MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Repsol Honda RC213V riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa finished first and second at today's Indianapolis Grand Prix at the iconic “Brickyard," resuming the interrupted racing season in the best possible form as both increase their world championship points lead over closest rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), third today.
It was a third win in succession for 20-year-old class rookie Marc Marquez, who had won the last two Moto2 races here in 2011 and 2012, en route to the 2012 Championship. It gave him a three-out-of-three hat-trick in the USA. He won round two in Austin, Texas in April, then the US GP at Laguna Seca before the summer break.
He now leads the Word Championship by 21 points, the youngest rider ever to do so – just one of many records the Spanish rider has smashed in his maiden MotoGP season. With two more races in the next two weekends, the contest is reaching a crescendo. Marquez now has 188 points to Pedrosa's 167, with Lorenzo losing ground on 153.
Marquez was in top form from the start, dominating free practice and qualifying on pole for the fourth time this year. But it was Lorenzo who led away in perfect conditions, closely pursued by Pedrosa and the rookie.
Marquez took second after eight of the 28 laps, and moved into the lead before half distance. The three stayed close, then Marquez stretched his lead to win by 3.495 seconds.
Pedrosa's second place was hardly any less of an achievement. The 27-year-old Spaniard, who ceded the points lead to his team-mate three races ago when forced out of the German GP with a broken collarbone, is still recovering from the injury and racing in damage-control mode.
He had dropped to third behind Lorenzo, also injured at the same race, but a superhuman effort in the closing stages saw him close a gap of a second and then get back ahead with three laps remaining. Pedrosa finished the race in obvious pain, and is looking forward to continued physical improvement to help him regain further momentum, after winning two races earlier in the season to take the points lead.
Fans at the 4.216 km (2.62-mile) infield circuit, which shares part of the front straight and the famous “yard of bricks" with the historic and world-famous Indianapolis Oval, enjoyed warm and dry weather, with exciting racing for the remaining championship points. The warmer conditions made tire choice important, with all factory riders opting for the same hard front / soft rear combination.
Sixth-placed Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista played a leading role in what was eventually a three-bike battle for fourth. He had been to and fro with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), when the similarly mounted multi-champion Valentino Rossi caught up in the last laps. Former 125cc World Champion Bautista came off worst in a fairing-bashing brawl in the final corner. Rossi led the trio across the line almost side by side, all within two tenths of a second. Bautista uniquely uses Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, race-developing the Japanese equipment made by Honda associates.
German LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl was ninth, after tailing Bautista until the closing stages, then losing pace after Rossi caught and passed him. Bradl was fresh off a career-best pole and second place at the last round at Laguna Seca, and was second fastest in free practice – but a tumble in qualifying dropped him to eighth on the grid, spoiling his confidence and his chances of a repeat performance.
Australian grand prix first-timer Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was 19th on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine, on his first visit to the circuit.
An exciting race in the all-Honda-powered Moto2 class saw Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP Pons Kalex) take his second win of the year, after breaking free from the group disputing second to hunt down and pass long-time leader Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), for whom second was still a career best.
Crucially for the championship, points leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) secured third place over his nearest rival Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex), who had been closing up on the Englishman over the past three races. Redding passed Espargaro with a fierce move with three of 25 laps remaining; leaving the Spaniard with his hands full fending off Switzerland's Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter).
Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) won a four-rider battle for sixth, from Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project Suter) and Xavier Simeon (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team Kalex).
Redding regained a championship cushion of more than one race win, on 159 points to Espargaro's 133. Rabat's 25-point win moved him closer in third, on 113.
Moto2 machines use identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organizers to guarantee close and reliable racing. Variety comes in the different prototype chassis used.
In the Moto3 class, where Honda faces rival manufacturers KTM and Mahindra, Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) has been the most successful Honda rider. The same was expected at Indianapolis, where he again qualified on the second row of the grid. Miller made a flying start and was with the leading group when he crashed out after four of the 23 laps, suffering a suspected broken collarbone.
With his nearest championship rival Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) retiring from the race, this left the Honda action to Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda rider Alexis Masbou, Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda), Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda) and Isaac Vinales (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), all locked together mid-race in a fierce seven-rider fight.
Vinales crashed out and Antonelli dropped back out of the points, but Fenati was a close ninth at the finish, Masbou and Techer still battling in 12th and 13th.
The next race is the Czech Republic GP at Brno in one week.
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|4||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|5||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)|
|7||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|8||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|9||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|10||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|11||Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)|
|12||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|13||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|14||Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|15||Hiroshi AOYAMA (Avintia Blusens)|
|1||Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)|
|2||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|3||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|4||Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)|
|5||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|6||Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|7||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|8||Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)|
|9||Xavier SIMEON (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq)|
|10||Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|11||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|12||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|13||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)|
|14||Alex DE ANGELIS (Ignite Pramac Racing)|
|15||Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)|
|1||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|2||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|3||Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)|
|4||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|5||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|6||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|7||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|8||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)|
|9||Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|10||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)|
|11||Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)|
|12||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|13||Alan TECHER (CIP Moto3)|
|14||Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|15||Matteo FERRARI (Ongetta-Centro Seta)|