Boris on The Spanish Armada of MotoGP at Jerez
It was very heart-warming to see Dani Perdrosa bathed in the tears of a winner on the top step of the podium.
He led from start to finish in a race that broke the hearts of the Yamaha factory riders, saw a rookie Frenchman terrify the front of the field with opening-lap aggression worthy of Napoleon at Austerlitz, and caused a seed of hope to blossom in the sad hearts of Ducati Corse.
It was also a race that saw a dust-covered Jack Miller bring some biff back to the paddock, push Bautista to the ground and kick his wrecked bike. Just six laps into the race, Alvaro tried going under Jack in Turn One, but slid out instead and took Jack with him into the gravel.
Race direction felt Jack’s push-and-kick attack was worth a 1000 Euro fine. Which is pretty much what it costs for a decent night out in Barcelona these days, so it’s more like a stern finger being wagged at Jack rather than a truly dire sanction.
It was, however, Dani’s day to shine. He’d been strong in practice and qualifying and ended up leading from start to finish. He rode a brilliant measured race and was never threatened, even though young Marquez, who was running in second, did turn the wick up towards the end in an attempt to close the gap, then had a moment when his front tyre told him to behave and he ended up finishing just over six seconds behind his team-mate.
Lorenzo surprised himself and his entire team by crabbing his way onto the last step of the podium, more than 14 seconds off the pace. He was quick to thumb his nose at his detractors after leaping around as if he’d won the championship.
“You don’t have to doubt about my riding, my mentality and some people did – they speak too early and finally they have to take their words in their mouths,” he crowed.
Zarco, who shocked everyone with his brilliant charge through the pack in the opening lap, which saw him briefly occupy second place until Marquez came to his senses, was the only shining light in Yamaha’s dark Spanish day.
Rossi started in seventh, rode doggedly backwards for most of the race, and ended up in tenth after being passed by Folger, Asparagus A and Petrucci in the closing stages of the race.
The Doctor mumbled some stuff about spinning tyres, lack of grip, and Spain being full of fast Spaniards, but still leads the championship by a narrow margin as they head to France.
His team-mate, Vinales, was similarly nonplussed with his set-up, only managed a hard-fought sixth and said later he spent most of his time not crashing rather than racing.
Dovizioso rode to a lonely fifth place clearly concerned at how insufferable his team-mate was now going to be and if Lorenzo would kick him into the toilet after yelling at him about Sparta.
Crutchlow, who promised much after being stung by a wasp and qualifying third, once again found himself shouting at the gravel trap after leaving the track on his arse.
He was not alone. Jerez saw Asparagus P reduce his KTM into its component parts on the same corner, while Iannone and Tits Rabbit fell off four laps earlier.
For the most part, the race was relatively processional, Dani was not ever going to be caught, and most of the racing took place between pairs of riders behind him, until the last few laps when everyone kind of decided the position they had was good enough and hammered home a few seconds apart. Only Vinales and Petrucci slugged it out until the very end.
There will now be a little bit of post-race testing in Jerez (Click Here for Times/Quotes/Images from Jerez Test overnight), and then the circus will move to Le Mans in France – the place where Johan Zarco comes from, and where once again, the championship lead will be totally up for grabs.
MotoGP 2017 – Round Four – Jerez Race Results
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team 45’26.827
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team 6.136
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 16 Ducati Team 14.767
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 13 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 17.601
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 11 Ducati Team 22.913
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 10 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 24.556
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 9 Octo Pramac Racing 24.959
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 8 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 27.721
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 7 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 31.233
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 6 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 38.682
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 5 Octo Pramac Racing 40.979
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 4 Reale Avintia Racing 43.199
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 3 Reale Avintia Racing 43.211
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 2 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 47.964
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 1 Pull&Bear Aspar Team 51.279
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’08.885
- TSUDA Takuya 22 JPN 0 Suzuki Test Team 1’27.450
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 0 Team Suzuki Ecstar 18 (laps)
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 0 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 18 (laps)
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 0 LCR Honda 22 (laps)
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 0 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 22 (laps)
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 0 Pull&Bear Aspar Team 22 (laps)
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 22 (laps)
MotoGP 2017 – MotoGP Championship Points Standings after Round Four at Jerez
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 62 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 60 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 58 Repsol Honda Team
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 52 Repsol Honda Team
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 41 Ducati Team
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 35 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 29 LCR Honda
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 29 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 28 Ducati Team
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 26 Octo Pramac Racing
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 26 Octo Pramac Racing
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 21 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 17 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 14 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 12 Reale Avintia Racing
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 12 Reale Avintia Racing
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 9 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 9 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 8 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 7 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 3 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 2 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing