Gran Premio bwin de España: Review – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In Moto2, Moto3, MotoGP, News



Dani Pedrosa clinched his maiden victory of this year’s MotoGP™ World Championship, winning the Gran Premio bwin de España on Sunday, as teammate Marc Marquez spiced up proceedings by barging past Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo for second place in the final corner.

Lorenzo had been the rider to beat for much of the weekend, comfortably sealing his second pole position of the season on Saturday, yet Pedrosa overtook him at the start of the 27-lap race. The lead was immediately snatched back, but Pedrosa made the move stick as he passed at Dry Sack on Lap 6. As the Yamaha rider dropped into the clutches of Marquez, Pedrosa maintained a steady pace en route to his first win since Valencia last year.

Marquez’s race was a dramatic one, having entered as the joint championship leader with Lorenzo. Having quickly demoted Valentino Rossi to fourth place after the Yamaha rider overtook at the end of Lap 1, the 20-year-old charged up to the back of Lorenzo and attempted several different lines in a bid to distract the current title holder. The eventual move came at the newly-named Jorge Lorenzo Corner at the end of the very last lap, where Marquez forcefully made his way past his compatriot, leaving the latter in a less than happy mood in Parc Fermé.

Rossi had a lonely ride to fourth place on the second Yamaha Factory bike, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow overcoming GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista for a top five spot at the end of a difficult weekend, which featured two sizeable accidents on Saturday. Ducati Team duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso made the top eight while test rider Michele Pirro enjoyed a strong first ride of the campaign to 11th on the squad’s GP13 Lab chassis.

Hector Barbera and Avintia Blusens impressed by qualifying tenth on the lead CRT machine, but on race day the Spaniard fell to 12th as Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro took top CRT honours for the third time in as many races, finishing ninth from Tech 3’s Bradley Smith. As Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama tumbled to 18th in the closing stages, Michael Laverty scored the first points for PBM’s own-built bike by coming home 13th and ahead of Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who also scored for the first time in 2013.

Five riders failed to make the end of the race, notably Stefan Bradl who compounded a tough three days for himself and LCR Honda MotoGP. The German, like Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, retired on the fourth lap. Iannone’s teammate Ben Spies did not compete, advised by doctors to rest and solve a problem with a pectoral muscle, while Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham pulled out after Friday due to suffering too much pain with his broken right collarbone.


Tito Rabat convincingly won his first-ever race at the Gran Premio bwin de España today, snatching the Moto2™ championship lead, after starting from his first pole position. Former points leader Scott Redding finished second as Rabat’s Tuenti HP 40 teammate Pol Espargaro stole the final podium position from Takaaki Nakagami.

Rabat held the advantage from Redding as the red lights went out, and went on to make the victory look easy as he won by over four seconds, despite the pressure of a home crowd. Redding’s ride to second place was a calm one, as the Marc VDS Racing Team rider looks to achieve consistency across the 2013 season. Espargaro, a pre-season favourite for many, was desperate to make up ground after crashing out at the Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago. Running fourth and catching Italtrans Racing Team’s Nakagami, the former was held up by QMMF Racing Team’s Rafid Topan Sucipto, who was running a lap down. He caught Nakagami again with only a handful of laps to go, passing on the penultimate tour as the Japanese rider made an unforced error exiting Michelin curve. After the race, Sucipto apologised to Espargaro for delaying his progress.

As Nakagami dropped to fourth and was unable to re-pass Espargaro, Texas winner Nico Terol ended the day fifth for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 while Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon overhauled Aspar’s Jordi Torres to end a spirited battle in a career-best sixth position. Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter, Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elias and Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrotter completed the first ten, while Tom Luthi finished 11th on his return with Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing. Two places further back, Came Iodaracing Project’s Johann Zarco had fought up to 13th position from 30th on the starting grid.

Several riders were caught out, including Britons Danny Kent and Kyle Smith, but Mika Kallio’s fall was arguably the most significant. The Finn had been joint second in the standings heading into the race, but crashed his Marc VDS Racing Team bike at Dry Sack corner while involved in a multiple-rider battle over fifth position.


Maverick Viñales has won for the first time this season, marking three Moto3™ victors from as many races. The Team Calvo rider, who overtook Alex Rins for the lead, was declared the winner when red flags flew for the second consecutive race.

On Saturday, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Rins stormed to his second pole position in a row off the back of a maiden career victory in Texas. He defended from Viñales off the start line, but lost the lead when the latter slipped through at Dry Sack on the third tour. Pushing hard to stay in touch and doing so successfully until Lap 12, Rins lost the front end of his bike and crashed at Alex Criville corner.

This left Viñales in front with a small gap back to KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, who had been joint championship leader with Rins heading into this weekend. The second of the pair caught the leader and looked set to make a move when the right moment came, but was left frustrated when the race was stopped at just past two-thirds distance. Less irritated was Livio Loi, as the Belgian scored on his debut with Marc VDS Racing Team less than two weeks after his 16th birthday.

The race-ending incident came on Lap 17, with the red flags flying for the second time in as many races while doctors attended to CIP Moto3’s Frenchmen Alan Techer. Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez, Mahindra Racing ‘s Miguel Oliveira, Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller, GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli, Team Calvo’s Ana Carrasco and Kiefer Racing’s Florian Alt also suffered crashes or collisions, but all riders escaped unharmed.

Viñales’ victory is his first since Mugello last year and comes at the same track where he suffered the pre-season testing crash which injured his right hand. He now takes the championship lead, having led home Salom and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger who made up for his below-par performance in Qualifying on Saturday.

Ambrogio Racing’s Brad Binder was the main prophet of the Oliveira-Miller clash, finishing fourth from Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil, who has enjoyed an extremely strong weekend considering that he missed all of Friday Free Practice in order to take compulsory exams. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo avoided the trouble to finish sixth as Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Mahindra’s Efren Vazquez, San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati and Ognetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou completed the top ten.


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