In a masterful display of nearly inch-perfect riding, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo took the lead into the first turn from polesitter and title rival Dani Pedrosa at Catalunya, then resisted race-long pressure from the Repsol Honda rider to take his third win of the 2013 MotoGP season. With ambient temperatures hovering at 87 degrees F and track temps soaring to nearly 126 degrees F, the hot conditions led to a sometimes slippery track surface that caught a good number of riders, resulting in many riders crashing out. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista crashed out on the first lap and nearly took out Valentino Rossi for the second consecutive race, with both Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow crashing in Turn Five while running fourth and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden falling in Turn 10 on lap six.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo was doing his best to pull away from both Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, who got a great start from the tail end of the second row, but both the Repsol Honda riders were hanging tough and couldn’t be dropped. Lorenzo wasn’t fazed by the pressure however, and continued to churn out laps that prevented Pedrosa from making any attempts at passing. In fact, Pedrosa soon began to feel the heat from an impatient Marquez, which almost ended up in tears on the penultimate lap when Marquez was looking to make a pass that he quickly decided wasn’t going to work, forcing him to abort and nearly run into the rear of his Repsol Honda teammate’s bike. The mistake dropped Marquez far enough back that his final push in the last two corners came up short by 0.063 seconds.
Valentino Rossi finished a distant fourth, unable to run the laps of the leading trio and eventually finishing almost six seconds back.
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge...
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo held off relentless pressure from Dani Pedrosa to win the MotoGP race at Catalunya.
Lorenzo was obviously elated to win in front of his home crowd. “I’m so satisfied and very proud of this race because it was so hard, so tough physically with this temperature. The front tire was (tucking) under hard braking and in every maximum lean corner. So I had to concentrate to keep a constant pace as the tires had little grip in every corner. So fighting and fighting, in the last four or five laps I could open this little gap; smaller than Mugello, but to win I’m very proud. This time was much more harder; the conditions were much hotter, so physically I was tired a little, but even with that I could keep good concentration without any…a little mistake, not a big mistake. I didn’t expect this victory.”
Dani Pedrosa looked like he...
Dani Pedrosa looked like he was waiting to pounce on Lorenzo, but the Yamaha rider was able to keep Pedrosa at bay.
“I start behind Jorge and at the beginning of the race I was quite OK,” said Pedrosa about his race. “Just trying to let the laps come down. I was riding smooth, but when I try to push a little to be a little closer and step up a little bit the rhythm, I start to feel like the front tire was giving up almost every corner. I thought, ‘OK, it’s the beginning of the race, the fuel tank is full,’ so I wait a little more, but so many laps after it was the same thing. I was struggling a lot in the corners, my corner speed was not like yesterday. I couldn’t go very fast in the last two corners, so Jorge had a gap on me onto the front straight so it was hard to be close enough to make a move on him.”
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez...
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez rode a great race to finish third, although he almost collided with Pedrosa in a pass attempt.
Marquez was happy to have made it onto the podium after crashing out at Mugello. “I’m very happy because this weekend we were struggling a lot. It was so hard to be with Jorge and Dani, but in the race I didn’t expect to finish (so close to) them. I did a very good start and I try to follow them at the beginning because I know that they had more rhythm than me. But I saw that during the race that even though I was on the limit, I was able to follow them, so I was very happy for that. Even with a few mistakes, I was quite close.” About his near-miss aborted pass attempt, he confessed, “On the last two laps I try to attack Dani, but in the wrong place. I didn’t touch him, but everything is part of learning; I learned that Dani’s riding style is to brake quite late, and I need to learn other places which are better to attack him.”
MotoGP Catalunya race result:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda
3. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha
5. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda
6. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha
7. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati
8. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia
9. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki
10. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati
11. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW
12. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki
13. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia
14. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda
15. Javier Del Amor (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
16. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW
DNF Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
DNF Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia
DNF Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
DNF Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati
DNF Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati
DNF Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia
DNF Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda
DNF Michael Laverty (GBR) ART/Aprilia