Lorenzo produces ride of his life to take rousing victory in Jerez Jorge Lorenzo Jorge Lorenzo produced one of the rides of his life to take a superb win in Spain today, the grandeur of a full-to-bursting Jerez providing a fitting amphitheatre...
Lorenzo produces ride of his life to take rousing victory in Jerez
Jorge Lorenzo Jorge Lorenzo produced one of the rides of his life to take a superb win in Spain today, the grandeur of a full-to-bursting Jerez providing a fitting amphitheatre for his first MotoGP win on home soil. Valentino Rossi finished third, making it a sixteenth double podium for the Fiat Yamaha pair since 2008.
Lorenzo got a bad start and had dropped from second to fifth by the second lap, as he struggled to find a rhythm with a full fuel tank. On lap five he was able to pass Casey Stoner and then, five laps on, Nicky Hayden but he looked destined to stay in third as he languished 1.5 seconds adrift of Rossi, who was in turn the same distance from Pedrosa. With a third of the race to go however the Spaniard picked up pace, suddenly the fastest man on track as he stormed up on his team-mate. On lap 22 he despatched the Italian but with only five laps left and a two second gap a victory still looked unlikely. The tenacious youngster was not giving up however in pursuit of a sixth premier-class win and he rapidly gained on his fellow Spaniard to bring himself within striking distance on his penultimate lap. His first attempt to pass resulted in a dramatic moment as they both momentarily looked like running off track and in the end he had to leave it to the last lap to make the definitive move, passing Pedrosa on the brakes at the end of the back straight and crossing the line 0.543 seconds ahead. Lorenzo, who turns 23 on Tuesday, celebrated in hilarious style by leaping into the lake in the middle of the circuit, much to the rapture of the home fans who were already celebrating Spanish wins in the 125cc and Moto2 classes earlier in the day.
Rossi was happy to make the podium, having struggled all weekend to overcome his injured shoulder and set-up problems with his M1. The World Champion got a great start from the second row and was second behind Pedrosa for most of the race. He stayed in touch in the early stages but began to drop back as his bike started to slide, eventually giving best to his charging team-mate and settling for the final podium spot and a valuable 16 points, 0.4 seconds behind Pedrosa.
The Championship is now led by Lorenzo with 45 points, while Rossi is four points off him in second. The riders now have a three-week break before the French round at Le Mans on 23rd May.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st - Time: 45'17.538
"It has always been one of my dreams to win a MotoGP race in Spain and this was like a movie, everything that could possibly happen did! It was a very hard race because I made such a bad start and then found it very difficult in the first laps - I gave myself a tough job to do. After that I started to feel better and rode like a demon to get to the front. Once I passed Valentino I knew that I couldn't take it easy, I had to try everything to win and it was all I could think about. I had a great fight with Dani and in one moment we nearly crashed so I had to try again, on the very last lap! I know it's better to win races calmly, from the front, but lately that hasn't been the way for us and I have had to fight on every lap. I saw the lake on Thursday and thought it would be funny to jump in and I think the fans liked it, but I didn't really think about how heavy I'd be with wet leathers and for a minute I thought I wasn't going to get out! This has been an amazing day, I can't believe I've achieved this dream of mine, in front of all the Spanish fans at this magical place."
Valentino Rossi Valentino Rossi - Position: 3rd - Time: +0.890
"This just wasn't our race this year. We have struggled all weekend, first with my shoulder and then with the bike, and in the race today I couldn't do any more than third. I got a great start and was fast with the new tyre, I tried to go with Dani but then I started to slide a lot and I just had to play it safe. I made no mistakes and I'm happy about my race in the circumstances, these 16 points are very important. At the end I had a front-row seat to the Spanish party and I admit I was sorry not to be involved, Jorge did a great job today and I think it was very exciting for all the fans. I want to say thank you to Dr. Costa and all the staff at the Clinica Mobile, plus everyone back in Italy who has worked on my shoulder to allow me to be able to race this weekend. I will hopefully be back to full strength in Le Mans so I'm looking forward to that."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"It's fantastic to win this race in this way. The race itself was amazing, especially the last ten laps; a fight on the edge. Before the race started our target was just to be on the podium again and we managed the highest step, so we could not ask for more! Jorge was so fast at the end of the race, really amazing. We have wondered why he seems to get much stronger at the end of races; I think it's a combination of his riding style and confidence, because from a technical point of view there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. Apart from a less than perfect start, he controlled the bike very well during and kept a very good pace. He was able to keep the pace at the beginning and never gave up; he just got better. The target for the season remains the same, to keep aiming for the podium every weekend. We all know there are a lot of great riders out there and they all want to win, so it won't be easy. We have always been confident about our potential and now we are even more so. Well done to Jorge and all the team."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"Considering his recent injury we can see this as a very good result. The shoulder was okay and in fact the setting was the bigger problem, but the team did a great job to improve it as much as they could and we are happy that we made it onto the podium. Valentino got a fantastic start and was fast in the early stages but later on he couldn't keep pace with Lorenzo and Pedrosa so 16 points is good for us today. We have some work to do for Le Mans, when we hope Valentino will be back to full fitness. Well done to Jorge and all his side of the garage, he did a great race today."