MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Factory Honda team-mates Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) have dominated both days of practice and qualifying for the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas here in Austin, Texas, making the pair firm favourites for tomorrow’s race.
Marquez took pole position this afternoon with a thrilling display of aggressive riding. It was another impressive performance from the 20-year-old rookie who bounced back from a heavy tumble during this morning’s third practice session. Marquez – who has led all but one session here – is now the youngest-ever rider to have achieved pole position in the premier class, bettering Freddie Spencer, who has held the record since he took pole at the 1982 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, Spain.
Tomorrow Marquez will bid to become the youngest-ever winner of a premier-class motorcycle Grand Prix. If he does so, he will once again take the record from Honda rider ‘Fast Freddie’ Spencer who won the Belgian Grand Prix in July 1982 at the age of 20 years and 196 days. Marquez will start tomorrow’s race at 20 years and 64 days old.
So far Pedrosa is the only man to have bettered Marquez in a practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, the Spaniard ending this morning’s FP3 session almost four tenths ahead of his compatriot. In qualifying former 125 and 250 World Champion Pedrosa was 0.254 seconds down and is hoping to make overnight improvements to rear-end grip to help him challenge his team-mate in the race.
The new Circuit of the Americas is proving a real hit with riders who are enjoying its many different challenges. The track features 20 corners – more than any other on the MotoGP calendar – and also the championship’s longest straight, at 1.2km/0.746 miles. The mix of corners – from very slow hairpins to high-speed sweepers – is a real test for both riders and engineers, who must work to find a compromise in their machine settings. Yesterday morning the asphalt was very ‘green’ and slippery. Since then it has gained grip and lap times fell almost six seconds between FP1 and qualifying.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) will start tomorrow’s race from the middle of the second row of the grid after qualifying fifth quickest. The German is going well here and ended yesterday’s first two sessions third fastest, making it a Honda one-two-three at the end of the first day.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) will start from the third row. His seventh-fastest time came after several set-up changes and a decision to run a hard rear tyre, with which he felt much more comfortable. The Spaniard thinks he might’ve made the second row if he hadn’t got held up by a group of riders during the final minutes of qualifying.
Rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had a coming together with Karel Abraham (ART) during qualifying which didn’t help his efforts to go for his best-possible lap time. He ended the session in 22nd place.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) scored his first Grand Prix pole position in this afternoon’s Honda-powered Moto2 qualifying session with a brilliant final lap that put him almost seven tenths of a second ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex). Spaniard Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) completed the front row, just 0.021 seconds behind the Japanese.
Championship leader Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex), who took pole and race victory in U.S.A., had a difficult session, ending up seventh quickest, which puts him at the top of the third row. The second row consists of fourth fastest Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) and Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up).
Honda’s Moto3 riders had a better time in qualifying at COTA today than they had at Losail two weeks ago. Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) had a brilliant session to end up fourth quickest, which puts him at the top of the second row for tomorrow’s first race of the day. The 18-year-old Australian attributed some of his impressive performance to recent engine updates from Honda.
Honda has two other riders in the top ten here: Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) who were eighth and ninth this afternoon. The Briton and the Frenchman were happy with their form and hoping for even better in the race.
Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) was 11th, Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) 14th, Alessandro Tonucci (Team La Fonte Tasca Racing Honda) 16th and Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) 17th.
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|4||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|5||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|6||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|7||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)|
|8||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|9||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|10||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|11||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|12||Ben SPIES (Ignite Pramac Racing)|
|13||Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|15||Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)|
|1||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|2||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|3||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|4||Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)|
|5||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|6||Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|7||Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)|
|8||Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)|
|9||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|10||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|11||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|12||Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|13||Danny KENT (Tech 3)|
|14||Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)|
|15||Randy KRUMMENACHER (Technomag carXpert)|
|1||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|2||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)|
|4||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|5||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|6||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|7||Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)|
|8||Danny WEBB (Ambrogio Racing)|
|10||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|11||Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|12||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|13||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)|
|14||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|15||Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)|