Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Race Results and summary for Moto2:
Saturday at Jerez was a crash fest, in just about every class. Why? The heat - well, perhaps heat is an exaggeration, but certainly the weather was better than anyone expected a few weeks ago. Once the heat hits the Andalusian track, the grip drops off a cliff, and the riders are left struggling to cope. In Moto3, MotoGP and Moto2, a lot of riders hit the deck on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Rins was one of the first to fall, crashing out during qualifying for the Moto3 class. It did not slow him down, the Spaniard grabbing pole for the second race in succession. MotoGP was much worse: during the final session of free practice, Cal Crutchlow threw his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha away at the start of the back straight. Later in that session, Crutchlow watched from behind as Marc Marquez fought a losing battle with gravity at the other end of the straight, the front folding and the rear whipping round on him despite valiant efforts to save it. "I was willing him to save it," Crutchlow joked afterwards, "but in the end gravity won."
Results and summary of qualifying for Moto3:
Esteve Rabat led an all-Spanish top three in Moto2 FP3 at Jerez with a time of 1'42.967. Pol Espargaro, just two-tenths down, placed second and Nicolas Terol was third. Scott Redding, fastest in the previous test, placed fourth with final qualifying just ahead.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Jerez:
Briton Scott Redding grabbed the top spot in Moto2 qualifying Friday but his grip on number one is anything but firm. Esteve Rabat finished just .037 seconds behind and more importantly, still holds the fastest time from FP1 of 1'43.227. Takaaki Nakagami took third to round out an all-Kalex top three. COTA winner Nicolas Terol finished FP2 in sixth place, half a second adrift.
Spaniard Esteve Rabat finished Moto2 FP1 at 1'43.227, nearly three-tenths clear of the field. Rival Scott Redding slotted into second and Pol Espargaro, who was mid-pack early, came on strong at the end for third. Former MotoGP race winner and Moto2 champion Toni Elias climbed into the fifth spot, just behind Jordi Torres who was the only Suter rider in the top six. Note: Rabat's time would have put him 22nd on the MotoGP FP1 timesheet, ahead of three CRT riders.
The MotoGP paddock is assembled in all its splendor at Jerez, and it is positively bulging at the seams. Shiny new hospitality units (very shiny, in the case of the Go&Fun Gresini unit) now pack the paddock, the existing units larger and new units added, causing the paddock to loosen its belt and expand into the adjacent car park, sequestering part of the area previously reserved for team and media cars. Under a bright blue Andalusian sky, it really is looking at its most appealing.
The expanded paddock makes you understand why IRTA decided to ban Moto2 and Moto3 riders from having their motorhomes in the paddock, all of them now expelled. The riders themselves are less impressed. "It was nice to have somewhere you could zone out during the day, and relax," Scott Redding said of the change. Sitting in the hospitality and watching the world go by was very pleasant, but still left him on his guard, he explained. Private quiet time was gone.
And it also removes part of the socialization process which young riders used to undergo, with the Moto2 and Moto3 men wandering around the paddock chatting to team members and other riders, everyone getting to know each other, and catching up on the latest news and gossip. It was part of what made the paddock feel like a village; a small Italian village, high in the mountains, with an inexplicably male-dominated population. The Moto2 and Moto3 riders added much to the fun of the place, spending most of their evenings challenging each other to wheelie competitions on mountain bikes and scooters. The paddock loses much with the change, feeling more like a workplace than a community.
Previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 riders and teams ahead of this weekend's race at Jerez:
The 2013 MotoGP season has only just got underway, but as is seemingly customary in MotoGP now, thoughts are already turning to next year. With eight of the twelve men on factory prototypes on two-year contracts, the most attractive seats already appear to be taken. There is no room for any movement at either the factory Yamaha or factory Honda teams, and only one seat potentially available at the factory Ducati team. Both satellite Honda seats are taken for 2014, as is Bradley Smith's seat at the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team.
Despite this, there are some intriguing possibilities being played out. The most desirable seat still left is almost certainly the second Monster Tech 3 Yamaha seat currently occupied by Cal Crutchlow. Despite the Englishman's outstanding performance since last year, Crutchlow may not be able to hold on to his seat. There have been credible reports since 2012 that Yamaha have a keen interest in Moto2 title favorite Pol Espargaro, and in the run up to the season opener at Qatar, rumors emerged that Espargaro is already in talks with Yamaha for 2014.