2018 Jerez MotoGP Results
Before 68,000 fans, the 2018 MotoGP Championship got underway Sunday at Spain’s Jerez.
All eyes were on LCR Castrol Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who claimed the pole position, and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who qualified second and dominated last season’s race.
But after a drama-filled race, neither of these riders would finish. This provided Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez some assistance as he claimed his second-straight win of 2018 MotoGP, and is second premier-class win at Jerez.
Joining Marquez on the podium were Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone.
Due to crashes and Marquez’s win, the points battle changed drastically, giving the reigning MotoGP Champion Marquez a 20-point lead over the others.
2018 Jerez MotoGP Results – Recap
When the 25-lap GP began, Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo gets the hole shot from fourth on the grid, followed by Pedrosa, who recently had wrist surgery; Zarco, who joins Red Bull KTM in 2019; Crutchlow; and Marquez.
Marquez qualified fifth, and was into fourth after passing Crutchlow at the beginning of the second lap.
Up front, Lorenzo’s Ducati was strong at Jerez, where last season the Spaniard claimed his first podium with Ducati. Meanwhile in the back, Aprilia Gresini Racing’s Aleix Espargaro suffered a DNF after he had some mechanical issues with his RS-GP prototype.
Marquez duplicated his turn-one pass on Crutchlow at the start of lap three, passing Zarco for third. He chased down his teammate Pedrosa, who was looking for any opportunity to pass the leader Lorenzo.
Lorenzo was the only rider with a soft-front tire, and by lap three his decision was starting to affect him. The tire choice was bold due to how harsh the short circuit with long-radius corners is on front tires.
Marquez was quickly into second, and now had his eyes set on Lorenzo.
Behind, Alex Rins was fighting with Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso for sixth, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi was fighting with Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone for eighth.
With 21 laps to go, Crutchlow moved pass Zarco, the Frenchman struggling aboard the Tech3 YZR-M1, especially under braking. But Crutchlow was pushing a bit too hard, which caused him to crash at turn one with 18 to go as the track was getting slick from the hot afternoon temperatures.
This was Crutchlow’s second-consecutive crash; he suffered a wreck at Austin MotoGP two weeks ago, but was able to finish 19th.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins also crashed out, which was his fourth DNF in four races. He tucked the front on turn 11.
With 17 to go, Marquez passed Lorenzo at “Lorenzo” corner (13). From there, he led for the remainder of the 25 laps. The drama was just beginning behind, though.
With 13 laps to go, Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi had crashed, the Swiss rider tucking the front and hitting the gravel trap. When the lead group came back around, there was some gravel on track from Luthi’s crash, and Marquez had a moment that looked flat track style, the four-time MotoGP Champion controlling a slide from the rocks on the circuit.
The remaining podium came down to a battle between Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Pedrosa. As Marquez pulled away, the fight was on for second.
With eight to go, Lorenzo and Dovizioso both went wide at turn 6 (Dry Sack). Pedrosa took the inside line, and Lorenzo cut back over, bumping Pedrosa. This sent Pedrosa into a nasty high side.
Lorenzo’s GP18 then slide left into the path of Dovizioso, causing both factory Ducatis to crash. All three riders suffered DNFs, a first of the season for the Ducati Team duo.
This brought a four-way fight for second between Zarco, Iannone, Petrucci and Rossi, respectively. Thought they battled, they eventually finished in the same order.
When the checkered flag waved, Marquez crossed the line first to earn his second-straight win of 2018 MotoGP, and his second career victory at Jerez (other was in 2014).
Marquez finished 5.241 seconds ahead of Zarco, and 8.241 ahead of Ianone. Petrucci beat Rossi to the line for fourth.
Rounding out the top 10 at Jerez MotoGP were Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, Angel Neito Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mika Kallio.
Due to the Pedrosa/Lorenzo/Dovizioso crash, which will surely be blamed on Lorenzo, the championship point standings changed drastically.
With four of 19 rounds complete, Marquez now leads with 70 points – 12 ahead of Zarco, and 20 ahead of Vinales. Due to his DNF, the Italian who had the points lead as the series headed in to Jerez, Dovizioso, is fifth, 24 points back.
The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of France at the historic Le Mans circuit.
Photo by Luciano Bianchetto
2018 Jerez MotoGP Results:
|18||Karel Abraham||Ducati||CZE||1 lap|
|19||Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||ESP||8 laps|
|20||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||ITA||8 laps|
|21||Daniel Pedrosa||Honda||ESP||8 laps|
|22||Cal Crutchlow||Honda||GBR||9 laps|
|23||Thomas Luthi||Honda||CHE||14 laps|
|24||Alex Rins||Suzuki||ESP||20 laps|
|25||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||ESP||25 laps|
2018 MotoGP Point Standings (after four of 19 rounds):