Round Four – Jerez
Sunday Race Report
Marc Marquez took his home round victory in Jerez, in a performance that saw him finish 1.654 seconds clear of second-placed Alex Rins, while Maverick Vinales claimed the final podium position. The result moves Marquez back into the Championship lead, following a disappointing crash from the lead in Texas, just a point clear of Rins.
Marquez took the holeshot from third on the grid, with Franco Morbidelli just getting the jump on rookie, polesitter teammate Fabio Quartararo to slot into second. But it was tight, with Andrea Dovizioso 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 slicing through to sixth from P13 on the grid.
Rossi fought off the likes of Jack Miller – who later crashed out – Cal Crutchlow, teammate Takaaki Nakagami and, eventually, Morbidelli too, to make his progress through – the ‘Doctor’ inside the top ten for the first time in the weekend on Sunday.
Jack Miller – DNF
“I am very sorry because it is always a shame to fall with a few laps to go. I am especially sorry for the team that did a great job in these three days in Jerez. I tried to stay with the group fighting for the podium then I felt that I no longer have feeling. I’ll be back stronger at Le Mans.”
Morbidelli was in P7 by the flag ahead of Crutchlow, Nakagami, and an impressive P10 from wildcard and Honda test rider Stefan Bradl. Aleix Espargaro was 11th, ahead of a very difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo down in 12th. Pol Espargaro was P13 ahead of teammate Johann Zarco, with Tito Rabat 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.
Marc Marquez – P1
“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.”
Alex Rins – P2
“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.”
Maverick Viñales – P3
“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.”
2019 MotoGP – Round Four Results
2019 MotoGP – Round Four
MotoGP Championship Points Standings
Remy Gardner’s front running start to the 2019 FIM Moto2 World Championship came to a premature end in the fourth round held earlier today at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto in Southern Spain following a turn one crash for the 21 year old Aussie.
Fastest overall after the three Free Practice sessions the #87 ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing rider qualified an impressive fourth, heading the second row of the tightly packed grid for the 23 lap race around the 2.7 mile Andalusian circuit.
A typically quick getaway when the race began saw Gardner slot into third as the pack headed into turn one. Moments later he was flicked over the high-side of his Kalex machine, landing heavily which brought out the red flag. Despite a valiant effort to repair his machine during the stoppage Remy was unable to take part in the fifteen lap restart after a visit to the medical centre ruled him unfit due to concussion.
Remy Gardner – DNF
“We missed the front row by the smallest margin but I felt really good with the bike, the team and everything that is happening so was really excited for the race. After a good warm up I thought we would have a good race. I made a decent start and after a bit of elbowing into turn one I slotted into third and then I high-sided and that was the end of what could have been another really good race result. I still don’t fully understand why I went down and then they wouldn’t let me restart. I am sorry for the team, and all my supporters. The main thing is I am ok, am still fifth in the championship and will be back strong in Le Mans.”
This left Lorenzo Baldassarri to lay his assault on the 2019 Moto2 World Championship in Jerez, winning a shortened race ahead of COTA podium finisher and form man Jorge Navarro. 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 was unable to make the restart as was Dimas Ekky Pratama. In addition, Alex Marquez, 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 was in third and Xavi Vierge 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 taking P5 and his best result of the year so far ahead of Vierge. Tetsuta Nagashima took his best ever Grand Prix result in seventh, beating his previous best by a single position.
Luca Marini beat an impressive ride from rookie teammate Nicolo Bulega – back from injury – to take P8, with Iker Lecuona completing the top ten behind the duo.
Enea Bastianini wasn’t far off the top ten though and was second rookie, with Fabio Di Giannantonio next up in twelfth. Dominique Aegerter took more points for the new MV Agusta in P13 – after scoring their first at COTA – with Andrea Locatelli and Marcel Schrötter completing the points. Schrötter had been pushed wide early on.
Sam Lowes and Jorge Martin 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.
2019 Moto2 – Round Four Results
|2||Jorge Navarro||Speed Up||0.359|
|12||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Speed Up||12.708|
|13||Dominique Aegerter||MV Agusta||14.179|
|21||Stefano Manzi||MV Agusta||27.887|
|/||Jorge Martin||KTM||8 Laps|
|/||Sam Lowes||Kalex||8 Laps|
|/||Mattia Pasini||KTM||10 Laps|
|/||Simone Corsi||Kalex||12 Laps|
|/||Remy Gardner||Kalex||0 Lap|
|/||Dimas Ekky Pratama||Kalex||0 Lap|
2019 Moto2 – Round Four
Moto2 Championship Points Standings
|4||Jorge Navarro||Speed Up||44|
|17||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Speed Up||9|
|22||Dominique Aegerter||MV Agusta||5|
|23||Khairul Idham Pawi||Kalex||3|
|31||Stefano Manzi||MV Agusta||0|
|34||Gabriele Ruiu||MV Agusta||0|
|35||Dimas Ekky Pratama||Kalex||0|
Niccolo Antonelli 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 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 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 went down, tagging Albert Arenas, although the latter stayed on – and then Championship leader Jaume Masia 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 – 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 ran on as he steered clear. If that wasn’t enough, rookie Raul Fernandez 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. 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 pipped Jakub Kornfeil to sixth, ahead of poleman Dalla Porta. Rookie Ai Ogura took ninth and his first ever Grand Prix top ten after knocking on the door since the start of the season, with Andrea Migno taking tenth.
After serving a Long Lap Penalty for exceeding track limits, Dennis Foggia took P11, ahead of Darryn Binder, John McPhee, Kazuki Masaki in his first points finish of the season and Alonso Lopez.
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.
2019 Moto3 – Round Four Results
|8||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Honda||1.291|
|/||Makar Yurchenko||KTM||1 Lap|
|/||Sergio Garcia||Honda||4 Laps|
|/||Raul Fernandez||KTM||4 Laps|
|/||Romano Fenati||Honda||4 Laps|
|/||Tom Booth-Amos||KTM||4 Laps|
|/||Gabriel Rodrigo||Honda||8 Laps|
|/||Filip Salac||KTM||12 Laps|
|/||Jaume Masia||KTM||20 Laps|
2019 Moto3 – Round Four
Moto3 Championship Points Standings
|5||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Honda||40|