MotoGP 2013 – Round Nine – Laguna Seca – Team Previews
— Yamaha Preview
There was no rest for Yamaha Factory Racing this week as they head straight from the Sachsenring circuit in Germany to the USA for back-to-back racing at Laguna Seca on Sunday.
Jorge Lorenzo will travel to Laguna to be with his team as he recovers from a second surgery to his injured collarbone following a free practice crash at last weekend’s German Grand Prix. Lorenzo can claim a single win at the track on his way to his first world title in 2010.
Teammate Valentino Rossi arrives in Laguna looking to continue the form that has seen him take a race win and a podium in the last two races. The American track is the scene of one of Rossi’s most famous victories against Casey Stoner in 2008, to date his only win at the track.
The 3.5km Laguna Seca circuit originally hosted Grand Prix racing from 1988 to 1994 before safety issues moved it away. It returned in 2005 after major changes were made to the circuit allowing fans once again to enjoy the incredible spectacle of the Grand Prix riders diving down the daunting ‘Corkscrew’ as they fight for victory.
Jorge Lorenzo – “Finally we have decided to go to Laguna Seca. Following the final medical check and after speaking with Doctor Rodríguez we are going to try. At the beginning I seriously thought that it might have been convenient to take the necessary time to recover and be back at Indy but in the last two days I have felt much better so now I want to be there, although I will try to not take too many risks. I want to be there also for the fans, for the championship but especially for my team, that is waiting for me. I want to thank everybody for all the support I have received so far and I want to say “thank you” to the doctors who took care of me after the crash at Sachsenring, both at the Clinica Mobile and at the Hospital General de Catalunya, especially Doctors Rodríguez and Cots.”
Valentino Rossi – “Laguna is a very special track, it is very important to me because it is the track of one of my best races in my career in 2008. Apart from that time I always seem to suffer there so I hope to go and do a better job this time. We have made good progress and are now fighting closer to the front but we need to make another step to fight for more victories.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – “Jorge has made the decision to fly to Laguna Seca and, although it will not be easy, he has decided to try despite the pain and the consequences of the second surgery to his injured collarbone. We have another tough weekend ahead of us, especially because the lay-out of the track is phisically demanding. Now I am just looking forward to seeing him here with the team and then we will set the strategy for the weekend.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director – “It is always a good feeling to come to Laguna, it is one of the races that the whole team enjoy and look forward to. The fans and the track really are something very special. We are confident that Vale can continue to show his improved form and we are working hard to keep giving him his old confidence to fight at the front with the best possible set up of the bike. I am happy to hear that Jorge has made the decision to fly to Laguna Seca. It is definitely going to be a demanding weekend for him but finally we will be on track with both riders.”
— Ducati Preview
With the German Grand Prix having just been completed this past Sunday, the Ducati Team has already made the Transatlantic trip to California for this coming weekend’s United States Grand Prix, which marks the 2013 MotoGP season’s halfway point and its second of three rounds to be held on American soil.
One of the championship’s oldest circuits, Laguna Seca has a rich history in Grand Prix racing and has hosted a number of exciting events, including Nicky Hayden’s maiden MotoGP victory in 2005 (when the track returned to the GP schedule following an eleven-year break), and his follow-up win the following year, his championship season. Andrea Dovizioso doesn’t count the track among his favourites, but he has posted three fourth-place finishes there in the premier class, along with a fifth position.
The shortest track on the calendar, Laguna Seca is twisty and technical, offering very little opportunity for a break, and its signature section is of course the legendary Corkscrew.
Ducati sells more motorcycles in the USA than any other country, and the brand’s fans are expected to flood to Ducati Island, where a number of promotional initiatives are planned over the weekend.
Nicky Hayden – “It’s nice to be going home to Laguna, which is a race that I love and that’s obviously very special to me. The circuit is quite unique, and it’s not easy, as you need to be confident and attack the corners. It’s quite a demanding, technical track and a lot of the corners are linked together. You really have to hit your marks there in order to be fast. I wish we were headed there with more speed and confidence, but the reality is this. Up until now, we certainly haven’t been getting the results we’d like by any means, but with the summer break coming up, it would be nice to go there, have some fun, and leave with a good taste in our mouths.”
Andrea Dovizioso – “I don’t know what we can expect at Laguna with a completely different bike for me this year. Unfortunately, I think it’s a similar track to the Sachsenring in many ways. Maybe we’ll have fewer problems with turn-in since the corners are tighter, but all the bikes tend to pump a lot at Laguna because it’s very particular with its uphills and downhills. I don’t particularly enjoy the place, but as always we’re going there with the aim of getting the best possible result.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager – “Laguna Seca is a track with a lot of elevation change, so in some ways, it’s similar to the Sachsenring. It’s Nicky’s home track, so he’ll surely be hoping to redeem his disappointing result in Germany. It’s a race that he has won twice in the past, so we know that he can do well there.”
— Repsol HRC Preview
After another highly eventful weekend, which saw Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo miss the German GP, the Repsol Honda Team now heads stateside with Marc Marquez regaining the Championship lead.
Marc had a perfect weekend in Germany, taking his second win of the season, but now heads to a new track which he has never visited in any class. It will be crucial for him and his team to get to grips with the 3.6km Laguna Seca circuit, famous for it’s ‘Corkscrew’ corner, quickly and find a good set up.
Marc’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, had a less enjoyable weekend in Germany. Dani, who was leading the Championship up until last weekend, had a huge crash in FP3 for the German GP and was ruled out for the race after the medical team declared him unfit. Thankfully after a few days of rest, Dani is feeling well again and will travel to America on Thursday to allow him to have one additional day of physiotherapy treatment to the shoulder on Wednesday in Barcelona.
Dani has a good record at Laguna Seca and has visited the podium four times including a victory in 2009. Honda also have a fantastic record on American soil, having won the last six races held in the U.S.A.
Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 1st – 138 points
“I am feeling really good at the moment. Even though the victory in Germany didn’t feel the same as Austin, because Dani and Jorge were not there, I am still so happy with the result. Now we go to Laguna Seca with no time to rest. Everybody says it’s a nice track but very technical. I’ve never ridden there so we will start to work hard from the first moment we arrive to learn the lines. From what I understand there are many blind points where you cannot see the racing line. Anyway, as always we will try our best and see what we can do”
Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 2nd – 136 points
“After a disappointing weekend in Germany, I’m happy to be feeling better again and thankful that my shoulder wasn’t completely broken, even if a fracture is still not the best thing to happen! Now I need to get back on track to see what condition I’m in and hope we can have a good weekend”
— MotoGP 2013 – Round Nine – Laguna Seca – Marquez set to defend lead on new territory at Laguna Seca
With the German Grand Prix barely over, the MotoGP™ grid heads across the pond to contest the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca with the championship tightly bunched and a festival of racing awaiting at the infamous track.
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez comes fresh off the back of his second MotoGP™ win since stepping up to the premier-class, which saw him take the lead in the championship from his teammate Dani Pedrosa by two points. However, as he hasn’t been at the track professionally due to the support classes not running there, this will be his first time racing at the track – though he has done some laps previously on a road bike.
Whether his teammate will be fit after his huge highside in Germany, during which he partly fractured his left collarbone and suffered concussion, remains to be seen. Participation of Yamaha Factory Racing’s injured Jorge Lorenzo is also a closely watched topic, with the Yamaha rider publicly announcing he will not take part – though with his main rival Pedrosa also bruised, there remains the chance the Mallorcan will try to salvage some points if he can, with his crew already confirmed to be travelling to the race.
Neither rider would however have it easy, as Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow is in the form of his life, having stepped onto the podium for the fourth time this year last weekend after a brave ride following some nasty scrapes and bruises from crashes during the weekend. He managed to beat his Yamaha factory rival Valentino Rossi, who will be looking for an improvement in Laguna Seca, saying he had expected more from his outing at the Sachsenring.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who led for a significant part in his home race last time out, can head to the US with a sense of optimism after matching his best result of fourth. His Honda satellite counterpart in the form of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista is hoping for an improvement in bike set-up, despite finishing a credible fifth in the last race. The Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso unfortunately had a difficult weekend once more in Germany, and particularly local boy Hayden will aim for a significantly better outing in front of his home fans.
For the Pramac Racing Team it was an equally tough weekend with Andrea Iannone sitting out the race through injury – though the team and him will hope that he is declared fit to race in California. Substituting the still-injured Ben Spies is NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Moto2™ rider Alex de Angelis, who has had previous stints in MotoGP™. All the Ducati’s will no doubt have their hands full with the on-song Aleix Espargaro, who continues to amaze fans on his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine.
Rounding out the grid will be his teammate Randy de Puniet, NGM Mobile Forward Racing duo Claudio Corti and Colin Edwards, Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama and Hector Barbera, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, PBM teammates Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Lukas Pesek, as well as Gresini’s Bryan Staring. One wildcard will take part in the shape of Attack Performance Racing’s Blake Young, who previously did well in Austin on his Kawasaki-powered in-house APR machine.
World Championship Standings MotoGP™
1 Marc Marquez 138 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 136 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 127 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Cal Crutchlow 107 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Valentino Rossi 101 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
6 Andrea Dovizioso 74 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Stefan Bradl 64 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
8 Alvaro Bautista 58 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Nicky Hayden 57 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Aleix Espargaro 52 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Bradley Smith 51 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
12 Michele Pirro 36 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 24 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Randy De Puniet 19 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
15 Hector Barbera 18 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Danilo Petrucci 15 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
17 Colin Edwards 13 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
18 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Yonny Hernandez 6 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
20 Claudio Corti 5 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
21 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Karel Abraham 3 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
24 Javier Del Amor 1 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
25 Hiroshi Aoyama 1 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
26 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
28 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance
– Previously….. MotoGP 2013 – Round Eight – Sachsenring
— Marquez storms into championship lead with Sachsenring win
Marc Marquez has won the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, picking up his second MotoGP™ victory and seventh podium finish from eight races. In the absence of both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the same three riders were on the podium as at the Dutch TT, with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi finishing second and third.
The Sachsenring delivered another highly dramatic weekend, not least as numerous riders suffered crashes across the three days. Crutchlow was one of them, heading into the race with injuries to his arms, hands and left leg, but heavy impacts for World Champion Lorenzo and erstwhile championship leader Pedrosa left both on the sidelines; the Yamaha Factory Racing rider bent the titanium plate in his shoulder, while the Repsol Honda Team rider sustained a small fracture, also to the left collarbone, and was suffering from dizziness.
With both of his major rivals out of contention, Marquez – starting on his third pole position of the season – knew that a second race win (after Austin, Texas) would allow him to snatch back the advantage in the title race. A poor start saw the 20-year-old rookie drop to fourth place, but he picked off those ahead of him one by one and took the lead from home rider Stefan Bradl at the end of the sixth lap. Once Crutchlow took second, the Spaniard would manage the gap and win by 1.5 seconds.
Crutchlow’s own race started from second. Fighting the pain of his injuries after two large accidents on Friday, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider dispatched of Alvaro Bautista and Bradl and stole second from Valentino Rossi in a strong move at Sachsen Kurve on Lap 16. He then looked to threaten for a career-first victory, but Marquez had been looking after his tyres and was able to comfortably control the gap until the end of the 30th and final lap; nevertheless, Crutchlow becomes the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect four podium finishes in one season.
Having returned to winning ways at Assen two weeks ago, Rossi has now claimed consecutive rostrums. From his first front row start since the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider seized the lead as the red lights went out. He proceeded to battle with local favourite Bradl but was overhauled by eventual winner Marquez on Lap 5. Three laps later, Rossi passed the German to go second, but then fell back to the final podium spot when Crutchlow steamed ahead.
Bradl’s fourth place finish for LCR Honda MotoGP may have meant that he has still missed out on the podium, but the German has again equalled his career-best result. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista completed the top five from eighth on the grid, while Tech 3’s Bradley Smith ended his day sixth – confirming two British riders in the top six of a race for the first time in two decades – from the impressive Aleix Espargaro; from fifth on the grid, the Power Electronics Aspar rider rode his CRT-specification bike in as high as third place before feeling the wrath of the prototypes.
Further down the order, the final points went to 13th-placed Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and the two riders who a day earlier had passed through to the Q2 shootout from Q1, with Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti 14th and 15th for Came IodaRacing Project and NGM Mobile Forward Racing, respectively. Two riders failed to see the end of the race, as there were crashes for both PBM’s Yonny Hernandez and Gresini’s Bryan Staring.
MotoGP™ Race Classification
1 Marc Marquez 41’14.653 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Cal Crutchlow +1.559 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
3 Valentino Rossi +9.620 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Stefan Bradl +13.992 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
5 Alvaro Bautista +21.775 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6 Bradley Smith +25.080 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Andrea Dovizioso +30.027 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Aleix Espargaro +30.324 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
9 Nicky Hayden +45.355 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Michele Pirro +47.142 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
11 Hector Barbera +47.824 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
12 Randy De Puniet +48.523 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
13 Colin Edwards +54.428 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
14 Danilo Petrucci +1’00.323 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
15 Claudio Corti +1’05.530 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
16 Michael Laverty +1’09.153 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Hiroshi Aoyama +1’15.601 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
18 Karel Abraham +1’19.683 CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
19 Lukas Pesek +1 lap CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
20 Bryan Staring DNF AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
21 Yonny Hernandez DNF COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Dani Pedrosa DNS SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
23 Jorge Lorenzo DNS SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
Jordi Torres has taken his maiden career victory in the Moto2™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, becoming the fifth different rider to win in the intermediate class this year. Simone Corsi beat Pol Espargaro to second, championship leader Scott Redding was seventh and Xavier Simeon fell to ninth place from pole.
On Saturday, Torres was narrowly beaten to the top grid position as Simeon claimed his career-first pole position for Desguaces La Torre Maptaq. Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) would start second, while from the front row Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) aimed to make the most of an eighth-placed start for chief rival Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).
Espargaro immediately seized the lead off the start line and would hold the advantage until Lap 19, when Torres – who maintained a consistent pace over the full 29-lap distance – dived through at the Sachsen Kurve. Behind the leading duo, Simone Corsi kept a watching brief and opportunistically overtook Espargaro for second place on the final lap; this capped off his first rostrum for almost two years. Despite dropping back another position, Espargaro finished four positions in front of Redding.
Fourth place went to Italtrans Racing Team’s Julian Simon, while multiple Sachsenring podium finisher Alex de Angelis put on a charge in the second half of the Grand Prix to finish inside the top five for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, overhauling Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing) and championship leader Redding, who endured his worst result of 2013 thus far. Pole-man Simeon could not demonstrate such strong race pace and finished 12.8 seconds behind the winner. Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese picked up the final point for Dynavolt Intact GP, while one standout performance came from QMMF Racing Team’s Anthony West who rose to eighth from 16th on the grid.
Six riders failed to make the finish. Tech 3’s Danny Kent and TargoBank Motorsport wildcard Alex Mariñelarena departed the race early, with the Spaniard sustaining a contusion to the left knee. Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith was next to fall, soon joined on the sidelines by Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrotter. Argiñano & Gines Racing’s Roman Ramos (covering for Alberto Moncayo, who was injured in a training accident) retired into the pit lane, while winner Torres’ teammate Jordi Terol crashed out in the closing stages of the race.
Sunday’s result marks the first time in 2013 that three different makes of Moto2™ chassis – Suter, Speed Up and Kalex – have shared the podium.
Moto2™ Race Classification
1- Jordi Torres SPA Suter 41:19.636
2- Simone Corsi ITA Speed Up +2.164
3- Pol Espargaro SPA Kalex +2.494
Alex Rins has won the Moto3™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland from pole position, overhauling championship leader Luis Salom at the penultimate corner of the race. Maverick Viñales, who also battled for the lead throughout, was third to ensure that the top three riders in the championship filled the podium places.
Rins led from pole, but after an entertaining battle with Viñales, elected to yield the lead to the Team Calvo rider. The order would continue to change between the duo, until Lap 24 when Viñales took the advantage after Rins ran wide, only for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom – who had typically waited patiently in third position – to seize the advantage in an impressive double overtaking manoeuvre at Sachsen Kurve.
Following Salom’s move, Rins crucially passed Viñales into the final corner, which allowed him three laps to hunt down the lead. The margin was three tenths of a second at the start of the final lap, but Rins bravely dived up the inside of the penultimate corner to seal his second victory after Austin, Texas as the leading trio crossed the line separated by only two and a half tenths of a second.
In fourth position, Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira overhauled Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez in the closing stages, with the latter having made charge in the second half of the race. Efren Vazquez was sixth on the second Mahindra, while Jack Miller was disappointed to finish seventh for Caretta Technology – RTG, having started fifth on the grid. The top eight was rounded out by equally disappointed home rider Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3), who had been fourth on the grid.
Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou did not make the start following a problem in the Warm-Up, whereas four riders crashed out of the race. An early mistake by wildcard rider Kevin Hanus (Thomas Sabo GP Team) saw him collect Eric Granado (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3), whereas wildcard Luca Amato (Mahindra Spiel-Kiste) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3) made mistakes of their own.
Arthur Sissis – “It was not a bad race, but the problem is that starting from the fifteenth position really was a handicap. The opening laps did not go quite right, I lost a lot of time, but when I caught the group I I felt better and I rode pretty well after that. Folger was not far away from us and when I caught him I tried to pass —but it was not possible. I believe that if we had started from a better grid position, I could fight to finish higher up. Now I have to fight to get a better qualifying spot for the next race.”
Moto3™ Race Classification
1- Alex Rins SPA KTM 39:34.735
2- Luis Salom SPA KTM +0.232
3- Maverick Viñales SPA KTM +0.248
— HRC Report
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) won a brilliant victory in today’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, resisting a determined charge from Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) during the final stages. Marquez’s second MotoGP win puts the 20-year-old rookie back into the World Championship lead, two points ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) who sat out the race following a heavy tumble yesterday. Local hero Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) entertained the huge German crowd by leading the early laps and equalling his best premier-class result with a fourth-place finish.
Marquez started from pole position for the third time this year but was content to ease into the race at a track which is notorious for catching out riders when the tyres aren’t fully up to their optimum operating temperature. He was fourth for the first two laps, while Bradl led. On lap three he started pushing forward, moving into third place and then into second two laps later. The following lap, lap six, he grabbed the lead from Bradl, cutting inside the German at the final turn, repeating the move he had put on Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) the previous lap.
Once ahead, Marquez immediately opened a gap of four tenths and by lap 15, half distance, he was 2.3 seconds ahead of Crutchlow who had also moved passed Rossi. Marquez was riding superbly and managing his advantage, which hovered just above the two-second mark for several laps. But then in the last five laps Crutchlow started nibbling away at the gap, taking a tenth here and a tenth there. The final few laps were full of tension as the Briton edged closer still, until halfway through the final lap he was just 1.3 seconds behind. Of course, Marquez had managed the gap to perfection and wheelied across the finish line 1.559 seconds in front.
The reigning Moto2 World Champion’s second victory in the elite class puts him two points ahead of Pedrosa as the 2013 campaign moves towards its halfway point at Laguna Seca next weekend. Marquez’s 28th career GP victory was also his fourth in a row at the ultra-challenging Sachsenring: he won here on a 125 in 2010, on a Moto2 bike in 2011 and 2012 and now on a MotoGP machine.
Pedrosa was ruled out of the race after a nasty highside at the first turn during yesterday morning’s FP3 practice session. The 27-year-old was thrown high from his machine and landed heavily on his left shoulder. The impact left him with a partially fractured left collarbone and other complications, including dizziness and low blood pressure. After undergoing checks at the trackside medical facilities he was taken by helicopter to Chemnitz hospital for further examinations. The former 125 and 250 World Champion was cleared to take part in this morning’s warm-up session but shortly before the outing his blood pressure dropped once again and he began to feel dizzy once more, so the MotoGP medical staff decided he wasn’t fit to start the race.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) – the other main man in the championship battle – also missed today’s race following a heavy tumble on Friday afternoon which aggravated the left collarbone he broke at Assen. Lorenzo had the injury plated so he could ride in the Dutch TT but Friday’s accident bent the metalwork fixing the bone, necessitating further surgery.
Former Moto2 World Champion Bradl fought hard to score his first MotoGP podium but it wasn’t quite to be. Boosted by massive home-crowd support, the 23-year-old led the first five laps of the 30 lap race but once he was passed by the others he knew he lacked corner speed in the second sector, so he had to be happy with fourth place behind nine-time World Champion Rossi.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) rode a strong first few laps, coming through from the third row of the grid to fourth place on lap three, just behind Marquez. However, the Spaniard wasn’t quite able to maintain his impressive progress due to some traction issues in the faster part of the track and slipped back to fifth place, which he held from lap four all the way to the finish.
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had a disappointing day at the Sachsenring, sliding off without injury with three laps remaining.
Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) scored a brilliant maiden Grand Prix victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, getting the better of long-time leader Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) at two-thirds distance. The 25-year-old Spaniard spent the earlier part of the race shadowing Espargaro, with Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) right with them in third place, waiting to pounce.
Torres’ winning move was the classic Sachsenring overtaking manoeuvre: building speed through the high-speed and treacherous Turn 11 to set up a pass into Turn 12, the penultimate corner. Once ahead, he eked a gap and finally crossed the line more than two seconds ahead of Corsi, who had successfully attacked Espargaro at Turn Four on the final lap.
Winner of the last two races, Espargaro had to be content with third, a result which nevertheless further reduced his disadvantage to championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) who could only manage seventh place today. The pair are separated by 23 points as they go into their summer break. While the MotoGP class races at Laguna next Sunday, the next race for Moto2 and Moto3 riders is the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 18.
Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) finished a lonely fourth, three seconds down on Espargaro after he had run with the lead group during the early stages. Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) were fifth and sixth after getting the better of Redding during the middle stages of the race.
Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) had a great ride, coming through from 16th on the grid to finish eighth, less than a tenth of a second ahead of Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex) who started from pole position but spoiled his race day with a high-speed fall in morning warm-up. Assen podium finisher Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) completed the top ten.
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) had a strong ride to seventh in the Moto3 race – won by Alex Rins (KTM) – after running with the leading group during the early stages. The Australian’s spectacular, aggressive riding saw him move into second on lap three but as the race wore on he was unable to match the pace of the leaders, losing touch through the track’s faster sections. During the latter stages he found himself all alone. His result puts him seventh overall in the World Championship as the Moto3 class begins its midseason break.
Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) enjoyed a frantic battle to get into the top ten for the first time since May’s French GP. The young South African saw his chance at the final corner, where the two riders in front of him were arguing over the same piece of tarmac, which allowed Binder to slip through on the inside, moving from 11th to ninth as the chequered flag awaited. Binder now sits eighth in the overall standings, just one point behind Miller.
Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) was the next Honda man across the line, finishing 12th, a fraction ahead of Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda). Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) scored the final point in 15th position.
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: race winner
“I am very happy with this victory. It was important to have a good race under the circumstances this weekend, without Dani and Jorge on track. I wish them a speedy recovery, because winning is important but without them the triumph isn’t quite the same. Even so, it is a good result, since we have taken the maximum points available and ridden a completely different race to those that we’ve had before. We led the race and maintained the gap to second place. It was good experience, although I perhaps prefer races that are a little more of a battle! We should be happy, and we have also held up well physically at a circuit where there is no time to rest on the bike. We’ll see how it goes in Laguna Seca, which will be a hard GP for me because I’ve never ridden there. We’ll take it step by step and remain calm whilst we get up to speed.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th
“I think it was a good weekend for us even if we missed the chance to achieve the podium. Actually I have done a good start and I was capable to lead the race for some laps but, when the guys passed me, I could see that they had more corner speed especially in section 2 which was the weak point for us. In the rest of the circuit we have been very competitive and very fast so we are pretty satisfied about our job. Okay… I missed the chance to reward my Team and my crowd with a podium finish but we do not give up and we will keep on fighting in Laguna. A special thanks to my fans… I could feel their huge support these days and it was something special to me.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 5th
“We finished in fifth place which at the end of the day is not a great result but after a great start I just wasn’t able to keep in touch with the riders at the front. We had some traction problems in the second sector, which is where I was losing a lot of time and I could only just hold the gap in the other sectors. I tried to get closer but I couldn’t manage it and fifth place is still a positive result for us after the Dutch race because it’s a step forward. Now I am sure we can make more progress at Laguna with the help of the team, who are doing a great job.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“My confidence is on the floor right now! Four crashes in a weekend is four too many and the one in the race was particularly stupid. I was letting the front three lap me and lost concentration going into Turn One and ended up crashing. I am really sorry to the team, who are doing so much to help me.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: Did not start
“This morning I had my check up in the medical centre and I felt okay. My shoulder was painful but otherwise I felt fine. The doctors declared me fit to take part in warm-up. Then shortly before the session I began to feel dizzy again and my blood pressure dropped. The doctors came to see me in my truck and we decided I shouldn’t take part in the session. I returned to my motorhome to rest and still felt dizzy and sick. The doctors arrived at my motorhome and informed me that they did not consider I was okay to race and would therefore declare me unfit.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Jordi Torres, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2: race winner
“After all our work over the weekend I knew I had pace, so at the beginning of the race I thought that I could take and hold the lead. After the first laps behind Pol I saw that in some sections I was closer to him and I was riding comfortably. I was just thinking about saving my tyres for the end of the race. Having familiarised ourselves with the chatter in practice, we were able to have confidence when overtaking Pol and trying to extend a gap. I saw the opportunity and I took advantage of it, as I did not want to bet it all on the last lap with veteran riders like Corsi and Espargaro in contention. I am very happy with my first win, now I have the summer break to take it in. It is an honour for me to win a GP. I had a chance, coming from the CEV [the Spanish national championship], and I have taken it. I hope to continue in this way. Although today I learned a lot, especially to believe in myself, I still have to continue to accumulate experience. We must continue demanding more of ourselves every day. When I crossed the finish line I was overcome with emotion; this victory is dedicated to my brother Ruben and my whole family.”
Simone Corsi, NGM Mobile Racing: 2nd
“I am very happy, everything went really well today. We needed a good result such as this second place for both the team and me. Maybe we could have done a little better today but I didn’t want to risk missing the podium after overtaking Espargaro. Today the bike performed very well and that was what really made the difference. We now leave for the summer break having achieved our goal of a podium. We will go to Indianapolis knowing that we have a competitive bike and knowing that we will be able score good results in the second half of the season.”
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: 3rd
“I’m happy with this podium because I reduced the points gap to the leader, even though it’s true that we could have got more points. But going into Catalunya we were 47 points behind and now the gap is 23 points, so we have halved the gap in three races. The key is to keep working, pushing and winning when I can and adding maximum points when winning isn’t possible. I started the race well and was monitoring the situation, but eventually Torres came past and his tyres seemed fresher than mine so I could not follow him. Corsi passed me on the last lap and although I tried to recover second place the risk was too high to come away with nothing. Congratulations to Torres, who has worked hard to get here. His success shows that with effort you can get where you want to be.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 7th
“It was a good race, we did a good job. I got with the front group, which was great, but then I made a small mistake. I had to push so hard into the turns on the brakes that I went wide, onto the dirty stuff and almost off the track. As soon as I lost seven tenths on them it was impossible to catch them. I was faster than them in the first section but I was losing time up the hill through those fast lefts and then down the hill. As soon as I lost the slipstream I couldn’t do anything.”
Brad Binder, Ambrogio Racing Suter: 9th
“I was so lucky at the last corner. It looked like the guys in front of me were going to ride into each other, so I went up the inside, across the kerb and passed them both right there. Luckily the finish line is close to the corner, so I made it into the top ten which isn’t too bad, though ninth place isn’t too great either. I’m trying so hard, so it’s good to be back in the top ten.”
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 12th
“Once again it was a race of groups, with a lot of fighting for the top ten. I started well and the idea was to hook up with the leading group as the race progressed but the fight in the second group with seven riders passing each other was fun, continual overtaking makes it difficult to impose your own rhythm. Anyway, I’m happy to have scored points in five consecutive races. Now I want to take advantage of the break to train hard for the Indianapolis GP circuit which is very interesting.”
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi made a welcome return to the Sachsenring podium today with third in the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Today’s podium finish is his first at the Sachsenring circuit since his victory with Yamaha in 2009 and is a mark of his continued return to form following his Assen victory two weeks ago.
Starting from third on the grid the nine-time World Champion took the hole shot into turn one and led local German rider Stefan Bradl into the first lap. As Rossi struggled to find grip from the rear Bradl was able to pass on turn 12. As the laps wound down pole man Marc Marquez squeezed for the lead. Rossi was able to pick up the pace again with 22 laps to go, re-passing Bradl for second position. Mid-race distance saw tyre wear drop dramatically and with 15 laps remaining Rossi was forced to allow satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow to pass. Despite the lack of grip he was able to build a gap of nearly 4 seconds to Bradl in fourth to secure third place and a second successive podium finish of the season.
The result puts Rossi on 101 Championship points, six behind Crutchlow in fourth. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo now sits in third position in the Championship on 127 points having missed the race through injury. Despite the set back he is just 11 points behind leader Marquez.
No decision has yet been made for Lorenzo’s participation in the Laguna Seca race as he recovers from yesterday’s collarbone surgery in Barcelona. His team will travel to the USA and set up as normal should the reigning World Champion decide to ride in next weekend’s Grand Prix.
Valentino Rossi 3rd / +9.620
“It’s a good result, to stay on the podium is always a good result but I expected something more and to do a better race. During the weekend we made some choices, yesterday we decided to set up the bike in one way and today after some laps I started to suffer too much. The first ten laps were not so bad but after I started to have problems and it was too difficult to turn the bike, especially on the left I was sliding too much. We have to work to try and make another step to stay with the top guys. Next we will have Laguna, a very special track, and we will try to have better results there. We are five very fast riders and we are closer now because unfortunately Dani and Jorge are injured and we have another race next week. If I want to fight for the Championship I have to go faster and I have to be constantly faster so I have to make another step.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We worked the entire weekend to manage the tyre life in the best way possible but we couldn’t make it as we wanted. We had a decent pace and in the end we got a podium, that is an important result and we got points. We knew at the beginning that this circuit was not one of the favourites for us and we had to manage it. We are looking forward to Laguna to fight for the positions that we are used to be fighting for. We are pleased that Jorge’s surgery was completed successfully yesterday and we wish him a very speedy recovery. We have made no decision yet on when he will return to race however we will bring his crew to Laguna to be prepared for any eventuality.”
Crutchlow and Smith equal season best in Germany
Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith equalled their season best results at Germany’s Sachsenring today, the British duo storming to a fantastic double top six finish for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.
Crutchlow raced to an outstanding fourth podium in the last five races to continue his amazing record-breaking exploits in the 2013 World Championship, while Smith showed tremendous speed and consistency to secure a second top six finish in his rookie campaign. On form Crutchlow produced a scintillating surge through the field after he’d been dropped back to sixth in a frenetic opening to the 30-lap race. The 27-year-old’s brilliant charge gathered momentum on lap four when he dived underneath Alvaro Bautista to slot into fourth at the final corner. He then pressured home crowd favourite Stefan Bradl into a mistake at the final corner on lap 10 to move into the top three. With adrenaline and the non-stop action taking his mind of numerous cuts, bruises and friction burns he suffered in two heavy practice crashes, he then executed a brave but perfect pass on Valentino Rossi at Turn 12 on lap 16 to snatch second. At that stage of the race, Marc Marquez had established a comfortable advantage of 2.8s. But demonstrating his never give up attitude and fighting spirit, Crutchlow launched a relentless pursuit of the Spaniard that kept fans on the edge of their seats right to the chequered flag. Crutchlow narrowed the gap to 1.5s but Marquez was unflappable, though Crutchlow’s second place helped him secure another personal milestone in his third premier class season. Today’s result saw him become the first British rider to score four or more podium MotoGP finishes since the legendary Barry Sheene in 1982.
Not be to be outdone, Smith’s eye-catching ride ensured he played an important role in a landmark result, with today’s race the first time two British riders have finished inside the top six in a premier class encounter since the Donington Park round back 1993. Starting from seventh on the grid, the 22-year-old held onto that place while he was comfortably able to streak away from a chasing pack that included MotoGP race winners Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.
He moved into the top six on lap seven and feeling comfortable and confident on the YZR-M1 machine he pushed hard to try and bridge a gap of close to three seconds to Bautista in fifth. He kept the Spaniard firmly in his sights throughout the race but was happy to settle for a richly deserved top six.
The most pleasing aspect for the rookie was the 25-second gap to race winner Marquez, which was the closest Smith has finished to first place in 2013, and provides further proof of his rapidly growing confidence with the YZR-M1 machine.
Cal Crutchlow 2nd– 107 points : “I am really happy to be on the podium again because it was a hard race in my physical condition. The two crashes in practice took a lot out of me but I dug deep and it is great to get another podium for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. I actually made a really good start but I had to roll off the throttle when Marc came towards me and that cost me a few places. The bike worked really well in the first few laps and I was able to fight my way through and I really enjoyed it. In the second half of the race the bike felt great and I was fast. I came on strong and pulled away from Valentino and I did absolutely everything I could to close down Marc. I couldn’t have done anything more but credit to him because he didn’t make a mistake, he controlled the gap to me very well and he deserved to win. I just kept on pushing and at the end second is another fantastic result. It is my fourth podium and I am not so far back in the Championship, so I can’t really ask for anything more. Now we go to Laguna trying to fight for another podium and hopefully that first win.”
Bradley Smith 6th– 51 points : “I am truely happy with this sixth place. I got a good start and I was really pleased with my pace for most of the race. It is particularly pleasing because this is a track where I expected to struggle more because it has a lot of left-hand corners and you are constantly pushing with the left part of your body. That’s where my injury is but I felt strong for the whole race. I’m also pleased that we managed to reduce the gap to the winner by another seven seconds and I think 25 seconds is not too bad at the moment. There were so many positives but I had a little bit of an issue with rear grip and I think we can still improve our setting to make that better. I still believe I did a really good job and now the next objective is to get closer to Bautista on the satellite Honda. This result has given me a lot of confidence and I am really looking forward to going to Laguna Seca. It is a very difficult track and while I did test there earlier this year on a production bike I am still expecting a tough weekend.”
— Ducati Report
At the end of what has been a challenging weekend in Germany, race day at the Sachsenring saw Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden ride to seventh and ninth place finishes, respectively.
Starting from the ninth position on the grid, the Italian knew it would be a difficult race, but he advanced to seventh place by the halfway point and maintained the position to the finish. As for his American teammate, after falling in the morning warm-up, Hayden had to switch to his second bike, and he never had the grip that he needed to ride aggressively.
The Ducati Team now heads straight to Monterey, California, for next weekend’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 7th
“Speaking from a personal perspective, I’m fairly pleased with the day; all weekend it was very difficult to do a pace in the low 1:23s, so I’m satisfied that I managed to do it for the entire race. Obviously, we can’t be pleased with this result, as we were 30 seconds back, but it’s just further confirmation of our current gap. We couldn’t expect anything else today. We’re working a lot, but again, the bike is similar to the one we started the year with, so it couldn’t be otherwise. I’m not looking for excuses; it’s just the reality at this moment. To all the Ducati fans, I say be patient. We’re working as hard as we can to improve our competitiveness, but it’s not a situation that you can solve race by race or with simple changes to setup.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 9th
“It certainly wasn’t the race we’d hoped for. I was having a good morning warm-up until I had a crash right at the end. Even though it was a small one, it damaged the frame, so it was best to switch to the other GP13 for the race. I hadn’t ridden that bike much, and I didn’t have the same feeling as with the other one, especially in terms of grip. In the beginning, every time I pushed, the rear would come around on me. It was a long, lonely race. We need to understand what happened, because we had a much better pace than that all weekend, especially with old tyres. It’s a shame because as usual, the guys really gave me their all, and they deserve better than that.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“Again, this wasn’t one of our best weekends. On Nicky’s side we saw good pace in the practices, and he was doing very well this morning until his crash. We expected that he could do a similar pace for the race, but with the other bike we didn’t find the same grip levels. As for Andrea, unfortunately he crashed the new development frame on Friday morning, and we had to go back to the standard version. Nonetheless, he did an excellent job to do those low 1:23s over the whole race distance. Again, we have a big job in front of us, and we’re working hard on new solutions, but they need time to be tested and produced before they’re brought to the racetrack.”
— PBM Report
After a pair of finishes in 19th and 22nd place for Colombian Yonny Hernandez and Ulsterman Michael Laverty respectively two weeks ago at Assen, the pair were hoping to add to both their own World Championship points scores and to improve their CRT and Manufacturer placings.
The weekend started off on a promising note as both Hernandez, from Medellin, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART and Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine showed good pace in Free Practice to both end up in the top 16.
Despite adding a crash apiece to the numerous fallers over the weekend, the PBM duo excelled in Qualifying to end up with Laverty in sixth to record his best of the campaign with Hernandez in seventh going into the 30-lap race.
Hernandez’s cause wasn’t helped when he crashed out during warm up but worse was to follow in the race when on the opening lap, he crashed for the third time in the weekend to end his hopes of increasing his points tally.
Meanwhile, Laverty gamely battled on and gradually climbed from 18th place where he occupied for most of the race to 16th at the flag, in another race devoid of attrition, to record his seventh finish of the season and in doing so just missed out on adding to the points he scored at Jerez earlier in the season.
Hernandez still occupies 19th overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings with Laverty maintaining his 21st in his debut season. In the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, Hernandez still holds sixth with Laverty in eighth whereas PBM occupy eighth in the Constructors Championship and 12th in the Teams Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “A bit of a disappointing weekend if we are being honest. We had high hopes of some good results as the track seemed to suit our bikes and I was pleased we qualified well. It seems that Yonny has the speed but we just need to find a way of stopping him crashing, maybe some glue on the seat would help. He committed the cardinal sin of crashing in warm up too and that has put us on the back foot for Laguna Seca. Michael continued his good progress on the PBM machine and was unlucky to miss out on the points but we really need to start raising our game as you look at what other CRTs are doing and that’s where we need to be aiming for.”
— 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 23-23°C; Track 39-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez moved back to the top of the MotoGP™ points standings after a dominating performance at the German Grand Prix netted him his second victory of the year.
Starting on pole position, Marquez had a poor start and circulated in fourth position before beginning his charge through the front-runners on the third lap. After seizing the lead from LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl on lap six, Marquez controlled the race perfectly to cross the finish line 1.559 seconds ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who again braved injury for a stunning second place. Taking the final place on the rostrum was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi who continued the strong form he showed in Assen. Following his best ever MotoGP™ qualifying performance, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was among the top three riders early in the race and ultimately finished in eighth position to once again be the highest placed CRT rider.
Track temperatures today reached a peak of 39°C at the start of the race before dropping slightly towards the end of the thirty-lap contest. With Sachsenring requiring a lot of front-end grip in cool conditions, some riders considered using the soft compound front slick for the race. However track temperatures rose in the afternoon, so only four riders ended up selecting this option with the rest of the field choosing the hard compound front. With little time to test the harder rear slick compounds over the race weekend due to the cool morning sessions, most riders chose the well-tested softer rear slick options for the race with only two riders opting for the harder rear slick. Sachsenring is one of the most severe circuits on rear tyres as it features corners where riders attain high lean angles for long periods. Although almost all riders selected the less durable softer rear slick options, no unusual wear was reported during and performance over the race distance was consistent.
Marquez now sits on 138 points to lead his teammate Dani Pedrosa in the MotoGP™ championship standings by two points. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo is a further nine points adrift and third place in the rankings.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today’s race was run at a very fast pace and Marc did a fantastic job for his second win of the year so well done to him and Honda. A few different riders led the race during the early stages of the race to the delight of the lar. It is a shame that Jorge, Dani and Andrea could not take part in the race due to injury, I wish them all a quick recovery and hope we can welcome back a full grid of riders at Laguna Seca next weekend.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was a very good race and the quick pace we saw shows that most of the teams managed to find a bike setup that got the best performance out of the tyres. Tyre performance over the race distance was excellent with the consistent lap times showing that the decrease in grip level was quite predictable. Sachsenring is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar and I’m happy that after a difficult start to the weekend that the riders, teams and Bridgestone technicians were able to work together to find a solution to enable the riders to negotiate this challenging circuit both quickly and safely.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“I didn’t expect to lead the championship after eight races and although the circumstances for this race were a bit special without Dani and Jorge here, it was important to take the twenty-five points for the championship . It’s my second victory in MotoGP and today was a bit different as I led the race and managed the gap at the front and while it was a great experience, I prefer races with a few riders fighting at the front but again I learned a lot today.”
— Marc VDS Report
Scott Redding saw his lead in the FIM Moto2 World Championship cut by seven points, after severe tyre issues saw him struggle to a seventh place finish in today’s German Moto2 Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
Mika Kallio showed strongly at the start of today’s 29-lap race, but slipped down the order to eventually finish 13th, after experiencing the same tyre problems as his Marc VDS teammate.
Redding got a good start from eighth position on the grid, but was unable to make contact with the leading group as rear grip dropped off sharply in the early stages of the race. Despite a rapidly deteriorating rear tyre, the 20-year-old Briton was initially involved in the battle for fourth place, but dropped back when the tyre started tearing at the midpoint of the race and eventually finished seventh.
For Kallio the tyre issues started almost immediately, as he experienced a severe drop off in rear grip from lap six onwards. The 30-year-old Finn managed to hold on to fifth place for two more laps, before rapidly dropping down the order as the rear tyre continued to deteriorate, to eventually finish a disappointing 13th.
Livio Loi banked a season’s worth of race experience in one day at the Sachsenring, as the 16-year-old Belgian overcame his own rear tyre issue to head a race long, seven-way battle in today’s German Moto3 Grand Prix. Loi made up two places from the start and then spent the remainder of the race battling for position in a closely matched group of seven riders. In the final stages of the race Loi broke away from his pursuers and was closing rapidly on Toni Finsterbusch in 21st, but ran out of laps and had to settle for 22nd at the line.
Scott Redding #45: 7th
“What can I say; from the lap two or three I was struggling with rear grip from the left hand side of the tyre. In the right-handers and through the first sector I was catching hand over fist, but when it came to the left-hand corners I had virtually no edge grip on entry or exit. From halfway onwards the tyre started to tear, which reduced grip even further and also caused pretty bad chatter. I was disappointed not to finish in front of Lüthi and De Angelis, because with Pol only third here today, a fifth place finish would have seen me go into the summer break with more than a 25 point lead in the championship standings. I need to come back strong in Indianapolis, to start the second half of the season in the same way I started the first half.”
Mika Kallio #36: 13th
“It’s difficult to understand the tyre problem we had today. In practice yesterday I completed two race distance runs of 27 or 28 laps on the same tyre, with the same settings in the bike, in almost identical conditions and there was no problem. Today, after just six laps, the rear grip dropped off massively while I was running fifth and I couldn’t maintain the lap time. As the race progressed and the rear continued to deteriorate it started inducing chatter, which was causing a lot of problems on corner entry. I’m really disappointed, as I thought we’d done everything right this weekend, but today was a disaster.”
Livio Loi #11: 22nd
“For the first time I got a good start, making up a couple of places, but straight away I had a problem with the tyres. I felt directly that the rear was sliding as soon as I got on the gas and I was struggling to make my lap times. It meant I spent the whole race trying to adapt my riding style to compensate, whilst involved in a big battle with six or seven other riders. Eventually I managed to pull away from the chasing group and started to close the gap to Finsterbusch, but I ran out of laps. The result is not what I was looking for, but I learnt a lot out there today.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We are lucky to leave the Sachsenring with Scott still leading the championship by 23 points after the tyre problems he and Mika experienced today. We know tyres are an issue here, especially the left hand side of the rear, but we weren’t expecting such a rapid deterioration. During free practice we ran more than one race simulation on the tyres we used today in the race, in very similar conditions, with no problems at all. But then, today, it’s like we’d used a completely different tyre. It’s a similar situation to that which we experienced in Austin and, to be honest, it’s something that needs to be addressed as a matter of safety. Scott and Mika did well not to crash today, never mind finish in the points, but both are bitterly disappointed with the results. I know Livio is also a little disappointed, but this is a learning year for him and he learnt a lot today in the race, probably more than he’s learnt in all the previous races put together. He did well to overcome an issue with the rear tyre and he came very close to achieving his target of a top 20 finish, only to run out of time right at the end.”
— Red Bull Rookies
Karel Hanika reversed his Race 1 disaster with victory in Race 2 at the Sachsenring on Sunday while his great Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup rival Jorge Martin crashed out on the penultimate lap handing back the 25 points he had taken the day before.
The pair rode superbly, passing the lap record back and forth between them as Martin, the 15-year-old Spaniard made great use of his pole-position-setting-pace to work himself a nice lead. 17-year-old Czech Hanika was slower away from the middle of the front row and only got into second place on lap 5 of the 19.
By then Martin had a one second advantage and he defended it superbly as both riders when faster than either had done in practice, faster indeed than any Rookie had ever lapped the German Grand Prix circuit. Even as rear tyre wear became a factor towards the end there could be no let-up. Martin had to respond once more with two laps to go as Hanika had finally cut the gap to well under a second and this time the rear tyre snapped round as he got the power on through Turn 1.
Hanika then cruised to victory by almost 10 seconds over a wonderfully intense contest for the other rostrum places that was won by Manuel Pagliani, the Italian 16-year-old, ahead of 14-year-old fellow countryman Stefano Manzi and 15-year-old Spaniard Joan Mir, having his best result of his first Rookies Cup season by a long way.
“It was an incredibly tough race, perhaps my toughest so far,” explained Hanika who had crashed while leading Race 1 on Saturday. “I didn’t get a good start and had to work very hard to get through the group. I have to thank the WP guys because they did a great job on sorting out my forks. I could feel the improvement from the first lap and that made a big difference.”
“I pushed as hard as I possibly could, there was a point when I thought I wasn’t going to catch him but I didn’t give up and just at the end I could see I was getting there. It is a shame he crashed because he really rode a great race. I am so happy for the championship that I got back the points I lost yesterday, it makes me happy going to my home race in Brno but I know we can do even better with the settings and we’ll work on that,” concluded Hanika.
Martin has evolved into both a great rider and a very charming young man he was philosophical about things. “I started very well and was going away from the group. I tried to make my own pace and it was working well, the gap got bigger. Then I just worked at keeping it there. Towards the end the rear was sliding but on the left, there are so few right hand corners that there was no problem on the right until that lap, it just suddenly let go,” explained Martin.
Pagliani’s superb second matched his finishing position in Race 2 in Austin and he was thrilled. “It was a very tough race, not a good start at all and I had to work very hard to get with the front group.” he said. “By then Martin and Hanika were well away but we had a great battle and I am so happy to be back on the podium. I had so enjoyed Austin but at Assen I did not feel good on the bike at all and it was hard to get back to a good feeling and a good rhythm.”
Double podium for Manzi
Manzi put in another storming ride to third after his second on Saturday. “It was a very hard race but it started well and I was right with the front into the first corner,” said the 8th place qualifier. “We had a great battle but it was impossible to follow Martin and Hanika and I just had to try everything to get on the podium.”
With 8 of the 14 races run Hanika holds a 42 point over Martin but knows very well how quickly even that advantage can be destroyed as the Rookies look forward to the Czech Grand Prix round on August 24th.
MotoGP 2013 – Round Eight – Sachsenring – Qualifying
— Marquez on pole as Pedrosa joins injury list
Marc Marquez has collected his third MotoGP™ pole position for this weekend’s eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. As injured title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both couldn’t take part after crashes, the Repsol Honda Team rider beat Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi.
Since practice action commenced on Friday, a number of incidents have been witnessed at the Sachsenring, not least for title-holder Lorenzo and current championship leader Pedrosa who both have injured left collarbones after highside crashes. Lorenzo will miss at least this race, whereas in Pedrosa’s case it remains to be seen as to whether he will be able to re-join the action on Sunday.
Marquez’s lap of 1’21.311 was within three tenths of a second of Casey Stoner’s best ever lap of the Sachsenring – which had been achieved in the era of qualifying tyres in 2008 – as he stormed to his third pole, after Texas and Le Mans. Crutchlow will start inside the top two for the third race in succession, despite two heavy falls on Friday which have left the Englishman in pain, while the front row start for Rossi is his first in 988 days; his last had been at the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010.
Row 2 is headed up by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl at his home event, whereas a top five result came thanks to a stunning effort from Aleix Espargaro on the Power Electronics Aspar CRT machine. Ducati Team will line up sixth and ninth, far better than Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso had expected, whereas Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista will fill slots seven and eight. Pedrosa was classified 12th, but was unable to take part in qualifying.
Highly impressive performances from Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti saw the pair of Italians topping Q1 and thus headed into the Q2 shootout for the first time; Corti will start tenth on the grid for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, whereas Petrucci experienced a technical issue in Q2 and will set off from 11th for Came IodaRacing Project.
At the back of the grid and in 23rd place will be Energy T.I. Racing’s Andrea Iannone, who dislocated his right shoulder in a crash during the final practice session. Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens, 14th) was also in discomfort after twisting his right ankle in morning practice, whereas GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring was left 22nd fastest after suffering a large highside on the exit of Turn 3.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1 Marc Marquez 1’21.311 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Cal Crutchlow 1’21.434 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
3 Valentino Rossi 1’21.493 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Stefan Bradl 1’21.862 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
5 Aleix Espargaro 1’21.887 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
6 Nicky Hayden 1’22.157 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Bradley Smith 1’22.297 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Alvaro Bautista 1’22.484 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Andrea Dovizioso 1’22.561 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Claudio Corti 1’23.059 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
11 Danilo Petrucci 1’23.361 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
12 Dani Pedrosa 1’22.221 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
13 Randy De Puniet 1’23.152 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
14 Hector Barbera 1’23.333 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Michele Pirro 1’23.349 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
16 Michael Laverty 1’23.549 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Yonny Hernandez 1’23.565 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
18 Colin Edwards 1’23.631 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
19 Karel Abraham 1’23.752 CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
20 Hiroshi Aoyama 1’23.820 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
21 Lukas Pesek 1’24.395 CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
22 Bryan Staring 1’27.273 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
23 Andrea Iannone 1’23.008 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Belgium’s Xavier Simeon has claimed his first ever pole position for the Moto2™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. An impressive last-gasp lap for the Desguaces La Torre Maptaq rider saw him demote Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro, as only 39 thousandths of a second covered the leading trio.
Simeon – who finished on the podium at the French Grand Prix earlier this season – grabbed Saturday’s pole with his best effort of 1’24.665, also achieving his first ever front row start. Torres was denied by the narrow margin of 13 thousandths of a second, while Espargaro’s third place means he will start five positions ahead of title rival and current championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).
Row 2 will be filled by the still recovering Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing), Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing) and Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), while Simon’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami will head up the third row from Redding, whose own best lap missed pole by just under three tenths of a second.
The top ten was completed by eight-time Sachsenring podium finisher Alex de Angelis, who next weekend will be competing in the premier MotoGP™ class at Laguna Seca. In 23rd place, Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat struggled to make an impression due to a twisted left ankle sustained in a crash during final practice.
Simeon’s result is the first pole position for a Belgian rider – in any class of the World Championship – for 24 years since. The last came courtesy of Didier de Radigues at the 250 Belgian Grand Prix of 1989, staged at Spa-Francorchamps.
Moto2™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1- Xavier Simeon BEL Kalex 1:24.665
2- Jordi Torres SPA Suter 1:24.678
3- Pol Espargaro SPA Kalex 1:24.704
Alex Rins has achieved pole position for the Moto3™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Spaniard’s third pole of the season will see him share the front row with the championship leader, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom whose challenge was halted by an engine problem, and Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira.
The early surprise of the afternoon was an error from one front-running favourite, as home rider Jonas Folger crashed his Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 bike at Turn 11. He was able to re-join the action in the late stages, sealing fourth spot on the grid. Rins’ pole came in the form of 1’27.300, with Salom staying second despite having had to pull off the circuit; his leading lap time from final practice remains the quickest so far.
Oliveira – who was on pole last time out at Assen – collects his third consecutive front row start, whereas Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales could not make the most of Salom’s difficulties and went off-track at Turn 1. He will start sixth, behind Folger and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller on the second row.
Second Mahindra rider Efren Vazquez will line up seventh from San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati, RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema – enjoying his best Moto3 qualifying position to date, in ninth – and Alex Marquez, who ensures that Estrella Galicia 0,0 are bookending the top ten.
A late fall for Folger’s teammate Eric Granado left the Brazilian 31st, four positions ahead of Jules Danilo who covers for the injured Danny Webb at Ambrogio Racing.
Arthur Sissis – “It was a very positive morning. I was feeling good and riding with a very steady pace in the morning session. In qualifying we made a few small adjustments to the setup, but I noticed them more than I expected. That’s why, when we put the new tyres on, I was unable to push to the maximum. Tomorrow we will use the settings we had in the third free practice, because I have a better feeling with that and I can run a higher pace. I’ll see if I can finish in the top five, but we’ll see, because my pace today was pretty good. I have confidence about this race.”
Moto3™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1- Alex Rins SPA KTM 1:27.300
2- Luis Salom SPA KTM 1:27.480
3- Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra 1:27.55
— HRC Report
Today was a day of mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda team during free practice and qualifying for the German Grand Prix, at the Sachsenring, with rookie Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) storming to pole position while team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) was helicoptered to hospital following a heavy fall this morning. The World Championship leader has a small fracture to his left collarbone and will reassess the situation tomorrow morning before deciding if he is able to race. Two weeks after the first front-row start of his premier-class career at Assen, local hero Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was a close fourth fastest in front of his home crowd despite a low-speed fall during qualifying.
This was Marquez’s third premier-class pole (after Austin and Le Mans) and he did it in fine style, his second run putting him more than a tenth of a second in front of Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), who had started the previous race at Assen from pole. Assen race winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) completed the front row in third place.
Marquez loves this tight and twisting track, and has won on his last three visits, once on a 125 and twice on a Moto2 bike. The 20-year-old reckons that the difference between riding a Moto2 bike and a MotoGP bike is less than at most circuits, simply because the Sachsenring is so full of corners that a MotoGP bike never gets the chance to really stretch its legs.
Pedrosa, who currently leads the points chase, fell during this morning’s FP3 session, run in cool temperatures and after a brief rain shower that had sent riders back to the pits, waiting for the rain to abate. His rear tyre let go a few laps later as he rode through the first turn. The tyre then gripped suddenly, triggering a huge highside that had the Spaniard landing heavily on his left shoulder. He previously broke his left collarbone at Motegi in 2010. After medical checks at the track Pedrosa was taken by helicopter to Chemnitz hospital for further examination.
Although he was unable to take part in qualifying, Pedrosa’s lap times from free practice automatically seed him into the race, in 12th position on the grid, though he has yet to decide if he will make the start.
Tomorrow’s race will certainly go ahead in the absence of reigning World Champion and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) who crashed heavily yesterday, aggravating the left collarbone injury he sustained at Assen. The impact of the tumble bent the titanium plate inserted to fix the broken bone. Lorenzo currently sits second in the championship race, nine points behind Pedrosa. He also looks set to miss next weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
Bradl was in the hunt for another front-row start when he slipped off at the low-speed Turn Three right-hander. He quickly rode back to the pits and continued the session on his second bike, ending up just 0.551 seconds behind Marquez.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) ended qualifying in eighth place. He made the mistake of letting his tyres cool down too much before pushing for his qualifying lap, though he believes he has a good enough race pace to stay in touch, so long as he gets a good start.
MotoGP rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had a nasty highside at turn four during QP1, which damaged his first machine. Although the Australian got back to the pits, his second bike was set up differently, so he didn’t have the confidence to push to the maximum. He will start the race from 22nd on the grid.
Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex) scored his first ever Grand Prix pole position with a thrilling ride in the Honda-powered Moto2 class qualifying session. The Belgian, who scored his first GP podium at May’s French GP, bettered Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) by little more than one hundredth of a second. Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) was a close third fastest, with the front row covered by just 0.175 seconds.
The Moto2 grid is always tightly packed but more so than usual at this track, because the lap is short and the circuit layout is tight. Due to those two factors the top 25 riders are separated by just 1.219 seconds, suggesting close and frantic racing tomorrow.
Row two is led by fourth-fastest Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter), his best qualifying performance since returning from injury at the Spanish GP. The Swiss ace will start tomorrow’s race alongside Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up), with Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) completing the row.
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) heads the third row, two weeks after crashing and breaking his left collarbone at Assen. The Japanese had the break plated and is already back to full speed. World Championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) had a difficult qualifying after topping yesterday’s times. The Briton ended up eighth, albeit less than the tenths off pole. He will start the race between Nakagami and team-mate Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex)
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) had another strong Moto3 qualifying, scoring his fifth second-row start from the first eight races. The Australian teenager was in fine form, using the sweet handling of his FTR Honda around this tight and twisty track to qualify less than three tenths of a second off pole. And he believes he could have been even closer to the front if he hadn’t been held up by slower riders on his final lap.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) also enjoyed today’s Moto3 session, achieving his best qualifying performance of the year and is first third-row start, in eighth place. The Italian teenager was just 0.510 seconds off pole.
Third fastest Honda rider was Spaniard Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) in 11th and just ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) in 13th, Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) in 14th and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) in 16th.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: pole position – 1m 21.311s
“I’m very happy with this pole position. It’s important to start from the front row at this circuit, since it’s quite difficult to overtake! I felt very comfortable, especially after the pace I had in FP4. In qualifying I struggled a little to get the most out of the bike, but things went better on our second exit. I think we have done a great job and we will try to do our best, have a good race and fight for the podium, and with a little luck for the victory. After I saw Dani’s crash this morning I was definitely a little more cautious going through turn one. I really hope he recovers quickly and can race tomorrow. It will be a difficult race, because Valentino will be fighting also Stefan and Cal, if he’s okay physically, will be up there as well.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th – 1m 21.862s
“We did a good job in FP4 and our consistency is very good. Actually, we have just missed one maximum fast lap in qualifying but I am still very pleased with my fourth place on the grid. Unfortunately I had a little crash on my first run because I hit a little bump. At least I was able to start the bike and get back to the garage. After that I jumped on bike two and pushed more than 100 per cent but I could not set the perfect lap time to make the front row. I really wanted a front-row start at my home race but we are quite happy anyway because we are doing a good job. It’s difficult to set any target because the race is very long, but I sternly want to perform well for my home crowd.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 8th – 1m 22.484s
“We have made a slight improvement yesterday and found a bit more grip and confidence with the rear of the bike. We worked hard with the electronics and found some benefits that allowed me to improve my lap time. Unfortunately I made a mistake in qualifying and let the tyres get too cool before pushing for a fast lap. My race pace isn’t so bad but it will be important to get a good start if we are going to stay in touch with the lead group.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 12th – 1m 22.221s
“It was definitely a scary moment and I’m still not totally sure what happened. I hit my head hard and immediately felt a lot of pain in my shoulder and I checked to see if I could feel anything. Thankfully in the medical centre they saw it wasn’t broken but maybe a small fracture, and I was also feeling very dizzy but never lost consciousness. Just to be safe, we flew to Chemnitz Hospital for a CAT scan and then returned to the Clinica Mobile at the circuit. They confirmed I had a small fracture in my left collar bone but I am thankful it’s not a complete break. Now I will rest tonight and see how I feel in the morning. If I feel strong enough I will have the medical check to clear me for the race.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 22nd – 1m 27.273s
“Unfortunately when I came into turn four the rear came round on me and threw me into the air. It was a big crash and we didn’t need it. We went back out on the second bike but the set-up as different and I didn’t have the same confidence with it. Now I have to get over the pain in my left foot and try to get ready for the race.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Xavier Simeon, Desguaces La Torre Maptaq: pole position, 1m 24.665s
“I didn’t expect to be on pole – I was expecting anywhere on the first two rows. I’ve had a good pace from the start of the weekend and at the end of qualifying I tried to concentrate very hard for a good lap. The race will be very different, however, but we have a good pace and I think we can be there.”
Jordi Torres, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2: 2nd, 1m 24.678s
“I’m very happy with my first front-row start because I feel very good on the bike. I have really good feeling from the tyres and that’s really important. A big thank you to my team because they work harder and harder for me.”
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: 3rd, 1m 24.704s
“This track is so short that all the riders are very close. I’m very happy to be on the front row, with Scott [Redding] on the third row, so we have a good opportunity to recover some more points. I have a good rhythm and feel confident with my bike. Now we have to wait for the race but I know it will be tough. Anyway, I’m happy to be fit and feeling confident.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 5th, 1m 27.599s
“That wasn’t so bad, though I lost some time on my last lap when I was behind [Maverick] Vinales and [Efren] Vazquez. They were going at it like it was the last lap of the race and I couldn’t get by without messing us all up. We’ve tried quite a few different things today and I can’t complain about fifth – it’s another strong second row for us. It’s very close at the front, so I think it’ll be a big group and a hard fight in the race. We’ve got a new, stiffer swingarm from FTR here. I’m a bigger rider, so it gives me more feedback. We tried a softer swingarm at Catalunya, just to give us a direction, and it had too much twang. Not we’ve gone in a the opposite direction and it’s the right way. Yesterday we had our usual swingarm and the bike was moving around more than I like; now we’ve fitted the stiffer swingarm I’ve got more confidence in the tyres.”
Romano Fenati, San Carlo Team Italia: 8th, 1m 27.810s
“I’m very happy. The team and I worked hard and were able to make the most of the softer tyres. Starting closer to the front will be a huge help during the race. We will start with the right spirit to try and get our best result of the year.”
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 11th, 1m 27.954s
“I’m happy because I managed to ride very fast, only six tenths of a second behind [Alex] Rins who got pole. However, we had some problems with rear grip, so I couldn’t go any faster. The lap times of the top 15 riders are really tight, I am very motivated to try and get a good result in the race tomorrow.”
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi made a welcome return to the front row of the grid in third position today in qualifying for Sunday’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The quick fire 15minute session proved to be the best qualifying performance by the Italian nine-time Champion since Le Mans over two years ago, his last appearance on the front row.
Rossi wrapped up the fourth free practice prior to qualifying as the fastest rider with the second fastest lap of the weekend so far, a 1’21.978 lap. He then carried that speed straight through to qualifying, slotting straight into third position on his second lap with a 1’22.44. He stepped up the pace immediately and slotted into the top spot only to be knocked down to second a few seconds later by Cal Crutchlow. With seven minutes remaining Rossi made a pit stop for fresh rubber and returned to the track. Another flying lap saw him secure third and a front row start with a 1’21.493, just 0.182 seconds from pole.
Valentino Rossi 3rd / 1’21.493 / 10 laps
“I’m very happy, from one side not a lot because the first position was very close but the target was to come back to the front row and I was able to. I was able to do it in a good way because I did a good lap riding well and also my gap to pole position is very close which is very important. I feel good with the bike, I have a good setting and I have quite a good pace also. Now we have to put everything together for tomorrow and try to slide the rear a bit less. I am a bit worried about the second part of the race; that will be very hard for everybody. If we want to stay with Marc we have to make a small improvement for tomorrow. Anyway, I am so happy, the last front row for me was in 2010 in Le Mans, a long, long time ago. Tomorrow it will be a strange feeling to have nobody in front!
For Jorge it is a great pity because he made a small mistake and unfortunately landed on the wrong shoulder. After what he did in Assen he was very close to a superhero. It’s a pity also for his championship but now I think he’s made the right choice to take some quiet time to recover. For him the Championship will be hard but still not impossible before the end.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Today was an important first row for Vale, we know he is capable of starting from the front so it’s good to see him do this. I think his speed and pace is pretty good which gives us confidence for tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy race, it’s going to be long and really tough but I think we are ready for it. Fortunately Jorge’s surgery went really well which is another important point from today. We miss having him here challenging for victory this weekend but he has made the right choice to recover as fully as possible. We wish him all the best and we wait for him to return even stronger than before.”
Crutchlow bounces back to claim stunning front row in Germany
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow showed tremendous mental and physical resilience today to secure a stunning place on the front row of the grid for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Battered and bruised after two high-speed crashes in practice yesterday, the British rider demonstrated his phenomenal fighting spirit to claim second position in this afternoon’s qualifying session at the tight and twisty Sachsenring.
The 27-year-old is nursing numerous cuts, bruises and friction burns after a physically punishing start to the eighth round of the 2013 World Championship campaign. Far from being in peak physical shape today, Crutchlow managed to brush off the aches and pains to this morning to finish sixth overall in practice. With his confidence and feeling on Yamaha’s YZR-M1 restored in advance of the 15-minute qualifying session, Crutchlow put up another terrific fight for pole position.
He led the session with a 1.21.640 and a brilliant late burst of speed saw him improve his pace to a 1.21.434. That put him only 0.123s behind Marc Marquez, who denied Crutchlow a second successive premier class pole position. Crutchlow certainly won’t be back to 100% fitness in time for tomorrow’s 30-lap race but his pace throughout a difficult weekend means he is optimistic he can mount a serious challenge for a fourth podium of the season.
Bradley Smith enjoyed another positive and productive day and he managed to improve his pace by almost 0.5s in the decisive qualifying session. A best lap of 1.22.758 secured him a top 10 finish in practice and in full time attack mode in qualifying he was able to drop his pace down to a 1.22.297 that secured him seventh position on the grid. Smith was just over 0.9s off pole position and a second successive start from inside the top six only eluded the 22-year-old by 0.140s. Smith’s main objective in tomorrow’s race will be a fast start, with the tight and twisty Sachsenring track hard to overtake on as the British rider goes in search of a sixth straight top six finish in his impressive rookie MotoGP season.
Cal Crutchlow 2nd – 1.21.434 – 10 laps:
“I am really pleased to be back on the front row after all the drama of yesterday. They were two really big crashes in practice and my body took a bit of beating to be honest. The first crash was completely my fault because I made a mistake on the brakes but the second was because the front tyre was cold. It was definitely my worst day of the season, so to put all that behind me and get a front row when I am not close to my physical best is a great achievement. When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel that great because my body took a big impact in a few places. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to ride and just to be out there is great. It is going to be a very difficult race in my condition but I will be giving it my all to get another podium. Today was a great result for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. I gave them plenty of work to do yesterday but they did a great job and as always I am grateful for their efforts.”
Bradley Smith 7th 1.22.297 – 10 laps:
“Seventh position is a great result and to do a 1.22.2 was a bit of surprise. We still need to work a bit more on my confidence and understand the Bridgestone tyres a bit better. They work really well at this track and it is a case of understanding how much you can push them. For the race tomorrow the start will be so important. The track is so tight and twisty that the first three laps will be vital to achieving a good result. Hopefully we can improve the bike but I feel for the full race distance we are in a good position and I am happy with the set-up. I just need to make sure we can put in a consistent pace because it will be a very long race.”
— Lorenzo Surgery Update
Following his crash yesterday in the second free practice at the Sachsenring circuit for Sunday’s German Grand Prix race Jorge Lorenzo returned immediately to Barcelona. Today he underwent surgery at the Hospital General de Catalunya in Barcelona to repair further injuries to his collarbone.
Dr. Joaquin Rodriguez – Hospital General de Catalunya, Surgeon
“As a result of the trauma suffered in the crash yesterday the original fracture suffered a little movement that required a new surgery to close the space and reduce the fracture by the osteosynthesis method and with a new plate. The new plate needed 10 screws plus 1 inter fragmentary screw. We then needed to take out some bone substance from the pelvis that was mixed with dried bone. We placed this implant into the collarbone to stimulate the creation of the callus and help speed up the consolidation of the bone. The Surgical team involved at the Hospital General de Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Vallés were Doctors Joaquin Rodriguez, Marc Cots and Anna Carreras, anesthetists Doctors Angela Verde and Eric Alvarez and instrumentalists Cristina Gil and Laia Torrens. The operation lasted two hours.”
— Ducati Report
For the second day in a row, track action at the Sachsenring was marred by a number of frightening crashes, but Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso managed to make it through unscathed to qualify in sixth and ninth place, respectively.
The morning free-practice session was interrupted by rain, affecting the teams’ planned work programs, but after it was confirmed that injured Jorge Lorenzo would not return to action, both Ducati Team riders advanced directly to Q2. The weather was better in the afternoon, but grip was still scarce in some parts of the track. Hayden managed to qualify on the second row, while Dovizioso will start from row three.
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 6th (1:22.157)
“With the rain-interrupted session this morning, we didn’t get a chance to try a couple little things we had planned to. This afternoon we made a few things better, but some other areas were a bit worse. The guys here are working really hard, and the bike is okay in some places, but in the downhill corners, it’s impossible to put enough load on the front to get feedback and make the bike turn. We got on the second row, although the fact that a couple guys were missing makes that look better than it really is. We’re .8 off pole, which is too much at a little track, but we’ll have a good think tonight and try to do something in the morning. It’ll be a long race, but we’ll do our best to have a good result.”
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 9th (1:22.561)
“Honestly, I expected this position, as our pace is eight tenths of a second off. I lowered my times from yesterday, but the others were also able to improve. I’m a bit disappointed with my qualifying time because I made a mistake in turn eight, where I went off-line and lost a couple tenths. I was ready to fight for sixth place with Nicky; it’s a shame because at this track, the grid position is pretty important, so it’ll be essential to get a good start. The race will be long tomorrow—30 laps—and I think if we grit our teeth, it could be possible to fight for fifth or sixth place. There are five of us on a similar pace. Unfortunately, it’s a long way from the top guys, but we’ll do everything possible to get a good result.”
— Red Bull Rookies
Jorge Martin brilliantly turned pole position at the Sachsenring into race victory while the Red Bull MotoGP Cup leader Karel Hanika was dusting the dirt off his Alpinestars leathers after a last lap crash from the lead. The 17-year-old Czech was trying to break away from a seven rider battle for the win when the rear tyre let go, he caught the slide only to clash with Stefano Manzi as he tried to get back on line, then slid off the track unhurt.
Manzi, the 14-year-old Italian, held the lead but was then pounced on by Scott Deroue, the 17-year-old Netherlander who had Martin, the 15-year-old Spaniard, on his tail. When Deroue only changed down to 4th instead of 3rd for the penultimate corner, the sweeping left hander at the bottom of the hill, it killed his drive and both Martin and Manzi swept past to take first and second.
Deroue won last year’s Race 1 and was not too distressed to mount the third step of the podium. “It was a great race, very tough and I really thought I had it worked out on the last lap, I was going for the win, had the lead then just messed up the gears at the bottom of the hill. Still there is another chance tomorrow and I think that we can still improve the bike a little bit.”
Second placed Manzi also felt that there was more to come from the bike. “I think we can improve the rear suspension and that can help me but it was still a great race, so much fun and so hard. I was having a great time at the front, leading the race and then on the last lap I saw Hanika have a big problem, I thought he was off the track but then he came back and we touched. I hope it will be another great race tomorrow I will try my hardest again, as for the result, I really don’t know.”
No bike problems for winner Martin, he sees the trouble coming from elsewhere. “The bike was just great, it was good through qualifying and it was great in the race. It was a very tough race but I knew that I had the speed to run at the front and I also knew I was faster in the last sector so I just had to be in a good position for the last lap and that is how it worked out. For tomorrow the problem will be Hanika gain, with him on track it is always going to be very difficult.”
Hanika fortunately escaped with a small injury to a little finger and a knock to the helmet that he said was not serious. “I’m not happy of course but I was pushing and the rear tyre let go, it was well worn just like in qualifying. The unlucky thing is that I saved it, was OK, then suddenly there was Manzi and I was on the ground. I will talk to the technical guys and see if we can improve the bike a bit for tomorrow, both front and rear.”
There are plenty of others who featured in the battle for the lead in Race 1 and are likely to do so again in Race 2. First year Rookie Olly Simpson, the 15-year-old Australian got a great start from the second row and led the first lap. He fought hard against the more experienced men but was swallowed up in the pack and fell off on lap 9.
Turkish 16-year-old Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took the fastest lap of the races as he clawed his way through the pack and at one time had the lead. He was then in the heart of the seven rider battle and eventually crossed the line 6th. Manuel Pagliani, the 16-year-old Italian, had also fought his way through and took a well-deserved 4th ahead of Diego Perez who has done everything but get on the rostrum this year. “For Race 2 it is full gas right from the start,” said the 15-year-old Spaniard.
It is half way through the 14 race Cup season and Hanika still heads the table by 17 points from Martin but it is all too obvious how fragile that advantage is.
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 17-17°C; Track 23-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4 & QP – Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 36-41°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez grabbed his third pole position of the year courtesy of a blazing lap time of 1’21.311 in an action-packed qualifying session at Sachsenring.
Marquez’s time was a shade off the all-time pole position record set in 2008 on qualifying tyres and rounded out an impressive day for the MotoGP rookie. Second quickest today was Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow who narrowly beat Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi to P2 by less than a tenth of a second. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro put in an amazing qualifying performance, his lap time of 1’21.887 qualifying him in fifth position – the best ever qualifying result for a CRT rider.
The warm track temperature in the afternoon allowed riders to perform race simulations on slick tyres. The softer rear slick options emerged as the most popular choice among both the works and CRT riders, while front tyre preference was split among the riders between softer and harder front slick. The soft compound front slick gives extra edge grip – especially important through the infrequent right-hand turns, while the hard compound front slick gives greater stability through the faster sections. As the Sachsenring circuit is such a severe circuit on tyres, Bridgestone engineers will analyse tyre wear on the CRT-specific soft compound rear slick to see if some riders would be better suited to using the harder, medium compound rear slick for tomorrow’s race.
Morning Warm Up is the next MotoGP session at 0955 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) before the thirty lap German Grand Prix gets set to start at 1400.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This morning track conditions were not the best due to the cool weather and some spots of rain, thankfully we had better conditions in FP4 which allowed the riders to do race simulations on their preferred tyre combination. The improved track conditions also resulted in a very good being set in qualifying and in particular, the times in QP2 were very quick. It was particularly pleasing to see three CRT riders in QP2 as their class-specific soft option rear slick gave them a big boost in performance at this tight and technical circuit. As this circuit is so severe on rear tyres and this is the first time we’ve brought a soft compound asymmetric rear slick here, we will analyse the rate of wear of the soft rear slick to see if any CRT riders will be better off using their harder rear slick option.”