2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Race Result: The Taming of the Corkscrew

Results below

MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez rode like anything but to win the ninth round of the season at the Laguna Seca circuit in California. Pole-sitter Stefan Bradl finished second, his first MotoGP podium. And Valentino Rossi held off a hard-charging Alvaro Bautista for the final podium spot.

Marquez, who extended his championship lead by 16 points over Dani Pedrosa, became the youngest rider ever to win back-to-back races in MotoGP and the first rookie to win at Laguna Seca in the top class. Bradl’s second also marked the first dry podium for LCR Honda since Casey Stoner rode for the team in 2006.

Honda-mounted Alvaro Bautisa finished fourth and Dani Pedrosa – who didn’t want to concede too many points to Repsol teammate Marquez -- managed a painful fifth. Current world champion Jorge Lorenzo finished in sixth.

Cal Crutchlow -- strong in recent weeks and with a second-place finish in Sachsenring seven days ago -- finished seventh. With Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith retiring because of a mechanical problem, it was the satellite Yamaha team’s worst showing of the season.

While the race didn't feature much passing -- excepting backmarkers on the final laps -- one pass did stand out. With Bradl leading and starting to pull away, a desperate Marquez pulled nearly the same Corkscrew pass on Rossi that the Doctor pulled on Casey Stoner in '08. And with similar results. Rossi ran into the top corner a bit too hot and left a passing Marquez no room. This forced the rookie into the dirt on the inside of the right-hand bend. Like Rossi years earlier, Marquez stood the bike up, plunged downhill in the dirt and made the pass stick to take second. A few laps later, Marquez passed Bradl and took the lead for good.


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time / Diff.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 44'00.695
2 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 2.298
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 4.498
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 4.557
5 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 9.257
6 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 12.97
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 15.304
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 33.963
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 34.129
10 8 Hector BARBERA FTR +1'02.369
11 15 Alex DE ANGELIS Ducati +1'02.604
12 5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki +1'03.593
13 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter +1'20.450
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM ART 1 Lap
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ ART 1 Lap
16 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 1 Lap
17 67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 1 Lap
18 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 1 Lap
Not Classified
  38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 25 Laps
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 27 Laps
  14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 28 Laps
  71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki 29 Laps
  70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 31 Laps


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Not a classic race by any means, we've had far better here. But seeing Marquez passing people never stops being exciting. Obviously well done to, uhm, basically everyone really. Except Crutchlow. What was going on there?

Cal was unhappy with his bike all weekend. Does anyone know what it was about (a sensor was what the commentators said in Q2 I think?).

As a side note, I'm not surprised Marquez won at all.

During a stopover in Louisiana NH was reported to have been seen wading to a run down shack deep in the bayou, carrying a chicken in a monster dufflebag, and a doll resembling Bernard Gobelmaier... Or did Cal just run over Ben Spies cat during FP4?... And now for something completely different!

I thought his overtake at the corkscrew was out of order. Technically Marquez left the racetrack in which to complete the overtaking manovre. He should have been instructed to give the place back in my opinion.
I dont like the way motogp is going, if watching Marquez win every race next season is what we're in for, then BT Sport are welcome to it, its not like anyone will be able to watch it anyway.

It was the exact same move Rossi pulled on Stoner in 2008. It wasn't out of order by any means. I'll bet Casey was happy to see that one!

Off track is off track, and a rider should not be allowed to gain a position that way.

Unfortunately, Dorna seem to have no issue with bending the rules to suit their promotional requirements. Rossi was the golden-haired child when he did it to Stoner, and now Marquez doing it to Rossi is something only a script-writer could have dreamed up - they are already running videos of it on their site.

The FIM rules are clear on passing:

1.21 Behaviour During Practice and Race 

2) Riders must ride in a responsible manner which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit-lane. Any infringement of this rule will be penalised with one of the following penalties: penalty points - fine - change of position - ride through –time penalty – drop of any number of grid position at the rider’s next race – disqualification - withdrawal of Championship points - suspension.

3) Riders should use only the track and the pit-lane. However, if a rider accidentally leaves the track then he may rejoin it at the place indicated by the officials or at a place which does not provide an advantage to him. Any infringement of this rule during the practices or warm up will be penalised by the cancellation of the lap time concerned and during the race, by a change of position decided by the Race Direction.

Marquez was past Rossi when they entered the Corkscrew. He accidentally left the track (he was forced wide by Rossi). He rejoined the track in the position which he had left it, which was ahead of Rossi. It's very clear.

They were both deep into the corner, Marquez line was far too wide and that is how he gained the advantage in the first place on the outside of Rossi knowing there was asphalt run off through the cork screw and not dirt/sand thus gaining further advantage on the way out. They never touched and Rossi had every right to the part of the track he was at even if he "ran Marquez wide". This is racing, you do not get to create your own racetrack to suit your needs Totally ridiculous a pass as such would be allowed. By the way, Rossi should have been penalized back in 2008 as well.

If anything I'd say that Rossi aggressively tried to defend his position by letting himself run a bit wider than he needed to in order to block Marquez down the corkscrew. I thought that's what today's debate would be about.

As Mr. Emmet effectively points out by quoting the rules there shouldn't be any debate about Marquez' behaviour in the conner, at least wrt any advantage gained. He entered and existed it in the same position and was momentarily forced wide in the middle, whether intentionally or not.

Funny, this line of reasoning did not apply when Simoncelli made the exact same move on Pedrosa at LeMans a couple years ago. He was given a ride through penalty, rightfully so, for bringing down another rider and gaining a position illegally. Yes Marco was ahead entering the chicane, but had no chance to make the corner without going off track. If he had not taken down Pedrosa, do you think they would have let him keep the position after going off track? Of course not. How is what Marquez did any different, because they didn't touch? Bottom line, Marquez could not make the corner, pushed wide or otherwise. Perhaps, they should remove the corkscrew altogether. In fact just remove all corners from all tracks to eliminate such confusing rule interpretations. As far as not having gained an advantage, they were next to each other going in and Marquez had a two bike gap at the exit. Enjoy the summer break.

So anytime a rider can simply get his wheel ahead of his competitor going into the corner he can then cut the track to stay ahead? What if Vale and Marquez did the exact same moves on each lap with a different "winner" each lap. In other words, they both cut the course equally. What if that gave them a one second per lap advantage on the rest of the competitors? Wouldn't that be a little bit unfair, and ridiculous?

The rule should say that if you leave the track at any time while completing a pass you have to allow the competitor to repass or you are penalized one position at the completion of the race.

I think the core of the issue here is that Marquez was ahead and made, according to my eyes at least, an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a potential collision. The only advantage gained was that he got to stay upright.

Assuming he would have somehow stayed upright even if he didn't cut across the the rumble strip I doubt the line he took saved him any time on the lap, and the hypothetical that he and Rossi would gain time by doing that every lap is a bit goofy. Obviously that's never going to happen (though it would be hugely entertaining if it did :)), and the rules in this instance were sufficient to cover the on track drama.

You think the only advantage was that he stayed upright? How about the fact that he passed Vale by his maneuver. Wouldn't you consider that an advantage? Oopsie.

You really didn't understand my post did you. I didn't suggest anyone gained a second per lap, it was/is obvious no one did. What I said is WHAT IF they did. Like you said, it was hypothetical, and certainly within the realm of possible, at many corners on many of the current MotoGP tracks.

Attempting to pass on the outside of that corner is entertaining but truly a rookie move that could have been disastrous for both riders.

You certainly have a right to your opinion but your assessment of mine as goofy is uncalled for and a bit immature. Again, just my opinion.

This time is more complicated because both riders left the track. Or, maybe that makes it easier for race direction to decide.

Concur 100%.

Anyone can make a pass by cutting the course. Dorna's unwillingness to enforce its rules has essentially made that portion of the facility part of the racetrack.

Just because it makes for drama doesn't mean it's smart or fair. And I've covered the carnage that happens when one rider spears another one there, and sat and waited for the helicopter. Any rule that encourages dumb riding and dangerous maneuvers needs to be re-evaluated.

Having said that, it was HYSTERICAL to see Rossi get served by Marquez.

During the race Ben Spies called it as it went down and in watching it I 100% agree. Rossi didn't run Marc wide. Rossi couldn't get the bike stopped well enough and barely made it himself. Marc being Marc was already passing into the top of the corkscrew and was run wide. Props to both riders for running it hard and keeping it upright. It wasn't clinically tidy but THAT'S racing!

Rossi also went wide and had to cut the corner. Marquez was already past, it was actually Rossi who tried to defend by pushing him a little wide. I'd say there's not that much wrong with either move.

It's a little different from Rossi's move on Stoner in 2008, since Rossi was on the inside there and nearly torpedoed Stoner coming out of the corner.

so... seems like it ended up being a honda track...

Was a great race. Plenty of battles. Marquez pulled a Rossi on Rossi....it was phenomenal. I am sure he was grinning inside his helmet. It was fun to watch Rossi and him laughing about it after the race. Bradl rode a great race, well deserved podium. Marquez was on a diff level. All the Hondas had excellent pace. One more lap and Mr. Go Shun would have probably beaten Rossi to the flag. Glad Rossi held on it in the last corner. Am really happy for NH69, got the better of Dovi. They had a couple of moments. Fun race. Lorenzo and Pedrosa need to be worried about this rookie. Hopefully all the guys are fit and ready to go at Indy. Great season so far.

...what happend there ??? Worst result this year.
2 injured riders in front or him.
Didn't look like worrying Lorenzo, let alone Pedrosa??? Yamaha....what gives ??

Also no report from the Tech3 team in Yamahas official post race press release. What gives? Have negotiations with Jarvis over Espargaro and satellite team support finally forced Herve to switch manufacturer for next year so Jarvis has pulled all official support from the team? Very lacklustre weekend from the Monster boys.

switched his bike with spies! at least they didnt make it to obvious this time and have it brake in half!

It was almost like Cal and Bradl had swapped bikes and leathers for the weekend. ;p

The interesting thing over the weeks to come will be how Dani handles this. He's going to have to come out, all guns blazing at Indy. It's not only Jorge he has to worry about as it is now beyond doubt that his team mate will be challenging for race wins at every meeting.

If I was a gambling man, it might be worth a speculative punt on Marquez for the title now. Before the odds start to shorten!

What if Marquez does win it? Will Dani quit at the end of the year?

"What if Marquez does win it? Will Dani quit at the end of the year?"

I've been wondering that myself. If Marquez takes the title, that will be three teammates that have won a WC next to Dani. Talk about always the bridesmaid............. I would imagine from this point forward the development will be shifting towards Marquez.

Was not much of a chatter box, but one of the favourite sayings of the former three times Formula One champion was "win at the slowest possible speed."

Marc Marquez appears to have taken that on board.

His race time was the slowest at Laguna Seca since Dani Pedrosa won in 2009. Marquez's race time was just 0.885 of a seconds faster than Dani's 44m 01.580s effort of 2009 and much slower than Lorenzo and Stoner's subsequent wins.

Pedrosa's lap record stands from last year, as does Lorenzo's pole record.

If those two had been at 100 per cent this past weekend, who knows what the result may have been.

... or is the once-kitty litter area on the on the inside of the corkscrew now paved? Looking at Rossi's pass on Stoner you can see he barely escaped binning it because he was basically riding on sand. Marc cut far deeper to the inside and appeared to have actual grip on what appeared to be... concrete?

Marc's pass in 2008 would've resulted in an almost-certain crash, probably taking Rossi with him.

It was always paved, Rossi said during Laguna '08 that he went through there during a free practice and the sand wasn't as deep as he thought it would be that's why he did it in the race. But yes they clearly swept the sand from that spot.

It is paved from well inside and above the grate to the curb. My guess from looking at it in person is that if it were all loose earth there would be big drainage and erosion problems in that corner that would compromise the track. If you look at it on TV in different years you see more or less gravel/sand in the corner. I think that may just be due to how aggressively it's groomed or not. I think it is a non argument to grouse or look for issue with that surface and that riders sometimes overshoot onto it. It's very rough and bumpy concrete with gravel strewn on it from further above on the hill. A pretty scary surface to ride on even if it wasn't in a dry version of a ski slope.

It was nice to see both riders cordial after the move instead of the sooking and complaining last time. This is racing.

With more Honda favored tracks to come and with more engines Yamaha has their work cut out for them for the second half. We are already taking bets on which circuit the Factory Yamaha guys will take an additional engine.

In 2008, Stoner & Rossi were racing hard for the victory. In 2013, Rossi knew he would not stand a chance anyway. Besides, Stoner always said it wasn't the corkscrew pass that annoyed him.

What a well designed and executed move by Marquez!
He's been warning since Thursday, when he was taking photos on his scooter parked on the Corkscrew cement.
And no waiting either. As soon as he cleared Bautista and got to Rossi, bang, he does a Rossi. I bet he had marked his entrance point and had clear in his strategy, 'if and when it comes to a duell, that's what I'll do'.
It's an undeniably loud declaration" 'Out of the way grandpa, I'm here!'
That's how you break them, as tought by The Doctor.

Have to agree, whilst I enjoyed the corkscrew incident agreat deal, that is where the comparison ends. Going into race day Casey was 3/4 of a second a lap faster than Rossi whereas Marquez was easily on the faster of the two bikes. Was a great ride by him but the cynic in me thinks that such was the dominance of the honda this weekend he actually only had to beat Bradl however hard Bradl tried.. Any yamaha employees watching Bautista's Honda basically do anything go anywhere, whilst trying to pass Rossi at the end of the race, who was riding on eggshells must be very worried. The seamless gearbox is a bare minimum in the summer break or their season is already over.. Did Jorge win another race for the rest of the season last year?? maybe one?? I haven't checked but Yam are in serious trouble Cal was 15 secs back , that's a long way..

and found the excitement in Rossi-Bautista and Nicky-Dovi interactions.So I really would have liked to have seen them battle to the finish ...instead we get multiple shots of multiple crews hugging and dancing....quite a bummer.... MM is just a level above right now....Rossi is skating on ice. As for 2nd and 4th,it's amazing what talk of losing one's seat can do for your results....

On the crew hugging nonsense. There have to be bigger forces at play in this since it happens so often we miss out on a last corner battle in favor of pitbox shots. Really frustrating.

It's been the same every race this year.

The TV Director needs beating with a stick. We completely missed the last bit of the Rossi/Bautista scrap thanks to him, as well as all the other pointless bits he insisted on showing us. The practice and qually sessions were worse than ever this weekend. On one occassion they decided to cut away from the track action to show us a 30 second study of RDP drinking out of his bottle in the pits. Why do they think we need to see that?

They drive me nuts! What did we get as Rossi and Bautista were batting to the line and past back-markers; a view of Bradl's arse from the bike! Even the commentators on the BBC were frustrated.

Next thing, they'd both crossed the line.

What possesses these numpties in the TV direction?

I agree completely with the above comments. MotoGP is so lacking excitement that it makes it 100 times worse when they cut away from a last lap battle to show the 20+ second winner of the race dawdling over the line.

Last night was a real 'WTF!' moment, but hang on though, we have the technology to fix this. What on earth is wrong with having picture in picture? Surely to Christ the Dorna (or whoever) have heard of that? Hell, even NASCAR has it.

So by all means show pit crews performing staged celebrations as Repsol Honda or Factory Yamaha score yet another dreary win, but stick that in a little box in the top corner and keep the main screen for the racing.

My guess is that you'll not be thrilled with this response, but picture in picture and different camera views are actually available to you right now, if you pay for it. Subscribe to Dorna's streaming race feed (plus a little more to get this specific feature) and you can view the race from cameras of your choice.

I'm not thrilled about the extra cost beyond the base subscription fee, but it's their product so I guess they can charge what they want.

I bet it costs a packet and besides, it shouldn't be necessary. The coverage never used to be like this. It's only in the last couple if seasons that it's really become this annoying. Both in World Supers and MotoGP and also in Formula One this year in the few races that i've watched.

The picture in picture thing would indeed be the most obvious answer to the problem when the bikes are on track. I don't suppose that, even if we all emailed that suggestion to the motogp contact address, it'd make any difference though.

My guess is that Dorna want us to all upgrade to there multi view package and this is one way to make us take the bait.

Famous and infamous MGP section on the race calender. Much debate about not much anyway,but it always provides a great spectacle on camera and much tongue wagging since 2008. Now that other corksrew,the Aragon one. You won't find many a brave soul doing something silly there in the heat of the moment. Not that Rossi in 2008,nor Stoner 2011,nor Marquez 2013 intended something banzai,but it panned out okay all round. I wish some moaners would get off HRC's back regarding the bikes. Hardly their fault they can compete with Yamaha at most circuits and can effect damage limitation at others.
They have two aliens to Yamaha's singleton and that is the difference.
As a Ducatista it is painfull for me to watch that alloy beam effort going nowhere.
On the other hand it was great to see Preziosi' swansong Panigalle show great nimbleness and handling in the wet in Russia,although as ever clearly outgrunted by the 4's.
All credit to Nakamoto/Suppo/Gabarini and crew.
A huge thumbs up to George and Dani. I hope Stefan and Alvaro's seats remain intact. Cal deserves better. Dovi. Well,he got what he wanted and is doing a sterling job in my opinion.

I have to say, Ben Spies has been a revelation as a commentator on MotoGP.com. He provides super-sharp analysis, remarkably accurate forecasts, a dry, almost sardonic sense of humor and a reality check for Gavin and Nick (well, mostly Nick). I do hope when he hangs up the leathers, some broadcaster picks him up immediately. He has the makings to be one of the best racer-turned-commentators out there.

yes I totally agree with your comments on Ben Spies commentating abilities......