Marquez takes a momentous win at Jerez, Pedrosa crashes out of podium fight
A masterful race performance by Marc Marquez at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto earned him and the Repsol Honda Team a second consecutive win and the leadership in both the Rider and Constructor Classifications. This was the 63rd win of Marc’s career and his 37th in MotoGP (equaling Mike Hailwood’s mark in the Premier class), and a great success at a track where he has always struggled, which demonstrates the great feeling he has with his RC213V this season.
On the other hand, a turn-six race incident on lap 18 prevented Dani Pedrosa from fighting for a podium finish that was clearly within his reach. The incident also involved Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. Dani escaped a heavy high-side without major injury, but he suffered a hard blow to his right hip and will therefore wait until tomorrow before deciding whether to take part in the one-day test that the Repsol Honda Team will attend at the same Jerez track.
“This win in front of these amazing fans is great! I’m very happy with the result, which is especially important at this track, because winning here is usually difficult for me. That said, I was convinced before the start that I could fight for the victory today. It was a tough weekend, but we did good work, and in the end I was able to manage the race in the best way, despite the fact that I wasn’t the fastest rider out there today. The key was the rear-tyre choice; we made the decision after the warm-up to go with the medium, and that was the right move. Then I was able to take the lead at the right moment and push when I had the chance. I also had a big moment when I hit some dirt on the track. When I realized that the asphalt was covered in gravel, it was already too late. I closed the gas, but I had a huge slide! Let’s say it was a bit of a ‘Marquez style’ show! I’m happy to have taken my first win at Angel Nieto’s Circuit, and to have an advantage in the Championship. We’ll have a test here tomorrow, and we’ll try to continue the good work. It will be a long season and we must keep our focus high.”
“I have a lot of pain in my right hip, which is very swollen at the moment, so tomorrow we’ll have to see how I feel and whether I’ll be able to ride in the test. Regarding the race, of course it’s a great pity. I was riding well and was able to keep a very good pace, even if I wasn’t totally comfortable with the acceleration, and making passes was difficult for me. I was just sticking to Dovi and Jorge, trying to see if I could conserve my tyres and improve my pace at the end of the race, or if they would make a mistake. Finally they did, and they both went very wide. I kept the regular inside line, and the next thing I felt was a big hit, and I suffered a heavy high-side. Unfortunately, it ended up with the three of us crashing. I’m very sad and disappointed for all of us, as we were having a great race but ended with zero points, and also because all of us are used to a nice style of riding and didn’t deserve this result. However, what makes me sadder and more disappointed is that I could see that the Race Direction don’t seem to understand very well how to manage these situations, and how to make decisions about things that happen on the track. I went to speak with them, just because I wanted to understand how they make decisions. In the end, there are many people who watch us, and many other riders who look at us as examples. I asked them how they judge: Was I on the correct inside line? Yes. Were the other guys on the outside coming back from a mistake, re-joining the right line? Yes. So who has the preference in this case, the guy who is inside or those who are outside? The one on the inside. So, who was at fault? But I didn’t get an answer, only that they had already made their decision and that if I didn’t agree with it, which I don’t, to appeal against Jorge if I wanted. But I didn’t want that, as I don’t want Jorge to be penalized, only for them to understand correctly what is happening on track.”
Both Ducati Team riders forced to retire from Spanish GP after a crash at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit
The two Ducati Team riders had to retire from today’s Spanish Grand Prix, held today at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit, after a crash on lap 18.
Jorge Lorenzo, who got off to a great start, moved to the front at the first corner and kept the position until lap 7, when he was passed by Marquez. The Spanish rider held on to second place until lap 17, but he was hit by Pedrosa at Turn 6 on the following lap and in turn hit the bike of his team-mate, accidently causing both the other riders to crash out and retire.
Andrea Dovizioso made a great recovery in the early laps after starting from row 3, and he moved into third position on lap 9. The Italian rider then latched on to Lorenzo and tried to pass him at the start of lap 18, but he went wide at Turn 6 and was involved in the incident between his team-mate and Pedrosa which put all three men out of the race.
The next round is the French GP, scheduled for Le Mans from 18-20 May.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF
“What a pity! On the one hand I’m happy with the feeling that I had with the bike, my speed and how I managed the race: to start from behind and make up places here at Jerez, lapping almost at the same pace as Marquez who then won the race, is truly a great satisfaction. But in the end I go home with no points, and this is a very negative result at this moment, because we are fighting against a very strong rider and bike and as a result we can’t afford to lose 20 points when it was a foregone conclusion. About the incident, I braked right on the limit because I had been trying to pass Jorge for a few laps: I went wide and made Jorge go wide a bit as well, Dani saw an opening and jumped in too quickly and in the end bad luck would have it that when they came together they also took me down with them.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – DNF
“I’m really disappointed about the crash, especially because it involved three of the fairest riders in the world championship, and for this reason I don’t want to go into detail about what happened. We were for sure very unlucky and it was a racing incident: Pedrosa went in very hard but I don’t think we can blame anyone except for bad luck and I’m really sorry for Andrea and for Ducati. Satisfaction remains for the great race we were doing, for my explosive start and for our determination, but I’m also happy with the way we worked the entire weekend. This race was a step ahead in our development and, even though we are still two or three tenths of a second off the pace, we are on the right path.”