MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez fought back after almost running off the track to take his sixth win of the year at Aragon, stretching his title lead to almost 40 points with four races remaining. It was Honda’s eighth win this year, and the RC213V’s third in a row at the scenic Motorland Aragon circuit in the Spanish hinterland.
The team’s joy was tempered by misfortune to second Repsol Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa, who crashed out heavily in a freak incident on the sixth of 23 laps. He had taken second place from pole starter Marquez, and was mounting a strong challenge on early leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at the time.
Split seconds before Marquez ran wide, he clipped the rear of Pedrosa’s machine, and the team discovered that one of the electronic sensors of the traction-control system had been damaged, causing the system to become inoperative. This triggered the crash, which happened a few yards further on as Pedrosa opened the throttle. The rear wheel spun, the bike slewed sideways, and the Spaniard – who turned 28 on race day – was tossed over the high side.
Lorenzo had led away with yet another of his trade-mark lightning starts, and led by a second after the first lap, with Marquez second and Pedrosa third. The Honda pair gradually closed the gap over the next four laps; then on the fifth Pedrosa pounced on his team-mate, and was soon on the Yamaha’s back wheel and challenging strongly.
It seemed only a matter of time before he took the lead, but he hadn’t completed another lap when instead he was sent flying.
While Pedrosa was taken to the medical centre for checks (he escaped serious injury), Marquez regrouped and set about closing a gap of almost two seconds on Lorenzo. It took him nine laps to catch up and get ahead with a clean but forceful pass. Lorenzo stayed close until the closing stages, but was powerless to prevent Marquez taking the win by better than one second.
A crowd of 61,300 enjoying warm but overcast conditions were rewarded with exciting racing down the field, with a four-bike battle for the last rostrum place. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) hung on to the spot under race-long pressure from Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V), Alvaro Bautista (FUN&GO Gresini Honda RC213V) and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha).
It came to a climax in the last six laps. First Bautista got ahead of Rossi, then Bradl joined the action, with Crutchlow a close spectator. The trio changed places again with two laps to go, Rossi regaining the upper hand to lead Bautista over the line by less than a second. The Spaniard had his hands full with Bradl, less than two tenths behind. Crutchlow was just over half a second away. Less than two seconds covered the quartet.
Bautista has a special role with Honda, race-developing Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, the only rider to use the Japanese components made by companies associated with Honda
His team-mate Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) finished 18th, in the middle of a three-rider battle. The Australian, in his first grand prix season, rides a CBR1000RR-powered machine in the CRT category.
Marquez has now amassed a total of 278 points, with Lorenzo second on 239, and Pedrosa dropped to third on 219.
Nico Terol (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) took a resounding victory in the Moto2 class, stamping his authority on a category where all riders use identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organizers, to ensure close and reliable racing. It was the former 125cc champion’s second win of the season, achieved after starting from pole position for the first time in the class. Terol led from the first lap to the last, and was able to slow towards the end and still win by 1.7 seconds. Earlier he had been more than four seconds clear.
There was a strong battle behind him, as championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) strove to keep ahead of challenging rival Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex). Espargaro’s team-mate Esteve Rabat had finally escaped ahead of the pair on the 14th of 21 laps. Soon afterwards second Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex rider Mika Kallio caught from behind, and the three closed up as the laps counted down.
Redding resisted fiercely as Espargaro’s attack redoubled, and left tyre marks on his rival’s leathers as they made contact. But in the end the Spaniard prevailed, taking the last rostrum spot by three tenths, and whittling another three points out of Redding’s title lead. He is now 20 points ahead, with four races remaining.
Kallio was a close fifth. More than seven seconds away Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) was a lonely sixth, with Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project Suter) and then Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) equally alone behind.
Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) prevailed in a big battle for ninth, from Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and Marcel Schrotter (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team Kalex), with Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) losing touch at the end to finish 13th. Nakagami had been with the leaders in the early stages, but dropped back after running off the track.
In the smallest class, Moto3, Honda-powered machines are up against rival factories, and the top runners among the Honda hordes found themselves engaged in a fierce battle for the points behind the three runaway leaders. A pack of nine, and sometimes ten, 250cc four-strokes were locked in combat for an eventual eighth place.
Best of them was rising Italian Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), who conquered the group and came within a little over two seconds of catching seventh-placed Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM). He was two tenths ahead of KTM’s Arthur Sissis. Barely one second behind, experienced French rider Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) secured 11th, with Australian star Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) 13th.
Miller had ridden through from 20th on the grid, after a tyre issue in qualifying kept him from his more usual position challenging for the front two rows.
Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda) was right on his back wheel for 14th, with another clutch of Hondas – Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), Isaac Vinales (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) and wild card Bryan Schouten (Dutch Racing Team FTR Honda) – filling from 17th to 19th places, in another big group battling for the final point. Fifteenth to 22nd places crossed the line within less than 1.4 seconds.
The race was won by Spanish KTM rider Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia KTM) ahead of fellow countrymen Maverick Vinales (Team Calvo KTM) and his team mate Alex Marquez. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished fourth and retained his lead in the championship.
The next race is the Malaysian GP in two weeks’ time, followed week by week by two more long-distance races, in Australia and Japan, before the season finale in Valencia.
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|3||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|4||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)|
|5||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|6||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|7||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|9||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|10||Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|12||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Ignite Pramac Racing)|
|13||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|14||Hiroshi AOYAMA (Avintia Blusens)|
|15||Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|1||Nicolas TEROL (Aspar Team Moto2)|
|2||Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)|
|3||Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)|
|4||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|5||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|6||Jordi TORRES (Aspar Team Moto2)|
|7||Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)|
|8||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|9||Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|10||Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|11||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|12||Marcel SCHROTTER (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)|
|13||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|14||Alex MARIÑELARENA (Blusens Avintia)|
|15||Danny KENT (Tech 3)|
|1||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|2||Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)|
|3||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|4||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|5||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)|
|6||Philipp OETTL (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing)|
|7||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|8||Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|9||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|10||Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)|
|11||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|12||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|13||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|14||Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)|
|15||Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)|