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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 18: Valencia Qualifying

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  • Race Results
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Valencia
Valencia
November 9, 2013

Marquez Qualifies on Pole, Pedrosa Third at Valencia Finale

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored his ninth pole position of the year at sunny Valencia today, putting himself in the perfect position for tomorrow’s all-important title decider. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) was a close third fastest in this afternoon’s 15 minute qualifying session which was watched by a capacity crowd, here to watch MotoGP’s first final-race showdown since 2006.

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

If Marquez’s only championship rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) wins tomorrow’s race, the 20-year-old has to be fourth or higher to secure the title and become the youngest premier-class champion in the 65 year history of the sport. Although he knows that riding a calculating race for the required amount of points will make him champion, Marquez was in full attack mode today, getting his RC213V shaking and bucking as he fought his way round this tight but demanding circuit. The approach of the former 125 and Moto3 World Champion is straightforward and sensible: if he continues to ride as he always does – with the bike loose beneath him – he feels more comfortable and can maintain better concentration.

Marquez’s best lap – the fastest-ever motorcycle lap at Valencia – put him an impressive 0.340 seconds ahead of Lorenzo, with Pedrosa just 0.086 seconds further adrift. Pedrosa – who won the Valencia MotoGP race in 2007, 2009 and 2012 – was delighted to be back on the front row for the first time Aragon. Because Honda prefer not to issue team orders to its riders, Pedrosa is free to aim for another Valencia victory tomorrow, which will only help his team-mate in his quest for the 2013 MotoGP title.

The progress of Marquez and Pedrosa in the race will also affect the outcome of the highly prized constructors’ World Championship, which Honda won last season and currently lead this year. The manufacturer is now going for a record 20th constructors’ title. Honda scored its first constructors’ title in 1966, with the mighty RC181 four-cylinder four-stroke. Following a long absence from GP racing, it wasn’t until 1983 that Honda won its second constructors’ title, with the NS500 three-cylinder two-stroke. Honda has also won more premier-class race victories than anyone – victory tomorrow would take the company to 250 wins in the class of kings.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) will head the third row after tumbling during qualifying. The Spaniard had been aiming for much better but was forced to slow down in traffic, which allowed his tyres to cool down, which caused him to slide off without injury.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) ended the session just 0.044 seconds slower than Bautista. The German – who had his right ankle pinned after an unlucky injury sustained during last month’s Malaysian GP – struggled to find full confidence in the front end, which is so crucial around this tight track.

This is the last chance for Australian MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) last chance to score more points in his apprenticeship MotoGP season. The Aussie ended qualifying in 23rd position.

Recently crowned Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) proved he wants to finish his title-winning season in the best possible style by dominating Moto2 qualifying. The Spaniard – who wrapped up the crown at Motegi two weeks ago – took pole by 0.318 seconds ahead of Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up), with German GP winner Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) completing the front row, a further 0.077 seconds down.

Lap times were even tighter on the second row in this ultra-close, Honda-powered series. Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) led the way, just 0.007 seconds behind Torres and 0.004 seconds ahead of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) and Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) who recorded exactly the same time. In other words, the entire second row was separated by just 0.004 seconds!

Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up) leads row three ahead of Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) and Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex). Just 1.083 seconds separate the fastest 16 riders.

Once again Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) was Honda’s strongest performer in the Moto3 class, the hard-riding Aussie teenager qualifying in an excellent fifth place, just half a second off pole position.

Italian teenager Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) was only one place behind Miller to secure the final spot on the second row. Just one tenth of a second behind Antonelli was Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) who will start from the middle of the third row of the grid after qualifying in eighth.

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) was 11th, with Miller’s team-mate John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) 16th fastest.

While the duel for the MotoGP crown will surely grab tomorrow’s headlines, the three-way battle for the Moto3 title may produce a more tense and entertaining race. The three KTM riders at the top of the championship – Luis Salom, Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins – are covered by just five points, so whichever one of the trio wins tomorrow’s race will be World Champion. The trio have already dominated qualifying: Rins, Salom and Vinales at the top and separated by just 0.285 seconds.

Tomorrow’s three races signal the end of the 2013 season, but preseason testing for the 2015 campaign starts less than 24 hours later, with MotoGP riders returning to the track on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Moto2 and Moto3 riders begin their winter preparations at Jerez later in the week.

 

Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
Honda MotoGP rider quotess
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V): pole position – 1m 30.237
“We are happy, because we have achieved the goal that we had set for today: to be on the front row. In addition, taking pole position in the process is something that is very important to us. Tomorrow’s race is the most important one of the year and we will be trying to approach it like any other Grand Prix, although it will be difficult because Jorge has a great pace. We will try to pick the best tyres for the race, from two options which are both good, and give 100 per cent tomorrow.”
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 3rd – 1m 30.663
“I am very happy with how qualifying went today, despite not having taken pole. It was an interesting session for me, because I was able to find my pace again after various races in which I was off the front row. On the final two laps I was able to get a spot on the front row for tomorrow, and this is very important. It still wasn’t quite enough to take pole position, but I’m happy with the work that we carried out and the step forward that we made. I hope to improve a little more tomorrow and have a good race.”
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 7th – 1m 31.594
“Unfortunately qualifying wasn’t as much fun today as it has been recently but to be honest we were already struggling this morning. We at least managed to make our tyre choice for the race and it looks like we’ll go for the soft because it drops off less than the hard. This afternoon I improved my lap time on the first run but then on my second exit I ran into traffic, had to slow down and then on the next lap the tyre temperature had dropped and I lost the front. We start from seventh on the grid so hopefully we feel confident with the bike tomorrow so that we can make up some positions and finish the season with a good result.”
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V): 8th – 1m 31.638
“Honestly we expected a better position in the last qualifying of the season but I could not qualify better than eighth because we still miss confidence with the front. We improved a little bit from yesterday’s sessions but we are still struggling and I was not confident enough to do a faster lap time. Of course we are disappointed but we are strong in some points as we demonstrated in the free sessions so we gathered important data to analyze ahead of tomorrow.”
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda): 23rd – 1m 34.805
“The feeling with the bike and the track improved today but not enough to make up any positions. Anyway, hopefully we can make some more progress in the warm-up and finish the season off with a positive race.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons): pole position – 1m 34.957
“Everyone wants to win the last race of the year. For me, this is a great weekend and I want to enjoy every minute of my last rides in Moto2. I also want to win the race to thank my team for the incredible job they’ve done this year. We had some critical moments in the season and they always gave me fantastic support. I have a good rhythm here and today I got the circuit record, so everything is perfect.”
Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing): 2nd – 1m 35.275
“That session was so tight – there is such a small gap between all the top guys – so I know the race will be a big battle. We have had a good two days of practice and this is my first front row of the year, so I am really looking forward to being in the fight at the front.”
Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2): 3rd – 1m 35.352
“I am still a bit injured from Japan – I have a small hole in my foot – but it isn’t important and doesn’t affect me too badly on the bike. I know it will be a very difficult race because the lap times are so close. This track is my home track and I can feel the fans pushing me along, so I am very much looking forward to the race.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller (Caretta Racing Technology): 5th- 1m 40.043
“Qualifying wasn’t too bad – it was the same story as always – lots of traffic. We struggled a bit with the wind, which meant we couldn’t get the back of the track right. But it’s a back wind on the straight, so that should help us in the race. The times are so close that it’ll be interesting tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be in the front group who are fighting for the championship – creating a little confusion, but not too much confusion!”
Niccolo Antonelli (FUN&GO Gresini Moto3): 6th – 1m 40.365
“I really enjoyed qualifying and I was strong out there. Maybe if I had not found some slower riders in my way during the final stages I could have done better, but I’m happy anyway. Tomorrow will be a good race and if we can make a few useful technical changes before the start, then I will be able to push really hard.”
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold): 8th – 1m 40.581
“I rode a lot of the session alone – when the bike feels good I prefer to work on my own. I always find things a little difficult here at Valencia and the start of the weekend wasn’t easy but a top ten in qualifying isn’t bad, so now I am quite happy. We made some changes for qualifying and now I can brake later, so I hope we can make something good for the race. It will be difficult to go with the front group, but we will see what happens. It would be nice to be in a position to see what happens at the last corner between the guys fighting for the championship!”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Round 18: Valencia
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
4Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
8Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
10Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
11Andrea IANNONE (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)
12Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
13Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
14Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
15Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)
2Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
3Jordi TORRES (Aspar Team Moto2)
4Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
5Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
6Nicolas TEROL (Aspar Team Moto2)
7Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
8Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
9Xavier SIMEON (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)
10Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
11Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
12Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13Gino REA (Gino Rea Montaze Broz Racing)
14Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
15Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
2Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
4Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
5Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)
6Niccolò ANTONELLI (GO & FUN Gresini Moto3)
7Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
8Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
9Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
11Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)
12Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
13Ana CARRASCO (Team Calvo)
14Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Moto3 Racing)
15Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)

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