News Report 30 March 2008

2008 MotoGP Spain - Jerez de la Frontera

View results Track information
Jerez Circuit
4423 m
att 130000
03 / 30 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

100th premier class podium for Rossi in Jerez


Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his career today, joining an elite group of riders who have stood on the premier class podium 100 times today after riding his Fiat Yamaha M1 to second place in Jerez. The seven-time world champion formed part of a podium double for the Fiat Yamaha Team as his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished third, claiming his second consecutive podium in his rookie season.

Starting from fifth, Rossi did not get the best of starts and finished the first lap in sixth, but he soon settled into a good rhythm and was stalking Lorenzo, then in second, by lap three. On the next lap he passed his team-mate and set off after Dani Pedrosa, who had led from the start. The Spaniard was too quick today however and Rossi was unable to catch him, lapping comfortably in second until crossing the line at the end of the penultimate lap, when he mistakenly thought the race had finished and slowed down as he crossed the line. He quickly realised his error however and luckily had enough of a cushion from Lorenzo to hang on to second, eventually finishing 2.883 seconds behind Pedrosa. Rossi moves into third place in the championship, whilst Lorenzo holds onto second and the Fiat Yamaha Team leads the team’s championship.
Valentino Rossi 2nd - Time: +2.883
“I’m really happy with this podium because, even though it hasn’t been so many races since the last one, it’s been quite a lot of months! I am also very happy to have reached 100 podiums in MotoGP; now I am wondering if I can get to 200! It’s a pity we couldn’t win today and maybe I was a little bit too cautious at the start because I wanted to take care of my tyres, but in the end they worked very well from start to finish and so this is great for the future. It’s always better to win but after the poor result in Qatar this is a very important second place to us, also because it’s my first podium with Bridgestone. Thanks to my team, to Yamaha and to Bridgestone because we’ve made a lot of progress this weekend, continuing right up to making some small but important adjustments after warm-up this morning. My bike and tyres are working very well, we’re third in the championship with a very long way to go and I’m feeling quite confident.”

Davide Brivio Team Manager
“We are very satisfied with today’s result, especially because this second place arrives after Qatar, where we learnt a lot. The Team, all the engineers and the technicians made a great job and used the information we got in Qatar in the best way to make a big step forward. Now we want to look at this race in Jerez as the start of our championship. Of course we still have a lot to learn about the Bridgestone/Yamaha combination, but I think both parties did an excellent job here and Valentino rode a great race and kept a very consistent rhythm. Tomorrow we will have one day of testing and we will do our best in order to be in good shape for Estoril. This is Valentino’s 100th podium and also the first one with Bridgestone, so it’s a special day, but we hope that there will be many others! Today I would really like to say “Bravi a tutti!”

Fiat Yamaha Team new-recruit Jorge Lorenzo proved his Qatar podium was no fluke by taking third marking a great day for the team in front of over 130,000 Spanish fans and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Lorenzo started from pole for the second race running but was unable to keep pace with his countryman Dani Pedrosa, who led over the line for the first time. Meanwhile Rossi had moved to within striking distance of his team-mate by the third lap, making his move on the next lap and passing the Mallorcan to take second. Lorenzo rode strongly in third for the remainder of the race but was unable to get close enough to Rossi to mount a challenge, crossing the line 1.456 seconds adrift of the Italian.

Jorge Lorenzo 3rd - Time: +4.339
“Of course I’m a little bit disappointed today because we thought that we might be able to make more of a challenge, but I can’t complain because it’s only my second race and I’ve had two podiums and two pole positions, so it’s still a great result! To race today in front of so many Spanish fans and also The King was something incredible and I have really enjoyed myself a lot here. Dani was a fair winner today, his pace was very strong and I couldn’t stay with him, but I am learning all the time and I will be stronger again at the next race. It’s a very long championship and this is an important result for us. Thanks to my team and to Yamaha and Michelin, everyone worked very hard and I think we’ve done a very good job so far. To be second in the championship at this point is still far more than I expected and now I am just looking forward to the next race.”

Daniel Romagnoli _ Team Manager
“Today’s result is a great one! This was just the second race of Jorge’s MotoGP career and he got his second consecutive podium! He rode the race of an “old” MotoGP rider today, in a very clever way. He concentrated on taking home the best result he could, without making any mistakes or wasting the great pole position he started from. The Team did an excellent job and, together with Michelin, we were able to find a good package for this track. Now of course motivation is running high and we will use today’s result and data in order to improve things further and to go to Estoril in the best shape possible.”

Masahiko Nakajima - Team Director
“Today I am very happy because we were able to get back onto the podium with Valentino and Jorge! This year is not easy because we don’t have experience between the Bridgestone tyres and our M1, but after Qatar we investigated the problem with our set-up in order to make the tyres work better and improve our performance. This weekend we tested many solutions and finally we reached a very good set-up. As I said, I am very happy for Valentino because he can now fight again at his maximum level. In tomorrow’s test we will work again to fine tune the set-up of his M1 with the Bridgestone tyres; we now want Valentino back on the highest step of the podium!”

“Jorge’s performance today was quite impressive. During the race it seems that he lost a little bit of the feeling with the bike that he had yesterday and on Friday, but anyway it is clear that he is ready to win a race, already! One of the team’s tasks is to maintain a good atmosphere around Jorge and to make him feel relaxed and concentrated, and so far it seems that this is the case. As far as tomorrow’s test is concerned, we will keep on working on the electronic setting and on testing more tyres with Michelin, as we look to continue to improve our package ahead of the next race.”
Heroic performance of James Toseland
Tech 3 Yamaha’s James Toseland produced a heroic performance in a sun drenched Spanish GP today, the British rider fighting illness to claim a deserved top six finish. In what proved to be a mentally and physically draining 27-lap race for Toseland, the rookie showed great strength of character to become the first British rider since 1990 to score successive top six premier class finishes. Weakened by a serious chest and throat infection all weekend, Toseland slipped down to 10th from eighth on the grid in a frantic opening, but then he produced a series of brilliantly executed overtaking moves to move into fifth by the penultimate lap.
Toseland’s never-say-die attitude saw him delight a 131,563-strong crowd with passes on Chris Vermeulen, Andrea Dovizioso and Loris Capirossi in quick succession at the Curva Sito Pons. Fifth going into the last corner, he had to settle for sixth after losing a place in a chaotic finale. Capirossi was the chief benefactor from a tangle between Dovizioso and Toseland as he snatched fifth from the 27-yearold. Having claimed his second consecutive front row start yesterday, Colin Edwards had a disappointing afternoon, crashing out of sixth on lap five at the Curva Sito Pons. He remounted but retired on lap six. Toseland’s result leaves him sixth in the world championship standings, while Tech 3 Yamaha remain fourth in the team championship points. Toseland and Edwards are now looking forward to their first appearance on Yamaha’s improved pneumatic valve engine at the next round in Estoril, Portugal.

James Toseland 6th - Time: +27.808
“I really had to dig deep in that race. There are two groups of people that kept it together this weekend and they are the Tech 3 team and the Clinica Mobile people. I want to thank them for helping me get out there. At one point it looked like I might not be able to ride so to finish sixth is a great result. What I was worried about was if I couldn’t breath properly then that might have made me dizzy in the race but luckily I was fine. The bike felt great and the front Michelin tyre worked great. That’s why I was able to pass all the guys at the same place coming onto the back straight. I couldn’t pass anybody down the straight and the only place I could pass was where I did.
I was getting good drive off the corner but I still couldn’t get side by side on the straights to line them up for a pass on the brakes. It would have been do-or-die on the brakes, but because my front tyre was so good it really hooked well mid-corner round turn five onto the back straight and my corner speed carried me underneath Vermeulen, Dovizioso and Capirossi. I was disappointed not to keep fifth, especially after I’d battled so hard for it. The last corner was a bit manic and I don’t know how Andrea stayed on the track because he was in there so hot. I got a bit pushed out and Loris came up the inside. To finish sixth like in Qatar and back that result up on a track I’ve never raced at in my condition is really good for me. This bike and this team are capable of being in the top six, even with a touch of bronchitis. I’m looking forward to getting the new engine now. We are one of the few that can actually look forward to getting something new for the next race and I can’t wait for the new engine.”
Colin Edwards DNF
I’m disappointed. I didn’t get a good start and compared to every start I’ve done this weekend it was a lot slower and I got caught up and tangled with Nicky and Stoner right off the start. I got in behind them and I just couldn’t do anything. It’s just what we are lacking in the motor. We can run the pace on our own but as soon as we get in traffic to where we can’t carry the momentum round the corner, then we have a problem. We are just waiting for the new engine at the next race and that is going to make a big difference because now it is hard at the moment with the deficit we have got.
I can get off the corner but when you have got somebody road blocking you midway through the corner it is hard to carry the momentum that we have to carry. You can’t out-brake any of these guys from five bike lengths back. It is just not going to happen, so I was kind of stuck for a little bit and Capirossi motored by me into turn one. Then I was pretty angry because I didn’t want to get stuck behind him. But I’d come off the corner and he’d just pull away. I was pushing trying get up there with the guys in front and I made a mistake. I lost the front coming onto the back straight but that’s racing I guess. Before yesterday I hadn’t had any moments on the front tyre. We had that big moment yesterday and today I was a bit unlucky. We’ve looked at the data and I was actually slower than the lap before but I must have hit a little but I’m not sure what happened. It didn’t look like I should have crashed but I did. I felt really confident and thanks to my guys because they worked hard all weekend and it’s a shame it turned out how it did.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“I am speechless about James today. He has been in a really bad condition and we were really doubtful about whether he would ride this weekend. For the race distance on this physical track we had a big question mark, but what he did today shows the mark of a true champion. He was fighting very hard at a pace he was never at in practice because of his physical condition. He never gave up and was very strong throughout the whole race. He was almost fifth but the last corner is always a difficult place here. Dovizioso tried a bit too hard to pass but I’m still happy. James is improving all the time and for sure with the new engine and feeling fit in Estoril he will be even better. It was a very eventful weekend for Colin. Of course we are a bit frustrated and disappointed about Colin because he was so good all weekend. We had the memory of his podium from last year so we were hoping he could repeat it. We have to take the positive out of it and he has been fast all weekend and I think the good thing is that we will have the new engine from Estoril and it will be easier to race."