Pedrosa Breaks Records en Route to Catalunya MotoGP Pole

Repsol Honda Dani Pedrosa

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Qualifying Results

When the free practice sessions got underway Friday for Catalunya MotoGP, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa couldn’t quite hang with the leader Valentino Rossi.

But during Saturday’s practices, the Spaniard found a better setup for his RC213V, able to eventually dominate the fourth and final free practice. Pedrosa continued this momentum into qualifying, breaking a few records along the way to earning the pole position for Sunday’s MotoGP. This was Pedrosa’s second consecutive pole in 2013 MotoGP, the other arriving at Mugello two weeks ago.

Pedrosa set a new fastest lap at Catalunya of 1:40.893, destroying Casey Stoner’s record set in 2008 aboard the Ducati. Pedrosa also set a new fastest speed at the circuit – 212.75 mph.

Joining Pedrosa on the front row for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Catalunya will be Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, the reigning MotoGP Champion.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time. It was a fantastic pole position for me.

“We also broke the circuit record and were able to do so in front of the home fans. I am also happy about improving our race pace, as this is the most important thing. We hope to put on a good show tomorrow and take full advantage of the front row start.”

Pedrosa’s performance also puts him in the most optimal position when starting his 200th Grand Prix Sunday. And it’s going to be tough for those behind to catch him, considering Pedrosa led Crutchlow by 0.608 of a second and Lorenzo by 0.673 of a second.

Lorenzo had some clutch issues early in the session, but swapped out his bike to make it to the front row in the final moments of Qualifying 2.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m very disappointed because today we had a problem with the clutch in a crucial moment and this lap time was the best I could do. I also had not so much confidence on the front to make a perfect lap.

“We hope for race distance we can remain constant and fight for the win. We will need to be strong and concentrate for the whole race; we don’t know what can happen in the 20th lap.”

Heading up the second row is GO & FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who was involved in the controversial, first-lap crash at Mugello that caused a DNF for him and Rossi.

Bautista finished ahead of Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and the rider who led Free Practice 3 Saturday morning, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. The Rookie Marquez was the final rider to finish within a second of Pedrosa at Catalunya MotoGP qualifying; Marquez finished 0.949 of a second back.

Nine-time World Champion Rossi will start from the top of the third row. He struggled finding grip, and was 1.066 off Pedrosa’s time.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “We worked hard today; it’s not so bad but unfortunately we are not able to start from a better position on the grid.

“We tried everything but I still don’t have the maximum feeling to improve a bit more. The race tomorrow is going to be very interesting because of the tire choice and the rhythm. There are four or five riders who are very fast and very constant so we hope to do a good start and good first laps to stay with the top guys and check our performance.”

Rossi will be joined on the third row by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati Team’s Alvaro Bautista.

The top CRT bike will be the Power Electronic’s Aspar piloted by Aleix Espargaro, who has been the top CRT finisher in the five opening rounds of 2013 MotoGP.

Just as Friday and Saturday, the temperatures are expected to be extremely hot once again Sunday. This means tire choice will be everything at round six of 18, and harder tires will likely be the chose by all riders.

2013 Catalunya MotoGP Qualifying Results:

1 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.3 1’40.893
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 336.3 1’41.501 0.608 / 0.608
3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 336.4 1’41.566 0.673 / 0.065
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 339.5 1’41.714 0.821 / 0.148
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 341.5 1’41.800 0.907 / 0.086
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 342.4 1’41.842 0.949 / 0.042
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 336.1 1’41.959 1.066 / 0.117
8 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 338.7 1’41.963 1.070 / 0.004
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 337.6 1’42.053 1.160 / 0.090
10 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 339.9 1’42.090 1.197 / 0.037
11 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 330.2 1’42.548 1.655 / 0.458
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 324.4 1’42.878 1.985 / 0.330
3 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 319.2 1’43.186 0.579 / 0.526
4 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 331.8 1’43.330 0.723 / 0.144
5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 318.5 1’43.659 1.052 / 0.329
6 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 318.9 1’43.983 1.376 / 0.324
7 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 320.9 1’44.362 1.755 / 0.379
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 317.3 1’44.369 1.762 / 0.007
9 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 319.3 1’44.603 1.996 / 0.234
10 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 322.0 1’44.630 2.023 / 0.027
11 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 318.9 1’44.913 2.306 / 0.283
12 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 317.2 1’45.441 2.834 / 0.528
13 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 313.2 1’46.302 3.695 / 0.861
14 77 Javier DEL AMOR SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 309.4 1’48.952 6.345 / 2.650


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