Lorenzo Delivers a Master Class in Wet Riding to Claim Victory in Spain
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo used his M1 to deliver a master class in wet riding today, delivering a flawless performance to take victory in front of his home crowd at Jerez. The second race of the 2011 MotoGP Championship was played out on treacherous track conditions that claimed a number of victims over the 27 laps. Slipping comfortably into second in the first lap Lorenzo stayed in contention in the top three for several laps, keeping calm and graduating to first position as rivals Stoner, Rossi and Simoncelli all crashed out of contention. A steady rhythm and inch perfect lines finally saw the reigning World Champion take the chequered flag, his first ever professional race career win in the wet.
It’s a great victory, which we needed and I feel so good.
Team mate Ben Spies was denied his first MotoGP podium as a factory rider with just three laps remaining of the race. Having initially dropped to sixth from the start grid Spies’ riding style was on a par with Lorenzo, laying down smooth consistent laps on a track that was wet in some places and drying in others. Having gained half a second a lap on second place man Pedrosa he caught and passed him, raising the possibility of a Yamaha one two on the podium. Disaster then struck on turn five as slippery conditions and worn race tyres brought the Texan’s race to a premature end, losing the front and sliding off the track.
Lorenzo’s victory propels him to the top of the MotoGP Championship standings with a tally of 45 points, nine points clear of Pedrosa in second. Spies heads to the next round in Estoril in four weeks time having dropped to 12th in the standings with ten points and looking to make up for today’s disappointment.
Position 1st - Time 50'49.046
"It has been one of my most patience races. It’s a great victory, which we needed and I feel so good. This is also the first time I have won in wet conditions, the first time ever! Now we are working to improve our bike, taking as much points as possible on the way. The King of Spain said to me that he would bring me good luck after our meeting last February in Madrid, he was right! With the competition so high this year I never imagined I would be leader after two races. I am so happy to have won this weekend, especially as my friends from Yamaha Indonesia came all the way here to support us; ‘Semakin di Depan’ means ‘One Step Ahead’ which was true today!"
“I don’t think of it as a race today, it was more attrition. Once we moved into fourth behind Nicky I knew I could get past so just waited for the right moment. Dani was only a few seconds ahead of me and I thought for sure we could get on the podium. I slowly started to catch him, Jorge was obviously going to win but we could go one two. I put it all out there and caught Dani. As soon as I passed him I knew that we had second place under control, he wouldn’t be able to get back by but I needed to not make any mistakes. Every corner after I passed him I slowed down, taking it easy then all of a sudden I was on the floor. Obviously it was my mistake, but looking at the data I was going slower than I had all race. It was one of those things; I think the tyres were the limiting factor today. I think it was a great show for the crowd though!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A fantastic result and a fantastic race, it was very, very hard for the rider but he brought it home safely and under control; the best scenario that we could have imagined. I feel sorry for Ben, a one and two finish would have been really nice but unfortunately he went off, let’s see for the next race. For Jorge leading the Championship after two rounds as we did last year and with the competition we have at the moment is a dream. We’re looking forward to the next round at Estoril which is a favourite track for him too."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“It could have been a perfect weekend, unfortunately for a little crash it wasn’t. Jorge gave an impressive race, he showed his maturity; he thought through his tactics and deserved the race win. Ben was also clever, waiting and taking his time to get to second. Unfortunately in the wet like this a little mistake can compromise a race. I’m sorry for him with just two laps to go he deserved the podium. The team has worked very hard this weekend on both sides of the garage to deliver very competitive set ups for both riders, a great performance by the crews. For sure we go to Estoril with a good motivation, it’s a good circuit for Yamaha, and a good circuit for Jorge so we go with good prospects.”