom made the most of his damage limitation exercise to rise from eighth on the grid to fourth. An error from the otherwise impressive Philipp Oettl (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing) left him sixth, having run as high as fourth while setting a new lap record in the process, while Salom successfully finished in front of Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira as they completed the top five. This leaves Salom with a nine-point advantage over Rins, who now jumps three points ahead of Viñales with four races remaining in the season.
Elsewhere in the race, Jonas Folger’s seventh place for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 was to be noted as the German had undergone surgery for a fractured ankle after the last race at Misano. Belgian rookie Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) scored a point for 15th position, while Mahindra’s Efren Vazquez rounded out the top ten after escaping unscathed from an incident at Turn 1 on the 16th lap; the same could not be said for Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who flew off his bike but was able to walk away. The Malaysian was then taken to the Medical Centre for treatment, where it was confirmed that he had suffered a fracture to his right wrist; in his current state, Khairuddin would be unable to take part in his upcoming home Grand Prix at Sepang.
A total of six riders failed to finish, as the field was completed by wildcard Maria Herrera (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0); having raised eyebrows on Friday by unexpectedly finishing inside the top ten in opening practice, the CEV race winner fell on the first lap of today’s race and was forced to re-join at the back of the pack.
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:
Hiroshi Aoyama in the points again and third CRT at the GP of Aragón
An engine sensor forces Barberá to start from the pit lane and he is not able to finish the GP
Alcañiz, 29 September 2013. On this occasion it can not be more appropriate the expression of heads and tails for the Avintia Blusens MotoGP riders. While the Japanese Hiroshi Aoyama did a good weekend and an excellent race, Barberá was not lucky having different problems during the GP. Initially Héctor managed to do good practice sessions on Friday, but in the FP4 and the qualifying on Saturday things got complicated due to some bike vibrations which did not allow him to ride normally. For his part, Hiroshi began the weekend with an engine problem on Friday but, little by little, the difficulties were solved doing a good qualifying session and an excellent race.
Yesterday, after the practice sessions, it was decided that today Héctor would use the original engine to avoid vibration problems, but a sensor prevented the Avintia Blusens rider from starting from his position on the grid, when the bike did not start in the stipulated time. The mechanics tried to fix it but it was decided to go on the track with the other bike from the pit-boxes. Barberá tried to make up the time lost at the start in order to catch his rivals, but seeing that he was not able to ride normally due to the vibrations, he decided to abandon.
The positive part was provided by Aoyama who did a great race in which he finished fourteenth overall and third in CRT, with the merit that the first two bikes were the official Aprilia. Hiroshi had his eyes fixed on Hernández and De Puniet, but the lack of grip prevented him from catching them. Towards the end of the race he had a nice fight with Corti that was decided in the Avintia Blusens rider’s favour on the last lap. It is a good result of Aoyama that confirms the progression in the last races.
8 Héctor Barberá (NC): We have been very unlucky. It has been a very complicated GP due to the problems we have had with the bike vibrations with the new engine. Today, for the race, we have decided to go on the track with the previous engine but a sensor has failed and I have had to start from the pit lane with yesterday’s bike again. Logically the vibrations had not disappeared and I have not been able to finish the race. Now the team will continue working so that we can use the new engine without problems.
7 Hiroshi Aoyama (14th +1.08.674): The race has been really hard but I am very happy to have managed to finish fourteenth and score again. I had my eyes fixed on Hernández and De Puniet that were fighting for the twelfth position, but I have not been able to catch them. Today the grip was worse than yesterday and that has not allowed me to ride as I expected. In the end, I have had a nice battle with Corti, I have been able to overtake him on the last lap and I have had a lot of fun because we have passed each other three or four times on that lap. I have to admit that I expected more of this GP after seeing how the bike had gone yesterday, but I am happy because we have given the maximum and we have achieved a good result. Now we are going out of Europe and thanks to the latest results I arrive in Malaysia with a lot of confidence and wanting to ride there because it is one of my favorite circuits, we have references of the winter tests and I have a large number of supporters. I want to thank my team for all weekend’s work again.
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
Claudio Corti in the Top 15 at Aragon
NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Claudio Corti finishes in the Top15 with his FTR – Kawasaki bike. Teammate Colin Edwards finished in 16th place right outside the points at the Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón.
The Italian rider started the race from the 18th place on the starting grid. Corti experienced some problems with the front brakes in the first few laps that caused him to go straight and prevented him to keep up with De Puniet. Non the less the NGM rider was able to keep a very constant pace. On the ninth lap the transponder of his bike became lose due to an impact, placing itself between the rear brake lever and the his foot, making it hard for him to follow the line in turns six, twelve and sixteen.
The American rider struggled this weekend in finding the ideal setting for his bike at Motorland. The adaptation to the new software has probably contributed in adding difficulty in finding the right setup for this particular track. The Texan rider knows that these problems can be solved and that the data from this first weekend with the software update will be analyzed in order to do better at Sepang.
The next race of the season will take the championship to Malaysia in two weeks time and will the first of the three back to backs.
“Not the race we were wanting. We made some changes to the bike yesterday and some this morning but at the end of the day we kind of went back to what we had Friday in terms of bike setting. The bike was ok, I have a couple of corners here that I struggle with and sure bike setting has something to do with that. That turn 10 and the last corner, I seem to not be able to get in and get it turned or try to carry too much mid corner speed. We got a race under our belt with the new software and have some data to look at. Speaking of the new software, there were just a couple of corner we adjust the engine break from this morning and half of the race I will get them wrong, pushing me in there and I would be two to three meters off the apex. We got a couple of things that we can fix in terms of the electronics to make it better. For me making that many mistaken in a race is so unnatural, just not me, run wide here, run wide there, so we need to look over the data and figure it out.”
“It was a good race. The first two laps I had a problem with the front brakes specially on the slipstream with other riders, causing me to run wide a couple of times while battling with De Puniet, risking to touch with him. I was able to find a good pace even though I had started to feel the degradation of the tires after just a few laps. In the ninth or tenth lap I lost the transponder, placing itself between the rear brake lever and my foot making it very hard for me to brake and making it difficult for me to get back in the line, making turn six, twelve and sixteen a challenge. Unfortunately this problem made me lose a couple of seconds through out the race. At some point I really believed in the possibility of catching De Puniet and Hernandez but the tire didn’t allow me to do so and Aoyama was able to pass me. I overtook him again but his engine was more powerful than mine and on the straight he passed me again and lost me. I have been between the 13th and the 15th place all weekend and this has been the smallest gap we have had all season. Things are definitely improving.”
Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director
“We have met half of our goals for this weekend, we wanted to have both riders in the points but we were only able to get one of them in the Top15. Claudio has done an excellent race; he has been very consistent with his lap times during the race and was with Aoyama for most of the race. At the very end of the race he lost the 14th position but maintained a very small gap with De Puniet and Hernandez. Colin had a few problems in terms of the setting that we were only partially able to solve and has finished in 16th place. We were hoping for better results, we have to understand what went wrong in order to have both riders in the best possible conditions for the Sepang GP.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Crutchlow and Smith take valuable points at Motorland Aragon
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrated one of its best double finishes of the season at the Motorland Aragon track this afternoon, with Cal Crutchlow racing to sixth spot and teammate Bradley Smith finishing in a fantastic seventh position.
Crutchlow was one of the main protagonists in the most enthralling battle of a dramatic 23-lap race, as the British rider fought superbly for third position with Valentino Rossi, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl throughout.
The 27-year-old displayed typical fighting spirit to keep himself locked in the battle right down to the last lap, though he was just unable to force his way into contention to claim a fifth podium of the campaign.
Crutchlow’s sixth position saw him pick up 10 more precious World Championship points that keep him firmly in control of fifth place in the rankings and on course to end 2013 as the leading non-factory rider.
Today’s race, which took place in the coolest conditions of the weekend, saw rookie Smith deliver one of his most impressive performances of the season.
Taking full advantage of improved braking performance after tweaking his riding style earlier this weekend, Smith finished in a terrific seventh position. The highlight of his race was his excellent charge away from experienced rival Andrea Dovizioso after passing the Italian on lap three.
The 22-year-old maintained a consistent pace throughout the race and one pleasing aspect of his performance today was he managed to finish just over 30 seconds behind eventual winner Marc Marquez. That improvement on recent races bodes well for the final races of the campaign, which includes three back-to-back flyaway races in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
Cal Crutchlow 6th – 156 points :
"I am not unsatisfied with a top 6 result this weekend, I just think we are far from where we should be and that is clearly because we are lacking speed. We lose more than 10km/h every single lap on the straight and in acceleration and that is not good for us, we honestly don’t know why also because we used a new engine since this morning and I really don’t need to find excuses because you could clearly see it on TV how much I was struggling. In any case we can still take quite a few positives out of this weekend, we had two days of track time less than the others and we don’t have the seamless gearbox but we were still able to finish just 1,5 seconds behind Valentino, so we have not done a bad job. Now I am looking forward to the overseas and I am confident we can still fight for the podium this season."
Bradley Smith 7th – 80 points :
"The positive point of today is that we scored our best result since Sachsenring and altogether it was good to stay in front of the Ducatis and especially to pull away from them at the end of the race was a nice feeling. I still believe that we have some more potential to improve our race setting . This will surely be our main aim for the flyaway races and I have no doubt that we will progress is this area. But all in all I can’t be unsatisfied with this weekend, especially considering how tough Friday was, when things did not really go according to plan, so to travel to Malaysia with a 7th position in my luggage is not too bad."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager :
"It’s always a pity to finish sixth when you are so close to third. Clearly we were down on speed and that definitely did not help Cal. But as always he showed his huge determination and fighting spirit and gave it his all to stay with the group and I want to thank him for his commitment. For sure his performance and his competiveness will help the team go to the next round with a positive frame of mind. I also want to congratulate Bradley for the race he did. He did a really good job and managed to keep the two factory Ducatis a long way behind him and that is not easy, especially with Andrea, who we know is really fast on this track after his podium with us a year ago. At some stage he was lapping with the same times as Cal, Bautista, Bradl and Rossi, which is a big positive and I’m very pleased with the performance of both of them today."