MotoGP Quote Machine Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo mounted a thrilling ride after slipping to fifth position to chase down fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa and snatch a fantastic victory on the last lap of the Spanish Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi finished third, making it a sixteenth double podium for the Fiat Yamaha pair since 2008.
Lorenzo got a bad start and had dropped from second to fifth by the second lap, as he struggled to find a rhythm with a full fuel tank. On lap five he was able to pass Casey Stoner and then, five laps on, Nicky Hayden but he looked destined to stay in third as he languished 1.5 seconds adrift of Rossi, who was in turn the same distance from Pedrosa. Lorenzo’s first attempt to pass Pedrosa resulted in a dramatic moment as they both momentarily looked like running off track and in the end he had to leave it to the last lap to make the definitive move, passing Pedrosa on the brakes at the end of the back straight and crossing the line 0.543 seconds ahead. Lorenzo, who turns 23 on Tuesday, celebrated in hilarious style by leaping into the lake in the middle of the circuit, much to the rapture of the home fans who were already celebrating Spanish wins in the 125cc and Moto2 classes earlier in the day.Lorenzo now leads the Championship with 45 points, while Rossi is four points off him in second. Jorge Lorenzo says: "It has always been one of my dreams to win a MotoGP race in Spain and this was like a movie, everything that could possibly happen did! It was a very hard race because I made such a bad start and then found it very difficult in the first laps – I gave myself a tough job to do. After that I started to feel better and rode like a demon to get to the front. Once I passed Valentino I knew that I couldn’t take it easy, I had to try everything to win and it was all I could think about. I had a great fight with Dani and in one moment we nearly crashed so I had to try again, on the very last lap! I know it’s better to win races calmly, from the front, but lately that hasn’t been the way for us and I have had to fight on every lap. I saw the lake on Thursday and thought it would be funny to jump in and I think the fans liked it, but I didn’t really think about how heavy I’d be with wet leathers and for a minute I thought I wasn’t going to get out! This has been an amazing day, I can’t believe I’ve achieved this dream of mine, in front of all the Spanish fans at this magical place." Valentino Rossi says: "This just wasn’t our race this year. We have struggled all weekend, first with my shoulder and then with the bike, and in the race today I couldn’t do any more than third. I got a great start and was fast with the new tyre, I tried to go with Dani but then I started to slide a lot and I just had to play it safe. I made no mistakes and I’m happy about my race in the circumstances, these 16 points are very important. At the end I had a front-row seat to the Spanish party and I admit I was sorry not to be involved, Jorge did a great job today and I think it was very exciting for all the fans. I want to say thank you to Dr. Costa and all the staff at the Clinica Mobile, plus everyone back in Italy who has worked on my shoulder to allow me to be able to race this weekend. I will hopefully be back to full strength in Le Mans so I’m looking forward to that."Dani Pedrosa says: "Well this result is a little bit surprising for me and, even though I came so close to winning, I’m pleased to be on the podium and so close to the top step. I didn’t think I was going to be able to lead the race for this long and I was nervous at the start because I knew that to maintain a front-running rhythm was going to be very difficult for us. So I was pleased to be out in front of the race, but then I saw on the pit board that Lorenzo was closing at a pace that was half a second faster than me and Rossi and I thought, "Mmm, maybe this is going to be difficult!" I tried to hold him off for as long as possible but in the end I couldn’t. Second place after leading for all but half a lap is disappointing obviously, but after the first race at Qatar this is a good result for us. I’d like to thank all the fans who came here and supported us today, and all the people around me in the Repsol Honda Team. We must keep working really hard – starting with the test tomorrow – so that we can improve for Le Mans".Andrea Dovizioso says: "I made a quick start and my first few laps were good and I was able to get past a few riders and climb to sixth place. In the central part of the race we had a good rhythm and my pace compared to the front riders wasn’t too bad. I maintained this until the final five laps when it was clear that I couldn’t catch the riders ahead and so I eased off. The grip levels here were quite low and it was important to get the electronic controls working well, but in this area we didn’t get things right today. So, even though I’m pleased my rhythm has improved from last year here, I am disappointed with the race result. We will keep on working and I’m very happy that tomorrow we have the opportunity to test the new material – the new chassis and the new engine – so we have the chance to continue the progress we’ve been making through winter testing and at the fi rst race. Dani was very fast today and I’d like to give my compliments to him because he did a very good race and has shown what the machine can be capable of. I’m confident that we can be competitive at the next race at Le Mans". Nicky Hayden says: "Fourth place is no disaster but I was hoping to stay closer to the top three towards the end and put up a bit of a fight. I’m not happy to be nine seconds adrift but we’re trying to build something here and we’ve had another solid weekend. The team, the bike, everything has been great this weekend but we just fell a couple of tenths short on race day. To be honest I thought we might find a little extra for the race, like we did in Qatar, but it wasn’t to be. Like I said yesterday my guys worked like dogs to put me in this position today and we’ve got more to do tomorrow so I want to give a big thanks to them. This is the Ducati factory team and we don’t jump up and down at fourth place but we’ll take it. We got some great data to work from that should help us be stronger at Le Mans and hopefully we can keep this upward trend going." Casey Stoner says: "I’m disappointed with today’s performance. We started the weekend strongly but only got worse compared to our rivals as the sessions went by and we were never able to improve on the base set-up that we started out with. I think we fell into the trap of making changes to the bike that were too radical and it only served to confuse us because we never went in the right direction. I made an okay start to the race and felt comfortable over the opening laps, Jorge was actually slowing my progress at that point and I was eager to get past him and chase Nicky and the others but as soon as I came up to pass Nicky I lost the front and almost crashed. The bike was pretty much on the ground but I managed to pick it up and then tried to push on from there but the front folded two or three more times on that lap alone. That shot my confidence so Jorge was able to pass me easily and from that moment I just wanted to take as many points as I could. As the tyres went off in the second half of the race the bike felt better and I had more contact with the front but it was little too late and I couldn’t catch Nicky. We need to work hard to find some answers in the test tomorrow and move on to Le Mans ready to battle again."Colin Edwards says: "I think I’ve had one good race at Jerez in my entire career and today wasn’t it. This weekend has been a struggle and I’ve never been comfortable on the bike to show the pace I know I am capable of. Right from the start I had issues with the rear grip and I couldn’t hold any load on the tyre at full lean angle. That also created some problems with the front-end, so I just struggled with the balance of the bike. It’s the exact same issue that I had in Qatar even though the set-up I’m running is quite a bit different. I’d just like to be in a race. At the moment I just feel like I’m riding around and suffering. I can only look forward to Le Mans knowing that I go really well at that track and so does the Yamaha."Ben Spies says: "It’s just one of those things that can happen but it’s really unfortunate because after coming here and learning the track really quick I thought we had a really good package for the race. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team had worked really hard but I just had some problem with the front-end. I’m not sure what the problem is but I’ve looked at the data and you can clearly see I had an issue. The bike just wasn’t reacting like it should and it is a big shame. I got a really good start and was right behind Casey but pretty much from the first lap I knew I had a problem. I tried to round around the problem but at the end of the day I wasn’t going to be scoring any points and I’d have risked crashing if I’d continued. The consolation is that I know we had the speed for a good result and there are a lot of positive points to take from the weekend. We can go to Le Mans confident that I’ll be able to show more of my true potential."Marco Melandri says: "That was definitely better than Qatar, but I´m not very happy with the first part of the race. It was hard to ride. I made a good start but I didn´t feel comfortable riding, when I hit the brakes the bike was very unstable. It got better as the race went on, but my engine mapping lost me some power. In any case, I had a good fight with Kallio and tried to get past him for seventh at the end, but he had more acceleration and I couldn´t make it up on the brakes. I feel that we have made a step forward, and we will continue working in order to get in even better shape." Marco Simoncelli says: "Let´s say that this eleventh place leaves a completely different taste in the mouth to Qatar. I had a good start and moved up places, fighting with Melandri, Kallio, Edwards, Spies, De Puniet and Bautista. Unfortunately in the end I was only able to finish ahead of one of those riders. But it was a good race and I was still very fast at the end; I even felt that at seven laps from the flag I was a bit stronger than the rest of the group. But when my bike started to slide the other riders upped their pace. It´s another eleventh place, but a more positive one."Randy De Puniet says: "Certainly we are a bit disappointed because we aimed to get a different placement today. After a very positive qualification I took a bad start from the second row passing the first lap in 12th position: then it was a very hard race for me! The race was very close with many riders doing almost the same lap time and after a few laps I have started to have some issues with the front tyre. In those conditions I could not keep the pace I had yesterday as I have lost the front in several places along the track. However I am still holding the 6th position in the standing and I am sure our bike is acceptable at the moment so we must continue in this direction".Jerez MotoGP 2010 Race Results 1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 45’17.5382. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 00.5433. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 00.8904. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team + 9.0155. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team + 10.0346. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team + 23.1447. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team + 34.4898. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 34.6879. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP + 36.16010. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 36.79111. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 37.15512. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 38.26013. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team + 38.37114. Hiroshi Aoyama (JAP) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP + 1’02.05215. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 3 Lap DNF: Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 20 LapDNF: Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 25 LapThe riders now have a three-week break before the French round at Le Mans on 23rd May.