Jun 16, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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FIM MotoGP World Championship: The Catalunya Circuit.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
June 16, 2013
Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 25 laps, 43:06.479
2. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -1.763 seconds
3. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), -1.826
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), -5.874
5. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -26.756
6. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -32.228
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -32.692
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), -58.615
9. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), -63.142
10. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), -69.774, ran off track
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -84.377
12. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), -93.679
13. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), -105.355
14. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), -110.745
15. Javier DEL AMOR, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -1 lap
16. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -1 lap, crash
17. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -10 laps, DNF, crash
18. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), -15 laps, DNF, retired
19. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -20 laps, DNF, crash
20. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -20 laps, DNF, crash
21. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), -21 laps, DNF, crash
22. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), -24 laps, DNF, retired
Not finished first lap
23. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -25 laps, DNF, crash
24. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), -25 laps, DNF, crash
World Championship Point Standings (after 6 of 18 races):
1. Pedrosa, 123 points
2. Lorenzo, 116
3. Marquez, 93
4. Crutchlow, 71
5. Rossi, 60
6. Dovizioso, 59
7. Hayden, 45
8. Bradl, 41
9. Bautista, 38
10. Aleix Espargaro, 36
11. Smith, 34
12. Pirro, 28
13. Iannone, 21
14. TIE, Barbera/Petrucci, 13
16. De Puniet, 11
17. Edwards, 10
18. Ben Spies, 9
19. Hernandez, 6
20. Corti, 4
21. Laverty, 3
22. TIE, Staring/Abraham, 2
24. TIE, Hiroshi Aoyama/Del Amor, 1
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Repsol Honda duo take fourth double podium of 2013
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have once again returned to the podium together taking 2nd and 3rd respectively in the GP of Catalunya.
Dani, who this weekend became the youngest rider ever to reach the milestone of 200 GP starts (27 years 260 days), started from pole position for the first time at Montmelo in the MotoGP class. In a drag race to the first corner, title rival Lorenzo snatched first place and Dani dropped to second. Starting from sixth place, Marc had a fantastic start and was 3rd by the first corner, safely behind Lorenzo and Dani. The three Spanish riders maintained these positions and rode with incredible accuracy and consistency with just tenths of a second separating them for the entire 25 lap race. In the final laps Marc saw an opportunity to attempt a pass on Dani but was unable to achieve it and in the end settled for 3rd place.
Dani maintains his lead in the Championship standings with 123 points, 7 ahead of Lorenzo and Marc lies in third place with 93 points.
The team will now pack up in Catalunya and depart for Aragon for a two day test starting on Tuesday where they will test the 2014 RC213V prototype machine.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd Championship Standing: 1st - 123 points
"Today was a bit of a strange race. We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tyres. When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today. It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal. We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and in fact, on the closing laps, Marc made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place. We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra twenty points and we continue to lead the standings"
Marc Marquez 3rd Championship Standing: 3rd - 93 points
"It was a difficult race. We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge and Dani and I'm very happy with this result! It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal setup. During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium. I can only say I'm thrilled with the result. Now we look to Assen and we'll see if we can improve anything for that race during the test at Aragón"
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:
Lorenzo Delivers Perfect Catalunya Victory
Montmelo' Circuit (Barcelona, Spain), 16th June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo delivered a perfect performance today in the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take his second consecutive Grand Prix victory, his third of the 2013 season. A scorching start from third on the grid saw the local hero pass pole man Dani Pedrosa almost immediately for the hole shot into turn one. A classic Lorenzo master class followed with the reigning world champion maintaining a metronome precision over race distance to keep the two following Hondas of Pedrosa and Marc Marquez behind. The result closes the gap at the top of the championship standings with Lorenzo now on 116 points, just seven behind leader Pedrosa as they head for the Dutch TT in Assen in two weeks time.
Teammate Valentino Rossi made a good start on his YZR-M1, jumping two places to hold fifth going into turn one. The nine-time champion looked comfortable behind fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow until the young Brit crashed out, promoting Rossi to fourth. By this time a small gap had grown to the front three riders and despite at times lapping faster than the front he was unable to close the gap, riding a relatively lonely race to fourth at the line. The result gives Rossi 13 points and closes the gap to Crutchlow in fourth to just 11 points.
1st / 43'06.479 / 25 laps
“A perfect day, to be honest I didn't expect to win, I knew I had some chance but not like in Mugello where I was more convinced we could get the victory. It was really difficult physically as it was the hottest race of the year. I kept pushing 100% all race because any mistake would have been a disaster. I was surprised at the start as I expected to just pass Cal but I passed Dani also. I took profit from it and tried to open the gap but it was not enough to go away, Dani was there and we played some games, I was 0.5 ahead then 0.2; I was going then he was recovering me. Finally because I was tough mentally and never gave up I could open in the last five laps a little gap that was enough to win. The girl who designed my helmet, Anna Vives, is famous in Spain; she is a symbol that people with Down syndrome are capable of a lot more than some people think. I think it was very original and colourful so I was very proud and happy to have her on the podium to share the win with me.”
4th / +5.874 / 25 laps
“We wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but anyway it was quite a good race. Race by race, apart form the unlucky times, especially like Mugello, we grow up and I am able to ride the bike in a better way. We still have some challenges, especially in the first part of the race where I still don't have the right setting to push to the maximum. After some laps my pace was not so bad and we were not so far from the top guys. We did a good job and we will now go for two days of testing where we will try to improve further. We don't give up, we will make another step and we will not be so far from the front.”
“A fantastic day here in Barcelona, I think maybe one of his best races ever, maybe not the fastest as the circumstances were not good and the lap times were slow, but to ride on the limit every lap and push as he did to keep a little gap to Dani and Marc is very impressive. I’m very happy for the team and also Vale finished with good points which is good. The championship is close, there was a lot to lose and a little bit to win today, the five points extra we got are important. It’s always important to beat your competitors but it’s not always possible. Mugello and Catalunya are very smooth tracks and fit our bike quite well and Jorge loves them. For sure we will get some tracks where we struggle a bit more. We must think ahead, this one is done and there are still 12 races to go.”
“Another super performance from Jorge. He has been really impressive. I think the whole team did a really good job as they were able to close the gap, improving the bike overnight as yesterday we really suffered in hot conditions compared to our competitors. He couldn't have done better so compliments to him and his crew. For me Vale has done his best race after Qatar. His feeling is getting better and he is getting closer. I think the circumstances were very difficult today, really hot conditions and a big lack of grip. For me we closed the weekend in a really good way. After the race we have revised the test plan, due to the weather forecast. After internal discussion we have decided to stay here at Catalunya tomorrow and to test at Aragon on Wednesday only. We will test a few things for the frame to try and improve it; let's see what we can prepare for Assen.”
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
It was a tough weekend in the Ignite Pramac Racing Team garage, and it was made even more difficult when Michele Pirro made contact with Yonny Hernandez just after the start and ran wide in turn nine.
The Italian, in his second appearance as a substitute rider for Ben Spies, nonetheless rejoined the race and began the hard work of recovering positions, advancing as high as tenth place with nine laps remaining and maintaining that position to the end.
Pirro, who also serves as the Ducati Test Team rider, will remain at the Circuit de Catalunya tomorrow for an IRTA test, in which he’ll work on extracting maximum performance from the ‘laboratory’ version of the Desmosedici GP13.
Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“Unfortunately, in order to avoid Hernandez on the first lap, I was forced to go long in a corner and run off the track. Then I took a long time to get through the gravel because of the anti-spin, and by the time I got back on track, I couldn’t see anyone—I thought maybe the race was finished! At that point, I gave it everything I had to recover as many positions as possible. I tried switching maps to see if it would reduce the pumping, but I wasn’t able to reduce the gap as much as I wanted. I hoped to catch Dovi, but then I realized that the tyre was losing a lot and I had to settle for tenth place. We didn’t change much compared to Mugello, as we didn’t have enough time, but due to the worse pumping and grip we found all this weekend, this is how it went. On one hand I’m happy to have had the opportunity to ride here because we were able to see this bike’s limits, but on the other hand I’m disappointed because I hoped to have a better result. We’ll see how things go in tomorrow’s test, and then at Assen, although I still don’t know which bike I’ll ride.”
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Lorenzo keeps cool in scorching conditions to win the Catalan Grand Prix
Round 6: Catalan MotoGP™ - Race
Montmeló, Sunday 16 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 31-32°C; Track 55-57°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made it back-to-back MotoGP™ victories after a masterful display in sweltering conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Lorenzo got a great start to lead into the first corner and then kept his cool in the extremely hot conditions to break the resolve of the pursuing Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa with a few laps remaining. Lorenzo took the chequered flag 1.763 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, while Marc Marquez ensured two Repsol Honda riders on the podium by crossing the finish line less than a tenth of a second behind his teammate in third place. At his home circuit, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the highest-placed CRT rider, finishing in eighth position for the second consecutive race.
Extremely hot weather prevailed today resulting in a track temperature during the race of 57°C. Grip levels in the scorching conditions were reduced, so the majority of riders selected softer rear slicks to have the maximum amount of grip from the edge of the tyre for the many long corners at this circuit. Front tyre choice was almost constant across the grid, with only one rider selecting the soft option, medium compound front slick for today’s twenty-five lap contest. The harder front slick provided greater stability under braking and cornering, though at a slight expense to grip from the edge of the tyre when the rider is at their maximum lean angle.
Lorenzo’s victory and corresponding twenty-five points means he now sits just seven points behind Pedrosa in the MotoGP championship standings, while Marquez is thirteen points behind Lorenzo and third overall.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Conditions today were the hottest on race day so far this year which made the track quite greasy and a challenge for the riders. The heat made tyre management even more important; first of all managing the front-end load on the slippery track surface with a full tank of fuel in the early laps, and then managing tyre wear - particularly at the rear - in the later stages. Even though it was so hot, none of the works riders selected the harder rear option for the race as they wanted the better edge grip of the softer option. Considering we had such extremely severe conditions for tyres, the softer rear slick performed well today.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“Today was the hottest race this year and physically it was very hard. I made a better start than I expected and was able to pass Cal and Dani, and after that I just tried to keep my rhythm. For most of the race Dani was always there behind me, but in the last five laps I managed to pull a small gap. It was a special race in front of my home crowd.”
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Inspired by the good setup he and his team had found over the weekend, Andrea Iannone made an aggressive start to the Catalan Grand Prix in an effort to score a top-ten result, and he stayed with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso for the first five laps.
Unfortunately, he then lost the front and fell in turn ten, ending his race prematurely.
The incident was particular disappointing considering the promising morning warm-up session, in which the Italian had set consistently good lap times. Nonetheless buoyed by the positive signs that emerged during this sixth round of the MotoGP championship, the team and Andrea are focused on tomorrow’s test day at this same track, where they’ll work with an eye toward the June 27-29 Assen TT.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“The track was slower than it had been this morning, and especially compared to yesterday. I had very little front grip, and I was losing the bike in many parts of the track. I knew that the high temperature was probably affecting the pace, but I was able to manage it. I tried to ride more or less like Nicky, but maybe we were right at the limit for the conditions because first I fell and then he did. Dovi, on the other hand, backed off, maybe because he immediately understood the situation; he used his experience, which I still don’t have. My tyre choice was the only possibility, as it would’ve been worse if I’d used the soft front. The pace this morning was a second higher, and then probably the increase in temperature had another big affect, causing troubles that we hadn’t yet encountered. We were there today, and we gave it our all; we could’ve had a decent race, but maybe I shouldn’t have kept pushing so hard. Anyway, I hope to be able to have other weekends like this, and we’ll see if we can get some good results.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
STRONG 5th PLACE FOR BRADL AT SCORCHING CATALUNUYA GP
Montmeló, 16 June: the field got way in stifling conditions today for the 25-lap race at Montmeló race track with LCR racer Stefan Bradl enjoying a second consecutive top five finish. During the first three practice sessions Bradl was on impressive form and despite the tenth place of yesterday’s qualifying, the German produced another positive race wisely managing the life of the tyres.
“Honestly we thought it would have been tough to get such a good result so we are very happy about this P5. It has been a very tough race in these hot conditions and I had to be very clever to save the tyres in every single lap. Some riders crashed in the first part of the race so I decided to be less aggressive in the beginning. I am quite satisfied about my performance because I was capable to adapt to these difficult conditions. This strategy gave me a lot of confidence and a big gap to the guys behind me. Tomorrow we will back on track for a half-day test here and then 2-day testing in Aragon”.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Dovizioso seventh in Catalonia, crash for Hayden
In a Catalan Grand Prix that was marked by sweltering, slippery conditions that contributed to no fewer than ten riders failing to finish and several others taking off-track excursions, Ducati Team racer Andrea Dovizioso was forced to ride in defence mode on his way to seventh place aboard his Desmosedici GP13. Teammate Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, experienced a premature end to what had otherwise been a promising weekend, as he crashed out on the sixth lap.
Having started from the ninth slot on the grid, Dovizioso was mired in the pack early on, and although he had some nice battles with Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith, his bike lost grip as the race went on, forcing him to settle for seventh place. His American teammate lost a few positions just off the start but rode well as he made the passes to regain his fifth-place starting position. Unfortunately, a lap-six mistake on corner entry resulted in a race-ending fall.
The Ducati Team will remain in Barcelona tomorrow for the post-race IRTA test.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
“We knew it was going to be difficult on this track, due to the layout and the bike’s pumping, but it was worse than we thought. I really didn’t think I’d do such slow lap times, but with the heat, the performance became worse and worse every lap as we lost grip. It’s just more confirmation that we’re still a long way back, and that we have a lot more work to do.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, NC
“It’s such a disappointment because until the crash, it had been my best weekend of the year so far. I got a pretty good jump on the start, but some guys overtook me going to turn one. I had to make a few passes, but once I got into fifth I thought I had the grip to do a solid race. Unfortunately, I went into a corner a bit deep, stayed on the brake too long, and went down. It was my fault, especially with the track being so hot and greasy, and I apologize to the team because they had given me a bike that was working pretty well. There’s nothing to do but take it on the chin and try to shake it off.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a weekend to forget, with a crash for Nicky, who until then had enjoyed a fairly good feeling with the bike and shown good results in practice and qualifying. It was a big disappointment when he crashed in the same corner where many other riders went down. As for Dovizioso, he had a solid race until mid-distance, but he suffered a tremendous loss of grip, with blistering on the rear tyre. We didn’t expect too much from Catalunya, as it hasn’t been our best track in the recent past, but we certainly wish we had done better. We’re looking forward to the IRTA test tomorrow, when we’ll try some new things and see if they’ll help us improve on a track that’s so tough for our bike.”
More, from a press release issued by Honda:
PEDROSA & MARQUEZ SECOND & THIRD FOR HONDA AT CATALUNYA
Local stars Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) finished second and third in this afternoon’s Catalan Grand Prix at Catalunya, a race run in sweltering conditions that turned into something of an exercise in tyre management.
The team-mates chased Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) throughout, spending most of the 25 laps less than half a second behind the reigning World Champion, who stretched his advantage in the final few laps to win by just 1.7 seconds.
Pedrosa’s second successive runner-up result – following wins at Jerez and Le Mans – means he retains the World Championship lead, with a seven-point advantage over Lorenzo at one-third distance in the 18-round series.
Pedrosa started his 200th Grand Prix from pole position, also for the second race in a row, but was edged out in the race to the first corner by Lorenzo, with MotoGP rookie Marquez slotting into third after an excellent start from the second row of the grid. The trio stayed in those positions throughout, but they were so close, with the gaps changing by tenths or even hundredths of a second each lap, that the tension remained.
In the early stages Pedrosa was comfortable running Lorenzo’s pace but when he tried to step up his rhythm to attack he found himself on the limit with front grip. So he waited patiently for the fuel load to go down to ease the issue but he never had enough speed into the corners to try for the lead, even though he altered his position on the bike to ease the load on the front tyre.
Then in the closing stages Marquez – who had set the fastest lap of the race on lap three – began to challenge his team-mate for second. The reigning Moto2 champ came closest to getting past with two laps to go, when he got inside Pedrosa at Turn Four, only to suffer a major front-end moment. He performed a miracle to stay on and even then didn’t give up the chase, crossing the line a mere 0.063 seconds down on Pedrosa.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) backed up his fourth-place finish at Mugello – a result that equalled his career-best in the premier class – with a good ride to fifth. He spent much of the race riding with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), whom he beat at Mugello after a fearsome end-of-race encounter.
MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was happy to score his first points in the championship, with a 14th place finish in tricky conditions.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini
RC213V) had another bitterly disappointing day, sliding off at Turn Ten on the first lap after losing the front. He was challenging Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) at the time. Two weeks ago at Mugello the Spaniard and the Italian both crashed out after colliding on the first lap of the race.
Bautista was far from the only man to hit the gravel today. The baking hot conditions caused grip worries for many riders after the first few laps. In all, seven of the 24 starters crashed out.
Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) reignited his challenge for the 2013 Moto2 title with his first win since Qatar in the Honda-powered championship. The local – born just eight kilometres from the circuit – dominated the race, riding in team formation with team-mate Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex).
Espargaro attributed his return to form to a fruitful post-race test at Mugello, where he improved his feeling for his bike and Dunlop’s
2013 tyres. Today he led from pole, let his team-mate through shortly after half-distance, followed him for a while and then surged ahead once more. Rabat never gave up, closing onto the leader’s rear wheel at the start of the final lap, but he was unable to find a way past before the flag. Espargaro’s second win of the year moved him from fifth to second in the points standings, just ahead of Rabat and 35 points behind series leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who finished fourth today
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) filled the last place on the podium and the Swiss was delighted with the result, his first top-three finish since he returned from breaking an arm during preseason testing. At one point Luthi looked like he might be able to run with Espargaro and Rabat, but in the end he had to settle for a comfortable third, some way ahead of Redding.
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) took the flag in fifth spot after fending off a strong challenge from Randy Krummenacher (Technomag carXpert Suter). Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) finished seventh.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) won a frantic contest for eighth place which at one point included seven riders. He beat Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) by less than a tenth of a second. Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) and Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) were next up, with just six tenths covering eighth to 11th.
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) rode a heroic Moto3 race, spending the early laps battling in the midst of the lead group, at one point working his way through to second spot. But as the race wore on and engine temperatures rose, the hard-charging Australian slipped back to seventh, his second best result of the year so far. He finished sixth in April’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) also rode a strong race, winning a breathtaking nine-man dogfight for eighth. The group battled together for much of the race, often four or five abreast as they hit the brakes at the end of Catalunya’s long start/finish straight. The Frenchman crossed the line at the head of the group, followed closely by seven more Honda riders. Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Alan Techer (CIP TSR Honda), Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), Alessandro Tonucci (Team La Fonte Tasca Racing Honda) and Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) filled 11th to 17th positions at the end of the race.
MotoGP riders now have a busy few days of testing here at Catalunya and then at Motorland Aragon.
The racing continues in two weeks with the Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday 29 June.
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Today was a bit of a strange race. We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tyres. When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today. It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal. We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and, in fact, in the closing laps, Marc [Marquez] made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place.
We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra twenty points and we continue to lead the standings.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“It was a difficult race. We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge [Lorenzo] and Dani [Pedrosa] and I’m very happy with this result! It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal set-up. During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium. I can only say I’m thrilled with the result. Now we look to Assen and we’ll see if we can improve anything for that race during the test at Aragon.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th
“Honestly we thought it was going to be tough to get such a good result, so we are very happy about this fifth place. It was a very tough race in hot conditions and I had to be very clever to save the tyres every single lap. Some riders crashed in the early stages, so I decided to be less aggressive in the beginning. I am quite satisfied about my performance because I was capable of adapting to these difficult conditions. This strategy gave me a lot of confidence and a big gap to the guys behind me.
Tomorrow we will be back on track for a half-day test here and then two days at Aragon.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“It is such a shame. We have had a great weekend and this was the last thing we needed.
After the start I felt like the guys in front of me were holding me up and in an effort to stay with the lead group I tried to get past them and I crashed. Maybe with a hard tyre on the front I could have been a bit more careful but I was worried about losing touch and I went for it. In hindsight it would have been better to wait but in racing these things happen. I feel sorry for the team because they have done a great job here and I want to apologise to all the guys, who are giving 100% and deserve a different result. Now we just have to look forward to the next race and try to stay calm.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th “I scored my first World Championship points today but I am still not particularly happy because I would have liked to do it more on the front foot. It wasn’t an easy race because of the conditions and I was able to improve my pace from qualifying so that’s good but I’m still not happy to be honest. Anyway, we have to take the positives and try to learn from this experience in the future.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: race winner “You can imagine how it felt for me yesterday to get pole for my home race, because I knew it was so important for me to recover my confidence in the motorcycle. Also, to be on pole gave me extra power and energy. Today was one of the best rides of my life – I’ve never won a Grand Prix here at my home track and it’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. Now we need to continue working to recover some more points on Scott.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: 2nd
“Congratulations to Pol and also thanks to our team, they did a great job here. The weekend was very difficult to begin with because we had some little set-up problems that we only began to solve yesterday afternoon, when I began to find my rhythm, and again in warm-up. In the race Pol was stronger than me. I tried to stay with him and I pushed to my maximum. At the end he pushed even harder and I pushed again but on the last lap it was impossible to pass him. I’m happy though, I rode an intelligent race.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock: 3rd
“It’s been tough since I broke an arm before the start of the season. Now I’m so happy and third place feels like a victory after the time I’ve had. I want to thanks my team for all their support during these last months. I don’t feel like this is a peak for us, I hope it’s just the start of some good results. I could stay with the leaders for a while but then they were faster out of the corners and I had no chance to fight for victory. From half-distance I was fighting more with my arm.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 7th “The first nine laps were good, then the engine got too hot and we lost some power. It was a shame because my tyres stayed good and the bike was tracking awesome through the corners. I was quicker through the corners than the other guys in the lead group so I thought I’d murder the tyres, but they were good all the way through.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 8th
“The race was really good, a lot of fun! All the time I kept making it to the front of the second group because I wanted to catch the first group, but it was too difficult without a slipstream. My problem was the start. I qualified tenth but my first lap wasn’t good, I wasn’t in the right place.”
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 11th
“I am very happy with the work we have done this weekend. Today’s race was tough because the pace of riders between eighth and 15th was, so any mistake lost you several positions. I rode at a good pace and I felt very comfortable on the bike. We found a good set-up and the chassis was fine. A top ten is not bad because I got more points and I’m happy because I feel I’m improving in each race.”
More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:
Abraham didn’t finish the race due to technical problems
Karel Abraham couldn’t finish the race in Spain because of technical problem on his motorcycle Aprilia ART. The Czech rider performed good start and thanks good ride and some crashes of riders ahead of him, Karel was driving on the tenth position, which he was defending for a couple of laps. Then he was forced to drive to the pit and retire from the race due to above-mentioned and for now not specified fault. The Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo won Grand Prix of Catalonia after excellent ride on his Yamaha factory bike. His greatest rivals Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez followed him on Hondas.
„What can I say about it? I can’t find any polite words right now. We could reach a very nice portion of points and we have nothing. Start was good; I was riding in a group with Espargaro and Edwards, where I was fighting for eighth place. Barbera and Pirro were in a quiet safe distance behind us. On the straight the motorbike started to falter, we didn’t find out what was cause for now. Our guys will now work on this and we will see. I’m really disappointed, I was very close to the best result of the season and probably I will remember it for a while.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„We haven’t been so sad in this season yet. In the morning warm up we were trying a small change on the setting and it succeed. The motorbike was working perfectly. As only team we choose the hard type of tyres that turned off as a good choice. After a good start Karel was driving good times and it could be expected that on hard tyres in last laps of the race he could be fighting with Edwards and Espargaro. We are not sure what was the cause of fault of the bike. Probably it was electronics but we will have more exact information tomorrow.“
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Super sixth for Smith, Crutchlow falls in Catalunya
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team experienced a day of contrasting fortunes at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya this afternoon, the highlight of the 25-lap race a stunning career best sixth place finish for rookie Bradley Smith.
Smith’s joy at his first top six in MotoGP was countered though by a disappointing afternoon for on form Cal Crutchlow, who saw his quest for a record-breaking third successive podium ended when he fell unhurt out of fourth on lap six.
Smith’s weekend ended on a positive note after the 22-year-old bounced back superbly from a heavy crash on Friday, which followed two nasty falls during the previous round in Mugello.
Nursing a badly damaged little finger and fractured bone in his left wrist after the Mugello crashes, Smith brushed aside the pain and discomfort this weekend and he needed only three laps in baking hot conditions to move into the top 10.
With a track temperature nudging a sizzling 52 degrees, tyre management became a critical factor on the slippery surface. Smith coped with the tricky track conditions more like a seasoned campaigner than a rookie and his maiden top six was secured when he passed Andrea Dovizioso on lap 23, having recovered a gap to the Italian that was over four seconds at one stage.
Cal Crutchlow’s incredible run of form ended in the early stages when he fell out of fourth while in pursuit of Spanish trio Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
Seeking to add to his brilliant top three finishes in Le Mans and Mugello, the 27-year-old had further raised expectations when he topped the timesheets in this morning’s warm-up session.
The British rider still remains in fourth position in the World Championship standings on 71-points and he is confident he will be back in the podium hunt at the next race in Assen.
Bradley Smith 6th – 34 point:
“Obviously today was a much more positive result for me, even if sixth position looks a bit better than it really is. But at the end you have to finish the race to score the points and I did that in difficult conditions while not at my 100% physical best. So it is a great result for the team and me. I really focused on the first eight laps trying not to make any mistakes and trying to stay as close to Dovizioso and (Stefan) Bradl because I knew they should have been more or less on the same race pace as me. I tried to attack Espargaro as quick as possible so I didn’t lose too much time and I managed that. Finally to be in a fight with Andrea towards the closing laps of the race, knowing that he has been always very strong during this part of the race, was obviously something special and makes me feel proud. And to finish 32 seconds behind the winner is another great step and I just want to continue like this until the summer break. My team did a fantastic job to help me on the YZR-M1 and we really turned around a difficult Friday to have a great result on Sunday and that makes me really happy.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 71 points:
“Obviously I am disappointed that a great weekend ended with a crash and I have to hold my hands up and say it was a stupid mistake on my part. Like last season and again in the first few races of 2013, I have been struggling to stop the bike in the early laps with a full fuel load. I was giving it my all to stay in the battle with the top three and unfortunately I hit the kerb on the inside and crashed. It was a silly mistake and I am sorry to the team because I am confident I could have stayed in the fight for the podium right to the end. We have got to understand why we don’t have so much grip at the start of the race but I can take some big positives out of the weekend again. I was on the front row, I was fastest in the warm-up and I was battling for the podium in the race. Now we can go to Assen confident that I will have good speed and be in the rostrum fight again.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Today we have mixed feelings. On one hand we are delighted to see Bradley having such a strong race into the top six and that will do his confidence the world of good. But on the other hand we are a little disappointed because we had big expectations for Cal after he did a great weekend and was fastest in warm-up. He was right behind the top three and we knew the first laps would be difficult with the full fuel tank. We had passed that difficult moment but the conditions were tricky with the heat and the surface was very greasy. Cal crashed and it is a shame but he has still done a fantastic job this season and I know he will be strong in Assen. Bradley did an outstanding job. He pushed non-stop right from the start and to see him catching a factory Ducati with Andrea on board, who was on the podium with us here in 2012, was something really special. He is learning very fast and he showed lots of courage again today because he is still in pain and discomfort with his hand and wrist injuries. He can take plenty of confidence from today and hopefully it won’t be too long before he is fighting for the top six again.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has won the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya for the third time in four years, beating Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on Sunday afternoon. Valentino Rossi rode a lonely race to fourth position while as many as eight riders retired, including Cal Crutchlow who crashed out on the sixth lap.
Two weeks ago, Lorenzo had sealed his second victory of the campaign in Italy, and he now becomes the first rider to win three times in 2013, moving to within seven points of championship-leading Pedrosa. This afternoon, the Mallorcan made the most of the battling Hondas to pull out a lead of over one second with four laps to go.
As he rode to victory, Pedrosa was forced to fight a rear-guard action even though Marquez had almost removed himself from the race on the penultimate lap. Heading into Turn 4 on the 24th of the 25 tours, Marquez suffered a significant scare and came perilously close to losing the front end of his bike. He would go on to reduce a six-tenth of a second margin to finish the race just six hundredths behind Pedrosa, although the key to his day had been a strong getaway from sixth on the grid.
Taking advantage of the dramas in front of him – such as accidents for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, going out in separate solo incidents on the tenth lap – Stefan Bradl enjoyed a second consecutive top five finish as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith celebrated a personal best result of sixth.
The leading CRT rider for the sixth time in as many Grand Prix this season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, finished eighth for the second race in a row, while GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was upset to have crashed on the opening lap following a near-miss with Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha.
Also in the gravel at the La Caixa corner were PBM’s Michael Laverty and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro, although the Italian went on to finish tenth. The high attrition allowed an assortment of riders to enjoy their best races of the season, including Australian newcomer Bryan Staring who finished 14th to score the first points for the Gresini CRT bike. Scoring on his debut was Avintia Blusens’ Javier del Amor, substituting for Hiroshi Aoyama who injured a finger in a crash on Saturday.
The majority of the MotoGP grid will stay on for a one-day test tomorrow at the Montmelo circuit.
Pol Espargaro has claimed his second victory of the Moto2™ campaign, winning Sunday’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya after fending off teammate Esteve Rabat. In third place, Tom Luthi returned to the podium for the first time since Brno 2012.
It was a race of high attrition in which 11 of the 34 starters failed to make the finish on another warm afternoon in Catalunya. On Saturday, Espargaro had taken pole position and was only headed this afternoon when he allowed Tuenti HP 40 teammate Rabat through, only to retake the lead on Lap 17. Rabat mounted a strong attack on the final lap and would be less than one tenth of a second behind at the finish line.
Several riders ran into trouble, not least Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elias who was caught up in drama at the first corner. It was also a disappointing conclusion for Dynavolt Intact GP’s reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese, who pitted after going off at Turn 10, suffering from when Elias had collided with him, and Jordi Torres, who crashed his Aspar Team Moto2 bike out of the race in the middle of the first chicane on the 18th of the 23 laps.
Having demonstrated strong form in practice, Luthi was thrilled to claim his first podium finish of the season for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing, despite being yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in a Valencia pre-season testing accident. Scott Redding maintains his championship lead courtesy of fourth place for Marc VDS Racing Team, with Takaaki Nakagami fifth for Italtrans Racing Team.
The top ten was completed by Technomag carXpert’s Randy Krummenacher, Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco, Krummenacher’s teammate Dominique Aegerter, Marc VDS’ Mika Kallio and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi.
Luis Salom has won the Moto3™ Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take the lead in the World Championship. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider carried out a well-judged race, saving tyres before hitting the front in the closing stages. Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales completed the podium as the top five places were filled by Spaniards.
Salom’s second consecutive victory makes him the first rider to have won three races so far in 2013, also continuing his 100% podium record which helps him move ahead in the standings. In the opening stages he ran at the back of the front group to conserve his Dunlops, but elected to move ahead six laps from home and promptly pulled out enough of an advantage.
The race featured several leaders early on, including Estrella Galicia duo Rins and Alex Marquez as well as Team Calvo’s Viñales. Heading into the final two laps, Marquez and Mahindra Racing’s returning Efren Vazquez fell back which ensured a three-rider fight at the front; despite the best efforts of Viñales in the stadium section at the end of the lap, Salom had pulled out enough of a cushion on the back straight.
Behind what was the leading group for much of the afternoon, Miguel Oliveira rode the second Mahindra to sixth place as Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller finished seventh after running as high as third. The top ten was completed by Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou and Salom’s teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis. In 15th place, San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati finished in the points for the third time this year.
Six riders failed to make the finish. GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli made a mistake at Turn 4 whereas Marc VDS Racing Team’s Livio Loi and Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil collided at Turn 5, taking the former out of the race before the latter pulled into the pits several laps later. Loi was taken to hospital later for preliminary checks after suffering concussion. Three riders were removed in a multiple collision into the stadium section on the opening lap, as contact between RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema and Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo saw the pair collect Kiefer Racing’s Toni Finsterbusch who was approaching on the outside line.
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
9th place for Edwards and first points of the season for Corti
The Gran Premi de Catalunya comes to an end with both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti in the points. Montmelo has been the scene at which both riders have achieved their best results so far this season.
The American rider has exceeded his expectations and has not only finishing in the points for the third race in a row, he has also finished in the Top10, 2nd best CRT and best FTR-Kawasaki today at Montmelo. Edwards feels he has a good FTR – Kawasaki package to move forward with.
Italian teammate Claudio Corti has also achieved his goal of taking the first points of the season for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team. Corti had been struggling all weekend with the setting of the bike but finally managed to solve the problems in time for the race and finish in 12th place and 4th best CRT bike.
Both riders look forward to the upcoming race at Assen in two weeks time.
“Got a good start. No real big changes since yesterday on the bike, pretty happy with the package. In the first couple of laps it seemed like guys were crashing, losing the front, dust clouds here and there but my bike was working good. Once I kind of got clear track and saw Espargaro in front of me, like normal I put my head down and push as hard as I could. Felt like I was catching him a little bit, he pulled me, I catch him, he pulled me and we kind of had this accordion thing going on for half of the race. At the end I saw Aleix and just kind of trying to stay with it and lost some rear contact, the grip got so greasy that you go in and it was coming around going in. My options were to push and go into the gravel and maybe catch him or survive and bring the thing home. I saw on the board that we were in the Top10 and I thought that getting into the Top10 for the team after a difficult start of the season would be good. Thanks to the team, they have done a great job and thanks to the electronics, they really came through and we got a good package to move forward with.”
“We came to Barcelona with a clear goal, get in the points and we have done it. The weekend didn’t start off well; I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. During the race I struggled a lot, I do not particularly enjoy this track but still got the job done and finished in 12th place. After a difficult race at Le Mans and being constrained to retire at Mugello, it feels good to be able to finish a race and have new data to analyze in order to be better prepared for the upcoming races. Tomorrow we will be testing here and we have several new modifications to test. We have to keep up the hard work to improve the feeling with the front. Congratulations to Colin for getting the team in the Top10 today, great job!”
Sergio Verdena, MotoGP Technical Director
“This has been a great day for our team, finally both riders have finished the race in the points. Colin has done a fantastic race and has finished in 9th place, the best result of the team in MotoGP. Best FTR - Kawasaki and second best CRT. Only Espargaro was the only other CRT in front of us: both him and Colin had t he same pace and were close for most of the race, only in the last few laps Colin decided not to take an unnecessary risk. Claudio has done a great job today and finished in the points. We have progressed a lot, at the beginning of the season we had some difficulties because the bike was new and we had to go through the learning process and development of the bike. Thanks to FTR, Akira Technologies and 2D for thesupport they give us at every race. It feels like we are on the right path and we need to keep working. The goal is to be among the best CRTs and reduce the gap with the MotoGPs.”
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:
A fall with nine laps remaining pushes Barberá out of the top ten
Javier Del Amor scores in his MotoGP debut
Montmeló, 16 June 2013. Nobody could have imagined -nor of course himself- that a regular rider of the Spanish Championship, who had gone with his street bike to see Friday’s free practices of the Catalunya GP, would go out on Sunday, of this same circuit, with a point scored in the MotoGP World Championship. Right, so that was what Javier Del Amor got this morning when he crossed the finish line in fifteenth position in MotoGP race at the circuit of Catalunya. Javier, who replaced unexpectedly yesterday the injured Aoyama and had never ridden a bike with these features previously, not only achieved the main goal, which was to finish the GP, but he also did it on the top fifteen. No doubt, both the team and Del Amor will remember this day with great affection given the special circumstances that surrounded his entry in this GP.
Less "pleasant" was the end of the weekend for Héctor Barberá who fell with nine laps remaining to finish the GP. After a good comeback, catching the first two CRTs and placing himself on the top ten, Barberá could not avoid the fall when the grip of the front tyre said "enough is enough" at the entrance of a corner. Héctor kept a strong pace that allowed him to fight with the first CRTs, but having to push quite hard his riding to be in those positions. Without any physical consequence for Barberá, the fall prevented the Avintia Blusens rider from scoring well deserved points.
8 Héctor Barberá (NC): I have not started well because when I have shifted into second gear, the rivals have started to overtake me in a blatant way. It has been strange, as if the bike did not have power at that time. That has made me finish the first lap very delayed and then I have had to move up, but it is complicated. Today's engine was standard, the day was very hot and the official bikes are very fast. Despite this, I have caught the first CRTs and I was fighting at a good pace, but when you push too hard in brakings to shorten the gap, at the end it can happen what has happened to us today. I have tried to give the maximum and sometimes it goes well and others it does not.
77 Javier Del Amor (15th, +1lap): I think that I am living a dream but until it passes a few hours, or maybe until tomorrow, I will not be aware of everything that has happened. First of all, I want to thank the team the opportunity that has given me of living a day like today. It is great having been able to race a MotoGP GP and having done so with this team to which I have a very special affection. Making my debut with Avintia Blusens and, besides that, scoring is truly amazing. Today it was very hot, the asphalt slipped a lot and, surely, that is why there have been so many falls. You had to be careful and I have taken precautions because what I wanted was to finish. I do not know what will happen in the future but I assure you that I will never forget today.