Repsol Honda rookie leaps into lead of world championship standings
Marc Marquez stormed into the lead of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship after the Repsol Honda rider steered his RC213V machine to his second ever win in the premier class with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow securing another podium finish while Assen TT winner Valentino Rossi added another podium to his records with the Yamaha Factory racing man taking third position.
I am very happy with this victory. It was important to have a good race under the circumstances this weekend.
Rossi’s lead didn’t last for long with Bradl jumping into the lead by the end of the first lap and the German rider set off in search of his first MotoGP win. Bradl’s challenge was also short-lived when he failed to break away from Rossi who was hounded for the first few laps by Espargaro while Marquez was just waiting for a way passed and that came on the third lap with Espargaro then passed in quick succession by Crutchlow and Go&Fun Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista. Marquez quickly closed up on Rossi who nearly fell from his machine while trying to match the early pace of the Repsol Honda rider.
Marquez was the man on the move early on with the Spaniard passing Rossi and then Bradl for the lead on the sixth lap and he immediately started in his attempt to stretch out a gap at the front. There was anguish for Paul Bird Motorsport rider Yonny Hernandez who crashed out of the race early on while Bradley Smith was next to pass Espargaro with Rossi now one second behind Marquez. Crutchlow had begun to pick up his pace nearing the middle of the 30 lap race and was looking increasingly likely to pass Rossi who was struggling to catch Marquez despite being able to match the Spaniard on lap times.
Marquez was delighted after the race and is looking forward to the next race. He said, “I am very happy with this victory. It was important to have a good race under the circumstances this weekend, without Dani and Jorge on track. I wish them a speedy recovery, because winning is important but without them the triumph isn't quite the same. Even so, it is a good result, since we have taken the maximum points available and ridden a completely different race to those that we've had before.
We led the race and maintained the gap to second place. It was good experience, although I perhaps prefer races that are a little more of a battle! We should be happy, and we have also held up well physically at a circuit where there is no time to rest on the bike. We'll see how it goes in Laguna Seca, which will be a hard GP for me because I've never ridden there. We'll take it step-by-step and remain calm whilst we get up to speed,” Marquez added.
Two crashes ahead of today’s race made it all the tougher for Crutchlow to keep up with the factory riders with the British rider saying, “I am really happy to be on the podium again because it was a hard race in my physical condition. The two crashes in practice took a lot out of me but I dug deep and it is great to get another podium for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. I actually made a really good start but I had to roll off the throttle when Marc came towards me and that cost me a few places. The bike worked really well in the first few laps and I was able to fight my way through and I really enjoyed it. In the second half of the race the bike felt great and I was fast.
I came on strong and pulled away from Valentino and I did absolutely everything I could to close down Marc. I couldn’t have done anything more but credit to him because he didn’t make a mistake, he controlled the gap to me very well and he deserved to win. I just kept on pushing and at the end second is another fantastic result. It is my fourth podium and I am not so far back in the Championship, so I can’t really ask for anything more. Now we go to Laguna trying to fight for another podium and hopefully that first win,” Crutchlow added.
Next we will have Laguna, a very special track, and we will try to have better results there. We are five very fast riders and we are closer now because unfortunately Dani and Jorge are injured and we have another race next week. If I want to fight for the Championship I have to go faster and I have to be constantly faster so I have to make another step,” Rossi added.