Jorge Lorenzo puts on master class to claim MotoGP 2015 Jerez win
Jorge Lorenzo reclaimed the Circuito de Jerez as “Lorenzo Land” as he proved to be simply untouchable on his way to his 55th World Championship victory. The Spaniard has dominated throughout the weekend, and continued this during the race as he led from the lights to the flag.
His winning margin of 5.576s was an indication of just how much he was in control of the race, as he even had time to salute the fans on his final lap before crossing the line to take the chequered flag.
Jorge Lorenzo – P1 – “I am absolutely proud of myself and of the team that we finally delivered some extraordinary work, because we had some problems that have been beyond our control. Due to the lining of the helmet in Doha, my illness in Austin and the tyres in Argentina we couldn’t demonstrate our true potential. This time I could do it during the whole weekend and especially on braking. Sometimes it happens that on Sunday I feel a bit worse on braking than during the rest of the weekend, but today that didn’t happen. I was able to brake really late, enter well into the corners, and carry good corner speed and acceleration, so everything was fine. When this happens you have to make profit of it and win the race. I was thinking about jumping into the lake, but I am 28 years old…! It’s not the same as when you are 23, so in the last second I decided to stop and go back to the bike. Today it’s mother’s day so it’s very special, because my mum saw the race and saw me winning and tomorrow I turn 28. It’s important that we recover some points to Vale because he’s been very strong at the beginning of this season and always on the podium. It’s also important we have recovered the feeling and ability to go fast and now we have to enjoy these hours, this night and this victory!”
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez rode valiantly with his broken finger and even managed to hold off a charging Valentino Rossi (+11.586s) at the end of the race to claim second. Rossi was 2 seconds behind Marquez with 10 laps to go, and the Spaniard must have had a feeling of déjà vu when his pit board said Rossi had closed the gap to a second with only seven laps left.
Unlike in Argentina, Marc Marquez managed to respond to keep the Italian at bay with Rossi eventually crossing the line in third, a further six seconds back, to claim his 200th World Championship podium.
Marc Marquez P2 – “This is a track where we’ve always struggled a little because of my riding style – and this year also because of my injury, but today we achieved what we set out to do. On the opening laps I followed Jorge, but by lap five I could tell that although my finger was not a problem, I was unconsciously working more with my right arm and it began to stiffen up. From then on, I decided to just try and finish the race strong. Then I saw that Valentino was closing in on me and I thought “it’s going to be Argentina all over again” but I gathered strength and this time I was able to maintain the gap between us. We leave Jerez a little closer to the World Championship leader, but Jorge has extended his advantage.”
Valentino Rossi P3 – “It was a difficult weekend. From Friday on we were struggling a lot to find the right setting and I wasn’t able to ride on the maximum level. We improved and worked until after the warm up, trying to improve the setting. In the end it’s a podium, so it’s not so bad, but also in the race I wasn’t strong enough to fight with Jorge and also with Marc. Especially entering the corners I wasn’t at 100%. I had one moment in the race where I was not doing so bad and I was close to Marc. We hoped for another good fight until the end and I thought I could do it, because I got the gap down to one second, but had to give up. I have scored a lot of points and scored two victories and four podiums. This time I extended my lead to Dovizioso, but it looks like Jorge also came back into the championship with this victory. He is just 20 points behind, but the championship is still long. We don’t have to think about the points yet, just of the bike, trying to be competitive every weekend.”
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow secured a rather lonely 4th place to finish as the leading satellite rider 3.8s ahead of Pol Espargaro on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1.
Cal Crutchlow P4 – “Fourth position was the best we could do today with my physical condition. I was happy enough to be honest, we had a good race and I pushed when I needed to push. In all honesty I could have been five seconds overall quicker on the race distance, I just didn’t need to be. I kept the gap to Pol Espargaro behind and I think it was just too difficult to chase Valentino, even at the start when I was caught up in the battle with Aleix and Pol. But the team did a great job to finish in fourth behind the three factory riders. The distance from the winner is a little strange, but we know why because of my physical condition, which also affected my feeling with the bike. But we did a good job and the whole team is pleased.”
Pol Espargaro P5 – “It was a positive close to the weekend and I’m glad that I was able to get a strong result in front of my fans. I had a great start and the only mistake that I made was that I may have pushed a bit too much when I was behind Valentino as I was trying to follow him. I stayed with him for a few laps but I became tired and suffered a bit with arm pump towards the end of the race. So ultimately, I tried to stay consistent on the used tyres and keep Iannone at bay, who was closing in on me. In the end, the gap to the leader was quite big which is not what we hoped for, but finishing 5th is a positive start to the European races, especially considering the result last year. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow as we have some configurations and different settings to try which could be very important at tracks which don’t have a lot of grip, like this one. We were able to test a few things during the weekend but with such a limited amount of time available this is always a bit difficult, however, tomorrow we can assess everything much more thoroughly.”
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone won a hard fought battle for sixth against Aleix Espargaro on the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR.
Andrea Iannone P6 – “For sure today’s race was very difficult for me, because I made an error that cost me very dear, one that I should have avoided. Unfortunately at the start I switched on the mapping for wet conditions instead of launch control, and as a result had to do the whole race with ‘wet’ set-up because the procedure to return to dry settings is very complicated. I tried to get the best result possible in these conditions, but we could certainly have scored a better result here at Jerez and so I feel very sorry for my team, which worked really well this weekend. In any case we can’t make any excuses, and starting from Le Mans I will try and make up for this weekend with all the guys in my team and Ducati by scoring some good results in the next few races.”
Aleix Espargaro P7 – “I’m not really satisfied with the result of this race, it is positive that I got again in the top eight and I gained important points to get closer to seventh place in the championship, but we all feel we have the potential to aim for higher results. At the moment we have to work more on traction, it is not a matter of pure power anymore; it is more a matter of delivering the power that we already have more effectively. We made huge steps forward with the chattering compared to previous races and now we have to deal with the rear wheel spinning. We have one very important test day tomorrow. We will test some new parts but mainly we have to work on the electronics to find improved traction. The team is doing an amazing job and really supporting me so it would be nice to reward them with better results because I think we deserve them for the potential that we have.”
Bradley Smith finished in eighth, while Andrea Dovizioso (9th) had to ride through the field after running wide a twice during the opening laps and finding himself down in 25th.
Bradley Smith P8 – ”I am happy to go back home with another top eight finish and some valuable championship points in my pocket after the tricky weekend we have had. My plan was to get into a consistent race pace and then stay in it. The start was great and I tried to stay as close as possible to Aleix as I knew he was using the softer option of tyre so there was a chance that I could overtake him at the end of the race. Eventually, I managed to close him down a bit but unfortunately not enough to pass him before the finish flag fell. I have had three crashes this weekend so it was important to get a result today even though it was damage limitation. Tomorrow in the test I hope we can spend some time working on solutions for tracks like Jerez, whether that means focusing on my riding style or on different bike settings. It’s certainly not fun having challenging weekends like this one where every time you push, you risk falling. We can’t have weak races this year and lose points in the championship to the other satellite bikes, so it’s back to work tomorrow to find some answers in order to be back fighting again for the leading satellite position at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix in Le Mans.”
Andrea Dovizioso P9 – “I am disappointed about today’s result, because I could probably have fought for fourth place with Crutchlow. We didn’t have the race pace to be able to aim for the podium, but in any case it was a real shame not to have picked up those points. I had a problem at the last corner on lap 2, when I made a small mistake and the bike almost switched off. Ho almost crashed because I lost my balance and had to go straight on into the gravel, but when I got back onto the track I felt that the bike had no problems and so I started to push hard once again. I was in last place and I had to overtake many slower riders, losing a lot of time, and at the end I couldn’t get any further up than ninth. It’s a pity, because even though the podium was out of reach for us today judging by the pace of the first three, I feel sure we could have scored some really good points.”
Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez completed the top ten ahead of Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales.
Maverick Viñales P11 – “I’m happy to have ended the race almost in the top 10 but for sure I regret the mistake I made in qualifying. My pace in the race was good and I did a lot of overtakes, but unfortunately when you have to make so many passes it takes you a lot of time and I couldn’t reach the pace I felt I could make; which I believe could have been around a second faster. This is what happens when you start in the middle of the grid instead of nearer the front. I think we have the potential to legitimately aim for the third-row and starting from there would mean a much easier race for us. I need to improve my style and my approach to qualifying. I’m still a rookie with the softer tyres so it’s taking some time, but I feel confident that we are following the right path to improve.”
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Scott Redding claimed an important points scoring finish for the third time in four MotoGP races in 2015 after a hard fought ride to 13th place in Jerez. The 22-year-old was locked in an intense five-rider battle for a top 10 finish in the 27-lap race, which took place in front of a partisan Spanish crowd of close to 123,000 fans.
Scott Redding P13 – “That was another difficult race and I didn’t have the pace again. The bike was handling better on the front but I kept losing out on the exit. We need to try and work something out because I need to be finishing higher up. Maybe it is my riding style or a bit in the bike, but my main struggle is on corner exit. We’ve now got a one-day test and we need to try and find some more rear grip and something to help me get the bike turning so we can we be more competitive in Le Mans.”
Hector Barbera finished as the top Open class rider in 14th, just ahead of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista (15th) who claimed the final Championship point.
Alvaro Bautista P15 – “And it could have gone much better! I had a good start but I made contact with Barbera right at the beginning in the pack, which was nobody’s fault, and it cost me at least five positions. After three laps I had a problem with the brake which I was able to fix by adjusting the lever distance but it made it very inconvenient in the braking sections. Then I tried to maintain a constant pace to look after the tyres, especially the rear. In the final part I pushed harder and could see the pack in front of me battling for tenth place. It’s a good sign but it’s a shame that I wasn’t able to get closer to them earlier. In any case, things went well but they could have gone even better. I want to thank the team for their great work improving the bike which was really in top shape today compared to the qualifiers. Now we just need to keep going in this direction.”
Bradl, second in the Open class only behind Barbera, crossed the finish line after a difficult weekend characterized by a flu and little feeling with electronics. The German is looking forward to return to work tomorrow during the test scheduled on the Andalusian track.
Stefan Bradl P16 – “It was a difficult race. Loris and I were the only ones in the Open category to have chosen the hard tyres. We made this choice convinced that we would suffer during the first few laps and comeback in the end of the race. I tried to do my best but it was not enough. I’m not 100% fit due to the flu. We have to analyze the data and work hard in view of Le Mans.”
It seemed that Nicky Hayden could feature prominently in today’s race, starting from 18th, but as the American would comment later his start and early race pace was slower than he would have hoped for. After the first third of the race, the Power Electronics Aspar rider found his pace and, near the end, gained a position to conclude 17th. Nor did Eugene Laverty have his best day in Jerez. The Irishman made a very important improvement during the warm-up session and so he started the race with more grip, but changes in geometry excessively overloaded his forearms later in the race.
Nicky Hayden P17 – “Today I have not started well and I couldn’t get on the pace at the start of the race. It was a pity not being able to lap faster at the start of the race because, seeing my pace in the second half, we could have done much better. As the laps passed I began to feel more comfortable, I was able to increase to and maintain a decent pace. In the last laps I gained a couple of places, but I’m not satisfied because Jerez is a track I like, I expected more joy here. Fortunately we have a test scheduled for tomorrow, during which we’ll try to improve our feelings. Although we have not got a good result we are evolving our electronics gradually, so I hope we can be more competitive soon.”
Eugene Laverty P18 “Yesterday evening we did not have a good feeling, with the lack of traction, so this morning we made some changes in the warm-up session. Thanks to that we greatly improved the set-up of the bike, I managed to have more grip and be more consistent. This allowed me to start the race very well and safely at first. The changes made have helped us gain grip but affected the geometry of the bike. So we carried a lot of weight on the rear and every time we accelerated strongly the front needed a lot of control, so my arms were overworked. From the sixth lap I started to notice that I was putting pressure on my forearms. I was able to control pain for ten laps but when the bike started to slide in the final part of the race, it was almost impossible for me to ride. We have discovered how to improve the grip, which is something positive, but now we need a more balanced bike to avoid overuse of the forearms.”
Marco Melandri finished the race in 19th – “Starting from behind doesn’t help, so I struggled a lot in the early laps and then finally I was able to set my pace. When I caught up Miller I was faster than him but unfortunately we are still struggling with grip on the rear and even though he didn’t brake very hard it took me several laps to overtake him and that cost me a lot of ground behind those who were ahead, also stressing the tyres quite a bit. I probably would have been able to stay closer to Hayden & Laverty. Now we’ll have to see how things go in France: I especially hope that some innovations arrive that can meet my needs.”
Jack Miller had to settle for 20th position in the Spanish Grand Prix at a sunny Jerez de la Frontera on Sunday. For the third race in succession, the Australian managed to finish, but was less than satisfied with his performance over the weekend. The CWM LCR Honda rider struggled to get to grips with the tight Spanish circuit on board his MotoGP machine and was ultimately not able to build on his encouraging 12th place in Argentina last time out. A mistake midway through meant Miller was desperately trying to catch up ground to the group ahead of him in the second half of the race, but he was unable to make real inroads. He finished nearly a minute and a quarter behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo and acknowledged afterwards there was plenty of work to do at Monday’s test session.
Jack Miller P20 – “It wasn’t a great race at all. We tried really hard, but towards the middle of the race I ran wide and lost the group. I pushed really hard to try and catch them up, but it was not enough. I had too many bad moments and decided if I kept on pushing like that I would end up crashing. So we finished the race, but not in the position I wanted. I hope in the tests on Monday we can find something positive for the races ahead.”
The race finished ahead of schedule for Loris Baz who crashed in the last corner just before midrace. The Frenchman struggled to find the pace at the start of the race and was forced to retire when he reached the group of other Open bikes.
Loris Baz DNF – “I am not satisfied at all of my weekend. Unfortunately, the race finished ahead of schedule for me. I was struggling during the first laps, I was close to the group of Laverty and Bradl but it was very difficult to keep their pace. I tried to push harder, but I crashed in the last corner when there were still 18 laps to go. We have to stay focused and make the most of the testing tomorrow. For Le Mans the goal is to come back into the points.”
Another non finisher was Hiroshi Aoyama who made a bad staert, before struggling back up to 15th place before a high speed crash in turn five – after losing the front – ended his race prematurely on lap fifteen.z
Hiroshi Aoyama DNF – “It wasn’t an easy race. We expected it to be much hotter but unfortunately the conditions changed. I still stand by my choice of hard tyre in the race, at the beginning we were struggling with the grip but from mid-race I began to feel better. We knew the hard tyre would be strong towards the end of the race and allow me to battle with the other riders, but unfortunately before I could capitalise from this I made a mistake and crashed. It was a hard race and ending like this is really disappointing. I’d like to thank all the team, they helped me a lot and it was a great experience.”
Rossi (82pts) now has a 15-point advantage over Andrea Dovizioso (67pts) in the MotoGP World Championship standings whilst Jorge Lorenzo (62pts) has moved into third at the expense of Marquez (56pts).
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