Moto GP

Jorge Lorenzo tops an all Spanish podium at Catalunya

Aussie Bryan Staring earns his maiden GP points with a 14th place finish

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Yamaha Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jorge Lorenzo delivered a perfect performance at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take his second consecutive Grand Prix victory, his third of the 2013 season.

A scorching start from third on the grid saw the local hero pass pole man Dani Pedrosa almost immediately for the hole shot into turn one. A classic Lorenzo master class followed with the reigning world champion maintaining a metronome precision over race distance to keep the two following Honda's of Pedrosa and Marc Marquez behind.

The result closes the gap at the top of the championship standings with Lorenzo now on 116 points, just seven behind leader Pedrosa as they head for the Dutch TT in Assen in two weeks time.

‰ÛÏA perfect day, to be honest I didn't expect to win, I knew I had some chance but not like in Mugello where I was more convinced we could get the victory." Lorenzo enthused. "It was really difficult physically as it was the hottest race of the year.

"I kept pushing 100% all race because any mistake would have been a disaster. I was surprised at the start as I expected to just pass Cal but I passed Dani also.

"I took profit from it and tried to open the gap but it was not enough to go away, Dani was there and we played some games, I was 0.5 ahead then 0.2; I was going then he was recovering me," the Spanish rider continued.

"Finally because I was tough mentally and never gave up I could open in the last five laps a little gap that was enough to win.

The race win had a little extra meaning behind it for Lorenzo due to the specially designed helmet he was wearing at his home GP.

"The girl who designed my helmet, Anna Vives, is famous in Spain; she is a symbol that people with Down syndrome are capable of a lot more than some people think. I think it was very original and colourful so I was very proud and happy to have her on the podium to share the win with me," a very proud Lorenzo concluded.
Dani Pedrosa maintains his championship lead after finishing second overnight, though the margin has been cut to just seven points - Credit: Honda Racing
Finishing in second position was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa who started his 200th Grand Prix from pole position. In the early stages Pedrosa was comfortable running Lorenzo‰Ûªs pace but when he tried to step up his rhythm to attack he found himself on the limit with front grip.

Pedrosa waited patiently for the fuel load to go down to ease the issue but he never had enough speed into the corners to try for the lead, even though he altered his position on the bike to ease the load on the front tyre.

‰ÛÏToday was a bit of a strange race." Pedrosa stated. "We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tyres.

"When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today. It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal," he added.

"We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and, in fact, in the closing laps, Marc [Marquez] made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place.

"We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra twenty points and we continue to lead the standings.‰Û
Marc Marquez finished a close third after his race nearly came to a crashing end with just a couple of laps to go - Credit: Honda Racing
In the closing stages, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, who had set the fastest lap of the race on lap three, began to challenge his team-mate for second. The reigning Moto2 champ came closest to getting past with two laps to go, when he got inside Pedrosa at Turn Four, only to suffer a major front-end moment.

He performed a miracle to stay on and even then didn‰Ûªt give up the chase, crossing the line a mere 0.063 seconds down on Pedrosa.

‰ÛÏIt was a difficult race. We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge and Dani and I‰Ûªm very happy with this result!" Marquez commented. "It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal set-up.

"During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium.

"I can only say I‰Ûªm thrilled with the result. Now we look to Assen and we‰Ûªll see if we can improve anything for that race during the test at Aragon," he concluded.
Valentino Rossi raced a lonely race to finish in 4th position - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Finishing in a lonely fourth position was Factory Yamaha racer Valentino Rossi. The Italian made a good start on his YZR-M1, jumping two places to hold fifth going into turn one.

The nine-time champion looked comfortable behind fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow until the young Brit crashed out, promoting Rossi to fourth. By this time a small gap had grown to the front three riders and despite at times lapping faster than the front he was unable to close the gap, riding a relatively lonely race to fourth at the line.

The result gives Rossi 13 points and closes the gap to Crutchlow in fourth to just 11 points.

‰ÛÏWe wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but anyway it was quite a good race," said Rossi "Race by race, apart form the unlucky times, especially like Mugello, we grow up and I am able to ride the bike in a better way.

"We still have some challenges, especially in the first part of the race where I still don't have the right setting to push to the maximum. After some laps my pace was not so bad and we were not so far from the top guys.

"We did a good job and we will now go for two days of testing where we will try to improve further. We don't give up, we will make another step and we will not be so far from the front.‰Û
Bryan Staring raced a solid race to score his first ever Moto GP Championship Points - Credit: Honda Racing
Australia's Bryan Staring raced to his best ever MotoGP race finish and in the process scored his first ever world championship points in motorcycle racings premier racing category.

The Go & Fun Honda Gresini CRT Honda racer raced to an impressive 14th place finish on a tricky track that caught a lot of other riders out and in the process scored two MotoGP championship points.

‰ÛÏI scored my first World Championship points today but I am still not particularly happy because I would have liked to do it more on the front foot." Staring admitted after the race. "It wasn‰Ûªt an easy race because of the conditions and I was able to improve my pace from qualifying so that‰Ûªs good but I‰Ûªm still not happy to be honest.

"Anyway, we have to take the positives and try to learn from this experience in the future," he concluded.

MotoGP riders now have a busy few days of testing at Catalunya and then at Motorland Aragon. The racing continues in two weeks with the Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday 29 June.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his with with his Yamaha team - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Round 6 Catalunya MotoGP Race Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo 43m06.479s SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
2. Dani Pedrosa 1.763 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3. Marc Marquez 1.826 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4. Valentino Rossi 5.874 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5. Stefan Bradl 26.756 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6. Bradley Smith 32.228 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7. Andrea Dovizioso 32.692 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8. Aleix Espargaro 58.615 ESP ART Power Electronics Aspar
9. Colin Edwards 1'03.142 USA FTR NGM Forward Racing
10. Michele Pirro 1'09.774 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing
11. Danilo Petrucci 1'24.377 ITA IODA Came IodaRacing Project
12. Claudio Corti 1'33.679 ITA FTR NGM Forward Racing
13. Yonny Hernandez 1'45.355 COL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
14. Bryan Staring 1'50.745 AUS HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
15. Javier del Amor 1 Lap ESP FTR Avintia Blusens
16. Lukas Pesek 1 Lap CZE IODA Came IodaRacing Project
17. Hector Barbera DNF SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
18. Karel Abraham DNF CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
19. Cal Crutchlow DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
20. Nicky Hayden DNF USA DUCATI Ducati Team
21. Andrea Iannone DNF ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing
22. Randy De Puniet DNF FRA ART Power Electronics Aspar
23. Alvaro Bautista DNF SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
24. Michael Laverty DNF WAL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
The Helmet designed by Anna Vives worn by Jorge Lorenzo at Catalunya Credit: Yamaha Racing
MotoGP Championship standings:
1. Dani Pedrosa 123 pts
2. Jorge Lorenzo 116 pts
3. Marc Marquez 93 pts
4. Cal Crutchlow 71 pts
5. Valentino Rossi 60 pts
6. Andrea Dovizioso 59 pts
7. Nicky Hayden 45 pts
8. Stefan Bradl 41 pts
9. Alvaro Bautista 38 pts
10. Aleix Espargaro 36 pts
11. Bradley Smith 34 pts
12. Michele Pirro 28 pts
13. Andrea Iannone 21 pts
14. Hector Barbera 13 pts
15. Danilo Petrucci 13 pts
16. Randy De Puniet 11 pts
17. Colin Edwards 10 pts
18. Ben Spies 9 pts
19. Yonny Hernandez 6 pts
20. Claudio Corti 4 pts
23. Bryan Staring 2 pts

Top Image: Jorge Lorenzo raced to a superb home race win in front of fellow Spanish riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez
Credit: Honda Racing

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