Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Jerez:
Jorge Lorenzo has won the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez for the second year running. And just like last year, he did so after a battle with Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda rider losing out. But there, all resemblances end. The riders had already complained that the track was slippery, but the rain made the situation much worse, and the race was decided in the end by a series of crashes.
Pedrosa got away from the line fastest, with Casey Stoner following in his wake, but Pedrosa's lead would not last very long. Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner were soon past, and were quickly joined by Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso. Some semblance of order shook out at the end of the first lap, with Stoner leading Lorenzo, followed by a big chasing group with Marco Simoncelli at the helm.
Shortly afterwards, the madness began. By lap 4, Simoncelli had caught Stoner and Lorenzo, and two laps later, the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider was past. Simoncelli was in a hurry, and quickly pushed to build up a sizable lead. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi had forced his way forward, climbing up through the field to hitch on the back of Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi had revenge on his mind, stuffing his Ducati up the inside of Lorenzo to take over 3rd to start lap 7.
Emboldened by his success, Rossi tried it again on Casey Stoner on the following lap. But Rossi was a little bit too optimistic this time round, starting from further behind Stoner, and the front folded as he tried to turn the bike for Turn 1. Unfortunately for Stoner, the Australian was right on the outside of Rossi's shoulder, and Rossi's bike wiped out the Honda of Stoner. To add insult to injury, the marshals helped Rossi pick his bike up to rejoin the race, but only one marshal came over to try to bump start Stoner's bike, leaving him stranded. After dominating much of the weekend, Stoner was out after a front end crash. This time, though, it wasn't his own fault: instead he was the victim of another rider crashing.
Four laps later, and it was Simoncelli's turn. Riding on his own, with a his first MotoGP victory in view, Simoncelli kept pushing, this time a little too hard. The San Carlo Gresini rider folded the front going into Turn 1, the same place as Rossi, crashing out of the lead and out of the race.
While all this action going on in front of them, the two Spaniards had been remaining calm. Their reward came when Simoncelli crashed out, with Lorenzo inheriting the lead. A victory was far from certain, however, as behind him, Dani Pedrosa was slowly closing him down. For the next three laps, it looked like Pedrosa might catch the Yamaha man, but tires and fatigue meant it was not to be. Lorenzo upped his pace, and went on to take a win in front of the Spanish crowds.
Pedrosa was in trouble from behind, however, as Lorenzo's teammate was starting to close on the Repsol Honda. Ben Spies had been slowly inching forward, and was starting to reel Pedrosa in. It took Spies the best part of 8 laps, but eventually he caught the Spaniard, and a lap later finally managed to barge his way past. His triumph was to be short-lived, however, as a couple of corners later, Spies was also laying the gravel. The treacherous conditions - changeable from one lap to the next - had caught Spies out, denying the Texan his first podium of the year, and Yamaha a 1-2 victory.
With Pedrosa sure of 2nd, attention now turned to the final spot on the podium. This looked to be securely in the hands of Nicky Hayden, but the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team had other ideas. Cal Crutchlow was the first to get close, but he too crashed out, on lap 20. Colin Edwards had more luck at first, catching and passing Hayden, but on the last lap, the fates conspired against Edwards too. His engine cut out, leaving the Texan frustrated at the trackside.
A delighted and relieved Nicky Hayden crossed the line to take the final podium, though he was chased very hard all the way to the line by Hiroshi Aoyama, the Japanese rider saving the race for the San Carlo Gresini Honda. Valentino Rossi, having remounted and ridden hard, grabbed 5th, a remarkable result under the circumstances, but made much easier by the bike having more grip in the wet.
Karel Abraham and Randy de Puniet also hit the gravel, and Andrea Dovizioso pitted for new tires, after the original front gave out on the Italian.
|12||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||HONDA||51'39.633||1 lap|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||YAMAHA||49'17.289||1 lap|
|11||Ben SPIES||YAMAHA||45'04.399||3 laps|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||30'15.977||11 laps|
|58||Marco SIMONCELLI||HONDA||20'17.285||16 laps|
|27||Casey STONER||HONDA||12'53.841||20 laps|