2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Photos/Images/Pics/Wallpaper
Following his domination of the 2013 MotoGP Championship heading into round nine at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Marc Marquez was an immediate favorite to win at the Californian circuit.
Ahead of Sunday’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Marquez had seven podiums in eight rounds, including wins at Circuit of the Americas in Texas and last weekend’s round at Sachsenring, Germany.
When the riders got on the track Friday at Laguna Seca, Marquez was quickest. He then qualified second behind pole sitter Stefan Bradl, showing speed aboard his Repsol Honda RC213V.
But when the 32-lap race got underway, Marquez had a bad start, falling back to fourth. He made quick work of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, and then chased down nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.
And on lap four, Marquez made a confident pass on the Yamaha Factory Racing rider Rossi at Laguna’s famed Corkscrew, similar to the famed pass Rossi made on Casey Stoner in 2008.
Marquez now had one rider on his radar, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. And by lap 19, the rookie Spaniard caught the German. Marquez took the lead, and the eventual win by over two seconds ahead of Bradl. Rossi would finish third, ahead of Bautista and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who rode with an injured left shoulder.
Pedrosa’s fellow Spanish countryman Jorge Lorenzo also injured his left shoulder – twice – at the previous two rounds in Sachsenring and Assen. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider and two-time MotoGP Champion finished sixth.
With his win, Marquez entered the history books, earning two MotoGP records – he became the youngest rider to win two back-to-back premier-class races, ousting Freddie Spencer’s record from the South African and French grand prixs in 1983, and also the only rookie to have ever won at Laguna Seca.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I am very happy, because we weren’t expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn’t think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines.
“Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tires got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular!
“Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin.”
Ultimate MotorCycling contributor Ara Ashjian was at Sunday’s Red Bull Grand Prix, shooting all three days. Attached is a photo gallery of his images. Each picture also makes for great wallpaper. To download, simply click the desired thumbnail, and right click to Save to Desktop Background.