2013 Phillip Island MotoGP Day 1 Results
With three rounds remaining in the 2013 MotoGP Championship, three riders are vying for the title – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Last weekend at Sepang, Pedrosa kept his title hopes alive by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. Finishing second and third? Marquez and Lorenzo, respectively.
Marquez’s position allowed him to gain a 39-point lead on Lorenzo. This means Marquez can clinch the 2013 title if he wins and Lorenzo finished third or lower. This would also make Marquez the first rookie to win a MotoGP title in 35 years (the last was Freddie Spencer).
But Marquez’s Honda RC213V couldn’t quite keep up with Lorenzo at the first day of practice in Australia. Lorenzo would top both free practices Friday, the Spaniard piloting his YZR-M1 almost a second under the lap record due to the new surface at Phillip Island.
Marquez would trail Lorenzo by 0.08 of a second in FP1, but would suffer a hard crash in FP2, keeping him over a second behind his rival.
When the day was over, Lorenzo would post a quickest time of 1:28.961. Overall, Marquez was second quickest, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista taking the third best time.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I feel that here we are much more competitive than in Malaysia. There are some problems with the wind in some corners where we cannot keep the front wheel on the ground so we need to improve that for tomorrow. In general every step we make with the bike works so little by little we have improved and been faster.
“The tire feels consistent also so let’s see if we can improve the little issue with the front. The new tarmac is much better, you can push with more confidence and there are less bumps. The exit of turn six has a little bump, but apart from this corner everything is much better.”
Though Marquez was second fastest overall, he didn’t have time to redeem himself in the second free practice due to a crash at Turn 9 that occurred early in the session.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “The day went well ‒especially in the morning. It’s a pity about the crash right at the start of the afternoon run but we went back out with the second bike, which had a totally different geometry and we had no time in which to change things. Thus, we used the initial setup for the entire session.
“We shall see if tomorrow we can regain the feeling that we had in the morning session, as I felt very good ‒something that is very important at Phillip Island. We shall continue working in order to improve for the race.”
With Bautsita taking third overall, this bumped Pedrosa down to fourth. He also had some issues in FP2 when the engine-mounting bolt came loose on his RC213V, causing him to miss the final laps.
Fifth overall went to Yamaha Factory Racing’s, who only finished off the podium three times since debuting in the premier-class of the MotoGP Championship in 2000. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 were the top CRT runner Randy de Puniet aboard not he Power Electronics Aspar team, and the Ducati duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively. The 2006 World Champion Hayden is now confirmed to be joining Aspar for the 2014-2015 MotoGP seasons.
There was also no luck for LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who broke his ankle during practice at Sepang last weekend. The German was able to participate in FP1, finishing four seconds off the top time. But he was declared unfit for FP2, and hopes to return to Japan next weekend for the final back-to-back race in a three-round streak.
MotoGP reports that the majority of riders were using the softer option front and rear tires for both of the day’s sessions, however Bridgestone has since stated that due to the abrasive nature of the new tarmac, riders should race with the harder compound. This does not rule out using the softer rear for qualifying tomorrow. Both front options remain open throughout.
2013 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Practice Overall Results (FP1 & FP2):
1. Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, ESP: 1’28.961
2. Marc Marquez, Honda, ESP: 1’29.255
3. Alvaro Bautista, Honda, ESP: 1’29.438
4. Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP: 1’29.478
5. Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, ITA: 1’29.537
6. Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha, GBR: 1’29.667
7. Bradley Smith, Yamaha, GBR: 1’30.165
8. Randy De Puniet, ART, FRA: 1’30.215
9. Nicky Hayden, Ducati, USA: 1’30.609
10. Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati, ITA: 1’30.754
11. Andrea Iannone, Ducati, ITA: 1’30.792
12. Colin Edwards, FTR Kawasaki, USA: 1’30.917
13. Aleix Espargaro, ART, ESP: 1’31.091
14. Yonny Hernandez, ART, COL: 1’31.134
15. Hector Barbera, FTR, ESP: 1’31.286