Moto GP

Jorge Lorenzo Gets Championship Aspirations Back On Track With Jerez Win

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo delivered a master class victory in Jerez, claiming the 55th victory of his career.

Lorenzo was back on form and blew away the competition today at the Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera. He continued his weekend of dominance at the Gran Premio de Espa̱a and took the chequered flag, not having lost the lead once, with staggering 5,5 second lead.

Lorenzo had a great launch from pole position, taking the holeshot into turn one. Completely in the zone he immediately put the hammer down and rode away from the pack, with only rival Marc Marquez able to follow him. Lorenzo was quick to respond by upping his pace and rode a Circuit Record of 1'38.735 on just his second lap.

He pulled away and soon created a gap of over a second to Marquez, who was unable to keep up with his blistering pace. Consistently posting laps under the 1'40 mark, Lorenzo remained unchallenged for the rest of the race and completed his perfect performance of the weekend when he took the flag with a 5.576 second lead, securing his fifth victory at the Andalusian circuit.

"I am absolutely proud of myself and of the team that we finally delivered some extraordinary work, because we had some problems that have been beyond our control." Lorenzo explaind. "Due to the lining of the helmet in Doha, my illness in Austin and the tyres in Argentina we couldn't demonstrate our true potential.

"This time I could do it during the whole weekend and especially on braking. Sometimes it happens that on Sunday I feel a bit worse on braking than during the rest of the weekend, but today that didn't happen. I was able to brake really late, enter well into the corners, and carry good corner speed and acceleration, so everything was fine.

"When this happens you have to make profit of it and win the race. I was thinking about jumping into the lake, but I am 28 years old...! It's not the same as when you are 23, so in the last second I decided to stop and go back to the bike.

"Today it's mother's day so it's very special, because my mum saw the race and saw me winning and tomorrow I turn 28. It's important that we recover some points to Vale because he's been very strong at the beginning of this season and always on the podium.

"It's also important we have recovered the feeling and ability to go fast and now we have to enjoy these hours, this night and this victory!"
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) overcame pain and weakness from a recent injury to claim second place in today‰Ûªs Spanish Grand Prix, equalling his qualifying position and claiming an excellent 20 points in difficult circumstances.

Marquez held the position throughout the race, withstanding increasing discomfort and fending off a challenge from title leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in the later stages of the 27-lap race at the iconic Jerez circuit.

The 22-year-old Spaniard's second MotoGP title defence remains on course despite a tough start to the season, compounded when he broke his left-hand little finger in a motocross training accident just eight days before today‰Ûªs race.

Marquez rode with a modified handlebar and a special glove to protect the injured hand, which was screwed and plated directly after the crash. For the first time in the weekend he used painkillers for today‰Ûªs race. Even so, it was a struggle to finish the 27 laps, during which the process of throwing much of his weight onto his healthy right arm caused extra difficulties in addition to the injury itself.

Second place in his first home race of the year combines with a pole-to-chequer victory at the second round in Texas, plus fifth in round one at Qatar, keeping him well in touch with a third straight championship win, with 14 races remaining.

‰ÛÏThis is a track where we‰Ûªve always struggled a little because of my riding style ‰ÛÒ and this year also because of my injury, but today we achieved what we set out to do." Marquez said. "On the opening laps I followed Jorge, but by lap five I could tell that although my finger was not a problem, I was unconsciously working more with my right arm and it began to stiffen up.

"From then on, I decided to just try and finish the race strong. Then I saw that Valentino was closing in on me and I thought: ‰Û÷It‰Ûªs going to be Argentina all over again. But I gathered strength and this time I was able to maintain the gap between us. We leave Jerez a little closer to the World Championship leader, but Jorge has extended his advantage.‰Û
Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was also on the charge right from the start of the 27-lap race. Shooting from fifth to fourth into turn one, he soon closed the gap to Pol EspargarÌ_ to overtake him on lap four.

The nine-time World Champion was now on a mission to close down a two-second gap to front runners Lorenzo and Marquez, while at the same time managing his lead over EspargarÌ_ and Cal Crutchlow.

Though the gap to Marquez initially increased, the Doctor refused to give up. His determination was rewarded when, with 15 laps remaining, he started to wheel his rival back in. However, as the Doctor's front tyre began to wear down in the final stages of the race he was unable to repeat his performance in Argentina. He decided to settle for third and take his fourth consecutive podium this season, marking the 200th podium finish of his career.

"It was a difficult weekend." Rossi admitted. "From Friday on we were struggling a lot to find the right setting and I wasn't able to ride on the maximum level. We improved and worked until after the warm up, trying to improve the setting.

"In the end it's a podium, so it's not so bad, but also in the race I wasn't strong enough to fight with Jorge and also with Marc. Especially entering the corners I wasn't at 100%. I had one moment in the race where I was not doing so bad and I was close to Marc.

"We hoped for another good fight until the end and I thought I could do it, because I got the gap down to one second, but had to give up. I have scored a lot of points and scored two victories and four podiums. This time I extended my lead to Dovizioso, but it looks like Jorge also came back into the championship with this victory.

"He is just 20 points behind, but the championship is still long. We don't have to think about the points yet, just of the bike, trying to be competitive every weekend."
Cal Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda RC213V), who fought through in the early laps for a strong fourth place, two weeks after claiming his first Honda podium in Argentina. The former World 600 Supersport rider is still adapting to the powerful RC213V, after joining Honda this season; and furthermore was fighting a heavy cold.

"Fourth was the best we could do today with my physical condition." Crutchlow commented. "I was happy enough to be honest, we had a good race and I pushed when I needed to push.

"In all honesty I could have been five seconds overall quicker on the race distance, I just didn‰Ûªt need to be. I kept the gap to Pol Espargaro behind and I think it was just too difficult to chase Valentino. But the team did a great job to finish in fourth behind the three factory riders.

"The distance from the winner is a little strange, but we know why because of my condition, which also affected my feeling with the bike.‰Û
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro rounded out the top five.

"It was a positive close to the weekend and I'm glad that I was able to get a strong result in front of my fans. I had a great start and the only mistake that I made was that I may have pushed a bit too much when I was behind Valentino as I was trying to follow him.

"I stayed with him for a few laps but I became tired and suffered a bit with arm pump towards the end of the race. So ultimately, I tried to stay consistent on the used tyres and keep Iannone at bay, who was closing in on me.

"In the end, the gap to the leader was quite big which is not what we hoped for, but finishing 5th is a positive start to the European races, especially considering the result last year. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow as we have some configurations and different settings to try which could be very important at tracks which don?t have a lot of grip, like this one.

"We were able to test a few things during the weekend but with such a limited amount of time available this is always a bit difficult, however, tomorrow we can assess everything much more thoroughly."

Australia's Jack Miller finished in 20th position after spending the early part of the race battling with the likes of Nicky Hayden a little further up the field.
Jerez Race Results:
1 Jorge Lorenzo 44'57.246 ESP YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
2 Marc Marquez 5.576 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Valentino Rossi 11.586 ITA YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
4 Cal Crutchlow 22.727 GBR HONDA CWM LCR Honda
5 Pol Espargaro 26.620 ESP YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Andrea Iannone 27.021 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Aleix Espargaro 35.445 ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
8 Bradley Smith 36.296 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Andrea Dovizioso 41.933 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Yonny Hernandez 51.072 COL DUCATI Pramac Racing
11 Maverick Vinales 51.674 ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
12 Danilo Petrucci 52.421 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Scott Redding 53.052 GBR HONDA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
14 Hector Barbera 53.200 ESP AVINTIA Avintia Racing
15 Alvaro Bautista 57.344 ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
16 Stefan Bradl 59.018 GER FORWARD YAMAHA Forward Racing
17 Nicky Hayden 1'01.506 USA HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
18 Eugene Laverty 1'03.163 HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
19 Marco Melandri 1'06.895 APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
20 Jack Miller 1'14.182 AUS HONDA CWM LCR Honda
21 Alex de Angelis 1'26.832 ART Octo IodaRacing Team
22 Mike De Meglio 1 Lap FRA AVINTIA Avintia Racing
23 Hiroshi Aoyama DNF JPN HONDA Repsol Honda Team
24 Loris Baz DNF FORWARD YAMAHA Forward Racing
25 Karel Abraham DNF CZE HONDA AB Motoracing

Championship standings
1 Valentino Rossi 82 pts
2 Andrea Dovizioso 67 pts
3 Jorge Lorenzo 62 pts
4 Marc Marquez 56 pts
5 Andrea Iannone 50 pts
6 Cal Crutchlow 47 pts
7 Bradley Smith 36 pts
8 Aleix Espargaro 31 pts
9 Pol Espargaro 26 pts
10 Maverick Vinales 20 pts
11 Danilo Petrucci 19 pts
12 Scott Redding 13 pts
13 Yonny Hernandez 12 pts
14 Dani Pedrosa 10 pts
15 Hector Barbera 10 pts
16 Jack Miller 6 pts
17 Hiroshi Aoyama 5 pts
18 Nicky Hayden 3 pts
19 Alvaro Bautista 2 pts
20 Loris Baz 2 pts

Top Image: Jorge Lorenzo on his way to winning at Jerez

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