Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up the 2013 MotoGP season today with victory in the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, his third consecutive victory of the season. Trailing leader Marc Marquez by 13 points going into the race, Lorenzo had nothing to lose and everything to gain as the Spanish showdown unfolded in front of a record crowd of 104,000 race fans at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Taking off past Marquez from second on the grid, the 2012 world champion took the holeshot and control of the race. Lorenzo kept the pace down on the opening laps, hoping to bring the chasing pack into play to challenge Marquez. The daring strategy allowed Dani Pedrosa to attack, the two rivals entering an intense battle over several laps as they swapped positions countless times in a stunning display of riding skill at the limit. Pedrosa was to end up the loser in the exchange as the two touched going into turn two with 21 laps to go. Pedrosa ran wide, losing position as he rejoined the race.
The incident allowed Marquez to briefly pass Lorenzo for the lead but he was only allowed to stay ahead for a lap before Lorenzo reclaimed the front on lap 11, putting the hammer down to reel off a number of 1’31 second laps as he flew to his eighth win of the season.
Teammate Valentino Rossi moved up to fourth off the line after a good start, chasing Marquez into the first corner with Alvaro Bautista in hot pursuit behind. As the race unwound Bautista was able to make a pass on Rossi but with 19 laps to go the nine-time world champion showed his mastery of late braking, taking third position back from the Spanish rider. The provisional podium position was not to last as a recovering Pedrosa re-passed on his way to second, leaving Rossi to claim fourth at the line.
Despite dominating not just the last quarter of the season but the final race, it was not enough to overcome the points difference to Marquez, leaving Lorenzo to claim a worthy second place in the standings after an incredible season of unrivalled performances. Rossi’s eighth fourth place finish of the season was enough to secure him fourth in the final standings.
1st | 46’10.302 | 30 Laps
“I slowed the start of the race a little but I think it didn’t work out because the other riders, Bautista, Valentino, Crutchlow and the others needed some tenths more to stay there. I tried first and last to play a little bit with the race and I managed it quite well but I couldn’t stay there for too long. When I looked behind I could see that Valentino was very far away so I thought that today it was better to concentrate on winning the race and waiting to see if Marc makes a mistake. Now we have to celebrate second in the standings which is a good place. We have to congratulate Marc because he really deserved the championship and we will make a party tonight!”
4th | +10.579 | 30 Laps
“The race was not so bad, especially after this morning where I had a lot of problems and wasn’t fast enough. Unfortunately I didn’t have the pace to fight for the podium. I was able to stay close at the beginning and try to fight but after I didn’t have the speed, like more or less all the season where I am two or three tenths slower compared to the top guys. For this reason I couldn’t challenge for the pole position, the race and the championship. The season was not so bad for me but we have to try more to increase our speed and our performance to fight for the podium more constantly. This is the target for 2014.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“It’s been a fantastic season and of course a great win today, it was an amazing show. The first ten lap tactics were to keep the pack together. Jorge did a great job, it was on the edge and that’s racing; all that counted today was the championship. Marc was clever and stayed calm, Jorge did his best at his maximum and he won the race but lost the championship. This loss is exceptional; he won eight races and broke his collarbone twice. It’s an incredible result to finish just four points from the title given the conditions. It is a great achievement and we are very proud about that.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“It has been an incredible season. I think we deserved the championship, we really did the maximum that we could. I would like to say a big thank you to everybody, Jorge and the team. We never gave up and Jorge never gave up. He delivered some really impressive performances. Even today he made a fantastic race. He started the race having a plan and tried to manage the race until he understood that he couldn’t do any more. Then when he decided to win he pulled away. The season has been really long, hard and tough but we are satisfied with all we did. I would like to thank everybody and wish all the best to team members Jeremy, Walter and “Bibo” who are leaving us. Tomorrow the new season is already starting with a three-day test. We will aim to give the Japanese engineers as much information as possible to work with.”
Smith seventh, Crutchlow falls in final round
The 2013 MotoGP World Championship campaign ended with mixed emotions for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Valencia this afternoon, with Bradley Smith racing to a hard fought seventh place in an enthralling season finale.
There was to be no fairy tale final appearance in the French-based squad though for Cal Crutchlow, who crashed unhurt on the 10th lap while he was in hot pursuit of the leading group in front of a capacity crowd of almost 105,000 fans.
Smith made one of his trademark sensational starts and he led the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 challenge for the opening six laps by brilliantly fending off a hard charging Crutchlow.
Crutchlow moved into the top six with a pass on Smith on lap six and he immediately launched a fantastic charge towards the leading group of five. But his quest for a 13th top six finish of an outstanding third season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad was ended prematurely by a crash a third of the way into the 30-lap title decider.
Smith’s 13th top 10 finish of a hugely impressive rookie campaign never looked in any serious doubt thanks to his stunning early pace and he finished in a comfortable seventh.
Smith’s result concludes a fantastic final part of the 2013 campaign for the 22-year-old, who has finished inside the top eight in each of the last five races.
Today’s excellent display secured Smith a thoroughly deserved top 10 placing in the overall standings and he has made an invaluable contribution to ensuring the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team finished third in the Team World Championship rankings behind the Yamaha and Honda official factory teams.
DNF – 188 points
“The last race with my Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team didn’t really go according to plan, I’m feeling probably more disappointed for the team than for myself. We had an engine failure this morning and could only manage to run two full laps, so we were going into the race a little blind with the setup we had wanted to try. But I had a good feeling with the bike and after passing Bradley, I tried to close the gap to the riders in front of me but unfortunately I touched the curb and lost the front. We still made sure of fifth in the World Championship which was my target for this season, so I can’t be too upset with how this year went. I want to say thank you again to the whole team, we had three great years and a lot of good memories together. I learned a lot during my time with the team, but now it’s time for me to move on to a new adventure.”
6th – 116 points
“Another seventh place, 116 points in the World Championship Standing and third place in the team standings should actually make me happy at the end of my rookie season. The gap to the fastest guys is less than 30 seconds again, and that is a positive end to the weekend, and a really positive way to end the year. I think we definitely showed good progress throughout the season and I want to thank my team for the amazing job they have done in teaching and helping me over the last 12 months in this really tough category. It has been a lot of fun as well and I’m really grateful to have such an experienced squad behind me. The next seasons starts on Tuesday already, and I’m really excited about it.”
2013 MotoGP Spain
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 46’10.302
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’03.934
3 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 0’07.357
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’10.579
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’14.965
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’24.399
7 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 0’29.043
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’39.893
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0’53.196
10 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’02.983
11 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’04.197
12 Hector Barbera FTR ESP 1’06.826
13 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki ITA 1’11.481
14 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter ITA 1’13.643
15 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 1’24.249
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 18 of 18
1. Marc Marquez Honda ESP 334
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 330
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 300
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 237
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 188
6. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 171
7. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 156
8. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 140
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 126
10. Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 116
11. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 93
12. Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 57
13. Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 56
14. Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 41
15. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 36
16. Hector Barbera FTR ESP 35
(Casey Stoner, 1-1-2008)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Marc Marquez, 10-11-2013)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 389
2 Yamaha 381
3 Ducati 155
4 ART 99
5 FTR Kawasaki 46
6 FTR 46
7 Ioda-Suter 26
8 PBM 3
1. Repsol Honda Team 634
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 567
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 304
4. Ducati Team 266
5. Go&Fun Honda Gresini 173
6. LCR Honda MotoGP 156
7. Power Electronics Aspar 129
8. Pramac Racing Team 121
9. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 55
10. Avintia Blusens 49
11. Came Ioda Racing Project 26
12. Paul Bird Motorsport 10