Jorge Lorenzo took his third consecutive podium finish of the season today, taking third on the podium for the Gran Premio bwin de España at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit in Southern Spain.
The Yamaha Factory Racing rider made a strong start from pole position, initially dropping to second off the line but retaking the lead a couple of corners later from fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.
The reigning World Champion was able to hold second from an advancing Marc Marquez until the final corner of the final lap when the young Spanish rookie made a heart stopping pass on the inside of Lorenzo, making contact and pushing him wide to steal second.
The podium finish delivers Lorenzo 16 Championship points and places him third in the standings, four points behind Marquez.
Valentino Rossi made a good start from fifth position on the grid and enjoyed an early tussle with Marc Marquez reminiscent of their Qatar battle.
Having been unable to find an optimum set up for the race Rossi was unable to maintain the pace of the front three. The nine-time World Champion was quick enough to stay ahead of fifth placed rider Cal Crutchlow and rode a relatively lonely race in fourth to take a further 13 Championship points.
Rossi sits in fourth in the standings with 43 points, 14 behind his teammate in third.
Jorge Lorenzo (3rd, +5.089): “I have always been positive so today also I am going to be positive, to finish the race with sixteen points is always a great result. I was second for the whole race and then lost the place on the last corner so it wasn't the perfect race.
The perfect race is a victory and if not possible second, the next is third. Today we got another podium and we are quite close to the leader.
On the other hand we have to improve the bike. I think I made two mistakes in the race, in the start I started really badly and in the last corner, I thought Marquez was further behind than he was so I didn’t take a defensive line, this was my second mistake.”
Valentino Rossi (4th +8.914): It was a difficult race. Unfortunately we were not able to be better, we suffered a bit with the conditions and we tried to do the maximum. We improved the set up for the race and we did a good start. I was with the top group but unfortunately I was not fast enough to stay with the top three.
Lap by lap the gap was bigger so I think we have some work to do. Here in Jerez I expected we could go faster than Honda but they arrived in front of us. We still have some work to do to improve the bike. Tomorrow we have the test and we'll try to find the right balance.
In the Championship we are not very far from the top and we took some important points. I wanted to be on the podium but unfortunately it was not possible, we will try again next week.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “A very tough fight today in very difficult circumstances. We struggled a lot to get the bike under control for the whole race.
Finally we finished on the podium, which is very important in races like this. After five laps the tyre had already dropped a lot and Jorge was missing apexes here and there. He brought the bike back home and that is what is important.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “It has been a hard weekend. We really worked as hard as we could to improve tyre life. Unfortunately we couldn't get what we were looking for. For sure we will focus some more effort tomorrow during the test to fix it for the rest of the season.
In terms of the Championship, points and a podium are always good and we are close to the leader. The season is long; we lost a battle but not the war! Both riders put in a lot of effort, pushing 100%.
Yamaha Factory Racing