Marc Marquez wins Laguna Seca GP and extends championship lead
MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP championship lead after he claimed his third victory of the season at the iconic Mazda Speedway at Laguna Seca.
Marquez won his second consecutive race - breaking a few long standing records on the way - on his Laguna Seca debut.
Despite having never raced at the Californian track, the Spaniard once again showed why he is being considered a superstar as he lead three of the four practice sessions, and only missed the pole position by a mere due 0.017s after crashing halfway through the 15 minute qualifying session.
Unable to return to track he could only watch from his pit, as a picture perfect Sfefan Bradl rode his first ever pole position in MotoGP, in a an intense QP2.
Qualifying was so tight, that six riders were covered by just 0.227s, with three Honda RC213Vs on the front row thanks to Alvaro Bautista, and three Yamaha M1s on the second, that included Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow and returnee Jorge Lorenzo after his second collarbone surgery just last week.
Polesitter Bradl got the holeshot followed by Rossi and then Marquez who had a slow start, but it took the Repsol Honda rider just three lapsto latch onto to the Italian.
In a spectacular overtake at the infamous Corkscrew with Marquez and Rossi both running off track into the dust, in an almost identical manner of the highly controversial pass that Rossi did on Casey Stoner back in 2008.
The 2008 race would become one of the most remembered and talked about races of the past decade.
Rossi would later laughingly ask Marquez to pay him the copyright on that particular maneveur and the roookie admitted, “ When I saw the video of 2008 I thought 'that is impossible'.
The Spaniard began chasing down Bradl who by that time what already 1.6s second clear, but he reeled him and caught him halfway through the 32 lapper, passed him and just pulled away to claim his victory.
Unable to catch the Honda factory rider, Bradl settled in for a safe second and take his first MotoGP podium.
Rossi took his third consecutive podium finish, and just like at Sachsenring finished third, but here he had to fend off the unwanted pressure of Alvaro Bautista, who raced him to the line.
The Italian would deny the Gresini rider his first podium of the season by just 0.059s.
Title rivals Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, returning to action after skipping the Sachsenring round due to collarbone injuries, stayed out of trouble.
Despite skipped two practice sessions, Pedrosa managed to pass Lorenzo for fifth, as the reigning world champion battled with dizziness, but he was still lucid enough to keep a struggling Cal Crutchlow safely at bay.
Crutchlow with his 7th place not only lost his fourth placein the standings to Rossi, but also was unable to become the first British rider since Barry Sheene, to score three successive podium finishes.
Nicky Hayden, in his last race at Laguna Seca as a Ducati MotoGP rider and team mate Andrea Dovizioso battled for eighth, in what we’ll call The Ducati Challenge.
The two factory riders even touched, which bent Hayden’s folding clutch lever and tweaked his handlebar, but the American was able to hold of Dovizioso to the finish line.
Aleix Espargaro crashed early in the race, losing his eight streak run as the best CRT rider, with Hector Barbera getting the honor and closing in tenth.
The MotoGP race was marred by the tragic news of the death of World Supersport GO Eleven rider, Andrea Antonelli during the Moscow round earlier in the day.
A minute of silence was held at Laguna Seca in memory of the Italian.
2013 MotoGP Laguna Seca race results:
- 01- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – 32 laps in 44’02.993
- 02- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 2.298
- 03- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 4.498
- 04- Alvaro Bautista – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 4.557
- 05- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 9.257
- 06- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 12.970
- 07- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 15.304
- 08- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 33.963
- 09- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 34.129
- 10- Hector Barbera – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 1’02.369 )
- 11- Alex De Angelis – Ignite Pramac Racing – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1’02.604
- 12- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 1’03.593 )
- 13- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 1’20.450
- 14- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART GP13 – 1 lap
- 15- Yonny Hernandez – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART GP13 – 1 lap
- 16- Hiroshi Aoyama – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – 1 lap
- 17- Bryan Staring – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – FTR Honda MGP13 – 1 lap
- 18- Lukas Pesek – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – 1 lap