Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after Sunday's Catalan GP:
Andrea Dovizioso takes his second win in a row one week after Mugello, this time in the Catalan GP at Montmelò. The Italian is now just seven points away from the lead of the championship. Jorge Lorenzo crosses the line in fourth place
Andrea Dovizioso scored his second GP win in seven days with another superb performance in the Catalan Grand Prix. Just one week after winning the Italian GP at Mugello, the Ducati Team rider powered to victory, for the fourth time in the premier class, in front of almost 100,000 spectators at the Montmelò circuit outside Barcelona.
Starting off well from row 3, Dovizioso crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in third, and he moved up to second on lap 8 after passing his team-mate Lorenzo and then Marquez. Andrea hounded Pedrosa until lap 17, when he attacked his Spanish rival to take the lead, which he maintained until the chequered flag and finishing with a gap of more than three and a half seconds over Marquez.
Jorge Lorenzo was also on great form today, the Spanish rider taking the lead almost immediately from the front row after qualifying second. The man from Majorca stayed up at the front for five laps, before losing a few places and slipping down to eighth. He then began a storming recovery that took him back up to fourth place with four laps remaining and he crossed the line in the same position.
In the overall standings, Andrea Dovizioso confirmed his second place but he has closed the gap on leader Viñales to just seven points, while Lorenzo lies seventh with 59 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st
“I’m so happy but also a bit surprised by this win! I had a great feeling before the start because I knew that we could be very competitive, not because we were the fastest out there on the track, but because yesterday we worked well to prepare for the race. It was a strategic race more than anything else and we were good at interpreting the limits of the track and the tyres. The track was very difficult and all the riders had problems with grip, which dropped off a lot and so we concentrated on administering tyre consumption and on consistency, and this decision paid off. In the race I was able to be very fast without pushing hard when I found myself behind Pedrosa and this helped me a lot in the last ten laps, when I passed him and then pulled out a small gap over the two Hondas. I can truly say that today we were on really great form!”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 4th
“This second win in a row for Ducati is another fantastic result for the team. As for me, it’s the first time that I have finished the race less than ten seconds away from the winner, as well as being the first time that I have started from the front row and have been in the lead for a few laps: this means that we are constantly improving. Pity that today I lost a bit of pace from lap 6 onwards and I was passed under braking a few times, losing a lot of time at the mid-race point when my pace was slower than the leading group’s, but towards the end I managed to gain a few places to finish the GP in fourth. Now we have to continue to work to be more consistent in the race and try and improve soon on my third place at Jerez.”
Claudio Domenicali (CEO of Ducati Motor Holding)
“Being on the top step of the podium once again, just one week after our extraordinary win at Mugello, confirms that we have been working really well and so we don’t only feel the thrills of the win, but also the determination that pushes us on to do even better. Once again I want to thank all the men and women who work in Ducati Corse and everyone who supports us and spurs us on, including our fans, because now we are much closer to first place in the championship. Until a few months ago all this would have been unthinkable and so it has been vitally important to keep a cool head even in the difficult moments we have gone through!”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Today we have obtained another magnificent result just seven days after our splendid win at Mugello! We knew that the Montmelò track was a tough one for us: last year we suffered a lot and it was for this reason that recently we did two days’ testing which surely helped, seeing as here our bikes were in good shape, even those of our satellite teams. Andrea rode intelligently and did a really great race, but also Jorge finished the GP well in fourth after a great start. I’m really very happy, and I want to thank everyone in Ducati Corse for their great commitment!”
Double podium for Repsol Honda Team in Catalunya
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa scored the Repsol Honda Team’s third double-podium finish this season by finishing in second and third position, respectively, in scorching-hot conditions in Catalunya. It was a very positive result that allowed Marc and Dani to move up in the Championship standings to third and fourth, just 23 and 27 points off the top.
With air temperature at 33° C and a track temperature of 54° C, conditions were very tough on tyres. Both Marc and Dani got off well at the start and rode at the front for the entire race. Marc took the lead on lap six before being passed by his teammate and Dovizioso on lap eight. Dani led for a further nine laps before being passed by the Italian, who ultimately went on to win the race.
Marc moved to second on lap 18 and pushed hard to try and stay close to the leader, but like his teammate, finally settled to keep his hard-earned podium finish, which brought his career tally to the symbolic total of 93.
The Repsol Honda Team will remain in Catalunya tomorrow for a one-day test.
“I’m really happy with how this weekend ended because with five crashes, four yesterday and one this morning, the situation was quite tough mentally. Anyway, my team helped me a lot to regain confidence in myself and in the bike. Before the race I said to myself that I was the same Marc as last year and that my style is to always keep pushing and never give up, something I think makes the difference sometimes. So I started the race with victory as a target. At the start I was really lucky when Petrucci hit me, as the contact was completely lateral; otherwise it would have been a disaster. From then on I tried to remain focused and calm and when I finally passed Dani for second place, I tried to push to close on Dovi. In a couple of laps I realized that I couldn’t, that today was Dovi’s day, so I settled for second. The Championship is kind of a rollercoaster so we don’t really know what to expect from race to race. We must only think about ourselves, keep the concentration high, and try and give 100%.”
“I’m happy with today, as a podium finish is always nice considering how tough is to get one in MotoGP these days. Last week we had a terrible race, whereas here we took pole and made the podium in front of my home crowd, which was just amazing. To be honest, we expected to be a bit better but conditions were very difficult for the tyres the whole weekend, and also today the grip wasn’t very good. I tried to lead the race, to stay on front, but I could see Dovi coming on the straight, cutting the gas to not get too close, saving the tyres a little bit better than me. I tried to save them all the way, but I just couldn’t do it enough. In the end I realized it was more worth it to stay on the bike and get some good points. We had chosen the medium rear for the race and at the end it was on the limit, but I still think it was a better choice than a hard-hard combination. A rider’s choice is more a matter of feeling than being strictly related to performance or durability. It was difficult, but we managed to get on the podium and this is great. We look forward to the test tomorrow, to take some additional steps, improve the feeling on the front, and work to be more consistent. The Championship is open, and we must be more consistent every weekend.”
Movistar Yamaha Conclude Catalan GP with Valuable Championship Points
A slippery Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya race resulted in valuable championship points for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Teams Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, after a challenging weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Rossi had a good opening lap, moving up one place to twelfth but had to give back the place as he got into a fight with Johann Zarco. The Doctor progressed to tenth by passing Scott Redding and making a brilliant move at the start of lap 4, overtaking Jack Miller and Hector Barbera at the same time.
Having breached into the top-10, the Italian set a personal best lap in his attempt to cut through the field. Finding himself behind Zarco on lap 5, he put his head down and overtook the fellow Yamaha rider less than a lap later. With Aleix Espargaró retiring from the race, Rossi was lying in eighth, but a mistake on lap 10 saw him move back behind Zarco.
Rossi was eager to follow the Frenchman past Jorge Lorenzo and Alvaro Bautista, but suffered a sudden tyre drop and was unable to keep in touch with the battle for sixth. A late crash by Danilo Petrucci saw him cross the line in eighth place, 20.821s from the front.
It was a lonely ride for teammate Viñales during the Catalan Grand Prix: his solid efforts today were overshadowed by a lack of grip. He started the race cautiously from ninth on the grid to slot into 16th position after the first couple of corners. Though unable to get a good feeling in the opening laps, he moved up one position and defended it from the pursuing riders.
As Espargaró retired from the race, the number 25 rider advanced to 14th place. Three laps later he felt his tyres come to him and was ready to start his attack, followed soon by an overtake on Redding on lap 12.
With Miller crashing out and slipping past Cal Crutchlow on lap 20, the Factory Yamaha rider saw a possible top10 finish in his future and put his head down. He overtook Barbera with 4 laps to go for tenth, and briefly rode in ninth position when Petrucci ended his race prematurely, but a last lap fight again with Barbera had Viñales take the chequered flag in tenth position, 24.189s from first, scoring six vital points for the championship.
Rossis eighth place earned him eight points, making 83 in total, which puts him in fifth place in the standings, 28 points behind his teammate, who leads the championship by 7 points. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team also hold the lead in the team standings by 22 points, whilst Yamaha remains the top manufacturer in the Constructor's Championship by a 14-point margin.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back at the Barcelona track tomorrow for a one-day Official IRTA Test.
8th - +20.821 / 25 Laps
I was really sad today, because I won here last year and also it is one of my favourite tracks. We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend, as we had some problems during the practice sessions due to the temperature of the asphalt and the level of grip. The race today wasnt positive, but I did my best to take as many points for the championship as possible. Tomorrow we will have an important test, where we will try many things, so this is positive. I hope that for the next two back-to-back races we will be able to return to the front.
10th - +24.189 / 25 Laps
It was a really difficult day, but there are some days that you just have to get the points and thats what we did. Tenth place was the best we could do, for sure thats not our normal placement, but for today that was the best and we have to be happy with the six points we took today and at least we are still first in the championship. We will continue to work hard to get a better result in the next races.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
We expected todays race to be particularly challenging for us, as we encountered some difficulties in all practice sessions. We knew that under such circumstances like today hot weather and low-grip asphalt our bike is not as competitive as weve seen it in other races. Eighth and tenth is not exactly what we were aiming for, but theyre valuable points for the championship and now we put this race in our archive and focus on the next races. Its good that we are staying in Montmeló for tomorrows test, so well be in the position to get immediate feedback about the new materials our engineers have developed. Theyve brought two new frames with the aim to improve the performance of the bike in situations like todays and we will be back soon on the highest step of the podium.
P16 AND P17 FOR IANNONE AND GUINTOLI AT CATALUNYA GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 11.
Andrea Iannone: 16th - +43.221
Sylvain Guintoli: 17th - +44.655
The Catalan GP left a bitter taste in the mouths of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, as both riders ended out of points and the result was below expectations. Andrea Iannone ended his race in 16th place, 43.221 seconds behind the winner, and Sylvain Guintoli finished right behind his teammate in 17th place.
The hot temperatures of today made the Montmelò circuit very slippery, and thereby making the setup finalization work for the engineers difficult. It also pushed the riding skills of the racers to the limit.
Iannone managed to have a positive warm-up, but then struggled in the race to find a solid, favourable pace. The lack of feel on the bike with the grip did not allow him to perform as was expected, ultimately resulting in a challenging race.
Guintoli was fully recovered after yesterday’s health problems, and was able to carry out a solid race. The Frenchman made productive progression throughout the race and managed to catch up with his teammate Iannone, although he could not definitively overtake him for the 16th position.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR will now stay in Barcelona for two days of testing: the scheduled IRTA test with all MotoGP Teams on Monday, and a private test on Tuesday. Alex Rins is coming back on his #42 GSX-RR to test his recovery from the injury he suffered in Austin. He will be paired with Andrea Iannone in the MotoGP Team garage, while Sylvain Guintoli will stay to further contribute to the development while supported by the Test Crew that has come from Japan.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“With these hot conditions we were expecting a tough race, but honestly I didn't expect such a bad result. In these conditions the grip drops very fast and our bikes´ performances were not the best. This is our current situation, unfortunately. We have two testing days with many parts to try, so we intend to learn from this result and improve putting in maximum effort. To Sylvain I want to express my deep appreciation. He did a very good job. He came to us humble and willing to help, and despite his limited experience with our machine and work group, he was able to complete all the races and – most important – give us very useful feedback for the development of the bike. This is exactly what we expected when we called him to step in for Rins. Once again, thank you Sylvain and good luck in your return to BSB.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We are very disappointed by this result. We certainly knew this would be a tough weekend, as the grip here is low and consequently the bike’s setup is very difficult, but honestly speaking I couldn’t expect such a bad result. Andrea struggled throughout the whole race; he couldn’t ride like he wanted, and so he couldn’t get better than 16th. Guintoli’s work was very positive, he lapped consistently with a good pace, and we are happy for what he has done, considering the circumstances. He also gave us precise comments and useful feedback which we will take advantage of to improve. Now we have two days of testing here, tomorrow and Tuesday. We have many areas to test and some of them are also pretty important and we want to work on.”
“We are having a difficult time. We know it. Some races we are better, some others are worse. The only thing we can do is to keep on working. We have two testing days here and we will try to do our best. Today’s race was hard from the beginning; I had no grip at all, both at the front and the back, so it was complicated. I couldn't push it any harder, because I always felt like I was already at the limit. I tried to manage the situation without crashing, but the result was below our expectations and also our potential.”
"This race it was difficult for me to get into a rhythm. The track temperature was incredibly high, making the track very slippery. At mid-race I found a confident pace which allowed me to overtake some riders, and also fight with some of the other guys, including my teammate Andrea. It was a good feeling. Then the grip really dropped off and I had to give up. Overall, after the problems I had yesterday, it was a good race. I want to thank Suzuki for this opportunity. It was great to ride this fantastic bike; I had a blast. In my opinion we did a lot better than I expected. I thought it would be much harder to get acquainted with how the bike would perform. The team also gave me lot of confidence; we made excellent progress in only three races. It has been an amazing experience. ”
KTM a strong fourth in Moto2 at CatalanGP, MotoGP team looks forward to 3-day-test
RACE 7th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP)
99,873 fans were at the Catalan MotoGP today to see Red Bull KTM Ajo's Miguel Oliviera consolodate his fourth position in the Moto2 World Championship with a superbly tactical ride in 32 degree heat on a track that was a sizzling 54 degrees celcius. The ever close Moto3 race saw Marcos Ramirez 0.74 seconds off the win to be sixth over the line and the best KTM in the 32 rider field, while in the main MotoGP race it was just one KTM RC16 on the grid as Bradley Smith opted not to race after injuring his left little finger in qualifying yesterday. His former Moto2 World Champion team mate Pol Espargaro made a great start however cornering problems meant he finished just outside the points at a track where KTM hadn't tested in the run up to this their debut season in the top class.
KTM Rally Raid and Dakar heroes Nani Roma and Marc Coma were trackside watching all three classes in temperatures similar to a Dakar stage that they won in Mauritania or Argentina. Enduro legend Jonny Walker was also supporting his KTM a Grand Prix team mates as he took time out from training for next weekend's Erzberg Rodeo in Austria where he'll be gunning for a fourth outright win.
The Circuit de Catalunya was going to be a tough weekend for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad due to the track not being in the test programme last year before the team's debut in MotoGP this season, but the team worked extra hours researching set ups and data related to the new chassis that both riders now have in the garage. Although finishing just outside the points, Pol Espargaro raced hard today, gathering valuable data before an important three day test with the KTM RC16 here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Bradley Smith didn't ride today after injuring his little finger yesterday in qualifying, but all being well, looks set to be back in action in two weeks time in Assen, Holland.
Espargaro: "I think we struggled here more than we expected. We knew it was going to be hard because of the long corners and when we need to turn, we run into some problems, especially with this asphalt as it is quite old and the grip is so low. When we have less grip it's a bit harder to turn, but to our advantage we have a three day test after this race here at Catalunya where we can improve the bike and try some new parts to try to work forward with this project."
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "Pol was fighting to the end of today's race in very difficult conditions out there. It was not easy at all, but the test we have over three days is very important for the engineers here and the team back at the factory in Austria. We have some ideas where we will be able to confirm some things as well as explore other avenues. There are parts already here being fitted on the bike for this test so I know we can find something. The main reason that Bradley did not ride here is because we wanted to have him back for the next race at Assen; there was just too much of a risk of infection if he'd have raced today, a risk we were not prepared to take. Bradley is missing from this test which is a big bit of bad luck for both of us but we will now split things up over the test slightly differently between Mika (Kallio) and Pol."
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ, AFTER A PERFECT WEEKEND, FORCED TO STOP IN THE RACE
ALBESIANO: "LOST CHANCE AFTER SHOWING GREAT COMPETITIVENESS"
It was a finale that does not do justice to the commitment and potential Aleix Espargaró and Aprilia demonstrated at Barcelona. The Spanish rider was forced to abandon his home race before the end, during the eighth lap, after starting rather well from the second row of the grid, a spot he had earned yesterday with an excellent fifth place time in qualifying. A technical problem which is currently being assessed stopped him, but it does not overshadow the good work done by Aprilia Racing Team Gresini throughout the recent championship rounds.
In particular, during the Spanish weekend Aleix and his RS-GP were consistently, and with a reassured naturalness, in the stop positions of every session.
Now the team is committed to continuing their work, also solving the inevitable problems that accompany development of the RS-GP project, completely new and still very young, but already capable of achieving an excellent competitive level. The round with the missing result has simply been postponed.
On the other hand, a poor feeling kept Sam Lowes from battling for the points zone, to which he had been close until a few laps from the end. The English rookie gathered a lot of experience in what may very well be the most complicated race of the season.
"I am very disappointed right now. We did a great job throughout the weekend and today we had the pace to make a play at least for the top-5, maybe even something more. I had a good start, but as early as the first laps I realized that performance was not the same as in warm up. Obviously, I kept going until the bike stopped. A technical problem has stopped us early in two races where we were competitive. It is not pleasant, but these things happen in racing."
"I accumulated most of the gap behind the points zone today in the last 4 laps. Unfortunately, I no longer had the right feeling to push, whereas up to that point the sensations had been good. It was not an easy weekend for us from many points of view, but finishing a difficult race like today does a lot for my experience as a MotoGP rider."
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"Unfortunately, we missed a chance today after demonstrating that we were consistently competitive throughout the weekend. We still do not know the extent of the problem that stopped Aleix. We are already working to fully understand the problem and adopt any technical counter measures needed."
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"It is a pity. It's hard to say anything else. We had a practically perfect weekend and Aleix had the chance to aim for an extraordinary result. We are in a stage of tangible growth, but we are still not reaping what we deserve. We need to continue development. The RS-GP is still a work in progress and a hiccough or two are to be expected. It is only logical that in the heat of the moment this leaves a bitter taste in our mouth."
Zarco stars in Catalunya to seize 5th – Impressive Folger powers to 6th
Johann Zarco produced a sensational performance at the gruelling Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to finish as the leading Yamaha rider. The rapid rookie began from 14th, but quickly started climbing through the pack as the track reached scorching hot temperatures. Despite the difficult conditions, his blistering pace brought him up to 6th in the closing stages of the race and on the final lap, he overtook his teammate to clinch the leading satellite honours.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger concluded the challenging Grand Prix with a highly commendable 6th place finish. The young gun launched forward from 8th and quickly caught the leading group, whom he notably remained with, in 4th position, for over half of the race distance. In the latter stages, he fought against the extreme lack of grip before powering to the chequered flag and his result extends his 100% point scoring record in the 2017 season, the only rider to do so.
Position: 5th - Championship: 6th - Points: 75
“I am happy with the result but also tired! I think that everyone struggled physically because of the hot weather. With regards to the race, there wasn’t much grip on the track and the tyres dropped. However, this kind of situation is not a big disaster for me and when this happens, I seem to be able to have a better feeling than my opponents. Starting from 14th meant that the opening stage of the race was complicated and I had to fight, plus, it’s easy to touch other riders when it’s like this. I thought that I could catch the leading group during the GP because they were not advancing. Yet, after the halfway point, they were not increasing the gap, but I still couldn’t quite get to them because we were running the same pace as I was. Towards the end, Petrucci crashed, Lorenzo overtook me and opened some distance because he had a better drive and then, Jonas was in front of me. I could see that he was struggling so I kept focused in order to ride a good line and then I attacked him on the last lap. This result is very good for what we need and although it was a difficult weekend, we finished well today so this is really good motivation for the future.”
Position: 6th - Championship: 8th - Points: 51
“It was a very positive but tough weekend and I am so happy that we made a big step forward compared to the last few GP’s. Finally, we made the progress that we wanted to which was to improve in the qualifying and at the beginning of the Grand Prix. By being strong in these two areas, we really advanced and we scored a good result today. However, unfortunately, on the last lap Johann passed me! I was ahead of him for almost the entire race, but then he caught and overtook me. This was the only hard thing for me because I thought that I had him in my pocket. Anyway, the important point is that we advanced and improved so I want to thank all of my team for the work they did to get me back to where I needed to be. They told me that we can do it and today we did.”
“It was an incredible, intense and tough weekend for everyone, but overall, a positive one for us and we are happy. The temperatures were very high, there wasn’t much grip, and there were a lot of question marks. However, both of our guys did great today. For the whole weekend, Jonas has been the fastest Yamaha and this is something that I would like to highlight. He had a great start and remained with the front group for more than half of the race and here, he looked really confident and comfortable. Unfortunately, he lost a bit of time in the end, but his effort this weekend has been very impressive and I have to praise him. Johann meanwhile, did what he does best which is racing and running at a phenomenal pace. Inch by inch he closed the gap to the riders in front and I have to commend him because he is a fighter and he showed it today even if he has a small fracture in his finger. In the end, we had the dream scenario with both of our guys separated by a few thousandths of a second. It was particularly great for Jonas because he knows that he has the pace and he made some good passes. The championship standings are very interesting with Johann only eight points behind Rossi. For Jonas, the best is yet to come and there will be some surprises. I am very proud of our two guys. We have a test tomorrow where we will hopefully find some more solutions and then next up is the Dutch GP.”
Superb top 10 for Barbera and twelfth place for Baz at the Catalan GP
Reale Avintia Racing celebrated its best results of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in Barcelona today, with Hector Barberá marking his 250th GP appearance in ninth and Loris Baz twelfth.
The 25-lap race proved to be a physically demanding and hard race run under scorching temperatures, with track temperatures soaring to over 50 degrees.
Héctor Barberá started from the second row of the grid in sixth but he had to produce several brilliant overtakes after losing some places in the first laps.
He set a fast and consistent pace and he was able to fight his way back into the top 10 when he started an intense late battle with World Championship leader Maverick Viñales. A brilliant attacking last lap from Barbera secured him ninth position, which was his first top 10 of the season and the perfect way to celebrate becoming the youngest rider in history to make 250 Grand Prix appearances.
His teammate Loris Baz finished twelfth in a very tough race where he had to fight against the extreme heat and some physical issues with his right arm. Demonstrating his usual strong mental focus, the Reale Avintia French rider was rewarded with four championship points.
Following two races in a row at Mugello and Barcelona, the MotoGP World Championship takes a break before resuming the action in two weeks at the Dutch TT in Assen.
Hector Barbera | P9
“I am very happy because the start of the season has been very chaotic,but today we have finally been able to demonstrate that we are competitive again. We must forget the first races and continue in this way. Today we started the race in sixth position and we finished ninth. And it was a very tough race with so much heat. At the beginning, Zarco was very strong in the chicane and he took me off the track and I lost contact with the group. It’s a shame because if we had been there we could have done a little more. But we are getting closer and we are more competitive. I am adapting more my style to this bike because it has been very hard and that’s why I’m training really hard off the track. In the last races we were already better and we were not able to confirm it, but today we have finally got back to the ‘Top 10’. Now we have to keep this momentum in Assen and Sachsenring.”
Loris Baz | P12
“It was a tough race. The start was not good, I had a strange feeling with the clutch and I could not gain any places. In the first few laps I passed Abraham, Rabat and Iannone, who were slower. And then I tried to save my tyres when I was behind Viñales. But it was not enough because in the end I didn’t have any grip. I have also had a problem with the front brake. It became very hard and with the problem that I have in my arms, I was exhausted at the end of the race. I think that today it was not possible to do much more but until the last third of the race I was very close to the group of Hector, Viñales and Crutchlow. If I didn’t have to slow down at the end it might have been an even better result. The positive thing is that we have scored more points and hope to do better in Assen.”
CRUTCHLOW IN THE POINTS IN CATALONIA
PRESS RELEASE: 11 June 2017 | Catalunya Grand Prix
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow produced a battling performance to finish just outside the top ten in the Catalan Grand Prix on Sunday. It proved a largely frustrating weekend for the British rider who suffered three falls on Friday and Saturday, but he fought hard to ensure he came away with five points from the seventh round of this season’s MotoGP World Championship.
Crutchlow always faced an uphill task after qualifying in 17th place for Sunday’s showdown and was 18th fastest in the morning warm-up. But, despite further difficulties with his tyre choice, the 31-year-old demonstrated his ability and fighting spirit to make up six places over the course of the race, eventually finishing 11th just behind factory Yamaha rider – and championship leader – Maverick Viñales.
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso claimed victory at the Circuit de Barcelona, his second in a row after triumphing at Mugello last time out, with Honda factory pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa completing the podium.
Cal Crutchlow – 11th
"I survived and I managed to finish which is probably the main thing. It wasn’t the greatest day I’ve ever had on a motorcycle, but I was pleased enough having started in 17th. We had our issues in the race and we’ve had them all weekend but, as mad as it sounds, I was actually quite confident of going towards the podium today. I chose a hard tyre thinking that everybody else’s would drop, but ours wasn’t even good on the warm-up lap, so that made things so tough in the race.
“I think we managed well this weekend. We had the odds stacked against us after qualifying in 17th and making the mistakes we did. But Honda did a great job to get Marc (Marquez) and Dani (Pedrosa) on the podium, but it’s difficult when the Ducati bike is making up four tenths on Pedrosa in a straight line. We just have to continue to work hard, but it was a great job by Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) and I’m really pleased for him.”
Rabat in the points before home fans in Barcelona
Before a huge crowd of home fans Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat continued his string of points scoring finishes with a determined 15th place in Barcelona today.
The result comes on the back of two 11th places at the previous races in Mugello and Le Mans and Rabat has now scored points in every race he has finished this season.
Starting from 19th on the grid Rabat struggled for overtaking opportunities in traffic early in the race but made the most of his race pace to pick up the final championship point when he passed Andrea Iannone with two laps to go.
For Jack Miller the chance of a top ten finish ended on lap 14 when the Australian rider crashed out of tenth place at turn five.
Miller was playing a waiting game to save tyre life for later in the race after making his trademark fast start to slot into ninth on the opening lap.
With set-up changes that generated improved front-end feel Miller had been fourth fastest in the Sunday morning warm-up and had carried that pace into the race before his early exit.
The step forward comes at the right time of the season with the next outing being the Dutch TT at Assen, where Miller will defend his superb victory in the race last year.
Tito Rabat: 15th
“I would have liked a better result at my home race and I tried 100% but it was not possible. I was feeling more comfortable towards the end of the race and the good thing is today I finished 40 seconds to the winner when last year I was one minute behind, so better by 20 seconds. Each race I have finished this season I’ve been in the points but my problem is having the pace to overtake other riders early in the race.”
Jack Miller: DNF
“I had a good pace in the warm-up after we found some set-up improvements and I carried that pace into the race and settled into my rhythm running low 1’47s. I was catching the group of Rossi, Lorenzo and Zarco and felt really comfortable and braked at the same point at the downhill left but got caught out by the camber and crashed. I’m disappointed because I had worked hard to get into a good position and felt comfortable with 11 laps to go when I went out. The positive is that I got some front feeling back today so I’m looking forward to the next race in Assen.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Jack had the pace to challenge for the top ten today and we saw that in morning warm-up when he was fourth fastest. It was a shame he did not finish the race when his times were faster than the riders ahead of him. It was always going to be difficult for Tito to score points today but he hung in there and was coming on strong towards the end, we just need work on his pace early in the race.”
Thanks anyway Petrux! A fantastic race up to two laps from the end. Scott finishes 13th
On the one hand the disappointment for the crash two laps from the end. On the other hand, the awareness of having experienced an extraordinary weekend. These are the spanish emotions for Octo Pramac Racing that one week from the fantastic podium of Mugello is protagonist again in the Gran Premi de Catalunya.
Danilo Petrucci is for the first time in his career in the front row but the start is not the best. After a contact with no consequence with Marquez, Petrux turns 11th at the first turn. From that moment on, Terni's rider race is fantastic. In the fifth and sixth lap he is the fastest on the track and overtaking Lorenzo puts him in fifth place. Folger's chase for the position of First Independent Team ends in lap 19. The attack to Pedrosa for the podium is possible but the effort of the comeback stress too much the rear tire that betrays him two laps to the end.
A difficult race for Scott Redding. After losing three positions at the start, Scott reacts well and gets back to P11. Then the English rider didn’t manage to have the excellent warm-up race pace also due to the high circuit temperature. Scott closes in 13th position.
DNF – Danilo Petrucci
"I've been in Race Direction. They gave me a warning for that contact with Marquez. I tried to recover but I never managed to get back on the top three even though in the end I was able to pass Folger to get in fourth place. I thought I could take Pedrosa to make another podium but I felt that the rear rubber started to drop. I tried to change map but things did not improve. I was trying to resist but I could not accelerate any more. Maybe I pushed a bit too early to recover. I was there with them another time but I made a mistake".
13th – Scott Redding
"It was a really difficult race. It was the most difficult race of the season. The high temperature of the circuit is my first enemy and when it rises above 50 degrees I can not find grip. We must surely work on tire consumption. After six laps I could not defend myself against the attacks of others. I tried to push but I did not have grip to get going. Other drivers made the race with the medium tires. I never dreamed I could put the medium because I did not get to the 10th lap".
Bautista and Abraham in the points in Barcelona
Sunday, 11 June 2017 15:02
Pull&Bear Aspar riders achieve targets at the Grand Prix of Catalunya with seventh and fourteenth place respectively
Andrea Dovizioso made it back to back wins for the first time in his career in Barcelona. The Ducati rider, who topped the podium in the Italian Grand Prix a week ago, produced another masterful performance in Catalunya, holding out for half the race behind Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez before making his move and charging to his second victory of the year, which leaves him just seven points behind series leader Maverick Viñales, tenth today. Alongside the Italian on the podium were the two men directly behind him in the championship with Marquez second and Pedrosa third. Jorge Lorenzo, who led the early stages of the race, dropped back to eighth place before launching a comeback to fourth.
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham more than met their targets in Barcelona. The Pull&Bear Aspar riders reached the finish in seventh and fourteenth place respectively, adding valuable points to their season tally. Bautista finished in the top seven for the third time this season and is now eleventh overall, recovering much of the ground lost at Jerez and Le Mans. The Spaniard again rode conservatively over the first few laps to avoid unnecessary wear on the tyres and then fought it out for a hard-earned seventh place. Karel Abraham finished feeling very satisfied with his race and his weekend overall, especially after such a difficult test a couple of weeks ago in Barcelona.
7th Álvaro Bautista: "The race was tough. We made a good start and over the first few laps I did not want to push the tyres too much because I knew I would need them at the end. I got passed a few times and even though I had the urge to pass back, I opted to hold back. Then I could feel that little by little the tyres were getting worse. In the final part of the race I was close to a few guys but I lost the front at the end of the straight and couldn't battle with them over the final few laps. Also the rear was gone by then but we finished and we have done it for a second consecutive race near the front. Let's see if we can continue like this for the next races."
14th Karel Abraham: “I think for us it has been a very good weekend. We have made progress every day, improving our speed and our position. We tried a long run yesterday and it looked pretty good and today in the race we backed it up. I was able to pass a couple of riders, which felt good, I stayed with Loris Baz for a long time in the beginning but unfortunately I couldn't stay with him because even after eight or nine laps I felt a very big drop from the rear tyre. We had an engine map for this situation but I had to wait to use it in the second half of the race. It helped for a couple of laps and then the tyre dropped again and for the last eight laps I had to use an emergency map that would normally only be for the last couple of laps. From that point the bike just didn't pull out of the corners and I was already on the limit on the front, which was very good I have to say. I lost contact with the group in front of me and I was scared because the guys behind were closing with every lap but in the end I hung on for fourteenth place, which is a really great result for us. I want to thank the whole team because I must repeat how much trouble we were in at the test here but we have all worked hard and we have been rewarded with two important points for our championship.”
MICHELIN AND DOVIZIOSO MASTER MONTMELO
Michelin saw its tyres power Andrea Dovizioso to his second MotoGP™ victory in a week as the Italian rode to success during today’s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya from Montmelo in Spain.
Starting from seventh on the grid Dovizioso (Ducati Team) got away with the leaders as pole-setter Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) led into the first corner. Pedrosa was passed on the opening lap by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), a position the Spaniard held for five laps before succumbing to reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who in turn surrendered the lead to his team-mate Pedrosa on lap-eight. Pedrosa held the advantage for nine-laps before Dovizioso overtook him on the home-straight, leaving the Italian to take his second victory in consecutive weekends.
This weekend’s proceedings have been dominated by the condition of the Montmelo track with grip a premium for all concerned. The MICHELIN Power Slick tyres had to work hard all weekend to extract the optimum performance from the smooth surface and today’s race – which saw the circuit revert to last season’s 4,655m layout after the riders expressed safety concerns on Friday evening about the new chicane and these views were upheld by the organisers – was no exception. Despite the lack of adhesion, the tyres still performed well and the lap-record was beaten in the race, as Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) set a new best-time of 1’45.969 on lap-three. Dovizioso also used his tyres to produce a personal race-time that was over 38-seconds quicker than his 2016 time, as he also narrowly missed the race-duration record in the process. The medium and hard front and rear compound slick tyres were the choice of all the riders – albeit in differing configurations – in the extremely demanding and hot conditions. As track temperature reached over 55°C during the race the durability of the tyres responded well to this challenge as the robustness of the latest tyres were put through an exhausting analysis throughout the 25 challenging laps.
Following Dovizioso home was Marquez in second with Pedrosa third to fill the podium places. Lorenzo took fourth, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) again performing well in his first season and continuing to challenge the Factory riders as he secured the First Independent Rider award by finishing fifth, just in-front of his team-mate Folger. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) was seventh, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) coming home in eighth ahead of the Ducati of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing). The final top-10 place went to current World Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), as he retained his lead in the title chase, but now with a reduced margin ahead of Dovizioso.
Michelin and the MotoGP field will now remain at Montmelo for a day of testing tomorrow, before heading to the north of Europe and the Dutch TT at Assen in The Netherlands, a race that will take place at the historic track on Sunday 25th June.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:
“The track was very difficult, there were lots of bumps and the grip from it was completely zero. It was difficult for everyone to manage the tyres and get the best from them. The drop in the tyres was there, but that was the key for us as we understood very well what we had to do and we managed it better than the competitor. My bike worked well today with the Michelins and we managed the tyres in the best way. “
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“With how difficult the track has been to manage this weekend we are pleased with the results from today’s race. We had a new lap-record, narrowly missed the duration record and the tyres again showed their durability in very demanding situations. To have 55°C on the ground and very little grip due the bad condition of the circuit and produce these results is testament to the resilience of the tyres. If we had foreseen how hot it would be or how the track had degraded – even since the test here – then our allocation might have been different, but the teams adapted well and we saw three manufacturers in the top-five and several overtaking manoeuvres, which is always exciting for the fans. It was also quite clear that the importance of testing at a circuit before an event can be vital to set-up and understanding performance. We now have a test here before moving to Assen, which I’m sure will be another exciting event.”