Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo picked up his first win as defending champion after overcoming difficult racing conditions in Spain.
’s Jorge Lorenzo
rode to his first victory in the 2011 MotoGP
Championship under slippery conditions at the Jerez circuit. The Spaniard asserted his status as defending champion by crossing the line a full 13.256 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda
’s Dani Pedrosa
, with Ducati
’s Nicky Hayden
seizing a podium finish at the checkers. Casey Stoner finished with a DNF after a collision with his rival Valentino Rossi
, the Round 1 victor continuing his dismal fortunes at the Jerez circuit.
Round 2 of the series was chaotic and featured multiple crashes under difficult racing conditions. Besides the Stoner/Rossi collision on Lap 7, one of the costliest crashes was a fall by San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli
. The Italian was on pace to secure his first ever premier class victory when a highside on Lap 11 shattered the opportunity. Likewise, Yamaha’s Ben Spies
had passed Pedrosa for second on Lap 24 and was projected to match one of his best finishes in MotoGP before he made a mistake which left him in the gravel.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards
was also unable to finish the race as the American sputtered into the gravel on the final lap and unable to restart, an apparent mechanical issues to his M1. Meanwhile, the mistakes from the frontrunners opened the door for Hayden as he slipped into the final rostrum position on the last lap. Just ahead of the American was Pedrosa who, despite struggling at the beginning of the contest, managed to keep pace near the front of the field.
Honda's Dani Pedrosa stayed on the bike and out of trouble at Jerez to finish runner-up to Lorenzo.
Repsol Honda’s Stoner suffered some of the biggest misfortune during the Spanish GP. After dominating practice and qualifying sessions leading up to the race, the Aussie was in the lead group of riders and charging toward the front when a mistake by Ducati’s Rossi left both riders on the ground. Rossi was able to recover, but Stoner was not able to restart his bike and was forced to record his first DNF of the season. Stoner’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso
, also suffered when he slid off the track and into the gravel. The Italian was forced to come into the pits to change his wet tires, pushing him down in the order.
Lorenzo escaped unscathed and with his first win of the year under conditions which plagued many riders throughout the paddock. The result pushed the Mallocran into the lead in the standings as Stoner dropped down to third.
"It has been one of my most patience races,” Lorenzo said. “It’s a great victory, which we needed and I feel so good. This is also the first time I have won in wet conditions, the first time ever! Now we are working to improve our bike, taking as much points as possible on the way. The King of Spain said to me that he would bring me good luck after our meeting last February in Madrid, he was right! With the competition so high this year I never imagined I would be the leader after two races. I am so happy to have won this weekend, especially as my friends from Yamaha Indonesia came all the way here to support us; ‘Semakin di Depan’ means ‘One Step Ahead’ which was true today!"
Pedrosa continued to persevere throughout the race to earn second in front of his home fans as Hayden recorded only his second podium finish with Ducati in third.
Nicky Hayden scored his second podium finish for Ducati after earning third.
“It’s been a very difficult race,” Pedrosa said. “At the start, many riders overtook me and I thought ‘that’s it’. Anyway, I knew there were 27 laps and the situation was difficult for the tires. I was a little nervous after my bad start, but when I realized that in the first lap I was faster than in the warm-up, I calmed down and started to improve. I took a good pace and had to ride at maximum concentration in order not to not make any mistakes; it was very easy to crash. I tried to catch Lorenzo when I saw that his gap was about a second, but at ten laps to go the tires were almost finished.”
“That wasn’t necessarily a pretty win because my last laps were so slow when the tires were worn, but we’re on the podium, and I’m pretty happy about it,” Hayden said. “In the beginning, our bike was really good because I had a lot of traction. After a while, it was all about focus, and there was no room for error. The track was changing every corner, because there was rain in some parts and no rain in other parts. It certainly hasn’t been an easy start to the season, so we’ll take success any way we can get it.”
San Carlo Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama
was less than a second from taking his first podium finish, but instead walked away with fourth place and his best finish so far in MotoGP. Rossi recovered from his incident with Stoner to round out the top-five finishers, earning 11 points in the process.
“Today in the wet we had a great chance for me to make my first podium with Ducati, or even to get my first win,” Rossi said. “I felt good, both with the bike and my shoulder, because I could brake where I wanted to rather than where I’m forced to in the dry, since I still don’t have the necessary strength. The bike is very fast in the wet. I was advancing really well, and I’m sorry to have made that mistake and thrown away such an opportunity. While braking for the first corner, I entered a bit long, and although I tried to stay to the inside, I lost the front and couldn’t stay up. I’m sorry, because I also took out Stoner, and I certainly didn’t want to do that. I apologized to him, and I’m truly sorry; it was a mistake.”
Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera
improved on his 12th-place finish at Losail to take sixth at Jerez. Despite crashing earlier in the race, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham finished seventh at the line after remounting. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow
also suffered a crash but quickly recovered to finish eighth in the order during his first ever race at Jerez. LCR Honda’s Toni Elias and Rizla Suzuki
’s John Hopkins rounded out the top-10 finishers, with Hopkins staying true to his goal of finishing inside the top-10 in his first race back with Rizla Suzuki.
Jerez MotoGP Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
Hiroshi Aoyama scored the best finish of his MotoGP career at Jerez in fourth place.
4. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
5. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
6. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
7. Karel Abraham (Ducati)
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
9. Toni Elias (Honda)
10. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
11. Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
12. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
DNF Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
DNF Ben Spies (Yamaha)
DNF Randy de Puniet (Ducati)
DNF Marco Simoncelli (Honda)
DNF Casey Stoner (Honda)
2011 MotoGP Championship Points:
1. Jorge Lorenzo, 45
2. Dani Pedrosa, 36
3. Casey Stoner, 25
4. Nicky Hayden, 23
5. Valentino Rossi, 20
6. Hiroshi Aoyama, 19
7. Andrea Dovizioso, 17
8. Hector Barbera, 14
9. Cal Crutchlow, 13
10. Karel Abraham, 12
Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone took top honors during the rain-filled Moto2 contest. The Italian triumphed over Interwetten Paddock Moto2’s Thomas Luthi and Ioda Racing Project’s Simone Corsi, crossing the line more than seven full seconds ahead of Luthi.
In the early part of the race Luthi had the lead, but Iannone shot past him and managed to establish distance. Corsi began the contest back in 18th on the grid before he secured an excellent start and the lead just one lap into the battle. The Italian’s reign didn’t last long, however, and he was quickly replaced by Iannone and Luthi. Tech 3’s Bradley Smith also briefly held the lead in front of the pack before shuffling back, and with just a few laps to go the youngster made the pass on Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Sefan Bradl to move into the top-four. After finishing fifth and failing to duplicate his win in the opening round, Bradl is currently tied for second in the series with Luthi.
Mapfre Aspar’s Julian Simon was the highest-finishing Spanish rider of the bunch in sixth, followed by JiR Moto2’s Alex de Angelis and Scotsman Kev Coghlan in seventh and eighth, respectively. Gresini Racing’s Michele Pirro scored ninth after a tense stand-off with MZ Racing’s Max Neukirchner and Anthony West in the final corner. Neukirchner just squeezed ahead of West across the line to round out the top-10 finishers, with West crossing the line just more than three-hundredths of a second later.
With his first win of the season Iannone has taken over the lead in the series by nine points ahead of Bradl and Luthi.
Jerez Moto2 Results:
1. Andrea Iannone (Suter)
2. Thomas Luthi (Suter)
3. Simone Corsi (FTR)
Moto2 podium at Jerez (from left to right): Thomas Luthi, Andrea Iannone and Simone Corsi.
4. Bradley Smith (Tech 3)
5. Stefan Bradl (Kalex)
6. Julian Simon (Suter)
7. Alex de Angelis (Motobi)
8. Kev Coghlan (FTR)
9. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki)
10. Max Neukirchner (MZ-RE Honda)
11. Anthony West (MZ-RE Honda)
12. Ratthapark Wilairot (FTR)
13. Mattia Pasini (FTR)
14. Yonny Hernandez (FTR)
15. Esteve Rabat (FTR)
2011 Moto2 Championship Points:
1. Andrea Iannone, 45
2. Stefan Bradl, 36
3. Thomas Luthi, 36
4. Simone Corsi, 26
5. Alex de Angelis, 22
6. Bradley Smith, 20
7. Julian Simon, 16
8. Michele Pirro, 15
9. Yuki Takahashi, 11
10. Jules Cluzel, 9