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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 06: Catalunya

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Catalunya
Catalunya
June 15, 2013

RECORD-BREAKER PEDROSA PUTS HONDA ON POLE AT CATALUNYA

Local hero Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) set a new circuit record at blazing hot Catalunya this afternoon to take pole position for tomorrow’s Catalan Grand Prix, one-third distance in this year’s MotoGP World Championship.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)

Another local Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) recorded his best qualifying performance of the season, taking fourth on the grid, just 0.148 seconds off the front row. Pedrosa’s team-mate Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) will also start from the second row, after qualifying sixth for his first premier-class race at Catalunya.

Pedrosa’s storming lap at this magnificent circuit outside Barcelona was an exercise in perfection and he rates it as one of the best of his life. The lap was almost three tenths inside Casey Stoner’s pole record, established in 2008, the last year of qualifying tyres. Pole position gives the former 125 and 250 World Champion the opportunity for a great start in his home race, which he will start as World Championship leader for the first time in his premier-class career. Tomorrow’s race will also be Pedrosa’s 200th Grand Prix event.

As always, Pedrosa has focused most of his attention on achieving the best-possible race-long performance. This is particularly important in sweltering weather – the track temperature today was 52 degrees – when riders know they will have to deal with a real drop-off in tyre performance during the race. Catalunya is very demanding for tyres, with many long corners that put riders on the very edge of the tyres for long periods of time.

Bautista was delighted with his fourth place, while also being slightly disappointed to miss the front row by such a slender margin. His previous best grid position of the year was sixth at Jerez. Last year Bautista scored his first premier-class pole at Silverstone.

Following a torrid Italian GP two weeks ago, Marquez has been steadily getting up to speed since practice got underway yesterday morning. As usual the 20-year-old has had to learn his way around the track on a MotoGP bike. Sixth fastest yesterday he proved his ability to learn and move forward by going fastest this morning, to end the first three practice sessions on top. However, the reigning Moto2 World Champion couldn’t quite reproduce that performance in qualifying, ending the 15-minute session 0.949 seconds behind his team-mate. Marquez was the fourth Catalan rider in the top six today.

During the first three practice sessions Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was on impressive form, lapping just four tenths off the front-running pace. Qualifying didn’t go quite so well for the young German who ended the session in tenth, though only 0.248 seconds off the second row. Nevertheless he knows he has a good race pace and is therefore confident for tomorrow.

MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had a good morning session on his CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike, which gave him some confidence for qualifying. He wasn’t able to find the step forward he needed, however, leaving him 22nd fastest.

Moto2 pole position man Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) will be hoping that his first pole since the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix will be the start of a change of fortune for him. Another Catalan, who lives just five kilometres from Catalunya, Espargaro is currently fifth on points in the Honda-powered series, 47 points down on Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), so he’s hoping he can start clawing back some points tomorrow.

Redding goes into the Catalan round with a big points lead after winning the last two races, a performance that makes him the first Briton to win back-to-back Grand Prix races since Barry Sheene in 1977. Today he was second quickest in qualifying, six tenths behind Espargaro, whose team-mate Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) was third, a further 0.047 seconds down.

Le Mans pole man Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) was fourth quickest to head the second row, ahead of Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up) and Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter). Row three is Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter), Randy Krummenacher (Technomag carXpert Suter) and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact P Kalex). Today was a big step forward for reigning Moto3 World Champion Cortese, whose previous best Moto2 qualifying performance was 13th.

Spaniard Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) was Honda’s top qualifier in the Moto3 class, recording seventh fastest time in the first qualifying session of the day. The 19-year-old will therefore head the third row, which is an all-Honda affair, with Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) and Italian Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) lining up alongside in eighth and ninth.

Frenchman Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) completed the top ten to lead the fourth row, just a fraction of a second ahead of 12th fastest Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda). Alessandro Tonucci (Team La Fonte Tasca Racing Honda) and Alan Techer (CIP TSR Honda) were 14th and 15th.

Pole position went to Luis Salom, by a margin of 0.326 seconds from fellow KTM rider Alex Rins. World Championship leader Maverick Vinales (KTM) ended up fifth after suffering engine problems.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: pole position, 1m 40.893s
I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time. It was a fantastic pole position for me. We also broke the circuit record and were able to do so in front of the home fans. I am also happy about improving our race pace, as this is the most important thing. We hope to put on a good show tomorrow and take full advantage of the front row start.
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 4th, 1m 41.714s
Today we have to be happy because we got really close to the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. I immediately felt good with the soft tyres for qualifying and I was able to push with conviction. We made several tests to evaluate the durability of the tyres for the race because this will be the biggest problem for everyone. In qualifying we went back to yesterday’s set-up because the other ideas we tried in practice didn’t give me confidence. Tomorrow will be a very tough race but my starting position is good and so I’ll exploit it to try and stay with the leaders. Tyre management will be crucial for a good result.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 6th, 1m 41.842s
I am fairly happy and satisfied, because we achieved our objective of getting onto either the first or second row. In the morning I felt more comfortable, with the track temperatures lower than in the afternoon. When they rose sharply, we had more problems. Despite this, I think that we have done a good job. We will try to test out a few things in the warm-up tomorrow and see if we can gain a little more confidence when the track is hotter.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 10th, 1m 42.090s
Obviously this is a disappointing qualifying for us as we were expecting a second-row start. We missed some time and I lapped all alone for the whole session, which is unusual for the new 15-minute system. We changed the plan a bit during the session – I did three laps on the first tyre and second on the second tyre, missing a few tenths to make the second row. It’s not the end of the world anyway because we should be able to do a good race tomorrow. Over race distance our potential is higher than what we showed today, so I still feel very confident.
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 22nd, 1m 45.441s
I have made some progress but not enough to get higher up the grid. I was struggling for grip in the fast corners, where I found cornering difficult. After the progress this morning I expected a bigger step forward, but it didn’t happen.
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: pole position, 1m 46.410s
I’m especially happy because this really is my home race – I live only five kilometres away, so it’s very special to get pole here. I need a good race tomorrow to recuperate some points on Scott, so we need to finish the weekend well, doing a good job and staying focused.
Scott Redding ,Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd, 1m 47.029s
I’m happy, but also a little frustrated, because we had an issue with the engine during qualifying. The speed just wasn’t there and I was struggling to pass slower riders out of the slipstream on the straight. It meant I had to out brake them into turn one instead and that cost me time. The tyres were dropping off after just three or four laps, which meant the rear was spinning up hard instead of driving forward. We need to have a little look tonight to see if we can find something more for tomorrow, but to be on the front row to keep the pressure on means I’m pretty happy with today.
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: 3rd, 1m 47.076s
I’m very happy to be on the front row here at home, but we made a mistake during qualifying. We had one good tyre but we didn’t choose the right one. The main thing for tomorrow is that we have a good rhythm, but we could’ve done a better job today.
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 7th, 1m 51.966s
I am very pleased with the work done during these days. Being the fastest yesterday afternoon was very good and I am happy also to have achieved seventh place in training today. I feel like I’m giving everything and I hope for a good start tomorrow so I can fight with the front group. We have to work even more on our acceleration, but otherwise I’m very comfortable. The team is working very well since the start of the season – being the first Honda was one of our goals and what we have achieved today. I am milliseconds apart from rivals like Efren Vazquez and Marquez, so tomorrow will be a fun race if I can fight with them. Being in the top five would be great, but a top-ten score would also be a good result for me.
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 8th, 1m 52.060s
I was lacking a slipstream – everyone was getting them off me and I got none. You try and get one from another rider and they sit up and then follow you! The handling is pretty good, though we’ve got a bit of chatter that we’ll try to get rid of. We should be right with the tyres – hard front and medium rear, the hard rear is a bit slippery. I think we can slipstream the KTMs on the straight in the race, so we’ll be good enough to fight with them.
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini: 9th, 1m 52.105s
This qualifying was not so bad, but of course we would like to have been a row further forward. The race will be long and difficult in these conditions. If I can get a good start I think I will be able to run with a fast group and then we will see what happens in the last few laps.
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 06: Catalunya
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
3Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
4Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
5Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
6Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
7Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
8Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
10Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
11Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
13Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
14Michele PIRRO (Ducati Test Team)
15Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
2Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
4Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
5Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
6Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
7Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
8Randy KRUMMENACHER (Technomag carXpert)
9Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
10Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)
11Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)
12Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)
14Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
15Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
3Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
4Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
6Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
7Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
8Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
9Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)
10Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
11Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
12Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
13Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)
14Alessandro TONUCCI (La Fonte Tascaracing)
15Alan TECHER (CIP Moto3)

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