2016 Catalunya MotoGP Results
Heavy hearts filled the Catalunya-Barcelona Circuit paddock Sunday due to the death of Moto2’s Luis Salom. The 24-year-old Spaniard suffered a crash during Friday practice at turn 10, which caused officials to reroute the turn ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix action.
The racing turned into one huge memorial for Salom, and the premier-class riders held nothing back. The battles were endless throughout the 21-rider grid, but the most impressive arrived from the front of the grid.
With track temperatures around 115 degrees (F), the conditions were greasy, the spec-Michelin tires pushed more than usual. But one rider mastered it all – nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.
The 37-year-old Italian – the oldest rider on the MotoGP grid – didn’t appear fast throughout practice, and qualified fifth aboard his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1. Rossi had a bad start, shuffled back to eighth on the opening lap. But after 7 of 25 laps, Rossi moved into the lead and was untouchable. Rossi, who suffered a DNF two weeks ago at Mugello due to technical issues, earned the victory – his second of 2016 MotoGP, and 10th across all classes at Catalunya-Barcelona Circuit (seven in MotoGP class).
Joining Rossi on the podium were Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the pole sitter, and Dani Pedrosa, respectively.
Following the Catalunya Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi says: “It is a great, great victory, and one of the best of my career. And this is for Luis Salom and for all of Luis’ family.”
“I think it was a perfect Sunday, because this morning we improved the setting of the bike a lot and after the warm-up I felt more confident about the race. The race was great! Though the start was not fantastic, I was strong enough to come back, do some good overtaking and arrive in front.
“From that moment I tried to push at 100 percent to go away alone, but unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to pull away from Marquez. I tried to stay quiet and ride well, because I felt I had a good pace and felt good with the bike. At the end I was ready for the battle, which was a good one, with a lot of overtaking and I was ready to give it a try. You can‘t wish for a better race, I think.
“This is one of my favorite tracks and it was from 2009 that I didn’t win here, and that wasn’t great for me. For this reason I‘m more happy today and the battle with Marquez we can put on the same level as the battle with Lorenzo. What happened in Mugello was very sad because I was ready to fight for the victory there, which was fantastic. Over the last week I just thought I had to try do the same, to arrive ready for the race. Together with my team we did a great job and I think this is the best way to forget about the zero points in Mugello.”
This is the ninth time a Yamaha won the Catalunya GP; Honda has four victories there, and Ducati two.
As for the man who led the points heading into Barcelona MotoGP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo struggled, losing the lead to Rossi on lap seven and eventually falling back. Troubles continued, and on lap 17 Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone crashed into Lorenzo, sending them both home without any points. This was Lorenzo’s second DNF of the season, the future Ducati Team rider’s first arriving at round two in Argentina MotoGP (Termas de Rio Hondo). Both riders were unharmed in the wreck.
Jorge Lorenzo says “First of all, as I said yesterday, everything is secondary after what happened on Friday. About the race, it’s unbelievable that Iannone made this mistake again and when he did, instead of saying “sorry” he asked me if I had an engine failure or something strange happening in this corner. I thought it was his fault, but he had this reaction and didn’t say sorry.
“There is always one rider that doesn’t understand the risks and that his actions can seriously injure the other riders and if Race Direction don’t give him a hard penalization, like they did with me in 2005, these kinds of riders don’t understand that they have to change their mentality. That’s why I think starting the race from last position is not enough, because in five to seven laps he will be positioned at the front again due to his pace.”
Following round seven at Catalunya, Lorenzo moved from first to second in points, and trails the new leader Marquez by 10 points. In third, 22 points behind Marquez, is Rossi.
2016 Catalunya-Barcelona MotoGP Recap
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo got to turn one of 16 first, bringing on cheers from the nearly 100,000 MotoGP fans present. He was followed by Marquez, Pedrosa and Iannone.
Rossi, meanwhile, was pushed back to eighth, but was quickly into sixth by the end of lap one. On the start of lap two, Rossi passed both Iannone and Suzuki Ecstar Team’s Maverick Vinales – Rossi’s future teammate. He was also the fastest rider on the track.
Rossi chased down the three Spaniards up front, first passing Pedrosa at the new turn 10 on lap three. Two laps later, Rossi was able to get pass Marquez at turn four, ironically called Repsol Corner.
Rossi set his sights on Lorenzo, and stuffed him into the turn one of lap seven. Marquez also got by Lorenzo, and challenged Rossi – the but the 23-year-old Spaniard could not out-brake Rossi, and appeared a bit more loose on his tires near the end of the race.
Marquez got close, but had made a huge mistake at turn seven of the penultimate lap. This allowed Rossi to remain unchallenged, and finish 2.652 seconds ahead of Marquez. Pedrosa, who passed Lorenzo with 17 laps to go, finished in a lonely third, 6.313 seconds behind Rossi.
Vinales battled with Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but was able to finish just off the podium in fourth, 24.388 seconds behind. Finishing fifth was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, who earned top Independent Team rider honors.
After Lorenzo lost the battle for fourth with Vinales, the unthinkable happened on lap 17. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone braked way too late at Turn 10, and smashed into the back of Lorenzo, sending both riders to the ground. The three-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo was furious, and Iannone was penalized; he’ll now start the next round at Assen from last on the grid. This was the second time this happened this season; during the Argentina Grand Prix, Iannone took out his teammate on the final lap while both riders were in podium contention.
Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, OCTO Pramac Yakhnich’s Danilo Petrucci, and Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller, who earned his first-ever top 10 finish.
Miller was granted the finish after 10-place finisher, Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barber, was demoted from 10th to 11th due to exceeding track limits.
The series now breaks for three weeks ahead of the Motul TT Assen, round eight of 18.
2016 Catalunya MotoGP Results:
1. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 44’37.589
2. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM + 2.652
3. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM + 6.313
4. M. VIÑALES TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR + 24.388
5. P. ESPARGARÒ MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 + 29.546
6. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA + 36.244
7. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM + 41.464
8. A. BAUTISTA APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI + 42.975
9. D. PETRUCCI OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH + 45.337
10. H. BARBERA AVINTIA RACING + 46.669
11. J. MILLER ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS + 49.514
12. S. BRADL APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI + 55.133
13. E. LAVERTY ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP + 57.974
14. T. RABAT ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS + 1’00.141
15. M. PIRRO AVINTIA RACING + 1’00.429
16. S. REDDING OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH + 1’16.269
17. Y. HERNANDEZ ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP After 1 laps
18. A. ESPARGARÒ TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR N.C. (7 laps)
19. J. LORENZO MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP N.C. (9 laps)
20. A. IANNONE DUCATI TEAM N.C. (9 laps)
21. B. SMITH MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 N.C. (19 laps)
2016 MotoGP Point Standings:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 125
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 115
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 103
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 82
5. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar, 72
6. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3, 59
7. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar, 49
8. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing, 48
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team, 43
10. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team, 41
11. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Team MotoGP, 39
12. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3, 29
13. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 29
14. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 29
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 24
16. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda, 20
17. Michele Pirro (ITA) Avintia Racing, 19
18. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 16
19. Tito Rabat (SPA) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 13
20. Jack Miller (AUS) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 8
21. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Racing, 8
22. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar Team MotoGP, 3