Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya: Review – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News

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MotoGP

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has won the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya for the third time in four years, beating Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on Sunday afternoon. Valentino Rossi rode a lonely race to fourth position while as many as eight riders retired, including Cal Crutchlow who crashed out on the sixth lap.

Two weeks ago, Lorenzo had sealed his second victory of the campaign in Italy, and he now becomes the first rider to win three times in 2013, moving to within seven points of championship-leading Pedrosa. This afternoon, the Mallorcan made the most of the battling Hondas to pull out a lead of over one second with four laps to go.

As he rode to victory, Pedrosa was forced to fight a rear-guard action even though Marquez had almost removed himself from the race on the penultimate lap. Heading into Turn 4 on the 24th of the 25 tours, Marquez suffered a significant scare and came perilously close to losing the front end of his bike. He would go on to reduce a six-tenth of a second margin to finish the race just six hundredths behind Pedrosa, although the key to his day had been a strong getaway from sixth on the grid.

Taking advantage of the dramas in front of him – such as accidents for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, going out in separate solo incidents on the tenth lap – Stefan Bradl enjoyed a second consecutive top five finish as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith celebrated a personal best result of sixth.

The leading CRT rider for the sixth time in as many Grand Prix this season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, finished eighth for the second race in a row, while GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was upset to have crashed on the opening lap following a near-miss with Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha.

Also in the gravel at the La Caixa corner were PBM’s Michael Laverty and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro, although the Italian went on to finish tenth. The high attrition allowed an assortment of riders to enjoy their best races of the season, including Australian newcomer Bryan Staring who finished 14th to score the first points for the Gresini CRT bike. Scoring on his debut was Avintia Blusens’ Javier del Amor, substituting for Hiroshi Aoyama who injured a finger in a crash on Saturday.

The majority of the MotoGP grid will stay on for a one-day test tomorrow at the Montmelo circuit.

Moto2

Pol Espargaro has claimed his second victory of the Moto2™ campaign, winning Sunday’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya after fending off teammate Esteve Rabat. In third place, Tom Luthi returned to the podium for the first time since Brno 2012.

It was a race of high attrition in which 11 of the 34 starters failed to make the finish on another warm afternoon in Catalunya. On Saturday, Espargaro had taken pole position and was only headed this afternoon when he allowed Tuenti HP 40 teammate Rabat through, only to retake the lead on Lap 17. Rabat mounted a strong attack on the final lap and would be less than one tenth of a second behind at the finish line.

Several riders ran into trouble, not least Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elias who was caught up in drama at the first corner. It was also a disappointing conclusion for Dynavolt Intact GP’s reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese, who pitted after going off at Turn 10, suffering from when Elias had collided with him, and Jordi Torres, who crashed his Aspar Team Moto2 bike out of the race in the middle of the first chicane on the 18th of the 23 laps.

Having demonstrated strong form in practice, Luthi was thrilled to claim his first podium finish of the season for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing, despite being yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in a Valencia pre-season testing accident. Scott Redding maintains his championship lead courtesy of fourth place for Marc VDS Racing Team, with Takaaki Nakagami fifth for Italtrans Racing Team.

The top ten was completed by Technomag carXpert’s Randy Krummenacher, Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco, Krummenacher’s teammate Dominique Aegerter, Marc VDS’ Mika Kallio and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi.

Moto3

Luis Salom has won the Moto3™ Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take the lead in the World Championship. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider carried out a well-judged race, saving tyres before hitting the front in the closing stages. Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales completed the podium as the top five places were filled by Spaniards.

Salom’s second consecutive victory makes him the first rider to have won three races so far in 2013, also continuing his 100% podium record which helps him move ahead in the standings. In the opening stages he ran at the back of the front group to conserve his Dunlops, but elected to move ahead six laps from home and promptly pulled out enough of an advantage.

The race featured several leaders early on, including Estrella Galicia duo Rins and Alex Marquez as well as Team Calvo’s Viñales. Heading into the final two laps, Marquez and Mahindra Racing’s returning Efren Vazquez fell back which ensured a three-rider fight at the front; despite the best efforts of Viñales in the stadium section at the end of the lap, Salom had pulled out enough of a cushion on the back straight.

Behind what was the leading group for much of the afternoon, Miguel Oliveira rode the second Mahindra to sixth place as Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller finished seventh after running as high as third. The top ten was completed by Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou and Salom’s teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis. In 15th place, San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati finished in the points for the third time this year.

Six riders failed to make the finish. GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli made a mistake at Turn 4 whereas Marc VDS Racing Team’s Livio Loi and Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil collided at Turn 5, taking the former out of the race before the latter pulled into the pits several laps later. Loi was taken to hospital later for preliminary checks after suffering concussion. Three riders were removed in a multiple collision into the stadium section on the opening lap, as contact between RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema and Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo saw the pair collect Kiefer Racing’s Toni Finsterbusch who was approaching on the outside line.

Source: motogp.com

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