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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 15: Malaysia Qualifying

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
October 12, 2013

Marquez on Pole for Eighth Time This Year

World Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) scorched to his eighth pole position of the season at sweltering Sepang this afternoon. Qualifying was made somewhat treacherous when a rain shower dampened part of the circuit, causing many riders a frightening moment or two. However, the track was dry enough by the end of the 15 minute session for Marquez to increase his pace and establish a new qualifying record. This pole was his fourth in a row, following on from Silverstone, Misano and Aragon.

Marc+ MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team), Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

The remarkable 20-year-old carries a 39 point advantage into tomorrow’s race which is arguably the toughest of the year due to the heat and high humidity that push riders, bikes and tires to the limit.

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) ended the outing in fifth place to start tomorrow’s race from the middle of the second row. The Spaniard, who is still experiencing pain from his highside crash at Aragon two weeks ago, topped free practice but when the rain came down before qualifying, he decided to take fewer risks than usual, rather than chance aggravating his injuries with another tumble. Winner here last year, the former 250 and 125 World Champion is taking painkilling pills to tackle the discomfort he has from his bruised right hip and left buttock.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) will start the race next to Pedrosa after qualifying sixth fastest. The Spaniard had been confident of a good qualifying session but he wasn’t able to fully evaluate a settings change during the final free practice session. That and the tricky conditions prevented him from reaching his own limit.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was ruled out of tomorrow’s race when he slid off at Turn One during FP4, shortly before qualifying got underway. The German lost the front in what shouldn’t have been an injurious crash, then caught his right foot as he slid of the track and fractured the ankle. The former Moto2 World Champion will have the break fixed by specialists as soon as possible with the hope of riding in next weekend’s Australian GP. The injury is a real blow for the German who has been gathering momentum at recent races. He had ended free practice here a close fourth fastest.

Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) put his CRT machine 22nd on the grid. The Australian isn’t happy with his pace and hopes he can find something extra for the race.

Outside contender for the Moto2 World Championship Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) took pole position in the hard-fought Honda-powered category, his first since May’s Spanish GP, which he won. The Spaniard ended the session a slender 0.018 seconds ahead of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter). Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex), who currently lies second in the title battle, took the final spot on the front row, 0.080 seconds behind Luthi, which means that the front row is covered by less than one tenth of a second.

Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) was three tenths further back to lead row two in fourth place, just ahead of Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex).

The third row consists of Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up), Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter). World Championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) could do no better than tenth, 0.917 seconds off pole, due to rear-grip issues.

Moto3 qualifying started on a damp track, which gave Alexis Masbou, (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda), Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) and Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) the chance to show their talent. At one point the Frenchman, Italian and Australian were first, second and third.

Masbou kept up his impressive pace to end the session in second place, just over a tenth of a second behind World Championship leader Luis Salom (KTM). It was the Frenchman’s best grid position of the year and he thinks he can run at the front tomorrow, so long as he gets away with the lead group.

Just as impressive was Italian teenager Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) in third place, making it two Hondas on the front row.

Miller ended the session in seventh place to lead the third row. The next Honda men were Fenati in 13th and Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) in 18th.

Tomorrow’s Malaysian GP is the first of three consecutive races, with the Australian and Japanese GPs following over the next two Sundays.

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 quotess
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: pole position, 2m 00.011s
“I’m really happy with this pole position, particularly as earning it was a little different to my previous poles. At the start of qualifying there were two completely wet corners, which made it hard to put in a hot lap as we had to calculate the amount of risk, whilst still maintaining our speed. I knew that the final lap of the session would be definitive, because the surface was drying out and conditions were getting better by the minute. Things worked out for us and I set a time that I really wasn’t expecting. Tomorrow will be a different story, because Lorenzo and Dani both have a great pace, so we shall see if we have a bit of good fortune and the conditions remain dry.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 5th, 2m 00.692s
“Qualifying today was difficult to tackle, due to the rainfall, but in the end we all opted to go out on slicks. I was not able to clock the best time but I am happy with the pace that we have had during practice. Let’s see if tomorrow we can get a good start in the race.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 6th, 2m 00.974s
“The second row is not bad considering what a tough day we have had today. We worked hard this morning to improve our pace and made a little progress but not enough. We worked on a different setting in the final free practice this afternoon, based on what we used in preseason testing, and it felt good but it only lasted for a lap because we had a little problem. So we went out in qualifying not feeling entirely confident with the setting and with the track conditions being less than perfect in a few places because of the rain. Overall if things had worked out better for us I could have gone much faster but the second row is still important. We have a few things to check with the setting in morning warm-up and then hopefully we can have a strong race.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNS
“I was quite confident in the final practice and we were on a new tire to get ready for QP2. So I started to push but for some reasons I felt a bit strange with the rear tire because I could not get the proper grip quickly. Thus I tried to push on braking a bit too much for the first corner so I lost the front. Honestly it was not a heavy crash but I was unlucky. The handle bar of my bike hit the plastic grass and it comes up (not flat anymore) and my right leg got stuck in there. I immediately felt the pain and the x-ray exam reveals the fracture of the right malleolus.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 2m 06.038s
“I am pretty disappointed to be honest because we have not made much progress on the lap times we set here during preseason testing. I can’t honestly explain exactly why this is but clearly we’re not fast enough. Hopefully we will have a turnaround overnight.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: pole position, 2m 07.063s
“I’m very happy with this pole position and even more so with my rhythm for the race because it’s very good. We have found a very good bike set-up for tomorrow which makes me feel quite confident. As always, I will give my 100 per cent, try and get a good start and see what’s the best result we can achieve at the end of the race.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock: 2nd, 2m 07.081s
“I hope I can go with Tito [Rabat]. He has been very strong all weekend, and yesterday I didn’t think it would be possible to catch him but now we are very close. We have been getting better all weekend, so I hope that the race will be dry. I felt confident in qualifying and we have a good pace. In the race I hope Tito cannot make the early break like he did at Aragon.”
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: 3rd, 2m 07.161s
“The race will be hard because the heat here is amazing. I’m surprised because I didn’t expect to be on the front row. We made an amazing improvement in FP3 – we tried a different tire and a completely different setting from yesterday. The weekend is going very well. We have a good rhythm and tomorrow we will see what happens in the race.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 2nd, 2m 13.985s
“That was good! The track was still damp in a few places, so the conditions weren’t perfect, which helped us because I don’t think second place would’ve been possible in normal conditions. But I was very nearly fastest in FP1, so we are going pretty well here, especially since I lost a little time on my best lap when someone got in my way. I had a crash this morning – I made a mistake when I was trying a different tire. Tomorrow I will try and go with the first group – we have the rhythm – but it will depend on the start and the first few laps. It won’t be easy because we have two long straights here.”
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini: 3rd, 2m 14.006s
“I am delighted to have qualified on the front row and to finally get my hands on a new cap! The team have done a great job and I have been able to repay them with a performance that gives us all a great boost. We have been making good progress for the last few races and this result confirms our good form. It won’t be an easy race tomorrow but starting from the front row will be important and I want to make the most of the opportunity ahead of me.”
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 7th, 2m 14.436s
“That could’ve been better but nevertheless it was all right. The track was still damp at the last corner and in the change of direction between five and six – a couple of times the bike lit up. Things are going pretty good – the bike is pretty strong and I think the KTMs are struggling a bit with the humidity. It could’ve been a different story if the track had been fully dry, but seventh is good enough, we can deal with it.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 15: Malaysia
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
6Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
7Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
8Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
9Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
10Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
11Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
12Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
13Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
14Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
15Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
2Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)
3Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
4Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
5Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
6Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
7Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
8Xavier SIMEON (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)
9Jordi TORRES (Aspar Team Moto2)
10Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
11Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
12Marcel SCHROTTER (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)
13Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
14Nicolas TEROL (Aspar Team Moto2)
15Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
3Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)
4Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
5Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
8Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
9Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
10Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
11Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)
12Philipp OETTL (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing)
13Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)
14Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
15Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)

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