2013 Losail International Circuit MotoGP Recap and Results
Spoiler Alert: 2013 MotoGP results from Losail International Circuit, Doha, Qatar, listed below
A half of year has passed since the conclusion of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at Valencia, and much has changed in the series.
Most notably was Valentino Rossi’s highly anticipated switch back to Yamaha Factory Racing following two sour years with Ducati Team, and the new qualifying format, which features two sessions.
The new qualifying combines the time sheets of the three practice sessions, and of all three sessions combined, the ten quickest riders will immediately proceed to Q2. Prior to that, the rest of the field will contest Q1 in order to fill grid positions 13 and downwards; the best two riders in Q1 will be awarded an entrance to Q2, providing a top-12 showdown for the first pole position of the year.
And these changes all went into affect Sunday under the floodlights at Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar. This was the 10th season MotoGP visited the 3.343-mile circuit that features 16 corners (six left, 10 right), and the sixth consecutive year the round was held under the lights.
And taking the win was the favorite going into the season – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard’s performance was similar to last season when he conquered the same feat – winning the race from pole; this year’s pole at Losail was Lorenzo’s seventh across all classes.
The two-time MotoGP Champion led all 22 laps, and was joined on the Qatar podium by Rossi and the rookie Marc Marquez aboard the Repsol Honda RC213V. This was Rossi’s first podium since taking second at San Marino MotoGP last season, and Marquez’s first podium of his rookie year.
Lorenzo got to turn one first in the 22-lap race, the reigning MotoGP Champ followed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Rossi, LCR Honda’s Bradl, Marquez and GO&FUN Honda’s Alvaro Bautista.
On the opening lap, the “Doctor” showed he was back. Starting from seventh on the grid, Rossi was into fourth and passed Dovi on the GP13, but ran wide and remained in fourth.
Heading into turn one after lap two, Rossi passed Dovi, but ran wide again and slipped back to seventh. Meanwhile up front, Lorenzo already had over a second on Pedrosa. On the same lap, Crutchlow took Dovi for third, and began chasing down Pedrosa. Behind Marquez also passed Dovi coming out of the final corner heading into the third lap. The first crash of the race came from Cardion AB Ducati’s Karel Abraham. As the Czech walked off the track, Marquez got pass Dovi for fourth. Heading into the fourth lap, Marquez also got pass Crutchlow for third, and a battle ensued between the Brit and the reigning Moto2 Champion.
Behind, Rossi also gets passed Dovi, moving into sixth place, and began chasing down Bradl.
With 16 to go, Lorenzo was running smooth as can be up front, with Pedrosa, Marquez and Crutchlow running in a group 2.7 seconds back. A bit further back was Bradl, the German followed closely by Rossi, Dovi and Bautista, the group battling for fifth.
With 15 to go, Rossi passed Bradl for fifth place at Turn 4. The nine-time World Champion began pulling away, showing his anticipated speed aboard the YZR-M1.
Fourteen laps to go, Bradl lost the front of his RC213V at turn 7, allowing Rossi to work on his rhythm while comfortably alone in fifth place.
Eleven to go, and Lorenzo has almost 4.5 seconds on the rest of the grid. Pedrosa, Marquez and Crutchlow were running alone, battling for the runner-up position. Meanwhile Rossi kept posting faster laps, running alone in fifth 7.7 seconds behind Lorenzo.
With seven to go, Rossi closed the gap on the group of Pedrosa, Marquez and Crutchlow to just over a second. Heading into the next lap, Marquez moved pass his teammate on the straight, taking second.
But although Marquez was quick, Rossi had now joined the group, closing in quickly on Crutchlow. The Italian passed Crtuchlow, and made quick work of Pedrosa for third a few turns later.
Rossi began putting much pressure on Marquez, his YZR-M1 all over Marquez’s rear wheel. With two and half laps remaining, Rossi took Marquez for second and immediately began pulling away.
But Marquez wasn’t done. Heading into the second to last lap, Marquez drags Rossi down the straight and takes him. But Rossi retaliates at turn four, showing the battles between the oldest rider in current MotoGP – riding in the MotoGP class since 2002 when it replaced the 500cc era – and the rookie Marquez.
This battle for second ensued for the final two laps. On the final lap, the battle between Rossi and Marquez intensified, Rossi closing out every possible move by Marquez. The rookie’s final attempt came down to the straightaway, but he couldn’t catch Rossi.
Lorenzo finished first, 5.990 ahead of Rossi. This was his sixth consecutive podium finish at Losail, including this year’s and last year’s wins. Marquez would take third, 0.211 behind Rossi.
Finishing fourth was Pedrosa, followed by Crutchlow, Bautisa, Dovizioso and Hayden. Rounding out the top 10 were Energy T.I. Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Ignite Pramce Ducati’s Ben Spies. The top CRT honors went to Aleix Expargaro aboard the Power Electronics Aspar.
The 2013 MotoGP Championship will now break for two weeks before round 2 of 18 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, April 19-21.
2013 Qatar MotoGP Results:
|1||25||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||166.4||42’39.802|
|2||20||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||166.0||+5.990|
|3||16||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||166.0||+6.201|
|4||13||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.8||+9.473|
|5||11||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||165.2||+18.764|
|6||10||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||165.0||+22.148|
|7||9||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||164.8||+24.355|
|8||8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||164.8||+24.920|
|9||7||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||Ducati||164.0||+37.124|
|10||6||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Ignite Pramac Racing||Ducati||163.5||+44.908|
|11||5||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||163.2||+49.809|
|12||4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||162.8||+56.495|
|13||3||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||FTR||162.0||+1’09.599|
|14||2||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||161.9||+1’10.742|
|15||1||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Avintia Blusens||FTR||161.8||+1’13.600|
|16||71||Claudio CORTI||ITA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||160.8||+1’29.444|
|17||70||Michael LAVERTY||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||160.5||+1’34.341|
|18||52||Lukas PESEK||CZE||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||160.5||+1’34.683|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||161.9||7 Laps|
|9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||160.5||10 Laps|
|6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||164.8||14 Laps|
|38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||162.4||18 Laps|
|67||Bryan STARING||AUS||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||FTR Honda||149.2||21 Laps|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||ART||0 Lap|
2013 MotoGP Point Standings after 1 of 18 rounds:
|12||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||4|