MotoGP 2013 – Round 12 – Silverstone
— Silverstone Race Day Guide – Statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
• This weekend’s race at Silverstone will be the 200th in the MotoGP class since it was introduced in 2002.
• Marc Marquez starts from pole for the fifth time this year. He has had three wins and a third place finish from his previous four pole position starts this season. A win for Marquez at Silverstone will make him just the seventh rider in the 65-year history of GP racing to have five successive wins in the premier-class.
• Jorge Lorenzo, who has won twice in the last three years at Silverstone, has qualified on the front row for the eighth time this year.
• Cal Crutchlow is in third place on the grid, which is the best qualifying result in the premier-class for a British rider at his home GP since 1981 when Barry Sheene qualified in second here at Silverstone. Crutchlow will be aiming to become the first British rider to finish on the podium at his home GP in the premier-class since Jeremy McWilliams was third in the 500cc race at Donington in 2000.
• Heading the second row of the grid is Stefan Bradl, who won the Moto2 race at Silverstone two years ago.
• Dani Pedrosa is in fifth place on the grid; Silverstone is one of just three circuits on the current schedule, along with Losail and Austin, where Pedrosa has not had a GP win in any class.
• Valentino Rossi, who takes the final place on the second row, has finished in the top four at the last six successive MotoGP races.
• Heading the third row of the grid is Andrea Dovizioso – his best qualifying result since he was third- fastest qualifier at Mugello. Dovizioso is making his 100th start in the MotoGP class.
• Alvaro Bautista, who is eighth on the grid, has finished in the top six positions at the last four MotoGP races.
• Nicky Hayden takes the final place on the third row. Hayden has been the first Ducati rider across the line in each of the previous three MotoGP races at Silverstone.
• Bradley Smith is in tenth place on the grid at his first home GP in the MotoGP class. This is the first time that Britain has had two riders in the top ten places on the grid in the premier-class at a home GP since 1993 at Donington, when Carl Fogarty qualified fifth and Niall Mackenzie ninth.
• In 11th place on the grid is top CRT rider Colin Edwards – his best qualifying result since the Australian Grand Prix in 2011.
• Takaaki Nakagami starts from pole for the third time this year. Nakagami will be aiming to be the first Japanese rider to win a GP in any class since Yuki Takahashi won the Moto2 race in Catalunya in 2010.
• Scott Redding, who has qualified in second place on the grid, is the first British rider in any of the solo classes to arrive at the British Grand Prix leading the world championship classification, since Barry Sheene arrived at Silverstone in 1977 at the head of the 500cc championship standings. He will be aiming to become the first British rider to win an intermediate-class race at his home GP since Tom Herron at the Isle of Man TT in 1976.
• Johann Zarco is in the third place on the grid. Zarco finished second in the 125cc race at Silverstone two years ago.
• Heading the second row of the grid is Esteve Rabat, whose best result at Silverstone was sixth in the Moto2 race in 2011.
• Thomas Luthi has qualified in fifth place on the grid. Luthi finished second in the first Moto2 race held at Silverstone in 2010, just 0.057 seconds behind race winner Jules Cluzel.
• Taking the final place on the second row is Pol Espargaro – his worst qualifying result since the Italian GP.
• Maverick Viñales has qualified on pole for the first time since the French GP at Le Mans. Viñales has been on the podium at every race so far this year, and if he finishes in the top three at Silverstone, he will be the first rider to finish on the podium at the first 11 races of the year in the Moto3/125cc class.
• After being on pole at the last three races, Alex Rins has qualified in second place on the grid. Last year Rins crashed out of the British GP on the second lap.
• In third place on the grid is championship leader Luis Salom, who finished second at Silverstone last year.
• Fourth fastest qualifier is Jack Miller – the eighth time this year he has started from the second row.
• Jonas Folger, the winner of the 125cc race at Silverstone two years ago, starts from fifth place on the grid.
• Taking the final place on the second row is Alex Marquez, who has finished in the top five at the last seven races.
• Isaac Viñales heads the third row of the grid, which equals his best ever qualifying result in grand prix racing.
• Efren Vazquez, in 13th place on the grid, is making his 100th grand prix start.
— Marquez the star as Crutchlow overcomes crash at thrilling Silverstone
MotoGP™ championship leader Marc Marquez set an incredible lap time of 2’00.691 to clinch pole position for Sunday’s Hertz British Grand Prix. The Repsol Honda Team rider went head-to-head with reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who will start second from Cal Crutchlow despite two earlier crashes for the Englishman.
For 2013, the British round of the championship has been moved from a June date to this August-September weekend. Amid bright sunshine in the English countryside, lap times dropped dramatically courtesy of warmer afternoon temperatures.
Marquez’s remarkable effort sees the Spaniard clinch his fifth pole of the season and third in five Grand Prix weekends, beating Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) by just over one tenth of a second while third-placed Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was a further six tenths in arrears; however this came after two separate crashes for Crutchlow during third practice this morning. The top five was completed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was the final rider within one second of the pole position time – a new qualifying record.
Second Yamaha Factory Racing rider Valentino Rossi will complete Row 2 in sixth position, while the third row will consist of Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden who sandwich GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in seventh, eighth and ninth places. The top ten was completed by Tech3’s Bradley Smith, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards appeared in Q2 for the third successive event and achieves his best qualifying result of the year so far in 11th. CRT counterpart Aleix Espargaro was absent from Q2 following a crash in final practice; having injured his neck and the fourth finger of his left hand, the Power Electronics Aspar rider’s race participation will now be subject to a Sunday medical check-up.
Espargaro’s teammate Randy de Puniet missed out on Q2 by just six thousandths of a second and is therefore set to line up 13th, while Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera also improved at the end of Q1 and will be 14th on the grid. Britain’s Michael Laverty, who like compatriot Crutchlow crashed in morning practice, has qualified 19th for PBM while Australian Bryan Staring completes the grid on the Gresini CRT machine. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham is not at Silverstone, having elected to skip the race in order to recover from injuries picked up in an Indianapolis crash.
The 2013 Hertz British Grand Prix begins at 1pm local time (GMT +1) on Sunday, coming after the Moto2™ race but before Moto3™, as was also the case at Brno.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1 Marc Marquez 2’00.691 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 2’00.819 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
3 Cal Crutchlow 2’01.425 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
4 Stefan Bradl 2’01.558 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
5 Dani Pedrosa 2’01.624 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Valentino Rossi 2’02.109 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
7 Andrea Dovizioso 2’02.123 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Alvaro Bautista 2’02.252 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Nicky Hayden 2’02.289 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Bradley Smith 2’02.409 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Colin Edwards 2’04.032 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
12 Aleix Espargaro 2’03.464 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
13 Randy De Puniet 2’04.114 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
14 Hector Barbera 2’04.236 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Michele Pirro 2’04.680 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
16 Andrea Iannone 2’04.692 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
17 Yonny Hernandez 2’04.749 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
18 Danilo Petrucci 2’04.798 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
19 Michael Laverty 2’04.936 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
20 Claudio Corti 2’05.356 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
21 Hiroshi Aoyama 2’05.622 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
22 Lukas Pesek 2’07.261 CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
23 Bryan Staring 2’07.300 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami will start from the front of the grid in the Moto2™ Hertz British Grand Prix, marking his second pole position within the space of a week. Championship leader Scott Redding qualified second quickest at his home circuit of Silverstone, with Johann Zarco third and title contender Pol Espargaro sixth.
Amid ideal conditions at the Northamptonshire venue, Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team) pipped Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) by just three hundredths of a second, while Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project) collected his third front row slot of the campaign but missed out on second place by a single thousandth.
Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40), who was engaged in a small battle with Redding during final practice this morning, will line up sixth and on the second row behind teammate Tito Rabat and Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi. Heading into Sunday’s race, there are 21 points between Redding and Espargaro atop the standings.
Brno winner and Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio has qualified seventh at Silverstone, sharing the third row with Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter and Maptaq SAG Zelos Team’s Xavier Simeon. Jordi Torres, who suffered an accident in practice earlier on, completes the top ten for Aspar Team Moto2.
There were contrasting fortunes for the second and third British riders. While wildcard Gino Rea managed 20th place on the grid with his privately-entered Gino Rea Montaze Broz Racing machine, Tech3’s Danny Kent – whose contract has been renewed for the 2014 season – was highly disappointed to end a promising day in 27th position following a crash early in qualifying. He had finished practice in sixth place.
Jason O’Halloran – Jason O’Halloran – 24th – 2’09.683 – “Our position is not ideal but not too bad considering this is my second day on the bike. In the morning session we had another good step forward and lost a second to get into the 2m 09s bracket. We made a few small changes this afternoon and were hoping to move forward again, but things were a lot different in qualifying. For a start there are a lot of riders out on track looking for a tow to go fast, so really I just should have gone out there and tried to do my own thing rather than get caught up with the traffic, so we didn’t make as big a step forward as we should have. Either way I’m confident that we have a good setting for tomorrow’s 18-lap race. The big thing is confidence on the bike and that comes with more laps. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I want to thank everyone at Team JiR. The bike is completely different to what I’m used to and the depth of field is so competitive. These guys are racing for a world championship and have a couple of years on the Moto2 bike when I just have a couple of days! Realistically tomorrow I want to finish the race, but I’m not too far off the pace so with some luck we can get into the points as I would love to aim for a top 15 finish.”
Moto2™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1- Takaaki Nakagami JPN Kalex 2:07.039
2- Scott Redding GBR Kalex +0.039
3- Johann Zarco FRA Suter +0.040
Maverick Viñales will start Sunday’s Moto3™ Hertz British Grand Prix from pole position, having achieved a scorching pace in qualifying on Saturday. Alongside the Team Calvo rider on the front row will be title rivals Alex Rins and Luis Salom.
Beating last year’s Moto3 best at Silverstone by two and a half seconds, Viñales was on top form as he posted 2’13.507 to seal his second pole of the year, but first since Le Mans in mid-May. With Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0, pole-sitter at the previous three Grand Prix) and championship leader Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) poised to be right with Viñales at the start, Sunday’s race promises to be another closely-fought affair. Row 2 will consist of Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger and Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez who re-joined the session following a huge highside crash which damaged the fairing of his KTM.
Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales, elder cousin of Maverick, will line up seventh and head the third row from Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli. Tenth will be Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou, just ahead of Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo who had a fall. Despite Silverstone being the longest circuit on the calendar at almost six kilometres per lap, riders still struggled with slow traffic – not least in the tight Arena complex starting at Village corner.
In 16th place, German rookie Philipp Oettl managed his best qualifying result to date for Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing, while Scotland’s John McPhee is the leading British runner and will set off from 19th spot for Caretta Technology – RTG. Racing Steps Foundation KRP wildcard entries Wayne Ryan and Kyle Ryde will occupy positions 33rd and 35th on the grid as they make their respective debuts.
Sunday’s Moto3™ Hertz British Grand Prix begins at 2:30pm local time (GMT +1), ending the day’s World Championship action after the Moto2™ and MotoGP™ races.
Moto3™ Qualifying Practice Classification
1- Maverick Viñales SPA KTM 2:13.507
2- Alex Rins SPA KTM +0.192
3- Luis Salom SPA KTM +0.441
— Red Bull Rookies
Karel Hanika had to fight off nine riders to win Race 1 at Silverstone, his sixth victory this season in the Red Bull MotoGp Rookies Cup. The British Grand Prix weekend started perfectly for the 17-year-old Czech who set off from pole position but none of his wins have been easy and this was no exception.
Though it was Spanish 15-year-olds Diego Perez and Marcos Ramirez who finally joined him on the podium they had not looked his greatest threat. It was another pair of Spanish 15-year-olds, Joan Mir and Hanika’s nearest Cup challenger; Jorge Martín, who both led at various stages and gave Hanika the hardest time.
They weren’t the only ones,17-year-old Italian Manuel Pagliani featured strongly at the head of the field, as he had done a week ago In Brno, and this time Dutch 17-year-old Scott Deroue made a return to the front even though he had only qualified 13th. Another charger was 16-year-old American Joe Roberts who cut through fast in the early laps, from 11th on the grid to lead, taking the lap record with him.
Unfortunately Roberts slid off and out of the race and it was another crash that finally dictated the result as the chasing pack elbowed each other for a chance to wrest the win from Hanika with just a couple of corners to go. Perez went under Deroue who moved over into Martín and while Deroue and Martín fell without serious injury, Perez picked up second.
“It was a very tough race again,” said Hanika. “The guys were riding really well and I just I couldn’t get away in the front so I decided just to stay in the lead group and wait for the last lap. Then I just went as fast as I could and defended. I didn’t know how many were behind but I knew it was quite a group, just great that it worked out,” he said, completely unaware of all the drama in his wake.
“The bike was good, we had made some changes after qualifying because there I was having a bit of trouble with the rear sliding. That was cured for the race but then I was a bit in trouble for the front. I am not sure why but I am sure that Santi (suspension engineer) will have an answer for Race 2,” added the lanky blond with his usual smile.
Perez was thrilled to take second, his first podium in a difficult season 2 for the man from Palma de Mallorca. “The bike was great, I didn’t have a good start, I had a lot of work to do and we had a hard fight in the second group but managed to catch the leaders at the end. It was so close on the last lap then Scott and Jorge went down.”
Ramirez, who leads the Spanish Moto3 championship, is also in his second Rookies Cup season and it has not gone the way he wanted with just a single third place up to this point. “I really enjoyed that, it was a very hard close race. So many riders fighting at every corner, Then towards the end the rear was sliding quite a lot and it was a real struggle to keep the pace up but I hope I can do at least the same again tomorrow.”
British hero Bradley Ray, the 16-year-old who had qualified second fastest, was completely out of luck though he battled for the lead early on. “I caught a neutral as I changed down and just ran wide. Then I was trying to catch up and had a big highside into Manzi,” he explained. Neither he nor the 14 year old Italian were injured and all 23 Rookies, including Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, who highsided early on, will be ready for Sunday’s Race 2.
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo took second place on the grid this afternoon in a dramatic duel for pole position ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit. As usual Lorenzo was first out of the pit lane and onto the track as the 15-minute qualifying heat began. His first lap was a scorching 2’01.497 lap, smashing the lap record of the circuit. Rival Marc Marquez immediately responded, snatching the top spot back from Lorenzo. The reigning world champion kept the pressure on and delivered a second stunning lap, moving 0.070 seconds ahead of Marquez with a 2’01.217 to retake provisional pole.
With half the session now gone Lorenzo returned to the pits for a quick change of rubber and was back out on the track with just under six minutes of track time remaining. He kept the pace up, dipping even further under the old lap record with a 2’00.819 second lap. Unfortunately it was not quite enough to secure pole, as his rival Marquez responded again, just beating him to the top spot by 0.128 seconds.
After making a strong start on Friday in free practice and confident of making another step today, Valentino Rossi took sixth place on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. Rossi was the second rider out as the session started, tailing teammate Lorenzo onto the circuit. His first set of rubber delivered a best time of 2’02.763 before returning to the pits for a new rear. Back out again just behind Lorenzo, the nine-time world champion was able to make a big step in time, getting down to a 2’02.109 lap to secure sixth on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 2nd – Time: 2.00.819 – Laps: 7 – “It’s not fantastic because we didn’t make pole position. I was surprised about the improvement from the pace lap to the qualifying lap, it was a big jump, almost one second and a half. When I saw my lap time on my bike I thought I made pole position but when I saw the classification I saw P2 and was disappointed as I put all my effort into the lap, but it wasn’t enough. Race pace is good but we have to see where the others are tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi – Position: 6th – Time: 2.02.109 – Laps: 7 – “I’m not so happy with the distance from Lorenzo and Marquez, they did a fantastic job but I’m happy about the second row. It’s very important and better than the third row. My lap time is quite fast but especially I’m quite satisfied with today because we improved the setting of the bike this afternoon and I’m a lot more constant with pace. I can stay with a good pace which is important for tomorrow. Now we have to try to make another step, I have two or three corners where I’m not so strong and I’m suffering on some bumps. Tomorrow we will try to improve.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – “A very exciting qualifying. P2 is fantastic, the lap times were unbelievably fast and I think the race will be very tight between Jorge and Marc. Our pace is good and the bike is good so we are ready for the race.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director – “The second day is very positive. We are starting the race from the first and second row which is a really good starting point. We have the speed and also the pace. For sure tomorrow is going to be a hard race but we will be protagonists. We will try to improve the settings during the warm up, we are satisfied so far and looking forward to the race.”
Crutchlow bounces back to claim heroic home front row
British hero Cal Crutchlow showed amazing speed and resilience in front of his home crowd at Silverstone today to claim a stunning sixth front row start of 2013 after bouncing back from two heavy crashes in practice.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider put a huge home crowd through some nail-biting moments once again ahead of the British Grand Prix after he escaped injury in two high-speed falls in cool conditions during this morning’s FP3.
Nursing nasty abrasions to his right arm, Crutchlow had British fans on the edge of their seats again this afternoon when the 27-year-old demonstrated incredible bravery and skill to power his YZR-M1 machine to third position on the grid in a tense 15-minute QP2.
In gloriously sunny but cool conditions, Crutchlow’s best lap of 2.01.425 put him behind dominant Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo for the start of tomorrow’s 20-lap race.
Despite feeling below his peak physical best after the big crashes this morning, Crutchlow remains full of confidence that he can become the first British rider since 2000 to claim a premier class podium on home soil.
Rookie Bradley Smith will also start his first home MotoGP race from inside the top 10 after he was able to set encouraging lap times throughout the weekend that bodes well for a strong challenge in tomorrow’s Silverstone showdown.
Smith advanced comfortably from QP1 with a lap of 2.03.110, which saw him dominate the opening 15-minute qualifying session by close to a second.
In the heat of battle in QP2, the 22-year-old further improved his pace to an impressive 2.02.409, which was only 0.3s away from securing Smith a place on the second row of the grid for the third time this season.
Cal Crutchlow – Position: 3rd – Time: 2.01.447 – Laps: 7 – “Well that was just a normal Saturday for me at Silverstone! After what happened in 2011 and 2012, the last thing I needed was a crash, so to have two made it even worse. Both were very fast crashes and I am thankful not to have been injured, though my right arm is covered in abrasions and is quite painful because of the swelling. The first crash was my fault because the front tyre was too cold. And in the second one, with my arm hurting, I just couldn’t hold on when the bike starting moving around on the brakes. I’ve got to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because they put in an amazing effort to at least get me out this afternoon. After all that happened this morning it feels great to be on the front row, but the gap to Marc and Jorge is pretty big and it will be tough to beat them tomorrow. I’ll be giving it my all though because the support from the British crowd today really spurred me on. They’ve really got behind me and it was a good feeling to bounce back from the crashes to get a front row.”
Bradley Smith – Position: 10th – Time: 2.02.409 – Laps: 7 – “My lap time is something to be really proud of today because we made a big jump compared to the rest of the weekend. The overall result is not what we expected but going into QP1 showed we have been having a tough weekend. So to end up close to the top six is positive but that gap to the front is obviously a big step. I still believe we can make another step with the bike for tomorrow. It will be a long race but it might be an advantage to be able to follow and learn something because on this track it seems easier to chase than make a lap time on your own. It has not been an easy weekend but I’ve not made any mistakes and got faster every session, so I am looking forward the race and rewarding the amazing support from the British crowd.”
— HRC Report
Remarkable rookie Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) beat reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) to pole position at Silverstone this afternoon, putting himself in the best-possible position to win tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.
Marquez’s former Moto2 rival Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was fourth quickest to lead the second row, just ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) in fifth. Last year’s Silverstone pole man Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was eighth fastest.
Marquez, who in April became the youngest-ever winner of a premier-class GP, has won the last four MotoGP races to lead the World Championship by 26 points from Pedrosa. The 20-year-old Spaniard has been similarly impressive this weekend. Yesterday he was quickest in the very first session, after just 45 minutes aboard a track that’s one of the fastest, most challenging racetracks of the series.
This afternoon the reigning Moto2 World Champion rode with his usual bravery and flair, getting his RC213V nicely loose on Silverstone’s bumpy surface. Lorenzo set the pace when riders went out with their second rear tyres during the final stages of the 15 minute session, then Marquez seemed to comfortably better his compatriot by 0.128 seconds.
The lap bettered the previous pole record – set by Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) in 2011 – by more than 1.7 seconds. This was Marquez’s fifth pole from the first 12 races of his MotoGP career.
Bradl’s first front row since he scored his first MotoGP pole position at last month’s United States Grand Prix was another impressive achievement from the German who has come into his own since switching to a Brembo front brake system in June.
Bautista spent much of today working to improve rear grip, modifying the set-up to and fro as conditions changed from session to session. His crew is still chasing an ideal solution, though the Spaniard is confident he can have a good race, so long as he gets a good start and gets with a fast group.
Rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) made things tough for himself this weekend by sliding off yesterday and the Australian ended today in 23rd place, unhappy with his progress.
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) scored his third pole position of the year and his second in a row in the Honda-powered Moto2 class. The Japanese rider bettered local hero and World Championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) by a slender 0.039 seconds and will once again push hard in the race in search of a first Grand Prix victory. He has second in the last two races at Brno and Indy.
Boosted by the supportive British fans, Redding was happy with his performance, which puts him in the middle of the front row, between Nakagami and Frenchman Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) who was just one thousandth of a second slower than the Briton.
Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) – Redding’s main title rival – was sixth fastest, squeezing onto the second row along with fourth-fastest Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter). Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), winner of last Sunday’s Czech GP, leads row three after qualifying seventh fastest.
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) had a superb qualifying in the hard-fought Moto3 class, recording the fourth fastest time of the session to put himself at the front of the second row, one second behind pole position man Maverick Vinales (KTM). Tomorrow the Australian – who broke his right collarbone two weeks ago at Indy and yet raced at last weekend’ Czech GP after having the break plated in the UK – will be aiming to better his best race result of the year, sixth place at the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Three other FTR-framed Hondas made the top ten today: Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) in seventh, Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) in ninth and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) in tenth. Italian teenager Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) will start the race from 12th on the grid. Fastest British rider is John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda), who qualified 19th.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: pole position, 2m 00.691s – “I am very happy with pole position and this one carries even more value as we set a new record! The lap times were very fast, we managed an incredible lap and Jorge set the bar very high for us. We put in a better hot lap than I had expected; I hadn’t anticipated riding so fast! The race will be tough tomorrow and we will have to remain very focused, because I think that Jorge is the strongest rival that we have here. We will need to get a good start and see if we can stick with him.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th, 2m 01.558s – “For sure this is the position we deserve because we improved a lot from yesterday and we finally achieved our target. This is a good sign because, in the last two rounds in Indianapolis and Brno, we were fast on Friday but we dropped off a bit on Saturday so I am quite happy about this qualifying session. I could push and ride the bike as I would like and must thank the team for their efforts: it’s nice to start from the front again.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 5th, 2m 01.624s – “We improved our pace today and drew some positive conclusions from practice. However, in qualifying things didn’t go that well for us. I made a couple of mistakes and was unable to get a better starting position. We will start from fifth, so the important thing for us will be to focus on getting the set-up right, putting in the maximum effort to get a good start and have a strong race.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 8th, 2m 02.252s – “Today we worked to solve the grip problem that we have been having, and we found a partial solution this morning. In the afternoon we continued in the same way, trying out the hard rear tyre, but we couldn’t find any improvement. In qualifying we went back to the setting from the morning, but the bike didn’t replicate the performance that it had this morning, and that made things difficult again. I can’t say that I am happy but the race is tomorrow and, if we get a good start and find a good pace, I am still convinced that we can have a strong race.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 23rd, 2m 07.300s – “The bike was giving me confidence but I was unable to interpret the track in the best possible way, losing a lot of time in certain sectors. It is clear that I am unhappy with how things have gone, but in any case tomorrow I will push hard to have a good race, even though it won’t be easy.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Takaaki Nakagami, Italtrans Racing Team: pole position, 2m 07.039s – “We will try again to get our first victory, but 18 laps is so long. We have been working to improve rear grip. We’ve made it better but we need more, so we will try again in warm-up. At Brno I tried 200 per cent to win, so tomorrow I must make no mistakes, try to stay calm and not be too aggressive on the bike.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd, 2m 07.078s – “I feel a lot more confident on the bike here than at the last couple of races because we’ve changed the ser-up a bit, making it more like it was at the beginning of the season. That way I seem able to work with the bike quite a bit better. I’m also getting a lot of support from the fans and that helps me to go fast.”
Johann Zarco, Came Ioda Racing Project: 3rd, 2m 07.079s – “I was trying to fight for pole from the start of the session but it wasn’t easy because Nakagami and Redding were so fast from the first laps. Step by step I improved my lap times and in the end I was pretty fast, though not quite good enough for pole. But the important thing is the race. I must learn from Brno that I am fast enough to fight at the front; I just need to find a good pace from the beginning.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: 4th, 2m 14.523s – “I’m pretty happy with that. It could’ve been a bit better if I hadn’t got stuck behind some traffic. I think we can improve things for tomorrow, but it could be a difficult race. Same as every race I’ll be trying to get behind the front guys and tag along for as long as I can. We’ll see how the rear tyre goes – if we can get it to last it’ll be good. This track is okay for us and it’s good for our chassis. The collarbone is okay, all good.”
Isaac Vinales, Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta: 7th, 2m 14.623s – “We achieved a setting with which I am very comfortable and although we qualified very well, I’m sure it will be even better in the race. I am very happy with the team we’ve put together with Manu Duran. And since Dani Amatriaín joined us at the last race, things are even better. His experience helps a lot in the box and he’s bringing that little bit extra that I need to be able to fight at the front.”
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini: 9th, 2m 14.887s – “Qualifying went well. I managed to make the third row, so I’m pretty satisfied. Perhaps the second row would have been within my reach, but I was never able to find anyone to slipstream. It doesn’t matter because we can still make another step and have a good race. There is still some things to improve and tomorrow morning we will try to go in the right direction.”
— Ducati Report
Day two of the British Grand Prix was marked by sunny but chilly weather, with track conditions that encouraged the MotoGP riders to set a blistering pace in the qualifying session at the Silverstone Circuit.
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were pleased with the improvements made to their Desmosedici GP13 race machines, but with the other riders getting faster as well, they qualified in seventh and ninth positions, respectively, and will start tomorrow’s race on opposite ends of the third row.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 7th (2:02.123) – “I’m really pleased with my time. We all set good times, and I doubt if anyone could have expected we’d be able to lower them so much. Maybe the track improved a bit, but the new tyre also made a big difference when we didn’t have much fuel. We’ve worked well the whole weekend, and I’ve been pretty fast. I think our race pace is still quite a way off, but we’re certainly going better than we have at the other races so I think if we’re able to have a consistent race, we might have a smaller gap to the leaders. It might be an unusual race because the tyres drop off after about six laps. You couldn’t see it much in practice, but I think that the same thing as last year will happen.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 9th (2:02.289) – “We’ve definitely improved a lot today, but everybody is going faster as the track gets better. I’d hoped to do a low 2’02”, which I did. I thought maybe I could squeeze onto the second row, but one tenth made a big difference today. I made one little mistake on my best lap, which hurt me a little bit. Also, I have a hard time using the hard front tyre, so I chose to go with the soft front, which was better over the bumps but was also moving in some places. We need to try to make that work for the race and do a couple of little things to help with change of direction. We know it’ll be tough, but we’ll see what we can do.”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 26-27°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 17-18°C; Track 35-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez delivered another devastating display of speed to smash the outright lap record at Silverstone today by a phenomenal 1.329 seconds to claim his fifth pole position of the season.
Marquez was embroiled in a heated battle with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo for pole position, the pair trading the top spot until Marquez delivered the knockout blow – a 2’00.691 – on his penultimate lap. Lorenzo’s impressive time of 2’00.819 secured him second on the grid for tomorrow’s race ahead of hometown hero Cal Crutchlow, who piloted his Monster Yamaha Tech3 M1 to third with a best time of 2’01.425. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards continues his recent resurgence to claim CRT honours at Silverstone, placing eleventh overall with a personal best lap time of 2’04.032. Today’s enthralling qualifying sessions saw the top five riders in QP2 set lap times under the existing Circuit Best Lap record.
Ambient temperatures were cooler today, with a strong, cold wind in the morning creating challenging conditions for the riders by affecting the ability of the tyres to warm up and retain temperature. The prolonged sunny periods helped maintain similar track temperatures to yesterday however, with a peak of 37°C recorded in QP2. The softer slick options front and rear were preferred in the chilly morning session while in the half hour FP4 session just before qualifying, all slick options were utilised as many riders graduated to the harder slick options front and rear. The preferred tyre combination for the time attack in qualifying was the softer rear slick paired with the harder front. The harder, medium compound front slick is likely to be the preferred choice for the race, while rider feedback suggests that both the softer and harder rear slick options will be on the grid as the lights go out for tomorrow’s race.
The twenty lap British Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 1300 local time (GMT +1) tomorrow.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “We had fine weather again today, but this morning the cold wind we had served to cool down the tyres between corners, making conditions quite tricky for riders even though the track temperatures were similar to yesterday’s morning session. Thankfully, conditions improved in the afternoon and we got to witness an amazing qualifying session and although we expected the qualifying lap record to be broken, the performance of the riders today in qualifying was unbelievable! This is the third race in a row where we have seen a new qualifying record being set and it is always positive to see the softer rear slick deliver such strong potential over a single lap, while still giving good performance over longer runs. The harder rear slick was also used by many riders in FP4 today and showed excellent consistency so rear tyre choice for tomorrow’s race should be quite varied. I hope the excitement we experienced today continues tomorrow and we get to see a close battle during the race.”
— Previously…………………MotoGP 2013 – Round 11 – Brno
— Rookie record broken as Marquez takes win five in Brno
Marc Marquez has made more MotoGP™ history, winning Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky to become the first rookie ever to claim five victories in his maiden season. On this occasion, the Repsol Honda Team rider came out on top after an immensely close fight with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Following the morning Warm-Up that took place amid distinctly overcast conditions, riders feared for a wet Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although spots of rain did briefly fall, prompting the white flags to fly on Lap 14, there proved to be no major changes in the weather. On the front row of the grid, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow started from pole position for the second time this season, but would unfortunately crash out of the race.
Marquez’s ride was a mixture of patience, aggression and defence, with the Spaniard running second behind Lorenzo as the reigning World Champion scorched off the start line. The pair would proceed to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go. Pedrosa also dispatched of Lorenzo, but two final tours was not enough for last year’s winner to hunt down his teammate who won by three tenths of a second.
In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ultimately came out on top after a race-long duel with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, whereas LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl experienced a quiet ride to sixth spot from Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, locked together once again. The top ten was completed by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, just one second ahead of CRT rival Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) who had started in front of him.
A second lap collision between Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti saw both riders retire, with the Italian later undergoing an x-ray to his right hand before spending Sunday night in Fakultni Nemocnice Brno Hospital after experiencing concussion. The other two retirements were Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek – from his home Grand Prix – and Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who were both out of action on the third lap. There was also frustration for pole man Crutchlow, who crashed out of fourth place on Lap 8 as he looked to hunt down the leading trio, as well as for Czech Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who was unable to score points at home. Wildcard Martin Bauer (Remus Racing Team) succeeded in completing the distance.
The final race in the on-going triple-header will be the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to which Marquez heads with 213 points, 26 – and more than the equivalent of one race win – ahead of Pedrosa and 44 in front of Lorenzo.
— Race Result – Round 11
1 Marc Marquez 42’50.729 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa +0.313 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo +2.277 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Valentino Rossi +10.101 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Alvaro Bautista +10.178 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6 Stefan Bradl +19.807 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Andrea Dovizioso +35.015 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Nicky Hayden +35.354 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Andrea Iannone +51.149 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
10 Aleix Espargaro +56.392 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Colin Edwards +57.420 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
12 Michele Pirro +1’05.430 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Danilo Petrucci +1’12.364 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
14 Hiroshi Aoyama +1’13.500 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Randy De Puniet +1’14.128 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
16 Yonny Hernandez +1’14.991 COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Cal Crutchlow +1’20.640 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
18 Michael Laverty +1’34.462 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
19 Karel Abraham +1’49.713 CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
20 Bryan Staring +1’50.024 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
21 Martin Bauer +1 lap AUT S&B SUTER Remus Racing Team
22 Bradley Smith DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
23 Lukas Pesek DNF CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
24 Claudio Corti DNF ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
25 Hector Barbera DNF SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
Mika Kallio has won in Moto2™ for the first ever time, celebrating victory at the end of a dramatic and closely fought bwin Grand Prix České republiky. The Finn shared the podium with Takaaki Nakagami and Tom Luthi, as championship leader Scott Redding limited the points-loss by finishing four places behind Pol Espargaro.
Before the start of the 20-lap encounter at Brno the worry was a threat of rain, but the race would eventually not be affected by any showers. Kallio started fourth for the Marc VDS Racing Team, as the grid was headed up by Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team). As the former moved up to second at the start, all were away cleanly with the exception of Nakagami’s teammate Julian Simon who crashed at the first corner.
The race would prove to be one of two major focal points. The first was a titanic contest for the lead, which was shared over the distance by Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi and Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, as well as Nakagami and Kallio. The top spot first became Kallio’s on the fourth lap, but perhaps the most crucial moment of all was when he extended the lead to half a second as the chasing group fought furiously on the final tour. This would prove to be Kallio’s first victory since he won the 250 race at Donington Park five years ago.
The other obvious battle of the day was that of the title pretenders, as Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding (Kallio’s teammate at Marc VDS Racing Team) duelled with each other on-track, somewhat surprisingly as the Spaniard had started on the front row whereas the Englishman – who was yet to score at Brno in Moto2 – was coming from 13th on the grid after struggling in qualifying. Redding grabbed fifth place from his rival on Lap 9 but, having escaped a tap from Espargaro, would soon feel the wrath of others and ultimately sank to eighth whereas his chief opponent forcefully took fourth from Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco on the last lap.
As Kallio beat Nakagami to a first Moto2 win and Luthi picked up his second rostrum placing of the season, Espargaro and Zarco completed the top five from Terol, Indianapolis winner Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding. Eight riders failed to finish, including reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) who – after starting fifth on the grid – suffered a crash at Turn 1 and will now require surgery to attend to a fractured right ulna. With five laps to go, there was a three-way collision at Turn 3 triggered by the out-of-control Mike di Meglio (JiR Moto2), who was collected by Alberto Moncayo (Argiñano & Gines Racing) as Marcel Schrotter (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) also crashed out of proceedings. It was later confirmed that di Meglio had sustained a fractured sacrum in the lower back.
Sunday’s result sees Espargaro close in on championship leader Redding by five points, bringing the leading gap down to 21 with seven races remaining in the 2013 season; winner Kallio jumps up one championship position, to fourth overall.
Moto2™ Race Classification
1- Mika Kallio FIN Kalex 41:11.785
2- Takaaki Nakagami JPN Kalex +0.590
3- Thomas Luthi SWI Suter +0.799
Moto3™ championship leader Luis Salom has returned to winning ways, picking up his fifth victory of 2013 in Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky. Having grabbed the lead on the final lap, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was able to open up a small cushion as four rivals squabbled over second place behind him.
Spots of rain were deposited on Brno as the red lights went out, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins leading from his third consecutive pole position. Maverick Viñales (Team Calvo) was first to steal the top spot before Salom went through at Turn 3; such battles would continue until the 19th and final lap, with Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger also very much in the mix.
Heading into the final tour, the pair of Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were running first and second and on course for a repeat of last weekend’s Indianapolis result. However, having already established a reputation for judging the late stages of races, Salom overhauled the duo at the first and third corners, respectively. It was at this point that Marquez and Rins appeared to begin hurting one another’s races, with Viñales sweeping around the outside of Turn 4 before Folger strode ahead of the dicing duo to snatch the final rostrum placing at the penultimate corner of the race.
Salom – impressively recording the fastest lap on the last lap, despite a fractured heel – collected his fifth victory of the campaign and his first since Assen, crossing the finish line half a second ahead of Viñales to ensure that the latter remains second in the standings despite being the only rider to have finished on the podium at every one of the first ten events in 2013. Folger’s podium finish was his second of the campaign.
Five riders failed to finish. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo was out on the opening lap, with Ongetta-Centre Seta’s Isaac Viñales and CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara soon joining the Finn on the sidelines. The final two retirements were Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), with Binder forced to crash trying to avoid Baldassarri’s bike after the Italian highsided.
Arthur Sissis – “It was a very complicated day for me. Today I woke up with a lot of neck pain and could hardly move. In the warm-up it was hard to ride, but I managed to finish it without stopping at all. I started the race well, felt comfortable riding the bike and with feeling good. But after a few corners, the pain just got worse and then became nearly unbearable. I gave it everything I could to get into the points, so I’m glad I added two more to the overall standings. Now it’s time to head to the Clinica Mobile.”
Salom now heads back to his native Palma in Mallorca to undergo surgery on his fractured heel before contesting the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend, into which he heads with a 14-point lead over Viñales with seven races to go.
Moto3™ Race Classification
1- Luis Salom SPA KTM 40:58.770
2- Maverick Viñales SPA KTM +0.507
3- Jonas Folger GER Kalex KTM +1.015
— HRC Report
Repsol Honda RC213V riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa repeated their one-two result at today’s Czech Republic GP at Brno, finishing in the same order as at Indianapolis one week ago, and improving their championship standing over third-placed Jorge Lorenzo.
The trio were spread by almost six seconds at Indy. Brno was much closer, and fierce from the first lap to the end. Marquez’s Honda was 0.313 seconds ahead of team-mate Pedrosa, with Lorenzo less than two seconds behind – a feast of action for more than 142,000 fans packing the hillsides of the fast and scenic 5.403km (3.357-mile) circuit.
The battle raged throughout a thrilling 22 laps, during which spots of light rain brought out white flags (giving permission to change bikes if necessary) and hiked the tension even higher.
It stayed dry, however, as the Hondas battled with long-time leader Lorenzo’s Yamaha.
The defending champion seized the lead from the second row of the grid, with third qualifier Marquez and fourth-fastest Pedrosa on his back wheel. The pre-eminent trio soon outpaced the pursuit, but remained locked in battle.
Marquez waited until the 16th lap before mounting his attack. He succeeded with a forceful move, only for Lorenzo to fight back in front two laps later. But it lasted only one lap before the 20-year-old reigning Moto2 champion reversed the positions finally.
Now it was Pedrosa’s turn, and he too was successful in disposing of his long-standing rival. He closed right up on Marquez again, but ran out of time to mount a final attack.
It was star rookie Marquez’s fourth win in a row, and his fifth this season. The last rider to win four consecutive races was Valentino Rossi in 2008, his last championship year, and the feat has never been achieved by a class rookie, none of whom has won five races either. Marquez has finished on the rostrum at every race this year bar one, crashing out of the Italian GP while lying second.
Marquez now has a cushion of more than one race win with a World Championship lead of 26 points over Pedrosa. The older rider had led the table until the German GP, where he was put out of the race after breaking his collarbone in practice – leaving the way open for the first of Marquez’s consecutive victories.
Since then Pedrosa has been racing injured, bravely maintaining his own lead over Lorenzo in spite of the pain. He is 18 points clear, and his condition is improving race by race, in spite of an intensive restart to the season after the summer break. Brno was the middle of three races in three weekends, with the British GP at Silverstone next weekend. After the race Pedrosa said that this was the first time since he crashed that he could fight in the race rather than simply enduring the pain to finish.
Alvaro Bautista was the next-best Honda rider, finishing fifth, less than a tenth of a second behind Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) after the pair had duelled for much of the race – a repeat of their battle a week before at Indianapolis.
The Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V rider had qualified second, and was trading blows with Rossi to the end. The multi-champion only regained fourth on the final lap, with Bautista attacking to the end. The Spanish racer has a dual role with Honda, also race-developing Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, the only rider to use the Japanese equipment made by Honda associates.
German LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl was sixth, after a lonely ride. Bradl claimed a career-best pole and second place two races ago at Laguna Seca, but found grip and confidence elusive at the difficult Brno circuit.
Australian grand prix first-timer Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was 20th on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine, fighting to the end with Czech ART rider and former Moto2 GP winner Karel Abraham.
Tension lasted from the first lap to the last in the 20-lap Moto2 race. First-time winner in the all-Honda-powered class was Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), breaking away only in the last two laps from a seven-strong group.
Kallio had led from the third lap from pole qualifier Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), but had plenty of opposition as first Nico Terol (Aspar Team Moto2) took over for three laps; and later Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Suter). With three laps to go Kallio regained the lead, and by the finish managed to stay almost six-tenths of a second clear.
Nakagami was second, for a second race in a row, and Luthi third.
Inches behind the battle continued to the flag. Title contender Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP Pons Kalex) managed to hang on to fourth ahead of Frenchman Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) and Terol; with Indianapolis winner Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP Pons Kalex) still close at the finish.
The race was a struggle for points leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), fighting in the front group until half distance, before dropping back with tyre chatter issues. He hung on for eighth, fending off a strong attack from Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) and Sachsenring winner Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2), who lost touch on the final lap.
Redding’s points lead shrank from 26 to 21 as Espargaro slowly closes up, with seven rounds remaining.
Moto2 machines use identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers to guarantee close and reliable racing. In the Moto3 class, Honda faces rival manufacturers KTM and Mahindra.
Brno brought the best result of the year to the Honda hordes, with experienced French rider Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) qualifying on the front row, and finishing a close sixth, barely three seconds behind a close top five after catching and running with the leaders. Masbou is suffering from a broken scaphoid in his left wrist, the legacy of an old injury, and pain at the end meant he narrowly lost touch.
Masbou had displaced Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) from the front row in practice, and finished ahead of him in the race, and now equals him in the World Championship, where they each have 56 points as the most successful Honda riders.
Miller finished a gritty seventh in the race, losing touch with the leaders in the later laps. The teenager broke his collarbone at Indianapolis a week ago, had surgery the next day, and was racing despite the inevitable pain. He made a flying start from the second row, and was up to fifth before tyre grip issues forced him to slow.
Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda) was tenth in the next big group disputing eighth place; with Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tasca Racing FTR Honda) a close 12th, after displacing fast-starting John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) on the final lap.
Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) is third in the championship, but crashed out at Brno after another rider fell under his wheels. The Honda chase was left to Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda), 18th, with Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda) and Matteo Ferrari (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda right on his back wheel in 19th and 20th.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st – “I’m so happy! Before we came here I didn’t expect to win, because Jorge and Valentino had both tested at Brno recently and Dani is always so fast here and won the race last year. It is a completely different track from those at which we have raced before, and these 25 points feel different to Indianapolis. This was a very hard fought win and I enjoyed myself a lot. The battle with Jorge was really good and we are pleased with the victory. Thanks to all the team.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – “I am very happy with the result, generally speaking, because after all the problems with my injury and the doubts we’ve had at the last few races, we took a big step forward with my mental preparation today. We were more ready to win here, despite not being 100 percent. Unfortunately, our strategy was not the best. I had problems overtaking throughout the race, because I couldn’t brake late and was always the third rider in the trio at the front. I think that I made my final attack one lap too late. If I had passed Jorge one lap earlier, maybe I would have been in with a chance of the victory. In any case, we had the right attitude of attacking until the end and gaining ground on Marc. I just needed another lap in order to catch him. We will try again next time. I want to thank the team for the great job that they did this weekend.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 5th – “Once again I had the chance to finish ahead of Rossi, but I ended up just 0.077 behind him at the line. However, I am happy because we had a good race and ran a fast pace that was better than in practice. I had a lot more confidence in the bike today. It was a nice battle with Rossi and maybe he just had a little more than I did at the end. We’re going in the right direction, continuing with what we started at Laguna Seca two races ago; this is very important. Last year we didn’t have a great feeling at Brno, but this year we went well which confirms that things are getting better. We hope to continue like this, because that way I can carry on enjoying myself alongside the Team, Honda, GO & FUN, Showa and Nissin.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th – “The sixth position is not that bad considering the whole weekend but I really wanted to be faster. We could not improve the bike as I would like because I had many problems with the edge grip on right and left sides of the rear tyre. I had to fight to pick up the bike to get a little bit of drive out of the corner to accelerate. I tried many things to save the rear tyre during the race but here, with these long corners, you have to carry the corner speed and, at the beginning, I was behind Rossi and Smith and I saw they could carry more corner speed. We wanted to stay with Rossi and Bautista but I was not capable to keep that speed. Let’s move to Silverstone to keep working.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 19th – “We went a little better than in practice and we suffered a little less with the chattering problem, but the result was not what we were hoping to achieve this weekend. Unfortunately at the end the tyre performance dropped off and I was unable to ride as I had in the first part of the race. It is a shame, because after the problems in practice we were not able to get a good race result.”
Honda Moto2 rider quotes
Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team, 1st – “My last win was five years ago at Donington, so this has been a long time coming. It’s hard to explain how it feels to win again. Even if I don’t show it on the outside, on the inside it was a great feeling, especially on the last lap when I knew I could win. It was a hard race, but I knew if I could get to the front and then make no mistakes in the last two laps then the win was on, so that’s what I did. Exiting the last corner I could see the chequered flag and I thought; ‘I’ve done it’. It was such a great feeling. The team has worked hard all season, everything came together for us this weekend and the race went exactly to plan. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Takaaki Nakagami, Italtrans Racing Team, 2nd – “Yesterday I had a really good feeling on bike and I was confident after qualifying on pole. Today the conditions were really different, and I was just not comfortable. The race was difficult. At the beginning I could lead, but then it was a struggle. At the end I just did not have the strength to overtake Kallio. I am a little bit disappointed, but in another way it was a good race. I take the positive things, and we will see what happens at the next race.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Paddock Moto2, 3rd – “I am happy – it was a good day. After qualifying eighth place, I knew I could go faster as the race pace is not so high. At the beginning there were some tough moves, and once I had to drive over the kerbs. After two three laps I realised that I can make good pace, because I was good on the brakes. I started to overtake, and the more I moved forward the clearer and more orderly was the race. In the warm-up this morning, we managed to improve our set-up, but we still had problems with tyre chatter. This eventually was my undoing, because Mika attacked in the corners where I had problems. I led two laps at the end, but it was not quite enough. But there is a clear upward trend and I can fight again. That is what we can take the next race in Silverstone.”
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold, 6th – “It was the first time I could start with the front group – this has been our problem at every race so far. So I thought: ‘Okay, now we need to show we can do a good race’. The first part I was cool, stayed with the group, saved the tyre. After the mid-point I was behind another rider and we lost touch a little, but I could get past and close up again. That was okay, and I thought I could gain more places … but at the end the pain in my wrist was too much. Even without that, with the fast uphill straight, I am not sure it could have been different.”
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology RTG, 7th – “The race was good and I was with the leaders, but I was having to do too many short bursts, dropping back then catching up again. With ten laps gone the tyre was just destroyed, and it was a matter of trying to finish. My collarbone was quite good – it hurt a bit, but didn’t affect me. It was all down to tyre wear. We chose the soft option, so I think we need to be a bit smarter with tyre choice. But I’m happy to get some points.”
Niccolo Antonelli, GO&FUN Gresini Moto2, 10th – “I am fairly satisfied. In the race I think I could even have finished in a better position, but I preferred not to take the risk. It was more important to bring the bike home and finish the race, so I rode a more prudent race. I hope that this brings us the confidence to do well at the next one.”
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.
Reigning world champion Lorenzo made an incredible start from fifth on the grid, out dragging the entire front row to take the hole-shot into turn one. Although initially able to build a gap of just over a second, he soon had rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind in pursuit. Lorenzo was able to hold off the attack and continue leading the race until just seven laps remained. Marquez’s first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.
Rossi’s race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.
Lorenzo’s podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to the Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, The British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo 3rd – “I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn’t do much more. I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it’s really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn’t come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn’t have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race. The Championship is not lost yet but it’s very difficult now. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!”
Valentino Rossi 4th – “Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work. We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it’s not fantastic. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won’t give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – “A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps. They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge’s wheel. It’s a pity we didn’t have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn’t a couple of races go. As long as we can push them its possible they can make a mistake.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director – “Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas. The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn’t change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win.”
Crutchlow and Smith leave Brno empty handed
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s Czech Republic MotoGP race didn’t live up to expectations after both fell out of top six contention in cool and cloudy conditions at the Brno track this afternoon.
Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after a memorable qualifying performance put Crutchlow in pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, the 27-year-old was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.
The three-way fight was a repeat of a similar exciting tussle one week ago at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a determined Crutchlow led the way until he tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight.
The British rider was able to rejoin the 22-lap race and demonstrating the never-give-up attitude that has become his trademark in MotoGP, he fought through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.
Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace right behind nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in front of a massive crowd of just over 142,000 fans.
Feeling comfortable and confident after improving his pace on a full fuel tank in practice, Smith’s challenge was ended prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Today’s race might not have had the outcome Crutchlow and Smith had hoped for, but both have once again demonstrated their high potential in Brno and the British pair are now eagerly anticipating a return to form in front of their home fans at Silverstone next Sunday.
Cal Crutchlow 17th – “Obviously I am disappointed after qualifying in pole position but I had to push really hard to try and get away from Bautista and Rossi. Lorenzo made an incredible start and his first lap was really strong and that put us all under pressure. I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace and I never gave up. It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front. I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about.”
Bradley Smith DNF – “The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference. Unfortunately the handlebar was broken so I couldn’t get back in the race. But in my rookie season this can happen when you are pushing to try and learn and build experience. At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone. I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here. Racing at home is always special but this will be my first MotoGP race at Silverstone and I can’t wait.”
— Ducati Report
Racing in cool but dry conditions in front of a crowd of 142,030 spectators, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Czech Republic GP at the Brno circuit.
Having started from the ninth and tenth spots on the grid, Dovizioso and Hayden found themselves in those same positions at the completion of lap one, and they proceeded to race one another nose-to-tail for all twenty-two laps. Both Ducati Team racers picked up positions when Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow crashed in separate incidents, and when the chequered flag flew, the Italian was in seventh place, with his teammate just .339 seconds behind, in eighth.
Next weekend will find the Ducati Team racing for the third time in as many weeks, this time at the Silverstone Circuit, site of the British Grand Prix.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team, 7th – “For what we could expect today, I’m pretty pleased because I was able to have a consistent pace, and I managed to get under 1’58” at the end of the race. I did the whole race in front of Nicky; I pushed my hardest, and I didn’t make many mistakes. I’m happy with my performance, but of course the gap is too much; 35 seconds is really a lot.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 8th – “Once again, the guys in front were quite a bit quicker than us. Dovi got away from me in the beginning, but I was able to bring him back and race with him a bit. He was right in front of me at the end, but there was really nowhere to put in a clean pass without making it touchy. He rode a great race and covered all the lines the last couple laps. The bike was definitely better in the warm-up, and then in the race, I felt the best over the bumps that I have all weekend. I did the sighting lap on the hard front tyre, but I switched to the soft on the grid. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out to be the right choice.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a difficult weekend for us again because we had the same problems as last week at Indianapolis. Both of our riders did a very good job, and they gave their best efforts, but we’re aware that despite the little improvements we’ve made so far, we still have a long way to go in improving the GP13. Obviously, more technical steps will be necessary to bring us closer to the second group. We’ll also continue with our intense testing program. We have some new parts to try as we work to improve the bike’s behaviour.”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez won today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno to become the first premier-class rider to claim five wins in a rookie season as the Repsol Honda rider’s amazing run of results continues unabated.
Starting third on the grid, Marquez was engaged in a three-way dogfight for the lead with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 1’56.135 on lap three in his efforts to push to the front of the pack. Marquez managed the race-winning overtake on Lorenzo on lap nineteen and despite late pressure from Pedrosa, crossed the finish line 0.313 seconds ahead of his teammate with Lorenzo taking third a further 1.9 seconds behind. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro emerged victorious from a battle with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards to claim top CRT honours, the Spanish rider finishing in tenth place just one second ahead of the American.
Today’s weather conditions were cool and overcast with a peak track temperature of 24°C – ten degrees cooler than in qualifying yesterday. Drops of rain fell during the race, raising the possibility of a flag-to-flag race but ultimately the rain didn’t affect the outcome of the event and the overall race time was the fastest ever recorded at the Brno circuit. The cool conditions resulted in all riders selecting the softer option rear slicks, while three riders also opted for the soft compound front slick with the other twenty-two riders on the hard compound front. Tyre degradation during the race was consistent, with the lap times among the leading pack dropping around half a second from the beginning to the end of the twenty-two lap contest.
By virtue of winning his fifth race of the year, Marquez extends his lead in the MotoGP championship to twenty-six points over teammate Pedrosa. Lorenzo keeps third place in the standings and sits forty-four points off the lead.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “Brno once again gave us an exciting race and it seems there is no stopping Marc at the moment, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another amazing performance today. Temperatures were slightly cooler today so no riders decided to use the harder rear slick for the race and the cool weather also prompted some riders to choose the soft compound front slick, although the majority raced with the harder front. For the second race in a row we had new Circuit Best Lap and Circuit Record Lap times being set in qualifying and the race so I am very pleased with how our tyres performed this weekend.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner – “Today I enjoyed the race a lot, both because of the victory and also the battle with Jorge and Dani. I didn’t expect a victory here, maybe just a podium, as Yamaha are so strong here and Dani won the race last year. I’m so happy to get the twenty-five points and the win and I’m now looking forward to the next race.”