MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored a masterful victory in treacherous conditions at Le Mans this afternoon to take the World Championship lead from team-mate Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) who finished a brilliant third in his first wet-weather MotoGP race.
The fourth round of the 2013 campaign started on a soaking track, which slowly dried as the race went on to reveal narrow dry lines here and there, making the task of machine control on worn rain tyres extremely tricky. Pedrosa and Marquez were the masters of the conditions, Pedrosa dominating the race after a tussle with early leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), while Marquez fought back brilliantly after completing the first lap in eighth place. The Spanish pair now hold first and second positions in the points chase.
Pedrosa started from the second row and was up to third at the end of the first lap. He was quickly up to speed, passing reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) on lap three and then attacking Dovizioso for the lead two laps later at the Garage Vert right-hander. Pedrosa quickly built a 1.3 second advantage but ran very wide at the La Chapelle hairpin on lap eight, which put Dovizioso back in front. The Spaniard was ahead again four laps later, then the Italian took over once more at half-distance. Next time round Pedrosa grabbed the lead at the Musee left-hander and that was that.
The second half of the race was all his own, his advantage growing to seven seconds at one point. In the final laps he eased his pace to cross the finish line 4.8 seconds ahead of Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) who had got the better of Dovizioso in the final laps. It was Pedrosa’s second successive win, following his similarly dominant performance at sunny Jerez two weeks ago. The result was also Pedrosa’s 24th premier-class victory, which puts him one win behind 1993 500 World Champion Kevin Schwantz.
Marquez’s race was equally impressive. The 20-year-old started from pole position but lost several places at the start and then took his time to get the hang of riding a MotoGP bike in the wet, making a few mistakes at the same time. And yet remarkably it only took him eight laps to learn to race a MotoGP bike in the rain – on laps eight, nine and ten he was the fastest man on track but he was still in tenth place. During the final two thirds of the 28 laps he moved forward at a remarkable rate, taking the final podium place from Dovizioso with two laps to go. The result maintained Marquez’s 100 per cent podium record from his first four races as a MotoGP rookie.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) rode a good race to finish sixth, behind the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Nick Hayden. Despite not getting the best of starts he ran a good pace in the early stages and was happy enough with the end result, considering he’s never like the Le Mans circuit.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) came home in tenth place after sliding off at the Dunlop chicane on lap 18. He had been running in sixth place when he went down. The young German quickly remounted, rejoining the track in 11th position.
Australian MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was one of the early fallers, sliding off his CBR100RR-powered CRT bike on the second lap.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) won the Honda-powered Moto2 race to become the first non-Spanish winner in any MotoGP class so far this year. The Briton started from pole position but made a slow start, ending the first lap down in eighth. He fought back brilliantly from there, passing several rivals to take the lead from local Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) on lap nine. The race was red flagged when rain began to fall in the final laps. Results were taken from the 22nd of the scheduled 26 laps.
Cool and tricky conditions contributed to the numerous crashes, most importantly three falls at the Musee left-hander. On lap three Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) grabbed the lead from Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) who then slid off at Musee, followed immediately by his team-mate Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex). Four laps later Nakagami crashed at the same corner, gifting the lead to Zarco.
Redding stayed out front from lap nine onwards but he was always under pressure from the group of riders immediately behind him. First it was Zarco who was his closest challenger and later it was team-mate Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) who came through to finish second after a difficult first few laps.
Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex) took his first Grand Prix podium in third place, just 1.234 seconds down on Redding, having got the better of Zarco and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) who finished fourth, just ahead of Zarco.
Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) finished sixth, his best result of the year, just ahead of another local, Mike Di Meglio (JiR Moto2 Motobi). Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) and Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up) completed the top ten.
Redding’s first Moto2 win – he won the British 125 GP in 2008 – moves him into the World Championship lead, 24 points ahead of Spanish GP winner Rabat.
The Moto3 race – first of the day – got underway on a partially damp track and was won by World Championship leader Maverick Vinales (KTM). Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) was Honda’s top finisher, the Italian crossing the finish line in seventh place after a thrilling battle with several other Honda riders.
Fenati was chased over the line by Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) and Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda); the four riders covered by just over two seconds. Team-mates John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) and Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) were next in 11th and 12th. Binder’s result puts him an impressive fifth in the World Championship standings.
The MotoGP 2013 World Championship continues with the Italian Grand Prix – one of the sport’s favourite events – at Mugello on June 2.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|3||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|5||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)|
|7||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|8||Michele PIRRO (Ignite Pramac Racing)|
|9||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|10||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|11||Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)|
|12||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|13||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|14||Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|15||Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)|
|1||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|2||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)|
|4||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|5||Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)|
|6||Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|7||Mike DI MEGLIO (JiR Moto2)|
|8||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|9||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|10||Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|11||Randy KRUMMENACHE (Technomag carXpert)|
|12||Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|13||Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|14||Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)|
|15||Louis ROSSI (Tech 3)|
|1||Maverick VINALES (Team Calvo)|
|2||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|3||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|4||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|5||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|6||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)|
|7||Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|8||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|9||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|10||Isaac VINALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|11||John McPHEE (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|12||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|13||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|14||Alessandro TONUCCI (La Fonte Tascaracing)|
|15||Philipp OETTL (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing)|