With the 2013 MotoGP championship and Marc Marquez’ title now written not only in the record books, but also in the GP racing annals, the series now turns its head towards 2014 with the first post season test getting underway at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
The fastest rider of the first day was Sunday’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo who posted a stratosferic 1:31.257 in the closing stages of the day with the 2013 version of his M1, while the 2014 machine also got a shakedown from both Lorenzo and team mate Valentino Rossi, who had his new crewchief Silvano Galbusera (Marco Melandri’s World Superbike crew chief at Yamaha and BMW) at his side, after suddenly and rather dramatically parting ways with the legendary Jeremy Burgess on the eve of the Valencia race.
The Repsol Honda team decided to sit the day out after celebrating not only Marquez’ title but also their third consecutive Constructors Championship title and leaving the field to the Honda satellite teams and the teams that have switched from CRTs to the new Honda RCV1000R production machine.
Monday was also a day of changes, debuts and more rider confirmations for the upcoming season.
The final round of the 2013 MotoGP season at Valencia was won by Jorge Lorenzo, thanks to his never-give-up attitude, and he was more than a worthy rival to a fearless Marc Marquez, but the 2013 championship crown was assigned for the first time in 35 years to one of the most exceptional, exciting and often controversial rookies to have ever come to GP racing.
The 20-year Marquez has literally devoured numerous records in his debut season including becoming the youngest rider to have won a premier class title. and he needed just to finish fourth to take the title, instead he finished third letting his team mate Dani Pedrosa take second place in the race, that was a corker for the first 15 laps.
Jorge Lorenzo had showed an awesome pace during the weekend and could have runaway with the race from the first corner, but the Yamaha rider changed his usual tatics as he seemed to purposely slow the pace of the 30 lapper to go head-to-head not with title rival, but a highly combative and aggressive Dani Pedrosa. who tried to psych out mentally and physically Lorenzo with his close overtakes.
An extraordinary Jorge Lorenzo took his seventh victory of the 2013 season consecutive with a psychologically crushing win over both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in Honda’s home circuit at Motegi.
This new victory for the steely Yamaha factory rider who trails Marquez in the standings by 13 points will now take the fight for the championship title to the final round of the season (for the first time since 2006) at Valencia on November 10th, even if Lorenzo wins, Marquez has just to finish fourth to bring home the crown.
Polesitter Lorenzo who decided to risk mounting a soft rear tire for this long race, took off like a scalded cat when the lights went out and led the race from start-to-finish despite undergoing some considerable pressure from his title rival during the middle phases of the race and being held up Damian Cudlin, but he managed to bend the Repsol Honda riders with his martillo y mantequilla style.
All the clamour regarding last week’s Australian GP has yet to die down as the teams are now in Japan for the penultimate round of the championship, with Marc Marquez ready to forget the disasterous disqualification that he received at Phillip Island for that extra lap, and he’ll try tie up the championship title on Honda’s home turf at the Motegi Twin Ring circuit, if he can beat Jorge Lorenzo by eight points or more.
While Valentino Rossi joked about everyone dying at the hands typhoon Francisco or due to the still radiation leaking Fukushima power plant, Yamaha had seriously thought about lodging at complaint against Marc Marquez for how he entered the track following his pit stop and how he and Jorge Lorenzo made contact just before turn 1.
Apparently Massimo Meregalli and Wilco Zeelenberg reveiwed the clash and now the Yamaha rider has completely changed his mind regarding the incident. He previously said, “I braked too late and Marc was coming out of the pit lane so we touched and we were lucky to avoid crashing. We were both at fault. He did not look who was coming, but it was 50/50.” Now Lorenzo believes that Marquez should be admonished again and the near accident was all Marquez’ fault.
Who won’t be having a change of heart regarding the Phillip Island round, are those fans who love to check out our paddock girls galleries, and we got an array of photos of those breathtaking sheilas from Down Under that graced the Australian GP.
So enjoy the pics, as we wait to see what goes down during this MotoGP weekend at Motegi.
Jorge Lorenzo took a highly important victory in the Australian GP in a confusing, chaotic and what will be known as one of the most controversial races seen in recent history, as standings leader Marc Marquez was black flagged, which re-opened the chase for the championship title, as Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi completed the podium.
Marquez’ disqualification has allowed Lorenzo to reduce the lead to the Repsol Honda rookie to just 18-points as the championship heads into the final two races of the season.
The Australian GP was already deemed to be controversial because it was shortened to just 19 laps because of safety issues regarding the rear tires, and it became defacto a mandatory flag-to-flag dry race.
The re-surfacing of the Phillip Island asphalt last December proved to very abrasive on the tires that suffered severe blistering problems and overheating, and Bridgestone had to raise the white flag and acknowledge the debacle.
The Race Direction and Safety Commission forced to take steps to guarantee the safety of the riders, hence it was decided that the riders had to pit and required to change bikes, only the duration of the race after warm-up practice (!) was further reduced from 26 to just 19 laps, and the number of laps before switching bikes was to be within the 9th and 10th lap, and that proved to be Marquez’ and Honda’s downfall.
Dani Pedrosa bounced back from dramatic highside at Aragon - Marc Marquez’ disabled the traction control system of his team mate’s Honda with a contact - and his bothersome hip injury, to take his third victory of the season in an energy sapping Sepang GP.
The Repsol Honda rider managed to take the race lead from Jorge Lorenzo after the lap and cleared out, while Marquez (punished with a point penalty after Aragon) and the Yamaha rider became involved in a highly incendiary duel for second place.
Lorenzo tried to fluster Marquez overtaking attempts even going as far as bashing fairings - unusually aggressive for the reigning World champion - during the sixth lap, however it was the rookie who won the battle for the second spot on the podium after Lorenzo’s tires starting sliding under braking.
Despite Pedrosa’s victory, Marquez’s second place and another 20 points still gives him a highly comfortable lead in the standings over Lorenzo, and he can mathematically take the 2013 MotoGP crown in next weekend’s round at Phillip Island, while Pedrosa’s chances of the title more or less evaporated with his DNF at Aragon, but he still has a shot in becoming the season’s runner-up.
MotoGPs adrenalinic qualifying session at the Aragon Motorland circuit was made up of blistering and record breaking laps with red lights appearing all over the timesheets.
The first rider to break Casey Stoner’s 2011 record was Jorge Lorenzo. The Yamaha rider first took over the provisional pole position with a stunning 1′48.241, but immediately after it was LCR’s Stefan Bradl’s turn to set the new record with a 1′48.159, and then Dani Pedrosa shot out a 1′47.957!
A new tire change and it was back on track for the riders only to have Marc Marquez grab his third consecutive pole position (Silverstone and Misano) - his seventh in his extraordinary rookie season - stopping the clock with a blistering 1’47″804 and pip Jorge Lorenzo (who ran out of fuel at the end of the session) for the pole position by a mere 0.010.
Dani Pedrosa closed out the front row, while Valentino Rossi probably had his best qualifying session ever this year (better than Misano and Sachsenring) on a track where he has never had much luck and missed out a front row start by just 0.005s.
There was no hesitation from the Italian as he finally matched the blistering laps of the other three riders only to finish fourth and 0.158s from the pole. Rossi like his team mate opted for the softer front tire while, the Honda riders use harder front compound and obviously all of them used the softer rear tire.
Marc Marquez was highly tipped to win the Misano GP - despite his two crashes - while Jorge Lorenzo struggled with braking issues during the weekend which was making him angry.
However, a magical set-up change and a suspension adjustment during warm-up practice allowed him to immediately brake better, and this change gave him more confidence and permitted him to escape from the rest of the field immediately after the lights went out, even if he said the race was “very demanding, physically and mentally.”
Lorenzo is now tied in second place with Dani Pedrosa and is still 34 points from Marc Marquez who continues to lead in the standings with just five races remaining in the championship.
We improve the bike so much in the warm-up as all weekend we have struggled to be competitive in braking, we could not stop the bike and I was angry. We changed many things, but nothing was good. Luckily, we improve in warm-up, I was much faster, much more confident so this give me the motivation to take the same strategy in the last few races,” said Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo was simply majestic at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli , taking his fifth victory of the season and his second consecutive win after Silverstone, while Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa once again completed the podium.
The reigning World Champion literally won the Italian GP race on the first lap after giving Dani Pedrosa and the rest of the field a blistering and impossible 1.2 second gap by end of the first lap.
With his punishing and regular rhythm Lorenzo was never contested for the lead in the entire 28 lapper as he crossed over the finish line with a very comfortable margin.
The race was livened up by the very intense in house battle between the two Repsol Honda riders, that was once again won by the rookie over the veteran. Marquez seemed to be in serious difficulty in the first part of the race with a bad start despite sitting in pole position and having trouble finding his usual rhythm and then committing an error at the Quercia that let Valentino Rossi take third.
There was nothing that Jorge Lorenzo could do to stop Marc Marquez from taking an ‘unbelievable’ pole position at Misano this afternoon.
The Yamaha rider who is lamenting braking and spinning issues on his M1 despite the new seamless gearbox couldn’t bridge the 0.513s gap to the record breaking Repsol Honda rider, but he believes that Marquez’ pace is slightly different than a single hot lap.
“I can be happy with second, but we are quite far from pole. Marc did an unbelievable lap and we couldn’t even be close to him. I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn’t be faster and I couldn’t improve the bike so much. We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration – that is why the lap time is not great,” said Lorenzo.