Marc Marquez (93) made a bold pass of Valentino Rossi (46) on his way to victory at Laguna Seca. Marc Marquez (93) made a bold pass of Valentino Rossi (46) on his way to victory at Laguna Seca. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Marquez extends points lead with win

Written by  on Monday, 22 July 2013 20:26

Marc Marquez won Sunday’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, becoming the youngest ever back-to-back race winner in MotoGP™. The Repsol Honda Team rider extended his championship lead while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl celebrated a first premier class podium finish from pole position. Valentino Rossi held off Alvaro Bautista for the final rostrum spot.

On Saturday, Bradl had stormed to a maiden pole position while Marquez suffered a crash in qualifying. On Sunday, the Spaniard patiently followed the German before pulling off a clean manoeuvre at the end of the 19th lap. Marquez carries a 16-point advantage over teammate Dani Pedrosa and has finished on the podium in eight of his first nine races since joining the premier class as reigning Moto2™ World Champion.

“Before I came here, I was expecting to struggle more,” Marquez began, having dramatically overhauled Rossi at the infamous Corkscrew. “From the TV, this circuit looked so tricky. Since FP1 I have felt so good. Next time I’ll be able to learn where all of the bumps are and everything – yesterday I found a new bump, when I crashed at turn six! Anyway, today in the race it was so good.

"At the beginning, with a full fuel tank, I was little bit scared because - with all of those bumps - it’s so easy to lose the front. I overtook Valentino (Rossi) then caught Bradl; I stayed behind him for about 12 laps, then tried to pass him to open up a gap. I’m very, very happy because it’s a new circuit and I’ve got 25 points. I’m very happy because it’s great to go into the summer break with this result."

Marquez’s third victory of the year equals the sum of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez wons for the second time within the space of a week and stole former double champion Freddie Spencer’s record of being the youngest MotoGP™ rider to triumph in consecutive Grands Prix. Furthermore, he made history by becoming the first rookie rider to win at Laguna Seca.

Bradl’s ride to second was one of calm and composure. A clean getaway allowed the LCR Honda MotoGP rider to head the field from his first ever pole in the top class. The 2011 Moto2™ World Champion was assisted by the fact that those behind him were battling early on, but by the 17th tour had the recovering Marquez only two tenths of a second behind.

Once the overtake had occurred two laps later, Bradl comfortably managed a two-second gap back to Rossi to clinch his maiden premier class podium, improving on his previous best of fourth – achieved on three occasions.

"It’s a great result for us," Bradl commented. "We did a good job all across the weekend. Of course expectations were high after I had pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well.

"I struggled a little bit. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker but, with the full tank of fuel, I had a few problems with the front. When he caught me I saw that he had some more edge grip on the tire and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, and it was a long and tough race."

Bradl’s top three finish also moved him up one spot in the championship. The German is now sixth overall, three points ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Having not finished on the podium until he won round seven at Assen, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Rossi has now taken the chequered flag inside the top three for as many races in a row. The Italian, who had famously overtaken Casey Stoner at the Corkscrew five years ago, was this time passed in the same place by Marquez before holding off a significant attack from Bautista over the closing laps; the Spaniard briefly edged ahead before the final corner, but was kept behind. Another third place for Rossi sees him jump ahead of Cal Crutchlow for fourth in the standings.

“I’m so happy about this podium,” Rossi stated. “It’s more important and positive than Sachsenring because we suffered a bit with the Yamaha here. It looks like we had some disadvantage compared to the Hondas, but I had a good race with good pace and I was the first Yamaha.

“I had a fantastic start but did not have enough pace to stay with Stefan and then Marc did a great overtake on me. Anyway, he was also too fast for me and from that moment I had a great battle with Alvaro Bautista who was very strong today.

“I tried to push and push constantly without making any mistakes. I had a big, big moment with the front where I had to pick up the bike with the elbow so I thought, ‘that is a sign’, as I didn’t crash at that point. I had some trouble with the back-markers because the blue flags were not clear, so Bautista cut the gap and we arrived at the last corner together; but I’m so happy about this, it’s a third podium in a row and I’m happy about the race and the result.”

Laguna Seca had always promised to be a weekend of damage limitation for both Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Both men continued to suffer with left collarbone injuries as they finished fifth and sixth, with Pedrosa having moved ahead of his rival with a pass at the Andretti Hairpin. The duo finished in front of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow, who on Saturday had been left confused by a crash before taking part in Q2 with his second bike.

The top 10 was completed by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso – who during the race made side-to-side contact on the start/finish straight – and Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, who became the first rider other than Aleix Espargaro to lead the CRT runners in 2013.

Espargaro crashed at the last corner, while Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet retired with technical problems.

With the first half of the season now completed, MotoGP™ heads into its summer break before returning with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in mid-August.

Race Results

1

25

93

Marc MARQUEZ

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

157.4

44'00.695

2

20

6

Stefan BRADL

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

Honda

157.3

+2.298

3

16

46

Valentino ROSSI

ITA

Yamaha Factory Racing

Yamaha

157.2

+4.498

4

13

19

Alvaro BAUTISTA

SPA

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

Honda

157.2

+4.557

5

11

26

Dani PEDROSA

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

156.9

+9.257

6

10

99

Jorge LORENZO

SPA

Yamaha Factory Racing

Yamaha

156.7

+12.970

7

9

35

Cal CRUTCHLOW

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

156.5

+15.304

8

8

69

Nicky HAYDEN

USA

Ducati Team

Ducati

155.4

+33.963

9

7

4

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

ITA

Ducati Team

Ducati

155.4

+34.129

10

6

8

Hector BARBERA

SPA

Avintia Blusens

FTR

153.8

+1'02.369

11

5

15

Alex DE ANGELIS

RSM

Ignite Pramac Racing

Ducati

153.8

+1'02.604

12

4

5

Colin EDWARDS

USA

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

FTR Kawasaki

153.7

+1'03.593

13

3

9

Danilo PETRUCCI

ITA

Came IodaRacing Project

Ioda-Suter

152.8

+1'20.450

14

2

17

Karel ABRAHAM

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

ART

152.2

1 Lap

15

1

68

Yonny HERNANDEZ

COL

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART

151.6

1 Lap

16

7

Hiroshi AOYAMA

JPN

Avintia Blusens

FTR

151.6

1 Lap

17

67

Bryan STARING

AUS

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

FTR Honda

151.1

1 Lap

18

52

Lukas PESEK

CZE

Came IodaRacing Project

Ioda-Suter

148.8

1 Lap

Not Classified

38

Bradley SMITH

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

153.8

25 Laps

41

Aleix ESPARGARO

SPA

Power Electronics Aspar

ART

153.3

27 Laps

14

Randy DE PUNIET

FRA

Power Electronics Aspar

ART

149.9

28 Laps

71

Claudio CORTI

ITA

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

FTR Kawasaki

44.9

29 Laps

70

Michael LAVERTY

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

138.8

31 Laps

Point Standings

1

Marc MARQUEZ

Honda

SPA

163

2

Dani PEDROSA

Honda

SPA

147

3

Jorge LORENZO

Yamaha

SPA

137

4

Valentino ROSSI

Yamaha

ITA

117

5

Cal CRUTCHLOW

Yamaha

GBR

116

6

Stefan BRADL

Honda

GER

84

7

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

Ducati

ITA

81

8

Alvaro BAUTISTA

Honda

SPA

71

9

Nicky HAYDEN

Ducati

USA

65

10

Aleix ESPARGARO

ART

SPA

52

11

Bradley SMITH

Yamaha

GBR

51

12

Michele PIRRO

Ducati

ITA

36

13

Andrea IANNONE

Ducati

ITA

24

14

Hector BARBERA

FTR

SPA

24

15

Randy DE PUNIET

ART

FRA

19

16

Danilo PETRUCCI

Ioda-Suter

ITA

18

17

Colin EDWARDS

FTR Kawasaki

USA

17

18

Ben SPIES

Ducati

USA

9

19

Yonny HERNANDEZ

ART

COL

7

20

Alex DE ANGELIS

Ducati

RSM

5

21

Claudio CORTI

FTR Kawasaki

ITA

5

22

Karel ABRAHAM

ART

CZE

5

23

Michael LAVERTY

PBM

GBR

3

24

Bryan STARING

FTR Honda

AUS

2

25

Hiroshi AOYAMA

FTR

JPN

1

26

Javier DEL AMOR

FTR

SPA

1

--From motogp.com

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John Hopkins

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