-- MotoGP 2013 - Round Two - Circuit of The Americas
On Saturday, 20-year-old Marquez took over from former double title winner Freddie Spencer as the youngest ever pole-sitter in the premier class. He now becomes the youngest race winner, having seen off a challenge from Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda Team machine. Although he is now level on points with Lorenzo in the championship, Marquez holds the lead as he is the most recent Grand Prix winner.
As the red lights went out at the new Circuit of the Americas – located on the outskirts of Austin, Texas – it was Pedrosa who seized the lead, while Lorenzo headed backwards courtesy of a poor getaway. A lightning start for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl allowed the German to go second but he was soon overhauled by Marquez, Lorenzo and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow.
Following Pedrosa and waiting patiently for his moment, Marquez courageously dived up the inside of Turn 7 on the 13th of the 21 laps. Pedrosa would hang onto the back of his teammate, but lost ground courtesy of a small error six laps later. To the delight of his crew, Marquez would take the chequered flag by one and a half seconds, with Lorenzo just over the same margin behind Pedrosa.
Having not tested at the venue a month ago, Crutchlow was more than pleased with fourth – having hoped for a top six result this weekend – as Bradl and Rossi completed that particular group, with the multiple title winner having overhauled GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. The latter would also fall behind Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who progressed to seventh on the final lap and then avoided a last-corner lunge from his rival. Leading American rider Nicky Hayden and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone rounded out the top ten.
Extending his lead in the CRT ranks, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro enjoyed a strong ride to 11th place ahead of two prototype riders - English rookie Bradley Smith (Tech 3) and American Ben Spies (Ignite Pramac Racing) - as well as French teammate Randy de Puniet. PBM enjoyed its strongest weekend to date, with Yonny Hernandez sealing the final point for 15th position while Michael Laverty recorded his first MotoGP finish in 16th with the team’s own-built bike. Avintia Blusens maintained the symmetry in 17th and 18th, with Hiroshi Aoyama having overtaken Hector Barbera, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, Gresini CRT rider Bryan Staring and Attack Performance Racing’s Blake Young (the single wildcard rider in the race) completed the field.
It was a hugely disappointing afternoon for Came IodaRacing Project. Danilo Petrucci was fortunate to stay upright when teammate Lucas Pesek crashed out of the race directly behind him, only to retire in the pits with mechanical gremlins only minutes later. Colin Edwards was also on the sidelines, as the local Texan hero racked up the unenviable fact of becoming the race’s first of three retirements.
With 16 rounds to go in this highly dramatic MotoGP™ season, the story continues in Jerez with the Gran Premio bwin de España in two weeks’ time.
Race Result - Round 2
1 Marc Marquez 43'42.123 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa +1.534 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo +3.381 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Cal Crutchlow +6.616 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Stefan Bradl +12.674 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Valentino Rossi +16.615 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
7 Andrea Dovizioso +22.374 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Alvaro Bautista +22.854 SPA HONDA & FTR Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Nicky Hayden +33.773 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Andrea Iannone +42.112 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
11 Aleix Espargaro +48.837 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Bradley Smith +50.705 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
13 Ben Spies +1'14.132 USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
14 Randy De Puniet +1'15.651 FRA ART Power Electronics Aspar
15 Yonny Hernandez +1'19.591 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
16 Michael Laverty +1'34.391 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Hiroshi Aoyama +1'39.823 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
18 Hector Barbera +1'39.952 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
19 Claudio Corti +1'46.773 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
20 Bryan Staring +1'48.084 AUS HONDA & FTR Go & Fun Honda Gresini
21 Blake Young +1 lap USA APR CRT Attack Performance
22 Danilo Petrucci DNF ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
23 Lukas Pesek DNF CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
24 Colin Edwards DNF USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
1 Marc Marquez 41 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 41 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
3 Dani Pedrosa 33 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Valentino Rossi 30 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Cal Crutchlow 24 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Alvaro Bautista 18 pts SPA HONDA & FTR Go & Fun Honda Gresini
7 Andrea Dovizioso 18 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Nicky Hayden 15 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Andrea Iannone 13 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
10 Stefan Bradl 11 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
11 Aleix Espargaro 10 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Randy De Puniet 6 pts FRA ART Power Electronics Aspar
14 Bradley Smith 4 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
15 Yonny Hernandez 3 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
16 Hector Barbera 3 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
17 Hiroshi Aoyama 1 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
18 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
19 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance
20 Claudio Corti 0 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
21 Michael Laverty 0 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Bryan Staring 0 pts AUS HONDA & FTR Go & Fun Honda Gresini
-- HRC Report
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) made history in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas outside Austin, Texas, by becoming the youngest-ever winner of a premier-class Grand Prix. The 20-year-old rode a magnificent race to beat team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) by less than two seconds.
The Repsol Honda pair have dominated proceedings since the MotoGP circus arrived at the superb new Circuit of the Americas venue, doing a one-two in practice and qualifying, when Marquez became the youngest rider to score a premier-class pole position.
Marquez has taken both records from another sublimely talented Honda rider, American Freddie Spencer, who achieved his first pole at Jarama, Spain, in May 1982 and his first win at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, in July the same year. On that day Spencer was 20 years and 196 days old. Today Marquez – who achieves such dizzying angles of lean that he scrapes his elbows on the tarmac as a matter of course – is 20 years and 64 days old.
The duo played a tense game of cat and mouse on their RC213Vs throughout the 21 laps, Pedrosa grabbing the lead after Marquez ran wide at the first corner. The positions stayed that way for the first 12 laps, Marquez happy to wait behind his more experienced team-mate. Finally, on lap 13 he dived ahead at Turn Seven. Pedrosa did not give up and was on the new leader’s rear wheel for the next few laps, until he made a mistake on lap 19. That lost him a second, putting him 1.6 seconds down, but still he did not give up, closing the gap to 1.2 seconds as they began the final lap. That was too much of a disadvantage, however, and Pedrosa realised he had to be content with second today. The pair crossed the line 1.534 seconds apart.
Marquez’s historic victory didn’t just rewrite the record books, it also moved the former 125 World Champion and reigning Moto2 World Champion into the joint lead of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship, with reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha). Spencer still holds the record for being the youngest premier-class World Champion, but for how much longer?
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) had a strong ride to fifth on his RCV, making amends for his tumble in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix. The German had a busy first few laps, running second for the first few corners, then battling back and forth with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) who finished behind final podium finisher Lorenzo. Eventually Bradl settled into a lonely fifth position, setting a good pace aboard his RC213V.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) had to fight hard for his eighth-place result, first with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and then with another factory rider, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati). He might have beaten the Italian but for an error at the final corner.
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) came home 20th aboard his CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike, happy to have scored his first MotoGP finish after sliding off in Qatar. During the race he was able to learn plenty from other more experienced riders that will help him improve in the future.
Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) scored a runaway maiden Moto2 victory today, the former 125 World Champion taking the lead in the early stages and never relinquishing it.
Some way behind him a thrilling three-way contest developed for second place. Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) won the battle, coming from ninth on the first lap to grab the runner-up spot at the final corner where Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) made a mistake. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) crossed the line just behind Kallio after making contact with the Finn a few corners from the finish and almost falling.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) started from pole for the first time in his career and led the race until Terol assumed control. The lanky Briton lacked top speed against his rivals and lost several positions on COTA’s back straight, the longest in MotoGP. He eventually crossed the line all alone in fifth position. The result, following his second-place finish in Qatar, puts him in the World Championship lead for the first time.
Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) came through strongly to finish sixth, beating Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) on the final lap. Mattia Pasini (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up), Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up) and Toni Elias (Blusens Avintia Kalex) completed the top ten.
Qatar winner Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) crashed out as he charged through the pack after starting from the third row.
The Moto3 race was stopped and restarted after Jasper Iwema (KTM) crashed heavily and was knocked unconscious. The Dutch rider was concussed and bruised in the accident, but is otherwise okay.
The five-lap restart was won by Alex Rins who had dominated the original race. He came out on top of a final-corner duel with Luis Salom, who was passed on the run to the line by Maverick Vinales. All three rode KTMs.
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) rode a brilliant race to finish sixth and top Honda, just a few tenths off fifth place. The young Australian made up in the corners what he lost on the straights to finish 8.6 seconds behind the winner.
After a terrible start in the first race, Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) was grateful for the restart, in which he got away much faster and worked his way through the pack to finish eighth.
Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) crossed the line ninth, just two tenths behind Masbou. The South African now heads to next month’s Spanish Grand Prix as the top-placed Honda in the World Championship.
Danny Webb (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) finished 11th, with Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) ending up 13th.
The MotoGP World Championship now returns to its European heartland for the first of a series of six races on the Continent, commencing with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 5.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: race winner
“After taking my first podium in Qatar I was very happy, but I am even more so today after my first win! It went better than I expected and I am very grateful to the team for their efforts over the preseason. We have worked very hard and, without this, the victory would not have been possible. The race was very intense and physical, as I followed Dani for many laps and then decided to launch an attack and try to open a gap with ten laps to go. I could not pull the gap I wanted as some problems with the front emerged that we’d experienced throughout the weekend. Despite all this, we were able to take the victory. The 25 points are important, but what is more important is to have achieved a win in my second race in MotoGP. We realise that more difficult circuits lie ahead for us, but we will try to give 100% at all of them. Our battle is not the one for the championship, but rather taking it race-by-race and enjoying every moment.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Today's race was good and I'm happy with this second place. We had great pace, even though we knew that Marc was very strong. I tried to ride my own race and in the end I was losing a lot of time in the chicanes. I was tiring physically and I could not handle the bike well – especially in the first part of the circuit. In the second section of the track I was recovering quite a lot of time, but it was not enough. Furthermore, in one of the three laps before the end I made a mistake, lost around 1.5 seconds and Marc was able to get away. That was the point at which the race was lost for me. Still, I'm happy, my riding was pretty good today and I have improved compared with Qatar. I have to congratulate Marc as well, because he did a great job! Now we need to focus on Jerez – a circuit I like a lot.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th
“We can be happy today because we have done a good job. I took a very good start but I was not so aggressive as some other riders at the beginning because, on full fuel, I could feel some sliding in the front so I decided to remain calm and focused. With 13 laps to go Crutchlow passed me as he was quite fast in the middle of the race, especially in corner entry. We could not match his performance in the entry of the curves but we had a good speed in the exit. I think we have done our best and fifth place is the result we were expecting here at COTA.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 8th
“I was expecting a better race after the feeling I had with the bike yesterday in qualifying and honestly thought I could even improve my pace today but the bike was moving around and I didn't have the same confidence. I tried to stay with the group but couldn't manage it. In the end after pulling back two seconds on Dovizioso I got into a nice battle with him but in the last corner I made a mistake and he passed me. It's a shame but we have chance to make up for it in a couple of weeks in my home Grand Prix at Jerez, a place and circuit that I really like.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 20th
“I am really happy to have finished the race here, which was important for me in terms of learning the lines from the other more experienced riders and the fact that we managed to improve on our best lap from practice. Overall I think this proves that we need more time on the bike to adapt and to become more competitive in this class.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Nicolas Terol, Mapfre Aspar Team: race winner
“I’m very happy with my first victory in Moto2. My feeling at this new track has been incredible all weekend. The race was very difficult because after about five laps we had many tyre issues. But of course we leave here very happy with the result and I would like to say a big thank you to the team for their incredible work.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: 2nd
“The start was amazing – Mika touched me and damaged my clutch lever. I thought my race was finished because I thought I had no clutch. But in fact it was okay. Then I started passing people. The only issue was that my gearbox was too short, so I was using second gear where others were using first, which gave me some issues with acceleration. That made it difficult to pass but in the end we were able to make it through to second, so I’m happy!”
Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team: third
“I’m really happy. I knew we would have a moment in the last few corners – because I knew there were guys behind me. I was lucky to stay on the bike. Everything went really well, though we struggled with top speed and front grip. I saw quite early on that I could stay with the front group and that I had a good pace. Before the race my crew modified the front setting and it was better. I’m satisfied with the race, apart from the mistake I made at the very last corner.”
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 6th
“Oliveira came past me on the back straight on the last lap and then I had to close the throttle when someone crashed in front of me. It was a good race, though we were struggling with top speed. The bike handled so well, that’s where I was making up all my time.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 8th
“I didn’t get a good start in the first race, so I was a bit angry, then I went straight on because I tried to pass too many guys in one go. The restart wasn’t so bad and then I was able to pass one or two guys every lap to finish eighth. With more time I could have caught the group in front of me. I just rode the whole race like it was qualifying.”
Brad Binder, Ambrogio Racing: 9th
“The race was really good. I felt confident during the first race and felt like I could go faster. When the race restarted I got an awesome start but unfortunately I dropped back a little and ended in ninth. I had aimed for a top-ten finish here and I’m happy to have achieved that. I’ve got to say thanks so much to the team, the bike is handling like it’s on rails.”
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo took third position on the podium today in the Grand Prix of The Americas, his 100th career podium finish. A less than perfect start from third on the front row saw the current World Champion lose position approaching turn one but he was quick to come back as the race settled in. Lorenzo was able to maintain third position to the finish line, holding distance to fellow Yamaha Cal Crutchlow behind in fourth and close down the gap to the front to just over three seconds at the flag. The result delivers an incredible 100th podium finish for the four-time World Champion ten years after he scored his first with victory in Brazil in 2003. The sixteen points brings his 2013 season total to 41 after two races, joint with Championship leader Marc Marquez and places him in second in the standings.
Having started form eighth on the grid, Valentino Rossi got involved in an early fight with the mid pack, including riders Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl, eventually bettering the German rider to move up and hold on to sixth place to the finish line. Rossi had to contend with a vibration from his front brakes during the race and had battled all weekend to find the best setup for the demanding circuit. The result places him in fourth place in the overall standings with 30 points, 3 behind Dani Pedrosa in third.
Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd
“Yesterday we were so far from Marc and Dani but this morning in the warm up we found something. The hairpin corners we normally take in first gear we made in second so it improved a lot the feeling and the acceleration, but it was not enough. Just a little bit more, maybe two tenths quicker and I could have fought with Dani and Marc. Today third position was the best we could do. I want to congratulate Cal who didn't give up until the end and also Marc, he’s the youngest rider in history to win a Grand Prix; he is a phenomenon. It’s an important day for me; I never thought to get this unbelievable number of podiums so today is a magic day. Time flies very quickly, it seems like it was just yesterday that I got my first victory, which was my first podium in Brazil in 2003 ten years ago and now today my 100th.”
Valentino Rossi, 6th
“This is a difficult track for us. We expected to do better, but I had a lot of problems in the race because I had a problem with the brakes. I had a vibration in braking because I lost one part of a disc so this didn't help. We knew that we had to defend here; we know that when we cannot attack we need to try and arrive in the top five but today it was sixth. The balance of the first two races is positive and we arrive in Jerez optimistic for the next few races as the tracks are better for us.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“This was our target, to be on the podium. To be honest to be just three seconds behind the lead is very nice. When you are ten seconds behind and you finish third you are quite happy but if it’s just three seconds you think you might have been able to get a bit more. Apart from that we must be very pleased with the result, to be on the podium was our target and that will continue to be our target for the next couple of races. We struggled a lot here and everyone could see our competitors were strong; we had it the other way round in Qatar. Let’s hope at the end of the season that the balance is in our favour.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We knew since the beginning that this race was going to be really tough for us but I think the team has worked really well and we could manage it in the best way. To finish third, with only three second gap to the leader is for me really good. Jorge did a really intelligent race without a lot of risk. Now we are going back to Europe where the circuits are more suitable to our M1. Vale’s team worked really hard to try and fit the bike to his riding style; they improved the bike through each practice. Unfortunately we made another step from the warm up to the race that didn't work as we expected. He also had a vibration on the front from his brakes. I think we are leaving Austin in a really good shape and we are really looking forward to the Jerez race.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow rode to a fantastic fourth place finish in today’s inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas to consolidate his place in the top five in the World Championship standings after two races. For the second race in succession, the British rider comfortably finished as leading non-factory rider after he superbly recovered from an early off-track excursion to claim his best finish of the 2013 campaign. Crutchlow was locked in an early fight with Stefan Bradl when he ran off track on lap four, which dropped him back to sixth as Alvaro Bautista swept through. The 27-year-old wasted no time in getting back up to his fast pace and he brilliantly recovered the lost places with two expertly executed overtaking moves on Bautista on lap five and then on Bradl on lap nine. Crutchlow maintained his fast pace and was easily able to streak away from Bradl and Bautista to finish behind factory trio Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, which was a fantastic achievement considering they had all tested at COTA last month.
It was mission accomplished for Bradley Smith in the 21-lap race as he gained priceless experience by guiding his YZR-M1 machine home to his first point scoring finish in his rookie campaign. Opting to run Bridgestone’s hard compound front tyre for the first time all weekend, Smith gradually built up his confidence and an impressive charge in the second half of the race saw him set a personal best lap of 2.06.415 on the penultimate lap to finish in 12th position. That was 0.3s faster than his best qualifying lap and the confidence and experience gained this weekend means Smith heads to Jerez next month optimistic that he can battle for a maiden top 10 finish.
Cal Crutchlow, 4th
“I’m very pleased and we did a better job than any of us expected before we arrived in Texas. With no testing here I was worried that it would be more of a struggle and the fire in the garage on Wednesday meant we couldn’t do any of our normal preparation work. So to finish fourth and be behind Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo is a great achievement for all of us and I want to say a massive thanks to my crew. We qualified well and I rode very well in the race and the most pleasing aspect was my consistency. Unfortunately I ran wide while trying to pass Bradl but I managed to fight my way back through and I was running the same speed as Lorenzo for a long time and that gives me a lot of confidence to take into the next few races. I’m giving it my all and I’ll never give up and I think this weekend again we showed how competitive the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 package is. Now we go to Jerez and I was quickest at the winter test a few weeks ago, so it is going to be another big battle that I’m excited about.”
Bradley Smith, 12th
“I am really happy to finish the race because what I learned over a full race distance was priceless. I ran the hard front tyre on the advice of Bridgestone and while it was definitely the right choice, it took me a few laps to understand how it was working. The last thing I needed was to push too hard and make another mistake like in Qatar but the best thing about the race is I got faster and faster. I was quicker as in qualifying on the penultimate lap of the race, and that’s a sign of how much better I was riding the bike. I am learning more and more about the bike on each lap and I can go to Jerez now confident that I can be even more competitive and the goal will be to get closer to the top 10. Finally I can’t praise my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enough. After the garage fire on Wednesday night it really put everybody on the back foot, but we all rallied round and it is nice to see both Cal and I finish in the points to reward their hard work."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“That was a very good first race here in Texas and Cal did an amazing job. He was in a very hard battle in the early laps and after he ran off the track his recovery was fantastic. He was back on his pace immediately and he brilliantly passed both Bradl and Bautista, even though it was clear that they had a very competitive package at this track. What was very impressive was the way Cal pulled away and he was able to run the same pace as Lorenzo in front of him, which is not an easy task and something he should be really proud of. Bradley also had a good race and he did exactly what he had to do after the crash in Qatar. He was calm at the beginning but once his confidence grew he got faster and faster and at the end he was as quick as a lot of those inside the top 10. This will give him a big boost and also the experience he is lacking, so we can look forward to an even stronger challenge from him in the next few races. Cal and Bradley did an awesome job but so did the whole Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. We didn’t test here and that put us at a disadvantage and after the fire on Wednesday night our preparations were far from ideal. So to get this result in a crucial race for Yamaha and Monster Energy is extremely satisfying.”
-- Ducati Report
Weather conditions were perfect for the debut MotoGP race at Austin, Texas’s Circuit of the Americas, where Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden crossed the finish line in seventh and ninth places, respectively.
The Italian suffered a bad launch off the start before settling into a long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The two traded positions on a couple of occasions, but Dovizioso ultimately made a last-lap, last-corner pass to take seventh place. Hayden meanwhile, after starting from the tenth spot on the grid, made an early pass on Andrea Iannone but never found the proper feeling to advance further aboard his Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
“Obviously, we’re not satisfied with seventh place, but the race time wasn’t bad. I was able to keep a good pace below 2:06, so I’m pleased with my aggression and effort. I managed to be pretty consistent up until the final five or six laps. The last three laps with Bautista were fun—a nice battle! We know we have to work hard, because this is our limit at the moment, but we’re really motivated to improve.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
“It was a tough weekend. The track was great, but I lost some time in the beginning and was struggling with change of direction. I was okay on much of the track, but I never found the confidence in the front end to flick the bike into the corners, which hurt me in the esses. The guys did a good job getting me a better bike for the race, and I don’t really have any excuses. Ninth place isn’t what we wanted here today, so I certainly hope we can sort a few things out and start putting up a better fight than we have in these first two races.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“We certainly had a slight disadvantage, not testing here in March against the other teams, and we realize that against the other factory bikes we can’t keep up over race distance. We made some improvements to several aspects of the bike, but a major issue remains; we can’t hold a line, so we run wide in the corners. That prevents better lap times and adds up at the end, especially on this track, which has a lot of sequential corners. We look forward to Jerez. In the last test there, we saw some potential for improvement, and in addition, we’ll have the support of our test rider, Michele Pirro, who is doing his first wildcard race for us there.”
-- Marc VDS Racing
The Marc VDS Racing Team had double reason to celebrate at the end of the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas today, with Mika Kallio storming to a brilliant third place and Scott Redding seizing the Moto2 World Championship points lead with a hard earned fifth.
A lightning start from ninth on the grid and a super aggressive first two laps immediately thrust Kallio into podium contention where he remained to the chequered flag after a pulsating fight with Dominique Aegerter and Esteve Rabat.
Using all his experience to try and protect second position at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), he was fortunate not to crash on the final lap when Aegerter clipped the back of his Kalex machine. Kallio expertly kept control of his bike and he missed out on securing second place by just 0.050s.
His third Moto2 podium though moved him into a three-way tie for second position in the overall World Championship rankings.
Starting from pole position for the first time in his 86-race World Championship career, Redding went straight into full attack mode to try and put clear air between him and the pursuing pack.
But rapidly deteriorating front and rear grip, which Redding had expressed concerns about in advance of the 19-lap clash, meant he was unable to sustain his blistering early pace.
Rather than take unnecessary risks to force his way back into the podium hunt, Redding rode the remainder of the race with precious World Championship points in mind after Pol Espargaro's unfortunate early crash.
The 11-points secured for a battling fifth position gives Redding a four-point cushion at the top of the World Championship standings heading to the start of the European phase of the 2013 World Championship in Jerez next month.
Mika Kallio #36: 3rd
"I am really happy to be on the podium because it backs up a solid top five in the first race and now I am in a very good position in the championship. It was a very difficult race because I knew Aegerter and Rabat would be coming to attack on the last lap and I knew we'd have a moment. I got clipped from behind but fortunately I stayed on the bike to get a podium. I'm a little disappointed because a small mistake at the last corner cost me second, but I'm still very satisfied. I didn't have the best top speed or the best front grip, but I could see that I could fight for the podium from the beginning. It has been a great weekend for the Marc VDS Racing Team and this result gives us a lot of confidence heading to Jerez."
Scott Redding #45: 5th
"I'm obviously disappointed not to be on the podium after starting from pole position but I salvaged fifth position out of a difficult race and now I am leading the championship and that's a great feeling. Before the race I knew we'd struggle with the tyres going off and that's exactly what happened. I went out there to win but after six laps I knew it was impossible. I guessed that Espargaro and Nakagami were out so I just used my brain and didn't push too hard to risk a crash that would have been very costly. It was a decent fifth and now I am leading the championship I need to hold it together for the rest of the year after a great start to the season."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We certainly won't be forgetting our first trip to COTA in a hurry. Scott scored an amazing debut pole position and today he leaves leading the World Championship after a very mature ride. And Mika got a podium, which was a great way to end the weekend. Mika got a great start and was very aggressive in the first two laps to give himself a great chance of the podium. He then rode really fast while trying to conserve his tyres to stay in the podium places right to the end. He's now finished in the top five in both races and that is great for his confidence. After Scott's pole position we'd hoped he'd at least be on the podium. His strategy was to make a break and manage the gap at the front, but we knew he'd have some issues with tyre wear. He still did a brilliant job and he used his head to score some really important points. I'm really happy for the Marc VDS Racing Team and in particular Marc, who has given incredible support to this project. We are leading the World Championship for the first time and hopefully we can remain there."
-- QMMF Racing
QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West scored his first top result of the season, storming to seventh place at the Grand Prix of the Americas. Tenth after the opening lap, the 31-year-old Australian quickly moved up to fifth behind eventual winner Terol, Kallio, Aegerter and Redding, but couldn’t keep his position due to some problems with chattering and a lack of front end grip. He still managed to defend sixth place until the last lap, when Frenchman Johann Zarco took advantage of West’s increasing problems with tyre grip.
Whereas West’s initial disappointment about Zarco’s move faded quickly and turned into pride about a successful weekend in Texas, the difficulties of 18-year-old team-mate Rafid Topan Sucipto continued in the race. This time, the GP rookie from Jakarta struggled with a gearbox change from using second through sixth to first through fifth gear, which improved his speed in some sections of the track, but also caused him to hit neutral several time. Eventually, he decided to pull in.
Anthony West – 7th place
“My start was good and the first laps went quite okay. I was not amazingly fast, but I felt comfortable where I was. I passed a few people, they fought back, but I passed them again and made a bit of a gap. I really felt like I could have caught the front group once I got passed those guys that were holding me up, but there was enough of a gap that I couldn’t catch them. One problem that I had was front end chatter, the other was that in return for improving the rear tyre grip, we lost some grip in the front and I was losing the front a lot. I was at the limit with how far I could push it and I was borderline to crashing. I still felt I had the speed to catch Redding in the end, because he dropped of a little bit, but my bike wasn’t allowing me to do it. I am also bit upset that Zarco passed me on the last lap. But overall, it is a good result for us, good for the championship to get points and good in terms of the information we got for the continuation of the season. We are getting closer and closer to the front group, we just need to sort a few set-up issues. But the guys are doing a really good job and I am sure we can fix these issues for the next races!
Rafid Topan Sucipto – did not finish
“When I would downshift through the gears under brakes in the race, I ended up in neutral several times, which caused me to run wide and got me close to crashing. I thought there might be something wrong with the bike, so I pulled in for a check. It turned out that my problem had only to do with our set-up change and with using first gear, which we hadn’t done in the practice sessions. I was considering to go out again after my pit stop, but I had lost my rhythm and my confidence entirely so we decided to stop!”
|- LATE BRAKING NEWS
- REVIEWS -