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06 / 16 / 2013
Time to be confirmed
Lorenzo Delivers Perfect Catalunya Victory
Yamaha Factory Racings Jorge Lorenzo delivered a perfect performance today in the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take his second consecutive Grand Prix victory, his third of the 2013 season. A scorching start from third on the grid saw the local hero pass pole man Dani Pedrosa almost immediately for the hole shot into turn one. A classic Lorenzo master class followed with the reigning world champion maintaining a metronome precision over race distance to keep the two following Hondas of Pedrosa and Marc Marquez behind. The result closes the gap at the top of the championship standings with Lorenzo now on 116 points, just seven behind leader Pedrosa as they head for the Dutch TT in Assen in two weeks time.
Teammate Valentino Rossi made a good start on his YZR-M1, jumping two places to hold fifth going into turn one. The nine-time champion looked comfortable behind fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow until the young Brit crashed out, promoting Rossi to fourth. By this time a small gap had grown to the front three riders and despite at times lapping faster than the front he was unable to close the gap, riding a relatively lonely race to fourth at the line. The result gives Rossi 13 points and closes the gap to Crutchlow in fourth to just 11 points.
Jorge Lorenzo 1st
A perfect day, to be honest I didn't expect to win, I knew I had some chance but not like in Mugello where I was more convinced we could get the victory. It was really difficult physically as it was the hottest race of the year. I kept pushing 100% all race because any mistake would have been a disaster. I was surprised at the start as I expected to just pass Cal but I passed Dani also. I took profit from it and tried to open the gap but it was not enough to go away, Dani was there and we played some games, I was 0.5 ahead then 0.2; I was going then he was recovering me. Finally because I was tough mentally and never gave up I could open in the last five laps a little gap that was enough to win. The girl who designed my helmet, Anna Vives, is famous in Spain; she is a symbol that people with Down syndrome are capable of a lot more than some people think. I think it was very original and colourful so I was very proud and happy to have her on the podium to share the win with me.
Valentino Rossi 4th
We wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but anyway it was quite a good race. Race by race, apart form the unlucky times, especially like Mugello, we grow up and I am able to ride the bike in a better way. We still have some challenges, especially in the first part of the race where I still don't have the right setting to push to the maximum. After some laps my pace was not so bad and we were not so far from the top guys. We did a good job and we will now go for two days of testing where we will try to improve further. We don't give up, we will make another step and we will not be so far from the front.
Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
A fantastic day here in Barcelona, I think maybe one of his best races ever, maybe not the fastest as the circumstances were not good and the lap times were slow, but to ride on the limit every lap and push as he did to keep a little gap to Dani and Marc is very impressive. Im very happy for the team and also Vale finished with good points which is good. The championship is close, there was a lot to lose and a little bit to win today, the five points extra we got are important. Its always important to beat your competitors but its not always possible. Mugello and Catalunya are very smooth tracks and fit our bike quite well and Jorge loves them. For sure we will get some tracks where we struggle a bit more. We must think ahead, this one is done and there are still 12 races to go.
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
Another super performance from Jorge. He has been really impressive. I think the whole team did a really good job as they were able to close the gap, improving the bike overnight as yesterday we really suffered in hot conditions compared to our competitors. He couldn't have done better so compliments to him and his crew. For me Vale has done his best race after Qatar. His feeling is getting better and he is getting closer. I think the circumstances were very difficult today, really hot conditions and a big lack of grip. For me we closed the weekend in a really good way. After the race we have revised the test plan, due to the weather forecast. After internal discussion we have decided to stay here at Catalunya tomorrow and to test at Aragon on Wednesday only. We will test a few things for the frame to try and improve it; let's see what we can prepare for Assen.
Super sixth for Smith, Crutchlow falls in Catalunya
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team experienced a day of contrasting fortunes at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya this afternoon, the highlight of the 25-lap race a stunning career best sixth place finish for rookie Bradley Smith. Smiths joy at his first top six in MotoGP was countered though by a disappointing afternoon for on form Cal Crutchlow, who saw his quest for a record-breaking third successive podium ended when he fell unhurt out of fourth on lap six. Smiths weekend ended on a positive note after the 22-year-old bounced back superbly from a heavy crash on Friday, which followed two nasty falls during the previous round in Mugello. Nursing a badly damaged little finger and fractured bone in his left wrist after the Mugello crashes, Smith brushed aside the pain and discomfort this weekend and he needed only three laps in baking hot conditions to move into the top 10. With a track temperature nudging a sizzling 52 degrees, tyre management became a critical factor on the slippery surface. Smith coped with the tricky track conditions more like a seasoned campaigner than a rookie and his maiden top six was secured when he passed Andrea Dovizioso on lap 23, having recovered a gap to the Italian that was over four seconds at one stage.
Cal Crutchlows incredible run of form ended in the early stages when he fell out of fourth while in pursuit of Spanish trio Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. Seeking to add to his brilliant top three finishes in Le Mans and Mugello, the 27-year-old had further raised expectations when he topped the timesheets in this mornings warm-up session. The British rider still remains in fourth position in the World Championship standings on 71-points and he is confident he will be back in the podium hunt at the next race in Assen.
Bradley Smith 6th
Obviously today was a much more positive result for me, even if sixth position looks a bit better than it really is. But at the end you have to finish the race to score the points and I did that in difficult conditions while not at my 100% physical best. So it is a great result for the team and me. I really focused on the first eight laps trying not to make any mistakes and trying to stay as close to Dovizioso and (Stefan) Bradl because I knew they should have been more or less on the same race pace as me. I tried to attack Espargaro as quick as possible so I didnt lose too much time and I managed that. Finally to be in a fight with Andrea towards the closing laps of the race, knowing that he has been always very strong during this part of the race, was obviously something special and makes me feel proud. And to finish 32 seconds behind the winner is another great step and I just want to continue like this until the summer break. My team did a fantastic job to help me on the YZR-M1 and we really turned around a difficult Friday to have a great result on Sunday and that makes me really happy.
Cal Crutchlow DNF
Obviously I am disappointed that a great weekend ended with a crash and I have to hold my hands up and say it was a stupid mistake on my part. Like last season and again in the first few races of 2013, I have been struggling to stop the bike in the early laps with a full fuel load. I was giving it my all to stay in the battle with the top three and unfortunately I hit the kerb on the inside and crashed. It was a silly mistake and I am sorry to the team because I am confident I could have stayed in the fight for the podium right to the end. We have got to understand why we dont have so much grip at the start of the race but I can take some big positives out of the weekend again. I was on the front row, I was fastest in the warm-up and I was battling for the podium in the race. Now we can go to Assen confident that I will have good speed and be in the rostrum fight again.