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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 06: Catalunya

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Catalunya
Catalunya
June 16, 2013

Pedrosa & Marquez Second & Third For Honda at Catalunya

Local stars Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) finished second and third in this afternoon’s Catalan Grand Prix at Catalunya, a race run in sweltering conditions that turned into something of an exercise in tire management.

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

The team-mates chased Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) throughout, spending most of the 25 laps less than half a second behind the reigning World Champion, who stretched his advantage in the final few laps to win by just 1.7 seconds.

Pedrosa’s second successive runner-up result – following wins at Jerez and Le Mans – means he retains the World Championship lead, with a seven-point advantage over Lorenzo at one-third distance in the 18-round series.

Pedrosa started his 200th Grand Prix from pole position, also for the second race in a row, but was edged out in the race to the first corner by Lorenzo, with MotoGP rookie Marquez slotting into third after an excellent start from the second row of the grid. The trio stayed in those positions throughout, but they were so close, with the gaps changing by tenths or even hundredths of a second each lap, that the tension remained.

In the early stages Pedrosa was comfortable running Lorenzo’s pace but when he tried to step up his rhythm to attack he found himself on the limit with front grip. So he waited patiently for the fuel load to go down to ease the issue but he never had enough speed into the corners to try for the lead, even though he altered his position on the bike to ease the load on the front tire.

Then in the closing stages Marquez – who had set the fastest lap of the race on lap three – began to challenge his team-mate for second. The reigning Moto2 champ came closest to getting past with two laps to go, when he got inside Pedrosa at Turn Four, only to suffer a major front-end moment. He performed a miracle to stay on and even then didn’t give up the chase, crossing the line a mere 0.063 seconds down on Pedrosa.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) backed up his fourth-place finish at Mugello – a result that equalled his career-best in the premier class – with a good ride to fifth. He spent much of the race riding with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), whom he beat at Mugello after a fearsome end-of-race encounter.

MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was happy to score his first points in the championship, with a 14th place finish in tricky conditions.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) had another bitterly disappointing day, sliding off at Turn Ten on the first lap after losing the front. He was challenging Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) at the time. Two weeks ago at Mugello the Spaniard and the Italian both crashed out after colliding on the first lap of the race.

Bautista was far from the only man to hit the gravel today. The baking hot conditions caused grip worries for many riders after the first few laps. In all, seven of the 24 starters crashed out.

Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) reignited his challenge for the 2013 Moto2 title with his first win since Qatar in the Honda-powered championship. The local – born just eight kilometres from the circuit – dominated the race, riding in team formation with team-mate Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex).

Espargaro attributed his return to form to a fruitful post-race test at Mugello, where he improved his feeling for his bike and Dunlop’s 2013 tires. Today he led from pole, let his team-mate through shortly after half-distance, followed him for a while and then surged ahead once more. Rabat never gave up, closing onto the leader’s rear wheel at the start of the final lap, but he was unable to find a way past before the flag. Espargaro’s second win of the year moved him from fifth to second in the points standings, just ahead of Rabat and 35 points behind series leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who finished fourth today.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) filled the last place on the podium and the Swiss was delighted with the result, his first top-three finish since he returned from breaking an arm during preseason testing. At one point Luthi looked like he might be able to run with Espargaro and Rabat, but in the end he had to settle for a comfortable third, some way ahead of Redding.

Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) took the flag in fifth spot after fending off a strong challenge from Randy Krummenacher (Technomag carXpert Suter). Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) finished seventh.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) won a frantic contest for eighth place which at one point included seven riders. He beat Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) by less than a tenth of a second. Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) and Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) were next up, with just six tenths covering eighth to 11th.

Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) rode a heroic Moto3 race, spending the early laps battling in the midst of the lead group, at one point working his way through to second spot. But as the race wore on and engine temperatures rose, the hard-charging Australian slipped back to seventh, his second best result of the year so far. He finished sixth in April’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas.

Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) also rode a strong race, winning a breathtaking nine-man dogfight for eighth. The group battled together for much of the race, often four or five abreast as they hit the brakes at the end of Catalunya’s long start/finish straight. The Frenchman crossed the line at the head of the group, followed closely by seven more Honda riders. Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Alan Techer (CIP TSR Honda), Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda), Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), Alessandro Tonucci (Team La Fonte Tasca Racing Honda) and Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) filled 11th to 17th positions at the end of the race.

MotoGP riders now have a busy few days of testing here at Catalunya and then at Motorland Aragon. The racing continues in two weeks with the Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday 29 June.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Today was a bit of a strange race. We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tires. When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today. It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal. We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and, in fact, in the closing laps, Marc [Marquez] made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place. We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra twenty points and we continue to lead the standings.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“It was a difficult race. We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge [Lorenzo] and Dani [Pedrosa] and I’m very happy with this result! It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal set-up. During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium. I can only say I’m thrilled with the result. Now we look to Assen and we’ll see if we can improve anything for that race during the test at Aragon.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th
“Honestly we thought it was going to be tough to get such a good result, so we are very happy about this fifth place. It was a very tough race in hot conditions and I had to be very clever to save the tires every single lap. Some riders crashed in the early stages, so I decided to be less aggressive in the beginning. I am quite satisfied about my performance because I was capable of adapting to these difficult conditions. This strategy gave me a lot of confidence and a big gap to the guys behind me. Tomorrow we will be back on track for a half-day test here and then two days at Aragon.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“It is such a shame. We have had a great weekend and this was the last thing we needed. After the start I felt like the guys in front of me were holding me up and in an effort to stay with the lead group I tried to get past them and I crashed. Maybe with a hard tire on the front I could have been a bit more careful but I was worried about losing touch and I went for it. In hindsight it would have been better to wait but in racing these things happen. I feel sorry for the team because they have done a great job here and I want to apologise to all the guys, who are giving 100% and deserve a different result. Now we just have to look forward to the next race and try to stay calm.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th
“I scored my first World Championship points today but I am still not particularly happy because I would have liked to do it more on the front foot. It wasn’t an easy race because of the conditions and I was able to improve my pace from qualifying so that’s good but I’m still not happy to be honest. Anyway, we have to take the positives and try to learn from this experience in the future.”

Moto2

Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: race winner
“You can imagine how it felt for me yesterday to get pole for my home race, because I knew it was so important for me to recover my confidence in the motorcycle. Also, to be on pole gave me extra power and energy. Today was one of the best rides of my life – I’ve never won a Grand Prix here at my home track and it’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. Now we need to continue working to recover some more points on Scott.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: 2nd
“Congratulations to Pol and also thanks to our team, they did a great job here. The weekend was very difficult to begin with because we had some little set-up problems that we only began to solve yesterday afternoon, when I began to find my rhythm, and again in warm-up. In the race Pol was stronger than me. I tried to stay with him and I pushed to my maximum. At the end he pushed even harder and I pushed again but on the last lap it was impossible to pass him. I’m happy though, I rode an intelligent race.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock: 3rd
“It’s been tough since I broke an arm before the start of the season. Now I’m so happy and third place feels like a victory after the time I’ve had. I want to thanks my team for all their support during these last months. I don’t feel like this is a peak for us, I hope it’s just the start of some good results. I could stay with the leaders for a while but then they were faster out of the corners and I had no chance to fight for victory. From half-distance I was fighting more with my arm.”

Moto3

Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 7th
“The first nine laps were good, then the engine got too hot and we lost some power. It was a shame because my tires stayed good and the bike was tracking awesome through the corners. I was quicker through the corners than the other guys in the lead group so I thought I’d murder the tires, but they were good all the way through.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 8th
“The race was really good, a lot of fun! All the time I kept making it to the front of the second group because I wanted to catch the first group, but it was too difficult without a slipstream. My problem was the start. I qualified tenth but my first lap wasn’t good, I wasn’t in the right place.”
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 11th
“I am very happy with the work we have done this weekend. Today’s race was tough because the pace of riders between eighth and 15th was, so any mistake lost you several positions. I rode at a good pace and I felt very comfortable on the bike. We found a good set-up and the chassis was fine. A top ten is not bad because I got more points and I’m happy because I feel I’m improving in each race.”
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 06: Catalunya

MotoGP
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5 Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6 Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
8 Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
9 Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
10 Michele PIRRO (Ignite Pramac Racing)
11 Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
12 Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
13 Yonny HERNANDEZ (Paul Bird Motorsport)
14 Bryan STARING (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
15 Javier DEL AMOR (Avintia Blusens)
Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
2 Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
3 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Rac)
4 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
6 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Technomag carXpert)
7 Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
8 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
9 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
10 Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
11 Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)
12 Mike DI MEGLIO (JiR Moto2)
13 Danny KENT (Tech 3)
14 Axel PONS (Tuenti HP 40)
15 Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
3 Maverick VINALES (Team Calvo)
4 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5 Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
7 Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
8 Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
9 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10 Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11 Isaac VINALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
12 Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
13 Alan TECHER (CIP Moto3)
14 Danny WEBB (Ambrogio Racing)
15 Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)

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