2013 Motegi MotoGP Race Result: Subdued Affair After Gripping Day

Full report and results below:

Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has put on a masterful and experienced performance to take his seventh victory of the season under blazing sunshine at the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi. He has kept his title fight alive and reduced Marc Marquez's points lead to thirteen heading into the now mouthwatering final race at Valencia. Lorenzo led from the first corner and was never headed in a race that saw a real dearth of passing maneuvers, he came under a brief spell of pressure from title leader Marc Marquez in the middle stages but the rookie appeared to suffer major tyre problems in the closing laps, running wide and out-braking himself familiarly on several occasions.

In the end Marquez settled for second place crossing the line three seconds behind Lorenzo and a second and a half ahead of his disappointing Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa. Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl made it four Hondas in the top five, underlining the impressive performance of the victor Lorenzo at a track that clearly favored the RC213V. Valentino Rossi took sixth place after squandering a fantastic start which saw him running in second place alongside his team mate in the early laps, Rossi then ran wide and off the track at the ninety degree corner on lap four and dropped as low as twelfth place, in the end a sixth place finish was a decent recovery.

Monster Tech 3 riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith had an interesting intra-team battle and finished in seventh and eighth places respectively as the Ducati duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top ten at the conclusion of a race that was something of an anti-climax, given the spectacle provided by the two races that preceded it. 

The race saw crashes for Lukas Pesek, Luca Scassa and a particularly scary incident for CRT title winner Aleix Espargaro who was forced to bail off his bike at the ninety degree corner, which is approached at some 300km/h. It appeared that he may have had some sort of brake failure or something similar, all riders were thankfully uninjured.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 42'34.291
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 3.188
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 4.592
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 19.755
5 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 22.810
6 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 24.637
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 27.496
8 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 30.969
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 37.010
10 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 42.944
11 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha 53.345
12 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki +1'03.213
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART +1'06.840
14 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati +1'08.218
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati +1'18.240
16 8 Hector BARBERA FTR +1'19.108
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR +1'21.174
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter +1'30.546
19 70 Michael LAVERTY ART +2'23.358
20 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 1 Lap
21 50 Damian CUDLIN PBM 1 Lap
22 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 1 Lap
Not Classified      
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 12 Laps
  23 Luca SCASSA ART 23 Laps
  52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 23 Laps

 

Race Details
Round Number: 
17
2013

Comments

...and that's 8th year gone!

Even though there was a lot of drama and some masterclass performances in the GP today, I can't help but feel sorry for Pedrosa. His statement post race, 'Keep trying and trying and trying...' was disheartening. 8 years in a row and the guy has again failed to lift the championship trophy. I'd lose my motivation on the 8th day itself, so a big thumbs-up to Pedrosa on keeping his spirit high. Next year...may be! But not after that, because Honda probably is most likely to sack him for obvious reasons.

The championship is Marquez's to lose, and by what he was doing in the middle of the race today, it looked like he may as well lose that! If some sense prevails, he's most likely to cruise to 3rd spot in Valencia. But you never know what the 'rookie' can pull out on the racing day...;-)

Also, if anybody has any idea on what Rossi was doing during the first 3-4 laps, please let me know.

Total votes: 45

No title for Dani at Honda

Not if MM wins the title this year. Dani will lose crucial support from HRC that will instead be diverted to Marquez.

Total votes: 31

Marques will win the

Marques will win the championship because of Pedrosa. Mind you Pedrosa and his team have put in a lot of effort to make the Honda the bike it is today. They are held in high regard by Honda because of that.

Total votes: 37

Pedrosa

has already lost support from HRC, IMHO. He may be held in high regard by Honda for developing the bike, but maybe that makes him a No. 2 rider to Marquez?

Absolutely beautiful ride by Jorge Lorenzo, and a gritty performance by Stefan Bradl.

I picked Pedrosa to win the title this year, but who would have thought Marquez would run so strongly?

The question becomes, will Marquez settle for a fourth place in Valencia or will he risk it all for a win? He showed some maturity today, settling for second when he wasn't entirely comfortable with the track.

And the next question becomes how will he do next year, when he ditches Stoner's crew and regains his Moto2 crew?

Total votes: 23

One could argue

that Casey's crew, telemetry, and setup parameters did more for the Honda in half a season than Dani did in 5 full years as HRC's lead rider. This seems particularly likely given MM's Stoneresque riding style.

Total votes: 33

HRC and progress

I would argue that who was Honda's lead rider was pretty much irrelevant until Shuhei Nakamoto took over as HRC VP at the end of 2008. You only started to see changes in direction after he had taken over, with the real progress made in 2010. Having Stoner join was the icing on the cake. People grossly underestimate the value of having a strong and clear leader, and Nakamoto has been one of the very best.

So I'd say that the real value of Pedrosa's input is visible in 2009 and 2010, which was plenty. The bike was very good when Stoner joined, but there is no doubt that Stoner's input took it up another level. Nakamoto, Pedrosa and Stoner were like a three-stage rocket.

Total votes: 33

It's different now

Dani has always had a lot of pull with the team because he's a gun Spanish rider for a team with a major Spanish sponsor as well as having a team manager with a lot of influence within the sport. When Nicky and Casey won the title for HRC Dani didn't really have to worry about receiving updates after his teammates did and so forth because that was never going to happen while he was Repsols darling. But with Marquez being Spanish Dani will become a clear cut number two in the team and he'll find wins harder to come by.

Total votes: 21

And for another year

The score remains: Hayden 1, Pedrosa 0

Total votes: 65

I'm not a huge fan of Dani,

I'm not a huge fan of Dani, but please, you've got to let that go.

Total votes: 54

I think you mean Hayden 1:

I think you mean Hayden 1: Pedrosa 3
A world championship is a world championship, after all.

Total votes: 48

No

It's called the premier class for a reason. Dani would take a single MotoGP crown over his other titles in a heartbeat.

Total votes: 47

I've never claimed

that Hayden is a better rider than Pedrosa. He isn't.

The difference is that Hayden was able to put it together, even in the face of highly unnecessary (utterly ridiculous, even) adversity. And Dani hasn't, despite being presented at the 'next god' 7-8 years ago. And, I'm getting the feeling, can't. Race win totals over rule podiums. Championships over rule race wins. And MotoGP championships over rule any other kind.

And no, I'll never stop harping on the MotoGP crown scoreboard. Let's see, there have been four (five?) winners of MotoGP since 2000. None of them are named Pedrosa. One of them is named Hayden - even if he wasn't 'supposed' to win.

I enjoy Nicky's win. It's up there with Mazeroski's home run in the 1960 World Series. The Pirates never got any respect for that performance, either. Because, of course, nobody could beat the Yankees. (For the confused non-American, that's major league baseball, one of my other passions.)

Total votes: 24

You mean ...

surely you mean:

World titles: Pedrosa 3, Hayden 1
GP victories: Pedrosa 48 (25 in MotoGP), Hayden 3
Podiums: Pedrosa 124 (83 in MotoGP), Hayden 28

Also, Pedrosa has consistently been earning about twice as many points as Hayden almost every season since they both have been competing in MotoGP, with the exception of 2006--Pedrosa's rookie year.

No denying that Hayden has one MotoGP title while Pedrosa has none, which is undoubtedly a great accomplishment. But it is the only statistic in which Hayden is ahead of Pedrosa.

I think that gives a more accurate perspective on the relative accomplishments of these two great riders.

Total votes: 48

Frankly

I regret the wake-up call .... I could have slept more (and maybe watch the 14.00 rerun on BBC2).
Solid run from JLo, mature one from Marquez, settling for second was wise. Rossi made a few passes thanks to the mistake and that was about it. I couldn't understand what's happened to Dovizioso on the last lap. Anyone knows?

Total votes: 26

Jorge makes the difference

I've really grown to become a huge Jorge fan this year as he's really shown how much difference he makes on the Yamaha. Prior to this year, everyone knew he was a top rider but there's always been the argument the Honda's advantage wasn't really all that much. This race, at least to me, clearly shows how dominant the Honda is, particularly at this track. When was the last time spots 2-5 were filled by Hondas? Again and again, Jorge makes the difference. Yamaha would be smart to sign him to an extension before 2014 starts. Also need to credit Marquez for an immensely smart ride to 2nd. The title is his to lose at Valencia and he deserves a ton of respect for putting himself in that position, as a rookie no less! Feel horrible for Dani, but his window looks to be slipping away. If he couldn't beat Marquez as a rookie...

Total votes: 40

JLO schools Hondas

JLO is simply the only Yamaha rider who can win. That's been true for the last few years. Without JLO, Yamaha would be nowhere. Honda, on the other hand, would still have many wins between 3 riders.
The key to JLO winning is clear on lap 16, when he did a 1:45.7 lap. That broke Pedrosa, who couldn't keep up. Marquez dug deep to try to match that pace and started making errors and sliding back. The Honda's did do comparable lap times, but on lap 3-5.
Too bad Rossi couldn't stay in 2nd, but his best laps were nearly a second off JLOs late in the race. His best lap was on lap 2, 1:46.3 which he would never repeat. Once the 3 aliens got down to business Rossi couldn't match it. JLO is fighting the Hondas all by himself, a huge task.

Total votes: 34

The Yamaha is a great package

Especially with the new gearbox. I think the seamless shifts probably helped Jorge a lot at Motegi. Lorenzo is obviously riding the wheels off it, but it also shows that Rossi is really well beyond being able to compete with these guys anymore. Dovi saw more of the podium on the Tech 3 Yamaha last year. Swap Rossi and Dani's rides and all of a sudden it would look as though Honda was relying on Marquez, with Dani instead racking up podiums for Yamaha.

I'd like to see Pedrosa on the second factory Yam in 2015 though I have high hopes for Pol Espagaro as well. Pol is part of the new breed of riders and may be a better long term bet than Pedrosa for Yamaha.

Total votes: 25

Not an exciting race

Not exciting, to put it mildly. I suppose you could call it "suspenseful" – wondering how it was all going to shake out when Marquez's brakes/tires started to go off and he looked a little ragged even by his standards. But that's not a race I'm going to find myself wanting to watch again someday.

Total votes: 31

More dry time practice and.....

"Not exciting"? Agreed. For the exception of the first few laps, it was another race to forget.

How come it always seems that a Lorenzo Victory = snoozer? By no fault of his own I know, but still.

Marquez is a breath of fresh air for many reasons. Because when MM is not able to stick his nose in there, the race becomes a "watching paint dry" Lorenzo victory.

Commentators, reporters, writers and pundits can call it "masterful, metronomic, ominous, experienced, etc.." The truth is it's not good TV (nor entertainment)....no matter how you spin it.

With more dry time practice(especially for Honda), Marquez cruises to victory and probably clinches title, because Pedrosa probably gets 2nd place too.

Also, regarding the Yamaha.....When Rossi was steering the development, the bike seemed to work well for everyone (including Lorenzo). It seems since Lorenzo has taken over, the Yamaha works very well for him, but just ok for others. How many (non Lorenzo) Yamaha victories have there been since Rossi left for Ducati(3 I think). But prior to Rossi's departure, Rossi and Lorenzo were both victory threats week in week out.

Lorenzo: "develop a great bike" or "make a that bike suits my style"? Don't know the answer but starting to wonder....

Total votes: 33

Maybe

But you have also to consider that Honda made a great leap forward since Nakamoto and this makes Yamaha look less strong.
There's a truth in what you say but I don't believe is the only side of the coin.

Total votes: 17

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