Lorenzo Storms to Masterful Jerez Victory
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo delivered a master class victory in Jerez today, claiming the 55th victory of his career. Teammate Valentino Rossi also gave a brilliant performance to take his fourth consecutive podium this season and seal his 200th career podium.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo was back on form and blew away the competition today at the Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera. He continued his weekend of dominance at the Gran Premio de España and took the chequered flag, not having lost the lead once, with staggering 5,5 second lead. Teammate Valentino Rossi also rode a strong race and continued his podium-streak by claiming third place and the 200th podium finish of his career.
Lorenzo had a great launch from pole position, taking the holeshot into turn one. Completely in the zone he immediately put the hammer down and rode away from the pack, with only rival Marc Marquez able to follow him. Lorenzo was quick to respond by upping his pace and rode a Circuit Record of 1'38.735 on just his second lap. He pulled away and soon created a gap of over a second to Marquez, who was unable to keep up with his blistering pace. Consistently posting laps under the 1'40 mark, Lorenzo remained unchallenged for the rest of the race and completed his perfect performance of the weekend when he took the flag with a 5.576 second lead, securing his fifth victory at the Andalusian circuit. Lorenzo now has his 55th career win, 34 of which are with Yamaha.
Teammate Rossi was also on the charge right from the start of the 27-lap race. Shooting from fifth to fourth into turn one, he soon closed the gap to Pol Espargarò to overtake him on lap four. The nine-time World Champion was now on a mission to close down a two-second gap to front runners Lorenzo and Marquez, while at the same time managing his lead over Espargarò and Cal Crutchlow. Though the gap to Marquez initially increased, the Doctor refused to give up. His determination was rewarded when, with 15 laps remaining, he started to wheel his rival back in. However, as the Doctor's front tyre began to wear down in the final stages of the race he was unable to repeat his performance in Argentina. He decided to settle for third and take his fourth consecutive podium this season, marking the 200th podium finish of his career.
Lorenzo's magnificent win earned him 25 points, moving him up to third position in the championship on 62 points, just 5 points behind Andrea Dovizioso in second.
Rossi's podium scored him 16 points, increasing his points total to 82. He now leads the championship by 15 points.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will be back in action in two weeks time at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, held at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit.
1st / 44'57.246 / 27 laps
"I am absolutely proud of myself and of the team that we finally delivered some extraordinary work, because we had some problems that have been beyond our control. Due to the lining of the helmet in Doha, my illness in Austin and the tyres in Argentina we couldn't demonstrate our true potential. This time I could do it during the whole weekend and especially on braking. Sometimes it happens that on Sunday I feel a bit worse on braking than during the rest of the weekend, but today that didn't happen. I was able to brake really late, enter well into the corners, and carry good corner speed and acceleration, so everything was fine. When this happens you have to make profit of it and win the race. I was thinking about jumping into the lake, but I am 28 years old...! It's not the same as when you are 23, so in the last second I decided to stop and go back to the bike. Today it's mother's day so it's very special, because my mum saw the race and saw me winning and tomorrow I turn 28. It's important that we recover some points to Vale because he's been very strong at the beginning of this season and always on the podium. It's also important we have recovered the feeling and ability to go fast and now we have to enjoy these hours, this night and this victory!"
3rd / +11.586s / 27 laps
"It was a difficult weekend. From Friday on we were struggling a lot to find the right setting and I wasn't able to ride on the maximum level. We improved and worked until after the warm up, trying to improve the setting. In the end it's a podium, so it's not so bad, but also in the race I wasn't strong enough to fight with Jorge and also with Marc. Especially entering the corners I wasn't at 100%. I had one moment in the race where I was not doing so bad and I was close to Marc. We hoped for another good fight until the end and I thought I could do it, because I got the gap down to one second, but had to give up. I have scored a lot of points and scored two victories and four podiums. This time I extended my lead to Dovizioso, but it looks like Jorge also came back into the championship with this victory. He is just 20 points behind, but the championship is still long. We don't have to think about the points yet, just of the bike, trying to be competitive every weekend."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"As a team we worked really well this weekend and got great results. Jorge finished this perfect weekend, starting from Friday morning's first Free Practice, in the best way possible. He has been really strong and consistent the whole weekend. He was able to create a gap and managed to hold on to that until the chequered flag. He really deserves today's stunning victory, in Jorge's typical style. Tomorrow he will turn 28 and therefore we have two good reasons to celebrate tonight. Valentino couldn't get the feeling with the bike he was looking for today, but he still rode a good race. In the end he settled for third place and extended his lead in the championship. I really want to thank everybody in the team for their hard work and great performance. Today's result delivers great confidence and motivation to keep working hard. Tomorrow we will back on track for a test session and we are all in the right mood to continue progressing."
Impressive Espargaro surges to 5th in Andalusia
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro powered to a superbly executed result of 5th position in Jerez for round 4 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. The young Spanish rider began the day brilliantly by storming to 1st position in this morning's warm up, which left him full of optimism for the 27 lap race. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion had a fantastic launch from the head of the second row of the grid to enter the first corner in third place and right behind the leading bikes. He quickly set into his race pace as he attempted to keep his position from Valentino Rossi and remained with the leading pack at the front of the field. He was shuffled back to 4th on the third lap and became involved in a tussle with Crutchlow and with over half of the race distance left to run, the Spaniard had been shuffled back fifth. Here he continuously set consistent lap times and sustained a gap to the pursuing riders and remained comfortably ahead before reaching the chequered flag in this position.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith produced a determined ride to finish in 8th position at the Gran Premio bwin de Espana which extends his positive run so far in the 2015 season. The young British rider leapt off the line from 10th on the grid as the lights went out and finished the first lap two places higher. Smith then intended to move further up the field and he reached 7th on the second lap as he set into his race rhythm. With 10 laps remaining, Smith continued to push from 8th position which gave his chasing rivals no chance of catching him as he then attempted to hunt down Aleix Espargaro in front. The British star met the finish flag in 8th and his result sees him remain in 7th in the championship after another positive display. Now Smith looks forward to the upcoming test day tomorrow before heading to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team's home race in a fortnight's time in Le Mans.
5th / +26.620s / 27 laps
"It was a positive close to the weekend and I'm glad that I was able to get a strong result in front of my fans. I had a great start and the only mistake that I made was that I may have pushed a bit too much when I was behind Valentino as I was trying to follow him. I stayed with him for a few laps but I became tired and suffered a bit with arm pump towards the end of the race. So ultimately, I tried to stay consistent on the used tyres and keep Iannone at bay, who was closing in on me. In the end, the gap to the leader was quite big which is not what we hoped for, but finishing 5th is a positive start to the European races, especially considering the result last year. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow as we have some configurations and different settings to try which could be very important at tracks which dont have a lot of grip, like this one. We were able to test a few things during the weekend but with such a limited amount of time available this is always a bit difficult, however, tomorrow we can assess everything much more thoroughly."
8th / +36.296s / 27 laps
"I am happy to go back home with another top eight finish and some valuable championship points in my pocket after the tricky weekend we have had. My plan was to get into a consistent race pace and then stay in it. The start was great and I tried to stay as close as possible to Aleix as I knew he was using the softer option of tyre so there was a chance that I could overtake him at the end of the race. Eventually, I managed to close him down a bit but unfortunately not enough to pass him before the finish flag fell. I have had three crashes this weekend so it was important to get a result today even though it was damage limitation. Tomorrow in the test I hope we can spend some time working on solutions for tracks like Jerez, whether that means focusing on my riding style or on different bike settings. It's certainly not fun having challenging weekends like this one where every time you push, you risk falling. We can't have weak races this year and lose points in the championship to the other satellite bikes, so it's back to work tomorrow to find some answers in order to be back fighting again for the leading satellite position at the Tech3 team's home Grand Prix in Le Mans."
Stefan Bradl second Open at Jerez
Stefan Bradl ended up very close to the points-zone while Loris Baz was forced to retire in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez for the Athinà Forward Racing team.
Bradl, second in the Open class only behind Barbera, 14th, crossed the finish line after a difficult weekend characterized by a flu and little feeling with electronics. The German is looking forward to return to work tomorrow during the test scheduled right on the Andalusian track.
The race finished ahead of schedule for Loris Baz who crashed in the last corner just before midrace. The Frenchman struggled to find the pace at the start of the race and was forced to retire when he reached the group of other Open bikes.
16th / +59.018s / 27 laps
"It was a difficult race. Loris and I were the only ones in the Open category to have chosen the hard tyres. We made this choice convinced that we would suffer during the first few laps and comeback in the end of the race. I tried to do my best but it was not enough. Im not 100% fit due to the flu. We have to analyze the data and work hard in view of Le Mans."
DNF / 8 laps
"I am not satisfied at all of my weekend. Unfortunately, the race finished ahead of schedule for me. I was struggling during the first laps, I was close to the group of Laverty and Bradl but it was very difficult to keep their pace. I tried to push harder, but I crashed in the last corner when there were still 18 laps to go. We have to stay focused and make the most of the testing tomorrow. For Le Mans the goal is to come back into the points."