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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 05: Italy

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
June 1, 2013

Pedrosa Takes Brilliant Last-Gasp Record Pole For Honda

Repsol Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa left it until the very last moment to claim a dazzling first pole position of the year at Mugello today, setting the fastest-ever lap of the spectacular 5.245km Mugello circuit in the Tuscan foothills.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Team-mate Marc Marquez was hardly less impressive. The 20-year-old class rookie bounced back from a shocking crash yesterday – possibly the fastest ever in Grand Prix history – to claim sixth place, on the second row of the grid.

Pedrosa is the only rider to win more than one race this year, and is aiming for a third win in succession to cement his World Championship points lead. His progress had started relatively slowly yesterday, when he was only fifth fastest. Overnight work adjusting his Honda RC213V to the fast and flowing circuit bore fruit, however; and a supreme effort at the very end of the crucial 15-minute final qualifying saw him edge Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) to second.

Bad weather on Friday meant a damp start to free practice, robbing all riders of set-up time at the spectacular Italian circuit, which combines a long and undulating 1.1-km straight with fast looping corners and high-speed to-and-fro chicanes. The forecast was for continued rain, but the second of three days confounded the predictions, with sunshine breaking through a patchy cloud cover.

A strong qualifying performance put Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) as next-best Honda, placed fifth in the middle of the second row, equalling his best grid positions so far this year. German former Moto2 champion Bradl is pushing to wipe out the memory of a disappointing tenth two weeks ago at Le Mans, when he slipped off while running with the front group, as well as a pair of earlier non-finishes.

Marquez had a miraculous escape from serious injury on Friday afternoon after locking the front wheel at 337 km/h, running off the track, and then leaping clear at barely undiminished speed before the bike struck a trackside wall. He returned today sporting a white bandage on his bruised and scraped chin, the only visible injury, though he also hurt an arm and a leg in the crash. Nothing daunted, he lay second in final qualifying in the closing stages, when he was pushed to sixth. After two pole positions this year, it is only the second time in five races the reigning Moto2 champion and MotoGP-class rookie has not been on the front row.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) will start directly behind Marquez on row three, after qualifying ninth. The Spanish rider is the only man in the field using Showa suspension, combining racing with a testing/development role.

Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini team-mate Bryan Staring qualified 22nd, on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine, escaping unhurt from a tumble in morning free practice. The Australian GP rookie, learning the circuits as he goes along, is looking to score his first World Championship points as he finds his feet in the class.

In the Honda powered Moto2 class, British rider Scott Redding claimed his second pole position of the season, riding a completely rebuilt Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex after the bike was all-but destroyed in a tumbling crash in the morning. The rider escaped uninjured and bounced back to top the time-sheets when it mattered. Redding, who won two weeks ago at Le Mans, is leading the World Championship so far.

Japanese Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) continued his impressive run of front-row starts – including one pole position – by qualifying second, less than two-tenths slower. German Marcel Schrotter (Desguaces La Torre SAG Kalex) claimed his first-ever front-row start, qualifying third as he continues to improve in his first full season in the middle class.

Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project Suter) leads the second row from race-two winner Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) and Jerez winner Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Kalex), but pre-season favourite and Qatar winner Pol Espargaro’s good fortune continues to elude him as the season wears on. The Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex rider qualified tenth, on the fourth row of the grid.

Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) narrowly missed his first front-row start of the season in the closing minutes of Moto3 qualifying, but was happy to end up a close fourth, heading the second row and enjoying the to-and-fro nature of the high-speed circuit, where the sweet handling of his machine meant he could make the most of the smooth Honda horsepower. Miller qualified fourth also at the second round in Austin, Texas, where he finished a season-best sixth.

Italian Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) will start directly behind Miller after qualifying seventh at his home circuit to head the third row. The 17-year-old is hoping for a change of luck and a chance to score his first points of the season in the very competitive junior class.

The next Honda is at the far end of the same row. English rider Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) consolidated a strong weekend by qualifying ninth fastest. He missed the last race after fracturing his foot in practice, but has returned at full strength. Team-mate Brad Binder, from South Africa, was less than half-a-second slower, and placed 11th.

Binder was at the head of a phalanx of machines powered by Honda’s 250cc Moto3 engine. Twelfth to 14th were occupied by Alan Techer (CIP TSR Honda), Isaac Vinales (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) and John McPhee (Caretta Technology - RTG FTR Honda); with two more – Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) and Alessandro Tonucci (Team La Fonte Tasca Racing Honda) placed 16th and 17th in a field of 34 riders.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)
MotoGP rider quotes
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: pole position – 1m 47.157s
Today the track conditions were good, the tyres worked well and we improved the bike. All this helped us a lot to increase our pace and this is the most important thing. Qualifying was difficult, because we were behind for a large part of the session, but we managed a great last lap and took pole. Now we have some ideas to improve the bike for tomorrow and hope to have a strong race.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda : 5th – 1m 47.737s
Actually this fifth position is very important for us and I am pleased with the improvement we achieved. All the Honda riders have a better pace thanks to the better temperature of the asphalt. The qualifying was a bit tough for us as we were waiting until the last moment to get the best lap time. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow because we have the potential to take the first podium. I am sure it will be an exciting race with the guys in the front.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda : 6th – 1m 47.763s
Sixth place today was the best that we could have hoped for and I am very happy with this result. At the end of qualifying I was able to put in a hot lap, but the race tomorrow is going to be difficult and tough. I won’t be 100 percent physically, because I’m bruised and sore. My shoulder is bothering me the most, and we will see how it responds tomorrow. We are going to give our all, in any case, and see where we end up.
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 9th – 1m 48.355s
I am not particularly happy with our position on the grid for tomorrow. I felt I could do a better lap than that because we have improved my confidence with the bike compared to yesterday ... but we didn’t manage it. My race pace is good, and hopefully if we can get a good start we can stick with the lead group and fight for a top-five position at the end.
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda: 22nd – 1m 51.981s
This is proving to be a difficult weekend for me. I am struggling to get a feel for the track and the crash this morning made things even more difficult. We made some improvements this afternoon but the gap to the guys in front is still too big. Despite everything I am still confident for the race, because I think if we can make a good start and follow some guys who know the track well I can get a better reference.
Moto2 rider quotes
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: pole position – 1m 52.958s
I wasn’t really expecting pole today, especially after the crash this morning. While it was a small crash for me, the same wasn’t true of the bike, which was pretty much wrecked. I have to say a big thank you to my mechanics, but also to Mika’s, as they all pitched in to get me a new bike built up for qualifying. After two laps I’d forgotten about this morning completely, despite a bit of a moment in the same place early on. The new bike felt better than the previous one, after a few set-up changes ahead of qualifying, so I was able to find a good rhythm straight away. Then it was just a case of staying out of the way and picking off the laps. I’m happy to be on pole for the second time this season, but now we need to focus on the race.
Takaaki Nakagami, Italtrans Racing Team: 2nd – 1m 53.123s
Qatar, Austin, Le Mans, Mugello... another front row for tomorrow’s race. I’m pleased because we have been very consistent and constant all the weekend so far, and my pace is fast – it’s really good. I’m convinced that everyone among the top guys will improve, so we must work to have even a better feeling with the bike for the race. I’m ready to fight for the podium.
Marcel Schrotter, Desguaces La Torre SAG: 3rd – 1m 53.221s
I am really happy with my first front row. I didn’t expect it, but all weekend we had quite a good pace and I can see we are making progress. We are improving and getting closer all the time. I am feeling really good on the bike, and I have to thank the team for making it better at every race. It is nice to see it step by step.
Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 4th – 1m 58.056s
I’m quite surprised, at this track. I like it, but you do need a lot of horsepower. A good chassis can help out, especially in the quick changes of direction. My bike is definitely helping me. For the race I’ll try to get a gap early in the race before the tyres go off, and take it from there.
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini: 7th – 1m 58.724s
Luckily I was able to bank a fast lap on my first run that meant I could tackle the rest of the session in a calm way. Then on my fastest lap I ran into some traffic and that prevented me from showing my true potential. But it is still not a bad starting position and if I can get away well I should be able to run with the front group. The feeling with the bike is good and even though we still want to make some more improvements before tomorrow I really feel comfortable here at Mugello, which is a track I really like.
Danny Webb, Ambrogio Racing: 9th – 1m 58.910s
The whole weekend has been pretty good – no trouble from my foot, and I can ride without painkillers. I only got a few laps in the first session yesterday, but it was wet anyway. From yesterday afternoon it’s been working well. I came into qualifying feeling confident. All weekend I’ve had a good pace and been consistent. The only place we struggle a bit is on the straights, but if you pick up a slipstream you are okay. I’ll be trying to do that in tomorrow’s race.
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 05: Italy
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
4Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
7Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
8Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
9Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
10Michele PIRRO (Ducati Test Team)
11Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
13Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
14Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
15Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
2Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
3Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)
4Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
5Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
6Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
7Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)
8Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
9Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
10Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
11Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
12Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)
13Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
14Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
15Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
2Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
3Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
5Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
6Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
7Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3)
8Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)
9Danny WEBB (Ambrogio Racing)
10Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
11Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
12Alan TECHER (CIP Moto3)
13Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14John McPHEE (Caretta Technology - RTG)
15Eric GRANADO (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)

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