Jul 21, 2013
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by David Swarts
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Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
July 21, 2013
Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 32 laps, 44:00.695
2. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -2.298 seconds
3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), -4.498
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -4.557
5. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -9.257
6. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -12.970
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -15.304
8. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -33.963
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -34.129
10. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -62.369
11. Alex DE ANGELIS, Sam Marino (DUCATI), -62.604
12. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), -63.593
13. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -80.450
14. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), -1 lap
15. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), -1 lap
16. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), -1 lap
17. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), -1 lap
18. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/Suter-BMW), -1 lap
19. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -25 laps, DNF, mechanical
20. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), -27 laps, DNF, crash
21. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), -28 laps, DNF, mechanical
22. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), -29 laps, DNF, retired
23. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), -31 laps, DNF, crash
World Championship Point Standings (after 9 of 18 races):
1. Marquez, 163 points
2. Pedrosa, 147
3. Lorenzo, 137
4. Rossi, 117
5. Crutchlow, 116
6. Bradl, 84
7. Dovizioso, 81
8. Bautista, 71
9. Hayden, 65
10. Espargaro, 52
11. Smith, 51
12. Pirro, 36
13. TIE, Andrea Iannone/Barbera, 24
15. De Puniet, 19
16. Petrucci, 18
17. Edwards, 17
18. Ben Spies, 9
19. Hernandez, 7
20. TIE, De Angelis/Corti/Abraham, 5
23. Laverty, 3
24. Staring, 2
25. TIE, Aoyama/Javier Del Amor, 1
More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:
Abraham takes his best result of the season in Laguna Seca
Karel Abraham collected two points at Californian’s circuit in Laguna Seca. The Czech rider finishes the race on fourteenth position, which is his best result of this season. The Spaniard Marc Marquez won the race in Laguna Seca. Stefan Bradl got for the first time on the podium and takes second position. After five next weeks of summer break MotoGP will move to Indianapolis. Then the championship will get back to Europe in Brno.
„Despite of the condition in which we were riding entire weekend, the fourteenth position is quit great result. Of course it helped that some riders did not finish the race, but that just racing. In fact I didn´t enjoy the race a lot, because in a few laps I got a ninth second gap in front of me and behind me. I managed to maintain the gap and I tried to reach Petrucci in front of me, but the gap was too big. On Monday I´ll undergo another blood test here in America to get know what is happening and to start the most effective medical treatment and to start training as soon as possible though it´s “holiday time”. I have to catch up throughout the spring, from Austin, I constantly have any injuries or I'm sick, so hopefully it will now be all right now and catch up. "
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„The positive thing is that Karel managed the race in spite of all health problems. Now we have 5 weeks of the summer break, thus I hope that Karel will get in good condition and that we will be able to fight of the better result in Indianapolis. We decided to use the combination of hard tyres today, and it shows as the right choice. Karel finishes the race with good times per the lap and he did not have any problem with slippery rear wheel. The result is nothing we should be proud of, but we gained two important points and that is very positive. I believe that we will go to Indianapolis with clean head and that in the second part of the season we will finish with best CRT. “
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:
Third Consecutive Podium for Rossi in Laguna Battle
Laguna Seca (USA), 21st July 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi delivered his third consecutive podium of the 2013 MotoGP season today with third place in the US Grand Prix. The Italian made a strong start from fourth on the grid to take second into turn one, tucking in behind race leader Stefan Bradl. The nine-time world champion fought hard to maintain his pace but was forced to concede second to Marc Marquez on lap four following a dramatic overtake into the Corkscrew turn. With fourth place rider Alvaro Bautista closing Rossi then worked hard to hold off the Spaniard to retain his third place and podium finish.
Jorge Lorenzo successfully completed his weekend of damage limitation with an exhausting ride to sixth place. Still physically compromised following his two surgeries to his collarbone the Laguna race proved to be a big challenge for the world champion. Starting from sixth on the grid he initially made up two places to fourth, diving inside Dani Pedrosa on turn one for position. The race became a war of attrition for Lorenzo, battling to stay focused for the 32 lap stint, eventually bringing it home in sixth place after a testing ride.
The podium finish leaves Rossi on 117 points in the standings in fourth position, 20 points behind teammate Lorenzo. Lorenzo holds on to third place, now on 137 points, ten behind Pedrosa in second. The teams now take an extended break before returning to the USA for Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday 18th August.
3rd / +4.498 / 32 laps
“At this track with the Yamahas we suffer a little more than the Hondas, but we worked very well in the practice, we tried everything and I could keep a good pace in the race until the end, not far from Bradl. I fought with Bautista but always stayed in front so I could take the third podium in a row. I am quite competitive and I am happy, it is a good result. Now we take some rest, we go on holiday and we try to take some rest for the second half of the season. Regarding the pass, I tried to resist but today wasn't the right day, Marc was too strong for me. Before the end of the season we will have another battle where I will be faster and I will give back the overtake for sure!”
6th / +12.970 / 32 laps
“This was a difficult race because I am not in shape, one month or more without training and two general anaesthetics. I felt quite dizzy from the middle of the race to the end so my performance was getting worse. The bike was also not working the same as in warm up. Maybe with more temperature the tyres were working differently and I couldn't stop the same in the braking zones so I didn't have the same feeling and I was half a second slower. The important thing is that we saved a very dangerous situation because if I crashed again I might have finished my championship. We have one month to rest and train now to get back in shape which will be important for Indianapolis. I hope to be in almost perfect condition there and have the same performance as before the crash.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
“A very crazy race, to do this with so few days recovery after twice breaking your collarbone is very inhuman. This is one of the most physical race tracks in the world. Jorge clearly struggled in the race but he found a rhythm to not throw away too much energy in the beginning and try to keep a decent pace. It was a little bit up and a little bit down at times. Of course the result is great, we lose some points to Marc and Dani but this race was about damage control. We need to come back very strong for the last nine races.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
“Overall a good weekend. We put a lot of effort in to find the best set up. Laguna is not the most suitable circuit for Yamaha. To get a podium with Vale is an important step for us. We have improved the bike which is very good for the coming races. Jorge I think proved again that he is really tough and determined. He could manage to finish sixth even with a lot of pain after his surgeries. I think we can leave here satisfied that we have done the best job possible in the circumstances.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Marquez becomes first rookie to win at Laguna Seca and Pedrosa secures important points with 5th
The last seven MotoGP races in the USA have now been won by Honda riders, with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez rewriting history again today, taking first place in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Teammate Dani Pedrosa completed an important race, whist still injured, and scored valuable Championship points.
After a slightly hesitant start, Marc slipped down to 3rd but soon found his rhythm and made a dramatic pass on Valentino Rossi in the circuit's famous 'corkscrew' turn on lap 3. The pass was remarkably similar to Rossi's manoeuvre on Stoner in the same corner in 2008, but this time, Rossi was on the receiving end. Marc then chased down Honda rider Stefan Bradl, who led from pole position, passing the German on lap 19 and then proceeded to open up a comfortable lead and take the victory on his maiden visit to the Californian circuit.
Dani performed one of his trademark starts and advanced a few positions from his 7th spot on the grid. Taking caution not to crash and risk further injury, Dani rode with trepidation and caught Jorge Lorenzo on lap 12, passing him comfortably. This promoted him to 5th where he finished the race taking 11 important points before the Summer break.
No rider has ever won at Laguna Seca in their rookie season in the premier-class of grand prix racing and with this victory, Marc has become the youngest rider to win back-to-back races in the premier class at the age of 20 years 154 days (the previous record-holder was Freddie Spencer, who won the opening two races of the 1983 season in South Africa and then France at the age of 21 years 104 days).
Marc has now extended his lead in the Championship standings to 163 point and Dani is 2nd with 147, 10 points ahead of Lorenzo. The MotoGP paddock will now take a three week break and return for the GP in Indianapolis on the 18th August.
Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 163 points
"I am very happy, because we weren't expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn't think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tyres got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin"
Dani Pedrosa 5th Championship Standing: 2nd - 147 points
"First of all, I want to thank everyone who has supported me over these past few days. This was a race in which it was very important to take points. I was seriously considering sitting out this race, because the conditions were very difficult, so I am very happy to have taken fifth. We were close to the podium, but on the final laps I found things very hard. I think that I held up well in the race, although I was in a lot of pain the entire weekend. At least I was able to grip the handlebars and control the bike. A lot of times moving the bike makes it tough for you and it is difficult to ride a long race. In the end, the 11 points are very important for the championship"
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Marquez makes history with remarkable MotoGP™ victory at Laguna Seca
Round 9: United States MotoGP™ - Race
Laguna Seca, Sunday 21 July 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Extra-soft (Symmetric), Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 20-19°C; Track 50-50°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued his history-making rookie season by becoming the youngest ever rider to score back-to-back premier-class wins at today’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Starting second on the grid, Marquez had to fight his way past the two riders he ended up sharing the podium with - LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi – to take the race lead on lap nineteen and power away to win the race by 2.298 seconds. Bradl took second place for this first ever MotoGP™ podium, while Rossi’s third place was his third successive podium. Avintia Blusens rider Hector Barbera scored his best result of the season, his tenth place making him the highest-placed CRT rider this weekend.
The morning fog dissipated quicker than usual today at Laguna Seca and the long periods of sunshine resulted in the highest track temperatures seen this weekend with a peak of 50°C. Despite the high temperatures the softer rear slick was the popular choice, with all but three riders selecting the softest rear slick available to them. The high temperatures also placed less emphasis on the need for warm-up performance, so all riders selected the harder front slick option for the race.
At the halfway point of the season Marquez’s lead in the championship standings over teammate Dani Pedrosa is sixteen points, while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo remains in third place and a further ten points back.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Once again today we witnessed history being made as Marc became the youngest ever rider to score back-to-back wins in MotoGP so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on a job well done. I would also like to congratulate Stefan on his first ever MotoGP podium and seeing two young riders battling for victory is a great sign for the future of this championship. Dani and Jorge should also be commended for such strong performances today while riding with injury. The first half of the season has certainly had many memorable moments and although everyone in the paddock now gets to enjoy a well-deserved summer break, we are all looking forward to the next round at Indianapolis in a few weeks’ time with a great sense of anticipation.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Track temperatures today were at their highest level of the whole race weekend today and this did have an effect on which front tyre the riders chose. Earlier in the day it seemed some riders might look at using the softer front slick, but once track temperatures climbed over fifty degrees centigrade, warm-up performance wasn’t such a big priority so all riders decided to use the harder front slick option. Rear tyre choice among the works riders was identical with all preferring the softer rear slick, while all but three CRT riders also preferred the softer option. Even with the high track temperatures tyre performance was consistent with grip levels degrading predictably over race distance, so I am happy with how our tyres worked today.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“This race was what I expected although coming here for the first time I thought I might struggle more but from FP1 I felt good, although it takes time to learn where the bumps are on the track. Today’s race was good, but at the beginning I was a bit scared as with all the bumps it was possible to lose the front. I managed to get past Valentino and then stayed behind Stefan for some laps before passing him too and I’m very happy because at a new circuit I got twenty five points and it’s good to go into the summer break with this performance.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
Marc Marquez has won Sunday’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, becoming the youngest ever back-to-back race winner in MotoGP™. The Repsol Honda Team rider extended his championship lead while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl celebrated a first premier-class podium finish from pole position. Valentino Rossi held off Alvaro Bautista for the final rostrum spot.
On Saturday, Bradl had stormed to a maiden pole position while Marquez suffered a crash in qualifying. On Sunday, the Spaniard patiently followed the German before pulling off a clean manoeuvre at the end of the 19th lap. Five riders failed to make the distance at the notoriously difficult anti-clockwise circuit, the shortest on the calendar.
Marquez’s third victory of the year equals the sum of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Repsol Honda rider sank as low as fourth after a poor start, but stayed ahead of Bautista in the early stages and crucially pulled off a confident pass on Rossi at the world-famous Corkscrew corner. He soon homed in on Bradl, overtaking the German and winning by 2.2 seconds. In doing so, Marquez wins for the second time within the space of a week and steals former double champion Freddie Spencer’s record of being the youngest MotoGP™ rider to triumph in consecutive Grand Prix. Furthermore, he makes history by becoming the first rookie rider to win at Laguna Seca.
Bradl’s ride to second was one of calm and composure. A clean getaway allowed the LCR Honda MotoGP rider to head the field from his first ever pole in the top class. The 2011 Moto2™ World Champion was assisted by the fact that those behind him were battling early in the race, but by the 17th tour had the recovering Marquez only two tenths of a second behind. Once the overtake had occurred two laps later, Bradl comfortably managed a two-second gap back to Rossi to clinch his maiden premier class podium, improving on his previous best of fourth – achieved on three occasions.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Rossi has now taken the chequered flag inside the top three for as many races in a row. The Italian, who had famously overtaken Casey Stoner at the Corkscrew five years ago, was this time passed in the same place by Marquez before holding off a significant attack from Bautista over the closing laps; the Spaniard briefly edged ahead before the final corner, but was kept behind. Another third place for Rossi sees him jump ahead of Cal Crutchlow for fourth in the standings.
Laguna Seca had always promised to be a weekend of damage limitation for both Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Both men continue to suffer with left collarbone injuries as they finished fifth and sixth, with Pedrosa having moved ahead of his rival in an overtake at the Andretti Hairpin. The duo both finished in front of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow, who on Saturday had been left confused by a crash before taking part in Q2 with his second bike.
The top ten was completed by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso – who during the race made side-to-side contact on the start/finish straight – and Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, who became the first rider other than Aleix Espargaro to lead the CRT runners in 2013. Espargaro crashed at the last corner, while Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet retired with technical problems. Tech 3’s Bradley Smith also stopped with mechanical gremlins, while the first two retirements were PBM’s Michael Laverty and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti. In 11th place, Ignite Pramac Racing’s Alex de Angelis scored while covering for the injured Ben Spies, while Colin Edwards finished 12th for Forward Racing. The top 15 was completed by Danilo Petrucci (Came IodaRacing Project), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Yonny Hernandez (PBM).
With the first half of the season now complete, MotoGP™ heads into its summer break before returning at Indianapolis in mid-August. Marquez carries a 16-point advantage over teammate Pedrosa and has finished on the podium in eight of his first nine races since joined the premier class as reigning Moto2™ World Champion.
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
BRADL CELEBRATES FIRST PREMIER CLASS PODIUM AT LAGUNA SECA
Monterey, 21 July: LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl celebrated his first premier class podium today at Laguna Seca after yesterday’s equally impressive pole position. The 2011 Moto2 World Champion led the 32-lap race for 19 laps and when his Honda rival Marquez overtook him, the German comfortably managed a two-second gap back to Rossi to clinch his maiden premier class podium aboard the RC213V, improving on his previous best of fourth – which he had achieved on three occasions.
“It’s a great result for us. We did a good job throughout the whole weekend. Of course, expectations were high after I took pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well. I did struggle a little bit though. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker, but with the full tank of fuel I had a few problems with the front. When Marc (Marquez) caught me I saw that he had some more edge-grip on the tyre and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap back to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, but it was a long and tough race. Sure I want to thank Lucio, the whole Team and all the fans and I am happy to have my dad here with me to celebrate this important result together"
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Alex De Angelis close to Top Ten finish
It was a hot day at Laguna Seca. After a minute's silence in honor of Andrea Antonelli, who tragically lost his life at Moscow Raceway while competing in the World Supersport race, the American national anthem was played.
A few laps into the race, a determined Alex De Angelis caught up with his fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden, but the gap between them was unfortunately too wide to allow him to remain in his slipstream.
The 32 laps of this Californian circuit were a tough endurance test for the San Marino rider, who ran a mainly lonely race, but towards the end he was forced to defend his tenth place and he eventually lost one position on the final lap.
The Ignite Pramac Racing Team sincerely thanks Alex for the professionalism and commitment he demonstrated during this extremely positive weekend.
Alex De Angelis - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I am very happy. Our initial goal was not to be last, but already on Friday we saw the opportunity to try to score some points and we did it. I come back home with 5 points in the standings. It was a great race, I really tried hard and I also made contact with another rider a few times towards the end. I am very satisfied with the way it went. I’d like to thank Ducati, the Ignite Pramac Racing Team and my team (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team) for the opportunity they gave me. I hope to have demonstrated my potential, because, as everyone knows, I would really like to come back to race in MotoGP. "
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Crutchlow battles hard for precious points at Laguna Seca
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow rode to a hard fought seventh place finish in today’s US MotoGP round at a sun-kissed Laguna Seca.
The British rider displayed the fighting spirit he has become famous for throughout an energy-sapping 32-lap race, but he was unable to make any impression on the top six despite pushing to his absolute maximum from start to finish.
The 27-year-old, who was seeking to become the first British rider since the legendary Barry Sheene to score three successive podium finishes in the premier class, exerted tremendous early pressure on Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa to break into the top six.
The Spanish duo showed just why they are consistent World Championship contenders, with both refusing to buckle under Crutchlow’s intense pressure and rather than take unnecessary risks, Crutchlow opted to settle for a seventh position that keeps him close to the battle for the top three in the overall rankings.
Today’s race, which marked the halfway stage of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship, ended in disappointing fashion for rookie Bradley Smith.
The 22-year-old had quickly settled into a fast rhythm in front of a crowd of over 46,000 fans and a top eight finish on his Laguna Seca debut looked comfortably within his grasp.
Smith was sizing up where he could overtake Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso later in the race when he was denied a seventh successive top 10 finish by a small technical issue with his Monster Yamaha YZR-M1 machine at the end of lap eight.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now embarks on a well deserved summer break before the exciting 2013 World Championship campaign resumes with a third visit to America at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Cal Crutchlow 5th – 116 points :
“That was a difficult end to a very difficult weekend and in all honesty I never got comfortable with the bike at any stage here. It is my worst result of the season so far and I can’t be happy because I gave up some valuable points in the Championship. Maybe last year in the same situation I would have pushed and not finished, so that is one positive we can take from what was a tough weekend and it certainly isn’t how I wanted to go into the summer break. Right from the start of the race I was on the limit and couldn’t go any faster. I got beat fair and square and the three on the podium definitely deserved it. I tried my best and didn’t give up but sometimes you have to accept you can’t do any better. It has been a pretty hectic month so now I am looking forward to getting some rest and I will be back even more motivated in Indianapolis.”
Bradley Smith DNF – 51 points :
“It is a shame that my race was ended by a technical problem today because my bike has been faultless all year. This can happen at any stage but unfortunately it happened in the race and now we will carry out a thorough investigation to find out what happened. Sometimes these things can happen and it was a shame because I was looking at finishing inside the top eight and that would have been a positive result. The race was going well and I was confident after being very strong in the warm-up because we made a good step with the bike. But then I had the problem and I have to accept that this is part of racing. The first half of the season has been very enjoyable and I have learned so much. I am feeling I am making big progress and now the summer break gives me the opportunity to rest my recovering left wrist and I can focus on coming back much stronger physically in Indianapolis.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“Unfortunately we can’t have Cal and Bradley inside the top six like in Germany every week and we knew coming here it wasn’t going to be easy. Laguna Seca has never been a happy hunting ground for us but of course we expected to show more of our true potential. Cal might have lost come confidence when he crashed in FP4 but he has found it difficult all weekend. He never gave up and kept on pushing and he still got some important points for the Championship. And we can’t be too disappointed because Cal has been outstanding in the first half of the season and produced some of the best races we have seen in our MotoGP history. It is a big pity for Bradley as well because he had a very strong weekend, especially being here for the first time on a track that is not the easiest to get a grip of. Unfortunately he could not finish the race because a technical problem but the job he has done so far gives us a lot of confidence that he will be stronger in the second half of the season. He has been learning fast and becoming more of a MotoGP rider and we have high hopes for him in the last nine races."
More, from a press release issued by Honda:
HONDA FIRST AND SECOND IN LAGUNA SECA TRIUMPH
Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez continued his record-breaking maiden MotoGP season with a second successive race win in today’s US GP. It is the 20-year-old’s third win in nine races, and extends his points lead in the World Championship. He now leads team-mate Dani Pedrosa by 16 points.
For Honda, it was the third win in succession at the charismatic Californian circuit, and the sixth in nine visits in the current series of the race.
Honda secured second place as well, with a fine first podium finish for Stefan Bradl, Marquez’s old Moto2 rival and fellow former Moto2 champion. The German LCR Honda RC213V rider had started from his first pole position, and led to beyond the halfway point of the 32-lap race.
Third Honda rider Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) missed making it an all-Honda rostrum by less than a tenth of a second, hounding former Laguna winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) over the finish line.
It was a heroic afternoon for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V). Riding with a partial collarbone fracture, he finished a strong fifth, claiming valuable points to preserve his second place in the championship at the mid-point of the season. The plucky ride stretched his lead over third-placed Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) to ten points.
The race, round the shortest circuit of the year, had both tension and drama for 46,000 spectators, enjoying perfect Californian sunshine at the track in the hills inland from fashionable Monterey.
Bradl made a perfect start to lead the first 18 laps. In the early stages he secured a margin of almost two seconds, but after four laps Marquez was through to second, and gradually closed up.
The German was eventually obliged to give best after his rival demonstrated better edge-grip in the sinuous Californian circuit’s many turns, but continued lapping at close to record pace to claim his first rostrum, and a career-best second place.
Marquez showed little sign that he was still learning the intricacies of the complex and physically gruelling short circuit. He seized second from Rossi on the fourth lap with a forceful passing move at the famous Corkscrew corner, replicating one of the Italian champion’s own famous attacks. Thereafter he concentrated on catching and following Bradl, before seizing his moment for a clean overtake and the chance to open a gap still better than 2.2 seconds as he coasted across the line.
Bautista was disappointed that his sustained efforts to pass Rossi for his own first rostrum this year were thwarted, but pleased with his best result so far, demonstrating how the exclusive Showa suspension test rider is regaining strength after two first-lap crashes earlier this season.
Pedrosa demonstrated grit and skill in equal measure in a weekend of endurance. Still suffering a partial fracture to his left collarbone sustained in a crash that ruled him out of last weekend’s German GP, the Spaniard sat out the morning practice sessions and started from the third row of the grid. Through the race however he gained speed, and eventually outpaced third placed title rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who was riding with his own collarbone injury.
Grand prix rookie Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) finished 17th, his hopes of adding to his points score thwarted in the later laps. Series first-timer Staring rides in the CRT category, his machine powered by a race-tuned CBR1000RR motor.
The US GP marks the end of the first half of the 2013 season, followed by the summer break of three weekends. Racing resumes in the United States on August 16-18 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis GP, third round of the year in the USA. This is followed by a rapid return to Europe with races in the Czech Republic and Great Britain over the following two weekends.
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st
“I am very happy, because we weren’t expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn’t think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tyres got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 2nd
“It’s a great result for us. We did a good job all across the weekend. Of course expectations were high after I had pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well. I struggled a little bit. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker but, with the full tank of fuel, I had a few problems with the front. When he caught me I saw that he had some more edge grip on the tyre and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, and it was a long and tough race.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team FUN&GO Honda Gresini: 4th
“I was so close to the podium! I would really like to have been up there but we have to be happy with this result and especially for the way we achieved it. Obviously you can’t get much closer than 0.059 seconds but the most important thing about today was that we showed we have taken a massive step forward and hopefully we can continue in the same way at the next race. This result gives us confidence after a less than positive period and it’s a nice boost for the rest of the season. I am also happy for the team, who have been working so hard and really deserved to celebrate a result like this today.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 5th, 1’21.728
“First of all, I want to thank everyone who has supported me over these past few days. This was a race in which it was very important to take points. I was seriously considering sitting out this race, because the conditions were very difficult, so I am very happy to have taken fifth. We were close to the podium, but on the final laps I found things very hard. I think that I held up well in the race, although I was in a lot of pain the entire weekend. At least I was able to grip the handlebars and control the bike. A lot of times moving the bike makes it tough for you and it is difficult to ride a long race. In the end, the 11 points are very important for the championship.”
Bryan Staring, Team FUN&GO Honda Gresini: 17th
“I am happy because today went better than recent races. I set a fast pace in the first half of the race and I was fighting for a points position but after not being able to train recently because of my foot injury I started to really struggle from a physical perspective later in the race. We have taken steps forward here though and that will help us in the coming races.”
RACE: (32 laps = 115.52 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / KM/H / GAP
1 / Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 44'00.695 / 157.4 /
2 / Stefan BRADL / GER / LCR Honda MotoGP / HONDA / 44'02.993 / 157.3 / 2.298
3 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 44'05.193 / 157.2 / 4.498
4 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / GO&FUN Honda Gresini / HONDA / 44'05.252 / 157.2 / 4.557
5 / Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 44'09.952 / 156.9 / 9.257
6 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Yamaha Factory Racing / YAMAHA / 44'13.665 / 156.7 / 12.97
7 / Cal CRUTCHLOW / GBR / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 44'15.999 / 156.5 / 15.304
8 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 44'34.658 / 155.4 / 33.963
9 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / DUCATI / 44'34.824 / 155.4 / 34.129
10 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Avintia Blusens / FTR / 45'03.064 / 153.8 / 1'02.369
11 / Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / Ignite Pramac Racing / DUCATI / 45'03.299 / 153.8 / 1'02.604
12 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / NGM Mobile Forward Racing / FTR KAWASAKI / 45'04.288 / 153.7 / 1'03.593
13 / Danilo PETRUCCI / ITA / Came IodaRacing Project / IODA-SUTER / 45'21.145 / 152.8 / 1'20.450
14 / Karel ABRAHAM / CZE / Cardion AB Motoracing / ART / 44'05.885 / 152.2 / 1 lap
15 / Yonny HERNANDEZ / COL / Paul Bird Motorsport / ART / 44'15.867 / 151.6 / 1 lap
Pole Position: Stefan BRADL 1'21.176 160.0 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Marc MARQUEZ 1'21.539 159.3 Km/h Lap 5
Circuit Record Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'21.229 159.9 Km/h 2012
Circuit Best Lap: Jorge LORENZO 1'20.554 161.3 Km/h 2012
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION TILL DATE: 1 MARQUEZ 163, 2 PEDROSA 147, 3 LORENZO 137, 4 ROSSI 117, 5 CRUTCHLOW 116, 6 BRADL 84, 7 DOVIZIOSO 81, 8 BAUTISTA 71, 9 HAYDEN 65, 10 ESPARGARO 52, 11 SMITH 51, 12 PIRRO 36, 13 IANNONE 24, 14 BARBERA 24, 15 DE PUNIET 19.
NEXT EVENT: ROUND10, AUG 18, INDIANAPOLIS, UNITED STATES
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens Racing:
CRT victory and top ten for Barberá who places himself second in the championship
Aoyama almost gets points finishing sixteenth after a tough race
Laguna Seca, 21 July 2013. Phenomenal performance of Héctor Barberá at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix held at the Laguna Seca circuit, where the Avintia Blusens rider achieved a well-deserved victory in the CRT category, as well as he managed to cross the finishing line in tenth position of the general classification at the end of the race. Barberá, who did not make a good start, could place himself quickly after Edwards and De Angelis, Iannone?s replacement riding the Ducati bike of the Pramac team, with whom he kept a hard battle throughout the thirty-two laps of the race, in pursuit of the points of the tenth position. The greater power of the Ducati bike allowed De Angelis to be a witness of the fight between the American Colin Edwards and Héctor to be the CRT winner when the flag was waved at the finishing line. With three laps remaining, and after being overtaken and overtaken again on several occasions, Héctor placed himself ahead of Colin again, to be tenth and first CRT. But De Angelis also wanted to have the honour of entering the top ten and he got the tenth position ahead of the Avintia Blusens rider with two laps remaining. On a fantastic last lap, Barberá managed to overtake the Ducati rider to obtain the victory of his class and the tenth final position. Without a doubt, it was a great result that rewarded the effort and work of the entire team and the rider.
Hiroshi Aoyama also accomplished a good performance at the GP although he missed the chance to score as he did in Qatar. Aoyama, who on this track suffered a lot due to his hand injury, crossed the finishing line in last position at the end of the first lap and afterwards he fought to score with Hernández, Pesek and Staring, with whom he fought for the positions in every turn. Finally, the Colombian rider was who scored the last point, as the Avintia Blusens rider struggled in inferior conditions due to the lack of strength in his injured hand.
8 Héctor Barberá (10th, +1.02.369): Finally first CRT and first time that we have been in the parc fermé next to the three first riders of the race. I am very happy because it is a great result that the team deserved. It has been a hard race because there have been a lot of laps and we knew that with our tyres we were going to suffer because it was hotter than the last days and we have ridden with the soft ones. I have had a very nice fight with Colin and, especially with De Angelis, with whom we have overtaken four times on the last lap to achieve the tenth position. It is true that Espargaró has fallen and that has helped us to get the win in the category, but anyway I think that it is a very good result and a well-deserved one. It is the result of a job that the Avintia Blusens team has been doing since the start of the season and today it has been proved that we are a team and that we do not give up anything for lost, despite fighting against a factory.
7 Hiroshi Aoyama (16th, 1L): I am happy because it has been a tough race for me but we have solved it pretty well. On the last ten laps I did not have enough strength in my hand to hold on to the bike and it has been hard. I have had a good battle with several riders but finally I missed the chance to score due to the hand injury. It has been a difficult weekend but very positive because a fortnight ago I was at home with the hand operated and not knowing if I could race and in a week I have done two races and I have finished them. Now we have nearly a month ahead to be able to recover physically, take care of myself and, from Indianapolis on, to fight for top positions among the CRTs again.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Eighth and ninth for Hayden, Dovizioso at Laguna Seca
Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso spent almost the entire United States Grand Prix in a battle with one another, ultimately finishing the race in eighth and ninth places, respectively.
Starting from the third and fourth rows of the grid, the two teammates sat in eighth and ninth places at the completion of lap one. Hayden followed the Italian until the halfway point, when he began to close in. A pass was made as they started lap 24 of 32, but the two touched on the front straightaway, causing the American to run wide in turn two. Hayden was able to reel Dovizioso in again and pass him through the Corkscrew with just two and a half laps remaining, and the duo retained their positions to the finish.
As a sign of respect for Andrea Antonelli, the young Italian rider who tragically lost his life today in the World Supersport race at Moscow Raceway, Hayden’s and Dovizioso’s Ducati Desmosedici GP13 machines wore a black stripe on their front fairings.
With the 2013 MotoGP season having reached its midway point, it now enters a three-week summer break, although this Thursday will find Dovizioso taking part in a test at Misano.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th
“It hasn’t been an easy weekend for us. Of course we hoped for more, but we know our potential is limited at the moment. I’m not happy with my start, and then I lost the rear brakes after about the fourth lap, maybe because they were overheating. I had no brakes for about two laps, but then I was able to pump them back up and close back on Dovi. I raced with him until I passed him on the front straightaway. When we touched, I never saw him; I just felt something hook my handlebar. It was an extremely close moment, and when I went into turn two, my folding clutch lever had pivoted up and my handlebar was tweaked. I couldn’t use the lever to back-shift and went through the turn in fourth gear, and then it took me a little bit to get used to the new position. Thankfully, I was able to pull him back and pass him. We’re not going to celebrate eighth place, but our competitors are stronger than us at the moment, especially on a bumpy track like this. Hopefully we can do something better after the summer break. I’d also like to add that it was sad to wake up to the news of Andrea Antonelli. Even though I didn’t know him, the loss of a fellow rider is a terrible tragedy.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th
“As we expected, it was a tough race, as it was difficult to control the bike and to be precise. We had hoped to do the whole race under a 1:23 pace, but it wasn’t possible. Unfortunately, I lost my position to Nicky near the end, but I did my best. I tried to set the rhythm ahead of Nicky to wear him down, but in the end it was him who wore me down! The contact on the front straight absolutely wasn’t intentional. Our bike tends to wheelie on the straightaway, and as a result, it’s not easy to control, which is why we came together. It was a somewhat dangerous situation, but these things can happen, though obviously unintentionally. Unfortunately, this morning we all got the tragic news of Andrea Antonelli’s incident in the Moscow Supersport race, and I’m thinking of his family and team. I didn’t know him well, but we’re the same age and we did some motocross races together for charity. It’s truly tragic, and I’m very sorry.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“Unfortunately, the day started with the tragic news of Andrea Antonelli’s incident in the Supersport race in Moscow, and that brought a veil of sadness over the entire paddock. I knew Andrea, and in the name of the entire Ducati Team, I would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family, his team, and all his relatives and friends. The race wasn’t particularly satisfying for us. Nicky and Andrea had a lonely race for eighth and ninth places and were involved in a nice battle with one another that included some very close contact, but we obviously can’t be satisfied with the result. Unfortunately, we’re still far from the leaders, and we must continue to work hard to try and reduce our gap.”