Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought an intense battle this afternoon to take second and third respectively in the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon.
Pedrosa and Marquez remained hot on the heels of Lorenzo until with 18 laps to go the two chasing riders made contact, Marquez running wide and Pedrosa crashing out. With ten laps to go Marquez caught and passed Lorenzo, but was unable to pull away as the reigning champion tucked in behind to give chase. Lorenzo eventually crossed the line in second, just 1.3 seconds back from Marquez.
Teammate Rossi held his fourth grid position off the line and into turn one, closely followed by Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl. The nine-time world champion, promoted to third by Pedrosa’s crash, was able to hold the provisional podium spot until a late attack by Bautista with six laps remaining. The fight for third ran until the penultimate lap, Rossi making the decisive move through the uphill section of the track to retake the final podium spot and hold it to the line.
The race result keeps Lorenzo in second in the standings, 20 points ahead of Pedrosa and 39 behind Marquez in the lead. Rossi remains in fourth place after his podium finish, now on 185 points, 29 clear of Cal Crutchlow in fifth.
Jorge Lorenzo (2nd / +1.356 / 23 laps): “My tactic was to start well and open a gap like I did in the last races. I could make one second at the beginning but then simply Marc was faster. When he caught me I closed the throttle to try to save some energy until the end; then he passed me and tried to go away. I tried my best to catch him but it was impossible. Today he was faster than me; there are no excuses. We have to congratulate him and now we think about the next races. The championship is more difficult now than before the race but we are going to fight for it until the end. We will try to win as many races as possible.”
Valentino Rossi (3rd / +12.927 / 23 laps): “Third position is positive, to be on the podium is good. I expected to go a little bit faster after the practice this morning where I was very strong. I decided for the hard front tyre whilst Marc and Jorge went for the soft and I think it was a better choice for this afternoon as I was a little bit slower. In the end the third position is very positive.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “Again second in Aragon, same result as last year. We have been much faster than last year anyway, 12 seconds faster. We have improved a lot but not enough to win. It shows our potential at what is not one of our favourite tracks. Hopefully at the next four rounds we will have a little bit more so we can battle for victory.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “Even though it didn't go as we planned we were still able to put together good results and have both riders on the podium. For us in a circuit where we always suffer this is a great result. As usual we took a lot of information to use. The championship is still open so we will prepare as much as we can and be ready for another exciting round in a couple of weeks.”