At the circuit de Jerez on Sunday, Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo of Spain led from start to finish and won the Spanish MotoGP in commanding style. Lorenzo, who had taken the pole position earlier, took the chequered flag in 44 minutes 57.246 seconds to lead the field by more than five seconds. Reigning World champion Marc Marquez trailed behind Lorenzo all through the 27-lap race and finished second while Valentino Rossi was third. The Italian veteran, however, became the only MotoGP rider in history to clinch a 200th podium place. While Lorenzo’s performance in the first European MotoGP of the 2015 season was superb, Repsol Honda rider Marquez did the race with an unusual handicap. In a training crash last week, Marquez broke one of his fingers and almost dropped out of the event. Marquez had to undergo a surgical procedure on his fractured little finger 8 days ago and was a doubtful starter at Jerez. Regardless, the young man braved the odds and still participated. In the end, the two-time world champion crossed the line after Lorenzo in 45:02.822.
It was in October 2014 that Jorge Lorenzo won his last race in Japanese Grand Prix. But on his home turf, the Yamaha rider had been in great form ever since the riders descended on circuit de Jerez for practice, warm-up and qualifying sessions. Lorenzo was the fastest rider in the first three qualifying sessions and walked away as pole winner. It was an incredible fifth pole for Lorenzo at Spanish GP and two days ahead of his 28th birthday, he signaled his return to the fight for the MotoGP Championship. Marquez was second in the qualifying ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, Monster Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Lorenzo’s Italian teammate Valentino Rossi. The sixth in qualifying was taken by Aleix Espargaro riding Suzuki Ecstar. On seventh place was Cal Crutchlow on CWM LCR Honda while Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was eighth. The ninth and tenth places on the grid went to Yonny Hernandez of Pramac and Bradley of Monster Yamaha.
On Sunday, Lorenzo carried his qualifying form to the main race and was off the blocks in a jiffy. The moment Marc Marquez began chasing him; he knew that his Spanish compatriot was untouchable but Marquez was also the only rider able to go with Lorenzo as others dropped way behind the two Spaniards. Very early in the 27-lap race, Lorenzo shattered the lap record and built a sizeable lead over Marquez. The world champion was busier in ensuring his second place by a charging Valentino Rossi, who had slipped early but managed to fall behind Marquez as the race progressed. In the meanwhile, Lorenzo kept building his lead and made it almost impossible for Marquez to catch up with him. Rossi charged from behind and tried to reduce the gap between himself and Marquez but the Spaniard managed to keep the lead by increasing the margin to over three seconds. After the first ten laps, the race became utterly predictable and nothing changed at the top. Marquez could not catch Lorenzo and Rossi couldn’t catch Marquez. The fourth spot went to Cal Crutchlow, who emerged from an early battle with Pol Espargaro. The Jerez race was a disaster for Ducati with Andrea Dovizioso running off the track early and fell to the last position before finishing ninth. His teammate Andrea Iannone was a victim of a poor start and could manage the sixth place in the end. Aleix Espargaro resisted pressure from Bradley Smith to take seventh for Suzuki. The finest duel was seen for the tenth place, in which between the Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez, Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales, Marc VDS Honda’s Scott Redding VDS Honda and Avintia Ducati’s Hector Barbera. In the end, it was Hernandez, who fought his way to the front to complete the top 10.
Rossi now leads the world championship by 15 points over Dovizioso, while Lorenzo’s victory moves him into third place ahead of Marquez. The riders now go to Le Mans in France for the next round of MotoGP World Championship in two weeks’ time.
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