Jorge Lorenzo wins chaotic 800th premier class Grand Prix | Aragon MotoGP
Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took victory by over 10 seconds as he judged the conditions better than his rivals, changing bikes with four laps to go, with Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) just beating Crutchlow (Ducati Team) to the line to complete the podium. The riders were forced to change to wet set-ups in the final stages after the rain began to fall heavily – having started the race on a drying track.
The tricky conditions caused Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to crash out before swapping to his wet bike and he was taken to the medical centre for checks on a hip trauma. Repsol Honda teammates Pedrosa and Marquez took a risk staying out in the wet on slick tyres in the final laps. Pedrosa fell and remounted to take 14th with Marquez crashing later and finishing 13th after eventually swapping to his wet bike too.
The top five was completed by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) as they took advantage of the crashes ahead of them. Smith just beat his teammate Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) to the line by 0.203s.
The top ten was completed by Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) and Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
Before the rain had fallen Iannone (Pramac Racing) crashed as he ran wide having led for the opening laps. He looked as though he might stay upright but wet grass sent him skyward. Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had a similar incident, running wide and touching the grass resulting in a vicious highside. He was taken to the medical center but deemed ok, before being taken to hospital for precautionary head scans.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) retired with a mechanical problem early in the race.
MotoGP Race Classification | Aragon MotoGP
Moto2: Marvellous Viñales takes runaway victory in front of Spanish fans | Aragon MotoGP
Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) had qualified on pole for the first time since moving up to the Moto2™ class and he registered his second win of an excellent rookie season so far, beating Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) to the finish line by 1.285s.
Rabat extended his title advantage to 33 points by taking second position, with Zarco in third and Rabat’s teammate and championship rival Mika Kallio finishing in seventh place – having led in the early stages.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) and Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team) were fourth and fifth respectively, crossing the finish line +5.033s and +5.960s behind race winner Viñales.
The top ten was completed by Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Kallio, Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Sam Lowes (Speed Up) and Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3).
Jonas Folger (AGR Team) had his second ride through penalty in as many races after a jump start, eventually finishing 23rd.
Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) was the first rider to fall from the race, able to briefly rejoin before retiring to the pits. Both Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Kenny Noyes (Teluru Team JiR Webike) pulled into the pits with technical problems.
Axel Pons (AGR Team) crashed while fighting for the top ten. All riders were OK.
Maverick Vinales, Pons HP 40: race winner – “The track conditions were so difficult but I felt really good on the bike from the start, so I was able to ride very hard and make a gap. Normally I make bad starts but today my start was perfect, which of course was a big help. All the team have worked so very hard for this, so I think we can try to make some more races like this.”
Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd – “I’m happy for this result because I crashed in qualifying yesterday and we had a disastrous warm-up this morning. It was a big fight with everyone in the early laps and although I could overtake Mika by then Maverick had already gone. Then we had a little rain and I went wide and I didn’t want to crash. I tried to chase Maverick but he was too strong, so there was nothing I could do.”
Johann Zarco, AirAsia Caterham: 3rd – “Third place and my second podium in a row is pretty good. I fought all race and although I could not follow Maverick I had a great fight with Tito, Aegerter and Kallio. Finally I could overtake Kallio and spent a lot of time in third place, but then Luthi was catching me quite fast. It was a good fight with him and finally we won it.”
Moto2 Race Classification Aragon MotoGP
Moto3: Last-gasp victory for Fenati in challenging wet-drying conditions | Aragon MotoGP
The start of the MOTO3 race had been delayed by mist and fog which disrupted morning Warm Up and although a dry line formed for the Moto3 contest the conditions were difficult for the lightweight class competitors.
Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) produced a superb ride from 13th on the grid to win an incident packed race on the last lap, crossing the line 0.057s ahead of Marquez and 0.226s ahead of Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo).
The result saw Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) take over the championship lead by 11 points with four rounds to go. Miller and Marquez touched in the early stages with Miller going down as the pair battled for the race lead, with the Australian Red Bull KTM Ajo rider eventually finishing 27th after a second crash. Marquez and previous championship leader Jack Miller were summoned by Race Direction to adjudicate after the pair had clashed.
A mistake by Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) half way through saw him drop to seventh after contesting the race lead, the Spaniard eventually finishing fourth, ahead of Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) who was fifth – the Czech rider having also made an error to crash and drop from a provisional race lead.
The top ten was completed by Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold). Wildcard Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia) rode well for 11th from 19th on the grid.
The wet-drying conditions saw a huge number of crashes throughout the race, some riders falling multiple times. Luca Grünwald (Keifer Racing) fell at Turn 1 having opted for wet tyres. Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia) fell soon after, as did Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) with the latter able to rejoin. Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) and Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) both fell and were unable to remount.
Jorge Navarro (Marc VDS Racing Team), Alessandro Tonucci (CIP) and Philip Oettl (Interwetten Paddock Moto3) all crashed out of the race, joined by Andrea Migno (Mahindra Racing) soon after. Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) fell twice and was able to rejoin both times.
SAXOPRINT-RTG teammates Efren Vazquez and John McPhee both crashed, the latter doing so twice.
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 2nd – “Today’s race was difficult. At first we were a little scared because it was so easy to fall on the parts of the circuit that were wet. I tried to stay focused at all times but I made some mistakes and went a little wide on some corners. On the last corner Fenati was very fast, whilst I lost a bit of grip on the rear wheel and could not pass him. I think the 20 points from today are very important. Regarding what happened with Miller: I passed him on the inside, rode my line on the dry bit of track and felt contact halfway into the corner. I didn’t know what had happened because I was focused on keeping to my line. I think that what happened was a racing incident.”
Moto3 Race Classification | Aragon MotoGP
Today’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón proved to be the most dramatic of the season so far as Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo defied both his rivals and the changing weather to deliver a master class in Grand Prix riding and claim his first victory of the season.
Teammate Valentino Rossi’s Aragón fortunes were the mirror opposite, the Italian crashing out in the early laps.
With a dry start to the race, Lorenzo was one of the few to opt for the soft front medium rear tyre combination and made a jump of three places to fourth in the opening corners. Third was to follow quickly and then a promotion to second as front runner Andrea Iannone became one of the first of many to crash out.
Lorenzo tucked in behind race leader Marc Marquez, beginning the Spanish duel that race fans had been waiting for. Never more than half a second apart, it wasn’t until there were just 15 laps remaining that Lorenzo made his move through the uphill section of the circuit for the lead. Three laps later Marquez was back through, passing into turn one.
One lap later and the weather became another rival to face on track as the white flag was waved. With some drops of rain falling riders were now clear to change to wet bikes if wanted. The lead group stayed out and with 9 laps remaining Lorenzo mirrored Marquez’ earlier pass, re-taking the lead into turn one.
A lap later and with the track getting damper in places, Lorenzo slowed and both Marquez and Dani Pedrosa passed in the uphill series of corners. With rain now clearly evident the front three played a dangerous gamble, not wanting to allow the others to get away by pitting. With four laps to go Lorenzo made his move, diving in to change for his wet bike and returning immediately to the track. In the meantime, Pedrosa had crashed out in the start straight, promoting Lorenzo to second.
Race leader Marquez opted not to pit and a lap later also fell victim to the wet, crashing out and leaving Lorenzo with a clear run to the finish line and his first victory of the season.
Teammate Rossi had started well from his sixth place grid position and had been making progress when he ran wide in the down hill section, running off track and onto the slippery grass where he crashed heavily. He lost consciousness briefly after the crash but regained it quickly and was taken immediately to the medical centre for a check up. There appears to be no injuries however he has now transferred to hospital for a precautionary check up.
Lorenzo’s superb race craft delivers the maximum 25 points. He remains in fourth position, now just 12 points behind his teammate in third. Rossi’s DNF means he stays on 214 points, now three behind Pedrosa in second.
Jorge Lorenzo – 1st / 44’20.406 / 23 laps – “It’s been a very crazy race, because we won at a track where we’ve never won and we’ve had a lot of problems all weekend. I made a really good start, my first lap was very good and I kept at the wheel of Marc. The bike was working very well and Marc was a little bit slower than in practice so I could stay with him and I passed him one or two times. The problem was it was spitting, so I didn’t have much confidence, I was very careful and the others were going away in front. Andrea was catching me and I thought I was going to be fighting for third or fourth position. But finally I had an intuition; every lap I felt the spotting was coming worse and it was very dangerous and easy to crash. When I saw Marc and Dani keeping on racing and without going into the pits in the last corner, I said ok, I will take a risk and enter. I changed the bike, the new tyres were very difficult to warm up, not so much grip but I tried to be very focused and not make many mistakes. When I passed the board on the straight I was in fourth position so I thought we are going to finish very far but then the next lap I was first! I was surprised; I didn’t expect to be first. Having this victory is a great relief for me after so many months of challenges and fights so I’m very proud.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “This was an impressive race, Jorge made no mistakes. He took the right decision at the right moment to change the bike and he chose the right tyre for the dry also at the start of the race. All in all he made a perfect race and took a well-deserved victory. His decisions were very well made. Vale was riding very well up to his crash, it’s a pity because after his out lap he said the changes we made were perfect and he felt the bike was working well. We are not clear yet on the cause of the crash but he was clearly riding with potential to finish on the podium. Fortunately he seems to be fine and has been taken to the hospital as a precautionary check up following an initial check at the medical centre. I need to thank the team who worked hard from Friday where we were struggling to find solutions to bring us to a highly competitive level today.”
Michele Zasa – Clinica Mobile Medical Director – “Valentino suffered a concussion with a suspected loss of consciousness. From a neurological point of view he has recovered very well. He was taken to hospital in Alcaniz to make a further check, in particular a CT scan of the skull that has ruled out any bleeding in the brain. As a precaution he will be observed in the coming hours, but there are no special reasons for concern.”
Wet weather fails to dampen Smith’s blaze to fifth
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith rode a superbly executed race whilst battling the challenging wet conditions to brilliantly land fifth position at the Motorland Aragon circuit today. The British star began the race which was initially dry, from 11th on the grid as he looked to surge through the field straight away and make a charge for the leading bikes. However Smith had to undertake evasive action to avoid colliding with another rider which caused him to slip down to 20th at the end of the first lap. Yet, the 23 year old rider composed himself and rapidly made amends as he reached 11th by lap five after firmly setting into a solid and consistent race pace. With 14 laps to go, Smith was running in tenth and closing down the riders in front before breezing past Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista to seize eighth as the rain began to fall. On lap 18 he made the decision to enter the pits to swap to his bike with the wet setup and then climbed back up to seventh on the 20th lap. Following this, the British rider proceeded to overthrow his teammate on lap 22 to clinch fifth and brilliantly stormed to the chequered flag in this position to equal his best finish in MotoGP. In addition, Smith overtook a colossal fifteen riders from the end of the first lap in what was an impressive showing of pure determination aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Pol Espargaro persevered through the difficult weather conditions to finish right behind his teammate in sixth position. The young Spanish rider who ran strongly all weekend continued his hot streak of form in the 23 lap race which he began from the head of the second row in fourth. He bolted forward and completed the opening lap in fifth position as he ran right behind the factory MotoGP riders. The Spaniard remained focused and by the third lap he was running in fourth as he became locked into a battle with Andrea Dovizioso. The rookie unfortunately ran wide during the eighth lap and was moved back to seventh as he fought the challenging circuit but showed complete resolve to move back up to fifth by the lap 12. With four laps remaining as the rain was falling stronger, Espargaro swapped to his wet bike to then reclaim fifth shortly after pitting. As the end got closer he held off Alvaro Bautista to finish sixth at the chequered flag in what was another strong performance for the premier class rookie.
Bradley Smith – 5th / +29.483 / 23 laps – “It was a great result today and I accomplished my ambition of getting into the top five although the conditions may have helped me in achieving this. It was a tough race and I could have finished even higher still had I not dropped back to 20th on the first lap. I tried to take some aggressive passes at the beginning and actually hit the back of someone, who I think was Valentino at turn five, which sat me up. I then had a speed wobble coming over the sweeping left uphill corner and I was going to possibly clip another rider in front but ended up 20th. I made the decision to pit at the same time as Cal, so I think a podium could have been possible for me, but I must say congratulations to him for the result. As for me, I am pleased to get fifth and I’ve got to say thank you to the team for the work they have done this weekend. Now I look forward to the upcoming flyaway races where I will once again be doing my best to get into the top six.”
Pol Espargaro – 6th / +29.686 / 23 laps – “I really can’t hide how disappointed I am as it is the third time this year that we have been incredibly unlucky with the weather conditions. In Assen we were fast for the entire weekend and sitting right on the starting grid when the rain arrived and then the same happened two weeks later in Germany. Here we at least managed to show a strong first half of the race, but unfortunately I made a mistake and while I was catching up on Andrea to regain fourth position it started to rain again. I decided to copy the strategy of the more experienced riders in front of me but that clearly wasn’t the right choice as we lost a lot of time. It’s truly frustrating, as with just a few more dry minutes we would have ended the weekend in a completely different manner. However, that’s racing and we will try again in Japan in a couple of weeks of time.”
NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro claimed his first podium finish this season in front of his home crowd at Aragon Grand Prix and his first ever podium in career in the MotoGP class.
Aleix Espargaro rode a perfect race in difficult race conditions, bringing his Forward Yamaha home in second position. The Spaniard will be remembered as the first rider on the MotoGP podium with an Open bike. Aleix was very good at staying calm when Smith touched him at turn three at the beginning of the race, obliging him to go wide and recovering, lap after lap, from the back to the sixth position. Started with slick tyres, Aleix managed the race perfectly when it started to rain. With seven laps to go, he was the first to decide to enter the pits to change bike. He did it one lap before all the other riders and this was the key of the success of this incredible race that saw him second at the finish line behind Jorge Lorenzo and in front of Cal Crutchlow.
It was a very good race also for teammate Alex De Angelis, who finished in 12th position, earning important points for the championship. After two days of practices on dry conditions, Alex adapted quickly to the wet conditions in the warm up. With the race declared dry, Alex took the start with the slick tyres and he then entered the pits to change bike. Heartened by this result, Alex looks very confident for the Japan GP in two weeks time.
With todays’ result, Aleix Espargaro is sixth in the world championship with 112 points.
Aleix Espargaro – 2nd / +10.295 / 23 laps – “It’s my first podium in MotoGP and this is an incredible feeling. We have worked hard throughout the season to get this result and I want to thank the NGM Forward Racing Team and my family that has always supported me. It was a difficult race, made more complicated by Smith who touched me at the beginning of the race, obliging me to recover from the 19th position. When I was sixth, with seven laps to go, I took the risk to be the first rider to enter the pits to change bike, as it was raining a lot. It was a perfect strategy. In the last lap I heard Cal catching me, he touched me on the straight but I could defend my second position. It’s an extraordinary result and I’m going to party till Japan GP!”
Alex De Angelis – 12th / +1’00.718 / 23 laps – “It was a difficult race but very positive. This is my third race in MotoGP this year and I had to face different situations for the first time. Today we started with dry conditions but it started to rain and it was increasing lap after lap. I had to enter the pits to change the bike and this was the first time for me in race conditions. It was a bit of mess, but all in all I’m very satisfied. I could fight with the open bikes and we improved. This was our target and we met it. I’d like to congratulate Aleix and his team for his great second place.”
Cal Crutchlow today scored his first podium of the season in the GP of Aragón, round 14 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The Ducati Team’s British rider took the chequered flag in third place, just a fraction behind runner-up Aleix Espargarò, in the pouring rain.
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was not so fortunate, the Italian crashing out on lap 19 when rain started to fall heavily at the MotorLand circuit. At the time Dovi was lying in fourth place behind Pedrosa, Marquez and Lorenzo.
The GP of Aragon produced a number of surprises due to the rain, which began to fall half-way through the 23-lap race, first lightly then increasing in intensity during the final stages.
Crutchlow, who started from row 2, concluded the first lap in eighth place and was then involved in a scrap with A. Espargaro and Bautista. The Coventry man decided to pit to change bikes on lap 18, and he moved up to third. On the final lap Cal managed to catch Aleix Espargarò and tried to pass him coming out of the final curve, but he flashed across the line just 17/1000ths of a second away from the Spanish rider, finishing the race in third place.
Dovizioso, who started from row 3 of the grid, moved into fourth on lap 8 after a scrap with Pol Espargaro. Despite the falling rain, the Italian stayed out on the track and was able to make up ground on the three Spanish riders ahead of him, but on lap 19 he lost control of his Desmosedici GP14 at turn 9 in a highside and had to retire.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 3rd – “Obviously we got very lucky with the conditions, but it was the same for everyone so I don’t really care! I am pleased with the work that the guys have done, we are in better shape than what we were, even in the dry. A great job by Ducati, they haven’t given up with me and I haven’t given up with them and I think that shows week in and week out, even when the results haven’t been good. I got a wheelie coming out of the last corner because I hit the white paint, and I probably would have got Aleix on the line for second if I had been able to change gear in time!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF – “Everything was going well while the track stayed dry and I was in fourth place. When it began to rain I started to make up ground on the leaders. Unfortunately I made a mistake at turn 9: it was difficult to see where the track was wet and I lost the rear of my GP14 in a high-side. It’s a pity, because I was close to Lorenzo and at the end of that lap I was going to come in and switch bikes. I even think I could have fought it out for the win with him, seeing the way things turned out. It was a situation we should have taken advantage of because today a lot of riders made mistakes. Luckily I only bruised my buttock, not my pelvis: it hurts a bit but it’s nothing serious.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “We are really happy with Cal’s podium, because up to now he’s had a difficult season despite his and the entire team’s commitment. He really deserved that result! It’s a pity about Andrea’s crash, he was running a good race and could probably have got a podium as well. For us this Aragón weekend was important mainly because it confirmed that our bike is becoming more and more competitive. In every session the GP14 was always up amongst the top positions, and this gives us confidence that our work is going in the right direction.”
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) were in the thick of the battle for victory at Aragon this afternoon until the late stages of the race when rain began to fall.
Both men fell victim to the treacherous track surface while attempting to complete the race on slick tyres.
Instead the win went to former MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who switched to his second bike equipped with rain tyres, as did second- and third-placed men Aleix Espargaro (Yamaha) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati).
This was an historic weekend for the MotoGP World Championship – today’s race was the 800th premier-class Grand Prix since the series began on the Isle of Man in June 1949.
At the end of the incident-packed race the highest Honda finisher was Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) who crossed the line in fourth place, his best result since a similar result at April’s COTA Grand Prix. Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was seventh, just two tenths off fifth place.
Honda’s production racer riders had a brilliant day in the tricky conditions, with three RCV1000R riders in the top ten for the first time. Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) finished eighth ahead of Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) and Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R). Hayden’s ride was particularly heroic considering that this was his first race since July’s following major reconstructive surgery on his injured right wrist.
Pole-sitter Marquez led from the start of the second lap, overtaking Lorenzo in gloriously sideways fashion at Turn One, but he could not shake off Lorenzo or team-mate Pedrosa as they broke away from the rest of the pack. The lead changed time and time again as the trio charged up Aragon’s hill and down again, the track still not completely dry following earlier rainfall that had affected the Moto2 and Moto3 races.
Then the rain came again and made life even more complicated for the riders. The lead continued to change every few corners as the leaders struggled to work out exactly how much grip there was at each turn, with rain falling more heavily at some corners than at others.
Lorenzo was the first of the leading group to pit, while Repsol Honda mechanics readied their spare RC213Vs equipped with rain tyres. But neither Marquez nor Pedrosa came in. Pedrosa was the first to crash as he braked for Turn One on lap 20. He fell while on the brakes in a straight line, proving the lack of traction. By now the rain was falling much more heavily and Marquez slid off the very next lap, relinquishing the lead to Lorenzo.
Both riders were able to restart and then change bikes, Marquez crossing the finish line in 13th, one place ahead of Pedrosa. Both their championship positions remain unaffected, because Marquez’s lead was already so large and because Pedrosa’s main rival Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) crashed out in the early stages.
Bradl enjoyed a great battle with Crutchlow for several laps, but in the end had to settle for fourth place, just over a second outside a podium finish.
Bautista was also involved in a hectic contest, with Yamaha team-mates Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Less than three tenths of a second covered the trio at the chequered flag.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) had a luckless day. After a big crash yesterday he had to withdraw from the race with a technical glitch.
Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) rode to a second brilliant victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 series, managing the unusual trick of escaping from the pursuing pack. At half-distance the Moto2 rookie was 2.4 seconds ahead of those behind him and although points leader Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) closed the gap to 1.2 seconds at the flag, Vinales always had the race under control. This was the reigning Moto3 champ’s first win since his debut Moto2 success at COTA in April and it followed his first pole position in the class, achieved yesterday afternoon.
Behind him a battle royal developed for the last two places on the podium, with Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham, Caterham Suter), Rabat, Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) and Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team, Kalex) involved from the earliest laps. Kallio had led the first few laps but a couple of near-misses dropped him to the back of the group where he was overhauled by a back-to-form Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter).
As Rabat broke clear and tried to hunt down Vinales, Luthi worked his way through the group to spend the last few laps battling back and forth with Zarco for third place. That duel eventually went the way of the Frenchman, while Luthi crossed the line 0.6 seconds back in fourth and just ahead of impressive rookie Morbidelli. Aegerter was a close sixth and Kallio finished seventh, which puts him 33 points behind Rabat in the championship chase.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) scored a vital second-place finish in a tricky Moto3 race to take the World Championship lead. The race was run on a drying track with only a slender dry line at most corners. The first major victim of the conditions was former points leader Jack Miller (KTM) who slide off at the high-speed final corner after making contact with Marquez as they fought for the lead on the narrow dry line.
Marquez now leads Miller by 11 points with four races remaining. His team-mate Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) was also in the fight for the win until he ran off the track at half distance and dropped back several places. The winner of the last two races fought back brilliantly to finish fourth and preserve this third place in the championship, now just seven points behind Miller. The race was won by Young Italian rider, Romano Fenati (KTM) with Danny Kent (Husqvarna) separating the Honda riders to take third.
In the tricky wet/dry conditions Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) could only manage a tenth-place finish, just ahead of impressive Wild Card Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF240RW) who took 11th place.
Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) had been in the leading group until he ran off the track to finish 13th. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250RW) scored the final World Championship point in 15th.
Unluckiest rider was John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) who had looked certain of scoring his first Moto3 podium until the treacherous conditions caught him out and he fell. He remounted, only to fall again and DNF.
The MotoGP circus now embarks on its annual eastern odyssey, contesting the Japanese, Australian and Malaysian GPs on consecutive weekends, commencing with Motegi on October 12. The season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on November 9.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th – “Well…it was a crazy race for us. Firstly we lost some positions at the start because our clutch was not working well. Then I was on a hard rear tyre whilst the others were on soft, except Marc and Dani. With the mist I had not enough confidence to lean because I was losing the rear on entry so I dropped back some positions. Then it started to rain more and more and I thought to go in one lap earlier but I had many things in my head in that moment. The pit-stop was simply perfect so we could gain some positions when we changed bikes. After that the podium was very close but I missed the final boost to go for it. Anyway in the recent past we’ve had difficult races so this fourth place is very important for us especially before the overseas races. I must thank my team because they made an excellent job in these tricky conditions.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 7th – “Today we faced an unpredictable race: this morning we didn’t know in what conditions we were going to race, then the track dried out and so we started with a dry setting. To be honest I was feeling quite comfortable; there was more grip on the track, even though I felt exactly the same problems we had during practice. I fought for the fifth position in the second group of riders, then it started to rain so I continued cautiously, until it became necessary to change bikes when the rain intensified. Unfortunately when I rejoined the track on the second bike for wet conditions I had a vibration problem with the brakes that forced me to go wide in a corner: it’s a shame, because in the end I was very close to the fifth position and if there was another lap, or even just a few corners more, I think I could have overtaken Smith and Pol Espargaro.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 8th – “Today was a difficult race. We opted for the harder tyre and at first we suffered enough. I expected to maintain a steadier pace in the early laps but that was difficult. Still we managed to cope and stay in the group and as the laps went by I started to get more grip and so I gained a few positions. I had a good feeling and I could duel with Hernandez and Redding. Then it started to rain and I had doubts about the best time to change bikes. I tried to stay out as long as possible on slicks. The positive thing about changing motorcycle is that I also felt good in the wet and I managed to maintain my position. I am very happy to have finished eighth in Spain, in a very important race for my team. We have all worked perfectly all weekend and we have been competitive in each session. Next is the race in Japan, my home, and I have high expectations.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 9th – “Today’s race with the changing conditions was quite hard. At first the track was a bit slippy, then after ten laps the rain got stronger. This circuit is quite long, has many ups and downs with some blind corners and even on the straights the visibility was limited, so it was difficult to find your braking references. Still we managed a fairly positive result, though we have to consider that many riders fell. We lost some positions when it started raining and when we changed bikes. I managed to finish the race, which is very positive because three months ago I had to stop racing and I rebuild my right wrist, so ninth is a joy for us. I am happy be back and competitive again. I hope to recover some more before Motegi. I want to thank the team for all the work they’ve done for me over the weekend.”
Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th – “In the beginning I felt quite comfortable, but then I started to spin a lot and when the rain came I had no edge grip on corner entry, so I lost a lot of time there. In addition, for me it was the first time to go from dry to wet. I’ve gone from wet to dry a few times, but going from riding with the slicks to riding with rain tyres is quite different, and also knowing the right time to change bikes. Anyway, my timing was not too bad, though maybe I could’ve come in just one lap before. I’m not really disappointed but I’m not really happy, because I was the first Open-class Honda in the first part of the race and I was feeling good before the rain … Anyway, after these two last races I’m confident we can bounce back soon.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 13th – “Today’s race was difficult because I, like many other riders in MotoGP, had never experienced track conditions like this before. It was a shame that it started to rain; if it hadn’t, then I think that Dani, Jorge and I would have made the end of the race really exciting for the fans. I think that we did a good job all weekend – it was just a pity about the crash. I tried to hold on because there were only a few laps remaining, but today I learned that in these situations it is better to use a different strategy.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 14th – “It was a difficult race in extreme conditions, but we were able to ride a good first part and were in contention for the win. I made the wrong decision about when to come in to change bikes and didn’t make the switch on the lap that I should have. My tyres couldn’t hold out any longer and I crashed. Luckily I was able to remount and pick up two points from this race. It is a little disappointing to have gone so far and not taken a good result, but these experiences are useful for learning and heading to the next race stronger.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: DNF – “Bad luck again. The bike slowed down, so I decided to leave the track. Then I tried to turn the engine off and start it again, but it didn´t work. We don´t know yet what happened, the guys are still working on it. I´m pretty annoyed. This was the race where open bikes could fight with prototypes. Aleix Espargaro finished second, Aoyama finished eighth with the same bike as mine. This could be our chance for the season’s best result and we missed it.”
One of the most dramatic rounds of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship took place at Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon at Motorland in Spain today as the weather played a part although sadly for PBM MotoGP duo Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes, they just missed out on the points.
The Penrith-based PBM team were looking to build on the double finish at Misano two weeks ago at the last of the European rounds before the three flyaway races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
Free Practice and Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan for Ulsterman Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, nor Australian team-mate Parkes, on the Silkolene-backed PBM, neither of whom could break into the top 20.
Yesterday’s qualifying session didn’t offer much improvement with former British Supersport Champion Laverty on row seven of the grid with Parkes, twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship, one row further back.
With dampness in the air as the bikes lined up for today’s 23-lap race, and with rain a distinct possibility, the race got underway with both PBM riders making good starts. However, for Laverty it was short lived when a mistake on the opening lap lost him valuable time and from there he had to play catch up.
Parkes, meanwhile, had got away well as he diced with a number of Open class bikes, whereby he was eventually joined by Laverty and the pair circulated for much of the race just outside the points before the forecast rain arrived with around eight laps to go.
Eventually, both riders pitted to change bikes and rejoined the race but try as they might, they couldn’t just squeeze into the points with Laverty crossing the line in yet another 16th place with Parkes two places further back in 18th.
It was the sixth time this season that Michael had just missed out on points in 16th and for Broc; it was his second successive 18th place. Despite the frustration, the Cumbrian team can take consolation that out of the 28 available finishes so far this season, Laverty and Parkes between them have brought the British-made bikes home in 25 of them, remarkably scoring top 20 placings in 21 races.
Parkes, who holds 21st in the championship table, has scored points in Assen (11th), as well as in Qatar and Indianapolis (15th) whereas Laverty, who occupies 24th in the standings, has managed just the one points scoring ride into 14th, also at Indianapolis, where both riders created history for Paul Bird’s British team to score points in the same race.
Parkes is eighth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. Laverty still occupies 11th in the Open class whilst importantly for the PBM team, they hold sixth place in the Constructor’s table and 11th in the Team’s standings.
The PBM MotoGP team is next in action at Motegi in two weeks’ time for round 15 of the series, followed by back to back weekends at Phillip Island and Sepang before the final race of the season in Valencia on November 9th.
Michael Laverty: “That was a strange race today; I ran off track on the opening lap and lost a chunk of time. My pace in the dry wasn’t quite as good as I had anticipated due to some cold tear on the rear tyre but I managed to claw back the guys in front. The rain began around half distance and made it a case of survival for a few laps before pitting for rain tyres. I finished up with another 16th position in the end which seems to be our favoured spot this year.”
Broc Parkes: “I got a good start and was hanging onto the back of the Forward bike and Hondas but started to lose rear grip. Then the rain came and I stayed out too long on slicks and missed the window. I was happy with my pace this weekend just a little unlucky in the race.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “We have struggled for pace at Aragon and have not been as competitive as I think we could have been, possibly due to the level of grip, so overall a frustrating weekend. The conditions for the race were very difficult and it was a pity we just missed out on the points, especially with so many factory riders having problems. We will continue trying to improve our performance at the next race in Japan.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry/Wet. Ambient 18-18°C; Track 21-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
In an eventful flag-to-flag race at MotorLand Aragon, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo showed superb pace in both wet and dry conditions to take his first victory of the 2014 MotoGP™ season.
Starting from the third row of the grid, Lorenzo got an excellent start and was engaged in a three way battle for the race lead with the Repsol Honda’s of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. In the middle phase of the race, light rain started to fall which then intensified, changing the track conditions from dry to fully wet in a matter of a few laps. Lorenzo made the decision to pit earlier than his closest rivals and swap to his spare bike fitted with wet tyres. He then proceeded to lap at a strong pace in the wet conditions, just as both Marquez and Pedrosa came unstuck in the wet as they persevered on slicks. Lorenzo then streaked away to take victory by 10.295 seconds from NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who claimed his first ever MotoGP podium finish after a brilliant ride to second place. In third place was Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, who despite a valiant battle with Espargaro for second place, ultimately crossed the finish line just 0.017 seconds behind the Spanish rider to claim the final podium position.
Conditions at the start of the twenty-three lap Aragon Grand Prix were completely dry, with all riders initially selecting slick tyres. Although conditions were considerably cooler than yesterday – the peak track temperature was only 23°C – only seven of the twenty-three riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the remaining sixteen riders choosing the medium compound front. For the rear tyre, both Repsol Honda riders and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl opted for the hard compound rear slick, with the remaining Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders selecting the medium compound rear. For the Open-class riders, half the riders opted for the medium compound rear slick, the other half for the soft compound rear at the start of the race. Both the hard and soft compound wet tyres were used by riders in the final stages of the race after they changed bikes, with the hard compound wet tyre being used by two-thirds of the field, including the three riders on the podium.
Although he finished in thirteenth place at Aragon, Marc Marquez extends his championship lead over teammate Pedrosa to seventy-five points with four rounds remaining, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi remains third in the championship standings and three points behind Pedrosa.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “Congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha on an impressive victory today, Jorge rode very well to manage the challenging conditions perfectly, and showed excellent pace in the wet and dry. Today’s race created every possible track condition for the riders, so it was important that our tyres provided good warm-up performance and predictability. Despite today’s cool temperatures, all three rear slick tyres, including the hard compound, were chosen by riders, as well as the soft and medium front slicks which proves the wide operating temperature our current generation of MotoGP tyres have. The general feedback from the riders this weekend was that our tyre allocation at Aragon was well-matched to the weather and track conditions, so this is a positive outcome for Bridgestone.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner – “Today I had one of the best starts in my career, and I was impressed with my pace and feeling in the bike in dry conditions. It was a pity that it started to rain as I felt I could fight for the victory in the dry, but then I saw that Marc and Dani stayed out on track on slicks, so I thought I’d take a risk and pit earlier than them for wet tyres. I then found myself in first position after my first lap on wet tyres, so I just had to keep focused so I wouldn’t crash. This was my first victory in a long time, so I’m very proud and very happy.”