Summary and results of Moto3 race:
Scott Redding led the morning warm up at Barcelona, finishing ahead of Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro. Redding and his Marc VDS Racing teammate Mika Kallio were both issued new engines this morning, after the engines allocated through IRTA's random allocation procedure proved to be down on power.
2013 Barcelona MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Pedrosa's Scorcher, Lorenzo's Engine Travails, And Vinales' Penalty Points
Cal Crutchlow called it right on Friday. "We know the Hondas take a little bit longer to set up, but when they come out Saturday morning, they normally take a second off." It was more like half a second on Saturday morning, but by the afternoon, Dani Pedrosa took nearly 1.6 seconds off his best time on Friday, smashing the pole record which had stood since 2008. That was a lap set on the supersoft qualifying tires still used at the time, which had Nicky Hayden happily reminiscing about the fun to be had on the sticky one-lap rubber.
It was an extraordinary lap by Pedrosa, though the Honda man himself was not overly impressed. When asked if it was his best lap ever, Pedrosa acknowledged that it was good, perhaps one of his best, but still not as good as his lap at Valencia at the end of last year.
Pedrosa's blistering record lap was not the only excitement during qualifying, which turned into an intriguing session. It started off with Jorge Lorenzo taking off out of the pits in his customary fashion, only to cruise back in again after his first full lap. The clutch on his Yamaha M1 had destroyed itself, and so he had to leap back on to his second bike and try to set a time on that. That machine never felt the same as his number one bike, and so Lorenzo didn't quite have the confidence to push as hard as he hoped to. That left him third on the grid, but at least still on the front row.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams ahead of Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Barcelona:
The defense of Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP championship faces a further obstacle. In addition to having to fend off an unleashed Dani Pedrosa and the rookie sensation that is Marc Marquez, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider now has to deal with a looming engine shortage as well. Just six race weekends into the 2013 MotoGP season, and the factory Yamaha riders are already using the fourth of the five engines which they have for the entire season. With two thirds of the season left to go, the Yamaha men will face a serious challenge in making their engines last until the end of the season.
The issue affects both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in the factory teams, as well as Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, all of whom have taken a fourth engine. Crutchlow's teammate Bradley Smith is still only on his third of five engines, though even that is not an ideal situation. Making things worse for the factory men is the fact that both Rossi and Lorenzo have had one engine withdrawn, meaning that they will not be able to use those engines for the rest of the season.
Summary and results of Moto2 qualifying:
Summary and results of MotoGP qualifying:
Championship leader Dani Pedrosa lead the final sweltering practice session for the MotoGP class at Catalunya. Cal Crutchlow mastered the use of the harder Bridgestone tyre compound and the scalding 51 degree track temperatures to finish only four hundredths behind in-form man Pedrosa. Jorge Lorenzo recovered from his early morning tumble to finish third ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi and LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl.
Summary and results of Moto3 qualifying:
Thomas Luthi has continued his accelerated recovery from early season injury by setting the fastest time in the third Moto2 practice session. The Suisse rider ended the running with the fastest time of the weekend, a 1:46.909. Friday's pace setter Pol Espargaro followed closely in second place, finishing a mere seven hundredths behind Luthi. 'Tito' Rabat, Scott Redding and Takaaki Nakagami were the next riders on the time sheet, the top five protagonists will be the ones to watch come race day, as has been the case all season long.
Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez continues to show phenomenal speed in his debut MotoGP season, topping FP3 with a blistering time of 1:41.853. The Spaniard headed a hectic session that saw the top three riders lap in the 1:41 bracket and be split by a tenth of a second. Nicky Hayden put in a scintillating one-off lap to finish in second place ahead of Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa was the first rider to dip into the 1:41's and looks in fine form heading into the race on Sunday.
Alex Rins kicked off the action for day two by topping the timesheets by almost half of a second, smashing the fastest ever Moto3 lap time recorded at the Catalunya circuit. Luis Salom, Alex Marquez and Efren Vazquez made it an all Spanish top four, while Jack Miller rounded out the top five. The Australian recovered brilliantly from a low speed high side early in the session.