2013 Valencia MotoGP QP Result: Mind The (Stunning) Gap

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By the end of the final qualifying practice of the final race of the year, it appeared as if Marc Marquez's only competition for the championship is himself. Toward the end of the session, Marquez set a crushing lap of 1'30.237 that wasn't simply a pole record at the Valencia circuit -- it was three-tenths of a second better than Jorge Lorenzo in second place and another tenth in front of Dani Pedrosa in third. It also obliterated by half a second what has been Marquez's own lap record from earlier in the day.

Jorge Lorenzo took a bit of cold comfort from the fact that engine problems in his number one bike prevented him from closing the gap. Lorenzo was forced to pit and switch bikes during the session. He said after qualifying that the second bike didn't provide the feel of the first. But even with the feel of the first, could it have provided a third of a second? Sunday will show.

The second row will be Club Yamaha with Valentino Rossi leading the second line closely followed by Cal Crutchlow, who is leaving the Tech 3 team for Ducati come Monday That other rookie, Bradley Smith, continued his strong late-season form with a sixth-fastest time. The third row -- Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso -- are more than a second off the pole-setter's pace. Nickey Hayden nears the end of his time with Ducati as 10th fastest in qualifying.


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'30.237  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'30.577 0.340 / 0.340
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'30.663 0.426 / 0.086
4 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'30.920 0.683 / 0.257
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 1'31.113 0.876 / 0.193
6 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'31.201 0.964 / 0.088
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'31.594 1.357 / 0.393
8 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'31.638 1.401 / 0.044
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'31.718 1.481 / 0.080
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1'31.870 1.633 / 0.152
11 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'31.963 1.726 / 0.093
12 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 1'33.116 2.879 / 1.153
13 8 Hector BARBERA FTR 1'32.773 0.033 / 0.008
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'32.807 0.067 / 0.034
15 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 1'32.961 0.221 / 0.154
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'32.966 0.226 / 0.005
17 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'32.966 0.226
18 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki 1'33.203 0.463 / 0.237
19 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 1'33.328 0.588 / 0.125
20 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'33.869 1.129 / 0.541
21 70 Michael LAVERTY ART 1'34.018 1.278 / 0.149
22 23 Luca SCASSA ART 1'34.113 1.373 / 0.095
23 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 1'34.805 2.065 / 0.692
24 50 Damian CUDLIN PBM 1'34.903 2.163 / 0.098
25 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 1'34.993 2.253 / 0.090
26 45 Martin BAUER S&B Suter 1'35.277 2.537 / 0.284


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Total votes: 29

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....MM trying to make a point?

Total votes: 66

It'll be interesting to see what Lorenzo and Yamaha decide on. I think it would be foolish for him to try and jump out front and get away. Although he's more than capable of doing it. It would allow Marc to cruise to the championship. IMO, his best bet is to stay behind and pass, slow the pace down until Marc passes again and then do it again. It's the only way that the field is going to stay bunched up enough to allow him to have a shot at the title. He HAS to force a mistake from Marc. The top three have been the class of the field all season barring a few races and this one is no different. So Lorenzo will have to play a different game this round if he wants a shot at the title. Should be a great race!!

Total votes: 64

3 tenths is a stunning gap?

A QP lap "obliterated" an FP lap by a half a second? "Obliterated" seems like an enthusiastic choice of words since that is an extremely common occurance. Three quarters to a full second is not even uncommon.

Total votes: 86

Obliterated doesn't denote rare in any way. It means significant. Three tenths is significant. Even more so when the mark it beat (by half a second) was itself a new record as each advancing tenth gets much tougher to come by. So yes, obliterated.

Total votes: 61

Oops. My understanding of the English language must be poor. I now understand that significant obliteration occurs every race weekend, and is therefore a common event. Thank you.

Total votes: 64

It's a shame, but I suppose it happens everywhere, eventually. The readers comments here can still be brilliant, but you have to wade through a lot of murk to get to the good stuff.

Total votes: 54

Think of it this way: When Randy De Puniet's manager says, "Mon Dieu! Randy has obiterated another race bike!" he is referring to the damage but, obviously, not the rarity of the event. wink

Total votes: 62

Had he not had technical issues with his number 1 machine. His race pace looks brutal also. The race is going to be very interesting. Lorenzo WILL get to the front in the first or second lap, and then he's going to have to try and slow the pace so that those two don't just escape from the rest. But then you have Dani who won't want to scrap with Marquez at all and will be trying to act as a buffer to the other guys who will be desparate for a podium. Should be interesting to watch though I think the outcome is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Total votes: 55

MM93 was riding on the edge of physics during qualifying. It will be interesting to see if he can hold those tires together riding it like that for the entire race. That was more ragged than I've ever seen him. that left hand kink corner on the back straight looks like a fantastic bend to take at speed.

Total votes: 52

I don't want to pick on this article, but I'd agree that 'obliterate' is a little strong, along with 'stunning' and 'crushing'.
It's not that this article is bad, but I think SquidPuppet has a point in about motorsports journalism in general. You can't look at Autosport without seeing that someone has 'scorched' or 'stormed' to pole.

Total votes: 57

Absolutely fair points and by both Squid and Santori and worth (and least to me) discussion. I'd be inclined to say fantastic points but, you know...smiley

Total votes: 53

I apologize for being my usual sarcastic devils advocate. I just felt like the word was a bit potent for describing what is the norm. (The .5 QP improvement over FP time.)

Now "Stunning" is a perfectly acceptable word to describe Jorge's display of sheenanigans today. Genius attempt to bait the kid. Hats off to Marc for not being outwitted.

Total votes: 47