MOTOGP RACE REPORT: Round 3, Jerez 2013

The third round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship took place at Jerez, Spain.  The circuit has played host to the MotoGP circuit since 1987 and is a hugely popular testing venue.

 

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) celebrated a return to form by taking victory for the second time in the MotoGP event at Jerez.  The quiet Spaniard passed archrival and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) on lap 6, leaving him to dispute second place with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).  Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) spent the first half of the race disputing fourth place with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) before the latter fell into the clutches of Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Gresini Honda).  Rossi soldiered on to finish a lonely fourth, Crutchlow a lonely fifth and Bautista a disappointed sixth after rear grip issues.  Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was the first Ducati home in seventh place and Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar ART) was the first CRT rider home, crossing the finish line in ninth position.

 

The talk of the race, though, was the last-second lunge by Marquez up the inside of Lorenzo at the final corner (ironically renamed Jorge Lorenzo corner the previous day) on the final lap, the two Spaniards clashing soundly with Lorenzo forced to pick up his machine on the outside line and conceding second place to his rival.

 

Marquez continued rewriting record books following his controversial move on Lorenzo: he becomes the youngest rider to lead the MotoGP World Championship and the youngest rider to claim three podium finishes on the trot.

 

MotoGP race

Championship standings

Manufacturer Standings

1.  Pedrosa (Honda)

1.  Marquez                              61

1.  Honda                                  66

2.  Marquez (Honda)

2.  Pedrosa                                58

2.  Yamaha                                57

3.  Lorenzo (Yamaha)

3.  Lorenzo                                57

3.  Ducati                                   27

4.  Rossi (Yamaha)

4.  Rossi                                     43

4.  ART                                       17

5.  Crutchlow (Yamaha)

5.  Crutchlow                            35

5.  FTR                                          7

 

Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Kalex) took his maiden Moto2 victory in style at his home circuit at Jerez.  The Spaniard, starting from his maiden pole position, made the most of his start and began to comfortably pull away from erstwhile world championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex).

 

The race eventually became strung out, with sizeable gaps between the top five riders.  Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40 Kalex) eventually managed to haul in Takaagi Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and pass him for third place on the penultimate lap after Nakagami ran wide at Michelin corner.  Nico Terol, dominant at Austin, had to settle for fifth place ahead of the squabbling Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Apspar Team Suter).

 

Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) was a significant faller in the race, the Finn taking a tumble at Dry Sack corner with 11 laps to go while embroiled in a battle for fifth position.   Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) made a welcome return to the circus after a long layoff due to injury in pre-season testing.  The Swiss rider managed to finish 11th.

 

South Africa’s Steven Odendaal (Argiñano & Gines Racing Speed Up) had a solid weekend.  After qualifying 29th (ahead of well-known names such as Johann Zarco and Louis Rossi), the youngster crossed the finish line in 22nd position, a mere one tenth of a second behind Ricard Cardus on similar machinery and comfortably ahead of both Tech3 racers.

 

Moto2 race result

Championship standings

Manufacturer Standings

1.  Rabat (Kalex)

1.  Rabat                                    52

1.  Kalex                                     70

2.  Redding (Kalex)

2.  Redding                                51

2.  Suter                                     49

3.  Espargaro (Kalex)

3.  Espargaro                            41

3.  Speed Up                             22

4.  Nakagami (Kalex)

4.  Terol                                     38

4.  Motobi                                   5

5.  Terol (Suter)

5.  Aegerter                              34

 

 

Maverick Viňales (Team Calvo KTM) overcame challenges from Spanish rivals Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 KTM) and  Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to take an emphatic victory in the Moto3 event at Jerez.  Viňales shadowed Rins for much of the race, before making his decisive move for the lead with seven laps to go.  Rins tried to keep up the pressure, but put his machine down while chasing the race leader with five laps remaining.  Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Kalex KTM) eventually finished a lonely fourth after chasing the three Spaniards for much of the race.

 

South Africa’s Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) had his best Moto3 weekend to date, being the first South African to start a MotoGP event in the top four (after qualifying fourth) since Mario Rademeyer qualified on the front row at Kyalami at the 250cc event in 1985!  Binder was leading a pack squabbling for fifth place for much of the race, but managed to pull away and inherit fourth position following Rins’s fall.   Jakob Kornfeil (Redox RW Racing GP Kalex KTM) led Niklas Ajo and Fahmi Khairuddin home after a three-way dogfight for sixth place (which became fifth after Rins’s demise) in the second half of the race.

 

Binder finds himself sixth in the championship standings, the first Honda-powered rider thus far.

 

Moto3 race result

Championship standings

Manufacturer Standings

1.  Viňales (KTM)

1.  Viňales                                 65

1.  KTM                                      75

2.  Salom (KTM)

2.  Salom                                   61

2.  Kalex KTM                           40

3.  Folger (Kalex KTM)

3.  Rins                                       41

3.  Mahindra                             28

4.  Binder (Suter Honda)

4.  Folger                                   40

4.  Suter Honda                        25

5.  Kornfeil (Kalex KTM)

5.  Khairuddin                           28   

5.  FTR Honda                           19

 

South Africa’s future stars in the Red Bull Rookies Cup had a challenging weekend at Jerez.  The first race saw Darryn Binder and Jordan Weaving finish 10th and 11th, respectively.  Binder ran strongly in Race 2, as he was embroiled in a ten-machine battle for the lead!  Sadly, the young Johannesburger’s engine expired with five laps to go after having led the race for a while and contending to claim his maiden podium finish.  Weaving’s race was more subdued, as the youngster finished a lonely 15th to claim the final point on offer.

 

The fourth round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Le Mans, France, on 17 to 19 May.

 

Nick van der Meulen