Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's spectacular race at Jerez:
Pedrosa soars to victory as Repsol Honda complete second successive 1-2
Today in the Grand Prix of Spain in front of 111,259 spectators, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa completed a perfect race to take his first victory of the 2013 season. Teammate Marc Marquez enjoyed a fantastic battle with Jorge Lorenzo, passing him in the final corner to take a thrilling second place.
After tracing Lorenzo, who led from pole, in the early laps, Dani made his move on lap six and never looked back, opening up a 2.4 second lead by the end of the race. With this victory, Dani continues his incredible run here in Jerez, finishing on the podium in all eight starts in the MotoGP class. Jerez continues to be the most successful circuit for Spanish riders for premier-class victories, with a total of nine; Alberto Puig in 1995, Alex Criville in 1997, ‘98, ‘99, Sete Gibernau in 2004, Jorge Lorenzo in 2010 & 2011 and Dani in 2008 and 2013.
It was an eventful race for Marc who had an early battle with Valentino Rossi but passed him and then stuck with Lorenzo for the majority of the race, trying to find a way to pass his countryman. In the final lap, on the final turn, Lorenzo didn't fully close the door and it was all Marc needed. The bikes touched but Marc was able to keep his line and finished ahead of Lorenzo. Marc is now the youngest rider to finish on the podium at three successive premier-class races, after his 3rd place in Qatar and victory in Austin.
Marc now leads the 2013 World Championship standings on 61 points, with Dani second on 58 points. Collecting the trophy for Honda was Mr. Manabu Nishimae, COO for Regional Operations (Europe, Middle and Near East and Africa), President and Director of Honda Motor Europe Ltd.
Dani Pedrosa 1st Championship Standing: 2nd - 58 points
"It was a beautiful race. I was able to ride the bike well, even though it was difficult because the tyres were really on the limit. I couldn't push too hard because of that, so I had to ride carefully. I was able to maintain a good advantage throughout the race and collect this win at home as a result. It was fantastic, especially seeing all the fans in the stands; this year we've had a lot of people come to watch this Grand Prix. I also want to say "Happy Mothers' Day" to my mum and thanks to all my team, it's been a great day! "
Marc Marquez 2nd Championship Standing: 1st - 61 points
"It was a very good race. I gave 100% from the first lap through to the last. At some points in the race I felt better than at others, but I never gave up. I tried to stick as close as possible to Lorenzo, although it was very difficult. I couldn’t quite close the gap, but I didn’t let him get away either. It was a very hard race, because if you get one or two seconds difference between you, you relax a bit. I didn’t relax though, and I am very happy. I think that, above all, the end of the race was really good for the fans. I want to apologise to Jorge, because it was a racing incident – a last lap move that happens when you are on the limit. The most important thing is that we both finished the race, and I hope that that’s the end of it"
Lorenzo Fights to the End in Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 5th May 2013
Jorge Lorenzo took his third consecutive podium finish of the season today, taking third on the podium for the Gran Premio Bwin de España at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit in Southern Spain. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider made a strong start from pole position, initially dropping to second off the line but retaking the lead a couple of corners later from fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa. With 22 laps to go tyre life dropped off dramatically and Lorenzo was then re-passed by Pedrosa. The reigning World Champion was able to hold second from an advancing Marc Marquez until the final corner of the final lap when the young Spanish rookie made a heart stopping pass on the inside of Lorenzo, making contact and pushing him wide to steal second. The podium finish delivers Lorenzo 16 Championship points and places him third in the standings, four points behind Marquez.
Valentino Rossi made a good start from fifth position on the grid and enjoyed an early tussle with Marc Marquez reminiscent of their Qatar battle. Having been unable to find an optimum set up for the race Rossi was unable to maintain the pace of the front three. The nine-time World Champion was quick enough to stay ahead of fifth placed rider Cal Crutchlow and rode a relatively lonely race in fourth to take a further 13 Championship points. Rossi sits in fourth in the standings with 43 points, 14 behind his teammate in third.
3rd / +5.089 / 27 laps
“I have always been positive so today also I am going to be positive, to finish the race with sixteen points is always a great result. I was second for the whole race and then lost the place on the last corner so it wasn't the perfect race. The perfect race is a victory and if not possible second, the next is third. Today we got another podium and we are quite close to the leader. On the other hand we have to improve the bike. I think I made two mistakes in the race, in the start I started really badly and in the last corner, I thought Marquez was further behind than he was so I didn’t take a defensive line, this was my second mistake.”
4th / +8.914 / 27 laps
“It was a difficult race. Unfortunately we were not able to be better, we suffered a bit with the conditions and we tried to do the maximum. We improved the set up for the race and we did a good start. I was with the top group but unfortunately I was not fast enough to stay with the top three. Lap by lap the gap was bigger so I think we have some work to do. Here in Jerez I expected we could go faster than Honda but they arrived in front of us. We still have some work to do to improve the bike. Tomorrow we have the test and we'll try to find the right balance. In the Championship we are not very far from the top and we took some important points. I wanted to be on the podium but unfortunately it was not possible, we will try again next week.”
“A very tough fight today in very difficult circumstances. We struggled a lot to get the bike under control for the whole race. Finally we finished on the podium, which is very important in races like this. After five laps the tyre had already dropped a lot and Jorge was missing apexes here and there. He brought the bike back home and that is what is important.”
“It has been a hard weekend. We really worked as hard as we could to improve tyre life. Unfortunately we couldn't get what we were looking for. For sure we will focus some more effort tomorrow during the test to fix it for the rest of the season. In terms of the Championship, points and a podium are always good and we are close to the leader. The season is long; we lost a battle but not the war! Both riders put in a lot of effort, pushing 100% from the start of the race until the end. Overall it was a good race.”
Heroic fifth for Crutchlow, Smith gets first top 10 in Jerez
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrated its first double top 10 result of the 2013 MotoGP campaign in Jerez today, with Cal Crutchlow riding to a heroic fifth place and rookie Bradley Smith storming to a maiden top 10 finish.
Crutchlow displayed phenomenal determination and bravery to bounce back from two heavy crashes yesterday to maintain his 100% record of finishing every race inside the top five this season.
The British rider was engaged in an exciting early fight with Valentino Rossi for fourth before he got locked into an intense tussle with Alvaro Bautista shortly before the halfway stage of the 27-lap encounter.
In scenes reminiscent of their titanic battle for the podium in Japan last October, Bautista seized fifth from Crutchlow on lap 11. But riding through the pain barrier in gruelling heat that saw temperatures hit 27 degrees under clear blue skies, Crutchlow fought back superbly to take back fifth on lap 17. He then produced a master class in aggressive riding to streak away from Bautista and claim a third successive top five finish by almost three seconds.
Bradley Smith produced an equally impressive ride to come tantalizingly close to registering his first top 10 finish in MotoGP.
For the majority of the 27-lap race he was locked in the biggest battle on track for eighth position with Andrea Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro and Michele Pirro.
Smith moved into the top 10 on lap 24 with a clinical move to get by Pirro and at that stage he was 1.770s behind Espargaro. He produced a stunning late charge to cut the Spaniard’s advantage to less than a second but just as he was lining up an attack to claim ninth the chequered flag came out.
Cal Crutchlow 5th – 35 points:
“Fifth place today is not a bad result considering everything that has gone on before but it’s not exactly what we expected. I was fast all weekend but after the two crashes yesterday I think it’s a very good result to remain the best of the rest. I did not feel very confident with the front-end in the race, but I think all Yamaha’s struggled in this area. I think in the middle of the race my pace was good and I started to push but with the full fuel tank I could not stop the bike and I had no grip, so I lost quite a bit of time in the early laps. Physically I had no problem on the bike for the race distance although I had a little bit of pain in my lower back. It has been a difficult weekend in many respects so I am very satisfied with fifth because probably last year I would not have finished the race in the same situation and that’s for sure an improvement.”
Bradley Smith 10th – 10 points:
“I’m obviously happy with my first top 10 result because conditions for the race were different compared to the rest of the weekend. The lap times were relatively slow and the temperature meant the grip was quite low, so it was a big learning experience for me. Riding these bikes with that little grip needs a different style, so I had to adapt at the beginning of the race. From the middle stages I felt comfortable and I’m a little disappointed to be beaten again by Espargaro but it’s nice to be at least closer than last time in Austin. I just ran out of time at the end of the race because I was catching him very quickly. In Austin I was 50 seconds behind the winner and here the deficit is 44 seconds, so that’s definitely a positive and our aim for the future will be to keep reducing the gap. I’m really looking forward to the test tomorrow. It will be another learning experience for me and it will be nice to test on a track where we’ve just had a race and where I feel now really comfortable on the bike. Tomorrow we will be able to test a few different parts and understand actually what’s working better and what does not. So all in all it has been a positive weekend with improvements in every session.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Cal did amazing all weekend, even though the two high-speed crashes yesterday meant he faced a very tough race. But he showed his fighting spirit and he had a good fight with Valentino at the beginning of the race and with Bautista afterwards. He managed to pass Bautista and was able to follows Rossi’s pace and it is a shame he was a few seconds behind him because I’m sure he could have fought for fourth. Cal clearly demonstrated once again that he is the best of the rest. He is still fifth in the Championship and just a few points behind Valentino and this is very encouraging. It has also been a very positive weekend for Bradley who improved a lot in every session and he managed to score his first MotoGP top 10 finish. The race was hard and he had some good fights with Andrea and Pirro and this was very interesting to watch. At the end he managed to pass Pirro and finish close behind Dovi, which is a very strong result. We leave Jerez very confident for the upcoming challenges, and the next one will be our all-important home race in Le Mans where we are already really excited about going there.”
Hayden, Dovizioso seventh and eighth in Jerez, Pirro eleventh
The Spanish Grand Prix proved challenging for Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.
Despite pain in his right wrist, Hayden managed to finish in seventh place, maintaining the same position for almost the entire race and riding alone for most of the twenty-seven laps. His Italian teammate, Dovizioso, never found a good feeling with his Desmosedici GP13, and he was involved in a battle with Espargaro for eighth place, a position he managed to claim at the chequered flag.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro had an encouraging performance in his first race aboard a MotoGP bike. Riding the experimental GP13, Pirro rode consistently in tenth place before losing a position four laps from the end and finishing eleventh.
Hayden and Dovizioso are scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s official IRTA test, which will also be held at Circuito de Jerez.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 7th
“The small tweaks we did to the bike this morning were improvements, and after I was fifth in the warm-up with a decent pace, I was confident for the race. My start was okay, but I lost the gap when Bradl crashed in front of me and I wasn’t able to stay with Bautista and Crutchlow. Thanks to my physiotherapist, Alfredo Dente, and the Clinica Mobile, who helped me to race despite the problem with my wrist. With the adrenaline, the first fifteen laps weren’t much of a problem, but the last part wasn’t much fun. It was our best weekend so far this season, so hopefully we can build on it.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th
“I knew it would be a hard weekend, but it was more difficult than I expected, especially the race. For sure the front tyre wasn’t suited to these conditions, but we shouldn’t complain too much because this is our gap at the moment. Anyway, I don’t want to find excuses because I didn’t ride as I wanted to today, while Nicky interpreted the track better. Tomorrow will be an important test to try the parts that Pirro raced with today, and I’m confident.”
Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team, 11th
“Honestly, considering how I was doing until the halfway point, I thought I could've stayed with Dovizioso, but I eventually found myself in a battle with Espargaro. I made some small mistakes and lost some time. In the end, I lost the feeling with the front tyre and also a bit of acceleration on corner exit. It’s a shame because we had the potential to finish in the top ten. It was my first real race on a MotoGP bike, and it wasn’t easy because I didn’t want to make mistakes. Now we can focus on my next race at Mugello, where I hope to do better. I don’t like this track much, but anyway we got some good information for our development work. I’d like to thank Ducati for having given me this opportunity.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“We knew from the tests we’d done at Jerez that this weekend would be difficult for us, as the track doesn’t seem to match the characteristics of our GP13. Still, Nicky did good lap times in the race despite his painful wrist, while Andrea had some problems with the front tyre. It was nice to see Pirro’s performance over race distance, as he made progress and improved his feeling with the laboratory bike. Thank you to the whole team, including the test team, for the good work they did over the weekend, and which will continue in the test tomorrow, when the two Ducati Team riders will have the opportunity to give their input on the experimental bike for future development.”
BRADL SLID OUT OF THE GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN
Jerez, 5 May: LCR racer Stefan Bradl endured a tough weekend at Jerez de la Frontera circuit crashing out of the Grand Prix of Spain on the third lap of 27. During practice the German had struggled with a lack of feeling for the front-end, but by yesterday evening he seemed to have partially solved the issue, which then returned for the race. Bradl was racing in seventh when he lost the front at turn nine. He walked away from the crash unharmed but hugely disappointed.
"Basically we were not able to fix our problems throughout the weekend and even today I could not ride the bike in a smooth way. I early crashed because, since the beginning of the race, I could not push in the front and this overall package did not suit my riding style. This tough weekend ended with a crash and I feel sorry for everybody. We must forget this race and go ahead working hard for Le Mans GP”.
Forgettable weekend for Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Despite yesterday’s crash-induced injury, Andrea Iannone had a better night than expected, and in this morning’s warm-up session for the Spanish Grand Prix, he registered a best lap time of 1:40.690, just six-tenths from his Q2 time yesterday, when the only thing hindering him had been his forearm problem.
The asphalt temperature was at 46° C (115° F) - much warmer than the morning session—as the MotoGP riders lined up on the start grid, with the Italian, who had undergone treatment by the Clinica Mobile, on row four. He enjoyed a good start and was close behind fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden, and he registered a 1:40.642 lap time before losing the front end.
The Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team will now prepare for the next round of the championship, at Le Mans on 19 May.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I had hoped that this weekend would go better for me; I was very confident that I could do well, also because this is the track at which I’ve done the most kilometers on a MotoGP bike. In fact, we didn’t start off too badly, and we did a good job before the two crashes. Unfortunately, the first fall made things a bit difficult for me physically, as I’m missing some strength, maybe also because of the medicine I’m taking. I suffered quite a bit in the warm-up session, but thanks to the work done by the Clinica Mobile and Dr. Costa, I thought I could make it to the finish line. Although my launch wasn’t the best, I managed to pass some riders in the first and second turns. I was doing okay, so I’m sorry for how it went. It was a really short race for me, because like yesterday, I lost the front. Fortunately, I’m fine. A big thank-you to the team for the work we’re doing together; now we’ll focus on Le Mans.”
Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team Manager
“It’s really a shame! Andrea had a good pace up until Saturday afternoon’s free practice, with everything pointing toward us having a good race, despite the pain in his arm. Then the crash in FP4 compromised all the work we’d carried out over the weekend, and we really didn’t need the fall in the race, especially since he was riding really well. Now we prepare for Le Mans, and we hope to take better advantage of the work we’ve done until today.”
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ CONTINUES TO SET CRT PACE WITH NINTH IN JEREZ
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar takes season-best finish at Spanish GP, becoming leader of CRT sub-category
A wave of sweltering heat took over the Jerez circuit today at 2pm, just in time for the start of the MotoGP race. 30 °C ambient temperature and 50 °c track temperature created an uncomfortable time for the riders, although the heat was really turned up at the end of the race. Jorge Lorenzo was able to set the kind of pace that had given him pole position, but his leadership of the race lasted just five laps. Pedrosa got past him and never looked back, taking the win. To conclude the contest, Marc Márquez overtook Lorenzo with a risky move on the final corner of the last lap, snatching second in controversial fashion. Whilst Pedrosa won the race, there was also victory for Aleix Espargaró in the CRT side of the contest with a ninth place finish.
It had been suspected that some of the CRT battalion could provide problems for the 'official' bikes in today's race, and Aleix Espargaró made sure that it happened. The man of the moment in the CRT sub-class started from thirteenth on the grid, and the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider began to gain positions from the first lap. He brought official riders Smith and Pirro along with him, but soon he was in a position to attack Dovizioso ahead of him. He caught up with the Italian on lap 11 and accompanied him almost to the chequered flag. Espargaró placed ninth in his best performance of the 2013 season so far. He is now the standout leader of the CRT standings, with 7 points added to his tally and a total of 17.
Less fortunate was his teammate, Randy De Puniet, who had also started well at Jerez but crashed out on the third lap. He lost the front of his bike at Turn 9, ending his day prematurely. The Frenchman was unhurt and now turns his attention to the next race -his home round at Le Mans.
9th Aleix Espargaró: "Today I had a beautiful race. Honestly, yesterday I was not happy with myself for missing Q2, I knew that here we could be very fast and not reaching the level expected was something that upset me. However, I still knew that here was where I had the best pace. 'Aspar' told me on the grid to keep calm, as that was the best way to have a good race, but I must admit that when I saw that I was just behind Dovizioso I went for it. I am very happy; it's great to finish a race so high up and with such great feelings. I was even able to pass him on a couple of occasions. It really was a tough race, in which we finished with the tyres destroyed and sliding all over the place on the last laps. It was worth it, though. In all of the three races so far we have managed to reduce the gap to the first few riders, so every day we are performing at a higher level. I am very happy, because we are doing things very well. It is clear that, besides myself, the team also deserve a huge amount of credit for giving me by far the best CRT bike. I want to dedicate this magnificent result Jorge because he won the first race in the history of this track. I'm sure he's even keener than I am to have an official bike, so I will give him a case to make for that to happen."
Randy De Puniet (DNF):"It was a shame about the crash today, because I had started the race well. On turn nine, releasing the brakes, I lost the front. On the previous lap I had been given a couple of warnings, so I tried to stop the bike as smoothly as possible, but when I lost it there was nothing I could do. I made a mistake and that made ??me losethe bike. Today the conditions remained tough, it was very hot and the tyres suffered greatly. In fact, we saw several very similar crashes from other riders. We knew yesterday that the race would be difficult, although we weren't expecting it to finish like that. We had done an excellent job over the weekend and now we have to move on and think about Le Mans."
Edwards in the points at the Jerez GP
The Jerex GP comes to an end and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing will leave Spain with the first point of the season after Colin Edwards overtook both his teammate Claudio Corti and Danilo Petruci on the last lap with his FTR-Kawasaki, finishing in fifteenth position.
After being constrained to retire during the first two races of the season in Qatar and Austin, the American rider not only finished the race but also the first point of the season for the team.
Claudio Corti started the race in twenty-second position and made it to fourteenth position in the first two laps, to later leave the points area halfway through the race. Towards the end of the race the Italian rider was engaged in a battle for fifteenth position and ended up overtaken and ended the race in seventeenth position.
Colin Edwards – 15th
“What a day, the start was terrible. We did a little suspension change before the race to try to get more traction. Once the race started I got going and it was all about management, try to stay between the lines and be smooth and trying to carry as much momentum as possible. If I tried to square it off it seemed like it would go straight to spin in and the traction control would kick in and wouldn’t go anywhere. I rode as fast as I could and we got our first point of the season. I don’t seem to get along with this track to begin with so I am looking forward to Le Mans I really like that track. We need to keep working.”
Claudio Corti – 17th
“During the race I had the same problem that I had during the winter test: after the first we laps the rear tire causes a lot of vibration. I tried to decrease it by changing the electronics setting during the race and since it didn’t work so I went back to the original setting. I enjoyed myself in the last few laps with Petruci because we were I wanted that first point. I passed him at brake points a few times. A pity because I think i could have kept a pace of 1´42.500 but wasn’t able to in the end. The increase of the track temperature in the afternoon decreased the grip and traction. Tomorrow during the test we will be working on the conditions of the first half of the race, riding with a full tank since I seem to loose a lot of time concentrating on keeping the bike up. I struggle at the start and towards the end of the race I improve performance. The Avintia bikes, that are exactly the same as ours, managed to establish a twenty seconds gap, that is a second per lap and that is too much. Congratulations to Colin on his first point of the season.”
Sergio Verbena – MotoGP Technical Director
“The race went considerably better than the free practices and the qualifying sessions of the last few days. The main problem this weekend was the lack of grip but in comparison to the races we have done so for this weekend we have been able to stay with other CRTs even if we are still far from the times of the fastest CRTs. We have been working really hard and now we have the first point of the season form Colin. With a bit of luck Claudio could have also been in the points but for now we will focus on the next race at Le Mans. We have to understand what is it that didn’t work in order to be ready for the next race.”
Pedrosa storms to first win of the season at Jerez
Round 3: Spanish MotoGP™ - Race
Circuito de Jerez, Sunday 5 May 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft, Medium (Symmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 26-27°C; Track 51-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa rediscovered the form that netted him seven wins last season to take a dominant victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
After getting the holeshot at the start of the race to lead into the first corner, Pedrosa was overtaken by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo on the first lap who set a fierce pace in the opening stages of the contest, setting a new race lap record of 1’39.565 on lap two. Pedrosa managed to regain the race lead from Lorenzo on lap six before pulling away to take the chequered flag by 2.487 seconds. The battle for second place between Lorenzo and Marc Marquez on the other Repsol Honda came to a thrilling conclusion on the last lap of the race, with Marquez passing Lorenzo on the inside at the last corner to take second place and the championship lead, while Lorenzo crossed the line in third place.
The first of the CRT finishers at Jerez was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who capped off a strong showing in Spain by claiming ninth position.
Strong sunshine and ambient temperatures approaching the thirty degree Celsius mark combined to create challenging track conditions today. A peak track temperature of 53°C was recorded during the race – the same figure reached yesterday afternoon – and correspondingly, race tyre choice was similar to that seen in qualifying. Front tyre choice for the race was uniform across the whole grid with all riders selecting the harder of the two front slick tyre options, the medium compound for the race. All the riders also selected the softer of the rear slick options available to them, with CRT riders selecting the extra-soft compound symmetric rear slick and the riders on works machines selecting the soft compound symmetric rear slick.
Pedrosa’s victory sees him move into second place in the MotoGP championship standings on fifty-eight points, while Marquez moves to the overall points lead with sixty-one points. Lorenzo sits one point behind Pedrosa in third position.
Yuichiro Takenami – Vice President and Senior Officer, Corporate Communications and Motorsport
“Congratulations to Dani Pedrosa on taking his first win of the season today in front of a large and passionate Spanish crowd. The contest between Marc and Jorge for second place was special to behold and the intense level of competition in MotoGP at the moment is resulting in some fantastic races. Bridgestone is proud to be part of such an exciting series and with such a depth of talent in the championship and the inclusion of exciting new rookies such as Marquez, I am sure we will continue to see large crowds of people flocking to racetracks throughout the season.”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This weekend presented a big challenge to the riders with the hottest track conditions seen in Jerez in recent times, so our technical team worked diligently to ensure the teams could get the most out of the tyres on the scorching asphalt. I am pleased that even though track temperatures were substantially higher than we had in the pre-season test six weeks ago, a new race lap record was set and riders could lap at a consistent pace throughout the twenty-seven lap race. The extreme temperatures also provided lots of useful data on tyre performance at this circuit, which we will take into consideration for our ongoing tyre development programme.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“To win today feels amazing and obviously for the championship this victory is also good. It was a smart race from me, I had to push every lap while also taking care of the tyres, but the bike was working well and towards the end I could manage the gap. It’s an amazing feeling to be here and thanks to my team, we now have a test tomorrow so there is still some hard work to do.”