After a feud that cumulated in the king of Spain having to force a handshake between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa in 2008, a new rivalry could have be born at Jerez this weekend. Rookie Marc Marquez will be on the end of Lorenzo’s wroth this time though, as he barged Lorenzo out in a Rossi/Gibernau-esque move around the final corner.
Marquez had shaken off an early challenge from Valentino Rossi to hunt down the leaders Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Pedrosa passed Lorenzo on lap 6 before stretching his lead to over 1 second within a couple of laps. Marquez caught Lorenzo but his inexperience showed, as several impatient lunges almost brought contact between the two riders. His pass was just as vigorous, as on the final lap Marquez barged past Lorenzo, ironically at Lorenzo Corner. Lorenzo refused to be drawn to comment on the pass post race, which left Marquez as the outright leader in the championship. Lorenzo’s 3rd place sees him drop to 3rd in the championship, being overtaken by race winner Dani Pedrosa.
Raceday continued from where qualifying left off, as 5 riders crashed between laps 3 and 4, Jonny Hernandez, Randy De Puniet, Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl and Lukas Pesek. Brit Cal Crutchlow finished 5th, 4 seconds behind Valentino Rossi, with Crutchlow’s team mate Bradley Smith finishing in 10th. Aleix Espargaro was once again top CRT, finishing an impressive 9th
In Moto2, Esteve Rabat won his first race, with British rider Scott Redding finishing second. The Moto3 race was red flagged after Alan Techer crashed, 15 full laps in. Maverick Vinales was awarded the win.
Young prodigy Marc Marquez became the youngest ever winner of a Moto GP race in Texas at the tender age of just 20 years and 63 days old. Marquez, who became the youngest rider to qualify on pole during on Saturday, passed team-mate Dani Pedrosa on lap 13 at the inaugural race in Austin. World champion Jorge Lorenzo had a quiet race in third place from start to finish, with his Yamaha struggling to keep up with the Honda’s speed down the straights. Lorenzo’s lap times picked towards the end of the race to finish almost 2 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa, who fell away with 2 laps to go, citing “losing the strength in his left arm through the chicane section” for the 1.5 second gap from the race winner. As in Qatar, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow initially got stuck in 5th behind Stefan Bradl, before running off the track on lap 4. He lost little time though, rejoining the action having only dropped 1 place to Alvaro Bautista. Crutchlow passed Bautista through the chicanes on the next lap. The Monster Yamaha man then made up a 1.2 second gap to pass Stefan Bradl on lap 8, slipping through as the German ran slightly wide. Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi finished 6th with Aleix Espargaro again the leading CRT in 11th, ahead of 2 satellite bikes. Brits Bradley Smith and Michael Laverty finished 12th and 16th respectively. In front of a home crowd Ben Spies finished 13th and the ‘Texas Tornado’ Colin Edwards was forced to retire. It was a Spanish hat-trick as Nico Terol won in Moto2 and Alex Rins won in Moto3.
The opening round of the 2013 MotoGP season saw the prolific return to form of Valentino Rossi. The Italian, 34, started from seventh on the grid, and appeared to get stuck behind Stefan Bradl before passing the German after 8 laps. Bradl then crashed out a lap later trying to retake 5th place as he strayed on the the dusty part of the track. Rossi the made up a 3.737 second gap to overtake Britain’s Cal Crutchlow at the first corner on lap 19, forcing the Satellite Yamaha rider to run off the track. The nine-time world champion the passed Dani Pedrosa and rookie Marc Marquez in the next two laps, setting up an enthralling duel that set up a battle which has rarely been seen since Rossi’s nightmare switch to Ducati. The rookie Marquez, who is tipped by many to fight for the title this year, jostled with Rossi for the next 3 laps, in a contest fitting of the madness of Moto2. He finished second, almost 6 seconds behind run-away leader Jorge Lorenzo, who led the race from start to finish. Marc Marquez rounded off the podium in third whilst last season’s championship runner up Dani Pedrosa dropped to 4th. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow came 5th, whilst other Brits fared poorly, with Bradley Smith, Crutchlow’s team-mate, crashing out of 11th place 5 laps in to his debut, and Michael Laverty finished 17th on his Paul Bird Motorcycle. Aleix Espargaro finished the leading CRT in 11th place. Aleix’s brother Pol won the Moto2 race and Luis Salom won in Moto3.