Bradl made the most of his pole position start, running out ahead of the pack to assume the lead. As riders fell into line through the opening turns it was Rossi in second and Marquez in third with Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, settling into fourth. Lorenzo rode hard through the initial laps, challenging Marquez at times for the number three spot, but Marquez was on the hunt and soon pulled away as he tracked Rossi.
Marquez made a pass reminiscent of Rossi’s move on Casey Stoner in 2008 to move into second at Laguna Seca 2013.
Three laps into the race Marquez had finally caught up to Rossi’s rear tire, and in a move reminiscent of the Doctor’s pass on Casey Stoner in 2008, the rookie pushed ahead of Rossi through the corkscrew section, going off track on the descent, barely missing the grating on the inside. Once in second, Marquez began to chip away at the small gap Bradl had developed, catching up to the German rider some five laps later. The Repsol rider slowed his assault somewhat at that point, choosing to trail Bradl for a number of laps before making his move to the front in the final turn mid-race. Once in the lead, Marquez upped his pace and stretched a comfortable gap on the field which remained to the finish.
“I am very happy, because we weren’t expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca,” said Marquez. “I didn’t think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tires got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin.”
Bradl was unchallenged once Marquez moved past. Rossi, on the other hand, faced heavy pressure from Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista during the later stages of competition. Though Bautista was within reach of the podium, he was unable to get past the Doctor and finished in fourth.
Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, overcame his recent shoulder injury to salvage championship points, finishing fifth. He was followed by Lorenzo, who is also battling pain from a recently injured shoulder, in sixth.
“This was a difficult race because I am not in shape, one month or more without training and two general anaesthetics,” explained Lorenzo. “I felt quite dizzy from the middle of the race to the end so my performance was getting worse. The bike was also not working the same as in warm up. Maybe with more temperature the tires were working differently and I couldn’t stop the same in the braking zones so I didn’t have the same feeling and I was half a second slower. The important thing is that we saved a very dangerous situation because if I crashed again I might have finished my championship. We have one month to rest and train now to get back in shape which will be important for Indianapolis.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow got off to a relatively slow start and fell outside the top-five early on. He was unable to battle back up the ranks and finished in seventh.
Ducati duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso took eighth and ninth respectively, followed by top CRT rider Hector Barbera of Avintia Blusens in 10th. The typically quick Aleix Espargaro crashed out of the race during the opening laps, and his teammate, Randy de Puniet, was forced to pull out due to a mechanical issue. American Colin Edwards of NGM Mobile Forward Racing finished in 12th.
Marquez holds on to the championship points lead, 16 ahead of Pedrosa, who remains second. Lorenzo is third 26 points adrift of the leader while Rossi is fourth followed by Crutchlow in fifth.
MotoGP Laguna Seca Results 2013:
1. Marc Marquez (Honda)
2. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
4. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
5. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
7. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
10. Hector Barbera (FTR)
11. Alex de Angelis (Ducati)
12. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki)
13. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter)
14. Karel Abraham (ART)
15. Yonny Hernandez (ART)
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR)
17. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda)
18. Lukas Pesek (Ioda-Suter)
MotoGP Championship Points 2013:
1. Marc Marquez, 163
2. Dani Pedrosa, 147
3. Jorge Lorenzo, 137
4. Valentino Rossi, 117
5. Cal Crutchlow, 116
6. Stefan Bradl, 84
7. Andrea Dovizioso, 81
8. Alvaro Bautista, 71
9. Nicky Hayden, 65
10. Aleix Espargaro, 52