These just in:
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken a home win in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, putting in a flawless performance to make some amends for his crash out the lead in Texas – and taking back the Championship lead. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), despite a difficult qualifying, sliced through to take second and second in the Championship by just a single point, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the podium for the first time this season in third.
Marquez took the holeshot from third on the grid, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) just getting the jump on rookie, polesitter teammate Fabio Quartararo to slot into second. But it was tight, with Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) initially threatening for P2 but then getting shuffled back to fifth behind Viñales. Rins made progress as well, immediately moving up from his P9 on the grid.
Marquez set about getting into a rhythm at the front, but Morbidelli wasn’t letting the reigning Champion escape. Little by little, however, the gap began to extend. And as the number 21 dropped off the back of the Repsol Honda in the lead, teammate Quartararo was looking menacing in third. Sure enough and soon enough, the Frenchman was able to capitalise on a small mistake for the Italian and it was the rookie polesitter into second.
Unleashed, Quartararo soon set about getting on terms with Marquez’ pace and dropped the squabble for third in a few corners – looking like he might even be on for a forward assault. But suddenly, the Frenchman’s Petronas Yamaha SRT machine was moving off the racing line and Quartararo was left dejected on the way back to pitlane with a mechanical problem. From a record-breaking and youngest ever pole position to a chance at his first MotoGP™ podium, the number 20 sadly left Jerez empty handed.
That left Morbidelli in second and Rins in third after slicing past Viñales – with Dovizioso and Petrucci giving chase. Morbidelli then began sliding backwards down the order, however, as Rins got past before Viñales, Dovizioso and Petrucci were able to follow suit. And the Suzuki of Rins then started cutting into Marquez’ lead…
It wasn’t to be, however, as the Spaniard escaped the fight to complete the podium but wasn’t able to reel in the race leader. Marquez crossed the line in clear air for an impressive answer to his critics after his COTA crash, and the 25 points for the win put him back at the top of the Championship by a single point. Ahead of whom? Alex Rins, who moves up into second after his impressive second from ninth on the grid.
The fight for third became a duel between Viñales and Dovizioso, and the Italian was close throughout the final lap looking for a way through – but the Spaniard held firm. Under pressure throughout, he took his first podium of the season after some difficulties with the start in recent races. Petrucci followed his teammate home in sixth – a couple of seconds back – with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) slicing through to sixth from P13 on the grid.
Rossi fought off the likes of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – who later crashed out – Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and, eventually, Morbidelli too to make his progress through – the ‘Doctor’ inside the top ten for the first time in the weekend on Sunday.
Morbidelli was in P7 by the flag ahead of Crutchlow, Nakagami, and an impressive P10 from wildcard and Honda test rider Stefan Bradl (HRC Team). Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was 11th, ahead of a very difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) down in 12th. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was P13 ahead of teammate Johann Zarco, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) completing the points on home turf.
So as we leave the Spanish GP and head for the new challenge of Le Mans, it’s Marquez who’s made amends for his COTA crash and taken back the Championship lead – by a single point. Rins lurks close and seemingly needs only to work on his qualifying, and Fabio Quartararo looks to recreate his Jerez form on home turf. Don’t miss the fifth round of the season and tune in for France on the 19th May for more MotoGP™.
1 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) 41’08.685
2 – Alex Rins (SPA – Suzuki) +1.654
3 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) +2.443
Podium L-R: Rins, Marquez and Viñales
Baldassarri back on top in dramatic Jerez
Italian takes third win in four races after a dramatic Moto2™ encounter in Spain – with Navarro back on the rostrum and Fernandez taking his first Grand Prix podium
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) has laid further serious groundwork for his assault on the 2019 Moto2™ World Championship in Jerez, winning a shortened race ahead of COTA podium finisher and form man Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up). Baldassarri’s teammate Augusto Fernandez, who returned from injury at his home Grand Prix, put in a stunning ride to his first ever Grand Prix podium as he took third.
The race was cut to 15 laps after a first start saw a chaotic first two corners with multiple-rider incidents, and first faller Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was unable to make the restart, as was Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). In addition, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who couldn’t avoid contact with Gardner’s bike, was forced to restart from pitlane at his home Grand Prix – nevertheless a feat and some formidable work from the EG 0,0 Marc VDS mechanics to get the machine race ready.
So off the line the second time around, it was Fernandez who got the holeshot, the Spaniard making a stunner of a start to head teammate Baldassarri and the two immediately bolting away. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt IntactGP) was in third and Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in fourth initially, but Navarro was a man on the move and was soon through into fifth on the chase.
Meanwhile, Baldassarri’s pace was searing and the Italian was closing in on his teammate. By nine laps to go the gap was only a couple of tenths and the move came later in the lap, with the number 07 machine then starting to break away – as Navarro got the hammer down, now up into third.
A few laps later the Spaniard was starting to make some serious gains, and with three laps left on the clock it was close between the leading trio. Sure enough, Navarro was able to push through into second a lap later, with Lüthi threatening in fourth but the fight for the podium seemingly set to be between three men.
Over the line for the final lap, Baldassarri was well over half a second clear but the Speed Up behind him wouldn’t be shaken off and Navarro was shaving tenths off the Championship leader’s margin. Despite that, Baldassarri couldn’t quite be caught and the Italian crossed the line to take his third win of the year – although it was only three and a half tenths at the flag. Fernandez followed the two home for his impressive P3.
Lüthi took fourth for some solid Championship points, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking P5 and his best result of the year so far ahead of Vierge. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) took his best ever Grand Prix result in seventh, beating his previous best by a single position.
Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) beat an impressive ride from rookie teammate Nicolo Bulega – back from injury – to take P8, with Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) completing the top ten behind the duo.
Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) wasn’t far off the top ten though and was second rookie, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) next up in twelfth. Dominique Aegerter (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward) took more points for the new MV Agusta in P13 – after scoring their first at COTA – with Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completing the points. Schrötter had been pushed wide early on.
Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) were amongst those who crashed.
That’s it from Moto2™ and after an expensive day in the standings for the likes of Marquez and a perfect result for Baldassarri, we roll on to Le Mans – with the Italian now 17 points ahead.
1 – Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA – Kalex) 25’33.841
2 – Jorge Navarro (SPA – Speed Up) +0.359
3 – Augusto Fernandez (SPA – Kalex) +1.091
Podium L-R: Navarro, Baldassarri and Fernandez
Antonelli and Suzuki sublime for a 1-2 in Andalusia
SIC58 Squadra Corse take their first win and 1-2 to mark a special anniversary for the squad
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took an impressive victory in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, getting back on the top step for the first time since Qatar 2016 and back on the podium for the first time since Motegi in 2017. The win marks a milestone first ever victory for the SIC58 Squadra Corse team, and Antonelli’s teammate Tatsuki Suzuki took his first podium to made it double delight and a 1-2 for the team. The historic result for the squad, run by late MotoGP™ Legend Marco Simoncelli’s father Paolo, is also an emotional one as it comes on the 15th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli’s first Grand Prix win, taken on the 2nd May in the 125cc race in the 2004 Spanish GP. Rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) joined the two SIC58 Squadra Corse machines on the podium for his second ever rostrum finish.
Suzuki took the holeshot from middle of the front row and was a threat from the off, with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) losing out from pole as the Japanese rider immediately set about putting pedal to the metal, initially able to create a small gap. But, as ever in Moto3™, the fight at the front then became a freight train.
A group of 10 made up that front group initially, with some key names out of contention early on. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) went down, tagging Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), although the latter stayed on – and then Championship leader Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubia) was suddenly out at Turn 2.
Back at the front, Suzuki was starting to get reeled in by Dalla Porta and the Italian didn’t waste time once he’d caught the SIC58 Squadra Corse rider, striking with 19 to go. By then, Antonelli was in P3 but the squabble continued throughout the group and Vietti was next to take his turn at leading. The final corner created spectacular shuffle after shuffle, and the group expanded as the laps ticked down – with 19 riders then creating a long snake of Moto3™ talent stretching much of the main straight.
More drama made sure to shake it up again, however. Antonelli was leading as he seemed to suffer a moment and the rider following him – Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) – got caught out, going straight down and the pack miraculously avoiding the stricken Honda. Not everyone could avoid the consequences though as two-time Jerez winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) ran on as he steered clear. If that wasn’t enough, rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) then crashed and collected Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Sergio Garcia – leaving a top group of ten.
By the final lap a trio head emerged as the favourites. Antonelli led Vietti led Suzuki, and the Japanese rider was the man playing his cards first. As it would turn out, it was the final hand of the race – his move past Vietti created a little space for leader Antonelli and the number 23 just had to keep his nerve round the final corner.
That he did, crossing the line for his first win of the year and fourth overall, making his team Grand Prix winners and moving himself up to second in the Championship – just one point off new leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). Suzuki was able to keep second for his first podium, ahead of a second rostrum for rookie Vietti, who now leads the Rookie of the Year standings by a huge margin.
Canet took P4 and a solid points haul to put him at the top of the Championship standings, ahead of a stunner from Albert Arenas as he returned from injury in fifth. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) pipped Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) to sixth, ahead of poleman Dalla Porta. Rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) took ninth and his first ever Grand Prix top ten after knocking on the door since the start of the season, with Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) taking tenth.
After serving a Long Lap Penalty for exceeding track limits, Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) took P11, ahead of Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power), John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) in his first points finish of the season and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0).
Next up it’s Le Mans and another chance to reset for some and turn the screw for others – with Canet now ahead of the pack but the likes of SIC 58Squadra Corse arriving on a roll. Don’t miss the French GP on the 19th May.
Marc Marquez back to his best with Spanish GP victory, Lorenzo 12th
Marc Marquez becomes first repeat premier class winner of 2019 as he storms to victory in Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo returning to the points.
Fans flooded the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto from early in the morning, eager to see what would happen at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. 21°C ambient temperatures and 42°C track temperature providing supreme racing conditions for fans and the Repsol Honda Team alike.
Leaving the fall of Warm Up behind him, Marc Marquez stormed off the line to lead the 23-rider field through the opening corners. Lap eight saw Marquez open a gap and begin to break away at the front, steadily building an advantage with each corner. The dominant ride saw the reigning World Champion cross the line 1.654 seconds ahead of second place after celebrating across the line in the 300th MotoGP race.
His 46th win in the premier class, and 72nd across all classes, moves Marquez to the top of the championship table with 70 points, a point clear of second placed Rins. His 1’38.051 on Lap 15 of the race secured Marquez a new race lap record at the Jerez circuit along with his 25 World Championship points. He also becomes the third most successful Honda rider in the premier class, overtaking Jim Redman who claimed 45 wins and overtakes Lawson to become the sixth most successful MotoGP rider in terms of premier class podium finishes with 80.
Jorge Lorenzo was left wanting more as he crossed the line in 12th at the Spanish GP. It proved a difficult race for Lorenzo who is still working on perfecting the setting of his Honda. Monday’s test day offers Lorenzo and his team an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the bike and regroup ahead of the French GP.
With 76 points, Honda sit atop the Constructor Championship.
The Repsol Honda Team will take part in the official post race test at the Jerez Circuit on Monday, May 06 before beginning their preparations for round five – the French GP, May 17 – 19.
“This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. I felt good all weekend, smooth, comfortable and able to ride how I want. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team, they’ve done an amazing job over the last few weeks and here this weekend. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”
“It has been a difficult end to the weekend, we wanted to be stronger but I am still not comfortable on the bike. We are still lacking kilometers compared to the other Honda riders. Today especially I was not comfortable on the bike and it was a very difficult race. Tomorrow’s test will be important for us to try and improve my feeling, especially on corner entry where I think I am losing the most. We have to keep working.”
VIÑALES SHOWS IMPRESSIVE RACE-END SPEED FOR THIRD PLACE AT THE SPANISH GP
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 5th May 2019
GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales had to go all out in the final laps to defend his third-place podium position and he did so flawlessly. Valentino Rossi recovered from 13th on the grid to a hard-fought sixth place, salvaging important championship points.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi held firm in today‘s hot Gran Premio de España. A good start by Viñales and great pace in the final stages were key to him taking a well-deserved third place, which moves him up six places in the championship standings. Starting from the fifth row, Rossi had a tough race ahead of him, but he managed the busy mid-pack activity well, riding to sixth place for some crucial championship points.
Viñales had a strong start from P5, moving up to fourth through the first corner. He was pushing a 100 per cent right from the start to tack on to the back of the leading group of three riders, with Alex Rins on his tail. With 15 laps to go, the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders in front of him started to battle each other. The Factory Yamaha rider seized the opportunity to close the gap, but then got involved in a fight himself for fourth place with Álex Rins.
Three laps later he gained a position as Fabio Quartararo had a technical issue. Smelling a podium place once more, Viñales overtook Franco Morbidelli for third with 10 laps to go. With the front two riders too far ahead to bridge the gap, he spent the remainder of the race increasing the gap over the riders behind him.
The Yamaha rider came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso in the latter stages of the race but defended his position masterfully. He set various personal best sectors and ended on a high setting his best race lap, a 1‘38.157s. He finished the race in third place, 2.443s from first.
Rossi also gritted his teeth until the very end of the race. Starting from P13 is never easy, but the veteran managed his way through the busy mid-pack, immediately gaining two positions at the start and one more soon after, to enter the top-10.
After Quartararo suffered a mechanical issue, the Italian spent most of the race in ninth place, until the last eight laps. Having saved his hard-hard tyre combination, he was then ready to cut through the field. Visibly in his element, he picked up three places in two laps.
Having arrived in sixth place with five laps to go, he had an over 2s-gap to bridge. The Doctor tried his utmost but was unable to inch closer. He crossed the line in sixth place, 7.547s from the top, earning himself ten important championship points.
Today’s results see Rossi now in fourth position in the championship standings with a 9-point gap to first. Viñales made a big step, moving up from 12th to 6th place, with a 40-point margin to the top. Yamaha is fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is second in the team classification.
The team will be back in action at the Jerez track tomorrow for the official one-day IRTA test, in preparation for the Grand Prix de France, held at the Le Mans circuit, in two weeks’ time.
“Considering where we were at after FP3, we welcome today‘s results with open arms. A lot of work has been done this weekend. We found a good set-up for Maverick in FP4. He had a really good start and positioned himself at the back of the front group, that was a key factor for today‘s podium. Also, he kept a really good pace the entire race and fended off Dovizioso, setting a 1‘38.1s on the last lap. We‘re very pleased with this third place, because it‘s a great confidence booster after a couple of tough races for him. Valentino‘s race had been compromised by the Q1 session and, at a track like this, starting from the fifth row is a huge set-back. The beginning of his race wasn‘t as good as usual, and he wasn‘t feeling comfortable with the hard front tyre for most of the race. Still, there are some positives to take away from this round. We arrived here with some doubts, because the last two years we have struggled here, so today‘s third place is a testimony to the hard work we have done and improvements we have made over the winter. Tomorrow we have a few things that we would like to try, especially concerning the electronics settings. If we find positive results, then we will use this new solution in Le Mans.”
“To be on the podium feels like a victory to me. I saw that Dovi and Petrucci were behind me, together, so I thought “Woah, Dovi is going to push, so it‘s going to be difficult”, so I just tried to do my best laps and ride the best sectors I could. Honestly, it was difficult because I had just a little bit of tyre left at the end. I don‘t know if I could have done more laps like that last lap, but I‘m happy because the bike was good at the end. It was very important to demonstrate that we could be there. We recovered a lot of confidence, especially with the front tyre. We‘ve done something different on the bike, that gives me more consistency at the start so I can be much more precise. I‘m really happy because we didn‘t lose any positions at the start, we even gained one, and then another during the race. We‘ve been working really good during the whole weekend. After FP3 we were out of Q2, which means that, since then, we‘ve improved the bike quite a lot. Today was a good test to see where we are. It‘s important that we weren‘t so far from the front in the end. The most important thing is to be on the podium consistently. If we give our best, I think I can arrive at the top, but honestly there‘s no time to relax. Especially tomorrow, we need to do a good test. It‘s very important tomorrow to get everything done and go to Le Mans with a good mindset.”
“We made the choice of the tyre at the very last moment. I wanted to race with the medium, but later the temperature rose a lot and we thought “Medium or hard? Medium or hard? Medium or hard?”. In the end we put in the hard, and I think this is the big thing we could have changed. I’m very curious to try the race with the medium, because at the end Maverick was good. I did a good start, but at the beginning I didn’t have enough pace to overtake, but on the second half of the race I was good. I was stronger and my pace wasn’t too bad, good enough to overtake, go, and take some points, which are good for the championship. I think that if I had started more towards the front I could have stayed with the front group, around where Maverick was. The pace of today’s race was very, very fast. I was like 25 seconds faster than my race last year, the gap to first position is less, I felt more comfortable on the bike, and especially on the last lap I was fast. Now we have to concentrate on the next few races.”
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci respectively fourth and fifth in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci concluded the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, home of fourth round of the 2019 MotoGP calendar, in fourth and fifth position respectively. Both Mission Winnow Ducati riders saved their best for the latter phases of the race, trying to preserve the tyres over the 25-lap distance given also the higher temperatures of the tarmac (42 degrees) compared with yesterday, and progressively cut the gap from the podium in the final laps but couldn’t completely erase it before the checkered flag.
Both opting for hard tyres on the front and rear, Dovizioso and Petrucci initially rode in fifth and sixth position, then upped the pace within 10 laps to go. Towards the end, Dovizioso tried to move past Viñales, posting his personal best time in the penultimate lap to finish only three tenths of a second off the podium, while Petrucci faced a small drop in performance and, opting to avoid unnecessary risks, closed the race in fifth, two seconds behind his teammate.
After four rounds, Dovizioso is third in the Riders standings with 67 points – only 3 behind the provisional leader – while Petrucci is fifth with 41 points; Ducati is second in the Manufacturers standings with 70 points, while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Teams rankings with 108 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 4th
“If we consider the issues we’ve always had in the past at Jerez, we can be satisfied with both our pace and the gap from the front at the end of the race. That said, it’s a pity we couldn’t step on the podium, which was our goal. The race was faster than what we expected, and I lost too much ground at the start. In the final phases, I took quite a few risks to cut the gap from Viñales, but I was still losing too much ground in the faster corners to be able to attack him under braking. We knew that on fast-flowing tracks such as this one we would have struggled a bit more. We need to improve our corner speed, we have done that to some extent already and we’re not far from our rivals, so tomorrow we’ll keep working in this direction.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th
“Overall, I’m happy with the way we managed a race that proved to be a bit trickier than what we expected. Early on, I simply tried to stay calm and collected to preserve the tyres for the final laps, and honestly I thought the podium was within our reach, but unfortunately it wasn’t the case despite the fact that both Andrea and I gave our 100 percent until the very end. I lacked a bit of corner speed and I couldn’t be as efficient as I would have liked under braking. To finish in the top-three, this year, it’s necessary to iron out every single detail and, in my case, to start from a better position on the grid. That said, it’s been a positive weekend. We collected important points for our championship and, starting tomorrow, we’ll keep working as hard as ever to get closer to the front.”
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at Jerez for a one-day collective test, while next round is scheduled for May 17-19 at Le Mans (France).
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow had to settle for eighth place in the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on Sunday. The Briton started from sixth on the grid in southern Spain, but was unable to push on and challenge at the front of field after struggling with the set-up of his bike all weekend.
Despite performing well in the warm-up session, Crutchlow opted against using a hard rear tyre in Sunday’s race. However, the LCR man struggled to find the speed or consistency he needed with a medium rear and ended in eighth spot – the second best-placed Honda behind race winner Marc Marquez. The 33-year-old admits there is now work to be done during Monday’s test session at the Circuito de Jerez angel Nieto on Monday.
Cal Crutchlow – 8th
“I never really found a good setting all weekend, I think if I’d been able to find a better setting I would have been able to use the hard rear tyre. This morning I was quite fast on the hard rear tyre, but I wasn’t confident enough to use it in the race because I didn’t know if I was going to have a bad feeling with it like the last couple of days. So I opted to go with the medium and it was the wrong choice – it’s as simple as that. But I tried my best and eighth place was better than not finishing today, for sure. We need to work on the setting of the bike, that’s the main thing, as I don’t feel very comfortable at the moment, as you saw in the race.”
Warm sunshine bathed the fourth round of MotoGP at the Circuit de Jerez-Angel Nieto and the first fixture of the series in Europe. In front of a large crowd and busy paddock, the Red Bull KTM quartet tackled a resurfaced, grippy Spanish layout, and were slightly handicapped by qualification slots from Saturday that placed the riders towards the back of the grid.
Pol Espargaro – a former GP winner at Jerez – headed the KTM RC16 runners and engaged in a long duel with countryman Jorge Lorenzo for positions on the fringe of the top ten. As the laps clicked down and other rivals either retired or fell the tussle was on for 12th and Pol just lost out by misreading his pit-board, taking 13th by the flag and with a marginally faster race time than 2018. Zarco, using a new chassis on his #5 racebike circulated a small distance behind his teammate for 14th. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 pairing of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin rode to 18th and 19th places respectively.
Espargaro is 11th in the MotoGP standings while Zarco has obtained 7 points from the four outings so far. Jerez will be busy once more tomorrow with testing due to take place throughout Monday and for the first of four post-GP outings planned for 2019. Red Bull KTM will also ride again on Wednesday.
Pol Espargaro: “I did a good race. I suffered with the grip in the beginning but caught Lorenzo and passed him. I then just misread my pitboard and eased off a lap earlier. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my career. I was so focussed and so on the limit that I was not thinking about anything else except that Jorge would not pass me back. In the end we lost one position and also I would have been closer to the winner in terms of race time. I know we also had good lap-time speed today. We have a lot to do tomorrow now and to compare what we had in Le Mans and also this weekend.”
Johann Zarco: “Tough today. I wanted to overtake more riders but I was on the limit for a lot of the race and losing in acceleration, so it was complicated to pass people on the brakes. I could keep some pace and kept with Pol but in the second half of the race I had to set the target of just finishing. I think we will take some good information in the Monday test. We had some improvement during the weekend but we need to take the general feeling on the bike higher.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It has been a difficult race, I couldn’t manage to stay up with the riders in front of me. So I just kept my rhythm, pushed every lap and took home 18th position. The team tried many things to help me but it seems like this weekend with the new parts, it was hard to find our balance with the bike again that we built through the tests and the first races. Now with the new material, I think we need a bit more time to find solutions to help me being comfortable and fast on the bike.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “We tried some different things in the warm-up this morning and I have to admit that I didn’t think it was a big improvement but the feeling was a bit better. In the race I did my fastest laps of the weekend and caught up with [Bradley] Smith and Miguel until eight laps to go I couldn’t keep the pace anymore because the rear was sliding quite a lot and I couldn’t open the gas like I wanted to. Anyway, I keep believing in myself, stay positive and we for sure keep working hard for the next round in order to be better for the home Grand Prix for my team.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “A weekend with some problems and it looks like we struggle more with rear grip here compared to some other places. The riders pushed to the maximum and Pol made a great race. In the end a small mistake led to a big consequence and I feel very sorry for him. He could have been 12th but did well anyway. Johann was also in this group. Pol’s fastest lap-time was just 0.5 slower than the race winner and we are twenty seconds behind Marquez: these are not horrible figures but we know we have to help the riders more and we will work hard in the company to make the bike better.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Moto3 kicked off race day with a typically electric multi-rider battle for the podium. Behind winner Niccolo Antonelli fellow Italian and SKY Racing Team VR46 racer Celestino Vietti celebrated only his second rostrum finish in 3rd place in what was just his seventh Moto3 start. The teenager was the best KTM RC250GP runner as the bike filled 4th and 5th positions also thanks to Aron Canet and Albert Arenas. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Can Öncü was 18th: equalling the best classification of his rookie season so far. The Moto2 sprint had to be red-flagged and restarted after two separate incidents in Turn1 and Turn2 claimed multiple riders. The Grand Prix was won by Lorenzo Baldassarri but Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder claimed 5th as teammate Jorge Martin crashed out.
The first round of the 2019 Red Bull Rookies Cup graced the race programme at Jerez for the first of seven appointments this year. From the 25 riders gathered from 15 countries, Japanese Yuki Kunii owned the first dice on Saturday and then Spain’s Carlos Tatay won on Sunday. The 2018 Red Bull Rookie Champion is Can Öncü.
In two weeks time the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France will take the FIM World Championship into the historic surroundings of Le Mans for round five.
Next race: May 19, Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix Circuit, Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France (FRA)
Results Race MotoGP Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2019
1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda 41:08:685
2. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki +1.654
3. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +2.443
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +2.804
5. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati +4.748
13. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +20.156
14. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +26.706
18. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +41.570
19. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +50.568
Results Race Moto2 Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2019
1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) Kalex 25:33.841
2. Jorge Navarro (ESP) Speed Up +0.359
3. Augustino Fernandez (ESP) Kalex +1.091
5. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +3.767
DNF. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
Results Race Moto3 Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2019
1. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), Honda 39:30.327
2. Tatsuzki Suzuki (JON), Honda +0.242
3. Celestino Vietti (ITA), KTM +0.305
ONLY CONTACT WITH ANOTHER RIDER KEEPS ESPARGARÓ FROM A WELL-DESERVED TOP-10 FINISH
ALEIX COMES BACK, LAPPING WITH THE SAME TIMES AS THE LEADERS TO FINISH ELEVENTH 13 SECONDS FROM THE PODIUM
A SOLID RACE FOR BRADLEY SMITH AND LOTS OF DATA FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE RS-GP
It was an outstanding race for Aleix Espargaró in Jerez de la Frontera. Starting from the sixth row, the Spaniard moved up no less than four positions during the first lap. His pace, particularly in the second stage of the race, was consistently in the 38.5s and perfectly in line with that of the positions just off the podium. Making up ground lap after lap, Aleix was getting ready to attack Nakagami for ninth and only a contact with another rider while overtaking deprived him of a well-deserved top-10 finish. The narrow gap behind the race winner of just 15 seconds after 25 laps is worth a mention. With the 5 points earned today, Aleix brings his total to 18 – triple what he had at the same race last season.
Bradley Smith rode a solid race, shaking off a bit of rust in the early stages due to his being a tester and not a full-time racer. The Aprilia test rider then found his rhythm, although limited by a less-than-perfect feeling with the front. He battled down to the finish with Oliveira, gaining the upper hand for seventeenth place.
After his bad crash yesterday, Andrea Iannone was unable to take part in the race, with the Medical Centre declaring him unfit. The Italian watched the race with his team from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s spot along the pit wall.
“In the very early stages of the race, I struggled to find traction, but after just five or six laps I began to feel more at ease, and I was lapping with a good pace. The situation got even better in the last ten laps, where I was decidedly consistent. I began to make up ground on the group of riders ahead of me and I knew I could battle with Nakagami and Crutchlow, who I was getting closer to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible because Miller hit me as I was overtaking him. I was already all the way on the inside of the turn and it was a rather violent blow. Fortunately, I was able to keep it upright. However, that made me lose a position to Bradl. The race was our best track session of the weekend and that makes me happy. Right now, obtaining the maximum result and not making mistakes is the important thing, and today we were able to do that. Tomorrow will be another very important day of testing. I’ll be the first one out on the track, and we will keep working hard to improve.”
“At the start of the race I was a bit rusty, but then things improved. Unfortunately, the medium front tyre did not help me to be incisive in braking, but I haven’t been able to try the hard compound much on the RS-GP and that is one of the things I intend to do in the tests tomorrow. This morning I felt good, but the high temperatures in the afternoon changed things. In the finale, I managed to ride better and be more decisive in the battle against the other riders. Overall, it was a positive weekend for the type of work that we are doing.”
“I am sorry that I wasn’t able to be out there on the track. Yesterday in FP4 it seemed like we had found a positive direction for the weekend, but unfortunately the crash kept us from continuing our work. I hope to be at full fitness and back in the saddle as soon as possible. I am staying positive and confident.”
RINS SECOND IN THE RACE, AND SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 5.
Alex Rins: 2nd (+ 1.654)
Joan Mir: DNF
• Alex Rins works his way from 9th to 2nd in controlled display.
• Joan Mir running Top 10 until an unfortunate crash.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR thrilled to add another podium to the tally.
Some 75,000 Spanish fans filled the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto to witness the 300th race of the modern-day MotoGP era. Alex Rins and Joan Mir had work to do from their 9th and 12th place grid spots, but both enjoyed good starts.
Alex Rins began fighting for the Top 6 by the end of the first lap, slotting in between the two factory Ducatis, and just three laps into the race he had already set a fastest lap. After a short battle with Dovizioso he began to close in on the Yamaha battle in front of him. Making swift work of passing both Viñales and Morbidelli, the young Spaniard suddenly found himself in second place following the retirement of Quartararo. Alex kept up a very strong and consistent pace, pulling away from those behind him and holding 2nd place until the finish line. This excellent result sees him move into 2nd in the championship, just 1 point from the title lead.
Joan Mir had a good start, he put himself behind Rossi and progressed up the field during the race, holding 10th place for much of the 25-lap race. Whilst in 9th place, and very close to the group in front of him, Joan went down at Turn 13. A disappointing end, especially as he reported feeling very confident with the bike. He is thankfully uninjured.
Monday will see Team SUZUKI ECSTAR take part in the one-day test at Jerez circuit, where the Factory Riders will be joined by test rider Sylvain Guintoli.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“Today was a good race, continuing our good feeling from the win at the last race. I’m so happy to see Alex’s confidence increasing race by race, and he has very strong pace. We want to continue in this way; always challenging for the top places. It was a real shame for Joan that he crashed because he was strong during the race, we have faith that he’ll get some great results soon.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Alex did a great job, starting 9th in Jerez and recovering to 2nd is not easy at all, it’s one of the most difficult tracks to make up places. He did a great race, and his pace was very fast until the end. So, I want to congratulate him, and also to say thank you to all the team. I’m happy about Joan’s race, because despite the crash with 3 laps to go, he had good pace and was very close to the top in terms of lap times. So overall it’s been a positive day.”
“It’s incredible to get a win and then a 2nd place. I feel very happy; this race was really difficult and starting on the third row made it harder. I gave 100% and I knew that my race pace could be close to Marc’s, so I planned to try and get a good start and go towards the front. The Spanish fans were amazing today, I could see Peluqui corner full of fans and it gives me a real boost every lap. I want to keep up this consistency and I hope for another good finish in Le Mans.”
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish the race, because I had good potential this weekend, but racing is like this. I was happy with my feeling, and when I was catching the group in front I felt good. I really like Le Mans and I hope I can do a great race there and get the result that I know I’m capable of.”
GP of Spain – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 41’08.685
2. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1.654
3. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +2.443
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati +2.804
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati +4.748
6. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +7.547
7. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +8.228
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +10.052
9. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +10.274
10. Stefan BRADL Team HRC +13.402
11. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +15.431
12. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team +18.473
13. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +20.156
14. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +26.706
15. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +28.513
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +36.858
17. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Factory Racing +41.390
18. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +41.570
19. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +50.568
43 Jack MILLER Pramac Racing
36 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
20 Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT
63 Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing
MotoGP Championship Standings:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 70
2. Alex RINS Suzuki 69
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 67
4. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 61
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 41
6. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 30
7. Jack MILLER Ducati 29
8. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 29
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 27
10. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 25
11. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 21
12. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 18
13. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 17
14. Jorge LORENZO Honda 11
15. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 9
16. Joan MIR Suzuki 8
17. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 7
18. Johann ZARCO KTM 7
19. Stefan BRADL Honda 6
20. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 6
21. Tito RABAT Ducati 2
22. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati
23. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM
24. Bradley SMITH Aprilia