2015 Jerez MotoGP Results
Three major stories preceded Sunday’s Grand Prix of Spain at the historic Jerez circuit, which celebrated this weekend its 29th-straight year as a MotoGP circuit.
Two stories involved the home favorites – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. Lorenzo, who had a miserable start to 2015 MotoGP, led three of four practices, and took his first pole of the season.
As for Marquez, after crashing out at Argentina two weeks ago, he suffered another crash while dirt-track training near Barcelona. During the wreck, the 22-year-old broke his left pinky, and had a titanium plate inserted. But surgery didn’t slow the reigning MotoGP Champ down, and he qualified second while riding an RC213V with a modified left grip.
The third story was the heat; throughout free practice and qualifying, temperatures were soaring, providing very greasy conditions. But come race day, conditions were much cooler, challenging riders as they searched for optimal setup.
Then there’s Valentino Rossi. Due to wins at the season opener in Qatar and at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot entered Jerez as the points leader with 66 points, six ahead of the rider who finished second at the every round heading into Jerez, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.
The 36-year-old Italian, who is the oldest and most experienced rider of 2015 MotoGP, has ridden with complete focus and fervor all season as he chases his 10th World Championship. He didn’t want to give up his point lead, and remained leader after round four.
But it wasn’t with a win. Rossi would have to settle for third, which was his fourth-straight podium of 2015. He tried everything possible, but couldn’t catch those two Spaniards who made all the headlines as MotoGP rolled into Europe for the first time this season.
The winner? Lorenzo, who redeemed himself with a flag-to-flag victory after a 4-4-5 start to the season. Marquez fought off Rossi’s challenges, and rode through the pain to finish second.
After the race, Lorenzo said “The fact that I could make a lap time of 1:38.7 at the beginning of the race was quite impressive. Today I felt really good, especially under braking which is what I sometimes struggle with on Sunday but this time, the whole weekend has been perfect. With the bike working so well everywhere, I was able to profit from my speed and talent, and to take a win at Jerez is really special.”
2015 Jerez MotoGP Recap
Lorenzo led the 25-rider grid through turn one, followed by Marquez, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro, Rossi, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro.
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow got off the line in sixth, followed by Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith.
As for the man who qualified third behind Marquez and pole-man Lorenzo, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone fell back to 11th. Dovi also had some troubles, and fell back to fifth on the second of the 27-lap race after running off the track at turn six.
Lorenzo and Marquez immediately began pulling away, exciting the home crowd. The battles were equally intense behind these two World Champions; Crutchlow was fighting with Aleix Espargaro on the GSX-RR, and took fifth at turn six with 25 to go. Rossi also passed Pol Espargaro for third, and begin hunting the two-leading Spaniards. Two laps later, Crutchlow acaught up with Pol, passing the YZR-M1 pilot for fourth.
With 18 to go, the potential podium finishers – Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi – were each over two seconds apart. But Rossi once again played the predator, and begin reeling in Marquez lap-by-lap. By mid race, Rossi was the fastest rider at Jerez, displaying his mastery of skill and tire management.
With 12 to go, Hiroshi Aoyama – the substitute rider for Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who is recovering from arm-pump surgery – crashed at the quick turn five. The official Team HRC test rider slide through the gravel trap as his RC213V leaped into the air fence. Luckily, the Japanese pilot was able to walk away without injury.
With six to go, Marquez was the fastest rider, and the only one lapping under 1:40. But Lorenzo was over four seconds ahead, running smoothly, and Rossi wasn’t giving up. Behind, Dovizioso fought his way to ninth.
Lorenzo would take the win – his first of 2015 MotoGP and first since winning at Motegi last season. En route, he also set a new circuit record with a lap of 1:38.735 (he set the fastest lap during qualifying of 1:37.910).
Marquez took second, 5.576 seconds behind, and Rossi third, 11.586 seconds off the pace. This also gave Rossi his 200th podium finish across all classes, which is a new record.
Crutchlow finished a lonely fourth, just ahead of Pol Espargaro and Iannone. Rounding out the top 10 were Aleix Espargaro, Smith, Dovizioso and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez.
As for the sole American in all of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, Aspar Team’s Nicky Hayden finished 17th, over a minute behind Lorenzo.
After four of 18 rounds, Rossi was able to retain the championship lead. He now has 82 points, 15 ahead of Dovizioso. Lorenzo moved into third, and now trails Rossi by 20. Marquez moved from fifth to fourth, and is 26 points behind Rossi as he chases his third-straight title.
The season now breaks for two weeks before heading to Le Mans in France for round five.
2015 Jerez MotoGP Results:
1. 25 points, #99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 159.3 44’57.246
2. 20, #93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 159.0 +5.576
3. 16, #46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 158.7 +11.586
4. 13, #35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda 158.0 +22.727
5. 11, #44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 157.8 +26.620
6. 10, #29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati 157.8 +27.021
7. 9, #41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 157.3 +35.445
8. 8, #38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 157.2 +36.296
9. 7, #4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 156.9 +41.933
10. 6, #68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pramac Racing Ducati 156.4 +51.072
11. 5, #25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 156.3 +51.674
12. 4, #9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 156.3 +52.421
13. 3, #45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 156.3 +53.052
14. 2, #8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 156.3 +53.200
15. 1, #19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 156.0 +57.344
16. #6, Stefan BRADL GER Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 155.9 +59.018
17. #69, Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 155.8 +1’01.506
18. #50, Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 155.7 +1’03.163
19. #33, Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 155.5 +1’06.895
20, #43, Jack MILLER AUS CWM LCR Honda Honda 155.1 +1’14.182
21. #15, Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Octo IodaRacing Team ART 154.4 +1’26.832
22. #63, Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 151.7 1 Lap
7. Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Repsol Honda Team Honda 156.1 13 Laps
76. Loris BAZ FRA Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 155.2 19 Laps
17. Karel ABRAHAM CZE AB Motoracing Honda 151.8 24 Laps
2015 Jerez MotoGP Photo Gallery: