Moto2 standings after the fourth race of the season in Jerez:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Jerez:
Moto3 standings after Jerez:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race in Jerez:
Coming into the weekend of Jerez, we knew several things to be absolute certainties. 1. Jerez is a Yamaha track. 2. Ducati always does terribly at Jerez. And 3. The Hondas will struggle against the might of the Yamaha. After qualifying, a swift dose of reality has flushed those preconceptions out of our systems, showing them up for the fallacies that they are.
After qualifying at Jerez, we have an all Honda front row. Two Yamahas start from the second row, but their performance during both qualifying and free practice was far from convincing. The first Ducati sits on the third row, but during practice, Jorge Lorenzo made the Desmosedici GP17 fly, finishing second in FP3 and fourth in FP4.
Where did this shake up come from? The issue is mainly one of grip. After the rain on Friday, there is very little rubber on the track, and the warmer track temperatures has made Jerez its normal, greasy self. The Yamahas perform well when grip is high, whether that be in warmer or cooler temperatures. Extra grip merely helps the RC213V want to wheelie, something for which it needs little encouragement anyway. Robbed of its winglets, the Ducati needs extra rear grip to get good drive out of corners, and exploit its strongest point.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Jerez:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class in Jerez:
In the high temperatures under the Andalusian sun, most of the grid was keen to try out the harder front tyre. Marc Marquez was the one to make the most of it, with a hard-hard combination that proved much less successful for Valentino Rossi. The reigning world champion used the hard rubber to post the fastest time of the session, as well as a good pace with high 1:39s and low 1:40s.
Discussions are currently underway to review the schedule of the MotoGP event at Qatar. The current time schedule, with all three classes taking place after sundown, creates significant headaches for the class, as was apparent at the opening race of the 2017 season, when rain caused qualifying to be canceled and threatened to postpone the race to Monday.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Jerez:
We’re only four races in but you wouldn’t really expect anything else but an EG 0,0 Marc VDS bike into top position in any one session of your choice, would you? And so it was, Alex Marquez hogging another headline in Jerez. It could have been an even better headline if he had another three thousandths of a second in hand to beat the lap record. Maybe in qualifying practice.
Fluffy white clouds on a light blue background made for a much improved picture on Saturday morning and it wasn’t just photographers who were grateful. Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi were on a mission to get back into the top ten, while Dani Pedrosa aimed to make it three out of three. Challenge accepted.