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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 03: Spain

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
May 4, 2013

Double Front Row for Honda at Jerez

Factory Honda team-mates Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) will start tomorrow’s Spanish GP side by side on the front row of the grid, after a fraught but thrilling final qualifying in blazing sunshine.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Marc MARQUEZ(Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ(Repsol Honda Team)

The Honda pair qualified second and third, less than a quarter of a second behind pole qualifier Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), in a crash-strewn, all-action 15-minute session. It made an all-Spanish front row, for a second race in succession, but in reverse order compared with the last race.

Pedrosa was one of several riders to fall, after rising ambient temperature heated the track surface, costing grip and predictability. The 27-year-old Spaniard was not hurt, but robbed of the chance to take the top slot in the closing minutes of the session. He admitted he had been "pushing too hard" in an attempt to secure his first pole position of the season. His final time was less than a quarter of a second off pole.

Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow (both Yamaha) also crashed unhurt in the session.

The close contest for top qualifying honours promises a thrilling race for the Spanish fans, who reliably flock to the Andalucian circuit for what has become the traditional opening round of the European season. Fine weather is forecast for the race, after two sunny days of practice.

Pedrosa has not finished off the rostrum at Jerez since he joined the MotoGP class seven years ago with the factory Honda team, including victory in 2008.

Newcomer Marquez, reigning Moto2 champion but a rookie in the senior MotoGP class, is fresh from becoming the youngest ever GP winner. The 20-year-old from Catalunya is guarded about his chances of claiming a second win, at one of very few circuits where he has yet to claim a victory in any class.

Fellow-Spaniard Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was sixth, and will start the race directly behind Marquez on the second row of the grid. Bautista is the only rider using Showa suspension, combining racing with a testing and development role, and gained time and positions after finishing tenth in free practice to guarantee himself a place in final qualifying. Under the new-this-year system, only the top ten automatically run in the intense final 15 minutes, to decide the front four rows of the grid.

German rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) did not make the top ten and was obliged to ride again for his chances with the slower group, taking top time at the last gasp after crossing the start line barely a second before the end of that session. It allowed him another lap, and he moved to the top of the list. This gave him the chance to join the other factory riders. Bradl was eighth, and will start from the third row of the grid.

Rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda), still finding his feet in the top class of bike racing, qualified 18th, significantly his best so far. The Australian moved from the back to the middle of the CRT pack, taking a step closer in his quest to win his first points in the premier class.

Spanish rider Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) claimed a career first pole in the Honda-powered Moto2 class, the 23-year-old seizing control from Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) to prevent the British points leader from taking a second successive pole.

Rabat's hard-won margin, on a track where increasing heat meant reducing levels of grip, was by better than four tenths of a second, in a class where gaps are more usually measured in tenths and hundredths. It came two laps from the end of the session, while Redding had set his best time after only six of 18 laps.

Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) was third to complete the front row; first-race winner Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) led the second from Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) and Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex); with the winner at Austin a fortnight ago, Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) heading the third.

Honda's Moto3 riders took over the second row of the grid, with South African Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) and Italian Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) fourth, fifth and sixth, enjoying the useable horsepower of the Honda engine at a track without long straights but with strings of complex corner sets.

Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) were 12th and 13th, in the thick of typically close lap times in the ultra-competitive smallest class.

Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) was 16th, John McPhee (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) 17th and Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) 18th in another all-Honda row of the grid.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
MotoGP rider quotes
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: second, 1m 38.920s
"The session went well, but at the end I had a crash in turn eight, as I maybe pushed a little too hard and lost the front. We’ve ridden well all weekend and the bike is working great, so we are hoping that tomorrow we can continue in the same way. Pace is the most important thing and I hope to get a good start and have a strong race."
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: third, 1m 38.971s
"I'm pretty happy, because the session went better than I expected. We knew it would be a tough and difficult weekend, but I think we had a very good qualifying session and starting from the front row is very important. I know that Dani and Lorenzo are one step ahead at the moment, but I will still try to give 100 percent and ride my own race. It will be hard, hot, and very demanding on the tyres, but we will try to get a good result in front of the home fans."
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: sixth, 1m 39.509s
"It wasn't an easy session today and we had to work really hard to find a solution to the problems we had with the rear yesterday. We didn't completely solve everything but we will try to find a solution in the warm-up tomorrow morning. I tried my best in qualifying but the track conditions were difficult, which made it hard on the front tyre, especially when we put the softer rear on. I think that's why we saw so many crashes. I was close to crashing a few times but luckily I stayed on the bike. Overall the second row is a positive result and I am confident we can stay with the second group tomorrow even though the front three are out of reach. I have to say thanks to the guys in the team for a great job today and hopefully we can finish the weekend off with a good result."
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: eighth, 1m 39.847s
"I made this second day in Jerez very exciting for everybody in the team. Obviously we are far away from the front group and this is not our standard pace. I was expecting to go faster today and to perform only in Q2 but something stopped us. We struggled very much with the front end which prevented me from push more than this. After yesterday's crash, we tried to get some confidence back but it seems that we are not taking the right direction to improve the front feeling."
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 18th, 1m 41.324s
"I am happy because we have secured our best grid position of the season so far. I feel we have made progress even though we still have plenty of room for improvement and I'm hoping we can take another step forward in the race tomorrow. I have to thank the team for helping us so much and for giving me the time I need to improve."
Moto2 rider quotes
Tito Rabat, Tuenti HP40 Pons: pole position, 1m 43.251s
"This is my first time on pole position, and it feels great, especially here in Jerez. In the afternoon we started to slide a lot in the heat – but we found a good setting from the beginning of the weekend, so I am happy. During qualifying in the last sector, especially the last two corners I had some problems, but the team changed something and I was able to make it easier... and that is when I set my time."
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: second, 1m 43.698
"I've been fast and comfortable in every session, but Rabat's been strong all weekend and consistently quicker than me. In qualifying I was working hard and managed to hold onto pole for most of the session, until Rabat put it all together at the end. I haven't seen his lap, but I know it must have been something special; I could get to within a couple of tenths, but I felt really on the limit doing it. For me the front row is enough and we're pretty much set for tomorrow's race. The bike's working well, we know what to expect from the tyres, so we'll just have to see how we go."
Takaaki Nakagami, Italtrans Racing Team: third, 1m 43.855s
"For sure I tried my best – pole is always the target but our situation is not such that we could make an extremely fast lap time today. Every session we improved settings and the feeling, and in fact in some places the feeling is good, and others not yet Third is good anyway, if we consider tomorrow's race. Starting from the front row here is of the utmost performance. And I am a good starter. The hot temperatures are making it difficult with the tyres. There is a chance that at our race time tomorrow the temperature will be lower, and that would be great. All in all I am quite happy – we know our weak points, and how to solve the problems."
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Brad Binder, Ambrogio Racing: fourth – 1m 47.517
"The first section, T1, is perfect, T2 is good – the only sector in which I am really losing time is the last one. I'm battling a little bit with the front, and it's difficult to get it perfect every single lap. And the wind is blowing in that direction, against you, so if it picks you up it destroys your lap. So, at the end I decided not to risk to ruin a good qualifying. I've been on the second row once before – last year at the Sachsenring, when I was sixth, so this is the best qualifying so far. The race can be very good, if we can improve a little bit the set-up according to the needs of our tyres."
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: fifth, 1m 47.613s
"Not too bad ... we keep stepping forward and going in the right direction. I did all my laps alone in qualifying, without any slipstream, and that makes a big difference. You are not so quick. It's good to be on the second row. I'll aim to keep with the group, and then see what happens in the race. Compared with the last two tracks with very long straights, we are at less of a disadvantage here, so basically it's looking positive."
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini: sixth, 1m 47.742s
"I am happy with a second row start even though I was hoping for the front row and probably could have made it, but for whatever reason we didn't make the most of our final run. Maybe I lost my concentration a little but we are confident about tomorrow. We start with the front group and we'll give our best to stay there."
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 03: Spain
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
4Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
6Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
7Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
8Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
10Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
11Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
12Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
13Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
14Michele PIRRO (Ducati Test Team)
15Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
2Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
4Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
5Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
6Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)
7Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
8Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)
9Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)
10Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
11Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
12Toni ELIAS (Blusens Avintia)
13Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
14Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
15Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
2Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
3Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
5Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
6Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3)
7Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
8Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)
9Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)
10Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
11Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
12Danny WEBB (Ambrogio Racing)
13Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
14Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
15Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)

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