-- MotoGP 2013 - Round 12 - Silverstone
-- Lorenzo takes fight to Marquez with fastest lap on day one
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was fastest as the Hertz British Grand Prix weekend began at Silverstone on Friday. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider and last year’s winner led championship leader Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda Team companion Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo led the way with his best effort of 2’02.734, two tenths up on Marquez whose last Silverstone victory came in the 125 class three years ago. Behind Pedrosa, the top five was rounded out by GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista – the 2012 pole-sitter – and Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi. Many of the riders, despite favourable weather conditions, said they needed to get used to the track’s occasionally bumpy nature, and adjust the bike’s mechanical set-up to cope better with it.
Home favourite Cal Crutchlow was sixth, two places ahead of teammate Bradley Smith as the pair of Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders sandwiched Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso into seventh place, with his own teammate Nicky Hayden completing the top ten behind LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. Aleix Espargaro was 11th for Power Electronics Aspar, leading the way in the CRT ranks from the ART machine of PBM’s Yonny Hernandez.
Some of the riders managed to try most of the tyre combinations, with the majority already favouring the harder option front, bar Hayden, whilst the harder option rear seems like a viable option should temperatures stay the same, or rise. Dovizioso in particular said this was the first track this year where the difference between the two rear compounds was less, and could give teams two viable options.
Away from the track, the Power Electronics Aspar team confirmed that it would be staying with Aprilia in MotoGP™ for the following year, with the Italian manufacturer set to bring a much-enhanced package to the plate. Whilst no decision has yet been made on which riders the team will have or what electronics package it will field, pneumatic valves, upgraded frame and a new gearbox are just some of the improvements fans will see next year.
1 Jorge Lorenzo 2'02.734 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
2 Marc Marquez 2'02.958 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Dani Pedrosa 2'03.192 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Alvaro Bautista 2'03.463 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
5 Valentino Rossi 2'03.480 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
6 Cal Crutchlow 2'03.505 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Andrea Dovizioso 2'03.658 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Bradley Smith 2'03.750 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Stefan Bradl 2'03.784 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
10 Nicky Hayden 2'04.089 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
11 Aleix Espargaro 2'04.145 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Yonny Hernandez 2'04.476 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
13 Andrea Iannone 2'05.052 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Randy De Puniet 2'05.069 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
15 Hector Barbera 2'05.266 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Michele Pirro 2'05.438 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
17 Colin Edwards 2'05.484 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
18 Claudio Corti 2'05.506 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
19 Danilo Petrucci 2'05.657 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
20 Michael Laverty 2'05.977 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
21 Hiroshi Aoyama 2'06.038 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
22 Bryan Staring 2'07.854 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
23 Lukas Pesek 2'09.209 CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
France’s Johann Zarco went quickest as Moto2™ free practice continued at Silverstone on Friday afternoon. The Came IodaRacing Project rider set the leading pace from Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi, with championship leader Scott Redding fifth.
Bringing the day’s best lap time down to 2’08.209, Zarco was just 31 thousandths of a second quicker than Nakagami, with Luthi a further tenth in arrears. Tuenti HP 40 pairing Tito Rabat and title contender Pol Espargaro were fourth and sixth, sandwiching local favourite Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) into fifth place.
There was trouble for Redding’s teammate and Brno winner Mika Kallio, however, as the Finn made a mistake into Village corner and slid into QMMF Racing Team’s Rafid Topan Sucipto; both riders went down but were equally both able to walk away. This marked Sucipto’s second incident of the day, as in Free Practice 1 he had collided with Tech3’s Louis Rossi and Technomag carXpert’s Randy Krummenacher in a three-way collision at Vale. Australian debutant Jason O’Halloran was 26th quickest for JiR Moto2, covering for Mike di Meglio who was injured last weekend.
Jason O'Halloran - 2'10.820 - "It’s been a good day overall. It’s tough out there and very competitive, but then we knew that before the weekend started. It’s been good to get the first day out of the way so that we know what to expect tomorrow. The key thing is to get lots of laps in. From morning to afternoon we improved by about one second and we want to do that again tomorrow so we can get inside the top 20 and go from there. The JiR Team has been great and they’ve given me excellent support. Compared to my Honda CBR600RR Supersport bike the engine on a Moto2 bike doesn’t rev as hard, but you need to keep it higher in the RPM as it’s easy for that to drop. The chassis is stiffer and also the seating position is different and the tank is much smaller. Overall this bike is completely different to a production 600 so it takes a lot of time to adjust. I’m going to get an early night tonight but I’m looking forward to tomorrow."
With record Moto3™ pace having already been established at Silverstone on Friday morning, championship contender Maverick Viñales went quickest in the afternoon practice session. Amid dry but breezy conditions, the Team Calvo rider led the way from Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger.
It was championship leader and morning pace-setter Luis Salom who topped the timesheets for much of the afternoon, but a late flurry of lap times resulted in the Mallorcan being demoted to fourth position. Viñales led the way with his best lap time of 2’14.615, almost 1.4 seconds quicker than the fastest weekend lap time of 2012. Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez and Alex Rins completed the top six as the field attempted to avoid running wide at Club Corner, which has resulted in the removal of some lap times. Light drops of rain fell during the morning but these were very much forgotten as blue skies graced the Northamptonshire circuit later on.
Leading British rider John McPhee (Caretta Technology – RTG) ended Day 1 in 17th position with wildcard entrants Wayne Ryan and Kyle Ryde respectively 32nd and 35th, both competing under the Racing Steps Foundation KRP banner.
Arthur Sissis - "The first session did not go too well. I did not feel as good as last week on the bike and I could not ride at a good pace. We changed some settings for the second free practice session and immediately went faster. On my first lap I went a second faster than in the morning and at the end of the session I improved by more than three seconds, so I'm happy about that. We still have a little bit of a gap to the top guys, but we are working in the right way and I hope that tomorrow we can improve a little more. The goal is the same goal as at Brno: Try to qualify on the top three rows of the grid for Sunday."
-- Red Bull Rookies
Karel Hanika robbed Bradley Ray of the chance of a home pole position as he broke free of the pack to set the fastest lap of the day at Silverstone with just minutes remaining. The 17-year-old Czech, fresh from his home race win a week ago, elbowed the 16-year-old Briton into second with Spanish 15-year-old Jorge Martín completing the front row.
Those three have each won races this season and while Hanika has a 51 point advantage over Martín in the Cup table there is no suggestion that this weekend's two races will be anything but desperately close fought affairs.
Ray, who won the opening race of the year in Austin Texas in fabulous style, has been unlucky since and only stands 8th in the points. He was knocked off in one race and suffered a mechanical failure in another but his biggest problem has been a lack of feeling with the bike through suspension difficulties that were corrected last week in Brno thanks to new components.
“The bike feels really good now, finally I can enjoy riding it, it's great,” said Ray with his old smile back. “The bike is still moving around a lot here but that is because of the bumps. Through some corners you can find a line that misses them but some you can't miss, it's really rough. It was a shame to lose out on pole though, I just got held up a bit right at the end of my last flying lap. Still the bike's good for the race.”
Hanika was clearly relieved to have another pole accomplished. “That was some session, early on everyone seemed to be chasing me,” he said with his huge smile. “In the end I managed to get away and we improved the bike through the day. At first I was a bit worried, the track is very bumpy but we got close to the right settings at the end. I want to change it slightly for the race and see if we can improve it still. I think half of the problem is the bumps and half the setting. If we can get it perfect, then wonderful, if it is just as it is now that will be OK.”
Martín had the same problem with the bumps as the others. “In some corners you can miss the worst of them by staying right to the inside but some you can't miss and that makes it pretty difficult. The bike is good though and I am sure it will be a close race.”
It is very likely that the race will feature many more than those three at the front, the second row is headed by Manuel Pagliani, the 17-year-old Italian who did most of the leading in Brno before finishing second. Next to him, Marcos Ramirez, the 15-year-old Spaniard who is always a threat and then Enea Bastianini the 15-year-old Italian who has already won once in this, his first season.
-- Yamaha Report
Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo made a strong start to this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone in today’s two free practice sessions. The Mallorcan wrapped up day one as the fastest rider overall, 0.224 seconds clear of closest rival Marc Marquez. His fastest time of 2’02.734 seconds takes him underneath the fastest race lap of last year’s Grand Prix, set by himself. Lorenzo led the entire second session and completed the morning practice in second, 0.219 seconds behind Marquez.
Valentino Rossi made big steps forward over the course of today. The Italian nine-time world champion was 0.866 seconds off the fastest lap in the morning session in sixth place with a 2’04.682 lap. Some hard work over the day saw him improve by over a second to complete the afternoon practice in fifth with a 2’03.480 second lap.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 2.02.734 - Laps: 18 - “I started very fast because I improved almost one second and a half in the beginning; I was surprised with the improvement. At this track, when the rear tyre starts to drop it’s very difficult to keep the same pace so we have to work hard to make a constant bike that works over long distance. I’m satisfied because I think we have the possibility to fight for the victory this time.”
Valentino Rossi - Position: 5th - Time: 2.03.480 - Laps: 18 - “I enjoyed today a lot, this track is great. If you are able to ride at the limit and have a good feeling with the bike, it’s very funny because it’s very fast, the track is so wide you go a lot of time at full throttle. I’m quite happy with the first day, especially because in the last two years I suffered a lot here in Silverstone. We made a good step, but we still have to work to find the right setting to have a good balance form the beginning to the end of the race. I’m not so bad in braking and entry but I have some problems in other areas so we have to work. We modified the setting from Brno because in the last two races I wasn't strong enough.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager - “A very good first day. First of all because the weather is very stable and it's a nice temperature compared with last year which helps the lap times. The pace is already there so it looks like we have to make some small adjustments but the bike feels good and we are looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director - “After a few Grand Prix we start this weekend in a really different way. We have been really fast since the beginning and the most important thing is the pace is really good. Both riders are quite satisfied with their set up, we know that we have to improve and we know which area to do it in. We also tested both tyre choices so we have completed a lot of work. We are pretty focused and we are very optimistic about the race.”
Crutchlow and Smith satisfied with encouraging start on home soil
The biggest race of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith got off to an encouraging start at the historic Silverstone track this afternoon.
Crutchlow demonstrated his determination to be the first British rider since 2000 to finish on the podium in the British Grand Prix when he made a flying start this morning to end FP1 in third position behind current series leader Marc Marquez and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Lap times tumbled in hotter conditions this afternoon and while home crowd hero Crutchlow was able to knock over 1.5s off his best pace, he slipped down the leaderboard into sixth, though he was less than 0.1s behind Alvaro Bautista in fourth.
Roared on by a large home crowd soaking up glorious late summer sunshine, Crutchlow was hoping to be higher up the rankings and closer to the fastest pace but he is optimistic that he is yet to unleash the full potential of his YZR-M1 machine having experimented with a range of settings in both 45-minute sessions.
Smith’s first experience of the long and technical Silverstone layout on a MotoGP machine saw him focus on the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with super fast sections and rapid changes of direction that make the British venue one of the toughest but most spectacular challenges on the schedule.
The 22-year-old was ninth fastest this morning and less than 0.3s outside of the top six and like Crutchlow he was able to make big progress in FP2.
He improved from a 2.05.108 to a 2.03.750 and that major improvement promoted him into eighth on combined times and reduced the gap to the best pace to just over one second after he was able to successfully evaluate soft and hard tyre options for both the front and rear today. In both sessions Smith set his best lap on his last lap, the rookie impressively building up his speed throughout to boost his confidence that he can battle for a top six in Sunday’s 20-lap race.
Cal Crutchlow - Position: 6th - Time: 2.03.505 - Laps: 33 - “Firstly it was fantastic to see such a big crowd here at Silverstone today. The support from the British fans always gives you a boost and it was a special feeling to see so many here on the first day. It hasn’t been an easy start to my home race but I am sure we can make some big improvements. This morning wasn’t too bad and I was satisfied to be in the top three but it was a bit more a struggle in FP2. We were trying the bike with different settings and at the moment I’ve not made a decision on which is the direction to go. I need to improve in two sectors to be faster and more competitive and one area we need to work on is front-end grip because I had too much wheelie. We will have a good look at the data tonight to make sure I’m stronger tomorrow.”
Bradley Smith - Position: 8th - Time: 2.03.750 - Laps: 34 - “It was great to ride in front of my home crowd today and the amount of people here was amazing. The British fans have always given me great support and today was no exception. It was a positive day because I found a good setting this morning and then it was a case of tweaking it to suit this track. For the first time all season I have tried all the tyre options for the front and rear in one day, so we have evaluated a lot and got a clear way to follow for the rest of the weekend. This track is certainly designed for MotoGP. It is so fast and open that you really get to explore the bike’s full potential. I will enjoy riding the YZR-M1 this weekend and as I get faster I am sure it will be even more fun.”
-- Repsol HRC
After a slightly cloudy start to the British GP, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez found himself at the top of the time sheets in FP1 with a time of 2'03.816 with teammate Dani Pedrosa in 4th on 2'04.431.
In the afternoon's FP2 session, the weather slowly improved and the times dropped by over a second as the air temperature rose from 17ºC to 21ºC and the track temperature from 23ºC to 34ºC. Marc recorded a fastest lap of 2'02.958 on lap 13 of 17, placing him 2nd fastest for the day and Dani, who made use of the variable conditions to test both the hard and rear Bridgestone tyre, was just behind him in 3rd with a time of 2'03.192 taken on lap 9 of 16.
Marc Marquez 2nd 2'02.958 - "I'm happy, because right from the start I felt pretty good. I was feeling a little uneasy about this circuit when I arrived, because last year I struggled a bit here and didn't know what was in store for me on the MotoGP bike. I tried to stay calm and take it slowly and, in the end, I felt very comfortable on the bike. Jorge might be a little stronger than us so far, but we are closer to his times than we had expected. Tomorrow we will continue working in the same way to further improve the setup"
Dani Pedrosa 3rd 2'03.192 - "Today the weather was good and we were able to test the tyre range out in the early laps. Normally here at Silverstone it's quite cold and we don't get a chance to try the hard compound, but today we were able to do that. There wasn't much in the way of a positive feel with that compound, because we lacked rear grip, but nevertheless we got some fairly good times with it. The goal for tomorrow is to improve grip and clock some faster laps"
-- Ducati Report
Day one of the British Grand Prix took place in warm temperatures and under sunny skies at the Silverstone Circuit, and the MotoGP riders enjoyed the ideal conditions as they tackled the long, fast circuit during today’s two free-practice sessions.
It was Andrea Dovizioso’s first time on the track aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP13, and the Italian was relatively pleased to post the seventh-best time of the day. His Ducati Team companion Nicky Hayden was tenth best, but the American feels that his potential may be better than the lap time indicates.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th (2:03.658) - “Riding this track is really nice—very difficult to find the right rhythm, but quite thrilling nonetheless. Doing good times is a challenge for us, as we have to be quite physical, which really isn’t the best way to ride in the race. Still, we were able to improve since this morning and I’m happy with the time we did. I managed to find a decent feeling during the session and to do a good time at the end. It’s certainly not fast enough for the race but we started well today.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (2:04.089) - “The conditions are very different from what we’ve had here in the past, and the track seems a lot faster. Silverstone is a really good track and I enjoyed it today. I also think we might be better off than we have been at the last few races, as the bike is working pretty well in some spots, even if the lap time doesn’t necessarily show that completely. The biggest thing holding me back at the moment is that it’s very harsh over the bumps, so we’ve still got to sort some stuff out.”
-- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 25-28°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 35-36°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was the quickest rider in today’s practice sessions at Silverstone as the reigning MotoGP™ champion sets out to score a second consecutive victory at the British Grand Prix.
Lorenzo’s set his benchmark lap time of 2'02.734 on this third lap in Free Practice 2 to head the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa who were second and third quickest today, setting times of 2'02.958 and 2'03.192 respectively. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider on the first day of action at Silverstone, his best lap time of 2'04.145 placing him in eleventh place on the timesheets.
Conditions this morning for FP1 were changeable, with alternating sunny and cloudy conditions resulting in the riders mainly using the softer slick options while getting to terms with the grip level of the circuit. The sunshine in the afternoon was more persistent, resulting in warmer track temperatures up to a top of 36°C in FP2. The warmer afternoon temperatures brought with it greater variation in tyre choice with all specification of slick tyre being used in FP2. Most riders were able to set their personal best lap times using the softer rear slick in conjunction with the harder front slick, though the more consistent performance and durability of the harder rear slick resulted in approximately half the riders evaluating this option in FP2.
Weather conditions for tomorrow are predicted to be dry, yet slightly cooler than today with the next MotoGP™ session being FP3 at 955 local time (GMT +1).
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department - “Today was a positive day with dry weather in all the sessions, although the presence of cloud in the morning meant that riders preferred the softer slicks in FP1 in order to evaluate the grip level of the circuit. With the race being held later in the year, we decided for this year at Silverstone that we would change our front tyre allocation, offering front slick options one step harder than last year, changing to the soft and medium compounds. This change has worked very well as the harder front slick was a good option when track temperatures were warmer, while the softer option gave good warm-up performance in the morning. All rear slick options were tested today and we got positive feedback on them all and if we have dry weather tomorrow and for the race. It is possible that we will see a real mix of tyre combinations being used. Lap times for this stage of the weekend are quite quick and I anticipate that the existing pole position record could be broken if we have fine weather tomorrow.”
-- Previously.....................MotoGP 2013 - Round 11 - Brno
-- Rookie record broken as Marquez takes win five in Brno
Marc Marquez has made more MotoGP™ history, winning Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky to become the first rookie ever to claim five victories in his maiden season. On this occasion, the Repsol Honda Team rider came out on top after an immensely close fight with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Following the morning Warm-Up that took place amid distinctly overcast conditions, riders feared for a wet Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although spots of rain did briefly fall, prompting the white flags to fly on Lap 14, there proved to be no major changes in the weather. On the front row of the grid, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow started from pole position for the second time this season, but would unfortunately crash out of the race.
Marquez’s ride was a mixture of patience, aggression and defence, with the Spaniard running second behind Lorenzo as the reigning World Champion scorched off the start line. The pair would proceed to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go. Pedrosa also dispatched of Lorenzo, but two final tours was not enough for last year’s winner to hunt down his teammate who won by three tenths of a second.
In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ultimately came out on top after a race-long duel with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, whereas LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl experienced a quiet ride to sixth spot from Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, locked together once again. The top ten was completed by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, just one second ahead of CRT rival Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) who had started in front of him.
A second lap collision between Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti saw both riders retire, with the Italian later undergoing an x-ray to his right hand before spending Sunday night in Fakultni Nemocnice Brno Hospital after experiencing concussion. The other two retirements were Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek - from his home Grand Prix - and Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who were both out of action on the third lap. There was also frustration for pole man Crutchlow, who crashed out of fourth place on Lap 8 as he looked to hunt down the leading trio, as well as for Czech Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who was unable to score points at home. Wildcard Martin Bauer (Remus Racing Team) succeeded in completing the distance.
The final race in the on-going triple-header will be the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to which Marquez heads with 213 points, 26 - and more than the equivalent of one race win - ahead of Pedrosa and 44 in front of Lorenzo.
-- Race Result - Round 11
1 Marc Marquez 42'50.729 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa +0.313 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo +2.277 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Valentino Rossi +10.101 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Alvaro Bautista +10.178 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6 Stefan Bradl +19.807 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Andrea Dovizioso +35.015 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Nicky Hayden +35.354 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Andrea Iannone +51.149 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
10 Aleix Espargaro +56.392 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Colin Edwards +57.420 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
12 Michele Pirro +1'05.430 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Danilo Petrucci +1'12.364 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
14 Hiroshi Aoyama +1'13.500 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Randy De Puniet +1'14.128 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
16 Yonny Hernandez +1'14.991 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Cal Crutchlow +1'20.640 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
18 Michael Laverty +1'34.462 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
19 Karel Abraham +1'49.713 CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
20 Bryan Staring +1'50.024 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
21 Martin Bauer +1 lap AUT S&B SUTER Remus Racing Team
22 Bradley Smith DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
23 Lukas Pesek DNF CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
24 Claudio Corti DNF ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
25 Hector Barbera DNF SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
Mika Kallio has won in Moto2™ for the first ever time, celebrating victory at the end of a dramatic and closely fought bwin Grand Prix České republiky. The Finn shared the podium with Takaaki Nakagami and Tom Luthi, as championship leader Scott Redding limited the points-loss by finishing four places behind Pol Espargaro.
Before the start of the 20-lap encounter at Brno the worry was a threat of rain, but the race would eventually not be affected by any showers. Kallio started fourth for the Marc VDS Racing Team, as the grid was headed up by Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team). As the former moved up to second at the start, all were away cleanly with the exception of Nakagami’s teammate Julian Simon who crashed at the first corner.
The race would prove to be one of two major focal points. The first was a titanic contest for the lead, which was shared over the distance by Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi and Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, as well as Nakagami and Kallio. The top spot first became Kallio’s on the fourth lap, but perhaps the most crucial moment of all was when he extended the lead to half a second as the chasing group fought furiously on the final tour. This would prove to be Kallio’s first victory since he won the 250 race at Donington Park five years ago.
The other obvious battle of the day was that of the title pretenders, as Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding (Kallio’s teammate at Marc VDS Racing Team) duelled with each other on-track, somewhat surprisingly as the Spaniard had started on the front row whereas the Englishman – who was yet to score at Brno in Moto2 - was coming from 13th on the grid after struggling in qualifying. Redding grabbed fifth place from his rival on Lap 9 but, having escaped a tap from Espargaro, would soon feel the wrath of others and ultimately sank to eighth whereas his chief opponent forcefully took fourth from Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco on the last lap.
As Kallio beat Nakagami to a first Moto2 win and Luthi picked up his second rostrum placing of the season, Espargaro and Zarco completed the top five from Terol, Indianapolis winner Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding. Eight riders failed to finish, including reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) who - after starting fifth on the grid - suffered a crash at Turn 1 and will now require surgery to attend to a fractured right ulna. With five laps to go, there was a three-way collision at Turn 3 triggered by the out-of-control Mike di Meglio (JiR Moto2), who was collected by Alberto Moncayo (Argiñano & Gines Racing) as Marcel Schrotter (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) also crashed out of proceedings. It was later confirmed that di Meglio had sustained a fractured sacrum in the lower back.
Sunday’s result sees Espargaro close in on championship leader Redding by five points, bringing the leading gap down to 21 with seven races remaining in the 2013 season; winner Kallio jumps up one championship position, to fourth overall.
Moto2™ Race Classification
1- Mika Kallio FIN Kalex 41:11.785
2- Takaaki Nakagami JPN Kalex +0.590
3- Thomas Luthi SWI Suter +0.799
Moto3™ championship leader Luis Salom has returned to winning ways, picking up his fifth victory of 2013 in Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky. Having grabbed the lead on the final lap, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was able to open up a small cushion as four rivals squabbled over second place behind him.
Spots of rain were deposited on Brno as the red lights went out, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins leading from his third consecutive pole position. Maverick Viñales (Team Calvo) was first to steal the top spot before Salom went through at Turn 3; such battles would continue until the 19th and final lap, with Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger also very much in the mix.
Heading into the final tour, the pair of Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were running first and second and on course for a repeat of last weekend’s Indianapolis result. However, having already established a reputation for judging the late stages of races, Salom overhauled the duo at the first and third corners, respectively. It was at this point that Marquez and Rins appeared to begin hurting one another’s races, with Viñales sweeping around the outside of Turn 4 before Folger strode ahead of the dicing duo to snatch the final rostrum placing at the penultimate corner of the race.
Salom - impressively recording the fastest lap on the last lap, despite a fractured heel - collected his fifth victory of the campaign and his first since Assen, crossing the finish line half a second ahead of Viñales to ensure that the latter remains second in the standings despite being the only rider to have finished on the podium at every one of the first ten events in 2013. Folger’s podium finish was his second of the campaign.
Five riders failed to finish. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo was out on the opening lap, with Ongetta-Centre Seta’s Isaac Viñales and CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara soon joining the Finn on the sidelines. The final two retirements were Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), with Binder forced to crash trying to avoid Baldassarri’s bike after the Italian highsided.
Arthur Sissis - “It was a very complicated day for me. Today I woke up with a lot of neck pain and could hardly move. In the warm-up it was hard to ride, but I managed to finish it without stopping at all. I started the race well, felt comfortable riding the bike and with feeling good. But after a few corners, the pain just got worse and then became nearly unbearable. I gave it everything I could to get into the points, so I'm glad I added two more to the overall standings. Now it’s time to head to the Clinica Mobile.”
Salom now heads back to his native Palma in Mallorca to undergo surgery on his fractured heel before contesting the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend, into which he heads with a 14-point lead over Viñales with seven races to go.
Moto3™ Race Classification
1- Luis Salom SPA KTM 40:58.770
2- Maverick Viñales SPA KTM +0.507
3- Jonas Folger GER Kalex KTM +1.015
-- HRC Report
Repsol Honda RC213V riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa repeated their one-two result at today’s Czech Republic GP at Brno, finishing in the same order as at Indianapolis one week ago, and improving their championship standing over third-placed Jorge Lorenzo.
The trio were spread by almost six seconds at Indy. Brno was much closer, and fierce from the first lap to the end. Marquez’s Honda was 0.313 seconds ahead of team-mate Pedrosa, with Lorenzo less than two seconds behind – a feast of action for more than 142,000 fans packing the hillsides of the fast and scenic 5.403km (3.357-mile) circuit.
The battle raged throughout a thrilling 22 laps, during which spots of light rain brought out white flags (giving permission to change bikes if necessary) and hiked the tension even higher.
It stayed dry, however, as the Hondas battled with long-time leader Lorenzo’s Yamaha.
The defending champion seized the lead from the second row of the grid, with third qualifier Marquez and fourth-fastest Pedrosa on his back wheel. The pre-eminent trio soon outpaced the pursuit, but remained locked in battle.
Marquez waited until the 16th lap before mounting his attack. He succeeded with a forceful move, only for Lorenzo to fight back in front two laps later. But it lasted only one lap before the 20-year-old reigning Moto2 champion reversed the positions finally.
Now it was Pedrosa’s turn, and he too was successful in disposing of his long-standing rival. He closed right up on Marquez again, but ran out of time to mount a final attack.
It was star rookie Marquez’s fourth win in a row, and his fifth this season. The last rider to win four consecutive races was Valentino Rossi in 2008, his last championship year, and the feat has never been achieved by a class rookie, none of whom has won five races either. Marquez has finished on the rostrum at every race this year bar one, crashing out of the Italian GP while lying second.
Marquez now has a cushion of more than one race win with a World Championship lead of 26 points over Pedrosa. The older rider had led the table until the German GP, where he was put out of the race after breaking his collarbone in practice – leaving the way open for the first of Marquez’s consecutive victories.
Since then Pedrosa has been racing injured, bravely maintaining his own lead over Lorenzo in spite of the pain. He is 18 points clear, and his condition is improving race by race, in spite of an intensive restart to the season after the summer break. Brno was the middle of three races in three weekends, with the British GP at Silverstone next weekend. After the race Pedrosa said that this was the first time since he crashed that he could fight in the race rather than simply enduring the pain to finish.
Alvaro Bautista was the next-best Honda rider, finishing fifth, less than a tenth of a second behind Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) after the pair had duelled for much of the race – a repeat of their battle a week before at Indianapolis.
The Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V rider had qualified second, and was trading blows with Rossi to the end. The multi-champion only regained fourth on the final lap, with Bautista attacking to the end. The Spanish racer has a dual role with Honda, also race-developing Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, the only rider to use the Japanese equipment made by Honda associates.
German LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl was sixth, after a lonely ride. Bradl claimed a career-best pole and second place two races ago at Laguna Seca, but found grip and confidence elusive at the difficult Brno circuit.
Australian grand prix first-timer Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was 20th on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine, fighting to the end with Czech ART rider and former Moto2 GP winner Karel Abraham.
Tension lasted from the first lap to the last in the 20-lap Moto2 race. First-time winner in the all-Honda-powered class was Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), breaking away only in the last two laps from a seven-strong group.
Kallio had led from the third lap from pole qualifier Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), but had plenty of opposition as first Nico Terol (Aspar Team Moto2) took over for three laps; and later Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Suter). With three laps to go Kallio regained the lead, and by the finish managed to stay almost six-tenths of a second clear.
Nakagami was second, for a second race in a row, and Luthi third.
Inches behind the battle continued to the flag. Title contender Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP Pons Kalex) managed to hang on to fourth ahead of Frenchman Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) and Terol; with Indianapolis winner Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP Pons Kalex) still close at the finish.
The race was a struggle for points leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), fighting in the front group until half distance, before dropping back with tyre chatter issues. He hung on for eighth, fending off a strong attack from Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) and Sachsenring winner Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2), who lost touch on the final lap.
Redding’s points lead shrank from 26 to 21 as Espargaro slowly closes up, with seven rounds remaining.
Moto2 machines use identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers to guarantee close and reliable racing. In the Moto3 class, Honda faces rival manufacturers KTM and Mahindra.
Brno brought the best result of the year to the Honda hordes, with experienced French rider Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) qualifying on the front row, and finishing a close sixth, barely three seconds behind a close top five after catching and running with the leaders. Masbou is suffering from a broken scaphoid in his left wrist, the legacy of an old injury, and pain at the end meant he narrowly lost touch.
Masbou had displaced Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) from the front row in practice, and finished ahead of him in the race, and now equals him in the World Championship, where they each have 56 points as the most successful Honda riders.
Miller finished a gritty seventh in the race, losing touch with the leaders in the later laps. The teenager broke his collarbone at Indianapolis a week ago, had surgery the next day, and was racing despite the inevitable pain. He made a flying start from the second row, and was up to fifth before tyre grip issues forced him to slow.
Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda) was tenth in the next big group disputing eighth place; with Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tasca Racing FTR Honda) a close 12th, after displacing fast-starting John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) on the final lap.
Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) is third in the championship, but crashed out at Brno after another rider fell under his wheels. The Honda chase was left to Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), 18th, with Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda) and Matteo Ferrari (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda right on his back wheel in 19th and 20th.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st - “I’m so happy! Before we came here I didn’t expect to win, because Jorge and Valentino had both tested at Brno recently and Dani is always so fast here and won the race last year. It is a completely different track from those at which we have raced before, and these 25 points feel different to Indianapolis. This was a very hard fought win and I enjoyed myself a lot. The battle with Jorge was really good and we are pleased with the victory. Thanks to all the team.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd - “I am very happy with the result, generally speaking, because after all the problems with my injury and the doubts we’ve had at the last few races, we took a big step forward with my mental preparation today. We were more ready to win here, despite not being 100 percent. Unfortunately, our strategy was not the best. I had problems overtaking throughout the race, because I couldn't brake late and was always the third rider in the trio at the front. I think that I made my final attack one lap too late. If I had passed Jorge one lap earlier, maybe I would have been in with a chance of the victory. In any case, we had the right attitude of attacking until the end and gaining ground on Marc. I just needed another lap in order to catch him. We will try again next time. I want to thank the team for the great job that they did this weekend.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 5th - “Once again I had the chance to finish ahead of Rossi, but I ended up just 0.077 behind him at the line. However, I am happy because we had a good race and ran a fast pace that was better than in practice. I had a lot more confidence in the bike today. It was a nice battle with Rossi and maybe he just had a little more than I did at the end. We’re going in the right direction, continuing with what we started at Laguna Seca two races ago; this is very important. Last year we didn’t have a great feeling at Brno, but this year we went well which confirms that things are getting better. We hope to continue like this, because that way I can carry on enjoying myself alongside the Team, Honda, GO & FUN, Showa and Nissin.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th - “The sixth position is not that bad considering the whole weekend but I really wanted to be faster. We could not improve the bike as I would like because I had many problems with the edge grip on right and left sides of the rear tyre. I had to fight to pick up the bike to get a little bit of drive out of the corner to accelerate. I tried many things to save the rear tyre during the race but here, with these long corners, you have to carry the corner speed and, at the beginning, I was behind Rossi and Smith and I saw they could carry more corner speed. We wanted to stay with Rossi and Bautista but I was not capable to keep that speed. Let’s move to Silverstone to keep working.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 19th - “We went a little better than in practice and we suffered a little less with the chattering problem, but the result was not what we were hoping to achieve this weekend. Unfortunately at the end the tyre performance dropped off and I was unable to ride as I had in the first part of the race. It is a shame, because after the problems in practice we were not able to get a good race result.”
Honda Moto2 rider quotes
Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team, 1st - “My last win was five years ago at Donington, so this has been a long time coming. It’s hard to explain how it feels to win again. Even if I don't show it on the outside, on the inside it was a great feeling, especially on the last lap when I knew I could win. It was a hard race, but I knew if I could get to the front and then make no mistakes in the last two laps then the win was on, so that's what I did. Exiting the last corner I could see the chequered flag and I thought; ‘I’ve done it’. It was such a great feeling. The team has worked hard all season, everything came together for us this weekend and the race went exactly to plan. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Takaaki Nakagami, Italtrans Racing Team, 2nd - “Yesterday I had a really good feeling on bike and I was confident after qualifying on pole. Today the conditions were really different, and I was just not comfortable. The race was difficult. At the beginning I could lead, but then it was a struggle. At the end I just did not have the strength to overtake Kallio. I am a little bit disappointed, but in another way it was a good race. I take the positive things, and we will see what happens at the next race.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock Moto2, 3rd - “I am happy – it was a good day. After qualifying eighth place, I knew I could go faster as the race pace is not so high. At the beginning there were some tough moves, and once I had to drive over the kerbs. After two three laps I realised that I can make good pace, because I was good on the brakes. I started to overtake, and the more I moved forward the clearer and more orderly was the race. In the warm-up this morning, we managed to improve our set-up, but we still had problems with tyre chatter. This eventually was my undoing, because Mika attacked in the corners where I had problems. I led two laps at the end, but it was not quite enough. But there is a clear upward trend and I can fight again. That is what we can take the next race in Silverstone.”
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold, 6th - “It was the first time I could start with the front group – this has been our problem at every race so far. So I thought: ‘Okay, now we need to show we can do a good race’. The first part I was cool, stayed with the group, saved the tyre. After the mid-point I was behind another rider and we lost touch a little, but I could get past and close up again. That was okay, and I thought I could gain more places … but at the end the pain in my wrist was too much. Even without that, with the fast uphill straight, I am not sure it could have been different.”
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology RTG, 7th - “The race was good and I was with the leaders, but I was having to do too many short bursts, dropping back then catching up again. With ten laps gone the tyre was just destroyed, and it was a matter of trying to finish. My collarbone was quite good – it hurt a bit, but didn’t affect me. It was all down to tyre wear. We chose the soft option, so I think we need to be a bit smarter with tyre choice. But I’m happy to get some points.”
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini Moto2, 10th - “I am fairly satisfied. In the race I think I could even have finished in a better position, but I preferred not to take the risk. It was more important to bring the bike home and finish the race, so I rode a more prudent race. I hope that this brings us the confidence to do well at the next one.”
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.
Reigning world champion Lorenzo made an incredible start from fifth on the grid, out dragging the entire front row to take the hole-shot into turn one. Although initially able to build a gap of just over a second, he soon had rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind in pursuit. Lorenzo was able to hold off the attack and continue leading the race until just seven laps remained. Marquez’s first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.
Rossi’s race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.
Lorenzo’s podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to the Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, The British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo 3rd - “I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn't do much more. I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it’s really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn't come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn't have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race. The Championship is not lost yet but it’s very difficult now. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!”
Valentino Rossi 4th - “Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work. We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it’s not fantastic. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won’t give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager - “A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps. They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge’s wheel. It's a pity we didn't have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn’t a couple of races go. As long as we can push them its possible they can make a mistake.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director - “Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas. The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn’t change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win.”
Crutchlow and Smith leave Brno empty handed
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s Czech Republic MotoGP race didn’t live up to expectations after both fell out of top six contention in cool and cloudy conditions at the Brno track this afternoon.
Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after a memorable qualifying performance put Crutchlow in pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, the 27-year-old was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.
The three-way fight was a repeat of a similar exciting tussle one week ago at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a determined Crutchlow led the way until he tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight.
The British rider was able to rejoin the 22-lap race and demonstrating the never-give-up attitude that has become his trademark in MotoGP, he fought through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.
Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace right behind nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in front of a massive crowd of just over 142,000 fans.
Feeling comfortable and confident after improving his pace on a full fuel tank in practice, Smith’s challenge was ended prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Today’s race might not have had the outcome Crutchlow and Smith had hoped for, but both have once again demonstrated their high potential in Brno and the British pair are now eagerly anticipating a return to form in front of their home fans at Silverstone next Sunday.
Cal Crutchlow 17th - “Obviously I am disappointed after qualifying in pole position but I had to push really hard to try and get away from Bautista and Rossi. Lorenzo made an incredible start and his first lap was really strong and that put us all under pressure. I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace and I never gave up. It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front. I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about.”
Bradley Smith DNF - “The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference. Unfortunately the handlebar was broken so I couldn’t get back in the race. But in my rookie season this can happen when you are pushing to try and learn and build experience. At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone. I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here. Racing at home is always special but this will be my first MotoGP race at Silverstone and I can’t wait.”
-- Ducati Report
Racing in cool but dry conditions in front of a crowd of 142,030 spectators, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Czech Republic GP at the Brno circuit.
Having started from the ninth and tenth spots on the grid, Dovizioso and Hayden found themselves in those same positions at the completion of lap one, and they proceeded to race one another nose-to-tail for all twenty-two laps. Both Ducati Team racers picked up positions when Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow crashed in separate incidents, and when the chequered flag flew, the Italian was in seventh place, with his teammate just .339 seconds behind, in eighth.
Next weekend will find the Ducati Team racing for the third time in as many weeks, this time at the Silverstone Circuit, site of the British Grand Prix.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th - “For what we could expect today, I’m pretty pleased because I was able to have a consistent pace, and I managed to get under 1’58” at the end of the race. I did the whole race in front of Nicky; I pushed my hardest, and I didn’t make many mistakes. I’m happy with my performance, but of course the gap is too much; 35 seconds is really a lot.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th - “Once again, the guys in front were quite a bit quicker than us. Dovi got away from me in the beginning, but I was able to bring him back and race with him a bit. He was right in front of me at the end, but there was really nowhere to put in a clean pass without making it touchy. He rode a great race and covered all the lines the last couple laps. The bike was definitely better in the warm-up, and then in the race, I felt the best over the bumps that I have all weekend. I did the sighting lap on the hard front tyre, but I switched to the soft on the grid. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out to be the right choice.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a difficult weekend for us again because we had the same problems as last week at Indianapolis. Both of our riders did a very good job, and they gave their best efforts, but we’re aware that despite the little improvements we’ve made so far, we still have a long way to go in improving the GP13. Obviously, more technical steps will be necessary to bring us closer to the second group. We’ll also continue with our intense testing program. We have some new parts to try as we work to improve the bike’s behaviour.”
-- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez won today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno to become the first premier-class rider to claim five wins in a rookie season as the Repsol Honda rider’s amazing run of results continues unabated.
Starting third on the grid, Marquez was engaged in a three-way dogfight for the lead with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 1’56.135 on lap three in his efforts to push to the front of the pack. Marquez managed the race-winning overtake on Lorenzo on lap nineteen and despite late pressure from Pedrosa, crossed the finish line 0.313 seconds ahead of his teammate with Lorenzo taking third a further 1.9 seconds behind. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro emerged victorious from a battle with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards to claim top CRT honours, the Spanish rider finishing in tenth place just one second ahead of the American.
Today’s weather conditions were cool and overcast with a peak track temperature of 24°C – ten degrees cooler than in qualifying yesterday. Drops of rain fell during the race, raising the possibility of a flag-to-flag race but ultimately the rain didn’t affect the outcome of the event and the overall race time was the fastest ever recorded at the Brno circuit. The cool conditions resulted in all riders selecting the softer option rear slicks, while three riders also opted for the soft compound front slick with the other twenty-two riders on the hard compound front. Tyre degradation during the race was consistent, with the lap times among the leading pack dropping around half a second from the beginning to the end of the twenty-two lap contest.
By virtue of winning his fifth race of the year, Marquez extends his lead in the MotoGP championship to twenty-six points over teammate Pedrosa. Lorenzo keeps third place in the standings and sits forty-four points off the lead.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department - “Brno once again gave us an exciting race and it seems there is no stopping Marc at the moment, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another amazing performance today. Temperatures were slightly cooler today so no riders decided to use the harder rear slick for the race and the cool weather also prompted some riders to choose the soft compound front slick, although the majority raced with the harder front. For the second race in a row we had new Circuit Best Lap and Circuit Record Lap times being set in qualifying and the race so I am very pleased with how our tyres performed this weekend.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner - “Today I enjoyed the race a lot, both because of the victory and also the battle with Jorge and Dani. I didn’t expect a victory here, maybe just a podium, as Yamaha are so strong here and Dani won the race last year. I’m so happy to get the twenty-five points and the win and I’m now looking forward to the next race.”
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