News & Multimedia

MotoGP: Catalunya Grand Prix Storylines

The 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues June 14-16 with the Grand Prix of Catalunya, with action in all three classes – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.

The 18-round World Championship includes the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at four storylines after the first day of the Grand Prix of Catalunya:

Now or Never for Rossi?: Crunch time has arrived for seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, and it’s only the sixth race of the 2013 season.

Rossi made a heralded return this year to Yamaha Factory Racing, which which he won four world titles from 2004-10, after two fruitless seasons with Ducati. But Rossi has just one podium finish so far this season, second in the season opener at Qatar. He is sixth in the standings, 56 points behind leader Dani Pedrosa and 44 behind teammate and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

This season plunged to new depths for Rossi on June 2 at the Italian Grand Prix. He tumbled into the fence in a hard crash on the first lap and didn’t finish. Rossi admitted after that crash that his 34-year-old body ached much more than after similar crashes earlier in his career.

But Rossi responded in fast fashion Friday during the first day of practice at Barcelona, posting the top overall lap. He was .049 of a second quicker than Lorenzo and will try to earning a front-row starting spot for the first time this season in qualifying Saturday.

Watch For Cal: Cal Crutchlow continued his superb season on the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha, ending up fourth overall in practice Friday, just .195 of a second slower than leader Valentino Rossi.

But there’s an important distinction to be made between Crutchlow and Rossi’s laps Friday. Rossi used the softer Bridgestone rear tire – which provides more grip at the expense of durability – on his top lap, while Crutchlow used the hard rear tire.

So there’s a very good chance Crutchlow could earn his third consecutive podium finish this season Sunday, as his top lap proved his machine will have speed and the staying power of a more durable rear tire.

Spanish Civil War: The Grand Prix of Catalunya will put motorcycle racing’s regional civil war on center stage this weekend.

Catalunya, located in the northeast of Spain on the French border, is Spain’s wealthiest and most industrialized region. Its regional capital is Barcelona, which has an intense rivalry in all things with Madrid, the capital and largest city in Spain.

Catalans speak their own distinct dialect of Spanish. The region has its own parliament and executive.

Regional pride was one of the components of the fierce rivalry between Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in 125cc, 250cc and the early stages of their respective MotoGP careers. Pedrosa hails from the Barcelona area; Lorenzo grew up on the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands off the central eastern coast of Spain.

Rookie Marc Marquez is the latest member of the two-wheeled Catalan corps, as he grew up in Cervera, located in the heart of Catalunya.

So if Pedrosa or Marquez win this weekend at Barcelona, expect them to carry the gold-and-red striped flag of Catalunya on their victory lap instead of the similar flag of Spain.

Storm Clouds for Ducati: Ducati continues to creep closer to competitiveness with its GP13 bike this season, the manufacturer’s first full year under the ownership of German auto giant Audi.

Factory team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden are fifth and seventh, respectively, in the World Championship standings. Both have finished in the top 10 in all five races this season, which is a step ahead of Ducati’s nightmares known as the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

But trouble may be looming for Italian icon Ducati.

Dovizioso and Hayden both were not impressed with the team’s “lab bike” – a further development of the GP13 – during testing last week in Italy. The bike continues to suffer from chronic understeer, which has plagued Ducati’s MotoGP machines for the last few seasons.

Both Ducati factory riders reportedly are urging the team’s technical staff to try a radical revision of the GP13 since the “lab” bike offers little to no improvement over their current race bike.

RACE DETAILS:

Race:             Grand Prix of Catalunya

Date:            Sunday, June 16

Round:        Sixth of 18 races in 2013

Circuit:         Circuit de Catalunya, Montmelo, Spain

Distance:         25 laps on 13-turn, 2.937-mile circuit

2012 Winner:        Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha

U.S. Riders:    Nicky Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team; Colin Edwards, Houston, NGM Mobile Forward Racing.

TV:     MotoGP: 7:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, June 16, SPEED. Moto2: 5 p.m. (ET), Sunday, June 16, SPEED. Moto3: Noon (ET) Tuesday, June 18, SPEED.

Web:            www.motogp.com

Twitter:        @MotoGP


***


2013 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event. Visit www.ims.com/tickets, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
MotoGP: Catalunya Grand Prix Storylines
 
MotoGP: Catalunya Grand Prix Storylines
The 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues June 14-16 with the Grand Prix of Catalunya, with action in all three classes – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.
Read More
Related Media
Georgia Street
 
Downtown Georgia Street to Host Free "Rock-IN-Roar 500" Music Festival on May 20
Rock-IN-Roar 500 is a free music festival and community celebration that officially “drops the green flag” on Race Week in Indianapolis.
Read More
Colts Draft Party
 
Indianapolis Colts to Host Fourth and Fifth Round Draft Selections at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting the Indianapolis Colts’ Official Draft Party for the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft. Come out to IMS from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, to witness the Colts’ selections. The event is free and there will be Colts player and cheerleader appearances. You will be able to watch live picks for the rounds made by Colts personalities and Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. There will be complete draft coverage along with fun activities and games from the Indianapolis Colts organization as well.
Read More
Rick Mears vs. Dan Wheldon
 
#ChampsOfThe500 Challenge Reaches Final First-Round Matchups
The final first-round matchups in the "Champions of the 500" bracket challenge are open for voting to determine who will join Helio Castroneves, A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser, Bobby Unser and Bill Vukovich in the quarterfinal round.
Read More
Tony Stewart
 
NASCAR Drivers Turn Test Laps in Advance of July's Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Chase Elliott and Stewart turned laps at IMS on Tuesday and Wednesday for a Goodyear tire test in advance of the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on July 22-24.
Read More
Darius Rucker
 
Multi-Platinum Recording Star Darius Rucker to Perform National Anthem at 100th Indianapolis 500
Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and multi-platinum recording artist Darius Rucker will perform the national anthem before the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,149
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Officially under the 30 day mark to the #Indy500! Only 29 days to go! Name that driver! https://t.co/OpStolpcfF
about 2 hours ago