Valentino Rossi 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.
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.
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.
"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!"
"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 - 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."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP