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Magnificent Marquez makes it four-in-a-row in Spain on his 100th GP
World Champion Marc Marquez takes his fourth win from pole - from the first four races of 2014 - and becomes the first rider to win the Spanish GP from pole since Capirossi in 2006. Teammate Dani Pedrosa takes third, missing out on second place by just 0.098s to Valentino Rossi, and moving into joint third in all-time premier class podiums.
It was once again a frantic start to the race, in front of 117,001 fans, with everyone vying for position. Marc and Rossi traded places for the lead several times on the opening lap as Dani battled with Lorenzo and Dovizioso in 4th. Finally Marc passed Rossi, before the end of the first lap, and began to push. From this point the young Spaniard opened a comfortable lead and set the fastest lap of the race on lap five (1'39.841). He then led to the chequered flag, completing a flawless race.
Dani 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.
At the age of just 21 years and 76 days, Marc is the fourth youngest rider ever to reach the milestone of 100 GP starts, taking 36 wins, 59 podium finishes and 41 pole positions. He has raced at 22 different circuits during his Grand Prix career and has now won at 20 of them - the only two missing are Donington Park and Shanghai where MotoGP no longer visit. Dani's 3rd place in Jerez also marks a milestone as he equals the podium count of Giacomo Agostini on 88. The only riders with more podium finishes - in the premier class - are Rossi (148) and Doohan (95).
The team will remain in Jerez for an Official Post-Race Test tomorrow before packing up and heading to Le Mans, France for round five in two weeks time.
1st - Championship Standing: 1st - 100 points
"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"
3rd - Championship Standing: 2nd - 72 points
"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"
Rossi Stays Strong for Superb Second in Jerez
Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Valentino Rossi put in a stunning effort today to take the second step on the podium for the Gran Premio de España at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain. A record crowd of 117,000 people were present to witness the Doctors fight for his second podium honours of the season in extremely hot conditions with track temperatures reaching 50 degrees.
Starting from fourth on the grid the nine-time world champion had jumped to third by the first corner and second swiftly after 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 limits. Marquez emerged the front-runner as the race settled with Rossi following close behind. The Italian was unable to match the race leaders pace but was able to stay ahead of the chasing riders. As the last laps ran down Dani Pedrosa closed in to challenge for second but with the gap dropping to just two tenths of a second Rossi held on for a well deserved second place.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzos 200th Grand Prix race had a less than perfect start as he dropped from second to fifth off the line. The local hero was quick to recover, taking two positions to slot into third behind Rossi and join the drama filled opening laps. With 16 laps to go Lorenzo was still able to maintain a half second gap to his teammate in front however the distance began to slowly increase as his grip levels began to drop dramatically. With six laps remaining he could no longer hold off following rider Pedrosa, dropping to a lonely fourth place that was his to the line, nearly 20 seconds ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in fifth.
Rossi remains in third position with his podium finish, now on 61 points and 11 behind Pedrosa in second. Lorenzos fourth place finish moves him up two places in the standings to fifth with a total of 35 points, ten behind Dovizioso in fourth.
The team now enjoy a well-earned two-week break before heading to France for the Le Mans race on the 18th May.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team completed their third consistent double top ten finish in the MotoGP World Championship today in the scorching heat at Jerez, with Bradley Smith finishing in 8th and Pol Espargaro in 9th.
The 27 lap race proved to be an arduous affair, with the track temperatures reaching an extreme of 50°again. Monster Yamaha Tech3s Bradley Smith displayed complete determination to chase the battle for 5th and attempt to equal his best ever result from round 2 at Texas. The 23-year-old British rider undertook a brilliant start from 9th on the grid, to aggressively claim five positions by the first corner. As the laps progressed, Smith was shuffled back to 8th, yet he remained composed, and proceeded to recover the lost ground to the riders in front during the latter half of the race before closing to within a second in the final leg of the race. During the last lap it looked likely for the British rider to mount an attack, having caught the rear of the pack, but he narrowly missed out by 0.453 of a second to the leader of the four rider tussle, in what was another firm display by the young English.
Rookie Pol Espargaro gathered countless experience in tyre management to record another successful points scoring finish today at Jerez. Having chosen the harder rear tyre option, the decision allowed him to progress up the MotoGP field after completing the first lap in 11th. The reigning Moto2 champion then set into a superb race pace, and consistently lapped at 1. 41. He ruthlessly hunted down the riders in front and closed the deficit to catch Honda rider Stefan Bradl before surging past on lap 18. Espargaro then aimed to gain ground on his teammate, but the gap was too large to close before the finish flag dropped.
It was a GP of mixed fortunes for the NGM Forward Racing Team with Aleix Espargaro first open and 7th overall after a great battle for the 5th position, while team mate Colin Edwards retired due to a fuel problem.
Starting from the second row, Espargaro recovered from the 8th to 6th position and than he was protagonist of a great battle with Andrea Dovizioso on a factory Ducati for the 5th place. Aleix had a better rhythm than the Italian and he overtook him several times on the hard brakings but every time Dovizioso passed him again on the straight. Espargaro fought hard for the 5th position till the end with Andrea and Bautista and he finally finished 7th. With this result, Aleix Espargaro is 7th in the Championship with 30 points.
It was a difficult race for Colin Edwards, who after the strong performance from yesterday was starting from the 4th row. He made a great start but another rider bumped into him in turn 1 and he lost some positions. He tried to recover but went wide. Despite he was struggling a lot with his machine, he was maintaining the 15th position, when with one lap to go he was obliged to retire due to a fuel issue
Im 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 and 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. Im very proud and happy to arrive in second position here as it was 2010 the last time I stood on the Jerez podium.
I did a bad start today, this weekend we didnt 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.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
Its great to see Vale riding on form and back on the podium here in Jerez. It was a tough race and he really earned the podium. Tyres were always going to be critical here with the temperatures this weekend, he chose the hard front and that paid off. Unfortunately for Jorge his 200th Grand Prix didn't end as we had hoped for him. The conditions were very challenging and he was unable to keep his pace to the end of the race. We will take our learnings from today and use them for our testing here tomorrow. We will work to prepare for the Le Mans race as best as possible and be ready to go to France in two weeks.
Weve had a few issues over this weekend, so 8th position is not a bad result at all. The plan was always to be in the fight for 5th, and it would have been great to finish at the front of that group, but I am still pleased with what we achieved. To be competitive until the final lap, obviously makes me happy and we made the right decision on the tyre choice. Every rider was struggling somewhat, so it was a case of trying to stays smooths as possible and not making any errors. Another big positive was that I was much stronger at the beginning of the race with the full fuel load. This means that the work we have done so far this weekend has been positive, but theres still some more we need to do at the test tomorrow. I am sure well be strong again in Le Mans for the teams home event.
Today has been another learning experience. To be honest I came to Jerez with higher expectations, but the weekend has been a really tough one. I struggled more than I expected, so to end up in the group fighting for 5th place is actually nothing I should be too upset about. Unfortunately, I lost some positions at the beginning of the race and when I found my rhythm, I was able to push back to Bradley and the guys in front of me. I was already tired and couldnt push any harder with my tyres so I wasnt able to pass any of them. But it is still very positive that we were able to stay close to the other factory bikes. Im really happy to have a test day tomorrow because Ive still so many things to learn and I want to be as prepared as possible for the teams home race in Le Mans during the next week.
It was a good race and we did the maximum. We did a hard battle with Dovizioso for the 5th positions. I had a better rhythm but every time I passed him in the braking, he passed me again in the straight. We lacked of acceleration in the straight, but I tried to stay calm. We finally finished 7th behind the factory bikes. I have to be satisfied because we did a great job with the team and we will keep on working.
I had a good start but in T1 somebody bumped me and then I went wide losing important positions. I pushed but with my style I cannot make this bike turn. I tried to force and push but I was losing the front a lot. Then in the end I had a problem with the fuel that got too hot and the bike stopped. Im very disappointed and I look forward to race in Le Mans, where I have got good results.
Fourth successive victory for Marquez after Spanish MotoGP? triumph
Round 4: Spanish MotoGP? - Race
Circuito de Jerez, Sunday 4 May 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative - front), Extra-hard (Alternative - rear)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 28-29°C; Track 54-55°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez won his first ever Grand Prix at Jerez and made it four victories from four starts to take a commanding position in the MotoGP championship standings.
Starting his one-hundredth Grand Prix, Marquez exchanged the race lead with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi during the opening laps, before increasing his pace - setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five - to build a comfortable gap over his challengers. Marquez then controlled the race to cross the finish line 1.431 seconds ahead of Rossi in second place. In third place was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who stormed home in the final laps but ultimately crossed the finish line just 0.098 seconds behind Rossi. All riders on the podium opted for the medium compound rear slick, with Marquez and Pedrosa using the medium compound front, while Rossi selected the hard compound front slick for the race.
Hot and dry conditions were present for the twenty-seven lap Spanish Grand Prix and during the race the track temperature reached its highest level of the weekend at 55°C. Although conditions were extremely hot, all three asymmetric rear slick options supplied this weekend worked well on the greasy track surface and were used during the race. The extra-soft rear slick was the most popular choice with ten riders selecting this option for the race. The soft rear slick was selected by seven riders, with the remaining six riders opting for the medium compound rear. Front tyre choice showed a strong preference for the medium compound option, with twenty of the twenty-three entrants choosing this option.
Marquez's flawless start to the season gives him a twenty-eight point lead in the MotoGP? championship standings over teammate Pedrosa after just four rounds. Rossi remains in third place and a further eleven points adrift.
Kyota Futami - General Manager, Global Motorsport Department, Bridgestone Corporation
"Repsol Honda and Marc dominated another race weekend and I'd like to congratulate Marc on winning his first ever Grand Prix at Jerez. This is such a fantastic venue for racing and this weekend was no exception, with the largest crowd in the last few years coming out to support the MotoGP riders. Both our front and rear tyre allocation for this race was changed from last year, and I am happy that it was received well by the riders. It was unfortunate to hear Danilo broke his wrist in his accident during Warm Up and I hope that he makes a quick recovery and is back on his bike soon. The next round is at Le Mans which in terms of layout is very different from Jerez, so it will be interesting to see if this will enable another rider to make a strong challenge for the race victory."
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"It was very hot all weekend but the conditions were consistent each day which meant the teams and riders had a lot of opportunities to evaluate their tyre options for the race. Jerez can be a difficult circuit when the temperatures are high, but our new expanded front tyre allocation ensured the riders had options to manage the challenging conditions. It was good to see that all three rear slick options we brought to Jerez performed well in the race and I hope we see similar variation in race tyre choice for the next round at Le Mans. For now our technical team will be on hand to assist the MotoGP test at Jerez tomorrow and once again it looks like it will be very hot here."
Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda - Race Winner
"Of course I'm really happy. It was a different kind of victory as at this circuit I struggled a little bit during the weekend. Everyone was so close in the race but at the beginning on the new tyres I felt good so I could push hard to create a gap as I knew at the end of the race Dani and Valentino would be strong. It was a special victory and we are in a good moment, so now we need to try and keep our advantage."
Aspar Drive M7
NICKY HAYDEN SHOWS BEST FORM TO DATE
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider completes solitary race with third consecutive eleventh place. Hiroshi Aoyama takes twelfth, five seconds back
Much like last year's Spanish Grand Prix, this season's race at Jerez enjoyed its best moments right at the start, with the winner decided after only a couple of laps. Marc Márquez started from pole, but was overtaken by Valentino Rossi off the line. When Márquez got back in front, Rossi responded with another pass attempt on the inside. The strategy of slowing down the Spaniard was clear, but from the third lap a run of four consecutive race fastest laps took Márquez away -the only rider to go round in under 1'39. He claimed a fourth consecutive victory this season, Rossi took second place by a matter of metres, and Dani Pedrosa clinched third after cutting the gap to the Italian.
Now that the championship has stabilised slightly, and not counting the anomalous Qatar race, it is apparent that DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden is finding his way with the new RCV1000R. As a winning rider he was obviously dissatisfied with eleventh, but the American continues with his intention of improvement. Riding steadily this weekend, beating his lap times in every session and finishing only just outside the Top 10 in the race, Hayden took eleventh place for the third consecutive round. Today he was only 35 seconds behind the winner, and 8 seconds off the second group.
Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama had a brilliant race from the back. The start of the race was hard for him, due to a lack of feeling with the cold front tyre. Aoyama's caution caused him to drop down several places. Later on, the DRIVE M7 Aspar rider increased the pace to regain lost ground and achieve twelfth position, almost 5 seconds behind his teammate.
11th Nicky Hayden: "On paper this circuit should be more favourable than others for our bike, considering that here the difference in top speed would not be so big. On the first two laps the second group tried to escape, but I fought to catch them up and I have ended up close to Bradl. However, as the laps went by I made a mistake at Turn 4 and he broke away. It was a shame, as it would have been nice to beat a factory rider. In any case, looking at our pace and performance today, we have had our best race so far. Today we used the super soft tyres and they worked really well; we knew it was bit risky to complete the full race distance with them, because they may not have reached the end intact. I want to thank Bridgestone for letting us use them. The most convenient and safe thing for them would have been to not allow us to use such a soft compound, but they left it up to us. This was important to us, aswe always have to find the limit of tyre grip to maintain speed when cornering. In the end the tyres were very consistent and I had fun riding. I'm pretty satisfied. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile at the circuit for their work with me this weekend, because they managed to reduce the discomfort in my hand."
12th Hiroshi Aoyama: "Today we had a very hot and hard race. I tried to fight from the beginning to keep my position but it was difficult for me to find a feeling with the front tyre. That meant I could not push hard at the start of the race and needed to be more prudent. Fortunately, after seven laps I started to feel more comfortable on the bike and gained confidence with the tyres. Gradually I found my place and I was able to pick up the pace to try to gain positions. I managed to reach the group riding in front of me and tried to overtake them, but when I felt most comfortable I was blocked by other riders. It was a shame, because I could not make the most of the tyres when they were performing at their best. In any case, I am satisfied that we had quite a positive pace, both in practice and in the race. This gives us more confidence for the next races."
ARM-PUMP HINDERS BRADL'S RACE IN JEREZ
Jerez, 4 May: in today's Gran Premio de Espana at Jerez circuit, LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl managed to finish the 27-lap race in 10th position battling with some unexpected arm pump problems. The German was quite satisfied with the work carried out over the course of the last two days and was aiming to produce another strong result. But his race has been more difficult than he was expecting because, after few laps, Bradl had to cope with some arm pump problems that heavily affected his performance. He will carry on with the post-race test tomorrow but will see his doctor on Tuesday for a deep medical check.
Stefan: "I am very disappointed! After few laps I could feel a problem with my right arm similar to the one we had in the past with the arm-pump. This track is particularly demanding and I could not get the right feeling on braking and going on throttle so I just managed to finish this disappointing race. This unexpected problem destroyed my race and it's not an excuse because we had the right pace to fight with the front guys. I had a successful surgery to cure this problem on November 2012 but I definitely have to see the doctors once I go back after the test tomorrow".
A weekend in below expectations for Pramac Racing Team
In this mornings warm-up Yonny Hernandez was positive for the race, closing the session with an amazing sixth overall time, Andrea Iannone made a small step forward compared to yesterday's qualifying session closing the "WUP" with the twelfth time, that was an encouraging result. In the race, both riders were authors of a great start that allowed them to gain many positions. During the race the two Pramac riders encountered some difficulties: Andrea crashed on the fifth lap while fighting for seventh place, Yonny had problems with the front tire, not allowing him to go beyond the fourteenth position.
Andrea Iannone - Pramac Racing- rockets from the fifteenth position, from which he started, to eighth place and immediately finding the pace to stay in second group of riders on the last turn of the fifth lap Andrea crashes losing the front tire. Proving himself a true fighter after the crash, gaining a few positions. Five laps from the end of the race Iannone was forced to retire due to the damages caused during the crash.
Yonny Hernandez - EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing - was fired up this morning after a good warm-up that ended with his sixth position just a few tenths of a second from Dani Pedrosa. Yonny, ready to take on this first Spanish Race, starts of well, by earning five positions on the first lap. Unfortunately, right from the early stages of the race, the Colombian rider could not push as hard as he wanted due to a annoying understeer. Yonny is forced to settle for a pace in 1'42 and finished the race in fourteenth position.
The next round of the MotoGP World Championship is scheduled for May 18 at the historic French circuit of Le Mans.
Andrea Iannone ( Pramac Racing)
"I'm very sorry for how the race went today, I did not want to go like this. I wanted to fight with the second group of riders but in the last corner of the fifth lap I lost the front tire and I crashed. Considering my pace that was similar to Dovizioso, I'm sure I would have had the chance to fight for a position in the top eight ranking. Now we have to wait for the GP at Le Mans that should be a more favorable track for our bike. "
Yonny Hernandez ( EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing)
"I gained two points more for championship, but I'm not very happy with the result because I believe I can do better. Unfortunately I was not able to maintain a lower race pace since I has a problem in many understeer. I've never had this problem with this tire over the weekend, in the middle of the race I tried to push a bit more, but I almost crashed. I saw that who was behind me was not close and I settled in the fourteenth position."
BAUTISTA FINISHES HIS FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON AT JEREZ IN 6th PLACE. REDDING 13th
The unfortunate period of Alvaro Bautista finally came to an end today at Jerez, during the Spanish Grand Prix: after three retirements in as many races, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider finished his home race in sixth place. Started from tenth place after two very complicated days of practice, the Spaniard was able to recover several positions in the second half of the race, putting also on display a nice last lap battle with Andrea Dovizioso for the fith place.
His team-mate, Scott Redding, continued to struggle with grip issues, but fought tenaciously for all the 27 laps, eventually adding another 3 World Championship points to his tally thanks to the 13th place.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th)
"Today's race was not bad, despite a difficult weekend. The team worked in a fantastic way, but we couldn't find a good setting for the race, so I knew it would have been tough. At the start I immediately struggled with front grip, losing the front end in several parts of the track. In any case, I tried to keep my pace and when I saw that the riders in front of me were opening a gap, I kept calm. Later I started to recover and I was also able to overtake them. The last lap battle with Dovizioso was exciting: congratulations to him, who defended very well the fifth position. It must be said that given our situation I preferred not to take too many risks: our primary goal was to finish the race. I'm glad I finished my first Grand Prix of the season and I hope that from now on we can be competitive as we were in winter testing and in the first race".
SCOTT REDDING (13th)
"The race for me was the best part of the weekend, because after two complicated days of practice it's good to be in the top 15. In the beginning Crutchlow had a problem, but he was holding the line, so I had to make quite an aggressive move to pass him, and doing so I lost the contact with Hayden; then I tried to push more, but I almost closed the front. Anyway my rhythm was not so bad, until the tyre started to drop, with the rear wheel spinning a lot. All in all I'm satisfied with today's race, but we have still a lot of work to do".