MotoGP Riders reflect on Jerez MotoGP

MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals
Valentino Rossi – P1

“I think that this was the perfect weekend. We started to go faster from Friday morning and we worked very well. The bike, in the race, was fantastic and we worked very well with the team so I have to say “thank you” to the whole Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, especially my crew. I had a good pace and a good start and felt good with the bike from the beginning, so I could push. Sincerely, it was a special taste to have a win like this, so thanks a lot!”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Jorge Lorenzo – P2

“The positive thing is that the Yamahas went better and also 20 points and second place is good for the championship. Because Rossi crashed in Austin, he is still behind in the championship standings and we made up some points to Marquez. The only thing is that we could have won the race without the problem on the front-straight. Going through the gears the bike didn’t stop spinning and I couldn’t fully open the throttle. Just when I started recovering metres on Rossi this problem started, so I had to slow down a lot and I didn’t have the chance to fight with him for the victory, but sometimes this happens. Now Michelin have to find out what is going on. They improved the front tyre and now I am sure they’ll work on the rear to solve these kinds of issues.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It was an incredible Grand Prix for the whole team. We finished a perfect weekend in first and second place and led almost all the session. What we accomplished here is an important result, especially because of the significant gap to the other manufacturers at what is one of the home Grand Prixs of our title sponsor, Movistar. Valentino has been strong since Friday and we are thrilled for him to take home such a stunning victory. He had a good start and rode a perfect race and led from the first to the last lap without making any mistakes. He did everything right and fully deserved this win. It was unfortunate that Jorge was slowed down by wheel spin towards the end of the race, because he was also looking very strong, especially at the start and also just after the mid-way point of the race. He again showed that he is an incredible professional and clever rider to be able to ride around the problem and take home valuable points for the championship. I want to thank the entire team staff who made this result possible. Now we have a few hours to enjoy today’s achievements and then we will focus on tomorrow’s test.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Lin Jarvis and Valentino Rossi
Jorge Lorenzo, Lin Jarvis and Valentino Rossi
Marc Marquez – P3

“Honestly, today Valentino [Rossi] was on another level, like I was in Austin, and the most important thing is that today we accepted finishing third in the race. I learned a lot from last year and and I didn’t want to make a mistake. I was very focused from the start and I tried to ride strongly and stay with Jorge [Lorenzo], but I could tell that with the higher track temperatures – 11º C higher than yesterday – it was very difficult for me to manage the front tyre well. I almost crashed several times, so in the end I made a difficult decision in front of our fans, as we preferred to secure 16 points that will be very positive at the end of the season, which is very long. We must have patience until we take a step further with the bike’s acceleration and find something else that allows us to fight for the win.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez
Dani Pedrosa – P4

“We knew it would be a difficult race and we got the position we knew was possible, because the whole weekend the front three were faster than us. I started well, riding hard in the early laps. Then I saw I had difficulties with both the front and rear tyres. I concentrated on keeping my position and I rode at a safe pace so as not to make the rear tyre go off too much as well. I saw that Aleix [Espargaro] was recovering ground on me, but I had him under control and was only focusing on preserving the tyre. Near the end, when I didn’t have him on me, I decided to pick up the pace again. I was able to escape and get closer to Marc [Marquez], so perhaps pushing so hard at the start cost him in the end. Tomorrow we have a test in which we will try to work and improve my feeling on the bike.”

Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa
Aleix Espargaró – P5

“I’m happy, I was waiting for this GP because since FP1 in Argentina we have been making continuous steps forward; in every session in Argentina and Austin we registered improvements and I knew we were getting closer. Here we really focused on the preparation for the race, I suffered a little bit in qualifying because I wasn’t able to run fast with the softer tyre, but doing such a fast lap in qualifying with the harder tyre meant that we were ready and competitive for the race. In fact the race pace trials we did during the weekend gave me good feelings towards the race. I was very focused on the grid and I made a good jump, recovering immediately one position in the first corner and then another one right away. Then I tried to catch-up to fourth position and almost succeeded, but unfortunately towards the end of the race the rider in front of me could keep a faster pace and I settled for fifth. It’s a good result, after a slow beginning to the season, but I’m getting closer to the top with good results but, most-importantly, improving my feeling on the bike. Tomorrow’s test will be very important, we still have issues with the rear grip – especially in slow corners – but Suzuki is doing a great job to support us and deliver some solutions, therefore we already have some ideas that we’re going to test and hopefully these will be positive ones. We are not so far from the fastest, we can improve a lot yet; and this leaves me confident for further improvements.”

Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro
Maverick Viñales – P6

“Finally the result of the race is not bad, but it was very difficult as I struggled for the whole race with the rear grip and I regret we could have achieved an even better result. We are not exploiting the bike 100%, we still miss something in the set-up or in the tyre performance and this forced me to push very hard in race. We are making a lot of progress, the Suzuki Factory is giving full support to us, but now that we see we can be closer it’s a pity that we cannot get even closer. I think tomorrow’s test will be very important and we will work on the set-up to find better grip on the rear and try to be more effective.”

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Satoru Terada – Suzuki MotoGP Project Leader

“Today we finished the race in fifth and sixth and I think this result is ‘so-and-so.’ Of course we need to get closer to the top, but I can also say that we are improving and we made steady progress, as this race also proved, but we still need to step-up more. Apparently we are struggling with the tyres or the set-up because we lack in rear grip, so we have to improve this area particularly. Tomorrow we have the chance to make a one-day test and we already have some ideas that will be applied to the machines and we will examine the outcome. In particular we will work on the settings, because we believe we can find better solutions working on the mechanics rather than electronics.”

Andrea Iannone – P7

“I didn’t expect such a difficult weekend, and right from the start of practice I did my best to do a quick fix on the situation. In the race I started some way down the grid and this penalized me, especially because I didn’t make a good start and the feeling with the bike in the early laps was not at its best. It’s a pity because then I managed to improve lap after lap, making up a lot of positions, and in the end my pace wasn’t bad. A seventh place is for sure not our target, but we took home some important points for the championship”.

Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone
Pol Espargaro – P8

“I am pleased to walk away from Jerez with another strong set of points but it certainly was a challenging race. The weather changed so much from the practice sessions and it was very hot out there today, so that it was tough to choose the tyres and then ride a decent race yet we did what we could. At the beginning I was just adjusting to the conditions, but I upped the pace in the middle and then went quick at the end. I feel, along with some of the other satellite riders for sure, that the gap to the factory guys is still considerable. We saw them going and just had to think about the end of the race otherwise we would wear the tyre and not finish. It’s a pity that you cannot extract all of the potential from your bike because the tyre is limited. Having said that we are in a development stage, so for sure this will improve in the future. Anyway we still managed to get 8th but we need a bit more so that we can fight a bit higher in the opening laps which we will aim to discover tomorrow. In the final third of the GP, Iannone had a bit more traction than me when exiting the corners. My rear tyre was worn so I didn’t want to push too hard and risk it all. Le Mans is next, which is the Monster Energy sponsored race and the home GP for my team. I like the track but not the weather as it changes a lot! We are all motivated and in a good position in the championship so I know we can have a positive time there.”

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro
Eugene Laverty – P9

“My brother John said to me before the start that this race wouldn’t be like the other ones, there wouldn’t be so many crashes, so I would have to pull my finger out on the early laps and I did just that! The start made a big difference. Friday was the first time we’ve had a new clutch on this bike and it allowed me to make a fantastic start. This feels like a real result. In Argentina we were still finding out feet and we had a bit of luck, but this one we have worked so hard for. Even at the end I was starting to close on [Pol] Espargaró but the clutch was slipping for the last six or seven laps. Otherwise the bike was fantastic and this is a great result for us.”

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty
Hector Barbera – P10

“This was a very difficult race. The weekend had been almost perfect and we did a great job so far, which makes this tenth place a little disappointing. The track condition changed completely for the race and from the second lap onwards, I struggled with the traction control that was cutting too much power. I tried all the mappings I had for the race, but non of them worked and, even leaned over, the bike was cutting power, so I was losing time on every corner exit and I was not able to attack in the braking points. I was not comfortable riding the bike and I’ve been fighting the whole race. We continue adding points and this is the most positive, and despite our problems, we are still in the top ten. To be honest, our real position is between fifth and tenth, but we have to go one step back with the electronics, because we changed something in Argentina and it’s clear that it doesn’t work.”

Hector Barbera, Cal Crutchlow
Hector Barbera, Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow – P11

“The weekend was tough and I am pleased that I finished the race. We believe we had a tyre problem because earlier I had a good warm-up with race distance on the tyres. I feel I rode a lot smoother in the race, but just wasn’t going anywhere. The last ten laps were a real struggle. We’re not too sure why just yet, but we just know there was a lot of vibration and I had to change to sixth gear on the straights where I’d normally use fifth – just to try and stop the spin. There are no excuses, we have what we have. I finished eleventh, but finished the race. Obviously that doesn’t make me happy at all. Before the race I felt I could have been battling with Dani Pedrosa if I’m truly honest. I have no doubt in my mind I could battle up there today, but for some reason the Honda pace dropped a lot across the board with ten laps to go. Honda are working so hard though, and we will at least give them some information on full race distance which can hopefully help things.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow
Bradley Smith – P12

“Without a doubt it was a tough weekend for me but at least I got something out of it in terms of points, and I am determined to have a more successful time at the next round in France. In the race I had an ok start off the line but the Aprilias and Ducatis were really strong during the opening laps. Unfortunately I also lost some positions in the first lap due to contact with another rider so I ended up behind Hernandez and Bautista. I felt like it cost me some time following them, but with the lack of grip I experienced on the rear tyre, I could not push any harder at the beginning and already after ten laps I knew that I was in trouble. Therefore, I just tried to be as smooth as possible and reach the finish flag. The good thing is that we managed to improve my feeling with the front over the weekend and I felt more comfortable when compared to the previous races, so tomorrow in the test we will focus on trying to find a solution to the rear. However, saying that is very easy and this may not be the case in reality. Yet, we will work hard and take full advantage of tomorrow so that we can be strong in Le Mans like last year.”

Loris Baz – P13

“Today it was important to finish the race, but once again I was close to crashing on the first lap, when Redding blew me off the track. When I came back I was last, and on the next lap, I made a mistake and I went wide again. I lost too much time and with these two problems, I had to change my race strategy. We chose the soft front tyre and the plan was to save it during the first part of the race with a full tank, but I was forced to recover and the tyre was really bad at the end, so the last few laps were very difficult. Positive is that we took three points and we learned a couple of things that we will change for the next races. The season started here for us and I want to use this experience to get a better result at Le Mans.”

Loris Baz, Jack Miller
Loris Baz, Jack Miller
Stefan Bradl – P14

“The final result is positive. We worked hard on the settings to find the right feeling with the rear tyre. It was a rather demanding weekend in terms of grip. We also tried to take another step forward during the warm up session but it didn’t pan out, so in spite of going back to the previous solution I had a few misgivings at the beginning of the race. I got off the line better than I had in the last few races and in the first laps I felt good. Then I felt a drop in performance from the front tyre that forced me to slow down. Lap by lap I found my pace and I was also able to catch up our rivals, overtaking Hernandez at the end and earning a few points”.

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl
Yonny Hernández – P15

“It was a very difficult race for us because we didn’t have the same pace that we have shown throughout the rest of the weekend. I had trouble getting the bike to turn and a lack of feeling from the front. We still don’t know what caused it because the conditions during the race were very similar to yesterday. We will check the telemetry to see what happened and obviously keep working to be closer to the front. We are not where we want to be right now. I put in a big effort to set a fast pace and we were competitive over the weekend but I couldn’t carry it through to the race. We will test some things in the race tomorrow and get ready for the next race in France.”

Yonny Hernandez
Yonny Hernandez
Michele Pirro – P16

“I’m really sad and sorry. In Argentina and also in Texas we showed to be very competitive. We arrived in Jerez, where we worked hard during tests with these tires, and nothing seems to work. It is frustrating because last year I have worked hard together with all the Ducati test team. We have made a lot of tests, even during Christmas holidays and in August. Things went very well and all this work was erased with this race. During this weekend I had the feeling of not being able to do anything to improve. We tried so many things but it is as if everything had changed. I think there is a lot to think about.”

Michele Pirro, Scott Redding
Michele Pirro, Scott Redding
Jack Miller – P17

“It was a tough weekend but I am happy to have got through it safely and with a solid finish under my belt after the injury problems in Austin. I struggled throughout the race in the hairpins and it really showed in the early laps. I had no confidence and couldn’t make any passes but I have to be positive because the heat made it a very physical race and my body held up really well, so all the training I’ve been able to do while still hurt has paid off. In the second part of the race I felt good because I’d worked hard to conserve my tyres. Maybe I saved them a bit too much but it was important to finish and learn a lot. I look forward to the test tomorrow without any pressure where I can just focus on improving the bike in the hairpins, which is something I’ll need to be better with at the next race in Le Mans.”

Jack Miller, Tito Rabat
Jack Miller, Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat – P18

“I can’t be too happy with today’s result but I am happy that we made important progress in solving some of our wheelie issues under acceleration. I’ve struggled a lot in that area and we found a good direction this weekend. I finished the race again which is important to get data and experience for the future and I am happy with my rhythm at the beginning of the race. I struggled in the final laps when the grip went down but I think I made another positive step this weekend. I could follow a few riders and it was only in the last laps that I dropped back when the tyres started to wear. We have the test now in Jerez tomorrow and I can try and use what I have learned in the first four races to improve my riding style and be more competitive in the next few races.”

Michael Bartholemy – Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Principal

“It was a difficult race for Jack and Tito when you look at their final position but at least from mid-race distance we can take encouragement from the fact that their lap times were comparable to those close to the top 10. With a better qualifying I think both could have finished inside the points, which is where we need to be. Where we finished is not where we want to be but both of them finished and gained more experienced and credit to Jack because conditions were much hotter today and he rode a brave and determined race, despite his physical problems with the ankle injury.”

Scott Redding – P19

“Nothing worked today and throughout the weekend. And I must admit that it is not possible to ride in these conditions. During the last few laps I also had to slow down a bit to get to the finish line without running the risk of falling. Even in the straight spinning was impressive. You can always learn something from the bad days but it’s really hard to figure out what we should have done to improve this weekend. We spent three days trying to find grip and we never succeeded. And I do not think it was only our fault.”

Scott Redding, Loris Baz
Scott Redding, Loris Baz
Andrea Dovizioso – DNF

“It was a pity because another no-points score in the championship was the last thing I needed. We had a problem with the water pump: some water came out and finished on the rear wheel and I almost crashed three times so had to retire. If however we try and look at the positives, we are working well, my feeling with the bike is good and this is the most important thing for me, even though it’s true that here at Jerez we never managed to be as competitive as in the first three GPs. On a personal level it’s important for me to be sure that I haven’t made any errors in the last three races, and this gives me the confidence to try and be competitive again immediately, starting from Le Mans”.

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso
Alvaro Bautista – DNF

“After a good start that earned me a few positions, I was battling with the group between eighth and eleventh place when I lost the front end in a fast corner. It’s a shame and I’m sorry for the entire team that worked so hard, but that’s racing and it’s only right to make a go of it. In any case this was still a very positive weekend. We did well during practice, I felt at ease in the race and I didn’t have any problems battling in that group. Anyway, now we need to look forward and keep improving the bike the way we have been doing so far”.

Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl
Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of Michelin MotoGP Programme

“This weekend we have had some very positive moments, the front tyres have improved a lot and the riders now have a lot of confidence in them. We brought a new compound here and that has worked very well in the different conditions – especially on the colder track in the morning – and we are very pleased with the results. We have also only had two crashes this weekend which is certainly a good sign of improvement, especially when you consider the number of falls in both Moto2™ and Moto3™, and how difficult the track conditions were. This afternoon the surface was over 40°C and that was more than 20° warmer than this morning, so tyre wear was an important factor and we are very pleased with the durability that our tyres showed. We now have an important test tomorrow, where we hope we can confirm the casing construction that we will use for the rest of the season.”

Piero Taramasso – Manager of Michelin Two-Wheel Motorsport Group

“We have had a good weekend here at Jerez and have learned many things, it was also very important for us to use all five versions of tyres in the race, three fronts and two rears, to see how they performed in race conditions. We have had a difficult situation to overcome this weekend as well though. On Saturday we lost the use of six of the tyre fitters due to illness, which was diagnosed as a gastro virus. They were treated by the MotoGP Doctor and made a bit of a recovery overnight, so that they were able to do their job today. This was a setback and we had to delay the start of yesterday’s Free Practice session to allow the technicians enough time to assist the remaining fitters to make sure all the tyres were on the rims and that they were warmed up and safe to use in the afternoon. We can do without these situations when we need to concentrate on the race weekend, but we are happy they’re now getting better and hope that they make a full recovery soon.”

MotoGP 2016 - Jerez -Podium - MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 – Jerez -Podium – MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2016 coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals
MotoGP 2016 - Jerez - Race Results - MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 – Jerez – Race Results – MotoGP
MotoGP 2016 - Jerez - Race Results - MotoGP Championship Standings
MotoGP 2016 – Jerez – Race Results – MotoGP Championship Standings