MotoGP 2015 Catalunya Images Gallery D – Images by AJRN
MotoGP Catalunya 2015
Jorge Lorenzo makes it four in a row as Marquez crashes
Jorge Lorenzo leads home his teammate Valentino Rossi to claim his fourth consecutive victory as Marc Marquez crashes out in a dramatic seventh round in MotoGP.
Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo led from start to finish for the fourth race in succession to close the gap on his teammate Rossi in the standings to just one point.
The Spaniard controlled the race from the front to claim the second 1-2 of the season for his Factory Yamaha team.
Jorge Lorenzo 1st – “This was my hardest win of the season, but Qatar, Austin and Argentina were tougher when it comes to racing. To be honest, the last ten laps of today’s race were probably one of the most hard and intense laps of my career. Valentino was very fast and knowing that the track was really hot and there was less grip than yesterday, I’m happy with the results. My bike was working a bit worse than yesterday when I was able to ride 1’41s, but that wasn’t possible today. For Valentino it was the opposite, he almost always reaches this incredible level of performance on Sunday. When he reduced the gap from 2.0s to 1.4s I was really worried that I would lose this race. I needed to push and risk more while the bike was already moving a lot, which is what I did on the last ten laps. After yesterday’s practice I expected, maybe not an easy victory, but more distance between me and the rider in second from the middle of the race onwards. I was able to keep my rhythm and stay focused and I really want to thank the team for their efforts and congratulate them with the fourth consecutive victory.”
Repsol Honda’s Marquez was battling with Lorenzo for the lead in the opening stages of the 25-lap race but he crashed out at turn 10 on the third lap. That error put another big dent in the Repsol Honda rider’s bid for a third straight premier class title, with Marquez now 69-points adrift of Rossi following his third crash in seven races, it’s fair to say that Marquez’s championship defence is in tatters.
Marc Marquez – DNF – “I tried to give 100% at my home race but I made a mistake trying to push too much, as I wanted to do well – at all costs – and these things can happen. I was going well, trying to conserve my tyres behind Jorge, but I made a mistake and as a result I ran wide. When I was in the gravel I saw the wall was very close, so I leaned over a little but I couldn’t stop the bike. I was able to ride back to the garage, but I soon realised the gear lever was damaged and I was unable to shift gears. I want to thank the fans who came out today; the best thing about the day was hearing the cheers from them during the three laps I rode.”
Track temperatures this afternoon reached almost 50 degrees and were the hottest recorded over the weekend, as the MotoGP race at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya got underway in front of a packed crowd of over 97,000 fans. Lorenzo led into the first corner as Team Suzuki Ecstar’s pole-man Aleix Espargaro dropped down to 9th after he struggled to propel his GSX-RR off the line.
Lorenzo immediately set about establishing a fast rhythm, and by the time Rossi had moved into second on lap 4, the Spaniard had already opened up a 1.5 second lead.
Rossi put in a tremendous effort in the second half of the race to try and deny Lorenzo a fourth straight win for the first time in his career, but the could not get within a second in the crucial final stages.
The nine-times World Champion had to settle for second, 0.885s behind Lorenzo, who took his 37th premier class win to equal the tally set by British legend Mike Hailwood.
Valentino Rossi 2nd – “Throughout my career I always thought that when you take 20 points, it has been a good race. I enjoyed this weekend, which was an important one, because I came from three races where I struggled a lot and I don’t like to arrive in third when Jorge wins. This time we found a good setting and balance on Friday so we worked for the race, which I know I’m stronger in. I was good in the beginning when I was overtaking and I was fast, but it was not enough, because when I arrived to the second position Jorge already had a 1.5s gap. It’s a great shame because I had the pace to fight with him and I could have been very strong in a battle, because I was very strong in braking. I’m still in front in the championship, but this race was important because we made a step forward and now we have to keep working like this and improve our qualifying. The key is the tyre rule, because Jorge is better than me in qualifying and he can position all the bikes with the extra soft tyres between me and him on the grid. It’s a shame because yesterday I had the potential to be in the top five but it gives me great motivation to try again in two weeks in Assen.”
Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa rode a lonely race in third. He finished over 19-seconds behind Lorenzo but it was his first rostrum finish since he underwent major right arm pump surgery after the opening round in Qatar.
Dani Pedrosa 3rd – “I’m happy and overwhelmed with emotion! It’s been a tough time and I’ve been fighting so hard, but finally I feel fit again and stronger with every race. Today I had a bad start and I tried not to be nervous, because I knew that the race was very long. There were many crashes at the start and I saw that the track was in a delicate condition, so I took it easy for the first three laps to find a reference for each corner. Then I started to progress quite quickly, I overtook several riders, and I finished third. It was impossible to follow Jorge and Valentino, because they were far ahead in terms of performance. We will try to pull back the gap a little for the coming races and see if in testing tomorrow we can find something positive – and understand the situation better. I want to thank all the people who have stood by me: my physiotherapist, my family and friends, Dr. Villamor, Jordi Salo and everyone else who has been supporting me. I also want to thank the fans who have sent me messages of encouragement. It has been a long time, but fortunately today at home I was able to recapture the excitement with this podium. I am very grateful to everyone, especially my team, after backing me during this difficult time, they deserve a little happiness!”
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone claimed fourth after a great fight with Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1. The British rider crossed the line in fifth as the leading Satellite rider.
Andrea Iannone 4th – “It was a very difficult race and in general this weekend has not been an easy one for us. We always tried to make improvements, but we struggled a lot and we were never able to achieve what we had set out to do and what we had been used to doing since the start of the season. I focused on doing a good race in these conditions, trying to obtain the best possible result without making any mistakes, because the track conditions were critical and the bike slid around both at the front and at the rear. I am not pleased with this fourth place, because I believe that we can aim for better results than this, but in any case I took home some more important points, I’m back in third in the championship again and I am satisfied with the way I managed today’s race.”
Bradley Smith 5th – “Fifth place is a fantastic result for us after what was a tricky weekend! The team did a superb job and we worked non stop every day to try and make a setting that we could use for the race. Eventually, we made a big step in time for the GP with the front setting of the bike, but maybe it was ultra conservative and it hampered me a little in terms of performance. Yet, it meant that I had a lot of feeling in the front which resulted in me knowing whether it was going to tuck or not and this was useful as we saw a few guys lose the front. However, even though it may have limited me a bit, I still managed to adapt to it in the first three laps and then I got into my rhythm. In all honesty, the pace was slow but it was the best that I could do and in the end, consistency is key as this result was great for the championship. Now I am just one point behind Marc and 21 ahead of Cal for the satellite bike battle which is strong from my point of view. We have a test tomorrow which will be interesting for us and we will look to amend the issues which have been affecting us in the past couple of race, that have all been quite similar. So it’s no rest for me and I plan to work hard tomorrow with the team so we can improve the bike for Assen and the remaining races this year.”
Maverick Viñales on the second GSX-RR recovered from way down outside of the top 10 after a disastrous start from the front row to finish in a career best sixth position.
Maverick Viñales 6th – “I’m happy about this result but at the end I’m also a little bit disappointed: being in sixth is an extraordinary result; it’s my best result so far and it is an improvement compared to Mugello, which means we are working positively. At the same time I’m disappointed because looking at the time-sheet I notice that I ran the same pace-time that other factory riders did, therefore maybe if I could be more effective in acceleration after the start I could be fighting for the podium. I got passed by so many riders in the first corner and I had to struggle a lot to overtake and recover. I finally ended in sixth place, for sure I’m disappointed and sad for Aleix’s crash, but I must say that at the end of the day the weekend has been very positive because we made some big progress.”
Scott Redding (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) equalled the best result of his MotoGP career in seventh.
Scott Redding 7th – “That was definitely one of my best races of the year and I managed to hold onto the second group for a while and that is really positive for me. My hand started to go a little bit numb after 15-laps and I was struggling to release the brake gently but I am happy to finish the race in a positive mood. The track was obviously very tricky in the heat with so many riders crashing, but my feeling in the first laps was not so bad and I’m happy to equal my best result in MotoGP. We have to build on this now and make sure we can finish regularly inside the top 10.”
Stefan Bradl (Athina Forward Racing) taking the Open class win in eighth.
Stefan Bradl 8th – “It was a great race and I’m happy with this win. For me it is the first victory in the Open class and I’m really glad about it. It was not an easy situation for me and the team but we worked hard and we managed to be consistent this weekend. Our package is definitely good and so it’s our potential, we must continue in this direction at Assen. Thanks to all the guys of the team for their work.”
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top ten, as a number of riders crashed out on the slippery track surface.
Alvaro Bautista – “After a good start which helped me make up a few positions I rode the first laps of the race trying not to be too aggressive in order to conserve the tyres. In fact, we knew that their performance would drop a lot. The track conditions were very difficult with not much grip so I couldn’t push like I did in practice. In any case, today we saw a lot of crashes so making it to the finish was important. We made it and we are pleased because we were able to gain more experience with the bike and other valuable data to improve in the coming rounds. In the finale I had fun battling it out with Miller. I felt like I was faster than him and in the end, after overtaking one another several times, two laps from the end I managed to pull ahead a bit to finish in the top ten.”
Jack Miller secured the best result of his MotoGP career so far, as he took 11th place to bring home five points for his CWM LCR Honda Team.
The Australian rookie had got a decent start from 21st position on the grid, riding with some experienced runners. At one point he made it as high as tenth place, but as former world champion Bautista sneaked through just a couple of laps from the end, he was forced to settle for one place behind. With testing to come tomorrow, Miller can use this positive result to full effect before heading to the Dutch TT in Assen, in just over a week’s time.
Jack Miller 11th – “We struggled over the weekend and really had to work hard during today’s race. We got a good start, and we were in amongst a good group. I really got stuck in and settled into a rhythm, although I did have a few moments because it was slippery out there. I am really happy to bring the bike home after two races of not finishing. It’s good to put some more points on the board, but we are still learning all the time on the bike. I still need more laps on it and crashing out of the race is not the way forward. More than anything now I’m looking forward to our test tomorrow and putting some time in on the bike and working on our base set-up so we can be better prepared for the races coming up.”
12th Eugene Laverty: “We started out well on Friday but yesterday was a tough day with the two crashes. We lost some confidence and time but this morning we reacted well and improved the bike for the race, so I am happy with this result. We found an improvement to the front end in warm-up that gave us some more grip and allowed me to get the bike stopped with a full fuel tank. Our weak point was at the end of the race when the tyres lost grip and I lost a few tenths between turn nine and the final sector. Anyway, the fact we improved today is a positive and it meant I was able to ride with confidence throughout the race. We have an important test tomorrow with some new material to try so hopefully we can build on the progress we made today and find something extra.”
Loris Baz 13th – “I’m happy with the 13th place and the points, but I cannot say I am completely satisfied with this race. I suffered a lot for chattering and my gap from the head of the Open class has increased in comparison with the last few races. I went on track with a new setting, I struggled in the first laps to find my pace but lap after lap I was able to approach Di Meglio and Laverty. I finished close to the top 10 gaining important points for the standings. Barbera is now just three points away form me.”
Marco Melandri was forced to withdraw by problems with the gearbox in the seventh lap.
Marco Melandri – “I had a setup that was different than usual and I was hoping to take a step forward, but unfortunately hard luck reared its ugly head with a problem in the gearbox between third and fourth from the first lap. Anyway, that’s normal considering the fact that this is only the second GP for the seamless gearbox. We’ll see about continuing the work we weren’t able to complete today in the tests tomorrow. Congratulations to Bautista for finishing in the top ten. That’s a good sign for everyone.”
Yonny Hernandez, Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, and both of the Espargaro brothers all crashed, as only 16 riders completed the race.
Andrea Dovizioso DNF – “I’m really disappointed because two DNFs in a row is hard to accept. The track conditions were difficult for everyone, but we were in a position to get on the podium and it was very important for me to finish in the top 3 again. Today the two Yamahas confirmed that it’s not easy to stay with them, but the Hondas were within our reach. I made a small mistake at Turn 4 and the bike went away from me more than usual, but it did it in a way that was so abrupt that I never even did a high-side. This had never happened to us before, and so we have to understand if we can improve the electronics so as to prevent this problem in the future.”
Pol Espargaro DNF – “It’s a very upsetting way to finish the weekend, especially as it is my home Grand Prix. We knew it would have been a challenging race as we were struggling during the weekend when the track temperature was very high. Yet, I was optimistic about today and after the start, things seemed to come together quite well. I was able to recover seven positions straight away but after that I started to have an issue whilst turning the bike and unfortunately I ended up losing the front at the third corner. It’s really disappointing but we don’t have much time to think about it and we can’t dwell on it as we are testing tomorrow. This test will give us the chance to work on the difficulties that we had to face during these three days which we need to amend in order to be prepared for our next challenge at Assen.”
Aleix Espargaro DNF – “It’s a pity on how the race went. I was so proud of being at the front of the grid but unfortunately what happens at the end of the race is what counts. I had a very good start, but here in Catalunya the first corner is very far from the start-line and we lack in acceleration: as soon as I clicked into second gear I started losing positions because of our normal shift, instead of the seamless shift systems used by our factory rivals. I got out of the first corner having lost a lot of positions but I knew I could count on a very good race-pace; therefore I started to push very hard. I made many overtakes and finally set-foot in the top-five, but unfortunately this effort led to the front tyre getting worn too soon. The crash was my mistake, maybe because of the rush of recovering all those positions lost at the start. When I crashed I was riding to the limit and I got slightly off the ideal line, probably by one metre, but unfortunately I got a bump and I lost the front. It’s a real pity and I’m sorry for the team – which is doing a great job – but we still need something more. It’s good to see that now we can fight at the same level with the top riders, except for maybe the factory Yamahas, but not being able to finish the race is something I don’t like.”
Satoru Terada – Suzuki MotoGP Project Leader – “This weekend was positive for us. Of course I’m sorry for Aleix’s retirement, but we must consider that when he crashed he was in fourth place and fighting on the same pace of the other factory riders. This means that we have made some big steps forward and the excellent result in qualifying confirms this. Maverick, as well, had a very positive race, ending in sixth, improving his best result so far, and he proved to be very fast on the single lap but also consistent in race times. Even though we made this step forward we must continue working. The positive thing of the new engine-specs is that we haven’t only improved the top power but that we have a smooth and nice power delivery, which is very important. Saturday’s result was a success for us but also a reminder that we have in our hands a good base and we must continue improving. For the next test we will try some improvements in aerodynamics and also in electronics and we hope they will be profitable.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF – “I got hit by Aleix (Espargaro), and when he hit me I had already fallen off the side of the bike because he touched me when we were going into the corner. It was definitely a racing incident, I don’t think he meant to do it, he just gave me a bump and I ended up crashing. He pushed me wide onto the dirty part of the track and it was impossible to save. When I got back on board I didn’t have any rear brake, the bump had split the line and that’s why I was forced to retire. With the Honda it’s impossible to carry on without the rear brake. I’m angry, because it was the first lap of the race and disappointed about the result because I am sure that we had a chance of the podium.”
Nicky Hayden (DNF) “It was a difficult race, not helped by a bunch of mistakes. At the start of the warm-up lap the launch control was acting strange, so I was unsure whether to use it or not for the start. In the end I got a decent start but I had a bad first lap and ran into the gravel on turn four trying to avoid two riders. Once I got back on track I could feel the rear tyre sliding around all over the place, then we must have had an electronics problem because the engine stopped. The marshals helped me to rejoin the race but I was a long way behind. I just tried to keep a constant pace to the end but unfortunately at half-distance I crashed in turn five. I want to apologise to the team and the sponsors for making two mistakes in less than fifteen laps. I am annoyed with myself because I feel that we had a good chance this weekend to come away with a good result. When we tested after the race at Jerez it was really positive so hopefully tomorrow’s test can provide us with some good information to keep improving.”
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