Press releases from the teams and Michelin after Sunday's race:
Unshakeable Rossi Conquers Grand Prix of Catalunya
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi returned to the top rostrum today after a brilliant performance at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, celebrating his second victory of the season. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo suffered from a premature ending to the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya after a race incident caused by Andrea Iannone.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi charged to an impeccable victory today at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, taking his second win of the season at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Jorge Lorenzo also set a strong pace over the first stages of the race, but he was unable to hold his lead due to front tyre grip issues. Riding in fifth place, he was looking to take home vital points for the championship, until Andrea Iannone clipped him and caused a DNF for them both.
Starting from fifth on the grid Rossi had his work cut out for him as he dropped back to eighth when exiting the first corner. The Doctor immediately put his nimble YZR-M1 to work and carved his way through the pack like a knife through butter. By the end of the first lap he had overtaken Hector Barbera and Andrea Dovizioso. Riding in sixth place as he crossed the line for the first time, Rossi moved on to his next targets, Maverick Viñales and Andrea Iannone. He overtook the both of them with a great manoeuvre and quickly passed Dani Pedrosa to earn a spot in the top three with still 22 laps remaining to reel in the front riders.
As he pursued Marc Marquez, the Italian quickened his pace setting a fastest lap of the race so far. He soon reached the back of his rival's bike and smoothly passed the Spaniard on lap six and swiftly moved on to pass his teammate to take over the lead on the very next lap. Now with a clear track in front of him, he put the hammer down, but he was unable to shake off Marquez, who was riding in second place.
The end of the race saw a brilliant fight between the two key protagonists. The local rider made a move in turn five, but Rossi was quick to respond with a brilliant move in turn two a lap later. Marquez used the slipstream to find a way through again, but Rossi fought back. With two laps to go the Italian was in Marquez' slipstream and needed no second invitation when the Spaniard left a gap on the penultimate lap in turn seven, allowing Rossi to make the race-winning pass. Marquez was unable to make up the lost time, while Rossi rode towards his second victory of the season, holding a 2.652s margin over the finish line.
Lorenzo had a lightning fast start from second on the grid to take the holeshot. He rode the early stages of the race exactly as he had planned, increasing his lead to over 0.7s by lap two, whilst the 20 riders behind him tried to sort out their order.
The Mallorcan rider pushed hard, but was unable to completely break away from Marquez in second place and his fast approaching Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate. He was forced to let the pair go past with 19 laps to go as he struggled to find grip on the harder front tyre. Lorenzo tried to make his Yamaha as wide as possible, yet Pedrosa also found his way past. He was then put under pressure by Viñales. A hot battle followed, with multiple overtakes from both riders, but in the end Lorenzo was unable to stick with his compatriot as the grip-level of his tyre was too deteriorated. The Spaniard then cleverly focused on collecting as many points as possible and was determined to keep Andrea Iannone at bay, but then disaster struck. Nine laps before the end Iannone ran into the back of Lorenzo's bike whilst entering turn ten, thus ending the race for both riders.
Rossi's first place earns him 25 points. This result keeps him in third place in the championship standings on 103 points, now just 12 points behind Lorenzo in second position.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Until the start of the race it had been a very strange weekend because we faced many issues, first with the front tyre wear, then with the new track layout and finally with the tyre choice. The decision on the tyres was never a question because there was only one option for us, but when we tested the hard tyre in FP4, the riders' feelings were not good at all, so we did not know what to expect from the race.
"Our crew reacted in a magnificent way because they drastically revised the set up of both bikes, especially to make them suitable for T4, which was our weakest sector.
"The race was another bittersweet one after Mugello. I'm almost speechless in front of Valentino's supremacy on track today. I believe he's written a new page in the history of this sport, winning at Montmelò seven years after his last victory here. He's been able to recover from a less than perfect start that moved him back to the eighth place, and then he's given the race a rhythm that was unmatchable for his rivals.
"Jorge did a great start and led the race for six laps, until the front tyre dropped and he had to manage the attacks from Pedrosa, Viñales and ultimately Iannone. I believe Iannone has no excuses and, because it's not the first time he causes such an accident, I expected the Race Direction to be more strict with him, as this incident could seriously compromise Jorge's chances to fight for the title.
"Finally, a special thought to Luis Salom and his family. Today's show, put together by all riders, is the best way to pay tribute to a member of our extended "MotoGP Family" who is no longer with us."
1st / 44'37.589 / 25 laps, Championship: 3rd, 103 points
"I think it was a perfect Sunday, because this morning we improved the setting of the bike a lot and after the warm-up I felt more confident about the race. The race was great! Though the start was not fantastic, I was strong enough to come back, do some good overtaking and arrive in front. From that moment I tried to push at 100 percent to go away alone, but unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to pull away from Marquez. I tried to stay quiet and ride well, because I felt I had a good pace and felt good with the bike. At the end I was ready for the battle, which was a good one, with a lot of overtaking and I was ready to give it a try. You can't wish for a better race, I think. This is one of my favourite tracks and it was from 2009 that I didn't win here, and that wasn't great for me. For this reason I'm more happy today and the battle with Marquez we can put on the same level as the battle with Lorenzo. What happened in Mugello was very sad because I was ready to fight for the victory there, which was fantastic. Over the last week I just thought I had to try do the same, to arrive ready for the race. Together with my team we did a great job and I think this is the best way to forget about the zero points in Mugello."
DNF, Championship: 2nd, 115 points
"First of all, as I said yesterday, everything is secondary after what happened on Friday. About the race, it's unbelievable that Iannone made this mistake again and when he did, instead of saying "sorry" he asked me if I had an engine failure or something strange happening in this corner. I thought it was his fault, but he had this reaction and didn't say sorry. There is always one rider that doesn't understand the risks and that his actions can seriously injure the other riders and if Race Direction don't give him a hard penalisation, like they did with me in 2005, these kinds of riders don't understand that they have to change their mentality. That's why I think starting the race from last position is not enough, because in five to seven laps he will be positioned at the front again due to his pace."
Marquez and Pedrosa achieve great and emotional double podium finish in home race
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both finished on the podium in an emotional and exciting Grand Prix de Catalunya, on a day that all of the riders and the entire MotoGP paddock treated as a heartfelt tribute to Luis Salom.
Marc, who today reversed his race number to the “39” of Salom, earned second position after a long and fair duel with Valentino Rossi, which saw the Honda rider closely chasing the Italian for 15 laps before engaging in an exciting battle for the victory five laps from the end. The pair overtook each other several times before the penultimate lap, when a small mistake by Marc allowed Rossi to pull a little gap. With the tyres put to a severe test by the higher temperature compared to yesterday, and with faultless Jorge Lorenzo out of the race after a collision with Andrea Iannone, Marc wisely settled for second and for 20 very important points, which put him in the leadership for the Championship ahead Lorenzo, Rossi and Pedrosa.
Contrary to his teammate, who raced on hard-front hard-rear Michelin tyres like most of the other riders, Dani opted for a medium-rear hard-front choice, which proved to be the right one for him. He got a brilliant start from the front row but wasn’t able to keep the advantage into the first turn, finding himself in fourth position. He soon overtook Iannone but was passed by Rossi, who was charging from the back. Dani was then involved in a tough duel for fourth with Maverick Viñales, and by the time he got the better of that and then passed Lorenzo for third, he had already lost close contact with Rossi and Marc at the front. Tough he was able to keep a very fast pace, he couldn’t close the gap with the front pair.
The Repsol Honda Team will remain in Montmeló tomorrow for a one-day post-race test.
“It has been a hard weekend for all the riders, but in the end I think that together we paid tribute to Luis Salom with the Sunday that he deserved. It was a nice race with Valentino. I was suffering a little with the increase in temperature and was never completely comfortable, so I was unable to try overtaking at the right time. I had a couple of scares and started doing the math for the standings in my head, knowing that Jorge Lorenzo was out of the race, and I think that in the end, a podium finish is a very positive result for the Championship. Another thing that’s important for motorcycle racing is that Valentino and I shook hands; it was probably the weekend and the right situation to do so.”
“This has been a positive race. We opted for the intermediate rear tyre because I felt more comfortable with it. On the first few laps I tried not to wear it down too much so as to keep it in good condition for the final stretch of the race. In the fight with Maverick Viñales I lost contact with the front group, but I managed to set a good pace and push a little more. In the final laps, the rear tyre had degraded quite a lot and there was nothing more that I could do. I’m happy to get back at the front and return to the podium, and to do so at home but on the other hand it’s been a difficult weekend for what has happened. Luis’s family wanted us to continue, and we gave our all for him and for them. The minute’s silence, with all the riders and the whole MotoGP family, was really emotional.”
VIÑALES & SUZUKI FOURTH AT THE CATALAN GP
Jun 5th, 2016
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 5.
Maverick Viñales scored a brilliant result at his home MotoGP™ race for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR at the Circuit Catalunya-Barcelona today with a hard-fought fourth position aboard his GSX-RR.
The 21-year-old Spaniard set a blistering pace from the start, moving-up to fifth from his sixth-placed grid position, to hound the leading pack in the early stages, as he lapped even faster than the leaders: In his fifth lap he scored the new circuit record with the stunning 1'45.971, but as the chase to the podium positions was very demanding for the tyres, this forced him to reserve wear and settle for the fourth position.
Team-mate Aleix Espargaró, unfortunately suffered with electronic issues. After the normal tyres dropped, the issue became too prevalent and he had to pull-out of his home race with seven laps to go.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR will now stay one more day in Catalunya for a session of IRTA tests tomorrow where technicians will verify the data collected over the weekend and prepare for the upcoming races; working particularly with the evolution chassis and fine-tuning of electronics.
Dovizioso finishes seventh in Catalan GP at Montmeló, while Iannone crashes out on lap 17
It was a difficult Catalan Grand Prix for the two Ducati Team riders today at Montmeló. Andrea Dovizioso finished the race in seventh place, after suffering a lack of grip on the rear tyre from the early laps, while Andrea Iannone, who was running well in sixth place and who had caught Lorenzo, had to retire on lap 17 after a crash in which he also brought down the Spanish rider.
Afterwards the Race Direction decided to inflict a penalty on the rider from Abruzzo who will now start from the last row of the grid in the next round of the championship, the Assen TT race on June 26th.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th
“Obviously I’m not happy with today’s result. In the race I felt there was something wrong on the rear tyre and together with Michelin we are having a look to study exactly what happened. I could feel the lack of grip since the warm-up lap, and at a certain point the drop of the rear tyre became too much and made it impossible for me to continue in those conditions. In any case our bike here at Barcelona wasn’t as competitive as it has been at other tracks and so now it’s important to understand what didn’t work in order to improve the things we are still missing.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – DNF
“I am very sorry for what happened with Lorenzo because I was doing a good race with the limited grip I had. I was riding well and pushing hard, without making any errors, and had even managed to catch Jorge. As for the incident, I can only say that I could do nothing to avoid it: I braked at the same point as all the previous laps but he was very slow at that moment and unfortunately I made contact with him and we both crashed. It might seem that I came in too fast and that I wanted to pass him but that’s not the way it went and we got the confirmation of this by analyzing the telemetry data.”
BAUTISTA RIDES HIS APRILIA RS-GP TO EIGHTH PLACE IN THE CATALUNYA GP. BRADL ALSO IN THE POINTS
ALBESIANO: “A GOOD AN IMPORTANT RESULT. WE ARE APPROACHING A GOOD LEVEL”
In the best performance so far by the fledgling Aprilia RS-GP, Alvaro Bautista authoritatively takes a nice eighth place finish in the Catalunya GP that was raced with rider Luis Salom in everyone's thoughts.
Penalised by his spot on the starting grid, Bautista rode an intelligent race, making up positions from the start. But he gave the best of himself in the last third of the race when he consistently lapped at times that were higher only to those of the riders battling for the top spots, overtaking Redding, Miller and, in the final two laps, Barbera and Petrucci. In the end he finished with an eighth place that represents one of the best performances by the Aprilia RS-GP in its début on this track.
The growth of the RS-GP project is marked by both Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders placing in the points: Bradl, twelfth across the finish line, also rode a comeback race where he moved up six positions with respect to his initial spot at the start.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“We are truly pleased. It was a race that the team and the riders managed very intelligently. Yesterday in practice, partly due to bad luck – and I am talking about Alvaro's crash at the end of FP4 that forced him to ride the second bike in qualifying – we missed taking a position on the starting grid that would have let us finish farther forward. The race was a marathon based on optimum tyre management. In the last eight or nine laps Alvaro was lapping at a top-5 pace. We are still lacking a little something on the flying lap with fresh tyres, although we are not in bad shape, but the general balance of the bike and power management are approaching a good level. This is an important result, made on the track, that boosts morale. Stefan also rode a good race, even if he is not as much of an expert as Alvaro at managing worn tyres, in the end he finished easily in the points, completing the entire team's great performance”.
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“This is a fantastic result that the team was building toward throughout the weekend. Yesterday we did a lot of work with used tyres in order to have a bike that would perform well in every phase of the race. And the hard work paid off today in the race. It's a shame that the crash yesterday forced Alvaro to ride the second bike in Q1, preventing him from finishing in a better position, which was definitely within reach and that could have led to an even better finish today. Stefan also rode well and finished in the points, leaving several other riders behind, so we did well today”.
“I am truly satisfied with this result that came thanks to the hard work of the entire team. During practice I had a few difficulties. The bike was unstable and we had to work hard to find a setup that would conserve the tyres. In the warm-up session I decided to increase the restriction, so in the first laps of the race I could see that the others had an advantage coming out of the turns. I wasn't unnerved by that. I stayed calm, trusting in the quality of the work we had done. In fact, in terms of pace, the choices we made proved to be the right ones. I made a lot of nice passes and, especially in the second half of the race, I was really able to be fast. It's a shame about the starting spot, which in no way reflects our level. Unfortunately, after the crash in FP4 on Saturday I just wasn't able to find the same feeling in qualifying. Tomorrow we will test on this track and try to continue improving, with our thoughts already on Assen, where we will find very different characteristics”.
“We achieved a good result in conditions that were not very easy, but I cannot be entirely satisfied. In fact, our times were quite a few seconds off Alvaro's, whereas usually our pace is quite similar. Now we need to investigate this aspect in view of the next races. The positive side is that the only person who overtook me in the race was my own teammate. We figured out that in these conditions, where tyre management makes the difference, even the slightest change has a significant impact on the bike's performance. We'll use the tests tomorrow to look at this situation more in depth and to have some clearer ideas for the coming races”.
Miller battles to career best MotoGP finish in Barcelona
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller ended an emotional race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a career best 10th place finish in the MotoGP World Championship.
The 25-lap race took place in baking hot conditions that saw track temperature peak at a punishing 48 degrees, but Miller coped brilliantly with rapidly deteriorating grip to claim the first top 10 of his premier class career in a race that captivated a crowd of close to 100,000 fans.
Tito Rabat produced a truly heroic performance to score his first World Championship points since round three at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
Riding just 15 days after breaking his left collarbone in Mugello, Rabat secured 14th place with a daring overtake on Michele Pirro on the final lap.
After Miller and Rabat finished inside the points scoring places together for only the second time in 2016, the pair can now look forward to making further progress with the performance of their Honda RC213V in tomorrow’s one-day post race test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Jack Miller: 10th
“I’m really happy to be back in the points and I had a big fight throughout the race and really enjoyed it. I tried to conserve my tyres because I knew we would lose some grip in the hot conditions and it was a strategy that paid off. I definitely feel like I got the most potential out of the bike today. I tried to save the tyres in Jerez and I probably conserved them too much and felt I could have pushed more. But today I gave it my all and I used the whole performance potential of the rear tyre. To finish in the top 10 for the first time in my MotoGP career is a really big boost for me. My guys have stuck with me all through a difficult first part of the season and I’m happy for the team. And I dedicate my first top 10 in MotoGP to my friend Luis Salom, who I will miss greatly.”
Tito Rabat: 14th
“I am really happy to finish inside the points in my home race and I want to thank all the people that helped me to get this result just over two weeks after I broke my collarbone. It was very a physically demanding race for me in the hot conditions but I’m so pleased to get more crucial mileage under my belt on the bike and I was able to gain a lot of experience, despite being less than 100% fit. I made a bad start in the race but I recovered well and made some good overtakes and I’m happy to finish. It has been a difficult weekend after the sad passing of Luis Salom and I was determined to finish for him. Now I can focus on continuing my recovery to be back to full fitness in Assen.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“After a very difficult and emotional weekend here in Barcelona, I am glad that Jack and Tito played their part in a race that was a fitting tribute to Luis Salom. Our goal as an Independent Team is always to be in the top 10 and I’m really happy Jack achieved that today to get his best ever premier class result. I hope this gives him confidence to push on in the next few races and we can see him in the top 10 on a consistent basis. There is not much I can say about Tito other than he did an unbelievable job. Honestly, I wasn’t sure he would be able to finish the race because of his condition but he never gives up and he deserved to finish in the points after demonstrating so much determination.”
Great race for Petrux in Barcelona. Scott can not find the right pace after a very good weekend.
The Grand Prix de Catalunya ends with a great performance of Danilo Petrucci, who managed to hit the third consecutive Top 10 after his return from the injury, but also with the difficulties faced by Scott Redding after a very good weekend.
Both Octo Pramac Yakhnich’s riders had to deal with an high consumption of rear tires experienced by their two Ducati Desmosedici GP.
Following a good start, Petrux managed to save the rear tire until five laps from the end. After a battle with Barberá, during lap 11, Danilo was able to recover Dovizioso and fight for the first place among the Ducati. With four laps to go Petrux passed Dovi, then the consumption of the rear tire suddenly grew and the rider from Terni failed to maintain the seventh position, and he had to settle for the ninth place.
Scott started badly as he found himself fifteenth after three turns. Despite the good feelings of the weekend, with an ever faster pace, as confirmed also by the the race pace recorded during the morning warm-up, the performance of the Ducati Desmosedici GP #45 was probably influenced by a higher track temperature compared to the one during the practice and the qualifications.
16th - Scott Redding
It is really difficult to explain what happened with such a so high rubber consumption. We did well throughout the weekend but in the race, after a few laps, it was difficult to ride. Probably it is also due to the temperature as today it was very hot. I expected a lot more, to be honest. We have to work a lot because all Ducati struggled while I see that other manufactories have done well. I tried during the race to change my riding style to adapt it to the rubber. I did everything but there was nothing he really could to change things.
9th - Danilo Petrucci
It was a good race until five laps from the chequered flag when I managed to pass Dovizioso. I was calm throughout the race to preserve the rear tire and I thought I could play with him for seventh. Then I felt that the rubber was over, almost suddenly, and it was very risky. I do not know what was the problem, maybe it depends on our set up as the tire that we used was the same as Valentino, Marquez and Pedrosa. However, I want to thank the team for the great job they have done: we have proven to be competitive in any circuit. I would have liked to be the best Ducati.
Espargaro stars at home GP to clinch 5th
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro produced a superb performance in front of over 100,000 passionate fans to seal the top independent position for the fourth time this season. The 24-year-old Spaniard kicked off his campaign from the 12 place on the grid and launched forward when the lights went out before closing the first lap in 8th. With the target being a strong finish in front of his home crowd, Espargaro quickly stuck into a formidable pace and he dived past the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso two laps later. He continued pushing and was running in 5th with a third of the distance left to run, before meeting the chequered flag in this position, marking a positive close to the weekend for the Barcelona born rider.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Bradley Smith's weekend came to an unfortunate end after withdrawing from the race six laps in due to a technical issue with the engine. The young Briton began the race from the fifth row of the grid and he undertook a solid start after taking the outside line into the first turn. However, shortly afterwards he dropped to the back of the field and then despite his best efforts he was forced to retire a few laps later. Today's result marks a disappointing end to a tough weekend for the 25 year old, yet, after tomorrow's test at the Catalunya circuit, he will seek to bounce back strongly at the Dutch Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.
5th / +29.546 / 25 laps, Championship: 6th / 59 points
"Even though I am really pleased with my performance today, I have to say that it was a hard weekend and the race was especially challenging but my main target was to finish the GP for Luis so I put in 200% effort and achieved it. When I was sitting on the grid, I was a bit unsure about which rear tyre to run. I had used the medium compound all weekend long, yet the majority of the grid was going for another option and only Bradley, Dani and me picked the medium compound. Now I believe it was definitely the right choice, especially because we were able to be strong in the opening laps after a good start. Then, I kept the distance from Cal and pushed until the chequered flag. Looking back on the weekend, I have to say that I believe it was the right choice to continue the event. In our sport we showed that we are a big family, and even if all of us didn't know Luis, we gave our respect to him, with the three best riders in the race demonstrating this by putting on the memorial shirts as well as all the riders running Luis' number. We had to make some important decisions in the safety commission to show the world that we care and that we are united but, he will always be in our thoughts and the best way to remember him is to continue showing our love as a family. Next up we have a test tomorrow, and then after that it will be round 8 in the Netherlands."
DNF, Championship: 12th / 29 points
"It goes without saying that this is quite an upsetting way to finish the Grand Prix. As soon as we began, I noticed that something wasn't right with the bike, even though I didn't know immediately what it was. We lost a lot of positions and I was struggling when slowing the bike down. Now, we will obviously investigate what happened in order to figure out what the issue was. However, it's frustrating to finish this way because I certainly felt that we could have had a really positive close to an otherwise tricky weekend. Thanks to the Tech3 team for their efforts in Catalunya, we'll work out the issue and then start again with testing tomorrow. Nevertheless, I am certain that we can get right back to where we need to be at the next round which is the Motul Dutch TT."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
“Everyone thought the change in track layout would be a handicap for Yamaha due to the first gear corners, but in the end it was amazing to see Valentino fighting with Marc. On our side, there was a big disappointment because after the struggle that we had in practice, Bradley found his pace and we were very confident that a top eight result was achievable. He had an ok start but we could see from lap two onwards that there was an issue. He pitted shortly after and unfortunately suffered a technical issue with the engine. This was a big pity because he could have finished strongly. On the other side, Pol did an amazing job. We knew that he had the speed even if he didn’t get that one hot lap in qualifying, and we have been working a lot on our race pace. His start was great and he pushed hard at the beginning, then once the race settled half way through, he watched his pit board very closely and managed to keep the gap to the rider behind. Eventually, he brought the bike home in 5th, which is a great result for him and us at his home GP. We are competitive and this is the main thing, but there are eleven more races and we are sure there will be more success with Brad and Pol. It was very important and an amazing sign of respect to witness Valentino, Marc and Dani wearing Luis Salom shirts on the podium and also seeing all the riders with number 39 stickers. We want to dedicate this great weekend of racing to Luis Salom and his family. The whole paddock is thinking a lot about his mother who was very close to him, and the one minute of silence was very emotional for everybody and I’m sure no one will forget Luis.”
Eleventh place for Hector Barbera in a difficult Catalan Grand Prix
Avintia Racing rider Hector Barbera was very optimistic for today’s Catalan Gran Prix after his fantastic fourth place in qualifying yesterday. The start was not great and he lost some places during the first lap, but when he started to find his pace, the rear tyre started to lose grip and he had to fight with his bike in every corner until the end of the race. Barbera crossed the line tenth, but afterwards was penalized with one place because he cut the new chicane on the last lap. The positive result of this race is that the Spaniard is still eight in the World Championship standings after seven rounds.
Michele Pirro, who was replacing Loris Baz in Barcelona after the injuries sustained by the French rider at Mugello, suffered the same grip problems as Barbera during the race. Ducati’s test rider finished the race 15th, but he thinks that working a little bit more with the electronics the GP14.2 has the potential to fight for the ‘Top 10’ in every race.
Hector Barbera will have a one day test tomorrow in Barcelona and he hopes to find something that will help him to battle for better results in the next races.
Hector Barbera - P11
“This is not the result I was expecting today after what we achieved yesterday. The race was very difficult because of the tyres and after six laps I had no grip at all, the bike was spinning a lot and the traction control was working everywhere. In these conditions the bike was not working like yesterday and I had to slow my pace. The lack of grip was increasing lap by lap and the bike became unrideable. I was patient and I tried my best to get the bike back to the garage, but I was more than five seconds slower compared with yesterday. We’ll try to find something in the test we have tomorrow, but I think that we need some help from Michelin.”
Michele Pirro - P15
“The race was really difficult because I had no grip and the rear was spinning a lot. With this problem, it was impossible to get a better result. I also lost some time in the first few laps and with the lack of grip the race became more difficult. We knew that it would be difficult, but I expected a better result today. I want to thank the team for this race again, we worked really well during the weekend. Overall I think that working more on the electronics, the package has the potential for ‘Top 10’ finishes in every race.”
CRUTCHLOW SATISFIED WITH SIXTH IN BARCELONA
The LCR Honda Team celebrated their best result of the season so far in Barcelona this Sunday, as Cal Crutchlow took sixth place in the Grand Prix of Catalunya. The British rider worked hard to battle his way through the pack after a difficult start from seventh on the grid, and despite the searing conditions and greasy track surface he was able to secure ten points for his championship account.
Tyre degradation was a serious issue in the Spanish heat, but Crutchlow managed his Michelin rubber well to ensure he scored decent points for a second race in succession. Having dropped to eleventh in the blast down to the first corner, he gradually worked his way through the order, before scrapping with former team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. After eventually breaking free of the Italian it was a lonely ride, but one which the 30 year-old savoured.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 6th
“I finished sixth today, and you have to finish the race in order to pick up some points. First and foremost I beat a lot of guys that I didn’t last time out, and it was a real race of survival. I struggled for speed on the bike, but thankfully I had a great rear tyre. It’s crucial to get away in those first ten laps though, and I just felt I had no speed and I couldn’t use the rear tyre to get a run on anyone.”
“I lost some time behind Dovizioso, because I couldn’t stay in front. I’d pass him, or have to lunge at him but he could get past me again. By the time my rear tyre was done, I was riding alone. I wasn’t going to get caught from Dovi behind, but I couldn’t catch Pol Espargaro. I ran off the track a couple of times in braking zones, but I managed to bring the bike home which was the main thing. I’m not pleased with the distance to the winner, but I’m happy.”
ROSSI AND MICHELIN CONQUER IN CATALAN CONTEST
Valentino Rossi rode to a stunning victory on new compound Michelin tyres at the Catalunya MotoGP™ this afternoon as the nine-time World Champion fought off the challenge of his nearest rivals to take his seventh premier class win at the Montmélo circuit.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Rossi was blocked on the first corner and relegated to eighth position. He quickly rectified that with his trademark passing manoeuvres and was soon in to fourth place. Over the next few laps Rossi passed the Honda of Dani Pedrosa, pole-setter Marc Marquez also on a Honda and previous championship leader – and Yamaha team-mate – Jorge Lorenzo, as he moved to first place on lap-seven. Using the new compound hard front and rear MICHELIN Power Slicks, the Italian consistently circulated the Catalonian circuit at the head of the field before Marquez chased him down and challenged for the lead with five laps remaining. The pair battled for the victory as the race drew to a close, before Rossi took the initiative after a mistake by Marquez and made the final decisive break to take a hard-fought, but thoroughly deserved victory, with Marquez following him home with the consolation of taking the championship lead.
A crowd of almost 100,000 people packed the grandstands and were treated to a superb day of racing from all three classes. In beautiful, warm sunshine today’s track temperatures rose to the highest this weekend as the asphalt reached 48°C, this combined with the poor condition of the surface, which gave little grip to the riders, made tyre choice an important factor. The majority of the field went for a hard front and rear selection, to give durability over the tough 25-lap race. Pedrosa was one rider to make a different choice, as he chose a medium compound rear to partner his hard front, and used the pair to good effect to take the final podium position.
Fourth-place went to Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales, while the honour of First Independent Rider was secured by Pol Espargaro on a satellite Yamaha, an impressive result and one that also showed the performance of the medium compound MICHELIN Power Slicks, as the Spaniard was one of only two riders to use these on the front and rear of their machines. Cal Crutchlow on a Honda was sixth, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso seventh, with the Aprilia of Álvaro Bautista taking eighth. Danilo Petrucci on a Ducati was ninth and Honda’s Jack Miller rounded out the top-ten – the best result of his premier class MotoGP career so far. Lorenzo didn’t make it to the chequered flag, after an incident which saw Ducati’s Andrea Iannone collide with the current World Champion and leave both of them on the side of the track and out of the race on lap-17. This was the only crash during today’s race and for the second successive event no crashes were contributable to tyres, a fact that underlines the advances Michelin is making as the season progresses.
Today’s race was held on a revised circuit configuration, to the one originally planned, due to the tragic events which have overshadowed this weekend’s proceedings. During Friday’s second Moto2 Free Practice session Spanish rider Luis Salom crashed at turn-12 and the 24-year-old succumbed to his injuries. Following the fatal crash and subsequent discussions, the layout of the circuit was changed for safety reasons and the F1 track configuration was implemented. This featured the addition of the chicane at turn-12, designed to miss out the corner where the accident happened. Everyone at Michelin would like to pass on their condolences and deepest sympathies to the family, friends and team of Luis Salom.
Michelin will remain at Montmélo for a one-day test on the Monday where the latest versions of the MICHELIN Power Slicks will be tested and evaluated by all riders. The paddock will then move to the most northerly circuit on the calendar, as the championship heads to Assen in the Netherlands for the Dutch TT on Sunday 26th June, the first time this iconic race has not been staged on a Saturday.
Valentino Rossi – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP:
“We were a little bit worried about what might happen, because yesterday we had a bit of a problem with the hard tyre and making it work, but today it was good and worked well in the temperature with my bike. I think it was difficult for everybody with some spinning, but the tyres worked really well and I am very happy with the result.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“This has been a very difficult weekend for all concerned, after what happened on Friday, and I would firstly like to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Luis Salom, it was a terrible tragedy and one that nobody ever wants to happen.
“Regarding the race weekend, we had a selection of tyres that we thought would work well here in most conditions, but we never expected the surface to be as poor as it was. The track gave very little grip and all the teams had to work hard to get the best for their bikes. The change of layout also made a big difference and changed the stresses that were put on the tyres. For the race itself the track was at almost 50°C, but the majority of the field used the new hard compound tyres to cope with these difficult conditions and although we experienced quite high levels of wear we were pleased with the overall performance. Valentino rode a great race and when he came under attack from Marc the performance in the tyres was still there in the last laps to produce a memorable end for the fans. One of the most pleasing aspects of today’s race was that again we had no crashes that the tyres could be held responsible for and it was a close race right until the end. This is another step forward for us and shows that we are continuing to work in the right direction. We now have a test on Monday, when we have some tyres for all the rides to try, hopefully this will give use more information as we head towards the second half of the season and some very challenging circuits.”
Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya
CRUTCHLOW BACK ON FORM IN CATALUNYA
Isle of Man – based midlander Cal Crutchlow bounced back to form with a hard fought sixth place at round seven of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona this afternoon. The LCR Honda rider had crashed out of his previous three races at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya but in a dramatic 25 laps he battled though for a morale boosting finish. Irishman Eugene Laverty continued his points scoring record at the opening seven rounds in 13th place, but for Scott Redding and Bradley Smith it was a frustrating afternoon. Redding limped home with tyre problems in 16th while Smith was forced to retire with a major technical issue after just five laps.
It was also a tough afternoon for Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes. He started the Moto2™ race leading the World Championship, but slipped to second after a damage limitation ride into sixth place. Last year’s Moto3™ winner Danny Kent retired in the early stages with mechanical problems. Twenty one year old Scotsman John McPhee battled bravely to pick up a hard earned point, finishing 15th in the Moto3™ race.
Rossi gets revenge in Barcelona thriller
Anticipation for the MotoGP™ World Championship race at the circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya continued to grow as the riders sat on the grid. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was on pole position, but both Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) seemed to have found something on the new layout in Warm Up. High track temperatures had riders cautious about tyre life.
From fifth on the grid, Rossi was shuffled back in the opening melee and found himself in seventh on the first lap. At the beginning of the second lap he and Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) made an incredible pass on Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team). ‘Rossi was almost immediately on Pedrosa’s tail, passing him on the third lap. On lap seven he took the lead from Lorenzo with a classic move into Turn 1.
Marquez launched from pole position and managed to hold onto second into the first corner but the local rider soon found himself with Rossi for company. Marquez followed Rossi through on Lorenzo. Five laps from the end and they were right together, Marquez doing all he could to wrestle past Rossi. He may have been unable to grab victory, but Marquez moves to the head of the championship and is ten points clear of Lorenzo in second.
Two perfect final laps saw Rossi to his second win of the season. Handshakes were exchanged between the two in Parc Ferme, the thrill of a great battle burying any hard feelings that may have lingered. All of the riders took to the podium wearing shirts to honour the memory of the late Luis Salom.
Dani Pedrosa was within touching distance of his teammate Marquez during the opening laps, the experienced Spaniard working hard to take back the aggressive Viñales. Pedrosa was able to pass Lorenzo for third on lap nine. It proved a lonely end to the race for Pedrosa, his second podium of the year.
Jorge Lorenzo made a perfect start and rocketed off the line to lead into Turn 1, holding the advantage as the field completed the first lap. But his lead wouldn’t last. On lap seven he went from first to third within just a few corners. His pace continued to drop as Pedrosa went past, Viñales following soon after. On lap 17 the almost unbelievable happened as Andrea Iannone left his braking too late at Turn 10, smashing into the back of Lorenzo. Both riders went down, Lorenzo clearly furious with the Ducati rider.
Viñales was more aggressive than ever in the opening laps, but his aggression would be his downfall as he made a number of mistakes. He finally managed to pass Lorenzo to move into fourth, where he would finish.
Pol Espargaro (Tech3 Yamaha) worked his way to fifth to seal top Independent Team rider honours and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) finished sixth, his best finish of the year and his first top ten of 2016.
Inch-perfect Zarco charges to emotional Catalan GP victory
All eyes were on the leading two on the Moto2™ World Championship grid, pole setter Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) and Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) having set the pace on the new layout. Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) made an incredible start to lead into Turn 1 with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) sliding in just behind him.
From lap two onwards Zarco was locked in the battle for the podium and at the start of lap 17 he took the lead for the first time and quickly opened up a half second lead. Zarco would eventually cross the line four seconds ahead of Rins, taking a perfect 50 points from the last two races and moving into third in the championship.
Rins may not have had the best launch but was up into second within just a few corners. The Barcelona native scythed through on Luthi at the end of the first lap to lead across the line. Zarco was right with him, sticking on his tail and occasionally applying pressure. The Frenchman would eventually get past and although unable to challenge for victory, Rins takes the lead in the championship.
The battle for third was one of the most thrilling of the weekend, Tom Luthi holding the position for much of the race. Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) was gaining on him but on lap 12 Marquez crashed at Turn 10, Nakagami then picking up his challenge and taking third from Luthi on lap 17. The Japanese rider returned to the podium for the first time since Misano 2015.
Luthi fell into the clutches of Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia). The two battled till the end with Syahrin winning out for fourth position.
Championship leader when the race began; Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was unable to challenge the top five. He eventually finished sixth, losing the championship lead once more in an ever-tightening Moto2™ championship.
Tactical Navarro holds off attacks to take his maiden win
Sun graced the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya as the Moto3™ World Championship lined up on the grid, with Championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on pole.
While the opening laps were hectic for some, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) he worked his way to the front of the field until a mistake on lap eight dropped him from first to fifth. By lap 15 he had again worked his way to the front and once more attempted to break away. His plan would eventually work, the Spaniard going on to take his first ever World Championship victory by 0.564s.
Binder made a fantastic start and led into Turn 1, but found himself surrounded by rivals. The leading three looked to be breaking away from Binder, but he rallied and caught them within a few laps, leading across the line on lap 10. Five laps from the end disaster struck for Binder, Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) colliding with the rear of his KTM and sending them both wide. With three laps to go Binder looked to be out of contention, but a stunning move at the start of the last lap saw him take second. His lead shrinks by only five points, leaving Barcelona with a 44-point lead.
The race marked a return to form for Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3), the Italian in contention from the start. He attacked and defended till the end, returning to the podium with third place and keeping his perfect podium record in Catalunya alive.
Action was intense throughout the race, the front eight eventually becoming the front five. Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) was a man on a mission. The Italian was quickly inside the top five, in podium contention by lap eight, eventually finishing fourth ahead of teammate Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46).
Cal Crutchlow was the first British rider across the line in the MotoGP race in Barcelona
Valentino Rossi celebrates his second win of 2016