The first American weekend of the 2013 MotoGP Championship concluded before a large and enthusiastic crowd (approximately 61,000 spectators).
After a minute of silence to honor the victims of the recent tragedies in Boston, Massachusetts, and West, Texas, followed by the national anthem, the roar of motors took over the Hermann Tilke-designed circuit.
Rookie Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team) posted a top-ten finish, bettering his practice-lap times in the early part of the race and staying firmly in the draft of fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden. In the latter stages, however, the forearm problem that he had experienced during the Qatar race weekend once again forced him to ride defensively, as he lacked the necessary strength to control the bike.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“We improved a lot today. Yesterday I wasn’t competitive at all, and I couldn’t take full advantage of qualifying. It was a shame because if I had managed to start further ahead, maybe it would’ve been more enjoyable, although I think it still would’ve ended the same, as I started losing a lot of strength in my right arm after a few laps. Seven laps in, I started to feel really bad, and I had to conserve my strength. It was very difficult, and unfortunately I couldn’t control the bike. Anyway, it was still a good race; I was more aggressive and confident right away, and I was even able to stay ahead of Nicky for a little while, which is really good for me. I learned a lot of things that will be useful in the future.”
Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider Ben Spies suffered from a problem in his chest that struck during the morning warm-up session, preventing him from riding at the level he had shown himself capable of during the previous sessions, in which he had steadily reduced his best time. He finished in thirteenth place, with a best lap time of 2:06.607.
Ben Spies - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I had a little problem with a nerve in my chest for some reason. I don’t know if it’s from overcompensating for my shoulder problem, which is actually getting a lot better compared to Qatar. That said, two laps before the end of the warm-up, I had a twinge in my chest. It was like a knife, so we went to the clinic and they worked on me a lot and got me ready for the race. I tried as hard as I could during the race, but it wasn’t enough. At 8 laps to go, it was either come in or salvage whatever points we could. We need to work harder and get back to 100% and just keep working with the bike. I’m more disappointed for the team, friends, family, fans, Ducati, and Ignite Pramac, because they deserve better.”
Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team
“These two rounds took place on two really tricky circuits, at a time when our riders are in less-than perfect physical condition, so the gap to the top riders is larger than it could be in a normal situation. We look forward to the European circuits, which both riders already know, and for which they’ll have had a chance to rest and recover. We expect to finish closer to the lead group.”
Pramac Racing Team