Archive - Race Or Practice Result
November 9th, 2013
Pol Espargaro isn’t in a particularly generous mood this weekend. Already owning 2013 Moto2 championship, the Spanish rider made it abundantly clear he'd like to win again before graduating to the top class next year. His lap time of 1'35.126 beat second-fastest Jordi Torres by two-tenths of a second. Third-fastest Nicolas Terol was another two-tenths back.
Former points leader Scott Redding -- who likely will take the runner-up prize in this year's Moto2 championship -- currently sits out of the points in 18th position and more than a second back of the leaders. Redding, who is nursing a broken wrist, also will be moving to the top class next year.
Marc Marquez broke the all-time lap record and used the pieces to carve away the hopes of his championship rival in Saturday’s free practice at the Valencia circuit. Marquez’s lap of 1’30.803 is the fastest-ever lap at the 2.5-mile circuit and it bettered Jorge Lorenzo's best by a full tenth of a second. More importantly, Marquez didn't set the time until Lorenzo turned what appeared to the fast lap of the weekend.
And it was -- for about 25 seconds. Then Marquez topped it again.
Valentino Rossi made a late charge to take the third. Dani Pedrosa -- the only rider to win in every class at this Spanish track -- placed fourth with Cal Crutchlow in fifth. Completing the top 10 and avoiding the first qualifying practice are Alvaro Bautista (sixth), Stefan Bradl (seventh), Nicky Hayden (eighth), teammate Andrea Divizioso (ninth) with Bradley Smith in the 10th and final slot. The rest of the riders must head into the first qualifying session in the afternoon with the top-two finishers there given a chance to better their grid positions in the second qualifying practice.
In Saturday’s FP3, Luis Salom did what he does best: Stalk the leaders for the better part of a contest and then pounce at the end. And that is the way in went Valencia, Spain on Saturday with Salom putting a blistering final lap to take the top time with a 1’39.879 -- the fastest Moto3 time of the weekend so far. Maverick Vinales also put in a late, fast lap to set the second-fastest FP3 time, 75 thousandths back. Jack Miller and his FTR Honda spoiled the KTM party with a third-fastest time.
Miller actually hit the top of the timesheet with six minutes remaining in the practice. He was the first rider to dip under the 1’40 mark with a 1’39.963. But within four minutes, Vinales grabbed the top spot again. And it looked to be the top time until points-leader Salom nipped him with at the very end. Both Luis Salom and Alex Rins were slowed briefly by a technical problems that kept the bikes in the pits for short stretches. Maverick Vinales, second in the championship, led most of the session. Alex Rins and Jonas Folger rounded out the top five. Three riders -- Salom, Vinales and Rins -- are separated by only five points in the championship so any of them could claim the title on the season's final race Sunday.
Even though he already claimed his world chanpionship, Pol Espargaro didn't relinquish his spot at this top of the timesheet by again setting the fast time in the second practice at Valencia. Esparago remained more than a tenth of a second clear of the field with teammate Esteve Rabat in second and Thomas Luthi in third. Last year's Moto2 winner here, Marc Marquez, sits at the top of the MotoGP practice in what traditionally is the final race of the season.
Marc Marquez again emerged from Valencia's second practice with the top time, leading both teammate Dani Pedrosa and championship challanger Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez set the fastest time of the weekend thus far with a 1'31.220 that put him more than one-tenth ahead of current world champion Lorenzo. Marquez needs only to finish fourth or better (if Lorenzo wins) to claim the championship as a rookie. The Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi rounded out the top five.
As it turns out, Alex Rins had a response to Luis Salom's dominance at FP1. Later Friday in FP2 at the Valencia circuit, Rins set the fastest lap of the session with a 1'40.489 with Salom in second and Maverick Vinales in third, not quite one tenth of a second behind the leader. The fact that the three riders who have a shot at the championship set the three fastest practice times does nothing to dispell the notion that the Moto3 race could be the race of the weekend among the three classes. Jonas Folger and Jack Miller rounded out the top five. The top ten riders finished FP2 separated by a single second.
Pol Espargaro, already crowned the 2013 Moto2 World Champion, obviously isn't content to rest on his laurels. The Spaniard and future MotoGP rider set the fast lap during FP1 at the Valencia circuit Friday with a time of 1'35.691. Esteve Rabat placed a close second at eight-hundreths back with Thomas Luthi rounding out the top three. Championship runner-up Scott Redding, still nursing a fractured wrist, lapped 23rd quickest.
MotoGP rookie and championship points leader Marc Marquez pounced at the end of FP1 at the Valencia circuit Friday to set a fast lap of 1'31.557, a mere 18-thousanths faster than second-fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo. In this case, that .018 must feel like an hour for Lorenzo who sits second in the championship and needs to finish Sunday's final race of the 2013 season several places in front of his Spanish rival if he is to win the championship. Dani Pedrosa's 1'31.581 took third fastest, another six-thousandths behind Lorenzo.
The surprise of the session was an improving Bradley Smith who put his Tech 3 Yamaha into the fourth slot, a little more than one-tenth of a second faster than Valentino Rossi, in fifth.
The championship leaders all wanted to make a statement in the first free practice at the Valencia circuit in Spain. Luis Salom, current points leader, spoke the loudest with a fast lap of 1'40.403, a time that puts him two-tenths of a second clear of second fastest and second in the championship Maverick Vinales. Jonas Folger ended FP1 as third fastest, one tenth ahead of Alex Rins. Rookie Rins, third in the championship, sits six-tenths behind Salom in what should prove to be an exciting and likely hard-fought final race of 2013. A mere five points separates the top three riders going into the 17th Moto3 race of the season.
Full report and results below:
Full report and results below:
Full report and results below:
Riding with the effects of a fractured right ankle Stefan Bradl has amazingly headed a Honda top three after MotoGP FP at Motegi. The young German proved his mettle and fitness to lead the Repsol Honda pair of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez by a tenth of a second. It wasn't all plain sailing for the factory Hondas though as Marquez sent a massive scare through the camp after a scary crash at the lightning fast turn twelve.
The championship leader lost the front coming out of the tunnel and cart wheeled violently through the adjacent gravel trap, knocking his head and right arm several times and losing the visor from his helmet in the process. Remarkably he was able to walk away in tact, return to his pit box to remove the gravel from his nostrils and head back out on his second bike to further improve his lap times and once again underline his uncanny resilience.
Yesterday's pole-man Jorge Lorenzo looked consistent and fast in the early running but had to settle for the fourth fastest time ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Bautista also had a crash, losing the front at turn ten in the final minutes whilst pushing on a very quick lap, he thankfully also walked away unharmed and made it four Hondas in the top five. Cal Crutchlow ended in sixth place ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi while Nicky Hayden and Bradley Smith completed the top ten after the first and only dry session of a trying Japanese Grand Prix weekend so far.
Pol Espargaro has topped the time sheets for Moto2 free practice at Motegi, the last of the morning fog that hindered the Moto3 session earlier on had completely dispersed and glorious sunshine baked the twin-ring circuit. Espargaro looked in glistening form in his quest to wrap up the Moto2 world championship later today, he finished a little over a tenth of a second ahead of Marc VDS rider Mika Kallio and Belgian's Xavier Simeon.
Local hero Takaaki Nakagami finished in fourth place ahead of Tito Rabat and a highly determined Scott Redding. Riding with a fractured and pinned left wrist, Redding posted a string of very competitive lap times and looks set to fight tooth and nail later today to try and prevent Espargaro from taking the title that he himself has held in his grasp for so much of this season. Alex DeAngelis ended in seventh ahead of the Aspar duo of Jordi Torres and Nico Terol while NGM Forward Racing's Simone Corsi rounded out the top ten.
Maverick Vinales has topped the first fully dry session during Sunday morning's Moto3 free practice at Motegi, the Spaniards benchmark time was very close to last years race lap record. He lead from the familiar faces of Alex Marquez, Luis Salom and Alex Rins as the typical top four were covered by a little over two tenths of a second. The session was initially delayed by five minutes due to a light fog hovering over the circuit and reduced to thirty five minutes in length as a consequence. The track was still quite damp in patches as riders went out on wet tyres early, but with a clear dry line visible they promptly switched to slicks with around twenty five minutes to go.
Jonas Folger was the 'best of the rest' and finished in fifth place a further couple of tenths behind. He was followed by the FTR Honda trio of Niccolo Antonelli, Isaac Vinales and Romano Fenati while Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Miguel Oliveira aboard his Mahindra completed the top ten. The session was halted temporarily with twelve minutes remaining as red flags were shown due to poor visibility once again, as a thick mist cloud decided to park itself at turn one and sprawl around the circuit. The cloud eventually dispersed and the session continued, however due to the pause in proceedings, the Moto2 FP session to follow will be reduced by five minutes also.