Yamaha Factory Racing’s 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.
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. I’m 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. It’s always important to beat your competitors but it’s 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.”