2013 Jerez MotoGP FP2 Result: Lorenzo Fastest; Crutchlow On His Heels

World Champion Jorge Lorenzo dominated FP2 in hot conditions at Jerez Friday, setting the fast time early and holding the top spot for most of the session. But it wasn't for lack of trying by the others as the top five riders finished separated only by three-tenths of a second. Cal Crutchlow, nearly mirroring his performance at tests here earlier in the year, set the second-fastest time with Dani Pedrosa in third as the top Honda. Valentino Rossi (fourth) and Marc Marquez (fifth) finished only three-tenths back. Stephan Bradl crashed out with more than five minutes remaining. Both Hector Barbera (FTR) and Aleix Espargaro (ART) put CRT bikes in front of the factory Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'39.562  
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 1'39.733 0.171 / 0.171
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'39.757 0.195 / 0.024
4 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'39.874 0.312 / 0.117
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'39.889 0.327 / 0.015
6 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'40.507 0.945 / 0.618
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'40.574 1.012 / 0.067
8 8 Hector BARBERA FTR 1'40.736 1.174 / 0.162
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'40.738 1.176 / 0.002
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1'40.837 1.275 / 0.099
11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'40.884 1.322 / 0.047
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'40.902 1.340 / 0.018
13 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'40.990 1.428 / 0.088
14 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'41.053 1.491 / 0.063
15 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'41.078 1.516 / 0.025
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 1'41.751 2.189 / 0.673
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 1'41.774 2.212 / 0.023
18 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 1'41.790 2.228 / 0.016
19 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki 1'42.058 2.496 / 0.268
20 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ ART 1'42.603 3.041 / 0.545
21 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 1'42.606 3.044 / 0.003
22 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 1'42.974 3.412 / 0.368
23 17 Karel ABRAHAM ART 1'43.356 3.794 / 0.382
24 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 1'43.403 3.841 / 0.047


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so it looks like to will come down to getting a good start and having a good race pace. Lorenzo will be tough to beat, Rossi must qualify on the front row and Crutchlow can't afford to get stuck behind the Hondas if he wants to latch onto Lorenzo's tail, but Dani and Marc will be out to spoil the Yamaha podium party!

I had expected Smith to show better pace at Jerez but in truth he's not that far off the Ducs and Satellite Hondas. Trouble is that Herve's mantra of steady learning one step at a time make his progress look like baby steps when compared to Marquez who looks like a water baby born right into the environment of the MotoGP pond, but it's really Iannone who is quietly out performing him so far. Hope Herves strategy begins to bear fruit soon.

Smith is 2 positions and .2sec closer to the top in his first Jerez FP2 if compared to Crutchlow in his rookie season. I wonder if that means Crutchlow should have never got that MotoGP ride and that Poncharal hires riders for money, like some specialists say about Smith now.

After a few good results at the beginning, Cal's rookie season ended with a whimper. But what a difference a year made. As you point out, Bradley's doing just fine.

A closer look shows Lorenzo had no apparent difficulty running three laps in the 1m 39s bracket right off the bat. Did he then switch back to his second bike on race tyres ? Because he then ran a bunch of 1m 40s - last year's winning race pace. Dani did his 1m 39s a little less consistently while Crutchlow and Rossi (the latter in particular) had to dig deep to break out of the 1m 40s, and then, only once in the case of Rossi.

The times of the CRTs of Espargaro and Barbera look, but if you go to the analysis section, seem to be balls-to-the-wall one lap efforts to give their sponsors some cheer. Good effort, but they will not be able to run so far up in the race.

Hayden's best was 0.685 off Rossi's best, indicating the Ducati lads are also digging deep. Pirro's effort indicates some progress in the Red Shed. At last.

Things could get very interesting in another three rounds' time.

is impressive for the Moto 3 guys - 4 seconds off the MGP tail-end.
In catching up with all the 'nice' news this morning (bike racing!) I read the MCN interview notes on Smith. It covers a bit more than David has posted here and I found it very interesting when woven in with all the other pieces. Smith's and Zeelenburg's comments about how WSS riders could transfer to Moto 2/MGP, and how riding a MGP bike is more like a 125/Moto3 in terms of style are illuminating.
It also makes me think about Rossi's departure from Honda and the 'rider being more important than the bike' thing. It seems that the game has moved on, as ever, and that we are now in an era where a rider needs a team to build the bike around their style. This makes the difference between the pace of factory updates as much about the ability to hone the design to the rider as much as anything else (such as seamless gearboxes). Crutchlow therefore has to literally make do with Lorenzo/Rossi's bespoke cast-offs, not just Yamaha bits that have filtered their way through.
It also makes me wonder about Rossi's style - he looks smooth to me and his ability to learn a track surface and adjust his pace to suit seems imperious when he has the chance to do it, but he also refers to races as 'battles', whereas it seems Lorenzo is more a 'competition' man - he is very calm and calculating but also easily upset, at least that's what the Ellison incident last year seemed to show (I know the damp track contributed to that).
Some of this explains the 'sterility' of many recent races - Smiths 'Sunday ride ' comment reflects this too - the level of competence and precision involved means that any attempt to run a different line etc. can harm your pace and makes for conservative racing - not Rossi-esque battles.
Perhaps , if we want more battles, we need tyre wars? (sorry, an old tune, but it's the only thing I can think of that can wipe out all these tech tweaks in a single Saturday night mould-fest.)
It also seems that Poncheral/Coulon have more talent than we give them credit for. They seem to be able nurture skills and character in their riders. HRC seem to have been lucky to some degree - Marquez has a very similar style to Stoner and therefore fits the bike/team/data very well. I'm not knocking Marquez - he's a huge talent - just making the point that he and HRC are exceptional, whilst Tech 3/Smith are just plain top-drawer. That Smith has rationalised the skills/style required at this stage and is setting good times without crashing has pushed him up in my estimation.