MotoGP Misano Preview 2013

September 10, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Lorenzo faced heavy pressure from the two Repsol Honda riders but was able to hold the front to the checkers.
Jorge Lorenzo took his fourth win of the season at Silverstone, beating Marc Marquez with a final turn pass in one of the most exciting final laps this season.

The 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues with Round 13 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. During the Hertz British Grand Prix Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo put a stop to Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez’s four-race win streak in one of the most exciting final laps this season. It was also an important turning point for Lorenzo, marking the end of a string of races in which the Mallorcan struggled to challenge for podium position due to his injured shoulder. With Lorenzo back to competitive health and Marquez staging the best rookie season in GP history, it’s safe to say that the late season battle for the 2013 title will be one of the best in recent memory.

Marquez raises the rookie record bar higher every time he takes to the track. Silverstone marked his 11th podium finish of the year, more than any other first-year rider in the premier-class. He’s already reached the highest number of total points earned in a season by a GP rookie and his pole position in Great Britain marked his fifth time at the head of the grid, a feat never previously achieved by a GP first-timer. And there are six races still on schedule.

The Spaniard has endured some crashes along the way, notably at Mugello when he went down during the latter portion of the contest while running in podium position. His off at Silverstone during warm-up left him with a dislocated shoulder, but thanks to quick medical attention Marquez was able to shake off the injury and battle for the win. Though he later cited an increased feeling of fatigue during the latter portion of the race, Marquez pushed with absolutely everything in his battle for the front, showing that grit and determination are as present as natural talent in the young Spaniard.

Jorge Lorenzo leads the way at Silverstone in 2013.
Lorenzo will fight to close the points gap on Marquez during Round 13 at Misano.

Lorenzo outdid himself at Silverstone as well, saying afterward that “this was one of the best races I’ve ever had.” He was measured, smooth and unrelenting. When Marquez made his move to the front with just three laps remaining, Lorenzo waited and watched. After noticing Marquez was struggling in some braking sections, he decided to retaliate on the same corner in which Marquez had crashed earlier in the day. Lorenzo then made a braking mistake of his own just a few corners from the finish line, but he remained composed and in the final turn went for the front a final time for the win. He’ll look to weaken Marquez’s points lead further at Misano, a circuit that has been favorable to Lorenzo in the past.

Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, is by no means out of the running either. Sitting second overall, 30 points behind the rookie, Pedrosa has been working to overcome his own shoulder injury through the past four rounds. The Repsol Honda rider was remarkably strong during the final portion of the 2012 season, where he amassed the bulk of his race wins, and he will undoubtedly be a threat for the top-step as his health and fitness improves. Pedrosa’s garnered mixed results at Misano, winning there in 2010 and taking second in 2011, though twice the Spaniard has crashed out of competition at the circuit due to collisions with other riders.

Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, is a perennial favorite at the Italian circuit and will seek to improve his performance over the weekend to challenge for a podium in front of his home crowd. The Doctor has earned three consecutive fourth-place finishes in as many races leading up to Misano, but poor qualifying and slow starts leave him battling up the ranks during the initial laps. Rossi’s late-race pace has been his strongest asset, and if he can turn up the heat when the lights go out he may well figure as a podium threat once again.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow sits fifth overall and continues to chase his first GP race win. Misano has been a tough circuit for the British rider in the past, with two qualifying crashes in 2011, a 13th-place grid position and a 10th-place finish. In 2012 he made the front row but crashed out of the race just five laps into competition.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl trails in sixth with Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista 10 points back in seventh. Both Honda riders have been consistent inside the top-10, but only Bradl has made the podium, scoring second-place at Laguna Seca.

In the eight and nine spots, respectively, are Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden. Misano is one of Ducati’s three test tracks, and in 2012 was the site of one of the team’s best results in recent years when Valentino Rossi finished in second-place.

Topping the CRT field is Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro in 10th overall. American rider Colin Edwards of NGM Mobile Forward Racing is the second-highest in points among CRT riders, and he sits 14th behind Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith (11th), Ignite Pramac Racing substitute rider Michele Pirro (12th) and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone (13th).

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