A huge crowd of more than 115,000 fans saw Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) take his fourth premier class victory in a row at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) also on the podium at Jerez.
Marquez (pictured below) becomes the first rider to win the opening four premier class races of the year since Mick Doohan in 1992. Marquez had never previously won at Jerez in the World Championship.
An early lead from the Movistar Yamaha pair of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo did not discourage a dominant Marquez who lost several places over the opening corners. The young Spaniard had overtaken both by the end of the first lap.
It was a lonely race from there as the current MotoGP World Champion focused on extending his lead at the front. No-one was able to challenge him from the moment he retook the lead.
Marc Marquez: “I started well today, but when I saw that Valentino was trying to pass me on the first corner I knew his intention was to slow down the race so he could control the pace. Riding behind him I realised that I could go faster, so I tried to overtake him as soon as possible. I was surprised, because I wasn’t expecting to open up a gap. Anyway, I am in good form at the moment, but I can see that Dani, Valentino and Jorge are giving their 100% in every practice and in every race. I’m sure that sooner or later will come a race in which we are unable win, but we will have to learn from that and try to take important points.”
Rossi put in a tremendous fight for his second place on the podium. Starting from fourth on the grid the nine-time world champion had jumped to second as he chased down race leader Marc Marquez. Two laps of tense drama then followed with the two rivals swapping leads as they pushed each other to the limit. Marquez emerged the front-runner as the race settled with Rossi following close behind. The Italian was unable to match the race leader’s pace but was able to stay ahead of the chasing riders.
Valentino Rossi: “I’m very happy because Jerez is one of my favourite circuits and race weekends, also for the people around the track and the atmosphere. We worked very well during the weekend and improved the bike, also this morning it looked like I could be quite competitive for the race. I chose the extra hard tyre on the front, it was a risk but I was worried about the medium at the end of the race.
“The condition of the track today was very bad, the bike slid everywhere and the front kept closing, I think I did a great job, I did a good start and I tried to stay with Marc but it was impossible. After that I tried to keep my pace and push where I could and where my bike was well balanced and I kept quite constant. At the end Dani arrived but I had just a little bit of desperation in the last lap to stay in front. I’m very proud and happy to arrive in second position here as it was 2010 the last time I stood on the Jerez podium.”
Pedrosa spent his race with Rossi and Lorenzo and traced them for the first twenty laps, but with just seven laps remaining he passed Lorenzo and chased down Rossi. In the end it came down – once again – to the final corner, but Rossi was able to hold on and beat Dani to second place by just nine hundredths of a second. Dani has now finished on the podium in Jerez for the past 10 years.
Dani Pedrosa: “The race today was very difficult; I had problems with the front tyre from the opening lap and I tried to overcome the situation as best I could. I saw that Marc was breaking away but couldn’t do anything to stick with him – it was completely his race today. I was able to stay behind the Yamahas for many laps, and at the end I made my attack. I was able to overtake Lorenzo but would have needed one or two more corners to try and pass Rossi. I did my best and took third place. We will see if at tomorrow’s test we can be closer to Marc and fight to the maximum at the next race”
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had to settle for fourth at his 200th GP, crossing the line 8.5s behind Marquez on his 27th birthday.
Jorge Lorenzo: “I did a bad start today, this weekend we didn’t have a good practice start in any session. The race was worse than I expected and my physical condition was worse than I expected also so we need to work more on that and wait for our moment.”
Behind the factory Honda and Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso was the top man for the Ducati Team in fifth, whilst there was disappointment for his team-mate Cal Crutchlow who retired early on his comeback, and wild card test rider Michele Pirro who crashed out in the initial laps.
There was relief for Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) as he picked up his first points of 2014 in sixth, finishing just 0.112s behind Dovizioso.
Meanwhile, Bautista’s compatriot Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was seventh and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) eighth, the pair of them also reaching the finish line within 0.5s of Dovizioso.
The top ten was rounded out by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP).
The were retirements for Mike Di Meglio (Avintia Racing) after some tyre issues and Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) due to a technical problem, whilst crashes for Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) ended their respective point scoring runs.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 27 laps
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) +1.431s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) +1.529s
4. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) +8.541s
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) +27.494s
6. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) +27.606s
7. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) +27.917s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) +27.947s
9. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* +29.419s
10. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) +32.872s
11. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) +35.490s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) +40.083s
13. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* +43.830s
14. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) +52.295s
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) +54.873s
16. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) +1m 06.182s
17. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* +1m 23.420s
18. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)
19. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)*
20. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici)
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R)
22. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici)
23. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici)
DNS Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART)
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 100
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 72
3 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 61
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 45
5 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 35
6 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 30
7 Aleix Espargaro NGM Forward Racing 30
8 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 28
9 Pol Espargaro Monster Yamaha Tech 3 25
10 Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing 25
11 Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar 23
12 Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar 19
13 Scott Redding GO&FUN Honda Gresini 14
14 Yonny Hernandez Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing 13
15 Cal Crutchlow Ducati Team 10
16 Alvaro Bautista GO&FUN Gresini Honda 10
17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 8
18 Colin Edwards NGM Forward Racing 7
19 Danilo Petrucci IodaRacing Project 2
20 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing 2
21 Broc Parkes Paul Bird Motorsport 1
Moto2 – West finishes just out of top 10
Moto2 victory was secured by Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) as he crossed the line 2.434s in front of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), with Jonas Folger (AGR Team) joining them on the podium in third place.
Tito Rabat came in fourth and remains at the top of the championship standings.
Behind the front four Moto3 World Champion Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) got the better of teammate and fellow lightweight class graduate Luis Salom for fifth place.
The top ten was completed by Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2).
Australian Anthony West, QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) finished in 11th place.
Moto3 – Miller unlucky at Jerez
Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), took victory from fellow podium finishers Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the final lap.
A tight leading group did battle for the honours over the course of the 23 lap race, with Fenati taking the victory by just 0.144s after a 102km-long battle. The Italian rider held off a strong final lap challenge from Rins to give KTM their 50th Grand Prix triumph.
Also crossing the finishing line in the top five were Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team), both around a second off the podium pace.
Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team), Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) and Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) completed the top ten at a red hot Jerez.
Eric Granado (Calvo Team) crashed out on the first lap, and fractured a finger on his left hand in the process. Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) rejoined having also crashed in early stages after clashing with Bagnaia but later retired.
Wild card Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) also fell mid race, whilst Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) and Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) were late crashers, but none were hurt. Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Arthur Sissis (Mahindra Racing) both pulled into the pits with technical problems, meaning a total of seven riders were unable to finish the race.