Crutchlow and Pirro retire after just a few laps.
An excellent race by Andrea Dovizioso saw the Italian rider finish the Spanish Grand Prix, round 4 of the MotoGP World Championship held at Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, in fifth place. Dovizioso, who led going into the first turn after a brilliant start, ran fifth for almost the entire race, but he also had to defend the place from Aleix Espargarò and Alvaro Bautista. The battle only ended at the final corner before the chequered flag, when Dovizioso dived inside Bautista to take the fifth slot.
The race was an unfortunate one for Cal Crutchlow, who had a difficult weekend. Despite the problem of his right hand, injured at Austin, the British rider started well from row 5 and immediately began to lap strongly. Cal passed five riders in four laps and was soon up into ninth. Unfortunately at the end of lap 5 he had to come into the pits with a front brake problem that led to his definitive retirement.
Michele Pirro’s race, on board the Ducati Test Team’s GP14, did not last long: after three laps in fact the Italian crashed in the final part of the circuit and was unable to continue.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th: “I am so happy with this fifth place. Jerez is one of the toughest tracks for Ducati and for me: this result is very important and it confirms that we are working well and that I can now manage to get the best out of the GP14 in the race. The gap to the leaders however is still too big, but in this early part of the season we didn’t expect anything else. We will continue to work hard because we want to get closer to the front, but winning the battle today against a Honda and a Yamaha Open, on a track where there is a lot of tyre wear, was a great satisfaction for me and it was also very exciting.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF: “I am very disappointed with today’s result, especially because I got a great start and the feeling with my bike in the race was the best I’ve had all weekend. I was making up a lot of places and was up to ninth when my brakes failed. I slowed down for a lap to try and see if they would work again, but they didn’t and I pulled in just to be on the safe side, but it was clear that I had no brake lever working. It’s a pity, because I was happy and comfortable on the bike in the early stages and was sure I could have got a good result in the group that involved Andrea today. As for my hand, once the race got going it was no problem.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – DNF: “For me it wasn’t a good race. I had Redding in front of me, he lost the front and at the same time I lost the front as well and found myself on the ground without even realizing it. Pity, because I had started off knowing that I could improve as the race went on, because we had worked well on the bike this weekend and for sure I could have got some points. These last two races at Termas and Jerez have been tough for me, hopefully I can do a lot better at Mugello.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager): “For sure I am very happy about Dovizioso’s result. Andrea did a fantastic race: in the last few laps when he had to put in the extra effort, he gritted his teeth and showed exceptional determination. I’m obviously sorry about what happened to Cal because his bike had a problem that had never appeared before. The fluid in the brake system reached a really high temperature and we are checking with Brembo the reason for this problem. Seeing Dovizioso so motivated and determined however can only be good for Ducati and it will push us to work even harder”.