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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 07: Netherlands

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
June 28, 2013

Marquez Puts Honda On Front Row At Assen

Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez returned to his front-row qualifying form in a difficult final session at Assen, bouncing back from a heavy crash in the morning. The 20-year-old MotoGP class rookie took pole position after the flag had fallen at the end of the session … only to be displaced to second by the following Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha).

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

Repsol Honda RC213V team-mate Dani Pedrosa ended up fifth, in the middle of the second row. The Spanish World Championship leader was forced to sit out the second half of the session after slipping off unhurt, but with no time to rejoin on his spare bike.

This left the second-best Honda position to LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl, who seemed to have set his first pole as the flag fell, only to be knocked to third on the far end of the front row by Crutchlow and Marquez, travelling in his wake. It is the German former Moto2 champion’s first time on the front row, in his second year in the premier class.

Typical Assen weather has bedevilled both days of practice, with intermittent light showers keeping temperatures low and now and then sprinkling parts of the 4.54-km circuit. Unpredictable grip levels and the classic circuit’s fast and technically challenging layout led to a number of crashes.

One of the first to go was the main title challenger to the Repsol Honda pair, Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone in a high-speed crash in free practice on Thursday afternoon. The Yamaha rider had surgery within 12 hours, and may be able to start tomorrow’s race if track doctors give him medical clearance.

This morning reigning Moto2 champion Marquez added his name to the growing crash list, suffering a fractured finger and other minor injuries in a bruising high-side crash. He admitted pain had been a problem in the afternoon, crediting his second-fastest time to the performance of his MotoGP Honda.

Pole position went to British rider Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), his first.

Pedrosa, on pole here last year, was finally caught out by the slippery surface after setting fastest time in the first part of the crucial final 15-minute qualifying session. He was unhurt but his bike was too damaged to ride back to the pits. By the time he got back to the pit box it was too late to take his spare bike to defend his position, and he had to watch powerless as four riders went faster.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified eighth, in the middle of the third row of the grid. The Spanish former 125cc World Champion combines his role as satellite-team racer with the important role of suspension development tester: he is the only rider on the grid to use Japanese Showa suspension.

Australian grand prix rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) placed his Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike 19th, hoping that prior track knowledge (a rarity for the first-timer) will help to improve his position, after scoring his first World Championship points two weeks ago.

Honours in the all-Honda powered Moto2 class went to Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex), who was dominant throughout. His third pole this season was by the narrowest of margins at the end – less than a tenth of a second, with the opposition stacked up close, and no less than 21 riders qualified within the space of one second from pole.

Second on the grid – his second front row of the year – was Frenchman Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter); while the final front row starter will be championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex). The other leading player, Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) leads the second row after challenging strongly throughout practice.

Redding has a handsome 35-point lead in the class, where a variety of specialist chassis are used, but all competitors use identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers, to ensure close and reliable racing. Espargaro and Rabat are chasing the Briton down after he had scored consecutive wins in France and Italy, with both turning the tables in Catalunya two weeks ago, where Redding finished fourth in the race.

Spaniard Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) came through to head a close pack of Hondas in the Moto3 class, where Honda is up against rival factories, with some motors in production-racing chassis and others in specialist prototype chassis.

With Vinales eighth overall, in the middle of row three, the next-best Honda was two places but less than two tenths of a second slower. It was the GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda rider Niccolo Antonelli, himself two places clear of Alexis Masbou’s Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda.

Masbou headed a phalanx of Hondas, with Alan Techer (CIP TSR Honda), Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) filling the next three grid positions.

Rain threatened throughout two days of practice and qualifying, and sometimes fell. Reliably changeable conditions at the circuit in the north of The Netherlands have riders in all classes wondering what the morrow will bring.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V): 2nd – 1m 34.755
The session went pretty well. It was very important that we took part in qualifying and got this position on the grid, as before FP4 we did not expect to be on the front row. We were certainly not expecting second, because the pain in my finger was really affecting me. When I put my glove on it hurt a lot, as did my back – my foot wasn’t as bad, fortunately. I tried to stay focused on the bike, despite the bruises, and we managed to get a good time. Today we were able to ride a hot lap; tomorrow we will have to see how we manage over 26 laps. The weather will also be a very important factor, because here it has been constantly changing this weekend.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V): 3rd – 1m 34.878
At the end of the session I was following the times on the TV screens and I saw that I was on pole …but I knew that some other riders were coming behind me. For a few minutes I was enjoying the position, then came Marquez and Crutchlow. But I am very pleased with this front row. It is my first in this class, and possibly also the first for a German rider. We’ve struggled with the weather but we found something good in the 30-minute break before final qualifying, and I could use the front tyre better and was able to push hard.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 5th – 1m 35.006
We haven’t had any sessions that have been really good for putting in laps and trying out things with the bike. The conditions of the track and weather haven’t really allowed us to improve the setup, because we’ve had very few laps on a completely dry track. However, in qualifying we were able to run a faster pace than the rest of the sessions. Despite the crash, the feeling is a lot better than it was yesterday. So we will see tomorrow if we can get a good start, and have a strong race.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 8th – 1m 35.508
I am not very happy with qualifying today because in free practice we managed to improve the setting compared to yesterday, but for some reason this afternoon I wasn’t as confident with it. Luckily I feel ready for the race, because when we rode with used tyres in FP4 we had a good pace, and if we can get a good start tomorrow I am convinced we can make up a lot of ground. It would have been better to be higher up the grid, but in the end we have to be confident in our race pace.
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda): 19th – 1m 37.315
I am happy because we have made some good progress from yesterday and have a decent starting position for the race tomorrow. Now I feel more confident with the bike … and the track, which at least I know my way around. It will be important to get a good start and stay consistent throughout the race if we are to fight with the guys in front of us tomorrow.
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40): 1st – 1m 38.734dt>
We have to keep pushing and make some pressure on Redding – our job is to focus, to be in front all practice, and in the race to be in front of him. This weekend I have been able to do everything right so far. Now we have to wait for the race.
Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project): 2nd – 1’38.833
We will see what will happen with the weather tomorrow, but my goal is the podium. I saw that my opponents are very strong. Both Espargaro and Rabat were able to run very well without difficulty. But I feel good too with the bike, and with the track. I have to thank the team that has worked well, giving a bike that can fight with the best. Tomorrow I will do everything I can for the best possible result. Starting forward on this track was a goal I wanted to hit, and we did. The only unknown now is the weather.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team): 3rd – 1m 38.879
The changeable weather means we’ve had little time to refine the dry setup this weekend, so we were still working to improve the bike during qualifying. The lap time was there; I didn’t feel particularly comfortable doing it and I was a bit too much on the limit … but that’s the way it is sometimes. I was hitting the rev limiter a bit too much in sector two, where I was losing most of my time, so we need to look again at gear ratios tonight. It’s almost there, but we’re just missing a little something right now. If it’s dry tomorrow we have a few ideas to try in warm-up to improve our race setup slightly, but we could race with what we’ve got now if necessary.
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Isaac Vinales (Ongetta-Centro Seta): 8th – 1m 44.424
I really like this circuit and I’m enjoying riding with the setup we have achieved. I had seventh and eighth position in free practices yesterday. Today I lost the front and had a wet fall, but luckily no damage and no problems in qualifying. We know we need more motor, but I have started very motivated today. We managed to be in the top ten and be the first Honda on the grid, so I have fulfilled those objectives. Now I want to finish the weekend with a good race result.
Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini): 10th – 1m 44.769
I am satisfied especially because I set my lap time on my own without using a slipstream, like a lot of my rivals did. I am sure I could have gone faster but this just means I have even more confidence in what I can do tomorrow. It will be important not to get too excited at the start and lose contact with the front guys. I am confident, and hopefully we can have a dry race.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold): 12th – 1m 44.814
I’m not so happy because I felt really good in free practice, but in qualifying not so good. I had a lot of trouble with the wind, which meant I couldn’t push as I wanted. It was my mistake, but we are not so far from the people ahead and in general I feel confident. We need to wait for tomorrow to see what it will bring.
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 07: Netherlands
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
2Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
3Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
4Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
6Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
8Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
9Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
10Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
11Michele PIRRO (Ignite Pramac Racing)
12Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
13Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
14Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
15Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
2Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
3Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
4Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
5Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)
6Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
7Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)
8Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
9Mike DI MEGLIO (JiR Moto2)
10Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
11Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
12Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
13Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
14Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)
15Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
2Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
3Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
4Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
5Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
7Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)
8Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
9Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)
11Jasper IWEMA (RW Racing GP)
12Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
13Alan TECHER (CIP Moto3)
14Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
15Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)

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