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Sep 28, 2013

Marquez Takes Seventh MotoGP Pole Position Of Rookie Season, At Motorland Aragon (Updated)

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy of Dorna/
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
September 28, 2013
Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

Qualifying Session One Results (top two advance to QP2):

1. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:49.724
2. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:50.394
3. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:50.685
4. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:50.995
5. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:51.030
6. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:51.297
7. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.327
8. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.519
9. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.552
10. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), 1:51.639
11. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:52.102
12. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), 1:52.305
13. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:52.989
14. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), 1:53.521

Qualifying Session Two Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:47.804
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:47.814
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:47.957
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:47.962
5. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:48.128
6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:48.302
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:48.653
8. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:48.854
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:49.219
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:49.348
11. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:49.428
12. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:50.094

Combined Qualifying Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:47.804
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:47.814
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:47.957
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:47.962
5. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:48.128
6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:48.302
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:48.653
8. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:48.854
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:49.219
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:49.348
11. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:49.428
12. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:50.094
13. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:50.685
14. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:50.995
15. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:51.030
16. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:51.297
17. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.327
18. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.519
19. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:51.552
20. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), 1:51.639
21. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:52.102
22. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), 1:52.305
23. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:52.989
24. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), 1:53.521

FIM Moto2 Qualifying Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:53.812
2. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:53.985
3. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 1:54.294
4. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:54.398
5. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:54.564
6. Simone CORSI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:54.595
7. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:54.601
8. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), 1:54.634
9. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:54.687
10. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), 1:54.690
11. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:54.694
12. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:54.709
13. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 1:54.743
14. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), 1:54.878
15. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:55.010
16. Danny KENT, UK (TECH 3), 1:55.026
17. Alex MARIÑELARENA, Spain (KALEX), 1:55.032
18. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:55.083
19. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:55.087
20. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), 1:55.137

FIM Moto3 Qualifying Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Alex RINS, Spain (KTM), 1:58.571
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KTM), 1:59.273
3. Alex MARQUEZ, Spain (KTM), 1:59.282
4. Philipp OETTL, Germany (KALEX KTM), 1:59.906
5. Efren VAZQUEZ, Spain (MAHINDRA), 1:59.932
6. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX KTM), 2:00.156
7. Miguel OLIVEIRA, Portugal (MAHINDRA), 2:00.221
8. Luis SALOM, Spain (KTM), 2:00.275
9. Arthur SISSIS, Australia (KTM), 2:00.337
10. Jakub KORNFEIL, Czech Republic (KALEX KTM), 2:00.362

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:


Crutchlow and Smith confident for Motorland Aragon race

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith head into tomorrow’s Gran Premio IVECO de Aragon confident they can secure a double top 10 finish in what promises to be an exciting 23-lap MotoGP battle.

A fastest lap of 1.48.653 in QP2 this afternoon will see Crutchlow start from seventh position on the grid, the British rider unfortunately unable to continue an excellent qualifying record in 2013 that had seen him qualify inside the top five in 13 previous attempts this season.

The 27-year-old’s quickest lap still ensured he was the fastest rider that didn’t attend a test session at the Motorland Aragon track back in June and he remains optimistic that a 10th top six finish of an outstanding season is well within his grasp.

Teammate Bradley Smith enjoyed a superb second day at the 14th round of the World Championship campaign. Overnight rain left the track littered with damp patches this morning and prevented Smith from trying to climb into the top 10 at the end of FP3 to move immediately into QP2.

The 22-year-old dominated QP1 with a best time of 1.49.724 and he then shaved off almost a second in the second 15-minute session to secure a grid position just one place behind Crutchlow in eighth.

His personal best time of 1.48.854 was just over a second off pole position and a fraction outside of 0.2s of the more experienced Crutchlow, with Smith emphatically proving his 13th position yesterday did not accurately show his true potential.
With tweaks to his riding style paying off immediately today, Smith is now full of confidence that he can battle for a ninth top 10 finish of an impressive rookie premier class campaign.

Cal Crutchlow 7th 1.48.653 – 8 laps :
“I can’t be happy to have missed out on a top six grid position for the first time this season. Qualifying just didn’t go according to plan and I feel we picked the wrong bike. We had a choice of two different settings and unfortunately we chose the wrong one. And on the three laps where I was really pushing for a time I didn’t nail any of them. I made a small mistake on each lap and that is the reason why I am only seventh on the grid, which is a bit disappointing because I was proud of the fact that I’d qualified in the top five in every race before this weekend. A good start is going to be crucial to try and go with the leading group but coming from seventh means I am expecting a very difficult race.”

Bradley Smith 8th 1.48.854 – 8 laps :
“The last two races have been pretty dismal, so it is great for me to be able to turn it around this weekend. I said yesterday that I didn’t feel 13th was a true reflection of my potential and thankfully I was able to show that was the case today. The bike felt great and I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. We had a long meeting last night and there were a lot of positive things that came out of it. I was able to change my riding style like they suggested and I got more feeling from the bike and the lap time was a big step from yesterday. Eighth is the position where I expect to be given the competitiveness of the package I am on. Today I got the good feeling back with the bike that I had in Brno and now I am really excited for the race. Tyre life will be the key tomorrow but hopefully I can race in front of the bikes of Dovizioso and Hayden and not behind them.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Double Repsol Honda front row as Marquez snatches 7th pole position of season

Marc Marquez has taken his seventh pole position of the season for tomorrow's Aragón GP, recording a time of 1'47.804, and comfortably broken Casey Stoner's record from 2011 (1'48.451). Marc waited until the last minute to set his fastest lap, recording the time on lap seven of eight, and beating Lorenzo to the front spot on the grid by just 0.010s.

Teammate, Dani Pedrosa, will start on the front row from 3rd position after also recording provisional pole and breaking Casey's record himself with a time of 1'47.957, taken on lap three of seven. Tyre degradation will be a key factor for tomorrow's 23 lap race that will start at 14h00 local time.

Marc Marquez 1st 1'47.804
“It was a very closely fought qualifying session. We were able to get maximum performance from the tyres, which was the key to this pole position. Small details decided things this afternoon. I am happy, because we were able to achieve our aim of a front row start and to have the pole is a bonus. Tomorrow it will be important to get a good start and keep calm in the early laps, with the intention of taking the race to Jorge and Dani"

Dani Pedrosa 3rd 1'47.957
"Even though the position on the grid maybe doesn't reflect it, today we had a good qualifying session. We did a good job today and a lap time that I'm pleased with, for tomorrow the key will be to have a good start as the first corner is very close to the start, so I want to have a strong first few laps and maintain a good pace for the whole race. The tyre wear will be crucial so it's also important to manage them for the race distance"

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory Racing Team:

Lorenzo and Rossi on Fire in Intense Aragon Qualifying Battle

Aragon (Spain), 28th September 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has taken second on the grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon after an intense 15 minute battle at the Motorland circuit this afternoon. The defending world champion was the first rider to set a time this afternoon, putting down a 1’48.241 to set the early pace at the front. He went on to improve with a 1’48.201 before relinquishing the top spot to Stefan Bradl with nine minutes remaining and returning to the pits for a fresh rear qualifying tyre. He was back out on track with just over five minutes remaining and became one of the key protagonists in an incredible fight for pole that saw multiple riders firing into the red as the lap times dropped into the 1’47s. Provisional pole was taken again then lost in the last seconds by just 0.010 seconds to rival Marc Marquez.

Teammate Valentino Rossi enjoyed his best qualifying experience of the year this afternoon, taking fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s race, just 0.158 seconds from pole position. The nine-time world champion waited in the pits for a minute at the start of the session, allowing the traffic of riders to leave before entering a relatively empty track space to focus on a lap time. He immediately fired off a 1’48.415 before improving again with a 1’48.366. Rossi then returned to the pits for fresh rubber and was back out again with five minutes remaining. The improvements continued as he began to threaten for provisional pole with red splits, dropping to a final time of 1’47.962 to take fourth on the grid, just 0.005 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa in third.

Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / 1'47.814 / 8 laps
“I knew I made a really good lap and I hoped to be in first position but I knew the other riders would be very close or in front of me. Finally for ten tenths of a second I lost it. I tried my best but I made a mistake in the first corner and lost one or two tenths so lost pole position. One thing is to make one fast lap, another is to make fast laps for the whole race. In the last practice before qualifying we found something extra for pace so we are stronger in one lap and also for the pace for the race. If the race remains in dry conditions it will be a good race.”

Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'47.962 / 8 laps

“I have a good feeling and I’ve improved my pace a lot and braking ability also. We have also improved the rear grip over long distance. I’m so happy because it was a great qualifying for me and I enjoyed it a lot. The level was very high and we were just one tenth from pole position, so we are all together. We have to see what the conditions are tomorrow; for sure today they helped us. With a few less degrees we are more competitive with the Yamaha. My pace is very similar to Jorge and Marquez and Pedrosa but we know that they are very fast so to try and stay with them I have to improve again tomorrow.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“Qualifying again in P2. It was much tighter than the last two races which is important. Normally this is not our favourite track, but it looks like we found something here today. The race pace will be slower than today but we've improved a lot this afternoon. We are thinking about tomorrow now because the race distance is long.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Today went pretty well even if we lost an important session this morning due to the track conditions. We have been able to make a big improvement so we are very close. We can start tomorrow with Jorge in front row and Valentino in second which is important. We still have a couple of things to adjust but we are positive. Looking at what we have done from yesterday to today, I think we are able to make something better for tomorrow morning and we will be ready for the race."

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Edwards and Corti will start in 17th and 18th place at Aragon

The NGM Mobile Forward racing team feels the effects of losing the 45 minute long morning free practice due to the track conditions and see Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti qualify in 17th and 18th place respectively for the Gran Premio IVECO de Aragon.

The American riders admits that he has been struggling more today than he has been in the past races. Edwards is not convinced that the software update tested by the team at the Misano test is working for him. His team has had some difficulty in finding the ideal setting for the Motorland track for his FTR – Kawasaki bike.

Teammate Claudio Corti feels he could have done a better job in qualifying today after making a fast lap yesterday of 1´51.4 but unable to repeat it today during qualifying. The Italian rider has yet to determine which will be his tire choice and remains positive, he believes the good work done by the team this weekend will payoff tomorrow during the race.

Colin Edwards

“We struggled today, I’ve had more problems these last two days than we’ve had in the last four races. We got the new software update during the Misano test after the race and I just can’t figure out if it is better or not. We have small problems that we haven’t really had before so we are going to have to do some work tonight, figure some things out and get a got start tomorrow.”

Claudio Corti

“Unfortunately I have not been able to improve the fast lap that I did yesterday during FP2 but I feel we have reached the bike’s limit and we are not able to go below 1´51s with the soft tire. We do have improved and made quite a big step with the hard tire but we have yet to decide which tire will be the one we use for the race. I feel I could have done better during qualifying and be further up the grid but overall things are going well. We will focus on taking full advantage of the work from both yesterday and today and get the bike ready for tomorrow’s race.”

Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director

“We have had some problems with the setting of the bikes that we have only been able to solve partially. The morning session (FP3) was useless given the track conditions, causing us to have 45 minutes less to work on the bikes for the race. Colin and Claudio will start from the 17th and 18th places on the grid respectively. We are not happy with today’s result because the gap with the front is considerably bigger than what it is usually. This track is probably not ideal for our bike given the long straights, and we are also far from the first CRT, Espargaro is 2 seconds faster than us. We need to try to narrow the gap for tomorrow and aim to be with both riders in the points.”

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Marquez motors to seventh pole position of the season at Aragon

Round 14: Aragon MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Motorland Aragon, Saturday 28 September 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 20-22°C; Track 20-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 27-27°C; Track 32-35°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez reigned supreme in a captivating qualifying session at Motorland Aragon in which the top six qualifiers posted times under the existing lap record.

Marquez’s time of 1’47.804 smashed the old Circuit Best Lap record by six-tenths of a second and saw the rookie pip Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo to the top grid slot by a mere 0.010 seconds. The reigning MotoGP™ champion split the Repsol Honda’s on the front row, as Dani Pedrosa claimed third in qualifying with a best lap time of 1'47.957. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro continued where he left off yesterday to qualify highest out of the CRT riders, his best time of 1'49.348 good enough for tenth place on tomorrow’s grid.

Overnight rain created damp track conditions for the Free Practice Three, limiting the number of riders who took to the track in the first session of the day. The track was completely dry for FP4, offering the teams an opportunity to work on a dry setup for the qualifying sessions and the race. A peak track temperature of 35°C was recorded today, 7°C lower than yesterday’s top reading. The combination of the soft rear and hard front slick was again the popular choice among the riders in FP4 and Qualifying, however some riders were able to utilise the greater edge grip of the soft compound front tyre to good effect. Rider feedback from today’s sessions suggests that the hard front slick will be the more widely used choice in a dry race tomorrow, though should weather conditions be cooler again, some riders may switch to the soft compound front slick.

Sunday’s morning Warm Up session is scheduled for 0940 local time tomorrow morning (GMT +2) and the twenty-three lap Aragon Grand Prix is set to start at 1400.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Conditions were cooler today but the overnight rain didn’t seem to negatively affect the grip level of the circuit and the pace today was very quick, with the top six riders in qualifying lapping under the existing lap record. The cooler track temperatures meant that almost no riders tried the harder rear slick options today, and also resulted in some riders reverting to using the softer front slick. The tyre combination that was most popular yesterday, the soft rear matched with the hard front was used by the majority of riders today and if we have a dry race, I expect this to be the preferred tyre choice. That said, the performance of the soft front slick in today’s cooler conditions was very good with three of the top ten riders in qualifying using this option, so both front slicks are performing well here. I anticipate an interesting race tomorrow as the pace among the first two rows of the grid is very close.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Third and fourth rows for Ducati Team at MotorLand Aragón

Following a third free-practice session that was rendered largely useless by a damp track caused by last night’s rains, the Ducati Team found itself unable to come up with an ideal setup for qualifying this afternoon. At day’s end, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were ninth and eleventh, respectively, putting them on the third and fourth rows for tomorrow’s Aragón Grand Prix.

Although both riders had hoped for higher starting positions, they’re relatively pleased with their qualifying times.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:49.219)
“Unfortunately, this is our position at the moment. We’re all going quite fast, but I’m satisfied with my qualifying time since I managed to improve by a second compared to the previous sessions. After following Bradl, I was able to drop some hundredths while riding by myself on the last lap, so I’m happy about that. Maybe we can battle with Smith in the race, although he’s a couple of tenths faster than I am. The riders ahead of him are quite far off.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 11th (1:49.428)
“At the end of the morning session, we went out on the damp track to get a feel for it, but it wasn’t very useful. We were able to improve something in the afternoon and were a lot faster than I went here last year, but everybody’s going a lot faster. Honestly, I’m quite disappointed to be so far back, but that’s the situation we’re in. We’re getting a lot of tyre wear because there are long corners where we’re on the edge of the tyre for a long time, but we have a couple of ideas for the morning that might help that. For the race, we need to get through turn one clean, see what happens with tyre wear and try and do our best.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Thanks to a best time of 1:50.094 recorded during today’s Q2 session, Andrea Iannone will start tomorrow’s race at MotorLand Aragon from the 12th position on the grid.

Like most of the premier-class riders, Andrea had sat out much of FP3 due to the damp track surface, a result of the rain that had fallen during the night. He only headed out on track approximately 10 minutes from the end of the session and completed a total of seven laps, and the conditions didn’t allow him to improve his 1:50.727 time from yesterday’s FP2. As a result, he didn’t transfer directly into Q2.

The work carried out in the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team garage during the subsequent FP4 session enabled the Italian to gain the necessary confidence for tackling Q1 with determination, and he moved on to the second and decisive qualifying session.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to ride much this morning. That would’ve been useful, but anyway I can say that the day went well. We’ve improved our pace since this morning. I felt better lap by lap, and in fact we made it into Q2. I still don’t feel perfect, as the rear is sliding and I can’t find the right grip to attack these long corners as I’d like. As a result, I can’t take full advantage on acceleration, maybe also due to my riding style. Braking performance has improved quite a bit though, and that showed in today’s times. We did a good job, and we’ll continue on this path.”

More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Yonny Hernandez will start tomorrow’s race from row 5 of the grid, a position he conquered at the end of Q1 today. The second day of action at the MotorLand Aragon circuit in Spain saw the Colombian rider set a best time of 1’50.685, which meant that he just missed out on entering the Q2 session by three-tenths of a second.

Damp track conditions at the circuit following overnight rain led most of the premier class riders to delay their entry onto the track for this morning’s third free practice session, valid for the line-up for Aragon GP qualifying in the afternoon. Luckily a gradual improvement of the track conditions allowed the afternoon sessions to go ahead as normal.

Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I’m pleased with how the day went. I feel better every time I go out on the track, as the feeling keeps improving. Now I have to understand the tyres, as I still don’t know where the limit is. Tomorrow is still an unknown; I don’t have a real goal apart from finding the right rhythm, finishing the race and understanding how the bike and tyres behave. So far, I still haven’t done more than 17 or 18 laps at a time, but there will be 23 tomorrow. I feel good physically, and I’m happy with the work the team and I are doing together. I’ll try my best tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Aragón, 28 September: LCR racer Stefan Bradl confirms his good shape at Aragón circuit riding his PlanetWin365 branded RC213V to the 5th spot on the grid ahead tomorrow’s 23-lap race. After this morning restriction action due the damp surface, the QP2 participants list was already clear and Bradl’s fifth fastest lap time (1’48.128) on soft rubber came following a tight battle for the front row with Marquez and Co.

Stefan Bradl

“Obviously I wanted to catch the P4 but Rossi, at the end, was a bit faster but I am pretty satisfied anyway. We had a good start of the weekend and we continue with a good base set-up and consistent pace. This makes us quite optimistic for the race tomorrow but we have got a big question mark about the tyres: actually we have a good pace in the first laps but the tyres drop down quickly. The key element will be to save the tyres as much as possible till the end of the race. At this stage I am happy because the rider and the Team are working good and I like this combination”.

More, from a press release issued by FIM:

2013 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón - Decision of the Race Direction
On 28 September, during the Moto3 Qualifying session of the Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón, rider number 19 Alessandro Tonucci was riding slowly and moved onto the racing line, causing another rider to take evasive action.

This is considered to be riding in an irresponsible manner and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

A Race Direction hearing was held at Motorland Aragon on 28 September and the decision of the Race Direction is to impose two Penalty Points to the record of Mr Alessandro Tonucci for the 2013 season, according to Article 3.2.1. of the 2013 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal was lodged.

The decision of the Race Direction is final.

More, from a press release issued Dorna Communications:

Championship leader Marc Marquez has achieved his seventh pole position of the MotoGP™ season, edging out Jorge Lorenzo by one hundredth of a second at MotorLand Aragon. Last year’s winner Dani Pedrosa will start third, with Valentino Rossi and Stefan Bradl completing the top five.

Marquez’s seventh pole and third in succession came following a tight battle in north-eastern Spain, with MotorLand Aragon being one of seven anti-clockwise circuits on the current calendar. Lorenzo had topped the timesheets on Friday morning before Marquez moved ahead, although – following a damp third session – it was Pedrosa who led the way in final practice ahead of qualifying.

The record pole time was delivered by Marquez in the form of a 1’47.804, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo preventing a Repsol Honda Team qualifying one-two. This means the top three on the grid will start in championship order, with Marquez holding a 34-point advantage over both of his rivals. Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi also saw his grid place match his position in the championship, being demoted from second to fourth in the final moments, ahead of Honda satellite riders Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).

Struggling for top speed on Aragon’s kilometre-long back straight, Cal Crutchlow could muster no more than seventh place while Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Bradley Smith qualified eighth and only two tenths of a second slower, having progressed from Q1 after being denied the chance of a direct Q2 position due chiefly to track conditions in third practice. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro (the leading CRT runner) completed the top ten, while Ducati’s Nicky Hayden (11th) and Energy T.I. Pramac’s Andrea Iannone (12th) rounded out the first half of the grid.

Yonny Hernandez enjoyed a strong debut for Ignite Pramac Racing and almost a spot in Q2 en route to 13th place, while Aspar’s Randy de Puniet settled for 16th following problems. Italian debutant Luca Scassa (Cardion AB Motoracing) will head up the back row from 22nd, covering for Karel Abraham, who is out for the rest of the season, while Australia’s Damian Cudlin – replacing Hernandez at PBM for both Aragón and Phillip Island – experienced a crash from which he suffered minor injuries to his right hand and arm. This weekend’s race marks Round 14 of 2013 and the fourth at MotorLand Aragon, which first appeared on the MotoGP™ calendar in 2010.


Nico Terol was fastest in the Moto2™ qualifying session for the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon, picking up his first pole position in the class. The Aspar Team Moto2 rider will start alongside Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro, with championship leader Scott Redding having managed only 13th place.

At the end of Day 1, Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami (second place finisher at the last four races) had topped the timesheets from Rabat, with championship contenders Espargaro and Redding both struggling. On this occasion, it was Terol – one day after his 25th birthday – atop the pile with his best effort of 1’53.812, with Rabat less than two tenths behind. Critically for third-placed Espargaro, he lines up ten places ahead of Redding and would be capable of snatching the championship lead should he win with the Englishman hitting trouble on Sunday.

The aforementioned Nakagami will head Row 2 from Terol’s Aspar teammate Jordi Torres and NGM Mobile Racing’s Simone Corsi, while reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese will line up ninth to equal his second-best qualifying performance of the campaign to date. Perhaps the biggest story of the day was that of championship leader Redding, whose 13th position was due to a combination of lack of grip and traffic, while Marc VDS Racing Team colleague Mika Kallio faired even worse and qualified 15th.

Terol’s pole position is the ninth of his career and first since qualifying quickest for the Malaysian Grand Prix towards the end of his title-winning 125 campaign in 2011. He now targets his second Moto2™ victory, having already triumphed in the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas.


Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins will begin the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon from pole position, starting alongside Maverick Viñales and teammate Alex Marquez. Philipp Oettl put in a standout performance for fourth place, with championship leader Luis Salom managing no more than eighth on the grid.

Following heavy rain in the early hours of Saturday morning, final practice had been held in mixed conditions before the sun came out over MotorLand Aragon in the afternoon. Courtesy of his truly impressive effort, Rins grabbed the top spot by no less than seven tenths of a second thanks to a leading lap time of 1’58.571. With Salom back on Row 3, Rins and second-placed Viñales (Team Calvo) are well aware that they are presented with an opportunity to reduce the championship lead of the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, who heads Viñales by 19 points and Rins by 21.

A superb performance by Philipp Oettl, son of former Grand Prix racer Peter, and currently in his maiden full World Championship season, saw the Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing rider achieve a front row position before being demoted by Marquez; nevertheless, his second row placing is by far his best to date and continues a strong run of form this weekend. Efren Vazquez will line up fifth for Mahindra Racing, while Jonas Folger delivered an inspiring and unexpected performance to qualify sixth for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3, despite having undergone surgery only last week after fracturing his left ankle in a crash last time out at Misano.

With Salom eighth, he is sandwiched into the middle of the third row by Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Arthur Sissis, while second teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin ended proceedings in 11th place following a small incident at Turn 12. Wildcard entrants and CEV rivals Maria Herrera and Bryan Schouten will start together on the grid, 31st and 32nd for Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 and Dutch Racing Team, respectively.