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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
2013 MotoGP Spain
Motorland Aragon 29/09/2013
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 42’03.459
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’01.356
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’12.927
4 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’13.787
5 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’13.973
6 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0’14.662
7 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 0’31.220
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0’40.671
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’53.413
10 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 0’55.067
11 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 0’58.001
12 Yonny Hernandez ART COL 1’05.513
13 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’06.589
14 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR JPN 1’08.674
15 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki ITA 1’09.130
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 14 of 18
1. Marc Marquez Honda ESP 278
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 239
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 219
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 185
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 156
6. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 135
7. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 125
8. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 112
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 102
10. Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 80
11. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 76
12. Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 50
13. Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 47
14. Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 31
15. Hector Barbera FTR ESP 27
16. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 23
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Marc Marquez, 29-9-2013)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 316
2 Yamaha 290
3 Ducati 123
4 ART 78
5 FTR 35
6 FTR Kawasaki 32
7 Ioda-Suter 23
8 PBM 3
1. Repsol Honda Team 497
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 424
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 236
4. Ducati Team 214
5. LCR Honda MotoGP 135
6. Go&Fun Honda Gresini 127
7. Pramac Racing Team 101
8. Power Electronics Aspar 99
9. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 39
10. Avintia Blusens 36
11. Came Ioda Racing Project 23
12. Paul Bird Motorsport 10