MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) claimed his first win of the season in confident style in blazing sunshine and in front of a huge crowd at Jerez today, making it two out of three so far this year for Honda, and reasserting himself in a World Championship battle that is already rich with tension.
With Texas winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) claiming a very hard-fought second place, it was the second race in succession that Honda took the top two positions.
Pedrosa took the lead from fellow-Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at the Dry Sack hairpin on the sixth of 27 laps, and was immediately able to secure a small but vital cushion, to win by 2.487 seconds. The last lap, he said, was particularly special, in front of 111,259 fervent Spanish fans.
He made it look easy, compared with his team-mate’s second place. Twenty-year-old Marquez had been fighting to find a way past Lorenzo mid-race and again in the closing laps. Every attack was repulsed, and when he did get in front the last time round Dry Sack, he directly ran wide, ceding the position once more.
The class rookie, who became the youngest-ever GP winner at Austin, Texas a fortnight before, wasn’t done yet.
At the final corner he saw a chink of space inside his rival, and dived straight into it. The pair touched, but Marquez had the inside line and was able to finish his corner, while Lorenzo was sent out wide, and had to accept third.
The same three riders were on the rostrum in Texas, with the order of the front two reversed.
Marquez’s third successive rostrum finish puts the youngster ahead at the top of the World Championship, with 61 points to Lorenzo’s 57; while Dani’s win moves him to second overall, one point clear of his Yamaha rival.
Conditions were hot and punishing, especially for the tyres, with all riders having to focus not only on racing their rivals but also trying to stay smooth, to avoid running out of grip in the closing laps. Pedrosa managed it best, able to run a fast but smooth pace, riding alone.
With Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow (both Yamaha) fourth and fifth the next-best Honda rider was sixth-placed Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V). He had been ahead of Crutchlow mid-race, and was barely two seconds adrift at the finish.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) crashed out in the early stages, but Grand Prix rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was just seven tenths of a second away from scoring a first point, finishing 16th after holding his own in a strong CRT battle aboard his CBR1000RR-powered machine. Staring was at the back of a tight four-strong group, but gained two places in the last lap for his best finish yet.
Esteve “Tito” Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) claimed a career first victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 class, qualifying on pole for the first time, leading into the first corner, and evading his pursuers with a series of blistering early laps. By the finish he was 4.261 seconds clear of second-placed Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex), who had held the position all race long. Rabat’s win gave him the World Championship lead over Redding by one point.
Second Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex rider Pol Espargaro took a hard-fought third to add to his victory in Qatar and regain third overall. He started off fourth and spent the rest of the race battling to catch Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex). He finally did so with two laps to go, and seized the last rostrum position when the Japanese rider ran wide after saving a near-crash on a corner exit. Nakagami was barely two tenths behind over the line.
Austin GP winner Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Suter) was fifth; while Xavier Simeon (Desguaces Le Torre Maptaq Kalex) triumphed by half a second in a strong fight with Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Suter) for sixth.
For a second grand prix in succession, the Moto3 race was stopped early by a red flag after French rider Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda) crashed out and required track-side treatment. He suffered concussion, but escaped serious injury. This time more than two thirds of the 23 laps had been completed, so no restart was required. Results were taken from the lap before the crash, the 15th, with victory for Spanish KTM rider Maverick Vinales, by quarter of a second from compatriot Luis Salom (KTM) and Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM).
South African Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) claimed a brilliant career-best fourth place, heading a big group battling for the position and then escaping to finish three seconds clear of fifth place. Hopes of a possible rostrum were dashed by the red flag.
Italian Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) was the next best Honda rider, forging his way through the field from 17th on the first lap to ninth place, at the front of the next big group, and three tenths ahead of Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) and John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda). Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) was also in the points, in 13th.
Unluckiest of all was Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda), who was going strongly in the group disputing an eventual fourth. He had just crossed the line still at the front of the eight-strong gang when into the first corner he was touched from behind by Mahindra-mounted Miguel Oliveira, and both riders crashed. He was unhurt, but unable to restart.
After a day of testing at Jerez, the MotoGP World Championship moves on to Le Mans in France in two weeks, as the European season gathers momentum.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|4||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|5||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)|
|7||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|9||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|10||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|11||Michele PIRRO (Ducati Test Team)|
|12||Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)|
|13||Michael LAVERTY (Paul Bird Motorsport)|
|14||Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|15||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|1||Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)|
|2||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)|
|4||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|5||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|6||Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)|
|7||Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|8||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|9||Toni ELIAS (Blusens Avintia)|
|10||Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)|
|11||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac)|
|12||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|13||Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)|
|14||Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|15||Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|1||Maverick VINALES (Team Calvo)|
|2||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|4||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|5||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)|
|6||Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)|
|7||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|8||Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)|
|9||Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|10||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|11||John McPHEE (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|12||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|13||Danny WEBB (Ambrogio Racing)|
|14||Jasper IWEMA (RW Racing GP)|
|15||Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)|