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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 04: France

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
France
France
May 19, 2013

Pedrosa & Marquez Take First & Third For Honda at Le Mans

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.

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

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.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
Race Photozoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner
“I’m very happy because I have earned an important victory. I’ve been trying to win at this circuit for many years in MotoGP and it has always been a tough track for me. Today, the moment finally arrived, when I least expected it, and it is immensely satisfying. Conditions here are usually against me, because it is cold and I don’t like riding in these temperatures, but today I got the best out of myself. The bike was also good, above all on the opening laps when the track was very wet. I made a few mistakes but I was able to recover from them, maintain the advantage and win the race. I’d like to thank all my team and also my supporters!”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“This podium almost counts as a win as it was my first wet race in MotoGP and I wasn’t expecting to finish in the top three. Also, bearing in mind that I had dropped quite far back from the front, third place and 16 points is an important achievement for the World Championship. We can say that this was a very good weekend; we had a good setting for the dry, but when it rained it was up to me to learn from the mistakes that I made at the start of the race. I need to improve, because I was finding it hard to ride with water on the track. It will be difficult to maintain our performance at Mugello, but we will go there and try 100 per cent. I congratulate Dani on a great race and victory and I’d like to thank the whole team!”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 6th
“That was a particularly difficult race because the conditions were so different to how they’d been for practice. I also didn’t get a great start and that was a shame because looking at the lap times it cost me the chance to fight at the front. When the track started to dry the bike was cutting the power on the straight and I was losing time but sixth place is a positive result if not a great one because we’ve improved on last year and I don’t like this track. Overall we have made progress here and I feel better with the electronics and suspension in the wet. I am satisfied with the result and I want to thank the team and the sponsors. This is a nice boost before we go to their home race at Mugello.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 10th
“My start was pretty good and I think that our pace was not so bad because we were able to race with the top group. Then during the race I could not see properly and had to open the visor many times. So for me it was a bit tough to do the perfect line and I crashed because I touched the white line. After that I was lucky because I was able to keep riding with acceptable lap times. Actually we are back up to speed but we had some bad luck in the race. In any case we are fast in the dry and in the wet so I am looking forward to Mugello which is one of my favourite race tracks.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“I made a rookie mistake and ruined the opportunity to get some valuable experience in the wet on this bike, so I am really angry with myself right now. I needed to ride a steady race and instead we’ve ended up with nothing to show. I want to apologise to the team because their efforts this weekend deserved a better result. I will try to make it up to them at Mugello in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Moto2

Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: 1st
“It’s an amazing feeling to have taken the win today, in what were very difficult conditions. It’s a fitting reward for the team, who have all worked so hard for this win and, to them, I have to say a big thank you. I also owe a lot to [team owner] Marc van der Straten for his support, so it was great that we had the chance to stand together on the top step of the podium today. The win also puts me back on the top of the championship standings, but this time with a bit more of an advantage, so I’m happy with that. Now we go to Mugello, where I’ll definitely be looking for more of the same!”
Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd
“We went with a slightly different setting today and that, combined with the weather conditions, meant I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the race. But the plan was the same as Jerez; to make up as many places in the first few laps by being aggressive and, once again, it worked. I got held up by Domi Aegerter and Xavier Simeon at one point, as both are difficult to pass, but I pushed through into second because there was a good chance the rain would bring out the red flag, which is exactly what happened. It’s a good result for me and it was good for the team to have two riders on the podium today. Now we need to focus on Mugello, and making sure we have the bike set-up right for the first practice session.”
Xavier Simeon, Desguaces La Torre Maptaq: 3rd
“I feel very happy with this podium, after a few difficult years. This year we have a good package – good team and bike – and every race we try to go better. We made another step forward this weekend, which is great. The race was difficult. I could follow the general pace, but when Scott passed me he was a little faster. Then Mika passed me and I was trying to take him again when the red flags came out. Thank you my team – they are doing an incredible job.”

Moto3

Romano Fenati, San Carlo Team Italia: 7th
“It was a good race. Unfortunately because I went wide, while trying to pass McPhee who was slower, I rushed things a little too much. After that I was able to come back, and the feeling on the bike was good. I’m happy with the bike and the work done with the team. Now we head to Mugello, where we’ll try our best to go back on the podium.”
Brad Binder, Ambrogio Racing: 8th
“It was tricky at the beginning with the dodgy conditions, so I was trying to find my feet. In the middle of the race I kept getting held up. It was only in the last few laps that I got through the group – I kept getting blocked. My last two laps were my fastest laps and they were the first laps I got when I wasn’t blocked. Without all that, I feel I could have done better.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 9th
“That was a really difficult race, especially because during the early laps when the track was still damp in a lot of places. I am a little upset because we chose the soft tyre which cost us the chance of a good result. Anyway, I rode a good race, not so bad. The last few laps were also difficult because sometimes when I shifted the bike wouldn’t change gear, which lost me time.”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 04: France

MotoGP
Rank Rider (Team)
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)
Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
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)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
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)

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