2013 Jerez MotoGP Post-Race Round Up, Part 2: Of Forgotten Winners, Worried Yamahas And New-found Optimism
At the post-race press conference, as he fielded question after question of his last-corner clash with Marc Marquez, and refused to give an answer, Jorge Lorenzo eventually came out with the slightly exasperated quip: "Now a lot of questions to me, and when I won in Qatar, no questions for me. It's a little bit strange." It is a common occurrence in sporting journalism, and makes clear that while the athletes believe they are involved in a purely sporting endeavor, the media understands that what they are involved is actually show business. The big story of the weekend is not necessarily who stands on the top step of the podium.
Which is a shame, as Dani Pedrosa's victory at Jerez was both well-deserved and deeply impressive. The Hondas has come to the track with a disadvantage from testing, and were expected to struggle against the mighty Yamahas. It did not quite turn out that way, the Hondas - and especially Pedrosa and his crew chief Mike Leitner - found the grip they needed to beat Jorge Lorenzo and the rampaging Yamaha hordes, despite the horribly greasy conditions of the hot Jerez track.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the one-day test at Jerez:
Ben Spies' long road to recovery from the shoulder injury he suffered at Motegi last year has gotten a little longer. Today, Ducati boss Bernhard Gobmeier told reporters at the Jerez post-race MotoGP test that Spies had been advised to skip the Le Mans round of MotoGP in France, and only return two weeks later at Mugello.
Spies is still recuperating from shooting pains in his chest caused by overcompensating at COTA in Austin, when he raced there two weeks' ago. The Texan received medical advice that he should miss one more race before attempting a return. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will ride the Ignite Pramac Ducati as a replacement for Spies. As a replacement rider, Pirro will have to use the bike fielded by Pramac, rather than the laboratory machine he raced as a wildcard in Jerez.
Below is the official press release from the Ignite Pramac team:
Ben Spies back on track at Mugello.
Following today’s additional medical check in Dallas, the doctor supervising Ben Spies recommended that the Texan undergo a period of extended rehabilitation.
Despite his wish to return to the track as soon as possible, Spies will miss the French Grand Prix and will join the team again at the end of May, at Mugello.
Marc Marquez topped the timesheet at the end of the one-day test at Jerez, the Repsol Honda man setting his fastest time of the weekend as his team solved some of the front-end issues which had been dogging the Spaniard. Marquez' lead was very slim, however: less than a tenth of a second faster than Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow, and a little more than a tenth quicker than Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Fourth fastest man was Valentino Rossi, but the Italian was nearly six tenths slower than Marquez.
While Honda focused on suspension and electronics - only a partial success, judging by the body language in Dani Pedrosa's pits, the Repsol Honda man gesturing that the rear was still moving around too much for his liking - Yamaha tested a new chassis, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi alternating between the 2012 and 2013 chassis, and Bradley Smith testing the same chassis which Cal Crutchlow has been using this year (the one used by the Factory Yamaha team from Aragon onwards). Smith pronounced himself pleased, finding a clear improvement in braking stability which helped with his consistency. Rossi and Lorenzo, however, were still undecided between the two chassis, both versions offering improvements in some areas, but losing out in others. Lorenzo came down largely in favor, but Rossi is still not convinced of the benefits.
Test times at 2pm:
We'd been wondering how long it would last. Nobody had started a formal pool yet, but we knew that at some point in the season, Marc Marquez would try something which would generate a mountain of controversy. The question was not if, but when, surely.
It took three races, which is positively restrained measured by the standards of his 2012 Moto2 season. Then, he managed to embroil himself in controversy in the very first race when he ran Thomas Luthi off the track at the end of the straight at the beginning of the final lap.
Yet while Marquez' pass on Jorge Lorenzo is already generating enough print copy to wipe out a small forest, it is totally different from his move at Qatar in 2012. That was a cynical slide to the left which saw him edge Luthi off the track and out of contention. This was a dive up the inside of a gap left by Lorenzo in the final corner of the final lap, after Marquez had spent the previous five or six laps making it perfectly clear to Lorenzo that he was hell-bent on finishing ahead of him.
Reaction To The Last-Corner Incident At Jerez: Rossi, Crutchlow, Smith, Suppo, Zeelenberg And Poncharal Speak
After the final corner incident between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, the media spent the afternoon canvassing opinion from anyone they could find in the paddock, to ask how they felt about the incident. Below is a selection of the responses, split between riders and team staff. Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi represent rider opinion, while Herve Poncharal, Livio Suppo and Wilco Zeelenberg speak for the teams.
Cal Crutchlow, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider
At the end of the day, it's racing. I don't think Marquez did anything wrong. If Jorge had the opportunity, he'd do exactly the same. Marquez never rode into the side of him meaning to hit him. He ran a little bit deep, and Jorge was there, and that's it. You think Jorge has never run a little deep and ran into somebody? You think he won't for the rest of his career? At some point in racing it's going to happen. But if it happened to me, I'd probably be pissed off for half the slowdown lap, but then you've got to think about it in the sense of, I could have done it to somebody.
You don't think Marquez is a dangerous rider?
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's spectacular race at Jerez:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Race Results and summary for MotoGP:
Race Results and summary for Moto2:
Race Results and summary for Moto3: