Spoiler Alert: 2017 Jerez MotoGP results listed below.With extremely hot temperatures and greasy track conditions, two essential were needed for a win at round four of the 2017 MotoGP Championship in Jerez: patience and discipline.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa mastered both during the 27-lap race, producing a perfect flag-to-flag victory. The Spaniard led three free practice sessions and qualified on pole before claiming his first win since Misano last September. Pedrosa also made GP history by winning the 3,000th Grand Prix World Championship race.This was Pedorsa’s 53rd win across all classes, and 30th in the premier class. The 31-year-old Spaniard is now tied with his teammate Marc Marquez for premier-class wins, both Repsol Honda RC213V pilots one victory shy of Eddie Lawson’s record.Joining Pedrosa on the 2017 Jerez MotoGP podium were Marquez and the bigger surprise of the podium—Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who claimed his first podium on the Ducati Desmosedici since joining the team for 2017.Speaking after the race, Pedrosa said “ It was extremely hard race to be calm. I wanted to go faster but the track conditions weren’t there. The feeling at every corner felt like crashing. I wasn’t riding very comfortable, so I had to be very focused and control my pace.”When the Spanish Grand Prix began, Pedrosa, using a medium rear and hard front Michelin tires, took the holeshot, followed by Marquez, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco and Valentino Rossi. As for Lorenzo, the Ducati Team GP17 pilot slotted into eighth.Within the opening two laps, Zarco got into third behind Marquez and Pedrosa. All eyes were on Pedrosa out front and Zarco, who was challenging Marquez for second. With 22 to go, the first of six crashes began.The first to crash were Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller and Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista. There was some contact between the riders, and once in the gravel trap, Miller pushed Bautista into the ground due to anger over the situation. Miller later said he was sorry, but “this is racing.”Next to crash at the same Turn 11 was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. Seconds later the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing R16 tumbled through the gravel trap right next to Crutchlow.Also sliding through the gravel traps were Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone and Miller’s teammate Tito Rabat; both riders DNF’d with 18 to go.Around this time Rossi, who entered Jerez MotoGP with the points lead—six over teammate Vinales—began losing positions as he struggled with tire wear. The 38-year-old Italian eventually finished the race 10th, nearly 39 seconds behind.Up front, Pedrosa was untouchable, finishing 6.136 seconds ahead of Marquez and 14.767 ahead of Lorenzo. Fourth went to Zarco, who was followed to the checkered flag by Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Vinales.Rounding out the top 10 were Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro and Rossi.Rossi continues to lead the championship with 62 points, two ahead of Vinales and four ahead of Marquez. Pedrosa is in fourth, 10 points behind. The 2017 MotoGP Championship now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of France at Le Mans May 21.Photo by Luciano Bianchetto
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.