Lorenzo wins in Japan, the title will be decided at Valencia in two weeks time
Jorge Lorenzo has triumphed for the seventh time in 2013, winning SundayĘs AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider fought off a stiff challenge from Repsol Honda TeamĘs Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to ensure that the MotoGP title battle goes down to the wire for the first time since 2006.
Providing a truly unpredictable end to the late-season triple-header, the Motegi weekend was very much shaken up by inclement weather conditions; Ironically, SundayĘs race took place under clear blue skies in Japan. From his fourth pole position of the year, it would be a lights-to-flag victory for Lorenzo to move one win ahead of Marquez in the 2013 season. Teammate Valentino Rossi looked to be providing a buffer between the current title holder and the pair of factory Hondas, but made two mistakes at Turn 11 and fell back down the order. Lorenzo would come under severe pressure from Marquez at the mid-way point of the race, with Pedrosa in hot pursuit. However, the Mallorcan was spared some breathing space as Marquez made mistakes at both Turn 11 and Turn 1. The 20-year-old would never be as close to Lorenzo again, eventually ending the day 3.1 seconds in arrears.
PedrosaĘs third place marked his 12th podium finish of the season, but the Sabadell rider was unable to complete a hat-trick of Motegi victories as his chances for the 2013 world title officially evaporated. Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl rounded out the top five, with the GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider having slipstreamed his way past the LCR Honda MotoGP bike at the start of the eighth lap. Rossi fought back to sixth place after running as low as 11th, while Cal Crutchlow got the better of impressive Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Bradley Smith in seventh and eighth spots. Ducati Team completed the top ten with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.
SundayĘs result - marking the 200th World Championship race victory for Yamaha - sees Lorenzo move to within 13 points of Marquez with just the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana remaining. This signals the first final-race MotoGP title-decider for seven years; in 2006 it was also a duel between the Honda and Yamaha factory teams, with the crown won by Nicky Hayden as the American picked up a maiden title from then reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi.
On the following round Marquez is expected to ride safely pressing Lorenzo at the same time, something like the race today. Thus if nothing notorious happens during the race, Lorenzo should be ready to charge for victory, once more. Typically Marquez needs a 4th place finish at Valencia to clinch the 2013 championship.
AIRASIA GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN
MotoGP Race Classification 2013
Motegi, Sunday, October 27, 2013
Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 162.3 42'34.291
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 162.1 +3.188
3 16 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 162.1 +4.592
4 13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 161.1 +19.755
5 11 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 160.9 +22.810
6 10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 160.8 +24.637
7 9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.6 +27.496
8 8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.4 +30.969
9 7 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 160.0 +37.010
10 6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 159.7 +42.944
Lorenzo comfortably clinches his second consecutive pole
On a weekend heavily disrupted by inclement weather, Qualifying on Saturday afternoon marked the first time the MotoGP™ riders had taken to the track at Twin Ring Motegi. In order to allow the field as much track time as possible, one single session of 75 minutes replaced the usual setup of 15-minute Q1 and Q2 periods. Already quickest on a drying track, Lorenzo recorded blistering pace as conditions improved towards the end of the period, registering an effort of 1Ę53.471. Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) went second on his final flying lap, demoting Hayden to third; nevertheless, the Ducati Team rider still achieves his best qualifying result since the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in 2012. He now aims to take advantage of his grid position with Ducati before switching to Power Electronics Aspar next season.
LorenzoĘs impressive pace was demonstrated by the fact that all riders from third place downwards were over a full second in arrears. Behind, Row 2 will be occupied by Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi for Honda and Yamaha respectively, with the second Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in sixth position. GO&FUN Honda GresiniĘs Alvaro Bautista will line up seventh – despite a crash at Turn 7 - from LCR Honda MotoGPĘs Stefan Bradl, with the German returning from a fractured right ankle. AsparĘs Aleix Espargaro was ninth, having already claimed the overall CRT honours for 2013. Yonny Hernandez completed the top ten for Ignite Pramac Racing.
Should he be able to end the race with a points lead of 26 or more, 20-year-old Marquez will become the youngest ever MotoGP™ World Champion and first rookie title winner for 35 years. Taking place over the course of 24 laps and with dry conditions expected, SundayĘs 2013 AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan is set to begin at 2pm local time (GMT +9).
Due to the lack of track time, Free Practice will start at 9.40am local time, and run for 50 minutes. On the same day, American rider Ben Spies, who has taken part in only two races this season, has announced that he will retire from racing, and hence split from the Ducati family. Spies and Ducati sighted his injuries as being too much of a hindrance, feeling that he is not able to race at the highest standard next season. He had originally signed with Ducati until the end of the 2014 season.
motoGP: First day tests in Motegi cancelled due to bad weather
At last: Action at the motoGP camp!
A provisional schedule has been issued. According to the new program, the qualifying practice will be the first to come and there will be a free practice tomorrow. The qualifying practice in Moto3 has already started, next to follow the motoGP! The conditions will be wet as it seems, this weekend. ‘he schedule for tomorrow is as follows:
motoGP: First day tests in Motegi cancelled due to bad weather
‘he main issue was that because of the thick fog the medical helicopter cannot fly in case of an accident. At least the typhoon Francisco has weakened into a tropical storm and it is going to pass quite further from the track than it was initially feared…