Press releases from the teams and Michelin after last Sunday's race at Jerez:
Historic Jerez win for unstoppable Pedrosa, Marquez second in Repsol Honda 1-2 podium
Dani Pedrosa took a master-class victory at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, starting from pole position, leading the race from the first corner to the chequered flag, and setting the race’s fastest lap on the way to taking his 30th win in MotoGP, the 53rd in his career.
In winning the 3,000th Grand Prix race ever held, Dani also earned the Repsol Honda Team’s 100th victory in the MotoGP class and became the only rider to have won at least one race for 16 consecutive years. Dani is now fourth in the Championship, with 52 points.
To complete a perfect weekend for the Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez scored a brilliant second-place finish after chasing his teammate for 27 laps. The reigning World Champion is now third in the standings with 58 points, just four down on the leader.
Tomorrow the Repsol Honda Team will take part in a one-day post-race test.
“I’m super-happy with this win in Jerez, a track that I love very much, and in front of my family, my friends, and all these amazing fans. I’m enjoying this emotion so much, more than I would’ve done a few years ago, in a more ‘conscious’ way. I’ve had a great feeling all weekend, and the team have worked so well; we’re getting better race by race and I’m very happy for them as well. We knew we were in a position to have the race we actually did. I felt the tension a little bit before the start, but I remained concentrated and got away well at the start and just went for it. Today the track conditions were a bit worse than yesterday and the front was sliding quite a lot. I chose the hard front because of today’s high temperature, even if the medium was my favourite. The pace probably would’ve been faster with the medium, but anyway I was happy with my choice. When Marc started to push, we started a little battle like yesterday in qualifying. I knew he was very fast but I was determined to keep a gap on him. It was easy to make a mistake, to lose the front, so it was a matter of staying on the limit without going over it. It went well, it was a marvellous weekend, and we now must continue at this level. It’s also a special honour to be the winner of the 3,000th Grand Prix race and be alongside riders like Mick (Doohan, who won race number 2,000) and Angel (Nieto, who won race number 1,000).”
“I’m happy with today’s second place here at Jerez, a track that isn’t among my favourites, and having been able to be competitive and fight at a high level is very positive. Today Dani was really fast, as he has been over the whole weekend, in the wet and the dry. We got closer and closer session after session, but it was difficult to keep his pace. Today I tried to push, to put pressure on him, but even before the race I knew that Dani is very strong here. He’s also very good when conditions are really warm like today, because for me the front tyre is too soft; I mean, I chose the harder option today but even that was too soft for me. I tried to manage during the entire race, and I pushed. In the end I had a few risky moments, so I checked where Valentino and Vinales were and said to myself, Okay, second place is fine. I’m very happy with the result, to be just four points off the top and to be back in the battle for the Championship. The classification is very close and things are going to be very interesting. We must keep working as we’ve done so far. I dedicate this good result to my mom as today is Mother’s Day.”
Jorge Lorenzo takes his first podium of the year with third place in the Spanish GP at Jerez. Fifth place for Andrea Dovizioso
Jorge Lorenzo scored his first podium for Ducati with a third place finish in the Spanish Grand Prix which was held today at Jerez de la Frontera. The rider from Mallorca, who started from row 3 after qualifying eighth on Saturday, produced an excellent race, moving up from eighth to fourth in the first six laps. Lorenzo then passed Zarco on lap 12 and continued to increase his lead over the French rider, crossing the line with around three seconds’ advantage.
Andrea Dovizioso, who was fifth at the chequered flag, also ran a good race. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider powered away from row 5 and had moved up to sixth place by the end of lap 10. Dovizioso then began a terrific scrap with Rossi and Viñales and sealed his fifth place finish on lap 18, after which he held on to finish the race over 1.5 seconds in front of the Spanish rider.
With today’s third place for Lorenzo, the Ducati Team has reached a total of 100 podiums in MotoGP. In the overall standings, Dovizioso is now fifth with 41 points, while Lorenzo moves up to ninth with 28 points.
MotoGP will be back in action again in a couple of weeks time, at the Le Mans circuit in France from 19 to 21 May.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 3rd
“A podium here at Jerez, in front of all my fans and after three complicated races, is the best present I could receive for my thirtieth birthday. It’s a result that gives me more satisfaction than many wins I scored in the past, because it was very difficult to achieve. To finish third on a Ducati at a traditionally difficult circuit for the Desmosedici is incredible! Honestly, I didn’t expect to be able to fight for the podium, and the choice of front tyre was the key. The start was a bit chaotic because of the number of riders ahead of me but I didn’t give up so easily and believed that I could recover to overtake Zarco and finish third. The last few months have been tough, but the most important thing is that I’ve always believed in myself and that the team has shown its full trust in me.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th
“A good result after not a particularly easy weekend, seeing as I was starting from way behind on the grid, something that makes things more complicated. However we were really good, and I managed to make up a lot of positions and ride in a calm way to get a good result at the flag. We worked well all weekend and yesterday I demonstrated that I had good pace, but starting from behind certainly doesn’t help and so I have to try and be more incisive in practice and qualifying. I have to congratulate Jorge because he rode really well throughout the weekend and scored a great result for himself and for Ducati.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Today we did a great job: for us to score a podium here at Jerez was very important. We know we still have a lot of hard work to do, and already from tomorrow here at Jerez we’ll be testing the developments we have prepared, because the gap to the winner is still quite big and of course we want to make up this gap. Jorge did a great race, fully deserving his first podium for Ducati and Andrea was also good, moving up to fifth place: this result is very important for the morale of all of us.”
Challenging Spanish GP through Grip Issues for Movistar Yamaha
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi gave their all in an eventful race today, but a struggle with grip saw the riders finish in sixth and tenth place respectively at the Gran Premio de España.
Viñales started from fourth on the grid, but got pushed back to fifth as the field bunched up in the first corner. He put his head down, but had to let Johann Zarco pass him as he used the opening laps to get heat into his tyres. At the end of lap 5 the familiar number 25 found himself in ninth after a flurry of activity. Jorge Lorenzo had squeezed past and a little later a close battle between Viñales and Andrea Iannone caused both riders to go wide, allowing Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso through. However, the young Spaniard wasnt out of contention yet.
The Yamaha rider was on a second wind and fought his way past Iannone, as Cal Crutchlow crashed out of fourth place. After overtaking Rossi and Dovizioso in one swoop, with 14 laps to go, Viñales tried to shake off both rivals, but was unable to clear off completely. Dovizioso put up a fight and, with ten laps to go, a small moment for the home hero meant he had to hand over fifth place. The Spaniard kept his cool and opted to secure ten solid points for the championship, crossing the line in sixth position, 24.556s from first, after a challenging race weekend.
Teammate Rossi had a solid start from seventh position, climbing up a place going into the first twisty section, but it wasnt to last. He crossed the line for the first time in seventh place as he got into an early battle with Zarco, and later with Lorenzo and Viñales. However, the nine-time World Champion soon saw an opportunity to move up the order and grabbed it with both hands.
Within five laps the Doctor moved up from ninth to fifth, but had to make his YZR-M1 as wide as possible to hold off Dovizioso. With 17 laps to go, a small wobble cost Rossi fifth position. It was the first sign of grip troubles for the Italian, who was unable to keep a charging Danilo Petrucci, Aleix Espargaró and Jonas Folger at bay. He crossed the line in tenth place, 38.682s from the front.
Viñales's sixth place puts him on 60 points and second place in the rankings, two points behind championship leader Rossi, who has earned a total of 62 points. Todays results see Yamaha still holding the lead in the Constructor's Championship with a four-point margin. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team also remains on top in the Team's Championship standings, 12 points ahead of its closest rival.
The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will be back in action in two weeks' time for the Grand Prix de France at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit.
Position: 6th - Championship: 2nd - Points: 60
"It was a strange day. In the warm up I was feeling really good, so precise in all the breaking points, but in the afternoon I didn't have the same feeling. I felt like I was going to crash in nearly every corner, so it was a really strange and difficult day for us. It has been difficult for both sides of the box. We have to think about what happened and try to improve for the next races, because we lost some important points for the championship."
Position: 10th - Championship: 1st - Points: 62
"It was a very difficult race after a difficult weekend. I never had a good feeling with the bike and the tyres. We tried to work a lot, especially to fix the spin and acceleration, but unfortunately for the race we did worse. We tried to modify it a bit, but I was also in trouble with the front. At the end I had to slow down a lot and had a lot of vibration. It was OK to arrive right at the end, but it was a difficult weekend for the whole team. We expected to be stronger and more competitive at this track, looking at the results of last year. We need to try and understand what happened, tomorrow we have the test and well see."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Todays results make for a disappointing ending to the first European round of the season. After the warm up results, we couldnt have expected that the Spanish GP was going to turn out to be this type of race. Maverick started the race with the same configuration as he had during the warm up, but from the very beginning of the race he struggled with the front. Valentino had exactly the same problem. It seems the hardest front tyre works better on our bike in cooler temperatures, because this was the only difference between the warm up and the race. We will analyse todays data and learn from it. Luckily, tomorrow we will spend one more day testing here, so we will try to understand what caused todays outcome."
A GOOD TOP-10 PLACEMENT FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AFTER A DEMANDING RACE
SAM LOWES GAINS EXPERIENCE ON HIS RS-GP
The more than 40°C on the Spanish asphalt had a heavy impact on performance during the Spain GP, a fact that is clear from the numerous crashes despite a less than blinding pace. In these difficult conditions, Aleix Espargaró exploited his experience, riding the number 41 Aprilia RS-GP to a ninth place finish and earning important championship points.
The Spanish rider tackled the early part of the race cautiously, not pushing too hard and aiming for consistent performance. It was a strategy that paid off: twelfth place on the starting grid and fourteenth on the first lap, Aleix maintained nerves of steel and, thanks in part to a few crashes, he earned a well-deserved top-10 finish.
It was a Sunday exam day for Sam Lowes, working hard to manage a situation that was completely new for him and in which it was of primary importance to gain experience. The British rookie's sixteenth place finish kept him out of championship points but it adds an important notch to his belt in terms of MotoGP growth.
Thanks to the placement today, Aprilia moves up a position in the manufacturer standings, now lying in fourth place.
“The race today was one of the most difficult ones of my career. The conditions were truly difficult. It was very easy to crash. After a few laps I even reduced my lean angle. The sliders on my leathers are almost unused and that is something that has never happened for me. I tried to catch up to Folger, but when I saw that the gap was not decreasing I preferred maintaining my position without taking any pointless risks. The result today is important. A top-10 finish after two weekends without any points and in such treacherous conditions is a morale booster. In any case, we need to keep working. Tomorrow we will be on the track again with a lot of things to test in order to grow the RS-GP.”
“This weekend I was able to maintain a good pace during practice, but I was unable to repeat the same performance in the race. I struggled a lot because of the poor grip, both on the rear, where perhaps we made the wrong tyre choice and on the front. Fortunately, we will already be back on the track tomorrow for the tests, where we will try to better understand what happened today.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“In a difficult race characterized by big grip problems, Espargaró put in a solid performance, preferring to bring home a top-10 finish instead of risking too much. Folger could have been within his reach, but in any case we are satisfied that we finished the race after two unlucky weekends. It was a pity about the very early stages of the race that were conditioned by some problems with the gears, costing us valuable seconds, otherwise Aleix would have been able to stay with the group of riders ahead of him. We will pick up from here, aware that we can take advantage of a very important test tomorrow, where we will be developing several areas. Therefore, we are confident in view of the coming races. With Lowes it was maybe too risky a choice for the rear tyre, thinking that it would have paid off in the second part of the race. In reality, Sam struggled with poor grip from the start, something that forced him to ride a race below expectations.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"I am pleased with the result. It was a very hard race. In the early laps, Aleix was definitely conditioned by his spot on the grid, but he did a good job keeping a cool head. His pace was good, as was the bike's performance. I would even say that Aleix's gap was positive, if we don't consider to two Hondas that had an entirely different pace today. Today Sam tackled very difficult conditions for a rookie. He still lacks the experience to manage certain races. I know that he still has a lot to show, but we have the example of many good riders who took time to adapt to the category and that is what Sam needs. We definitely have room to grow. We will be back on the track tomorrow for an important test and to keep growing the RS-GP."
Points for KTM MotoGP and podium for KTM Moto2 at Jerez Grand Prix
RACE 4th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Circuito de Jerez (ESP)
In a weekend when KTM won their third Supercross title in the United States, things were a little harder in the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez today, but a great deal of progress has been made technically with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16 over the Grand Prix weekend as the European part of the MotoGP season kicked off. Qualifying just over a second from the pole position, the KTM team once more scored points with Bradley Smith as team mate Pol Espargaro had an unlucky crash. In Moto2, Miguel Oliviera converted a great fourth grid spot to a third place at the flag to now be third in the World Championship standings. Spain's Marcos Ramirez was the highest KTM in Moto3 with fourth.
Following a successful MotoGP test six days ago at Le Mans in France, the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory team had new engines delivered from KTM's Austrian base for the Jerez GP, taking Bradley Smith to 14th come the chequered flag in Sunday's Spanish MotoGP race. His Spanish team mate Pol Espargaro made a brilliant start off the line on the KTM RC16 to be 11th before an unlucky crash took him out of the race. It was a fast crash, but he was OK and returned to the garage unhurt. The race took place in front of 69,000 fans that included the former King of Spain. A total of 129,890 fans attended the race track over three days.
Smith: "It's been solid weekend for us as from Friday we made a good start in both the damp and dry conditions, but added to that was a positive Saturday with a great time in the morning that nearly got us through to Q2. Qualifying was solid but it was tricky in the race today as we'd never run with these kind of track temperatures with a hard front tyre, so it's still a learning process. With hindsight, we could have changed some things but that's what we learn as a team with this project...but what a step forward from the first three races and a great step to again look forward to at the next race at Le Mans. We have a chance to test tomorrow and get some more data under our belt so that's great."
Espargaro: "I tried too much! I had a good chance to be inside the top ten today but you have to try to see if you can be there because we have the tools here at Jerez after the work that the KTM Factory Racing team has done with the engine. I was trying to reward them, give them some points and a position to be happy with, but I tried a bit too hard...but this is racing. KTM want to be inside the top 10, as I do too, but occasionally a small mistake happens."
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "This weekend has been very positive for us. All the effort from the company for us to utilise this new engine is proof of the hard work from everyone at the factory. We showed clearly during the practice sessions this was a good move and this gave us confidence and strength for the race. At the start of the race it was tricky; the conditions were windy but Pol was in a good position to fight, but he maybe over- pushed a little, but this is racing and I have full respect for this. Bradley scored two points with a good race. We should be happy to score these points here taking the positive because a crash can happen to anyone during a race weekend."
IANNONE CRASHED OUT OF SPANISH GP WHILE TSUDA COLLECTED IMPORTANT DATA
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 7.
Andrea Iannone: DNF
Takuya Tsuda: 17th / +1'27.450
The Spanish GP leaves Team SUZUKI ECSTAR with a bitter taste in its mouth, as the encouraging improvement seen yesterday in qualifying didn’t provide the expected results on race day. Andrea Iannone crashed out with 18 laps to go, thereby losing the chance to score points for the championship. Takuya Tsuda enjoyed his first race in MotoGP, reaching the finish line and gathering important feedback for the engineers.
With a positive start when the red lights went off, Iannone overtook some riders and went into 3rd place at the first corner. His pace was good for the early laps, but then had to let up on the pace and started losing positions, until when in the 7th lap when he lost control of his GSX-RR at corner 11 and crashed out of the race.
Test rider Takuya Tsuda managed to finish his very first race in MotoGP. It has been a good opportunity for him to debut the GSX-RR in a race after doing so much work to develop it, and also advantageous for the engineers and R&D team to get important feedback.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“This weekend has been a tough one for us. We applied some modifications to the setup that little by little proved to be effective. Indeed, in qualifying Andrea was more efficient with the modifications, but then unfortunately the different race conditions proved to be more difficult, and the improvements didn’t work as well as we expected. Tsuda had his very first race in MotoGP after many years of working behind the scenes to develop the GSX-RR, so it wasn't easy for him, but he managed to finish the race and collect a lot of useful data to send back to Japan. Now we will stay in Jerez for two days of testing. We have a few ideas to verify, and we’ll try to improve our situation.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“With Andrea yesterday, we did a good job in qualifying, and we were confident of having a good race because he was able to get that valuable second row position. The first laps did not go not so badly, but then his pace got worse and in the end he crashed. He was not pushing hard, so we should be able to figure out what happened. Unfortunately Alex couldn’t race here, and we hope that he returns soon. Now we have two test days and we will try to prepare ourselves to arrive in the best possible manner to Le Mans. Tomorrow we will also start working with Sylvain Guintoli who will replace Alex in the next races.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t finish the race, but I’m very happy about the first four laps of the race. I am disappointed and sad about the fall because we always want to take home the best result possible and today we could not. I wasn´t able to finish the race and that is very negative. I started well, I made good laps but when the tyres started to slide in either the front or the rear the situation became difficult to manage. Now we have two days of testing and I hope we can work to get to Le Mans in better form. I think today the temperature changed a lot, and this made the track very slippery and tricky for all the riders.”
“As the track conditions changed in every session, it was difficult for me to adapt and change my riding style throughout the weekend. The conditions today at the race were worse than ever, as the track temperature kept rising so much. It was a pity since I felt like I was riding a completely different bike, and I couldn’t show what I learned during the weekend. I thought I could go faster and follow the group in front of me, but I felt there was a considerable risk of crashing. I couldn’t push harder, but the positive thing is that I’ve learned so many things from the race which I’ve never had the chance to experience. I also believe this experience will give more information for the development of the bike in the near future, starting from tomorrow’s test.”
Remarkable Zarco concludes round 4 battle in 4th – Folger notably powers to 8th
Johann Zarco completed a highly impressive rout at the 3000th Motorcycle Grand Prix event today, whereby he finished as the leading Yamaha rider, the top independent competitor and the fastest rookie. The high-flying rookie undertook a memorable charge forward in the opening stages of the race to move up from 6th on the grid to second by the close of the fourth lap. He maintained his consistency before eventually meeting the chequered flag in 4th. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger clinched his third top ten finish of the year as he impressively recovered from slipping back to 14th in the opening part of the Spanish GP. With seven laps remaining, he powered past Valentino Rossi and opened a comfortable gap before speeding across the finish line in 8th.
Position: 4th - Championship: 6th - Points: 35
"I feel so happy about our performance today. Jerez is a complicated track and all of the riders were really close in qualifying so it has been a challenge here. At the beginning of the race, my feeling was great and I felt very comfortable, plus I had the confidence. I was able to overtake some of the top guys and then when I was second, I still felt good. However, I almost crashed twice, which allowed Marc to overtake me and from that moment I was wondering what would happen. I could not push anymore on the front because I was really on the limit and so I wasn’t able to follow the top two riders. I remained in third for a long time, but when Jorge overtook me, I was thinking that I could manage the gap, yet he was more consistent than me in the last eight laps. The target is to be on the podium or as close as possible to it, so we did the job today. I am happy and now I will take a good rest so that I can be strong again for my home race in two weeks. I am positive about going to Le Mans and this is perhaps why I am thinking that everything is going well now, so maybe the most difficult time is yet to come. The best way to control the pressure that I will feel in France is to enjoy every moment, live in the present and appreciate our work."
Position: 8th - Championship: 8th - Points: 29
"I am pleased with the result today and we collected some important points for the championship. I still need to keep improving, but especially on the opening lap. I made too many mistakes today when we got going, but in the race, when the tyres dropped, my pace was similar to Maverick and Johann and I made up a lot of ground. This seems to be the case so far in my rookie season, but I need to work on myself and analyse the Grand Prix to see what I can do differently so that I don’t lose as many positions in the first five or six laps. It was my fourth point scoring finish this year, which I am happy about, and I hope to make a step up at the next round which will be special as it’s the team’s home race in Le Mans."
"It was an unbelievably exciting GP for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. We knew that a good race was possible but the temperature was very high and this circuit gets tricky with the grip when it’s this hot and so the tyres played a big part. At the start, Johann made some really good overtakes to get up to second, and we couldn’t believe how well he was doing, just like in the previous three Grand Prix’s! I thought that he was taking advantage of the softer front than the factory guys and that this would change at the half race distance. Yet, he never slowed down and the tyres were consistent until the finish. I’m sure that he could have made a move on Jorge at the end, but the gap to Dovizioso behind him was increasing all the time, so he wisely decided to bring the bike home and get the points. He was the fastest Yamaha rider and I am honoured that these points will be added to the Yamaha tally in the constructor's championship. I must admit that Johann doesn’t seem to be behaving like a rookie as he was with Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo and he didn’t seem to be struggling to keep up with them at all! This is happening at the best moment because the next round is his home race in Le Mans and I’m sure that everyone will be coming to support Johann and Tech3 there. On the other side of the garage, Jonas Folger produced an incredible ride as well. He was a bit more cautious in the opening laps but then he showed great determination and ran similar lap times to his teammate. Eventually, he caught the group in front of him where Valentino was, and he passed him cleanly before opening up a gap and then meeting the flag in 8th, which is a great team result. Jonas spent a lot of time on his own but the lap times were certainly impressive and just like Johann, he is learning a lot and we are very happy with our two guys. There is a test tomorrow where hopefully both of them will learn more about how to setup and understand their MotoGP bikes. We are a really pleased team and I must say thank you to Yamaha for their superb support and thanks to our riders who both did very well."
Happy end for Reale Avintia Racing riders at the Spanish Grand Prix
Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz finished 21th and 13th in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez today. The result has been far from the expectations of riders and team, but following a tough weekend with a start from the seventh row of the grid, it was still encouraging to get some points and to finish just few seconds from the top ten.
Baz did a great start from 19th place of the grid and rode some strong laps at the beginning to climb to 11th place. Hector Barbera also gained a lot of places in the first half of the race and battled with his teammate and with Scott Redding throughout the race. The final five laps were really exciting to watch, with both Reale Avintia riders fighting for twelfth position until the last corner of the last lap.
Barbera and Baz will remain at Jerez tomorrow for a crucial day of testing.
Hector Barbera | P12
“We could say that we made a little step forward in the race. The most important thing this weekend is that I started to get some feeling with the bike. I had feedback from the front end, which boosted my confidence. I think that we have started to find the right direction and I feel more comfortable on the bike. Two races ago it was impossible for me to stay with Redding or even with my teammate Loris, but today I was with them the whole race. Tomorrow we stay here for testing because we really need to work to tame this bike. The last few laps fighting with Loris had been fun, I like to fight with him and, although you have to be more careful because it is your teammate, I really enjoyed the battle.”
Loris Baz | P13
“We knew that the race was going to be tough because we tried something this morning and it did not work, so we went back to yesterday’s settings. I had a good start and gained some places. Then I tried to hold my position as long as possible. To be honest, I was surprised during the first eleven laps, because the bike was working well. But when a number of riders crashed, I also almost lost the front several times and I decided that it was crucial to finish the race. In the last five laps, I had nothing else up my sleeve and Scott overtook me. Then I had a good battle with Hector. Some of the passes were close, but I had a lot of fun. It’s a shame not being able to be closer to the front, but today the target was to stay on the bike until the chequered flag.”
FRUSTRATION FOR CRUTCHLOW IN JEREZ
PRESS RELEASE: 07 May 2017 | Jerez de la Frontera GP
A weekend that had promised so much for LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow ended in disappointment as he crashed out of the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The Briton had performed superbly in Saturday’s qualifying to earn a place on the front row of the grid, but he saw his hopes of a podium finish evaporate after an early fall in Jerez.
Crutchlow had made a solid start to the race and had settled into fourth place just behind Marc Marquez and Johann Zarco when disaster struck on lap six. The LCR man lost the front end at turn 11 and went down heavily, although thankfully walked away unhurt from the fall. Fellow Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finished first and second respectively, with Jorge Lorenzo completing the podium.
A frustrated Crutchlow admitted that it was a real opportunity missed after such a positive weekend prior to the race, but insisted he remains confident ahead of the next round in France.
Cal Crutchlow – DNF
"I’m obviously very disappointed with today’s result. I felt strong in the race and felt like I was managing the situation and the tyre very well. I was close to Marc (Marquez) and we had good pace. But, unfortunately, on lap six I went into turn 11 carrying good corner speed - just as I had done the lap before – but when I went to open the throttle the front tyre closed.
It was a mistake, but we have to keep the confidence we’ve built up for the next round in Le Mans which I think will be better for us. Today I had a missed opportunity of a podium and I’m disappointed for myself and my team, but we have to regroup and discuss some things with Honda before the next race.”
Masterpiece Petrux who recovers 8 positions and then fights for 6th place. Scott 11th after a big comeback
The #3000 Grand Prix in the history of MotoGp has given great emotions at the Circuit of Jerez de la Frontera. Following a difficult start Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding were protagonists of a great comeback, ending up in 7th and 11th respectively.
Petrux's race was fantastic. The rider from Terni did not start well but from the first lap he lapped with the same race pace of the group fighting for the fifth position. On lap 16 Danilo was already in 8th. After a fantastic duel with Valentino Rossi, overtook on lap 15th, the rider from Terni started to chase Vinales, giving the sensation of being able to catch him in the last laps. Back to the garage the deserved celebration of his team.
Scott's start was even harder. The English rider made a mistake that forced him in 20th position. Scott managed to not loose the concentration, and in lap 10, after climbing to 15th, he started to lap with a great pace. In the last laps he tried to catch Valentino Rossi to win the Top 10 but the gap was too wide.
7th – Danilo Petrucci
"It was a great race. I'm really happy. It was just a shame to start so badly. I struggled a lot in the first lap then I started recovering positions thanks to the good race pace. I did a good fight with Rossi but in those two laps I lost contact with Vinales. I tried to recover by pushing hard. I came really close but there was no margin to try an attack. I thank the team: they made a great job with the bike".
11th – Scott Redding
“Unfortunately I started badly and in the first laps I struggled a lot as I could not find rear grip. I could not push and I could not defend myself against the attacks of other riders and a contact with Baz made me turn very wide. I tried to stay focused to recover and in the end I managed to gain many positions. All in all today’s race did not go bad but it's clear that I could do better".
Miller and Rabat make early exits in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat both made dramatic exits from today’s fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Jerez.
The Spanish GP, the 3,000th race since the World Championship began in 1949, saw both Miller and Rabat crash and end a streak of points scoring finishes this season.
Miller went out on lap six in controversial circumstances when he ended in the gravel at turn one with Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista.
A frustrated Miller was unhappy with Bautista’s bold move on the brakes that he believes cost him an excellent chance of another top ten finish.
The 27-lap race opened at a frantic pace with Miller moving from tenth on the grid to 8th on the opening lap in a torrid early battle with three-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who eventually finished third on the podium.
In the scramble for track position Miller tried to stay out of trouble and play a waiting game before the collision with Bautista ended his race.
Just four laps after Miller’s exit Rabat took a heavy tumble out of the points in 13th position at turn two after starting 18th on the grid.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will test at Jerez on Monday and then later in the week at Valencia before heading to Le Mans for the French Grand Prix.
Jack Miller: DNF
“It was a positive weekend until the race, I had good pace in practice and felt comfortable with the bike. I got a good start but got caught up with a bunch of other riders on laps three and four and almost got cleaned up a couple of times. Then Alvaro threw it in deep on the brakes, lost the front and took me out when I was on target for another top ten finish. It was real shame but the positives are that I had great pace and I can take that forward to the race at Le Mans.”
Tito Rabat: DNF
“It was a little strange in the race, the conditions were slippery and I couldn’t feel the front tyre 100% but after I got ahead of Bradley Smith and into 13th place I closed the front and crashed. But I was happy with my speed here and the work from the team which is building my confidence and I’m looking forward to the test on Monday and then the race in Le Mans.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a disappointing end after both Jack and Tito had shown strong race pace during practice, it was shaping up as a perfect weekend with the target of both riders in the points. But it fell apart in the race with the incident between Jack and Alvaro and then Tito crashing out. Tito wasn’t completely comfortable in the hotter conditions for the race. After three consecutive top ten finishes and Tito in the points we unfortunately leave Spain with zero points but take a positive attitude to the next race in Le Mans.”
Bittersweet Spanish GP for Pull&Bear Aspar
Sunday, 07 May 2017 14:57
Álvaro Bautista crashes out at Jerez when running a pace good enough for a Top Ten finish. Karel Abraham claims a point with fifteenth place
The MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix featured a home podium, with a trio of riders on the rostrum at the fourth race of the year. Dani Pedrosa was the winner at Jerez, joined by teammate Marc Márquez and Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo in the Top 3. The Spanish trio were separated by some 14 seconds in a largely uncontested race. Behind them, the top privateer was Frenchman Johann Zarco in fourth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, who had topped the standings on their arrival at Jerez, finished tenth and sixth, respectively. Although they remain first and second overall, Marc Márquez has closed the gap to Rossi to 4 points. Pedrosa is 10 points off the lead.
The Pull&Bear Aspar team experienced a bittersweet Grand Prix at Jerez, with Álvaro Bautista crashing out when fighting to enter the Top 10 and Karel Abraham 15th. Abraham, still in discomfort due to injury and experiencing front end issues, benefitted from crashes for other riders and is aiming to continue growing at the upcoming rounds –starting with the French GP in a fortnight’s time. Bautista was left ruing his crash, which also saw Jack Miller taken out. The Spaniard was moving up from seventeenth position of the grid and was already into twelfth when, trying to overtake the Australian, he lost the front end of his bike and fell.
15th Karel Abraham: "We have taken another point here at Jerez, but I'm disappointed because it was a bad race. I’ve never said this before, but this point came about because other riders crashed out. Anyway, it's a point all the same. I had a couple of problems with the front end, but I think I should have pushed a little more. The race was very difficult physically, because of my foot injury and because I was not entirely happy with the front. I definitely have to train more, because the last four or five laps were very hard. In general, this weekend we have had little luck; we didn’t ride in FP1 and some problems have cost us track time during the weekend. Today I had to push more, but I gave what I had. We have to push harder at the coming races and get closer to the front positions."
Álvaro Bautista (DNF): "I tried to overtake Miller and enter the corner on the inside, and maybe the track was more delicate there. I lost the front and unfortunately I fell, taking him with me. When you start from so far back, these things can happen. Our pace was better, and we were gaining positions. I understand that tempers flare at that time, but a rider pushing another is never a good image for the sport. I think the kick to my bike was uglier than the push, because it wasn’t the bike’s fault. I won’t say if it deserves a sanction or not –that’s down to whoever has to decide. I wouldn’t do that because it's a racing incident. Miller came to the garage later to ask for an explanation. It’s true that at the start we saw riders going wide trying to overtake, and took others off track. I was simply following my own line and lost the front. He understood, apologised for the push and we put it down to something that can happen in racing. I feel bad about crashing and taking out another rider. At the time of the crash I was behind Petrucci, who was seventh, but I felt good. I was taking things calmly, because I knew that the second half of the race was important."
MICHELIN POWERS PEDROSA TO AN EMPHATIC VICTORY
2017 04 GP Spain 00466
Michelin witnessed the third different winner in as many MotoGP™ races as local hero Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) raced to resounding win at today’s Gran Premio Red Bull de España at Jerez in Spain during round-four of the World Championship.
Pedrosa qualified on pole yesterday and the Spaniard got to the first corner in front of the pack and never looked back as he increased his lead over the 27-laps to ride away from the field and take victory. A result that also cemented his place in history as today’s MotoGP race was the 3,000th motorcycle Grand Prix of all time in all classes.
The only rider to show any resistance to Pedrosa’s dominance was his team-mate Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), using the hard front and rear compound MICHELIN Power Slick tyres – in contrast to the hard front and medium rear for Pedrosa – the reigning World Champion pushed all race to close the gap on his compatriot, but as the laps counted down Marquez settled for second and the chance to close the gap in the World Championship classification. The final step on the podium went to Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), a result that signalled his first top-three finish of his new Ducati career, his choice of medium front and medium rear slicks again highlighted the different choice the riders can make from the Michelin compounds available to get the best results from their respective bikes and riding styles.
First Independent Rider was the next over the line and that honour went to Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), as the rookie rode a mature race to give him his best finish of the season so far. Fifth went to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) taking the flag for sixth. Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing) made it three Ducatis in the top-seven places, with Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) coming home in eighth. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was ninth, with championship leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) rounding out the top-ten and maintaining his title lead, but with a smaller advantage.
Today’s race was held in dry and very warm conditions, the increased temperature raised the heat of the track and made the notoriously smooth Jerez surface very difficult as the asphalt offered decreased levels of adhesion. Despite this, today’s race duration time was faster than last year as the latest compounds of tyres worked hard to give the riders as much grip as was available. Again, during the weekend the whole array of tyres were used throughout all the sessions, as rain on day one saw both compounds of front and rear MICHELIN Power Wets being used, while all the different slicks were put through their paces as the riders tried different combinations before settling on their choice for the race.
Michelin and most of the MotoGP field will now stay at Jerez for an official test on the Monday, where a comparison evaluation between the current front tyre and the prototype stiffer construction will be conducted.
The next race on the calendar for MotoGP is the home race for Michelin as the championship moves to France and the historic Le Mans circuit for round-five on Sunday 21st May.
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team:
“Today I am really happy with the race and it’s been an amazing weekend. The tyres worked well today in the race, even though we had some special conditions with a lot less grip from the track, so it was more difficult to manage the tyres, especially the front where the grip was not as good as in the practice, so we had to choose the hard option. I could manage my tyres and first place, even when Marc was pushing from behind, so I am pleased with the result. It has been a good day for us because our rivals were a bit off the pace and we could get back some points in the championship.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“It has been quite a challenging day today as the condition of the track made grip levels very difficult for all concerned. The surface is always quite slippery, but as the temperatures rise the adhesion reduces further and this creates issues that the riders didn’t have to contend with on the other days this weekend. The guys out there really had to manage their tyres to get the best performance, and it is something that we will have to look at for the next time we visit Jerez if the track temperature is very high again. This weekend had some unusual weather as we had rain on Friday for the first session, this did give us a good opportunity to evaluate our wet tyres and they worked very well, with good performance from both compounds. Then during the other free practice and qualifying sessions all versions of the slicks were tried to find the optimum performance, and again during today’s race we saw different options used by the riders to match the best compound with their bikes and styles.
“We now have a very important test here at Jerez on Monday, where we will work towards making a decision on the direction we will take with the front tyre construction for the rest of the season. We are all looking forward to the test and the next race which will see us back home at Le Mans.”