2017 Barcelona MotoGP Race Result: Seven Days Of Sun

With the audience probably wishing that the track was beachside, the over fifty degrees of the tarmac were always going to cause some sort of trouble. The best of the best at managing his tyres proved to be Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian taking an impressive victory to become the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to take back-to-back wins for the Italian factory.

Marc Marquez pulled a rabbit out of the hat and managed to not exceed those sixty degrees of lean angle – which he had trouble with all weekend – to grab a vital second position and literally barrel-roll his way onto the podium. Teammate Dani Pedrosa looked like absolute favourite for the win but his tyres screamed ‘no more’ after leading most of the race and the Spaniard settled for the final podium position.

Poleman Pedrosa had a good start to his race but Jorge Lorenzo made a brave attempt to lead by the end of lap one, giving Marquez a chance to sneak ahead of his teammate. The Honda duo nursed their medium rear tyres as Lorenzo on the hard combination was pulling away at the front. The other factory Ducati played it safe early on in fourth place, Dovizioso on the same medium rear as the Hondas, as opposed to his leading teammate.

Marquez started pushing, tempted to catch up with Lorenzo, finding a way past on a wild bike moving and shaking, taking Pedrosa with him and Lorenzo losing another spot to his teammate in the bonanza. Jonas Folger and Danilo Petrucci didn’t take long to get past too as Lorenzo looked to be suffering already, running wide several times.

Pedrosa saw his chance and got past Marquez on lap eight, Dovizioso doing the same by the end of the same lap. The trio, joined by Folger, were pulling a bit of a gap to Petrucci as the pace settled at the front. Petrucci had survived a wild start after sweeping across the track and managing to hit Marquez quite roughly, both lucky to keep on board of their machines, the Italian coming off worse and losing positions out the top ten. He had recovered to fifth place but used up his hard tyres early and had difficulties trying to catch up with the lead group. His position looked secure until he crashed out on the final lap.

Dovizioso looked comfortable behind Pedrosa, getting very close on the main straight but not attempting an overtake until there were nine laps to go, when he easily took the lead and lapped almost a second faster than the Hondas the next time around. Marquez saw his chance and made it past his teammate, pushing hard to catch up with the Ducati. The mission proved challenging, Dovizioso matching each and every of his red sectors, as Pedrosa was dropping back after punishing his tyres at the start. Marquez appeared to settle for a podium and let the gap go over a second with four laps to go.

Alvaro Bautista was leading the charge behind Petrucci, with Johann Zarco and Lorenzo on his tail. The trio provided the entertainment in the final third of the race, lively disputing sixth place. In the final four laps, they came over a very slow Folger, Lorenzo finding his feet once again on the harder tyre to make it past the satellite Yamaha and stretch a significant advantage over his pursuers.  Lorenzo scored a hard-fought fourth place to make Gigi Dall’Igna’s smile even wider.

Johan Zarco got the better of his teammate on the final lap, picking up fifth place, Folger settling for sixth after running with the lead group early on, leaving Bautista seventh, almost three seconds down the road.

The Yamahas on the medium tyre combination had mixed starts, Valentino Rossi gaining from thirteenth grid spot to tenth by lap five, while Maverick Viñales went from ninth on the grid to fifteenth in the same timeframe. The duo were always going to suffer, Rossi finishing eighth, with Viñales tenth behind Hector Barbera and helped by crashes from Miller and Petrucci.

What was a bad day for Viñales was a good day for the championship battle, Dovizioso now only seven points behind the Spaniard, with Marquez cutting the gap to 23 and Pedrosa a further four points behind. Rossi is still in it, just one point behind Pedrosa, but will be craving some more wins after going a year without sitting on the top step of the podium.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 44'41.518
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +3.544
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +6.774
4 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati +9.608
5 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +13.838
6 94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha +13.921
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati +16.763
8 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +20.821
9 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +23.952
10 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +24.189
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +28.329
12 76 Loris BAZ Ducati +33.281
13 45 Scott REDDING Ducati +35.200
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +39.436
15 53 Tito RABAT Honda +40.872
16 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki +43.221
17 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki +44.655
18 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +48.993
19 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia +55.492
    Not Classified    
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 2 Laps
  43 Jack MILLER Honda 12 Laps
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 18 Laps

 

Round Number: 
7
2017
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Comments

I mean I'm happy for Dovi and Ducati and it's a good result for the championship but when are we going to stop talking about tyres? It's getting ridiculous now and the racing is not benefitting from it. A few overtakes here and there but nobody could really do anything more than save save save and try to hang on. This should not be F1.

I don't blame Michelin, I blame the series for letting the riders have a say in tyre choice. It leads to ridiculous situations like this.

PS it was quite fun people getting excited when Rossi set the fastest lap, especially those who somehow thought he would have good race pace...

I understand your frustration but I think BT sport painted a clear picture that the problem this weekend was not down to the riders or the tires but was due to the nature of the track surface and sweltering heat. The track has not been resurfaced for a long time and its the hottest its ever been there. Thats a nasty combo for anyone no matter how advanced your tire is. Save save save as you say wass really the only option, hence what got talked about the most. If its rains guess what everyone is going to be talking about........

Back then Capirex was on a roll until the Gibernau/Capirex debacle which scuppered Capirex' shot at the title effectively. Today when Petrux clouted Marc, I initially thought 'here we go again, he's collected Dovi'. Thankfully it was not the repeat. Yet another great race by Dovi. I always figured Marc would be in the hunt in the race, the bloke is extracting every ounce of information out of the Honda for HRC. In the old days 'never rule Rossi out' applied. Today it is 'never rule Marc out'.

Aliens revisited. 2016 was a transition year. 2017 thus far is proof that the term 'alien' was never applicable. Back in the 2004 to 2015 period within the ambit of supply, factory support, tire wars, ECU's, factory sensors etc, only a handfull had the potential to be annointed alien's. Take Vinales this weekend at his home race. He looked much like a Romano Fenati or Danny Kent, spitting his dummy out after every session. Mind you, he has done that in the past in the junior classes. Props to Lorenzo, he bit his tongue hard, did a great job and acknowledged his unacknowledged alien team mate. I reckon Lorenzo has taken a heap of confidence out of today. Thing is, will he be able to bury the Assen ghost next round. For his part, I hope Assen is a totally wet race weekend. If it is mixed it will be his biggest challenge. Dani, as solid as ever and having a great season injury free for once. All round Michelin did a great job. The tires were up for it and the bloke who won proved that the best traction control was in his right wrist. Much like an erstwhile 'alien' on a Ducati circa 2010.