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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 11: Czech Republic

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
August 24, 2013

Double Front Row for Honda at Brno

Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista claimed second-fastest qualifying time at Brno today, narrowly edging Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez to third, to make two Hondas challenging on the front row of the starting grid.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)
Marc MARQUEZ (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

Second Repsol Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa, still nursing a recovering collarbone fracture, was fractionally fourth fastest, heading the second row from defending champion Jorge Lorenzo and Bradley Smith (both Yamaha). It was Smith’s team-mate Cal Crutchlow up front, on a fast dry afternoon where the top two both broke the circuit’s outright lap record.

LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl was the next-best Honda in a batch of close times, the top nine all within a second of pole, at the long 3.357-mile track with a lap time approaching two minutes. The German, on pole at Laguna Seca, was eighth-fastest at Brno, in the middle of row three.

Australian grand prix rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) placed his Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike 24th, bouncing back from a tumble yesterday, and for once at a circuit where he has prior track knowledge.

Bautista’s best qualifying this year is more proof of his improving form, after blotting his copybook with two first-lap crashes in the early part of the 18-race season. He was on the front row also at Laguna Seca, where he went on to claim his best finish of the year with a close fourth place. The former 125cc World Champion is the only rider to use Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, combining his quest for results with a race-testing role for the Japanese equipment, made by companies closely associated with Honda.

Pedrosa won the race last year, with a fierce last-corner attack on Lorenzo; while Marquez took victory in the Moto2 class. A record-breaking rookie in the premier MotoGP class, the 20-year-old has won the last three races in succession, and leads the World Championship from 27-year-old team-mate Pedrosa.

In a sensational rookie season, Marquez has claimed four pole positions and taken four race wins. He was already the youngest-ever pole qualifier and the youngest-ever race winner, and the youngest to lead the championship. He is a strong candidate to become the youngest-ever champion, supplanting former Honda rider Freddie Spencer, World Champion in 1983.

His older team-mate is still suffering from the after-effects of a collarbone fracture before the summer break. It happened in practice for the German GP, ruling him out of the race and also losing him the points lead he had taken from Marquez with two previous race wins.

After choosing natural healing rather than surgery, Pedrosa is having to draw on all his reserves of courage and race-craft in an intensive period of racing: the Czech Republic GP is the middle one of three races on consecutive weekends. Last Sunday they raced at Indianapolis in the USA, where Marquez and Pedrosa were first and second; next weekend they race again in the British GP at Silverstone.

Bradl has also been showing improving form, after his brilliant pole and second place at Laguna Seca, the last race before the summer break. The German rider was fastest on the first day of qualifying, but failed to reproduce that form in the hectic 15-minute final session.

In the all-Honda powered Moto2 class, Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) claimed his second pole of the season, by an impressive margin of four tenths of a second. The Japanese rider is fresh off a career-best second place at the last round at Indianapolis a week ago.

He took the position ahead of Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex team-mates Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat. The team-mates set identical lap times, but Espargaro did it first, and is placed ahead on the grid.

Rabat claimed his second win of the year at Indy, and is working hard to improve his third-overall position. Espargaro is similarly engaged on a quest: to move from second overall back into the lead he held earlier in the season. His rival is points leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), currently ahead of the Spaniard by 26 points, but qualified only 13th, albeit only four tenths of a second behind his rival.

All Moto2 machines use race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers, ensuring close and reliable racing. Nakagami apart, the qualifying times confirmed how even the contest can be. Second to 20th places were covered by just one second.

Redding’s team-mate Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) heads the second row from Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), in his best qualifying position in his first year in the class. German GP winner Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) qualified sixth; then Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter), Nicolas Terol (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) completed the top ten.

In the Moto3 class, up against rival factories, Honda-powered riders fared their best all season, with Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda rider Alexis Masbou shouldering Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) off the front row of the grid in the dying minutes of the final qualifying session.

Third equalled the experienced 26-year-old Frenchman’s career-best qualifying position, offering him a chance to equal or improve on his best-yet second place in the class.

But it brought disappointment to Miller (18), who had been in line for his first front-row start until the closing minutes. Fourth equals his best so far. Miller broke his collarbone at Indy last weekend, but reported no problems with the freshly-plated fracture.

The session brought joy also to class rookie John McPhee, next best Honda rider and team-mate to Miller in the Caretta Technology-RTG squad. The FTR Honda rider (19, from Scotland) qualified 11th, his best so far in his first full season, in the middle of the fourth row.

Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro-Seta FTR Honda) was 13th, one place ahead of Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tasca Racing FTR Honda), with France’s Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda) close behind in 16th, at the head of a group of five Hondas filling 16th to 20th places: Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda), Matteo Ferrari (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda).

The Brno circuit is scenic and spectacular, running down into a deep wooded valley and back up to the paddock area through a series of mainly fast corners. Vast crowds are expected as always to pack the hillsides that form superb natural grandstands.

So far the weather has been dry, but there is a chance of rain tomorrow, and the possibility of a flat-to-flag race in which riders pit to change bikes to match changing conditions.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
Honda MotoGP rider quotess
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 2nd – 1m 55.754
“I am really happy with our performance today. Already this morning I could feel an improvement with the set-up of the bike and we had better grip on the rear. My pace was good on used rubber and then when we put the fresh tyres on in qualifying I was able to take advantage. It was good fun and now I am just hoping to get a good start and run at the front for as long as possible. I felt great on the bike today so hopefully we can have a similar feeling with it tomorrow and keep the pace up when the tyres drop off. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done, as well as Honda, Showa, Nissin and our main sponsor, because they have had to wait a while for a moment like this”
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V): 3rd – 1m 55.863
“I’m not entirely happy because I had the confidence and determination to fight for pole. I could not take advantage of the second tyre because there was a lot of traffic and some riders were waiting for a tow. But it is what it is – one day I will look to follow them, another day it will be the opposite! With regards to the race, I feel confident as I’m comfortable on the bike and have a good foundation and good pace. If the race is dry, then I feel ready to challenge for the win”
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 4th – 1m 55.868
“The sessions were pretty difficult today, because we had trouble finding a set-up that I was happy with. In the last minute we were able to improve it, coming up with something that is more suited to my riding and which allowed me to ride more comfortably. Still, the times for everyone have been very close throughout the weekend, so we will have to fight hard. The important thing will be holding up physically, getting a good start and having a good race -whatever the conditions”
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V): 8th – 1m 56.477
“Definitely it’s a frustrating day for me and the team. I am not happy with the bike; actually I am missing edge grip and cannot carry the corner speed I would like. Our qualifying session was very tough because I was not able to take advantage of a new rear tyre because I was pushing the front too much into the corner trying to make the lap time. As I opened the throttle I could not use the rear tyre because we had too much spinning. I am not able to make a good exit out of the corners and for this reason we are losing too much time. We are working hard to find a solution but, so far, we are struggling to find a good setting”
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda): 24th – 2m 00.827
“Unfortunately we have only made a very slight improvement compared to yesterday. We are still struggling with the same issues and I am not able to ride the bike as I would like. It is disappointing because I felt I could do much better than this, especially coming to a circuit I already knew”
Moto2 rider quotes
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team): 1st – 2m 02.202
“I am quite happy to be back on pole. My last lap was not perfect … I made a small mistake, but the lap time was still good. I have to thank my team: they did a really good job every session. At Indianapolis I led almost to the end. I don’t think I will change my tactics here, because more than that race I have a good rhythm and am very constant. This morning I did 20 laps to try to understand the tyre wear better than at Indy. I am ready now to fight for my first victory”
Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40): 2nd – 2m 02.599
“It was a good qualifying – a hard one. I pushed all the time to try and improve the time, and I did it – then after that Taka did an incredible lap, the best of the weekend. We’ve been working on improving the performance with the tyres. They have improved a lot. Yesterday I did 28 laps, and the tyre was still normal, still good. Thanks to Dunlop, they are doing a great job. Maybe the grip is not the best, but they are improving, and so are we”
Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP40): 3rd – 2m 02.599
“After the Indy win, I have been happy all weekend. We have a good set-up, and do our best. I found some traffic in the middle of the qualifying session, but still I enjoyed it a lot, and made a good lap time. I am ready to race”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta Rivacold): 3rd – 2m 08.459
“I am happy. It is a long time since I was in this position. All weekend we have been fast, and I was surprised to be fourth this morning, but it made me think I could do something good. I feel very confident on the bike, and my team never stopped working. This track is better for us than Indy because there are no first-gear corners. If you can exit the corner well then you can keep the speed. I’ll try to stay with the fast group tomorrow, and see what happens”
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG): 4th – 2m 08.483
“It’s disappointing to lose my first front row at the end, but it was a really good session. Everything went to plan except that I was alone in the last laps, which wasn’t the plan, so I couldn’t find a slipstream at all. But I had a constant pace close to my personal best, with a good, good feeling. We’ve also worked on tyre life, and done everything that matters. My shoulder is not so bad: I may have split the stitches, but they can fix that”
John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG): 11th – 2m 09.111
“All year we’ve been working hard, trying to get a good base set-up – chasing our tails. Finally here we found it, and it makes me feel stronger as a rider. The engine is working very well. This track is so flowing, with no slow corners, and the top-end performance is not so bad. I’ve been ill all week, but this helps me to forget it”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 11: Czech Republic
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
2Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
3Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
4Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
6Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
8Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
10Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
11Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
12Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
13Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
14Michele PIRRO (Ignite Pramac Racing)
15Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
2Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
3Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
4Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
6Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
7Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
8Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)
9Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
10Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
11Marcel SCHROTTER (Desguaces La Torre SAG)
12Danny KENT (Tech 3)
13Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
14Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
15Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
2Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
3Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
4Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
5Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
6Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
8Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
9Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
10Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
11John McPHEE (Caretta Technology - RTG)
12Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)
13Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14Alessandro TONUCCI (La Fonte Tascaracing)
15Eric GRANADO (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)

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