2013 Sepang MotoGP Preview Press Releases

Press release previews of the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier Bridgestone:

Malaysia to kick off overseas tripleheader for Ducati Team

Having enjoyed a weekend off following the Aragón Grand Prix, the MotoGP teams and riders now head overseas for a stretch of three races in three weekends, starting with round fourteen on the calendar, the Malaysian Grand Prix. The event takes place at Sepang International Circuit, a popular track that boasts a diverse set of characteristics that make it a perfect test for a MotoGP bike’s versatility; in fact, the teams were here on two occasions last February, for official IRTA tests.

The Ducati Team has tasted victory at Sepang three times in the past, at the hands of Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner. Andrea Dovizioso has a pair of premier-class podiums in Malaysia, and Sepang is one of the few tracks this season where he’ll have had experience on the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 prior to the first free-practice session. His American teammate, Nicky Hayden, has no fewer than six fourth-place finishes at Sepang, including one in last year’s wet race.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team

“Sepang is one of my favourite tracks, but the tests in February weren’t so good. It looks like our bike didn’t work very well on that track, especially because the grip is very low, but maybe the conditions now are different and we can show some improvement. Anyway we’re going there always to push 100% and try to have fun with the bike.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team

“It was nice to get home for a week and attend my little sister’s wedding, but I’m very excited to get to Malaysia and move on from Aragon. This race will kick off three important weeks for me, and I really want to dig in and try to do whatever we can to get a good result somewhere along the way. We know it’ll be very difficult, starting in Malaysia, but it’s a good track that has everything—fast corners, slow corners, long straights. We’ll go there with the intention of doing better than we did in Aragon. I’m looking forward to getting back on track.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager

“Sepang is the first leg of a very busy tripleheader. It will be important to do a good job with setup starting from the first practice session, because the weather could be unpredictable during the time that we’re there for the race. Last year’s race was affected by a storm, so anything can happen. Anyway, we’ll continue to work hard because we believe it’s still possible to do some good results before the end of the season.”

Repsol Honda head to Asia for final fly away races to try and seal Championship

This week the Repsol Honda Team will head east to Asia for the first of three fly away races in Sepang, Malaysia.

The 2,300 acre Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is one of the world’s best motorsport facilities, holding its first Grand Prix in April 1999 and setting the standard for race circuits Worldwide. With four slow corners following two long straights and ten medium to high-speed corners, the wide track is particularly favourable to overtaking manoeuvres and plenty of open throttle. One of the longest laps in MotoGP is made all the more gruelling for riders by intense heat and humidity. Sepang is located around 50km south of Kuala Lumpur city.

Championship leader Marc Marquez will be looking to increase his lead of 39 points over second place Lorenzo and teammate Dani Pedrosa, in 3rd" will hope to regain some points after cr ashing out in Aragón and scoring a DNF, caused from contact with Marc. Dani has enjoyed great success at the Malaysian circuit achieving eight podiums including three victories - 2012 MotoGP, 2004 250cc, 2003 125cc. Marc has also won here in 2010 in 125cc, but has also scored two DNF's (2012 and 2009).

Race direction have confirmed there will be a hearing on Thursday to look into the incident from Aragón, where Dani's wheel sensor cable was broken after contact with Marc, during the race.

Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 1st - 278 point

"Now we head to Malaysia for the first of the fly away races and I'm ready to get there! Sepang is a circuit I like, it's the first track we were really able to test the Honda bike at so it will be nice to go back there and regain the feeling, and to see what we have learned over the season! I know there is a hearing set for Thursday with race direction to discuss the incident with Dani in Aragón, there is not much we can do, we need to wait and see what they say"

Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 3rd - 219 points

"I felt good in the last race riding at the front, and I look forward to finding the same feelings on the bike again in Sepang. The track has a little of everything, fast and slow corners, hard braking and long straights and the weather conditions make it hard work. Physically it's been a hard week, I couldn't walk for three days due to the pain in my hip, but it's getting better every day so I'm hoping to be in perfect condition for the weekend"

The Temperature Rises as Yamaha Heads Overseas to Malaysia

The heat is definitely on as Yamaha Factory Racing head overseas for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the first of the triple back-to-back races that mark the final push to the end of the season. Just four races remain for defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo to try to retain his crown from current championship leader Marc Marquez.

The Sepang circuit is up first this Sunday. Lorenzo has yet to score a premier class MotoGP victory at the track, coming second in 2012 and third in 2010. The Mallorcan does have one 250cc win under his belt from 2006.

Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi is a big fan of the Malaysian track and carries the honour of the rider with most wins at the circuit. The Italian claims a 125cc victory in 1997, a 500cc win in 2001 and premier class victories in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The Sepang International Circuit held its first Grand Prix in 1999 and continues to be a class-leading venue. The track provides fast, exciting racing with four slow corners, two long straights and ten medium to high-speed corners providing big challenges in bike set up. With a 5.5km lap length it is one of the longest laps on the Grand Prix circuit and as races are run in extremely hot and humid conditions it provides one of the ultimate tests of endurance for the riders who must be in peak physical condition to cope.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Now we start the big trip with three races in a row and face the last part of the championship, the crucial part. After Aragon where we fought so hard we now visit a special circuit. Sepang is a track everybody knows really well. I guess all the riders will be strong there because we made a couple of pre-season tests. Sepang is a long and technical circuit with two great straights but also some nice corners. The worst thing is it’s always stormy and you never know when it is going to rain. I have some good memories there but we need to keep focus now on the race and try to recover a little bit to Marquez. The championship is difficult but we want to fight until the end. Let’s see what happens!”

Valentino Rossi

“The Sepang circuit is a track that I like a lot, I have had many great victories there. I think it suits the Yamaha quite well. It's very demanding physically because it’s very hot but it's also a great track and challenge because of this. I want to try to make a good weekend and work hard on the set up to arrive competitively for the race on Sunday.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“We go now to Malaysia to start the last four races of the season and we are much stronger than at the beginning of the year. I am quite positive for Sepang because Jorge likes the track and also Phillip Island and Motegi that follow afterwards are I think quite good for us. He is feeling good and strong. Aragon P2 was of course not so bad but we wanted to win. For sure for the next rounds we would like to get some victories to finish the 2013 season in the best way. We will see what happens!”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

"The three races in a row will be certainly very interesting. We have good memories for each race and we are ready to do our best to close the season in a positive way. In Sepang we did two tests earlier in the season, as the other teams, but in the meantime the bikes have changed a lot. Having good weather and good conditions will be important. It is also important not to make mistakes because the races are three in a row, and the points that we can collect are many. We expect to improve even more, to do better, with both riders. We are ready for these three important weeks."


The fifteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship represents a bittersweet moment of inflection for Team GO & FUN Honda Gresini, two years on from the tragic and untimely death of Marco Simoncelli at Sepang. The Malaysian Grand Prix is an opportunity to remember Marco with happiness and also to pay tribute to him with a performance befitting of a great champion. Alvaro Bautista's recent form suggests that he can be a frontrunner this weekend, the Spaniard having fought to the line for a podium position in the last race at Aragon. Thanks to the tireless hard work being put in by Showa and Nissin, Bautista has been able to take huge strides in the second half of the season and he is determined to maintain this trend right up until the final race. Bryan Staring was not particularly pleased with how his weekend went at Aragon so this is a vital opportunity to turn things around before the series moves on to his home race, the Australian Grand Prix, in just a week's time.

Alvaro Bautista “Aragon confirmed the good form we have been in during the second half of the season and proved that Misano was nothing but a blip. At Alcañiz we got back to the level we had been showing in previous races and we took another step forward with the material we introduced in the test on the Monday after Misano. We fought all race for a spot on the podium and it was a real shame to lose touch with Valentino on the last lap because of the battle with Bradl. Anyway, we achieved our goal of being the first non-factory bike across the line and that is a source of great satisfaction to us. We are really improving and we want to confirm our progress again at Sepang by reducing the gap to the winner. It won't be easy because everybody is starting out with the data from preseason testing but I think we are at a relative advantage because our bike has improved a lot since then. I want to enjoy myself again like I have in the last few races. I have been working hard on my physical condition in readiness for the heat and humidity of this race and it is important to know when to use your energy and when to save it. The track is always fantastic and definitely amongst my favourites, with lots of different kinds of corners, hard braking zones, fast direction changes and some spectacular sliding. It is a wide track with some different lines and lots of opportunities to pass on the brakes. The weather tends to be changeable from the morning to the afternoon and the pace tends to drop as the day progresses because of the intense heat.”

Bryan Staring “Finally we are on the way home and I am looking forward to racing in Malaysia this weekend. I wasn't too happy with the result at Aragon but it is important we make up for it this weekend in Malaysia and give ourselves a good platform to work from in my home Grand Prix the following weekend. I like Sepang and I want to give it my best shot before heading on to Australia. My feeling with the bike has improved and there is no reason why we can't have a good race on Sunday. The heat will play a big part I am sure but I have done my best to prepare for it.”

Fausto Gresini “Going back to Sepang is heart-wrenching for myself and the members of the team who were infected by Marco's contagious good humour. It will be emotional but that is another reason why we need to stay focused and concentrate on getting a result. We have made progress with our package and now our rider is able to run at the front. Alongside the technicians from Showa and Nissin, Alvaro has been able to move things in the right direction and our performances are improving from race to race. We go to Sepang feeling sure that we can continue in this way and improve again, which will mean we are fighting for the podium and reducing the gap to the front. Sepang is a good track for Alvaro and he is capable of a top result there. For Bryan this race is relatively close to home so hopefully that helps him get a good result himself. At Aragon he made some progress so hopefully he can capitalise in Malaysia this weekend.”


Sepang, 10 October: this weekend the contest for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship moves from its European heartland to the tropical heat of Malaysia, where the spectacular Sepang circuit hosts round 14 of 18. Sepang is a popular MotoGP testing venue and the field was there for two Official Tests prior to the campaign, at the beginning and end of February respectively. Stefan Bradl has been very consistent in the last European rounds and will aim to score further important points riding his GIVI branded RC213Vs.

“Aragon proved that our performance is getting stronger and stronger. Also, I gained a lot of confidence during that race, which gives me the motivation to continue improving at Sepang. I know that I still need a little more experience to help me manage the drop in the tyres during the last few races, but hopefully I can get on top of that soon. Sepang is always a real challenge considering the physical effort and the unpredictable weather but I am fully ready. I like Sepang circuit but it’s sad to be back here without Marco (Simoncelli)”.

End-of-season sprint starts at Sepang

The MotoGP teams and riders are gearing up for the end-of-season sprint, the final four races in this year’s championship. It gets underway this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit, located about 50km south of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, with the first of three overseas races in three successive weeks.

The S.I.C. (Sepang International Circuit), another track designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke, is the longest after Silverstone, and one of the most interesting on the calendar. Its lap distance of 5.543 kilometers (3.447 miles), the sweeping corners and wide straights, which are particularly favorable to overtaking and high speeds, make it a demanding circuit, also because of the heat and high humidity in the area.

A third place on the podium in 2010 is the best result obtained by Andrea Iannone at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider, after a weekend in Spain in which he finished inside the Top 10, aims to continue the valuable work done with the team inside the pits and get closer to the Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

“It’s good to be back on this track where we did the tests in February. It's a very nice circuit but also a challenging one. My goal here is to try to stay as close as possible to the Ducati Team riders during the race. I hope to stay with them and match their times, although this isn’t a very favourable track for our bike. It slid quite a bit during the test here and didn’t have much grip, but it’s also true that we’ve changed a few things since February. Now we’ll be able to see the progress made so far, and see what a difference the changes have made. I don’t really know what to expect, but we’ve done a good job with the team and I think we can continue.”

End of season sprint starts at Sepang

The MotoGP teams and riders are gearing up for the end-of-season sprint, the final four races in this year’s championship. It gets underway this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit, located about 50km south of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, with the first of three overseas races in three successive weeks.

The S.I.C. (Sepang International Circuit), another track designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke, is the longest after Silverstone, and one of the most interesting on the calendar. Its lap distance of 5.543 kilometers (3.447 miles), the sweeping corners and wide straights, which are particularly favorable to overtaking and high speeds, make it a demanding circuit, also because of the heat and high humidity in the area.

Yonny Hernandez, currently substitute-rider for the Texan Ben Spies, is determined to further improve on his performance during the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain, his first race as a Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider. The aim of the 25-year-old Colombian for the remaining races of the season is to increase his feeling with the Desmosedici GP13, in order to fully understand its limits and potential, improve his performance, and try and move up in the standings race after race.

Yonny Hernandez - Ignite Pramac Racing Team

“I'm glad to be here in Malaysia with this bike. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’ll do everything possible to improve compared to Aragon. I learned some things during that race; I was able to experience the tyre wear, and I realized that the riding style changes. I still don’t know the limit of the front, and for now I’ve found a compromise by drifting with the rear, although I know that’s not the right way and I have to work to gain knowledge. At the moment I’m optimistic and I hope to improve. In addition, this bike seems to fit well with my riding style, and I like it.”


POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró edging closer to CRT 'title' as Randy De Puniet aims to build on positive recent progress

The MotoGP World Championship enters its decisive final stage this week as the paddock packs up and heads off to Malaysia for the first of three races in as many weekends. The fifteenth round of the season takes place at the Sepang International Circuit, which at 5.548km is one of the longest and most technical on the calendar and is also one of just four that MotoGP shares with Formula 1 alongside Catalunya, Silverstone and Austin. After his crash at Aragón Dani Pedrosa looks to have left a two-way battle at the top between Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo, with Márquez holding a strong advantage going into the final four races of the season.

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró finds himself in a similar position in terms of the chase for the CRT title, with the Spaniard holding a 45-point cushion over his closest rival Colin Edwards. Aleix is eleventh overall in the championship proper with an impressive tally of 76 points, thanks to his twelve CRT victories from 14 races so far. Randy De Puniet has not had the season he was hoping for but the Frenchman and his team turned a corner at Aragón and he is hoping to put the solutions he found at the Spanish race into practice again in Malaysia.

Aleix Espargaró: “Malaysia signals the start of a tough period for us and personally I don't like spending so much time away from home but my relationship with the team makes it easier to cope with and the time goes quite quickly. Sepang is possibly the hardest of the three races because of the heat but I still love the circuit and it is a lot of fun to ride. I suppose we will struggle down the long straights compared to the other bikes but I am looking forward to getting started and maybe if results go to form we can look forward to being crowned CRT champions in Australia. That is what we will be working towards.”

Randy De Puniet: “The last race at Motorland was very positive for us after a difficult period. The lap times were pretty good and that gives us optimism for the remainder of the season. On Friday at Sepang we will start out with the setting we found at Motorland on Sunday and we will work hard to improve our feeling with the material we have. We feel like we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and now that we have found our form we want to maintain it to the end of the season. We have a lot of information for Sepang from the preseason tests and it is a circuit I like, even though the F1 has left it bumpy in places over the last few years.”

Cudlin To Contest Fly-Aways For PBM MotoGP

Following the announcement last month regarding Damian Cudlin joining the PBM MotoGP team to contest both the recent Aragon and the forthcoming Australian Grands Prix, the Penrith-based team will field the 30-year-old Australian aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machines at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang and at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi later this month too.

As a result, the RAC (Racing Against Cancer) BMW Team has agreed to release him from his IDM Superbike Championship contract in order to allow him to race at the next three events on successive weekends starting with Sepang on October 13th followed by Phillip Island on October 20th and Motegi on October 27th.

British rider Michael Laverty, who has campaigned the CRT-specification PBM machine all season, will continue aboard the Aprilia ART machine for the remainder of the season.

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "PBM would like to thank the RAC Racing BMW Team for allowing Damian to race for us in the Malaysian GP and we now look forward to working with him for the three long haul races and continue the progress we were making during the sessions at Aragon."

Round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship takes place this forthcoming weekend at Sepang. For more information, please visit the team's website www.pbmuk.net and www.motogp.com

Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 15: Malaysia

Thursday 10 October 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium (Symmetric) & Hard (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)

Round fifteen of the 2013 MotoGP™ season takes place at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, a real test of man and machine with its high ambient temperatures and technical layout.

Measuring approximately 5.5 kilometres in length, Sepang is characterised by two long straights that end in extreme braking zones which demand high levels of stability from the front tyre. The rest of the circuit is a mix of high and low speed corners that combine to generate significant loads, with this circuit being one of the more demanding for tyres.

Although Sepang is hard on tyres, the stresses placed on the left and right shoulders of the tyre are similar hence two of the three rear tyre specifications offered at this circuit, the soft and medium rear slicks are symmetric. Only the hard compound rear slick which is offered just to the works riders is asymmetric in construction, with the right shoulder featuring harder rubber than the left shoulder.

Owing to its hard braking zones and high ambient temperatures, the front tyre allocation for Sepang includes the two hardest front slick tyres in Bridgestone’s range, the medium and hard compound front slicks. As the need for warm-up performance is not a major factor in the hot Malaysian climate, the main wet tyre at Sepang will be the hard compound wet tyre. Each rider will also be able to select up to two front and rear wet tyres in the alternative soft compound.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“I am looking forward to this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang as MotoGP is becoming more and more popular in this part of the world and I expect another large and vocal crowd will be present. Although it is an excellent venue, the heat and humidity at Sepang takes its toll on the riders and the layout of the circuit is quite demanding on tyres so overall, this is one of the more challenging events on the calendar. Marc is in a commanding position at the moment and as we head into the final few races of the season, we are all eagerly waiting to see how Jorge will rise to the challenge as he strives to defend his championship crown. Also, starting on the Monday after the race the selection event for next year’s inaugural Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup will take place at Sepang and Bridgestone will be providing tyres for this event. I look forward to seeing the talented crop of young Asian riders contend for a place in what will be an exciting feeder series for the world championship.”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Sepang is one of the most impressive circuits on the MotoGP calendar and is distinctive because of its two long straights which help make it one of the longest circuits we visit. Wild weather is often encountered here with track temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius and heavy rain, like we experienced last year, all possible over a race weekend. Sepang features a mix of high speed corners and tight hairpins with heavy braking, which makes good front tyre stability a priority here. Overall this circuit is quite tough on tyres as tyre temperatures can be quite extreme due to the nature of the circuit and the hot ambient conditions which give little chance for the tyres to cool.”

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