Moto GP

Jorge Lorenzo Lead Home Valentino Rossi As Yamaha Dominate At Catalunya

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo gave a sensational performance to claim his fourth GP victory in a row at the seventh round at GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Teammate Valentino Rossi was equally stunning, starting from seventh on the grid to take second position, giving the team its fourth consecutive double podium of the season.

Lorenzo had a strong launch from third on the grid to take the holeshot. Leading the race from Marquez he put the hammer down in an effort to break away from the field, but was unable to shake off his compatriot.

Unfazed by the pressure from his rival, Lorenzo kept his riding smooth and consistent, which proved to be the key to success. With 23 laps to go, Marquez made a mistake in turn ten, nearly clipping Lorenzo's YZR-M1 in the process, and crashed out of the race.

The dramatic crash put Lorenzo in his favorite racing position; completely in control at the front, with a clear track as far as the eye could see, and a growing gap to the rider in second, which was none other than his teammate.

Rossi wasn't able to threaten until the last six laps, but Lorenzo managed the gap perfectly and held on to claim the victory in front of his home fans, with a 0,855s margin over the line.

"This was my hardest win of the season, but Qatar, Austin and Argentina were tougher when it comes to racing." Lorenzo admitted. "To be honest, the last ten laps of today's race were probably one of the most hard and intense laps of my career.

"Valentino was very fast and knowing that the track was really hot and there was less grip than yesterday, I'm happy with the results. My bike was working a bit worse than yesterday when I was able to ride 1'41s, but that wasn't possible today. For Valentino it was the opposite, he almost always reaches this incredible level of performance on Sunday. When he reduced the gap from 2.0s to 1.4s I was really worried that I would lose this race.

"I needed to push and risk more while the bike was already moving a lot, which is what I did on the last ten laps.

"After yesterday's practice I expected, maybe not an easy victory, but more distance between me and the rider in second from the middle of the race onwards. I was able to keep my rhythm and stay focused and I really want to thank the team for their efforts and congratulate them with the fourth consecutive victory."
Valentino Rossi made it a Yamaha 1-2 - Credit: Yamaha
The Doctor started his Catalunya attack well, but found himself in seventh place going into turn one. Determined to score a top result he overtook Aleix EspargarÌ_ and Bradley Smith before the end of the first lap. Pol EspargarÌ_ in fourth was soon to follow, as Rossi continued to hunt down Andrea Dovizioso, passing him on lap four.

As Marquez crashed out a lap earlier, The Doctor was riding in second place and gave all he had to reel in Lorenzo, who was 1,5s ahead, but the Spaniard was quick to respond. Rossi kept his head down and was able to reduce the gap to nearly a second in the final stages of the race, but came just short. He went on to claim second on the podium, with a 18.570 second gap to Dani Pedrosa in third.

"Throughout my career I always thought that when you take 20 points, it has been a good race." Rossi commented. "I enjoyed this weekend, which was an important one, because I came from three races where I struggled a lot and I don't like to arrive in third when Jorge wins.

"This time we found a good setting and balance on Friday so we worked for the race, which I know I'm stronger in. I was good in the beginning when I was overtaking and I was fast, but it was not enough, because when I arrived to the second position Jorge already had a 1.5s gap.

"It's a great shame because I had the pace to fight with him and I could have been very strong in a battle, because I was very strong in braking. I'm still in front in the championship, but this race was important because we made a step forward and now we have to keep working like this and improve our qualifying.

"The key is the tyre rule, because Jorge is better than me in qualifying and he can position all the bikes with the extra soft tyres between me and him on the grid. It's a shame because yesterday I had the potential to be in the top five but it gives me great motivation to try again in two weeks in Assen."

Lorenzo's win delivers 25 points, keeping him in second position in the championship standings with a 137 points total, just one point behind Rossi. The Doctor's podium scored him 20 points and keeps him in the lead in the overall standings, now on 138 points.
Dani Pedrosa continued his great form since his return from surgery - - Credit: Honda
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa rode a superb Grand Prix to finish third in only his third race since undergoing major surgery to fix arm-pump problems.

The former 125 and 250 World Champion qualified sixth yesterday, less than two tenths off pole position but by the end of the first lap he found himself down in tenth on a hot and greasy track that claimed many victims. From there Pedrosa had to keep a cool head and work hard to make rapid progress through the pack.

Step by step he picked off rivals, then moved into third on lap seven, from there focusing on consolidating his podium result.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm happy and overwhelmed with emotion!" Pedrosa commetned. "It‰Ûªs been a tough time and I‰Ûªve been fighting so hard, but finally I feel fit again and stronger with every race. Today I had a bad start and I tried not to be nervous, because I knew that the race was very long.

"There were many crashes at the start and I saw that the track was in a delicate condition, so I took it easy for the first three laps to find a reference for each corner. Then I started to progress quite quickly. I overtook several riders and I finished third.

"It was impossible to follow Jorge and Valentino, because they were far ahead in terms of performance. We will try to pull back the gap a little for the coming races and see if in testing tomorrow we can find something positive ‰ÛÒ and understand the situation better. I want to thank all the people who have stood by me: my physiotherapist, my family and friends, Dr. Villamor, Jordi Salo and everyone else who has been supporting me.

"I also want to thank the fans who have sent me messages of encouragement. It has been a long time, but fortunately today at home I was able to recapture the excitement with this podium. I am very grateful to everyone, especially my team, after backing me during this difficult time, they deserve a little happiness!‰Û
Andrea Iannone charged through the field from12th to 4th - - Credit: Ducati
Andrea Iannone finished the Grand Prix of Catalunya, in fourth place. The rider from Vasto, who started from row 4 in twelfth place, ran a good race and was able to move up the field into fourth, despite difficult track conditions.

From lap 5 onwards, Iannone started to chase down Bradley Smith, whom he passed on lap 21, and he then pulled out almost a three second advantage over the British rider by the end of the race.

‰ÛÏIt was a very difficult race and in general this weekend has not been an easy one for us." Iannone admitted. "We always tried to make improvements, but we struggled a lot and we were never able to achieve what we had set out to do and what we had been used to doing since the start of the season.

"I focused on doing a good race in these conditions, trying to obtain the best possible result without making any mistakes, because the track conditions were critical and the bike slid around both at the front and at the rear.

"I am not pleased with this fourth place, because I believe that we can aim for better results than this, but in any case I took home some more important points, I‰Ûªm back in third in the championship again and I am satisfied with the way I managed today‰Ûªs race.‰Û
Bradley Smith rounded out the top five to equal his career best result - Credit: Yamaha
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith rode to another strong result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 to equal his best performance of the 2015 season and finish in 5th.

The young British rider commenced the 25 lap battle from 8th on the grid and undertook an expert start as the lights went out before going on to finish the first lap in 6th. He quickly set into his race pace and posted strong lap times that elevated him up to 5th. As the race distance progressed, he eventually became involved in a tussle with Andrea Iannone who he kept at bay until the 18th lap. Smith was shuffled back to 6th but remained resolute and pushed onwards.

With five laps remaining he was running comfortably in 5th and powered across the finish line in this position. His performance today sees him close to one point of Marc Marquez in 5th position in the MotoGP riders championship standings.

"Fifth place is a fantastic result for us after what was a tricky weekend! The team did a superb job and we worked non stop every day to try and make a setting that we could use for the race." Smith said.

"Eventually, we made a big step in time for the GP with the front setting of the bike, but maybe it was ultra conservative and it hampered me a little in terms of performance. Yet, it meant that I had a lot of feeling in the front which resulted in me knowing whether it was going to tuck or not and this was useful as we saw a few guys lose the front. However, even though it may have limited me a bit, I still managed to adapt to it in the first three laps and then I got into my rhythm.

"In all honesty, the pace was slow but it was the best that I could do and in the end, consistency is key as this result was great for the championship. Now I am just one point behind Marc and 21 ahead of Cal for the satellite bike battle which is strong from my point of view.

"We have a test tomorrow which will be interesting for us and we will look to amend the issues which have been affecting us in the past couple of race, that have all been quite similar. So it's no rest for me and I plan to work hard tomorrow with the team so we can improve the bike for Assen and the remaining races this year."

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales finished the race in sixth position, while team-mate Aliex Espargaro failed to finish putting a bit of a dampner on what was a great weekend for the Suzuki outfit after qualifying first and second on Saturday.

Scott Redding powered his Estrella Galicia Honda to seventh, ahead of Forward Racing Yamaha's Stefan Bradl in 8th, while Ducati's Danilo Petrucci and Aprilia's Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten.

Australia's Jack Miller had his best result to day finishing in a fine 11th position for his LCR Honda team.

Marco Melandri, Andrea Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro, Marc Marquez and Cal Cruthchlow were amongst many riders who joined Aleix Espargaro on the sidelines before the end of the race.
Podium - - Credit:
Event results - Round 7
1 Jorge Lorenzo 42'53.208 ESP YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
2 Valentino Rossi 0.885 ITA YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
3 Dani Pedrosa 19.455 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea Iannone 24.925 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
5 Bradley Smith 27.782 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Maverick Vinales 29.559 ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
7 Scott Redding 36.424 GBR HONDA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
8 Stefan Bradl 42.103 GER FORWARD YAMAHA Forward Racing
9 Danilo Petrucci 49.350 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
10 Alvaro Bautista 52.569 ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
11 Jack Miller 53.666 AUS HONDA CWM LCR Honda
12 Eugene Laverty 55.765 HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
13 Loris Baz 55.832 FORWARD YAMAHA Forward Racing
14 Mike De Meglio 1'09.037 FRA AVINTIA Avintia Racing
15 Alex de Angelis 1'25.263 ART Octo IodaRacing Team
16 Hector Barbera 1 lap ESP AVINTIA Avintia Racing
17 Aleix Espargaro DNF ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
18 Nicky Hayden DNF USA HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
19 Marco Melandri DNF APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
20 Andrea Dovizioso DNF ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
21 Pol Espargaro DNF ESP YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
22 Marc Marquez DNF ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
23 Cal Crutchlow DNF GBR HONDA CWM LCR Honda
24 Yonny Hernandez DNF COL DUCATI Pramac Racing

Championship standings
1 Valentino Rossi 138 pts
2 Jorge Lorenzo 137 pts
3 Andrea Iannone 94 pts
4 Andrea Dovizioso 83 pts
5 Marc Marquez 69 pts
6 Bradley Smith 68 pts
7 Cal Crutchlow 47 pts
8 Maverick Vinales 46 pts
9 Pol Espargaro 45 pts
10 Dani Pedrosa 39 pts
11 Danilo Petrucci 39 pts
12 Aleix Espargaro 31 pts
13 Scott Redding 27 pts
14 Yonny Hernandez 26 pts
15 Hector Barbera 16 pts
18 Jack Miller 11 pts

Top Image: Jorge Lorenzo moved to within one point of Valentino Rossi in this years chamionship standings with his win in Spain

Credit: Yamaha

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