Dani Pedros, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo on the final podium of the year at Valenca. Marquez's "Baby Champ on Board" denotes him as the youngest ever premier class motorccyle Grand Prix winner.
Marquez – aged 20 years and 266 days – comfortably beat the previous youngest champion record, held by Honda’s first premier-class king Freddie Spencer, who was 21 years and 258 days old when he won the title at Imola, Italy, on 4 September 1983. Marquez is Honda’s 16th World Champion in the elite 500cc/MotoGP categories.
Following his six race victories earlier in the year – another record for a rookie – Marquez arrived at Valencia 13 points in front of Lorenzo. Thus Marquez knew that if Lorenzo won today’s race, he ‘only’ needed to finish fourth to make sure of his place in history. But the season finale – watched by a raucous capacity crowd at the stadium-style Valencia venue – was anything but straightforward.
Jorge Lorenzo (99) and Marc Marquez (93) will resolve the 2013 MotoGP World Championship in the final race at Valencia.
Preview: Marquez vs Lorenzo – The Showdown at Valencia!
This final race showdown not withstanding Lorenzo's season ending winning streak, but Marquez's controversial disqualification while running in 2nd place at Phillip Island just two rounds earlier, only because he stopped 1-lap too late for a mandatory required tire change. The misunderstanding by Marquez and his crew caused them to receive the overly harsh penalty of disqualification from that race, preventing him from winning the 2013 title the following race weekend at Motegi in Japan. Now this final race weekend at Valencia with Marquez still holding an 18 point lead over his rival, Lorenzo needs to take the 25-point win while Marquez only needs to cruise to a top five finish to consummate his 2013 Championship title.
Marquez Qualifies with Record Lap Pole Ahead of Lorenzo, Pedrosa Third for Valencia Finale
If Marquez’s only championship rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) wins tomorrow’s race, the 20-year-old has to be fourth or higher to secure the title and become the youngest premier-class champion in the 65 year history of the sport. Although he knows that riding a calculating race for the required amount of points will make him champion, Marquez was in full attack mode today, getting his RC213V shaking and bucking as he fought his way round this tight but demanding circuit. The approach of the former 125 and Moto3 World Champion is straightforward and sensible: if he continues to ride as he always does – with the bike loose beneath him – he feels more comfortable and can maintain better concentration.
Marquez’s best lap – the fastest-ever motorcycle lap at Valencia – put him an impressive 0.340 seconds ahead of Lorenzo, with Pedrosa just 0.086 seconds further adrift. Pedrosa – who won the Valencia MotoGP race in 2007, 2009 and 2012 – was delighted to be back on the front row for the first time Aragon. Because Honda prefer not to issue team orders to its riders, Pedrosa is free to aim for another Valencia victory tomorrow, which will only help his team-mate in his quest for the 2013 MotoGP title.
The progress of Marquez and Pedrosa in the race will also affect the outcome of the highly prized constructors’ World Championship, which Honda won last season and currently lead this year. The manufacturer is now going for a record 20th constructors’ title. Honda scored its first constructors’ title in 1966, with the mighty RC181 four-cylinder four-stroke. Following a long absence from GP racing, it wasn’t until 1983 that Honda won its second constructors’ title, with the NS500 three-cylinder two-stroke. Honda has also won more premier-class race victories than anyone – victory tomorrow would take the company to 250 wins in the class of kings.
Race Day Finale, Lorenzo and Marquez both Do What is Needed
Taking off past Marquez from second on the grid, the 2012 world champion took the holeshot and control of the race. Lorenzo kept the pace down on the opening laps, hoping to bring the chasing pack into play to challenge Marquez. The daring strategy allowed Dani Pedrosa to attack, the two rivals entering an intense battle over several laps as they swapped positions countless times in a stunning display of riding skill at the limit. Pedrosa was to end up the loser in the exchange as the two touched going into turn two with 21 laps to go. Pedrosa ran wide, losing position as he rejoined the race.
The incident allowed Marquez to briefly pass Lorenzo for the lead but he was only allowed to stay ahead for a lap before Lorenzo reclaimed the front on lap 11, putting the hammer down to reel off a number of 1’31 second laps as he flew to his eighth win of the season.
Marquez hadn't best of starts from pole position – his ninth pole from 18 races – and finished the first lap in third place behind leader Lorenzo and Pedrosa, the winner here in 2007, 2009 and 2012. Pedrosa attacked Lorenzo repeatedly, often getting ahead, only for Lorenzo to come right back at him, including one move at Turn Two that brought the pair into collision and came under investigation from Race Direction.
Lorenzo’s tactics were simple: by chopping back and forth with Pedrosa he hoped to slow the leading pace and bring as many riders as possible into the lead group. He would then let fate play its hand and hope that other riders might relegate Marquez to fifth place or lower. However, the strategy failed. The second group of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Honda) wasn’t quite quick enough to join the fight at the front.
Lorenzo’s collision with Pedrosa at Turn Two at one-third distance allowed Marquez to sweep into the lead, but with no need for him to take risks, it wasn’t long before Lorenzo was back in front. Pedrosa was less lucky when Lorenzo slammed into him – he ran off the track and had Bautista and Rossi come by.
By half-distance Marquez seemed safe – he was running a comfortable second – but then Pedrosa passed Rossi and Bautista and set off after his team-mate. Marquez, who was executing some glorious high-speed slides through the fast Turn 13, did the sensible thing on lap 26 and let Pedrosa past into second place.
And that’s the way it finished: Lorenzo, Pedrosa and then Marquez, who crossed the line in ecstasy before stopping on the slowdown lap and hurling his gloves into the tumultuous crowd. After 18 races – his first 18 races in the class – he had beaten twice MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo by four points.
Lorenzo's Teammate Valentino Rossi moved up to fourth off the line after a good start, chasing Marquez into the first corner with Alvaro Bautista in hot pursuit behind. As the race unwound Bautista was able to make a pass on Rossi but with 19 laps to go the nine-time world champion showed his mastery of late braking, taking third position back from the Spanish rider. The provisional podium position was not to last as a recovering Pedrosa re-passed on his way to second, leaving Rossi to claim fourth at the line.
Unlike the top three, Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) chose the softer rear tyre and was able to run just behind the leaders while Lorenzo tried to slow the pace. But the Spaniard wasn’t keen to get involved in the three-way battle up front because he wanted to give fellow Honda riders Pedrosa and Marquez a clean run up front. Finally he finished fifth, four seconds behind Rossi.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) spent much of the race alone, gaining one position when Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) crashed out in front of him and eventually crossing the line in sixth place, almost ten seconds down on Bautista. Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had another difficult run in his final MotoGP outing, coming home in 19th position.
Despite dominating not just the last quarter of the season but the final race, it was not enough to overcome the points difference to Marquez, leaving Lorenzo to claim a worthy second place in the standings after an incredible season of unrivalled performances. Rossi’s eighth fourth place finish of the season was enough to secure him fourth in the final standings.
Jorge Lorenzo, 1st / 46'10.302 / 30 laps - “I slowed the start of the race a little but I think it didn't work out because the other riders, Bautista, Valentino, Crutchlow and the others needed some tenths more to stay there. I tried first and last to play a little bit with the race and I managed it quite well but I couldn't stay there for too long. When I looked behind I could see that Valentino was very far away so I thought that today it was better to concentrate on winning the race and waiting to see if Marc makes a mistake. Now we have to celebrate second in the standings which is a good place. We have to congratulate Marc because he really deserved the championship and we will make a party tonight!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd - “I started well and from the first lap I thought I could go in front and be faster. But every time I passed Jorge he immediately fought back. I changed my overtakes but still he found a way to come past again – he pushed me a couple of times, the second time it was hard enough to push me off the track and I nearly crashed. After that it was a different race, I had to come back. Congratulations to Marc and Jorge, it’s been a very exciting season.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 3rd - “I am still in a dream – I can’t yet realise what I did today! Maybe this all happened too early because we didn’t expect the title in my first year. I have to say thanks to Honda, the team, my family and everyone who has helped me to enjoy this moment. The race result was what I predicted yesterday: Jorge, Dani, me. The first ten laps I was a little nervous and stiff on the bike. Inside something was telling me I needed to fight, but I had to be clever and think about the championship and not the race. It was the longest race of my career, especially the last lap when I was very careful and didn’t push at all. In normal circumstances I would have been ready to fight with Jorge and Dani, but maybe if I pushed more I would have crashed. I’m so proud with what we have done this season. The first races I had a lot of moments, but by the second half of the championship I had a learned a lot and was cleverer. The big thing was that Honda helped me so much.”
Valentino Rossi, 4th / +10.579 / 30 laps - “The race was not so bad, especially after this morning where I had a lot of problems and wasn't fast enough. Unfortunately I didn't have the pace to fight for the podium. I was able to stay close at the beginning and try to fight but after I didn't have the speed, like more or less all the season where I am two or three tenths slower compared to the top guys. For this reason I couldn’t challenge for the pole position, the race and the championship. The season was not so bad for me but we have to try more to increase our speed and our performance to fight for the podium more constantly. This is the target for 2014."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Team Director - “It has been an incredible season. I think we deserved the championship, we really did the maximum that we could. I would like to say a big thank you to everybody, Jorge and the team. We never gave up and Jorge never gave up. He delivered some really impressive performances. Even today he made a fantastic race. He started the race having a plan and tried to manage the race until he understood that he couldn’t do any more. Then when he decided to win he pulled away. The season has been really long, hard and tough but we are satisfied with all we did. I would like to thank everybody and wish all the best to team members Jeremy, Walter and "Bibo" who are leaving us. Tomorrow the new season is already starting with a three-day test. We will aim to give the Japanese engineers as much information as possible to work with.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team, 8th - “The start wasn’t very good, as the same thing happened as in Japan, but I was able to make up some places and finish in eighth place. It’s not a great result, but it was nice to finish the race as first Ducati rider. For a while, I thought maybe I could get on the back of Bradley [Smith] as I cut the 3 second gap in half but then I had a moment coming off the last corner and hit the windscreen. He went faster after that anyway, so that was it. It’s pretty emotional. I spent five years with a great group of guys, and although it hasn’t always been easy, we were a good team together. I wish them all the best.”
Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone.
2013 MotoGP season comes to an end for Ducati Team.
RESULTS MOTOGP RACE: (30 laps = 120.15 Km)
Pole Position: Marc MARQUEZ 1'30.237 159.7 Km/h
FINAL 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION:
FINAL TEAM POSITION:
FINAL CONSTRUCTOR POSITION:
Moto2 to Terol
For a while, Terol had Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) on his tail, but gradually he pulled away to establish a comfortable advantage and cross the finish line four seconds ahead of Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter), who is still getting around the paddock on crutches, following a big spill in Japan two weeks ago.
Torres passed Corsi with six laps to go and worked hard to gain a gap on the Italian who then came under pressure from Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter). The Italian and the Frenchman were neck and neck, Zarco getting a better drive out of the final turn to pass the chequered flag alongside Corsi. At first the timing screens had Corsi down as the final podium finisher, but moments later the final results had Zarco third by just one thousandth of a second.
Behind the top four, the mid-pack Moto2 battle was typically intense, with Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) breaking clear of the multitude to claim fifth. The next three finishers Alex De Angelis ((NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) and Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) were separated by less than two seconds.
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who had led the World Championship until he crashed and broke a wrist in Australia three weeks ago, struggled to 15th. Espargaro remounted after his tumble and finished 29th.
Nicolas Terol, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2: race winner - “I’m very happy with my first victory here at my home circuit. It’s a dream come true for me. The race was difficult because I was alone, so lap by lap I had to work very hard to maintain concentration and focus. To win the last race of 2013 is very important to me because it gives me great motivation for 2014 when I will be ready for the battle.”
MOTO2 RACE: (27 laps = 108.135Km)
Pole Position: Pol ESPARGARO 1'34.957 151.8 Km/h
FINAL 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTOR POSITION:
Moto3 Race to to Masbou, Tile to Vinales
Honda’s other big star of the race was Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) who was running fifth in the leading group – headed by title-fighters Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins and Luis Salom – until he tumbled out in the closing stages. Nonetheless he remains seventh overall in the World Championship final standings, just ahead of Masbou.
The title was won by Maverick Vinales, who got the better of Rins at the very final corner. Salom had fallen earlier, remounting to finish 14th. The 2014 preseason testing season begins tomorrow at Valencia, when most MotoGP riders will test their next year’s prototypes. Moto2 and Moto3 riders start at Jerez later in the week.
MOTO3 RACE: (24 laps = 96.12 Km)
Pole Position: Alex RINS 1'39.459 144.9 Km/h
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTOR POSITION:
The Ducati factory opened up a new flagship store in Rome this past week with factory rider Andrea Dovizioso riding in on a team MotoGP bike. In the background we see Ducati design engineer Diego Sgorbatiin the blus shirt taking a picture, Corse team manager Paolo Ciabatti (white papers in his crossed arms) and Paolo Flammini (crossed arms), former SBK World Superbike Championship President.
Rossi with Galbusera on their first day together in testing at Valencia on Monday November 11th
The announcement came after rumors of the split surfaced in the Italian press this week. At the MotoGP pre-race press conference in advance of Sunday’s World Championship finale in Valencia, Spain, Rossi was asked if the rumors were true – that he was unhappy with the work that Burgess has done.
Silvano began his career in motorcycle racing in 1979 with Gilera, spending 14 years working on both road racing in the 250cc world championship with riders such as Alessandro Gramigni and Paolo Casoli and also worked off road on African Rallies such as the Paris-Dakar with Michele Rinaldi. He then moved to Cagiva in 1994 and worked in the 500cc world championship with John Kocinski.
The following year saw Silvano arrive in the Yamaha family where he remained until 2011. During his time there he worked as both a Crew Chief and Technical Director in World Superbike and World Supersport, guiding riders including Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies to multiple race wins and of course the 2009 World Superbike Championship title. For 2012 and 2013 Silvano worked with Italian Marco Melandri in BMW’s World Superbike team.
Thumbs Up! for MV Agusta's new Rivale 800, an 800cc 3-cylinder streetfighter design won the Best of Show award at this year's EICMA Show.
2013 EICMA Motorcycle Show
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The Making of the
THE MARC OF GREATNESS: MARQUEZ BECOMES YOUNGEST MotoGP KING
Marquez’s brilliance gives Honda its 16th riders’ title, three decades after its first premier-class crown won by Freddie Spencer in 1983.
The 20-year-old’s MotoGP title success is the crowning achievement of what is already a stellar career. After winning the 2010 125 World Championship and the 2012 Moto2 world title, the super-talented youngster graduated to MotoGP at the start of this year, looking to serve his apprenticeship in the world’s fastest, toughest motorcycle racing series.
However, Marquez never for a moment looked like a rookie. The Spanish prodigy scored a podium finish first time out at Qatar in April, then two weeks later dominated the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, where he became the youngest-ever rider to start a premier-class race from pole position and the youngest to take victory in a category that’s now dominated by awesome 250 horsepower motorcycles that reach 345km/h (215mph).
Marquez took both those records from another Honda hero, American genius Spencer, who had held the youngest pole record since the 1982 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, Spain, and the youngest winner record since the Belgium GP at Spa a few months later.
Spencer, undoubtedly one of the greatest bike racers of all time, is in awe of the young Spaniard, just like everyone else. “It’s exciting to see young riders come along and make an impact!” says the man who won three World Championships in the 1980s and was the youngest premier-class champ until today. “I like the excitement he brings with his riding style and personality.”
Humble and highly intelligent, Marquez kept his feet firmly on the ground despite making history. “You can beat a record,” he said in Texas. “But in future, maybe another rider will win a race when they are younger than me.”
Spencer is right about Marquez’s riding style, which has taken MotoGP to a whole new level. His two years in the Moto2 class taught him how to get the absolute maximum out of a motorcycle and how to maintain the machine on the every brink of control. Now he has his RC213V dancing around beneath him, rear wheel sometimes in the air as he tips into corners, then burning dark arcs of rubber on the tarmac as he opens the throttle. But he isn’t merely stunningly fast and extremely brave; he also has the mind of a master tactician.
His career statistics speak for themselves. He has ridden 18 MotoGP races, taking podiums in 16, including six wins, plus nine pole positions and 11 fastest laps. In Moto2 he won 16 races from 32 starts – an amazing 50 per cent success rate – plus a further nine podiums and 14 pole positions. When he was a Grand Prix beginner in the 125 category he took ten wins and 14 poles from 42 starts.
There is no doubt that Marquez’s 2013 Repsol Honda RC213V perfectly suits his aggressive riding style, allowing him to attack corner apexes with a speed and commitment that few others can match. The youngster quickly developed a superb relationship with Honda Racing Corporation staff, who now know exactly what he needs to produce lightning-quick speed and race-winning consistency.
His 1000cc Honda R213CV is the latest development of Honda’s MotoGP machines that have scored an amazing run of successes since the class switched to four-strokes in 2002. The 990cc RC211V won the 2002, 2003 and 2006 World Championships, the 800cc RC212V won the 2011 title and the RC213V has now secured the 2013 crown. All these machines have the Honda hallmarks of superbly rider-friendly performance and remarkable reliability. They are also rolling laboratories for the development of high-tech electronic performance and safety systems, the major R&D area in modern-day motorcycle racing.
Following Marquez’s maiden MotoGP victory in Texas, his season continued with further astonishing results. He battled for the lead and finished on the podium in four of the next five races, suffering his first DNF at June’s Italian Grand Prix where he crashed out while holding second place.
The mark of true greatness in any sport is how a player responds to hard times and Marquez proved his genius by immediately stepping up his performances. He finished second at the next race at Assen, despite injuries from a practice crash, and then achieved a unique run of four consecutive victories at the Sachsenring, Laguna Seca, Indianapolis and Brno, while his main rivals – team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) suffered injury woes. No rookie had ever won four in a row before, and his fifth win of the year at Brno broke another record. Previously, the greatest number of rookie victories had been achieved by Kenny Roberts, who won four races on his way to becoming the first rookie to win the title in 1978.
Marquez, by now well ahead in the title chase, won again at Aragon and then finished second at the British, San Marino and Malaysian GPs. In Australia he scored no points after being black-flagged for missing the pit-stop ‘window’ in a controversial two-part race, devised to solve problems with tyre longevity. At Motegi he finished a safe second behind Lorenzo, which took him to Valencia with a comfortable 13-point advantage.
By securing the title at the age of 20 years and 266 days – Marquez comfortably beat’s Spencer’s record. The American was
Marquez has been on the road to greatness for many years. From a normal working-class family – his father Julian drove diggers on construction sites and his mother Roser works for a logistics company in their hometown – he got his first minibike when he was four, started racing when he was five and won his first title when he was eight. His younger brother Alex also started competing and now races in the Moto3 World Championship.
The older Marquez tried roadracing soon after he started off-road competition and his talent was quickly spotted by 1999 125 World Champion Emilio Alzamora, who has been his mentor ever since, guiding the youngster with an expert hand through national racing and thence into 125s, Moto2 and MotoGP.
After twice winning the 125 Catalan crown, Marquez made his World Championship debut in Portugal in April 2008. Two months later he achieved his first Grand Prix podium, with a third-place finish in the British Grand Prix at Donington Park. His debut victory in the class came in Italy in June 2010. He won a further nine races that year to take his first world title.
Marquez might have won the Moto2 world title at his first attempt in 2011 but for an injury he sustained when he crashed due to a marshalling error at the Malaysian GP. Nonetheless he fought back to dominate the Honda-powered series the following summer, during which he signed with HRC to graduate to MotoGP with Repsol Honda.
At just 20-years-old Marquez had the world at his feet and with Honda behind him he undoubtedly has the potential to become the greatest rider in the history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing.