Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang:
Pedrosa leads home fantastic Repsol Honda 1-2
Dani Pedrosa has taken back-to-back wins in the Malaysian Grand Prix after an emphatic win with teammate, and Championship Leader, Marc Marquez in 2nd, celebrating the team's fifth 1-2 finish of the season.
Dani, starting from 5th on the gird, climbed up to 2nd position by turn one with Marc slipping back to 3rd. Lorenzo led the charging pack followed closely by Dani, Marc, Rossi and Bautista, with just milliseconds separating the five riders, Marc set a new fastest lap on lap two with 2'01.415 (breaking Casey Stoner's time of 2'02.108 from 2007).
At the end of lap five Dani launched his attack and passed Lorenzo taking the lead. Marc attempted to follow Dani and briefly passed Lorenzo at the beginning of lap six before being passed again - almost immediately - and initiating an epic battle between the two Spaniards. They exchanged positions sever al times until Marc finally made it stick on lap nine and began to open up a gap.
At this point Dani had already put some space between him and the others and was comfortably in the lead. Marc chose the safe option and didn't try to chase down his teammate - instead settling for twenty vital Championship points, extending his lead over Lorenzo to 43, and 54 to Dani with three races remaining.
Dani Pedrosa 1st Championship Standing: 2nd - 244 points
“I am very happy with this win, as it is very special. My level of riding today was very good and the victory comes after a difficult week – in which I was laid up in bed and could hardly move. To come here and win is fantastic, so thanks to all my team! It is a pity about what happened in Aragón, because we had the pace and the same chance of the win as we did here. However, we can’t keep looking back; we need to continue on and try to carry our form into the final races"
Marc Marquez 2nd Championship Standing: 1st - 298 points
"These twenty points are very important and I'm really happy with how the race went today. I had a nice, fun battle with Lorenzo, but at the same time I could see that Dani was opening up a gap. When I finally managed to overtake Jorge and make the pass stick, I tried to reduce the distance that Dani had put between us. However, I saw that it was too risky to do so. From that moment on, I decided to focus on keeping Lorenzo at bay, because the goal here was to finish the race ahead of him. We did what we came here to do, so we are very happy!"
Lorenzo Battles for Sepang Podium
Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo battled hard during the early stages of today’s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix to take third on the podium.
Starting from fourth on the grid, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider was yet again off the start line like a bullet and the first rider through turn one in the lead. With both Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez snapping at his heels he put his head down and tried to break away. With 16 laps to go, Pedrosa made his move at the end of the back straight, taking the lead. Marquez then moved up into third and began an epic battle with Lorenzo, the two swapping positions multiple times and passing within millimetres of each other at speeds of over 190km per hour. With 11 laps to go Marquez was able to make his final pass tick on the inside of turn 14, leaving Lorenzo to hold third to the line and claim third on the podium.
Teammate Valentino Rossi dropped initially to fourth off the line from his second place grid position, tucked in behind Marquez on the first lap. The nine-time world champion made a move on Marquez at turn 10 but was unable to pass and settled back into fourth. Rossi spent several laps holding off the advances of Alvaro Bautista, narrowly escaping an incident when the Spanish rider overshot turn one, just missing Rossi as he ran wide. The rest of the race proved to be a lonely one as he held his position in fourth, crossing the line just over ten seconds behind the leader.
The results from the first of the overseas triple header sees Lorenzo hold second in the championship, now on 255 points, Rossi holds fourth on 198 points.
The team now moves directly to Australia for the next round at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend.
3rd - +6.669 - 20 Laps
“We were much slower than the others today, especially after three or four laps. I tried to open a gap at the beginning like always but there was +0 on the board after a couple of laps. When Dani passed I tried to stay with him and also then again when Marc passed me. I tried to pass him some more times to make him nervous but it was impossible, he was much stronger today so we couldn't do much more. To win the championship is almost impossible but I would like to finish second in the championship and win as many races as possible.”
4th - +10.351 - 20 Laps
“Today was half and half for me, for sure we improved and made another step, improving the setting of the bike and I was able to be very close to Jorge. It looks like today our competitors had an advantage here; they were able to keep a better rhythm than us. Starting from second I hoped to arrive on the podium but I knew the top three guys were very strong. At the beginning of the race I lost some time as I had a problem with the front brakes. We continue to work and push and fight to be in with the top three.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Well, it was a very hot race, especially at the beginning, Jorge made an amazing start again. I think he gave everything he had to fight with Marc but finally it was not enough and he had to let them go for third place. Podiums are always good and sometimes there are races you cannot win, this was one of those.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“The weekend didn't go as we expected. We suffered a drop off in tyre life and we couldn't ride the bikes as we needed to. We tried hard to make the best setting to be fast and consistent but unfortunately we still needed something more. We won’t give up until the end and fortunately there is one race in a week’s time. We would like to have our revenge so we are really looking forward to Phillip Island.”
Crutchlow and Smith battle hard in muggy Malaysia
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith battled hard in baking hot conditions to claim sixth and seventh respectively in front of a record crowd of over 84,000 fans packed into the Sepang International Circuit.
Temperatures still hit over 30 degrees, despite heavy cloud cover and a strong wind blowing around the vast Malaysian motorsport arena, when Crutchlow and Smith engaged in an early battle at the start of the physically challenging 20-lap encounter.
A brilliant start from rookie Smith moved him ahead of his compatriot on the opening lap before Crutchlow moved back into the top six.
From that early juncture, former World Supersport Champion Crutchlow was caught in a long and tough battle with Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, which went right down to the chequered flag.
Crutchlow and Bautista exchanged several overtakes in an exciting battle but the 27-year-old missed out on his first top five finish since the Indianapolis round in August by just 0.152s.
Today’s result though consolidated Crutchlow’s position as the leading non-factory rider in the World Championship rankings on 166-points, which keeps him 30 points clear of Bautista with just three races remaining.
Smith strengthened his quest for a top 10 overall finish in the Championship standings after he rode to a lonely but very valuable seventh position.
The platform for his 10th top 10 finish of the campaign was a terrific launch off the line that put him right on the back of the leading group in the opening exchanges.
Unable to keep himself in the hunt for a third top six finish, Smith kept razor sharp concentration in the extreme heat to streak away from those behind with relative ease and his fastest lap of the race was only just over 0.7s behind Crutchlow’s.
The nine-points collected this afternoon could prove vital in the chase for 10th in the final standings, with the 22-year-old now six points clear of main challenger Aleix Espargaro.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team has little time to catch its breath now, with the squad heading off to Australia for the second of a gruelling flyaway triple-header that concludes in Japan on October 27.
Cal Crutchlow 6th – 166 points:
“It was a difficult race and I am very pleased to be in the top six, though it would have been better to have won that fight with Alvaro. That’s about my level at the moment and we knew this is not an easy track for Yamaha. I lost quite a bit of time fighting with Alvaro because I was looking to push on and maybe chase Valentino. But at the start I couldn’t stop the bike with the soft front tyre and I had a few moments. And I was also struggling with a lack of rear grip and that made it quite a difficult race. It was a good battle with Alvaro and it was a pity he just beat me but at the of end of the day he is on a package very close to the one that won the race today. I’m still satisfied with sixth but I am not so happy with the gap to Dani at the front. I am confident though we will be stronger at Phillip Island.”
Bradley Smith 7th - 89 points:
"To be honest today was a good way to end a very positive weekend. During the last three days we improved in every single session, we made progress with the setting of the bike and me finishing in 7th position is obviously a pleasant fact for my Championship standing. Today the track conditions were very tricky and with the higher temperatures the behavior of the bike was very different to what I experienced during the whole weekend and it took me awhile to adjust my riding style. But my second half of the race was quite strong and I am pleased with this. Furthermore we improved my feeling on full fuel load where I normally struggled a lot and also finishing the race still seeing Cal and Alvaro was a very positive feeling. So altogether I’m truly satisfied with this event and I will fly to Australia full of confidence and looking forward to the race next week."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“It was a very tough race but we expected it to be like that in these conditions where it is always so hot and humid. Cal lost a few places off the start while Bradley was sensational off the line again and he managed to get into the top six. Cal fought back quickly and he then had a really strong fight with Alvaro for most of the race and it was a shame that he lost out right at the end. But it was good to see him back on the front row of the grid and it was a solid race. He has been in quite a lot of pain and discomfort with his right arm and I am grateful that he pushed at 100% right from the start and as usual showed his fighting spirit. It was also a very strong race from Bradley. His lap times were very close to Cal and it was not an easy racing being on his own for so long. He kept his pace fast and consistent and he pushed right to the end and he never gave up. That shows how strong his motivation is and how keen he is to learn and progress. He is improving in every race and I am happy with the job he has done all weekend.”
ANOTHER STRONG RIDE FROM BAUTISTA
Alvaro Bautista confirmed his excellent recent form with another top five finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix, where only a small brake problem denied him the possibility of an even better result. The Team GO & FUN Honda Gresini rider has now been in the top five at six of the last eight races, showing the great job being done by him, the team, Showa and Nissin. It was a weekend to forget for Bryan Staring, who has struggled to get on the pace and must now hope for better in his home race next weekend.
Alvaro Bautista (5th) “I made a good start and that allowed me to get away with the front group for a few laps but then I had a moment when I couldn't get the front brake lever fully on and I ran wide. It took me a couple of laps to get confident with the brakes again and I lost touch. Maybe in the battle with Valentino I overheated the brakes. It was a shame but I fought my way back to Crutchlow and then gritted my teeth to beat him in a fight to the end. Another important top five finish for me, the team, who have done a great job again, and the sponsors.”
Bryan Staring (18th) “The race went pretty much the same as the rest of the weekend here and unfortunately we just haven't been competitive enough. We have struggled to get confident here and the only real consolation is that next week we go to my home race at Phillip Island, a circuit I have won many races at in the past.”
Fausto Gresini “Alvaro produced another excellent and exciting performance. Fifth place was well deserved today and it took a lot of determination after a front brake problem cost him time early in the race. It is not to the discredit of Nissin though because they are doing a great job for us. The result today confirms the great form we are in and I am sure there are many more to come.”
Malaysian GP: Dovizioso eighth, DNF for Hayden
The Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP, round fifteen of the MotoGP World Championship, was short on satisfaction for the Ducati Team.
Andrea Dovizioso started from eighth place on the grid and at the end of the 20-lap race, he was in the same position. Following a good start, the Italian went wide in Turn 14 on the third lap, forcing him to mount a difficult charge to make up lost positions. With teammate Nicky Hayden and fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone both dropping out, Dovizioso was able to take the chequered flag in eighth place.
Despite starting from the fourth row, Hayden did well in the early going and had climbed to eighth place by the third lap. Unfortunately, his bike suffered an engine problem at the end of lap eight, forcing him to retire. The engine will be sent back to the factory in Bologna to be analysed by the Corse technicians.
The MotoGP teams now head straight to Phillip Island in Australia, where the second leg of this overseas tripleheader will take place in one week’s time.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th
“I had a good start and was trying to stay with Smith, but I was very close to the limit and made a small mistake in Turn 14, where I closed the front. I went off-track and lost nearly ten seconds. Then it took at least seven corners for the normal grip on the right side of the tyre to come back, and I’m not sure why. We can’t be happy because our lap times were pretty disappointing. At the moment, it’s very hard for us; the other bikes have different characteristics and we aren’t able to close on them.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, DNF
“It’s a real shame because yesterday before FP4, the team made a good step with the bike. I didn’t ride well in qualifying, but this morning I was able to go faster than I had all weekend and had a pretty decent pace. In the race, I started eleventh but was able to move up a few spots and was having the best race I’ve had in a while. I was pulling away from Dovi pretty well and had just closed onto the back of Bradley. He was a little faster than I was in a few places, but I was better in some other spots. Just as I tipped it into the last corner, I heard a strange noise. I was hoping it was something on his bike, but when I opened the gas it was clear it was me. We need to let the engineers check out the engine to see what the problem was. It’s just a shame for me and the team to start the three-week trip this way.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“We’ve already sent Nicky’s engine to Bologna to be checked by the racing department, so we should soon know the real cause of the problem that occurred in the race. It’s a shame because Hayden had done a good warm-up session and was also having a good race, fighting with Smith. As for Andrea, he made a small mistake in the early laps and unfortunately, he immediately lost touch with Hayden, Iannone and Smith, forcing him to work his way back up. Once again, we don’t get much satisfaction from this race in Malaysia.”
Andrea Iannone forced to withdraw
The first leg of a challenging overseas tripleheader in the MotoGP World Championship took place today at the Sepang International Circuit, where Andrea Iannone’s day ended prematurely.
After a very good start, the determined Italian immediately gained one position and sat in ninth place, behind fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden. He turned his best lap of 2'02.786, only to break his steering-damper mount following a violent headshake, forcing the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider to drop out of the Malaysian GP on the sixth of twenty laps.
There was an atmosphere of disappointment in the garage, as the weekend had been one of the best of the season until that point.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“It’s a shame, as I was having a good race. I was able to stay with Nicky and Dovi during the first few laps, and we had almost the same pace. I was riding well and thought I’d be able to have my best result of the year. It’s okay though, as my team and I will learn from this experience, because we definitely didn’t expect this kind of problem. After I broke the mount for the steering damper, the bike became dangerous and impossible to ride, I could no longer do the turns, and when I realized the problem, the only thing I could do was came back in the garage. This will help us to grow, and anyway, we really worked well during this race, so I’m optimistic for the next round.”
Top Ten for Yonny Hernandez and the Ignite Pramac Racing Team
The first round of the final MotoGP World Championship tripleheader at the Sepang International Circuit ended today with a rousing tenth place finish for Yonny Hernandez in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd that filled the grandstands.
Yonny Hernandez set his best time of 2’04.282 on lap 2, immediately gaining three positions, before moving into tenth place which he defended until the end of the race.
The perseverance and the determination of the Colombian rider, who spent much of the weekend searching for the best set-up for his Desmosedici GP13, allowed him to get one of the best results of his racing career.
The Ignite Pramac Racing Team and Yonny are now getting ready to face the next round in the calendar, from 18th to 20th October, at the Phillip Island Circuit, Australia.
Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
"I am very happy with how the race went. This weekend I learned a lot from the bike and the team. It's a totally different way to ride but I am adapting quite quickly and I hope to continue in this direction. I'm glad to have been able to enter into the Top Ten and now I would like to work hard starting from the first day of the next round in Phillip Island so I can find immediately the correct setup to be able to maintain a good pace for the weekend and for the race. In general I am very happy and I want to thank the whole team for giving me the opportunity to race in the best possible way."
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES FURTHER STEP TOWARDS CRT TITLE
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider places ninth in Malaysia and draws closer to becoming top CRT rider of the year. Randy De Puniet has successful Sunday for twelfth
Despite the incidents and delays seen in the Moto2 race, the premier class continued on schedule, and at 4pm local time the riders took the start at the Malaysian GP. Missing was Stefann Bradl, who injured his ankle yesterday and reduced the field to 23 riders. Jorge Lorenzo took command early on, repeating the strategy used by the Spaniard for this latter part of the season. However, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez kept with him and it was Pedrosa who broke free. Márquez and Lorenzo had an entertaining battle, won by the World Championship leader, whilst behind Valentino Rossi was a mere spectator to the action. Pedrosa took the win by almost 3 seconds, with Márquez and Lorenzo completing the podium.
If Aleix Espargaró does not usually have many obstacles to overcome in the CRT battle, today some of his potential rivals left the door open early on at Sepang. Three CRT pilots jumpstarted the race, and were obliged to undertake a ride-through penalty as a result. Espargaró, riding with Andrea Dovizioso at the beginning of the race, managed his pace well and took a solitary ninth place finish. His 7 points from today give him a 51 point advantage over nearest CRT rival, Colin Edwards, and he has the chance to confirm the title in Australia next weekend.
As at Aragón, Randy De Puniet put a difficult weekend behind him on race day to rescue a positive result. Suffering from grip problems and having many a scare during the race, the Frenchman stayed upright to claim twelfth at Sepang, scoring 4 points.
9th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy. This is a difficult circuit we achieved a great result here today. At the beginning of the race we were very strong and I had fun riding with the Ducati riders –just like last time. After Dovizioso pulled away, I kept up with him for a few laps. But when the rear tyre performance decreased, it was hard for me to stay with him, because the bike was sliding around a lot. I believe that we should be satisfied with our result this weekend, because we were the CRT winner at a tough circuit for us. In the end we finished in ninth place, so we continue to lead the classification for CRT riders with an advantage of over fifty points. Our goal is to keep pushing hard, and see if we can be crowned champions in Australia."
12º Randy De Puniet: "I think we've all had problems with tyres, which is normal at this track as it is always so hot. If I'm not mistaken, most CRT riders chose the softer rear tyre and mid-race its performance plummeted. Premature tyre wear compromised our setup and at times I had the back sliding out and the front bouncing up and down. Nevertheless, I pushed hard to stay upright and keep with Aoyama and Hernandez, but I made a mistake and I almost completely lost the front end. I tried to best Aoyama but he had more cornering speed at the end. I finished in twelfth place, which I think is a good result after a difficult weekend."
Corti and Edwards in the points at Sepang
The Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix comes to an end with both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders in the Top15 at Sepang International Circuit.
Claudio Corti finishes in 13th place after starting the race in 14th, losing 6 positions in the first few laps due to a mistake that almost caused him to crash. The Italian then concentrated in regaining positions but did not manage to have the race pace he expected. Corti looks forward to the Philip Island race and to improving this weekend’s results.
Colin Edwards jumped the start and performed the mandatory ride through during lap 4 rejoining the race in 23rd place. The Texas Tornado then initiated a remarkable comeback and crossed the finish line in 15th position, taking one point for the team. The American rider showed a very consistent race pace of 2´04.4s, and if had it not been for the jump-start, could have probably finished the race as Top CRT at Sepang.
The 16th round of the season will take place next week at Philip Island.
“First time I have ever jumped the start which is why you just don’t jump the start, because it’s stupid. I don’t know what happened, I think I blinked, I was ready to go, I blinked and I flinched. Anyways, I came in and did my ride through and from that point on I just put my head down and give it everything I had. Once I got behind Barbera and Petrucci I got going. On the last corner Petrucci ran a little deep and I got under him and I got a point. I had a good race pace and it’s really disappointing thinking that I could have been top CRT today by looking at the lap times. It is probably the best race I’ve had here, we had the bike working good. Thanks to my team, they have worked really hard this weekend to get the electronics and chassis right. I’m looking forward to going to Australia and not jumping the start.”
“It has been a hard race, I had a good start but on the second lap while trying to overtake Hernandez I lost the front in turn 7 and I lost the feeling with the bike on braking. I feel I could have done better, I was not expecting to have a race pace of high 2´05s and low 2´06s, I was expecting to be a bit faster. Throughout the race the chatter got accentuated with the heat causing me to lose feeling on braking on entering the turn. I have finished in 13th position, taking some points, I feel I could have been battling with Aoyama but all in all I am happy because I have never been really performing at this track. We now go next to Australia more motivated than ever to improve our results.”
“We have meet our goal of having both riders in the points at Sepang. Claudio has done a great job today and finished in 13th place. Colin has finished in 15th place and its a rather bitter result for us due to the mistake that was made during the start of the race. If he had not jump-started the race we cold have surly been first CRT today. Colin was faster than Espargaro, he had an amazing pace, he has made an impressive comeback and five laps before the end of the race he recorded a lap time of 2´04.1. On the last lap he made a mistake that had almost made him crash but that he was able to regain control of the bike and stay on his bike, had it not been for that he could have finished in 14th place. We leave Sepang knowing that we could have achieved an important result for the team. We know that the bike has improved considerably and we will continue working in order to use all this acquired experience to be better prepared for next season.”
Luca Scassa repeats seventeenth position in Sepang
The substitute rider of Cardion AB Motoracing Luca Scassa finishes on seventeenth position in race in Sepang. It was first experience to ride in Malaysian circuit for the Italian rider. Scassa was chasing for fifteenth position during the race, but at the end he compared his position from his debut race in Aragon.
Luca Scassa, substitute rider of Cardion AB Motoracing
„We went to the race with hard tyres and perhaps it was not the best solution, however it is another experience for us. It was first race in Sepang for me and it was very physically and riding demanding race, track is really long and it was very hot. However we did not achieved what we have settled after Saturday’s qualifying practice but on the other hand we can be satisfied. I finished the race and I have avoided crash. So it is not bad. I’m looking forward to Australia that I know very well”
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„For Luca it was first experience with Sepang track and it was very hard for him. Track is very long and difficult so it takes time to the rider to handle it. We made a good qualifying practice and compered to the Staring and Pesek we were almost one second faster. The track was hot during the race therefore we were struggling with sliding and it was impossible to go faster. At one moment we were around fifteenth position but even with seventeenth position we are happy. It was first race here for Luca so it is a good result. However we are going to Phillip Island with the aim that we want to make another improvement.”
No Joy For PBM At Sepang
For the second Grand Prix in succession, it was a case of what might have been for the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP Team as both Michael Laverty and Damian Cudlin left round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship at Sepang empty handed.
In a virtual repeat scenario of two weeks ago at Aragon, Ulsterman Laverty crashed out aboard the CRT-specification Aprilia ART and Australian Cudlin retired the PBM-chassised Aprilia with a technical problem on his second ride for the team.
Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART for the second meeting, was continuing his progress aboard the machine and inside the top 20 for most of Free Practice at the Malaysian track, eventually qualifying on row seven in 19th place.
Meanwhile German-based Cudlin spent more time getting used to the unique Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine and qualified in 24th place on row eight.
In the race, both Laverty and Cudlin got good starts and ran strongly for the opening laps but for Michael, he was deemed to have been one of three riders who jumped the start and was penalised with a ride through penalty. What made it worse for the former British Supersport champion was that he was up to 15th place when he had to enter the pits for the penalty.
Cudlin was inside the top 20 when he retired on lap seven with a technical problem and the team's day was compounded when Laverty crashed out at the final hairpin on unlucky lap 13 when pushing to make up the time lost in the pits.
Despite not scoring points since round three at Jerez, 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: "Things didn't quite go my way on race day here at Sepang. Hector Barbera jumped the start in front of me, and I instinctively dropped the clutch and jerked forward. Unfortunately any movement before the lights is deemed a jump start. I was up to 15th position but the ride through penalty ruined any chance of scoring points which we had the pace to do today. I then had a small crash pushing hard trying to catch the guys in front. Hopefully a bit of luck comes our way next weekend in Phillip Island."
Damian Cudlin: "Bad luck struck again which was a real pity. Before the exhaust ruptured I'd moved forward in the race and was enjoying a scrap with Staring and Scassa, but eventually the seat unit turned into a frying pan and I couldn't sit on it any longer, I think I'll need some Aloe Vera lotion for my butt tonight! Despite another setback, I feel we made progress here this weekend and I'm really enjoying riding for the PBM Team. Hopefully luck will finally swing our way at Phillip Island next week."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "After a double DNF at the last race, I didn't think things could get any worse, but in Sepang it certainly didn't get any better either! Michael got caught out with another rider's jump start and after serving a ride through penalty he suffered a crash later in the race, so not a good afternoon. Damian was having a strong race but suffered a failure of a new performance upgrade component, which resulted in excessive heat being transferred to the seat unit, making it impossible to continue. Although we were aware of the fragility of this component, we deemed the performance gain was worth the risk but have learned the hard way to be more cautious in the future. On the positive side, both the bike setting and Damian's feeling with the bike and tyres is improving and as he has previous race experience at the next two circuits we are hopeful of achieving some good results."
Pedrosa bounces back with dominant victory at Sepang
Round 15: Malaysian MotoGP™ - Race
Sepang International Circuit, Sunday 13 October 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium (Symmetric) & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 32-33°C; Track 43-46°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa overcame his heartbreak from the last round at Aragon as the Repsol Honda rider dominated today’s race at Sepang International Circuit to win his second successive Malaysian Grand Prix.
Pedrosa made a fantastic start from fifth on the grid to and to slot into second place behind Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo at the first corner. On the fifth lap, Pedrosa squeezed past Lorenzo and then led all the way to the chequered flag. In second place was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the championship leader also getting past Lorenzo who rounded out the podium in third position. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was once again the best of the CRT riders, taking ninth place in Malaysia.
Conditions for on race day were dry and the warmest of the entire race weekend with a peak track temperature of 46°C recorded at the start of the race. The warmer conditions didn’t have an effect on tyre choice, with riders choosing the same tyre combinations used during practice and qualifying. All but two riders on the grid selected the harder rear slick option, while only five of the twenty-three starters chose the harder front slick. Despite the hot conditions, the performance of all the slick compounds used in the race was consistent, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap of 2'01.415, and the overall race time was eighteen seconds quicker than the existing record.
With three rounds remaining, Marquez extends his points lead over Jorge Lorenzo to forty-three points, while Pedrosa’s third victory of the season sees him remain third overall, though he reduces the gap to Lorenzo to eleven points.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today we saw a wonderful performance from Dani to score his second straight Malaysian Grand Prix, so congratulations to him and the Repsol Honda team. There was great racing throughout the field today, particularly in the early stages of the contest and I am sure the sell-out crowd of 84,250 enjoyed the show put on by the riders today. The crowds for the Malaysian Grand Prix keep growing and after today’s spectacle, I have no doubt interest in this series will continue to grow in this region. We now head straight to Phillip Island for the second of the three back-to-back fly away rounds as the championship heads towards an exciting conclusion.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Tyre performance today in the warmer conditions was very good with a new race lap and overall race time record being set and feedback from the riders indicates that tyre degradation over the race distance was predictable. Although track temperatures were warmer today, they weren’t at a level where it resulted in riders deviating from the tyre choices they made yesterday in practice and qualifying, with most riders preferring softer slick options front and rear. We had typically unsettled conditions here at Sepang, but our tyre allocation for the weekend was up to the task, and we now look forward to Phillip Island which is the most demanding race on our tyres.“
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“It was a great feeling to come back and win this race, especially as it is quite hard physically. I didn’t have the best weekend early on, but I managed to come back strong today and get the win. At the last race I also felt I had the pace to win but unfortunately I crashed, but after today’s performance I’d like to thank my team, my fans and my family for their support.”