Press releases from the MotoGP team and Bridgestone after Sunday's eventful Grand Prix at Aragon:
Marquez takes sixth win and extends lead after incident with Pedrosa
The Grand Prix of Aragón has been an event of mixed emotions for the Repsol Honda Team.
Championship leader Marc Marquez, starting from pole for the seventh time this season, extended his Championship lead with a fantastic win - his sixth of the season, but en route he and teammate Dani Pedrosa touched on lap six and as a result, Dani crashed out of the race.
Marc and Dani slipped back to 2nd and 3rd on the first lap but they both chased Lorenzo down and Dani set a new fastest race lap on lap two with 1'48.565. Dani passed Marc on lap five and the two Repsol Honda riders began to catch Lorenzo. It was during this chase that in the back straight, Marc and Dani briefly touched and during the contact, Marc caught a cable on Dani's real wheel and it snapped - disabling Dani's traction control and causing him to crash.
It is another disappointing blow for Dani in his bid to become World Champion. He remains on 219 points, 59 points off leader Marc on 278 points with four rounds remaining, Lorenzo is on 239 points - 39 off Marc.
Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 278 points
“Today was a very gruelling race, because I had to make two comebacks; the first was to catch Jorge after he broke free at the start, then I needed to make another after Dani passed me and I wanted to overtake him after two laps. I felt comfortable but I went a little wide under braking, lifted the bike up and made light contact with him. I'm not sure he even noticed it, but it was a bit of bad luck because the team told me I caused his traction control cable to snap and I'm sorry for that - it's something very unusual to see. The important thing is that Dani is OK. I was eventually able to overtake Jorge and take the victory, which is important in terms of both the 25 points and for my morale"
Dani Pedrosa DNF Championship Standing: 3rd - 219 points
“Fortunately I'm fine physically. I took a heavy knock to my hip and my groin area, but I was unable to escape relatively unhurt from what was a big crash. Marc went in too wide on the corner entry, clipped me from the outside and I went flying when I got on the gas. My mechanics told me later that the traction control cable had been cut by the contact"
Double Delight for Yamaha in Aragon
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought an intense battle this afternoon to take second and third respectively in the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon.
Defending world champion Lorenzo made a flying start from second on the grid to lead the MotoGP field into turn one with rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in pursuit. The Mallorcan’s stunning first lap pace saw a one second gap created as they headed into the second lap. Pedrosa and Marquez remained hot on the heels of Lorenzo until with 18 laps to go the two chasing riders made contact, Marquez running wide and Pedrosa crashing out. With ten laps to go Marquez caught and passed Lorenzo, but was unable to pull away as the reigning champion tucked in behind to give chase. Lorenzo eventually crossed the line in second, just 1.3 seconds back from Marquez.
Teammate Rossi held his fourth grid position off the line and into turn one, closely followed by Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl. The nine-time world champion, promoted to third by Pedrosa’s crash, was able to hold the provisional podium spot until a late attack by Bautista with six laps remaining. The fight for third ran until the penultimate lap, Rossi making the decisive move through the uphill section of the track to retake the final podium spot and hold it to the line.
The race result keeps Lorenzo in second in the standings, 20 points ahead of Pedrosa and 39 behind Marquez in the lead. Rossi remains in fourth place after his podium finish, now on 185 points, 29 clear of Cal Crutchlow in fifth.
2nd / +1.356 / 23 laps
“My tactic was to start well and open a gap like I did in the last races. I could make one second at the beginning but then simply Marc was faster. When he caught me I closed the throttle to try to save some energy until the end; then he passed me and tried to go away. I tried my best to catch him but it was impossible. Today he was faster than me; there are no excuses. We have to congratulate him and now we think about the next races. The championship is more difficult now than before the race but we are going to fight for it until the end. We will try to win as many races as possible.”
3rd / +12.927 / 23 laps
“Third position is positive, to be on the podium is good. I expected to go a little bit faster after the practice this morning where I was very strong. I decided for the hard front tyre whilst Marc and Jorge went for the soft and I think it was a better choice for this afternoon as I was a little bit slower. In the end the third position is very positive.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Again second in Aragon, same result as last year. We have been much faster than last year anyway, 12 seconds faster. We have improved a lot but not enough to win. It shows our potential at what is not one of our favourite tracks. Hopefully at the next four rounds we will have a little bit more so we can battle for victory.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Even though it didn't go as we planned we were still able to put together good results and have both riders on the podium. For us in a circuit where we always suffer this is a great result. As usual we took a lot of information to use. The championship is still open so we will prepare as much as we can and be ready for another exciting round in a couple of weeks.”
Unsatisfying day for Ducati Team at MotorLand Aragón
The results of the Aragón Grand Prix, the fourteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, were less than satisfying for the Ducati Team. Both Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were able to improve slightly on their grid positions (on the third and fourth row, thanks to ninth and eleventh place finishes in qualifying), but at the finish line, they had to settle for eighth and ninth place, respectively, the same results they posted at the previous round.
After a difficult start, Dovizioso found himself in eighth place on the sixth lap, followed by his teammate. The Italian then tried in vain to stay with Bradley Smith, while Hayden ceded a position to Andrea Iannone when he went off the track four laps from the end. The American was able to take ninth place back, and he and Dovizioso held their positions to the end.
The MotoGP teams and riders will now get a weekend off before embarking on a trip to Asia and Australia that will include three races in three weeks.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th
“I knew that the best I could hope for was to stay with Smith, but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. The first three-quarters of the race were good, as I gritted my teeth and tried to stick with him, but with nine laps left, the rear tyre began to lose grip and I couldn’t stay with him to the end. I’m disappointed, but like I said Friday, this track doesn’t suit us very well. The fact that we have trouble in fast corners is a big disadvantage here, and when the tyres are worn, this problem becomes worse.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
“It’s been a tough weekend. We’ve tried so many things to find grip and get the bike to stop, but we didn’t make much progress. On the start, I got a good jump off the line but bogged and lost some positions. I made up a couple and then ran wide in the last corner two different times. Toward the end I went straight at turn twelve, where I’d been having trouble stopping all weekend, and went into the gravel trap. I lost twelve seconds and one spot, which I had to fight to get back. It was a very tough race, and the feeling with my Desmosedici GP13 wasn’t great for the whole weekend, but I also made too many mistakes. I’m not very happy at all, so I look forward to getting to Malaysia to put this behind us.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“After the practice sessions, we knew that it would be difficult for our riders to do better than eighth place today. Unfortunately, this seems to be our potential at the moment. Andrea battled with Smith until his rear tyre began losing grip, whereas Nicky’s race was more difficult, as he never found a good feeling with his bike. Obviously, we’re not satisfied, and there’s not much else to say.”
GREAT RACE ALVARO!
Alvaro Bautista proved today that Misano was nothing more than a blip in the stunning form he has shown since Laguna Seca with another stirring battle for the podium at the Grand Prix of Aragon. The Spanish rider had the home crowd on their feet as he fought tooth and nail from the first lap in a combative second group, eventually only conceding third place to Valentino Rossi on the final lap. Bryan Staring was hopeful of a good race today but his hopes were not helped by a mistake that cost him crucial time. The Australian is determined to put things right in Malaysia and Japan, either side of his home race at Phillip Island.
Alvaro Bautista (4th) “It was a great race and I had a lot of fun fighting with Crutchlow, Bradl and Rossi. It's just a shame that I missed out on the podium again but I am happy because I fought for it until the end. Unfortunately I ended up getting into a fight with Bradl on the final lap and lost touch with Valentino but I have no complaints and we have to be happy with a result like this at a circuit where we have had so many difficulties in the past. Thanks to all the guys for the incredible job they are doing. It is nice that we were back to our best today, proving that Misano was not our fault.”
Bryan Staring (18th) “I am not really happy because I thought the race would be different but after a good start I made a mistake and lost focus. It's a shame but we have to stay positive because we have some important races coming up, including my home Grand Prix, and I am determined to finish the season off in a positive way.”
Fausto Gresini “It was an exciting race to watch today thanks in no small part to Alvaro. He rode like a champion to recover the ground he lost at the start and to fight so hard at the end. It was a shame that once again he lost out to Valentino Rossi but the series of overtakes between them was fantastic to watch and we have to give credit also to Valentino. This is what our sport is all about and we're really happy tonight so thanks to Alvaro and the whole team, who have worked so hard for this result.
BRADL (FIFTH) ENJOYS LAST LAP BATTLE WITH ROSSI AND BAUTISTA AT THE MOTORLAND
Aragón, 29 September: LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl raced amongst the protagonists once again in today’s 23-lap race at Aragón Motorland exciting his squad and his fans with a breath-taking last lap which saw him challenging Rossi and Bautista till the chequered flag. The German had realistic podium aspirations after his impressive pace throughout the weekend and today’s positive performance reflects a return to strong form for the 23-year-old.
“Probably it was an exciting race to watch and it was fun also for me. Overall we had a good weekend and a good race although I lost the last-lap battle with Rossi and Bautista but I am happy anyway. Of course I was dreaming about the podium as we were fast and consistent over the three days, but Alvaro was very strong in the last lap. After Silverstone and Brno tough weekends, our performance is getting stronger and stronger and I gained more confidence on the bike. I only need some more experience to manage the last laps and the drop of the tyres but we took the right direction”.
Encouraging twelfth place for Yonny Hernandez and Ignite Pramac Racing Team
In front of over 61,000 spectators, on a warm and breezy day at the circuit of Aragon, Yonny Hernandez ended his first race as a substitute rider for Ben Spies with the Ignite Pramac Racing Team.
Riding at a pace that was just a few tenths of a second from that of his fellow Ducati riders, Yonny fought for the entire race to stay close to the top ten before eventually crossing the finish line in twelfth place.
All in all, it was a positive day for the Colombian, whose main goal was initially to understand the bike’s behavior and the duration of the tyre in view of the challenging races that he’ll face during the upcoming tripleheader, scheduled start in Sepang on Sunday, 13 October.
Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I’m very happy that I was able to finish the race. I kept a good pace, and now I know some more important things pertaining to the behavior of the bike. Compared to a CRT, it’s indeed very different in terms of tyres, traction control and power. I think it’s been a good start, and I’d like to continue on this path, improving step by step and getting better results.”
Top-ten finish for Andrea Iannone at the GP of Aragón
The the fourteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, hosted at the Aragón circuit, saw Andrea Iannone defend his tenth position to the finish, putting him third among the Ducati riders. Along the way, the Italian posted a best time of 1.50.824, recorded on the second of twenty-three laps.
The early stages of the race went well for Iannone, who held the pace of Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden and even managed to put himself between them at times. However, he eventually began struggling with a lack of grip. At that point, his goal became to preserve a top-ten result, and although it was challenging, he was successful in the end.
Next on the schedule is the challenging tripleheader, which will begin at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday, 13 October, to be followed by the Phillip Island round before finishing at Motegi on 27 October.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“It was a difficult race. I wasn’t fast in cornering and I was sliding while braking. This time I’m not very happy. It wasn’t a good race, and I continued to have problems with the lack of grip. We have to work to solve this problem. Today I didn’t have the right confidence, but on the positive side, now I’m managing the bike better throughout the race. My goal now is to stay with Nicky and Dovi, as I did today in the beginning. Unfortunately, I had to let up after that to keep from falling, and they pulled ahead. I'm disappointed because every time I try to push harder, I risk falling. We’ll tackle the coming races the best we can in order to take some small steps forward.”
ESPARGARÓ PLACES ELEVENTH AT ARAGON, DE PUNIET THIRTEENTH
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders have excellent showing at Motorland, with Espargaró eleventh and De Puniet thirteenth for top CRT honours
As soon as the lights went out at the Motorland circuit on Sunday, Jorge Lorenzo attempted to impose his strategy from recent races. His push to escape from his rivals did not come off, as Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa were able to neutralise their fellow Spaniard within five laps. His 1 second advantage cut, Lorenzo was trailed by his two title rivals once more. The controversy of the day came when Márquez ran wide on a corner, moving back across and touching Pedrosa. Pedrosa was sent flying to the ground and out of the race, and Márquez would have to make another fightback to catch Lorenzo. He would reel in and pass the Yamaha rider, taking victory. Valentino Rossi completed the podium after a tussle with Álvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders produced a throwback to their most successful races today, finishing as the top two CRT riders and surprising various rivals on official bikes. Aleix Espargaró got a great start, sticking with those in front of him and engaging in a fun battle throughout the race. Eleventh place went to him at the Aragon GP, making him the highest placing CRT rider of the weekend.
Teammate Randy De Puniet had begun the weekend with setup issues, but in the warmup and race today he was able to feel much more comfortable on his bike and used this to his advantage. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider was the second best of the CRTs, with thirteenth place.
11º Aleix Espargaró: "The first part of the race was very fun. I started great and that allowed me to maintain a good fight with the Ducati riders and even overtake Smith on the second lap. At the end of the race we suffered a bit, we knew that at this circuit the straights are very long and we would lose time there to the official bikes. I fought with them in the corners but on the straights I was always passed back. Anyway, I had a lot of fun with Iannone and Hayden. At the end we were very close, which was our mission for the day, so I’m very satisfied. Now we have a week to recharge our batteries, then we have to face the final sprint of the season."
16º Randy De Puniet: “I am delighted that we were finally able to experience a normal Sunday. The beginning of the weekend was complicated, and even yesterday we had some setup problems. This meant that we didn’t do many laps during practice, but in this morning's warmup session we had a good feeling. That helped me to face the race with more confidence. To finish thirteenth, starting from sixteenth on the grid, is a good result. I think I could have finished in front of Hernandez, but the power difference was evident today. Nevetheless, I am satisfied because I enjoyed my riding, even though the bike was moving about a lot on the corners. We believe that this was due to the soft tyre. Apart from a few shakes, the bike now has enough grip, so overall it has been positive. We are back in the points, I am happy with this and I hope to continue like this at the next races.”
Crutchlow and Smith take valuable points at Motorland Aragon
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrated one of its best double finishes of the season at the Motorland Aragon track this afternoon, with Cal Crutchlow racing to sixth spot and teammate Bradley Smith finishing in a fantastic seventh position.
Crutchlow was one of the main protagonists in the most enthralling battle of a dramatic 23-lap race, as the British rider fought superbly for third position with Valentino Rossi, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl throughout.
The 27-year-old displayed typical fighting spirit to keep himself locked in the battle right down to the last lap, though he was just unable to force his way into contention to claim a fifth podium of the campaign.
Crutchlow’s sixth position saw him pick up 10 more precious World Championship points that keep him firmly in control of fifth place in the rankings and on course to end 2013 as the leading non-factory rider.
Today’s race, which took place in the coolest conditions of the weekend, saw rookie Smith deliver one of his most impressive performances of the season.
Taking full advantage of improved braking performance after tweaking his riding style earlier this weekend, Smith finished in a terrific seventh position. The highlight of his race was his excellent charge away from experienced rival Andrea Dovizioso after passing the Italian on lap three.
The 22-year-old maintained a consistent pace throughout the race and one pleasing aspect of his performance today was he managed to finish just over 30 seconds behind eventual winner Marc Marquez. That improvement on recent races bodes well for the final races of the campaign, which includes three back-to-back flyaway races in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
Cal Crutchlow 6th – 156 points :
"I am not unsatisfied with a top 6 result this weekend, I just think we are far from where we should be and that is clearly because we are lacking speed. We lose more than 10km/h every single lap on the straight and in acceleration and that is not good for us, we honestly don’t know why also because we used a new engine since this morning and I really don’t need to find excuses because you could clearly see it on TV how much I was struggling. In any case we can still take quite a few positives out of this weekend, we had two days of track time less than the others and we don’t have the seamless gearbox but we were still able to finish just 1,5 seconds behind Valentino, so we have not done a bad job. Now I am looking forward to the overseas and I am confident we can still fight for the podium this season."
Bradley Smith 7th – 80 points :
"The positive point of today is that we scored our best result since Sachsenring and altogether it was good to stay in front of the Ducatis and especially to pull away from them at the end of the race was a nice feeling. I still believe that we have some more potential to improve our race setting . This will surely be our main aim for the flyaway races and I have no doubt that we will progress is this area. But all in all I can’t be unsatisfied with this weekend, especially considering how tough Friday was, when things did not really go according to plan, so to travel to Malaysia with a 7th position in my luggage is not too bad."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager :
"It’s always a pity to finish sixth when you are so close to third. Clearly we were down on speed and that definitely did not help Cal. But as always he showed his huge determination and fighting spirit and gave it his all to stay with the group and I want to thank him for his commitment. For sure his performance and his competiveness will help the team go to the next round with a positive frame of mind. I also want to congratulate Bradley for the race he did. He did a really good job and managed to keep the two factory Ducatis a long way behind him and that is not easy, especially with Andrea, who we know is really fast on this track after his podium with us a year ago. At some stage he was lapping with the same times as Cal, Bautista, Bradl and Rossi, which is a big positive and I’m very pleased with the performance of both of them today."
Claudio Corti in the Top 15 at Aragon
NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Claudio Corti finishes in the Top15 with his FTR – Kawasaki bike. Teammate Colin Edwards finished in 16th place right outside the points at the Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón.
The Italian rider started the race from the 18th place on the starting grid. Corti experienced some problems with the front brakes in the first few laps that caused him to go straight and prevented him to keep up with De Puniet. Non the less the NGM rider was able to keep a very constant pace. On the ninth lap the transponder of his bike became lose due to an impact, placing itself between the rear brake lever and the his foot, making it hard for him to follow the line in turns six, twelve and sixteen.
The American rider struggled this weekend in finding the ideal setting for his bike at Motorland. The adaptation to the new software has probably contributed in adding difficulty in finding the right setup for this particular track. The Texan rider knows that these problems can be solved and that the data from this first weekend with the software update will be analyzed in order to do better at Sepang.
The next race of the season will take the championship to Malaysia in two weeks time and will the first of the three back to backs.
“Not the race we were wanting. We made some changes to the bike yesterday and some this morning but at the end of the day we kind of went back to what we had Friday in terms of bike setting. The bike was ok, I have a couple of corners here that I struggle with and sure bike setting has something to do with that. That turn 10 and the last corner, I seem to not be able to get in and get it turned or try to carry too much mid corner speed. We got a race under our belt with the new software and have some data to look at. Speaking of the new software, there were just a couple of corner we adjust the engine break from this morning and half of the race I will get them wrong, pushing me in there and I would be two to three meters off the apex. We got a couple of things that we can fix in terms of the electronics to make it better. For me making that many mistaken in a race is so unnatural, just not me, run wide here, run wide there, so we need to look over the data and figure it out.”
“It was a good race. The first two laps I had a problem with the front brakes specially on the slipstream with other riders, causing me to run wide a couple of times while battling with De Puniet, risking to touch with him. I was able to find a good pace even though I had started to feel the degradation of the tires after just a few laps. In the ninth or tenth lap I lost the transponder, placing itself between the rear brake lever and my foot making it very hard for me to brake and making it difficult for me to get back in the line, making turn six, twelve and sixteen a challenge. Unfortunately this problem made me lose a couple of seconds through out the race. At some point I really believed in the possibility of catching De Puniet and Hernandez but the tire didn’t allow me to do so and Aoyama was able to pass me. I overtook him again but his engine was more powerful than mine and on the straight he passed me again and lost me. I have been between the 13th and the 15th place all weekend and this has been the smallest gap we have had all season. Things are definitely improving.”
“We have met half of our goals for this weekend, we wanted to have both riders in the points but we were only able to get one of them in the Top15. Claudio has done an excellent race; he has been very consistent with his lap times during the race and was with Aoyama for most of the race. At the very end of the race he lost the 14th position but maintained a very small gap with De Puniet and Hernandez. Colin had a few problems in terms of the setting that we were only partially able to solve and has finished in 16th place. We were hoping for better results, we have to understand what went wrong in order to have both riders in the best possible conditions for the Sepang GP.”
Successful MotoGP debut: Luca Scassa seventeenth riding Cardion AB bike
Luca Scassa riding Cardion AB Motoracing bike instead of injured Karel Abraham finishes on seventeenth position in his MotoGP debut in Aragon. From 22th position on the grid Italian showed a great chasing ride after he got into collision with Petrucci and Laverty in first lap of the race and overtaking by degrees Barbera, Pesek and Staring. Followin this weekend results the Czech team engages Luca Scassa in place of the injured Karel Abraham for the Luca Scassa, substitute rider of Cardion AB Motoracing
„It’s been my first race in MotoGP and I have to admit that it was very very tough. I have strained left shoulder because there are many left turns. Anyway I’m very happy, it’s an incredible experience for me and I have to say thank you to Mr. Abraham who decided to give me this opportunity. I’m quite satisfied with the result, we did not make bad times and it’s just shame that I lost a lot of time because of collision of Petrucci and Laverty after which I had to get of the track. However I tried to do my best to reach riders in front of me. I can´t wait to see
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„At the start of the race weekend we were completely at the beginning, Luca had no experience and because he his heavier and taller that Karel he needed different setup of the bike. We had to go step by step and we were able to make improvements. Luca is very excited about the bike and we are happy of his result. At the beginning of the race he had a bad luck when Petrucci and Laverty collided in front of him and he lost about ten second. However he was able to speed up quickly and he was getting over riders in front of him. The fact that Luca could shift from Supersport to one of the strongest bike in the world is a good result and good basis for coming races in which Luca board with us.“
PETRUCCI CRASHES AT FIRST MOTOGP RACE LAP, ZARCO SEVENTH IN MOTO2
ARAGON , September 29, 2013 - The Aragon GP ended in advance for Danilo Petrucci. The Iodaracing Team rider, was involved in a crash with Michael Laverty on the first lap of the race. Petrucci , who started from the fifth row , was recovering after a not brilliant start, but was unable to continue because of the collision.
Very satisfactory , despite the final19th place finish, the Lukas Pesek race. The Czech rider was able to finish the Grand Prix of Aragon very close to his opponents, thanks to the good balance of his Ioda Suter BMW found in the practices of the past few days.
In Moto2, Johann Zarco, however, has got a good seventh finish place, recovering positions after a bad start. The French CAME Iodaracing rider, failed to maintain his nine starting position, arriving at the end of the first lap in fourteenth place . After a furious comeback, Zarco managed to finish in seventh place. After the race in Aragon, won by Nico Terol, Zarco keeps the seventh position with 113 championship points.
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - DNF - "I'm very disappointed, because I did not expect to end up in the ground. After the start I lost a few places, but I was recovering, when I heard a loud bang on my back and I found myself in the sand. I'm disappointed because I could try to keep valuable points for the championship, but that's racing".
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 19th PLACE - "I'm happy to have finished the race and for being able to battle with my opponents until the end. We finally found a good configuration of electronics and this has allowed me to have fun driving my Ioda Suter . I can finally start from the next races at the same level with the others riders".
JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - 7th PLACE - "I could do better in the race, but I have a bad start and I found myself fifteenth at the first corner . Then I managed to recover many positions until the seventh. I struggled to get my pace, but I cannot complain at the end we were not completely ok with the set up of the bike and this result allows me to not lose as much in the world standings".
Aragon Disappointment For PBM
As if recent results hadn't gone the way of the team, this weekend saw even worse bad luck being encountered by the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP Team at round 14 of the MotoGP World Championship at Aragon as both riders retired in the early stages.
With the recent changes in the team seeing Ulsterman Michael Laverty progress from the PBM-chassised Aprilia to the Aprilia ART with Australian Damian Cudlin being drafted in to ride the PBM machine, hopes were high for a change of fortune.
Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART gradually upped his pace throughout free practice as German-based Cudlin spent time getting used to the unique Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine.
As high as 14th in free practice, Laverty managed to qualify in 20th place with Cudlin four places further back going into the 23-lap race but it wasn't to last long as firstly Laverty was involved in an opening lap crash and then a couple of laps later, Cudlin joined him on the sidelines with a gearbox issue.
Despite the disappointment, Laverty remains in 24th overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings in his debut season. In the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, Laverty is in tenth whereas PBM occupy eighth in the Constructors Championship and 12th in the Teams Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.
Michael Laverty: "It had been a good weekend up until the race, we improved with every session as I got more comfortable on the ART and the team adjusted the bike to suit me. We had the pace but unfortunately we never got to show it as I got taken out on the opening lap following a good start. It's frustrating when you're not at fault however it's a DNF nonetheless. I feel really positive about our potential on the ART and I'm really looking forward to the three flyaway races in Asia which kick off in a fortnight's time."
Damian Cudlin: "It's a real pity that my race came to an end so quickly as I was really looking forward to fighting with a couple of the guys in front of me, but that's the way it goes sometimes. It was a difficult weekend but this is MotoGP and the level is very high! I really enjoyed being back in the GP paddock though, and the PBM team were fantastic to work for. I hope that with this experience under my belt, I can start to build and improve at the next race."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "In racing some days just don't go your way and certainly in the race, nothing went well for us with both our riders completing less than three laps. The most frustrating thing was we could not see what our race pace would have been, both for Michael on the ART bike and Damian with his first race on the PBM bike. Michael made a good start and had made up some places when he was hit by another rider, resulting in a crash and Damian had some downshift problems, which he believed were a repeat of some issues we encountered in one of the sessions earlier. Despite our disappointment we will continue to work hard and hope for better fortune in Malaysia."
Marquez seizes sixth victory of the year at Aragon
Round 14: Aragon MotoGP™ - Race
Motorland Aragon, Sunday 29 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 24-25°C; Track 31-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez returned to winning form at Motorland Aragon, his sixth victory of the season helping the Repsol Honda to take a stranglehold on the MotoGP™ championship with four rounds remaining.
Starting from pole position, Marquez lost out to Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo as the lights went out and found himself in third place after his teammate Dani Pedrosa passed him on lap five. Marquez regained second place after Pedrosa crashed out on the exit of turn sixteen on lap six, after which Marquez reeled in and passed Lorenzo for the lead on lap thirteen. Although he was pressured over the remainder of the race by Lorenzo, Marquez held on to take the chequered flag by 1.356 seconds ahead of his compatriot, while Valentino Rossi took third place on the other Yamaha Factory Racing M1 after an entertaining battle for the final podium position. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT finisher at Aragon, finishing in eleventh place.
Ambient and track temperatures were cooler today, with a reading of 31°C recorded at the start of the race. The lower temperatures resulted in all riders selecting softer rear slick options, while four riders – including Marquez and Lorenzo – opted for the soft compound front slick. The pace of this year’s Aragon Grand Prix was the fastest ever recorded at this circuit, with the overall race time bettering the old mark by seven seconds and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa setting a new race record lap of 1’48.565 on lap two.
Marquez’s sixth win of the year stretches his lead in the championship over Lorenzo to thirty-nine points, while Pedrosa remains third in the standings and a further twenty points behind after his second DNF of the season.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Repsol Honda and Marc on their victory today, both he and Jorge gave everything they had and it was fantastic watching them push each other to the limit. It was a great shame that Dani suffered from a technical issue today as he was looking so strong in the race, but I am sure we will see him back challenging for the win at Sepang. I think the prospect of watching an exciting battle between the championship contenders was a key factor in the large crowds at Aragon this year compared to last, and I hope that we will see big crowds at the remaining races as the championship heads towards a thrilling conclusion.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s temperatures were the coolest of the race weekend but they didn’t drop to a level that resulted in many riders opting for the soft compound front slick, with ultimately only four riders selecting this option. The cool weather also meant that no riders selected harder rear slick options for the race. Both the soft and hard compound front slick performed well in the race, as the teams and riders were able to take advantage of the different characteristics these two compound options offer. The overall race time was the quickest ever here and new qualifying and race lap records were set, so on the whole this was a positive weekend for Bridgestone.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“The start of the race was not so good but I was able to be aggressive on the opening few corners and only lost around a second to Lorenzo on the first lap, after which I was able to recover step by step. After Dani passed me I started to feel better with the bike though I did lose some time after I touched him at the end of the back. I was on the limit for many laps after that point, but I could catch and pass Jorge quite quickly and getting twenty-five points here was very important.”