Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
Lorenzo Delivers Perfect Catalunya Victory
Montmelo' Circuit (Barcelona, Spain), 16th June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo delivered a perfect performance today in the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take his second consecutive Grand Prix victory, his third of the 2013 season. A scorching start from third on the grid saw the local hero pass pole man Dani Pedrosa almost immediately for the hole shot into turn one. A classic Lorenzo master class followed with the reigning world champion maintaining a metronome precision over race distance to keep the two following Hondas of Pedrosa and Marc Marquez behind. The result closes the gap at the top of the championship standings with Lorenzo now on 116 points, just seven behind leader Pedrosa as they head for the Dutch TT in Assen in two weeks time.
Teammate Valentino Rossi made a good start on his YZR-M1, jumping two places to hold fifth going into turn one. The nine-time champion looked comfortable behind fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow until the young Brit crashed out, promoting Rossi to fourth. By this time a small gap had grown to the front three riders and despite at times lapping faster than the front he was unable to close the gap, riding a relatively lonely race to fourth at the line. The result gives Rossi 13 points and closes the gap to Crutchlow in fourth to just 11 points.
1st / 43'06.479 / 25 laps
“A perfect day, to be honest I didn't expect to win, I knew I had some chance but not like in Mugello where I was more convinced we could get the victory. It was really difficult physically as it was the hottest race of the year. I kept pushing 100% all race because any mistake would have been a disaster. I was surprised at the start as I expected to just pass Cal but I passed Dani also. I took profit from it and tried to open the gap but it was not enough to go away, Dani was there and we played some games, I was 0.5 ahead then 0.2; I was going then he was recovering me. Finally because I was tough mentally and never gave up I could open in the last five laps a little gap that was enough to win. The girl who designed my helmet, Anna Vives, is famous in Spain; she is a symbol that people with Down syndrome are capable of a lot more than some people think. I think it was very original and colourful so I was very proud and happy to have her on the podium to share the win with me.”
4th / +5.874 / 25 laps
“We wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but anyway it was quite a good race. Race by race, apart form the unlucky times, especially like Mugello, we grow up and I am able to ride the bike in a better way. We still have some challenges, especially in the first part of the race where I still don't have the right setting to push to the maximum. After some laps my pace was not so bad and we were not so far from the top guys. We did a good job and we will now go for two days of testing where we will try to improve further. We don't give up, we will make another step and we will not be so far from the front.”
“A fantastic day here in Barcelona, I think maybe one of his best races ever, maybe not the fastest as the circumstances were not good and the lap times were slow, but to ride on the limit every lap and push as he did to keep a little gap to Dani and Marc is very impressive. I’m very happy for the team and also Vale finished with good points which is good. The championship is close, there was a lot to lose and a little bit to win today, the five points extra we got are important. It’s always important to beat your competitors but it’s not always possible. Mugello and Catalunya are very smooth tracks and fit our bike quite well and Jorge loves them. For sure we will get some tracks where we struggle a bit more. We must think ahead, this one is done and there are still 12 races to go.”
“Another super performance from Jorge. He has been really impressive. I think the whole team did a really good job as they were able to close the gap, improving the bike overnight as yesterday we really suffered in hot conditions compared to our competitors. He couldn't have done better so compliments to him and his crew. For me Vale has done his best race after Qatar. His feeling is getting better and he is getting closer. I think the circumstances were very difficult today, really hot conditions and a big lack of grip. For me we closed the weekend in a really good way. After the race we have revised the test plan, due to the weather forecast. After internal discussion we have decided to stay here at Catalunya tomorrow and to test at Aragon on Wednesday only. We will test a few things for the frame to try and improve it; let's see what we can prepare for Assen.”
Repsol Honda duo take fourth double podium of 2013
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have once again returned to the podium together taking 2nd and 3rd respectively in the GP of Catalunya.
Dani, who this weekend became the youngest rider ever to reach the milestone of 200 GP starts (27 years 260 days), started from pole position for the first time at Montmelo in the MotoGP class. In a drag race to the first corner, title rival Lorenzo snatched first place and Dani dropped to second. Starting from sixth place, Marc had a fantastic start and was 3rd by the first corner, safely behind Lorenzo and Dani. The three Spanish riders maintained these positions and rode with incredible accuracy and consistency with just tenths of a second separating them for the entire 25 lap race. In the final laps Marc saw an opportunity to attempt a pass on Dani but was unable to achieve it and in the end settled for 3rd place.
Dani maintains his lead in the Championship standings with 123 points, 7 ahead of Lorenzo and Marc lies in third place with 93 points.
The team will now pack up in Catalunya and depart for Aragon for a two day test starting on Tuesday where they will test the 2014 RC213V prototype machine.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd Championship Standing: 1st - 123 points
"Today was a bit of a strange race. We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tyres. When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today. It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal. We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and in fact, on the closing laps, Marc made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place. We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra twenty points and we continue to lead the standings"
Marc Marquez 3rd Championship Standing: 3rd - 93 points
"It was a difficult race. We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge and Dani and I'm very happy with this result! It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal setup. During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium. I can only say I'm thrilled with the result. Now we look to Assen and we'll see if we can improve anything for that race during the test at Aragón"
Super sixth for Smith, Crutchlow falls in Catalunya
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team experienced a day of contrasting fortunes at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya this afternoon, the highlight of the 25-lap race a stunning career best sixth place finish for rookie Bradley Smith.
Smith’s joy at his first top six in MotoGP was countered though by a disappointing afternoon for on form Cal Crutchlow, who saw his quest for a record-breaking third successive podium ended when he fell unhurt out of fourth on lap six.
Smith’s weekend ended on a positive note after the 22-year-old bounced back superbly from a heavy crash on Friday, which followed two nasty falls during the previous round in Mugello.
Nursing a badly damaged little finger and fractured bone in his left wrist after the Mugello crashes, Smith brushed aside the pain and discomfort this weekend and he needed only three laps in baking hot conditions to move into the top 10.
With a track temperature nudging a sizzling 52 degrees, tyre management became a critical factor on the slippery surface. Smith coped with the tricky track conditions more like a seasoned campaigner than a rookie and his maiden top six was secured when he passed Andrea Dovizioso on lap 23, having recovered a gap to the Italian that was over four seconds at one stage.
Cal Crutchlow’s incredible run of form ended in the early stages when he fell out of fourth while in pursuit of Spanish trio Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
Seeking to add to his brilliant top three finishes in Le Mans and Mugello, the 27-year-old had further raised expectations when he topped the timesheets in this morning’s warm-up session.
The British rider still remains in fourth position in the World Championship standings on 71-points and he is confident he will be back in the podium hunt at the next race in Assen.
Bradley Smith 6th – 34 point:
“Obviously today was a much more positive result for me, even if sixth position looks a bit better than it really is. But at the end you have to finish the race to score the points and I did that in difficult conditions while not at my 100% physical best. So it is a great result for the team and me. I really focused on the first eight laps trying not to make any mistakes and trying to stay as close to Dovizioso and (Stefan) Bradl because I knew they should have been more or less on the same race pace as me. I tried to attack Espargaro as quick as possible so I didn’t lose too much time and I managed that. Finally to be in a fight with Andrea towards the closing laps of the race, knowing that he has been always very strong during this part of the race, was obviously something special and makes me feel proud. And to finish 32 seconds behind the winner is another great step and I just want to continue like this until the summer break. My team did a fantastic job to help me on the YZR-M1 and we really turned around a difficult Friday to have a great result on Sunday and that makes me really happy.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 71 points:
“Obviously I am disappointed that a great weekend ended with a crash and I have to hold my hands up and say it was a stupid mistake on my part. Like last season and again in the first few races of 2013, I have been struggling to stop the bike in the early laps with a full fuel load. I was giving it my all to stay in the battle with the top three and unfortunately I hit the kerb on the inside and crashed. It was a silly mistake and I am sorry to the team because I am confident I could have stayed in the fight for the podium right to the end. We have got to understand why we don’t have so much grip at the start of the race but I can take some big positives out of the weekend again. I was on the front row, I was fastest in the warm-up and I was battling for the podium in the race. Now we can go to Assen confident that I will have good speed and be in the rostrum fight again.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Today we have mixed feelings. On one hand we are delighted to see Bradley having such a strong race into the top six and that will do his confidence the world of good. But on the other hand we are a little disappointed because we had big expectations for Cal after he did a great weekend and was fastest in warm-up. He was right behind the top three and we knew the first laps would be difficult with the full fuel tank. We had passed that difficult moment but the conditions were tricky with the heat and the surface was very greasy. Cal crashed and it is a shame but he has still done a fantastic job this season and I know he will be strong in Assen. Bradley did an outstanding job. He pushed non-stop right from the start and to see him catching a factory Ducati with Andrea on board, who was on the podium with us here in 2012, was something really special. He is learning very fast and he showed lots of courage again today because he is still in pain and discomfort with his hand and wrist injuries. He can take plenty of confidence from today and hopefully it won’t be too long before he is fighting for the top six again.”
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES ANOTHER EXCELLENT EIGHTH PLACE
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider takes eight points, riding around a front end grip issue
Dani Pedrosa had been the favourite to win the Catalan GP after his record pole lap yesterday, but in the end it was Jorge Lorenzo who took the triumph on Spanish soil. The Majorcan was able to ride a great race for 25 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Pedrosa and Marc Márquez just behind. The race had begun with a series of crashes at the La Caixa corner, as a quintet of Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Márquez, Crutchlow and Rossi broke away from the rest. Crutchlow crashed out, Rossi lost ground gradually and Lorenzo but enough of a gap in place to ride comfortably. Márquez tried to overtake Pedrosa for second late on, but he would place third on the podium.
Aleix Espargaró leads the way in the CRT standings and has been the best of that group for the opening six races. However, the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar has had to improve with every round and was excellent once again at Montmeló. He had to battle against a lack of front end grip throughout the contest today. He had seen many rivals crash out, and wanted to avoid a similar fate. He crossed the line in eighth after a solo ride, taking the position for the second consecutive race and once again equalling a best ever CRT result.
Teammate Randy De Puniet was not so fortunate, as he suffered a mechanical problem with his engine that left him out of the running on lap 2.
8th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy with the result today, my team and I have had a special weekend. When I saw all the supporters cheering us on the lap of honor, I got goosebumps. I was the best CRT and my brother Pol won the Moto2 race, so it has been a perfect weekend. To be honest, today is not the best race I’ve ever ridden, because I noticed that the front wheel had no grip and I almost crashed several times. I was riding tense, just focusing on reaching the end. We remain the CRT to beat, but we would still like to be closer to the official riders. When the asphalt is too hot the bike skids around and we can’t corner quickly, then we lack power under acceleration compared to the official bikes. Tomorrow we have a test here, there are many new things to try, and we will aim to keep improving to be ever more competitive."
Randy De Puniet (DNF): "The truth is that this weekend we have not had much luck. At the start of the race I noticed that the engine was not working properly, we lost power and I was overtaken by several riders at the very beginning. I tried to catch the slipstream from Karel Abraham, but I lost all acceleration. I did not notice anything unusual, but after crossing the finish line for the first time my rear wheel locked up. I could not control the bike and I went straight on. At first I thought it was a problem with engine braking, but then the bike stopped completely. I would have loved to have had a strong race this weekend, but we haven’t had much luck lately. I hope that in Assen we can get back on track.”
STRONG 5th PLACE FOR BRADL AT SCORCHING CATALUNUYA GP
Montmeló, 16 June: the field got way in stifling conditions today for the 25-lap race at Montmeló race track with LCR racer Stefan Bradl enjoying a second consecutive top five finish. During the first three practice sessions Bradl was on impressive form and despite the tenth place of yesterday’s qualifying, the German produced another positive race wisely managing the life of the tyres. ...read more and download the official photos.
“Honestly we thought it would have been tough to get such a good result so we are very happy about this P5. It has been a very tough race in these hot conditions and I had to be very clever to save the tyres in every single lap. Some riders crashed in the first part of the race so I decided to be less aggressive in the beginning. I am quite satisfied about my performance because I was capable to adapt to these difficult conditions. This strategy gave me a lot of confidence and a big gap to the guys behind me. Tomorrow we will back on track for a half-day test here and then 2-day testing in Aragon”.
Dovizioso seventh in Catalonia, crash for Hayden
In a Catalan Grand Prix that was marked by sweltering, slippery conditions that contributed to no fewer than ten riders failing to finish and several others taking off-track excursions, Ducati Team racer Andrea Dovizioso was forced to ride in defence mode on his way to seventh place aboard his Desmosedici GP13. Teammate Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, experienced a premature end to what had otherwise been a promising weekend, as he crashed out on the sixth lap.
Having started from the ninth slot on the grid, Dovizioso was mired in the pack early on, and although he had some nice battles with Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith, his bike lost grip as the race went on, forcing him to settle for seventh place. His American teammate lost a few positions just off the start but rode well as he made the passes to regain his fifth-place starting position. Unfortunately, a lap-six mistake on corner entry resulted in a race-ending fall.
The Ducati Team will remain in Barcelona tomorrow for the post-race IRTA test.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
“We knew it was going to be difficult on this track, due to the layout and the bike’s pumping, but it was worse than we thought. I really didn’t think I’d do such slow lap times, but with the heat, the performance became worse and worse every lap as we lost grip. It’s just more confirmation that we’re still a long way back, and that we have a lot more work to do.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, NC
“It’s such a disappointment because until the crash, it had been my best weekend of the year so far. I got a pretty good jump on the start, but some guys overtook me going to turn one. I had to make a few passes, but once I got into fifth I thought I had the grip to do a solid race. Unfortunately, I went into a corner a bit deep, stayed on the brake too long, and went down. It was my fault, especially with the track being so hot and greasy, and I apologize to the team because they had given me a bike that was working pretty well. There’s nothing to do but take it on the chin and try to shake it off.”
Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a weekend to forget, with a crash for Nicky, who until then had enjoyed a fairly good feeling with the bike and shown good results in practice and qualifying. It was a big disappointment when he crashed in the same corner where many other riders went down. As for Dovizioso, he had a solid race until mid-distance, but he suffered a tremendous loss of grip, with blistering on the rear tyre. We didn’t expect too much from Catalunya, as it hasn’t been our best track in the recent past, but we certainly wish we had done better. We’re looking forward to the IRTA test tomorrow, when we’ll try some new things and see if they’ll help us improve on a track that’s so tough for our bike.”
Consolatory top-ten finish for Pirro
It was a tough weekend in the Ignite Pramac Racing Team garage, and it was made even more difficult when Michele Pirro made contact with Yonny Hernandez just after the start and ran wide in turn nine.
The Italian, in his second appearance as a substitute rider for Ben Spies, nonetheless rejoined the race and began the hard work of recovering positions, advancing as high as tenth place with nine laps remaining and maintaining that position to the end.
Pirro, who also serves as the Ducati Test Team rider, will remain at the Circuit de Catalunya tomorrow for an IRTA test, in which he’ll work on extracting maximum performance from the ‘laboratory’ version of the Desmosedici GP13.
Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“Unfortunately, in order to avoid Hernandez on the first lap, I was forced to go long in a corner and run off the track. Then I took a long time to get through the gravel because of the anti-spin, and by the time I got back on track, I couldn’t see anyone—I thought maybe the race was finished! At that point, I gave it everything I had to recover as many positions as possible. I tried switching maps to see if it would reduce the pumping, but I wasn’t able to reduce the gap as much as I wanted. I hoped to catch Dovi, but then I realized that the tyre was losing a lot and I had to settle for tenth place. We didn’t change much compared to Mugello, as we didn’t have enough time, but due to the worse pumping and grip we found all this weekend, this is how it went. On one hand I’m happy to have had the opportunity to ride here because we were able to see this bike’s limits, but on the other hand I’m disappointed because I hoped to have a better result. We’ll see how things go in tomorrow’s test, and then at Assen, although I still don’t know which bike I’ll ride.”
Disappointment for Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Inspired by the good setup he and his team had found over the weekend, Andrea Iannone made an aggressive start to the Catalan Grand Prix in an effort to score a top-ten result, and he stayed with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso for the first five laps.
Unfortunately, he then lost the front and fell in turn ten, ending his race prematurely.
The incident was particular disappointing considering the promising morning warm-up session, in which the Italian had set consistently good lap times. Nonetheless buoyed by the positive signs that emerged during this sixth round of the MotoGP championship, the team and Andrea are focused on tomorrow’s test day at this same track, where they’ll work with an eye toward the June 27-29 Assen TT.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“The track was slower than it had been this morning, and especially compared to yesterday. I had very little front grip, and I was losing the bike in many parts of the track. I knew that the high temperature was probably affecting the pace, but I was able to manage it. I tried to ride more or less like Nicky, but maybe we were right at the limit for the conditions because first I fell and then he did. Dovi, on the other hand, backed off, maybe because he immediately understood the situation; he used his experience, which I still don’t have. My tyre choice was the only possibility, as it would’ve been worse if I’d used the soft front. The pace this morning was a second higher, and then probably the increase in temperature had another big affect, causing troubles that we hadn’t yet encountered. We were there today, and we gave it our all; we could’ve had a decent race, but maybe I shouldn’t have kept pushing so hard. Anyway, I hope to be able to have other weekends like this, and we’ll see if we can get some good results.”
BAUTISTA CRASHES OUT AS STARING PICKS UP MAIDEN POINTS
Alvaro Bautista was expecting a tough race in Barcelona today but nobody expected it to be over so quickly, the Spanish rider crashing out for the second round in succession. Starting from fourth on the grid Bautista and Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini had high hopes for the race but these things happen in the race and the team will stay united as they target better fortunes in the next race. Bryan Staring, meanwhile, improved his pace from practice and was rewarded with the first points of his MotoGP career.
Alvaro Bautista (DNF) “It is such a shame. We have had a great weekend and this was the last thing we needed. After the start I felt like the guys in front of me were holding me up and in an effort to stay with the lead group I tried to get past them and I crashed. Maybe with a hard tyre on the front I could have been a bit more careful but I was worried about losing touch and I went for it. In hindsight it would have been better to wait but in racing these things happen. I feel sorry for the team because they have done a great job here and I want to apologise to all the guys, who are giving 100% and deserve a different result. Now we just have to look forward to the next race and try to stay calm.”
Bryan Staring (14th) “I have scored my first World Championship points today but I am still not particularly happy because I would have liked to do it more on the front foot. It wasn't an easy race because of the conditions and I was able to improve my pace from qualifying so that's good but I'm still not happy to be honest. Anyway, we have to take the positives and try to learn from this experience in the future.”
Fausto Gresini “After a bad result in Mugello this wasn't what Alvaro needed! Unfortunately the conditions in the race were difficult to judge but to crash out so early is disappointing, especially for the rider who was devastated. Now it is up to us to rally around him and help him put this behind him as soon as possible. We are improving and we have shown that this weekend so we need to stay positive. Obviously today wasn't much fun but this is racing and I am sure there will be better times ahead that help us forget it quickly. Bryan did well to pick up his first couple of points and even though he is not happy he is moving in the right direction and we need to keep this going.”
9th place for Edwards and first points of the season for Corti
The Gran Premi de Catalunya comes to an end with both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti in the points. Montmelo has been the scene at which both riders have achieved their best results so far this season.
The American rider has exceeded his expectations and has not only finishing in the points for the third race in a row, he has also finished in the Top10, 2nd best CRT and best FTR-Kawasaki today at Montmelo. Edwards feels he has a good FTR – Kawasaki package to move forward with.
Italian teammate Claudio Corti has also achieved his goal of taking the first points of the season for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team. Corti had been struggling all weekend with the setting of the bike but finally managed to solve the problems in time for the race and finish in 12th place and 4th best CRT bike.
Both riders look forward to the upcoming race at Assen in two weeks time.
“Got a good start. No real big changes since yesterday on the bike, pretty happy with the package. In the first couple of laps it seemed like guys were crashing, losing the front, dust clouds here and there but my bike was working good. Once I kind of got clear track and saw Espargaro in front of me, like normal I put my head down and push as hard as I could. Felt like I was catching him a little bit, he pulled me, I catch him, he pulled me and we kind of had this accordion thing going on for half of the race. At the end I saw Aleix and just kind of trying to stay with it and lost some rear contact, the grip got so greasy that you go in and it was coming around going in. My options were to push and go into the gravel and maybe catch him or survive and bring the thing home. I saw on the board that we were in the Top10 and I thought that getting into the Top10 for the team after a difficult start of the season would be good. Thanks to the team, they have done a great job and thanks to the electronics, they really came through and we got a good package to move forward with.”
“We came to Barcelona with a clear goal, get in the points and we have done it. The weekend didn’t start off well; I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. During the race I struggled a lot, I do not particularly enjoy this track but still got the job done and finished in 12th place. After a difficult race at Le Mans and being constrained to retire at Mugello, it feels good to be able to finish a race and have new data to analyze in order to be better prepared for the upcoming races. Tomorrow we will be testing here and we have several new modifications to test. We have to keep up the hard work to improve the feeling with the front. Congratulations to Colin for getting the team in the Top10 today, great job!”
Abraham didn’t finish the race due to technical problems
Karel Abraham couldn’t finish the race in Spain because of technical problem on his motorcycle Aprilia ART. The Czech rider performed good start and thanks good ride and some crashes of riders ahead of him, Karel was driving on the tenth position, which he was defending for a couple of laps. Then he was forced to drive to the pit and retire from the race due to above-mentioned and for now not specified fault. The Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo won Grand Prix of Catalonia after excellent ride on his Yamaha factory bike. His greatest rivals Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez followed him on Hondas.
„What can I say about it? I can’t find any polite words right now. We could reach a very nice portion of points and we have nothing. Start was good; I was riding in a group with Espargaro and Edwards, where I was fighting for eighth place. Barbera and Pirro were in a quiet safe distance behind us. On the straight the motorbike started to falter, we didn’t find out what was cause for now. Our guys will now work on this and we will see. I’m really disappointed, I was very close to the best result of the season and probably I will remember it for a while.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„We haven’t been so sad in this season yet. In the morning warm up we were trying a small change on the setting and it succeed. The motorbike was working perfectly. As only team we choose the hard type of tyres that turned off as a good choice. After a good start Karel was driving good times and it could be expected that on hard tyres in last laps of the race he could be fighting with Edwards and Espargaro. We are not sure what was the cause of fault of the bike. Probably it was electronics but we will have more exact information tomorrow.“
Lorenzo keeps cool in scorching conditions to win the Catalan Grand Prix
Round 6: Catalan MotoGP™ - Race
Montmeló, Sunday 16 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 31-32°C; Track 55-57°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made it back-to-back MotoGP™ victories after a masterful display in sweltering conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Lorenzo got a great start to lead into the first corner and then kept his cool in the extremely hot conditions to break the resolve of the pursuing Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa with a few laps remaining. Lorenzo took the chequered flag 1.763 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, while Marc Marquez ensured two Repsol Honda riders on the podium by crossing the finish line less than a tenth of a second behind his teammate in third place. At his home circuit, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the highest-placed CRT rider, finishing in eighth position for the second consecutive race.
Extremely hot weather prevailed today resulting in a track temperature during the race of 57°C. Grip levels in the scorching conditions were reduced, so the majority of riders selected softer rear slicks to have the maximum amount of grip from the edge of the tyre for the many long corners at this circuit. Front tyre choice was almost constant across the grid, with only one rider selecting the soft option, medium compound front slick for today’s twenty-five lap contest. The harder front slick provided greater stability under braking and cornering, though at a slight expense to grip from the edge of the tyre when the rider is at their maximum lean angle.
Lorenzo’s victory and corresponding twenty-five points means he now sits just seven points behind Pedrosa in the MotoGP championship standings, while Marquez is thirteen points behind Lorenzo and third overall.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Conditions today were the hottest on race day so far this year which made the track quite greasy and a challenge for the riders. The heat made tyre management even more important; first of all managing the front-end load on the slippery track surface with a full tank of fuel in the early laps, and then managing tyre wear - particularly at the rear - in the later stages. Even though it was so hot, none of the works riders selected the harder rear option for the race as they wanted the better edge grip of the softer option. Considering we had such extremely severe conditions for tyres, the softer rear slick performed well today.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“Today was the hottest race this year and physically it was very hard. I made a better start than I expected and was able to pass Cal and Dani, and after that I just tried to keep my rhythm. For most of the race Dani was always there behind me, but in the last five laps I managed to pull a small gap. It was a special race in front of my home crowd.”