2013 Sachsenring MotoGP QP Result: One Door Closes, Another Kicked Open

Results Below


Marc Marquez set a blistering lap -- just off the lap record --- to claim pole at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany. Marquez lap came with only two minutes left in the session and left his rivals fighting for second. That place went to Cal Crutchlow who just pipped Valentini Rossi at the end of qualifying practice. Even so, third marks the best qualifying for Rossi since his return to Yamaha this year.

Dani Pedrosa, injured from a violent free practice highside, didn't participate in QP. It remains unclear if he will be racing Sunday. Jorge Lorenzo already announced he won't be racing after his Turn 10 highside on Friday.

But the story of the session -- other than Sachsenring's new nickname as Highside Hill -- was Aleix Espargaro who remarkably put his CRT bike on the second row and in front of the factory (and satellite) Ducatis and a satellite Honda and Yamaha.


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'21.311  
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 1'21.434 0.123 / 0.123
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'21.493 0.182 / 0.059
4 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'21.862 0.551 / 0.369
5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'21.887 0.576 / 0.025
6 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1'22.157 0.846 / 0.270
7 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'22.297 0.986 / 0.140
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'22.484 1.173 / 0.187
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'22.561 1.250 / 0.077
10 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 1'23.059 1.748 / 0.498
11 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 1'23.361 2.050 / 0.302
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'23.152 0.052 / 0.004
13 8 Hector BARBERA FTR 1'23.333 0.233 / 0.181
14 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'23.349 0.249 / 0.016
15 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 1'23.549 0.449 / 0.200
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ ART 1'23.565 0.465 / 0.016
17 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki 1'23.631 0.531 / 0.066
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM ART 1'23.752 0.652 / 0.121
19 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 1'23.820 0.720 / 0.068
20 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 1'24.395 1.295 / 0.575
21 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 1'27.273 4.173 / 2.878


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Opening laps Cal can't override his issues but can't let VR and MM get away. I just don't see Bradl holding his position though would love to see a top 5 from him.
Is bradl still on Ohlins or was that one test? Congrats on a front row start for VR.
Hope Pedrosa is cleared and extend his lead over JL.

Without Lorenzo and Pedrosa, Bradl is a shoe in for 4th, maybe a podium. Bautista, Espargaro and the Ducati's aren't quick enough.

I was very confused by the conversation about Bradl "experimenting" with market-standard Ohlins and Brembos. I swear it was Bautista who was stranded in a prolonged experiment with Showa suspension and Nissin bakes. Can someone confirm for both Bradl and Bautista, past and present?

Bautista - Riding Showa and Nissin. Mainly to develop Showa for the production racer, but also to keep Nissin in the game. Using these was prerequisite for his contract extension, i.e. no switch possible.

Bradl - Originally riding Öhlins and Nissin. The switch to Brembo is only due to him testing the 2014 bike, so they have usable data for the factory guys with same equipment. Cecchinello said they will switch back to Nissin in due time as they are still officially using their brakes, but when that switch will be is not confirmed yet (at least I haven't read it in the media so far).

Hope that helped. :)

If that CRT tyre works wonders, we can have a historic result tomorrow. If something happens in the top, it is Espargaros chance to take. I don't think anyone behind him in qp stand a chance to get his 5th position.

It is sad that the champion and the championship leader both seem to be out of the race. But I have a feeling the race will have more than one pass for the lead...

Unless he fails the medical, I would think he'll be keen to limit the damage Marquez can inflict, and be targeting a 5th or even 4th place finish, which would leaving him still leading the WC.

The gap between Espargaro and De Puniet is astounding. Especially when you compare it to other team rider combinations between whom you would expect a considerable gap, such as Crutchlow and Smith.
Get that guy a factory ride now! Although I reckon he is holding out for next year's Aprilia air-valve monster, which will likely be contesting for wins given the fuel and tire advantages.

On an aside note, what an opportunity for Marquez to win the championship, and for Crutchlow to fight for his first win.

While he is doing well, there isn't anywhere for him to go. And I highly doubt that he will win anything next year unless we have a crashfest in the rain. Honda and Yamaha won't allow it and nor should they. I hate this two tier rule system. If he does win, it should be marked with an asterisk, because he won't be playing by the same rules.

and is probably still a bit faster than RdP in 2013.

But they're not on the same equipment, Espargaro gets the Aprilia updates first (arguably because he is the fastest ART rider) and he is thought to have an engine 10-15 hp more than Randy's since Catalunya or Assen.
For other ART riders it has got to be the same or bigger difference if you think about Yonny Hernandez who basically runs last year's ART for example.

That being said Aleix Espargaro is incredibly fast no doubt about that, and is probably the best CRT rider at the moment.

The gap of over 1.25 second is insane. I think that Espargaro is the one spaniard too many. I'm not sure anyone wants to see another spaniard with a factory ride. But for sure he deserves it. Race in, race out RDP is dominated. But RDP gets the Suzuki motogp test ride. Figure that one out...

It's not a bad opportunity for Rossi either. Must be gutted about the bautista T-bone, is costing him badly at the moment, would have been right up there...

Rossi looked very smooth on the bike, with very few mishaps and one of the few to not bin it this weekend. Seems incredible but I reckon another win is not out of the question.

What was Ezpeleta thinking? MotoGP is meant to be a prototype class (uhm, ignore the spec tyres)!

Actually CRT was a pretty savvy move, in my opinion, but not for the reasons you might think. First, everyone agrees the grids had become too small -- in part, a result of the very expensive four-stroke era. Kawi dropped. Suzuki quit. And the lineups were even worse on the inevitable days when one or two riders were hurt. Ezpeleta needed to do something. Other than Ducati, the factories were not interested anymore in doing what used to be standard procedure: leasing and selling the technology beyond a very small number of hand-picked satellites. So Ezpeleta did what the factories hated; He allowed a squadron of their own slower bikes out on the track. There was no real downside. If they proved to be as fast eventually (and the ART is getting damn close) then there's a new form of cheaper racing to expand the grid. But that really wasn't his goal. His goal was to irritate the factories, their riders, teams and (maybe) fans by forcing the factories to improve the product. Sure enough, two years into the CRT "experiment" both Honda (by selling) and Yamaha (by leasing engines) announced they would expand the availability of the technology in an affordable manner. (And, of course, I mean affordable at the strata of Grand Prix racing.) So while slow, the CRTs were pretty fast at getting the factories back interested in expanding the grids with competitive bikes. Which is the way things worked in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  My guess is many of the CRT teams will grab this factory-lite tech once it becomes available next year and the year following. And we'll all like the racing a bunch more when we see more privateers near the front.

As far as that goes, I'm with you to a degree. I liked the competition between tire companies. But as the bikes became more complicated, I did grow weary of tires getting the bulk of the blame. Remember Rossi's sudden switch to Brigestone and Michelin's failure at Laguna Seca in 2008? The spec tire, for better or worse, put the argument back on bike and rider quality. (Although it probably hurt Ducati more than anyone as their bikes had some pretty special Brigestones for a while there.) In a fantasy world, you allow say three official tire manufacturers -- say BStone, Michelin and Dunlop -- and you let the team/riders switch between the brands as often as they like even in the middle of a race weekend. The strategy and intrigue would rise and it would be cool to see someone win on multiple brands in a season. Of course, the tire manufactures would (rightly) never stand for this. So we'd be back where we started.

Riders should boycott, these tires are unsafe and it is ridiculous that a Billion dollar series is held hostage to one tire manufacture.

This is not F1, where even there they complain and propose boycotts becuase tires are unsafe, and they have alot more protection in case of an accident.GP riders do not have the same luxury and a fall can end a Championship run as in Stoners,Rossi's (last year on the Yam before Duc)and probably Lorenzo's and Pedrosa's case. And in a worse case scenerio a life or career. This series is constantly a big let down to the talent that participates in it.

It is odd that the lone bright spot pointed out is Pol Espagaro A rider on a Semi Factory spec bike who essentially benifited from a custom made tire construction.

...unsafe. Even the riders haven't called the tires unsafe, in the manner you suggest. They have (rightly) said the Bridgestones are unpredictable when cold and really don't work well unless pushed. This proved to be the case with Pedrosa (although not Lorenzo). And, at times, they've actually praised the Bstones for having amazing grip at the end of a race.

Really, riders complained about tires just as much, if not more, when there was competition among manufacturers. Complaining about tires is a birthright among motorcycle racers; the only person who had perfect tires seems to be the person who won. Michelin back in the day actually was accused by Hayden, among others, as making a substandard tire. The fact is every brand of race tire in every class on every type of vehicle is a series of compromises. I don't think the Brigestones are unsafe in a way that the sport itself isn't, if you get my drift. But I do agree with you, Gcanno; I'd love to see more companies making more tires and let 'em fight it out on the track.

(Honestly, I don't know how any tire can handle the corner speed and horsepower these bikes produce.)

Aleix and Pol. Marc and Alex. Spanish train. On the subject of Aleix. He is no spring chicken wunderkind in GP. I remember him racing in top class on Ducati some years back. Good on him though,he's certainly warmed to the Art/spec Bridgestone CRT package this season. His 5th place on the grid will no doubt be of concern to many a prototype rider close to him. He's surely going to make a fist of it off the start and lets hope unintended consequences don't mar the first couple of laps.

No spring chicken? Thats a bit silly. Aleix is 23. He was too young for his Pramac/Ducati ride, but now? Pity he suffers as "the one Spaniard too many".

because there is no rival left who could beat him.
I don´t remember any meaningful race where he was fit and on good machinery and he lost to Dani and I don´t recall another one where he was beaten by JLo fair and square either.
There is no Stoner arround anymore and Crutchlow will fold under pressure anyways.
Marc is the only one left, but he will be beat by the Doctor´s experience in 10 out of 10 possible maneuvres at the last corner-if not so, Vale will use brute force to set a mark for the future, no doubt.
I´m looking forward to this one!!!

Fair comment. I abhored the CRT atrocity when first announced,but gradually warmed to the principle although I hate seeing a 4th bike that came 13th in the race in the victory box post race. Many, and I'm one, have blasted Ezpeletta's CRT deal,but he's generally on the right track. We need a huge seperation between MGP and WSBK. STK will be a great World series. As ever I lament the missing link in both Prototype and SBK....The tyre wars....arguably the cheapest factor linked to providing great racing,a great spectacle and a great title chase across any class. I think old Valentino summed it up when he said something to the effect...'without the tyres you are f*...d.'
Rubberside down. This single supplier rule needs to be jettisoned as a matter of urgency. Proof of the pudding is exactly Ducati's post Stoner history and Aleix/ART success.

Part of winning the championship is making it to all the races
Then there's finishing most of the races
Collecting the most points possible on the day
Then there's winning
Rossi has always been smart and crafty
After the Mugello crash I think he's even smarter and knows when he can go all out and when he can't.
Nearly halfway through the season and his hand is looking pretty good