Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after the Spanish Grand Prix:
Marc Marquez back to his best with Spanish GP victory, Lorenzo 12th
Marc Marquez becomes first repeat premier class winner of 2019 as he storms to victory in Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo returning to the points.
Fans flooded the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto from early in the morning, eager to see what would happen at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. 21°C ambient temperatures and 42°C track temperature providing supreme racing conditions for fans and the Repsol Honda Team alike.
Leaving the fall of Warm Up behind him, Marc Marquez stormed off the line to lead the 23-rider field through the opening corners. Lap eight saw Marquez open a gap and begin to break away at the front, steadily building an advantage with each corner. The dominant ride saw the reigning World Champion cross the line 1.654 seconds ahead of second place after celebrating across the line in the 300th MotoGP race.
His 46th win in the premier class, and 72nd across all classes, moves Marquez to the top of the championship table with 70 points, a point clear of second placed Rins. His 1’38.051 on Lap 15 of the race secured Marquez a new race lap record at the Jerez circuit along with his 25 World Championship points. He also becomes the third most successful Honda rider in the premier class, overtaking Jim Redman who claimed 45 wins and overtakes Lawson to become the sixth most successful MotoGP rider in terms of premier class podium finishes with 80.
Jorge Lorenzo was left wanting more as he crossed the line in 12th at the Spanish GP. It proved a difficult race for Lorenzo who is still working on perfecting the setting of his Honda. Monday’s test day offers Lorenzo and his team an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the bike and regroup ahead of the French GP.
With 76 points, Honda sit atop the Constructor Championship.
The Repsol Honda Team will take part in the official post race test at the Jerez Circuit on Monday, May 06 before beginning their preparations for round five – the French GP, May 17 – 19.
“This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. I felt good all weekend, smooth, comfortable and able to ride how I want. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team, they’ve done an amazing job over the last few weeks and here this weekend. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”
“It has been a difficult end to the weekend, we wanted to be stronger but I am still not comfortable on the bike. We are still lacking kilometers compared to the other Honda riders. Today especially I was not comfortable on the bike and it was a very difficult race. Tomorrow's test will be important for us to try and improve my feeling, especially on corner entry where I think I am losing the most. We have to keep working.”
RINS SECOND IN THE RACE, AND SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 5.
Alex Rins: 2nd (+ 1.654)
Joan Mir: DNF
• Alex Rins works his way from 9th to 2nd in controlled display.
• Joan Mir running Top 10 until an unfortunate crash.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR thrilled to add another podium to the tally.
Some 75,000 Spanish fans filled the Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto to witness the 300th race of the modern-day MotoGP era. Alex Rins and Joan Mir had work to do from their 9th and 12th place grid spots, but both enjoyed good starts.
Alex Rins began fighting for the Top 6 by the end of the first lap, slotting in between the two factory Ducatis, and just three laps into the race he had already set a fastest lap. After a short battle with Dovizioso he began to close in on the Yamaha battle in front of him. Making swift work of passing both Viñales and Morbidelli, the young Spaniard suddenly found himself in second place following the retirement of Quartararo. Alex kept up a very strong and consistent pace, pulling away from those behind him and holding 2nd place until the finish line. This excellent result sees him move into 2nd in the championship, just 1 point from the title lead.
Joan Mir had a good start, he put himself behind Rossi and progressed up the field during the race, holding 10th place for much of the 25-lap race. Whilst in 9th place, and very close to the group in front of him, Joan went down at Turn 13. A disappointing end, especially as he reported feeling very confident with the bike. He is thankfully uninjured.
Monday will see Team SUZUKI ECSTAR take part in the one-day test at Jerez circuit, where the Factory Riders will be joined by test rider Sylvain Guintoli.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Today was a good race, continuing our good feeling from the win at the last race. I’m so happy to see Alex’s confidence increasing race by race, and he has very strong pace. We want to continue in this way; always challenging for the top places. It was a real shame for Joan that he crashed because he was strong during the race, we have faith that he’ll get some great results soon.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“Alex did a great job, starting 9th in Jerez and recovering to 2nd is not easy at all, it’s one of the most difficult tracks to make up places. He did a great race, and his pace was very fast until the end. So, I want to congratulate him, and also to say thank you to all the team. I’m happy about Joan’s race, because despite the crash with 3 laps to go, he had good pace and was very close to the top in terms of lap times. So overall it’s been a positive day.”
“It’s incredible to get a win and then a 2nd place. I feel very happy; this race was really difficult and starting on the third row made it harder. I gave 100% and I knew that my race pace could be close to Marc’s, so I planned to try and get a good start and go towards the front. The Spanish fans were amazing today, I could see Peluqui corner full of fans and it gives me a real boost every lap. I want to keep up this consistency and I hope for another good finish in Le Mans.”
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish the race, because I had good potential this weekend, but racing is like this. I was happy with my feeling, and when I was catching the group in front I felt good. I really like Le Mans and I hope I can do a great race there and get the result that I know I’m capable of.”
Vinales Shows Impressive Race-end Speed for Third Place at the Spanish GP
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi held firm in today‘s hot Gran Premio de España. A good start by Viñales and great pace in the final stages were key to him taking a well-deserved third place, which moves him up six places in the championship standings. Starting from the fifth row, Rossi had a tough race ahead of him, but he managed the busy mid-pack activity well, riding to sixth place for some crucial championship points.
Viñales had a strong start from P5, moving up to fourth through the first corner. He was pushing a 100 per cent right from the start to tack on to the back of the leading group of three riders, with Alex Rins on his tail. With 15 laps to go, the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders in front of him started to battle each other. The Factory Yamaha rider seized the opportunity to close the gap, but then got involved in a fight himself for fourth place with Álex Rins.
Three laps later he gained a position as Fabio Quartararo had a technical issue. Smelling a podium place once more, Viñales overtook Franco Morbidelli for third with 10 laps to go. With the front two riders too far ahead to bridge the gap, he spent the remainder of the race increasing the gap over the riders behind him.
The Yamaha rider came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso in the latter stages of the race but defended his position masterfully. He set various personal best sectors and ended on a high setting his best race lap, a 1‘38.157s. He finished the race in third place, 2.443s from first.
Rossi also gritted his teeth until the very end of the race. Starting from P13 is never easy, but the veteran managed his way through the busy mid-pack, immediately gaining two positions at the start and one more soon after, to enter the top-10.
After Quartararo suffered a mechanical issue, the Italian spent most of the race in ninth place, until the last eight laps. Having saved his hard-hard tyre combination, he was then ready to cut through the field. Visibly in his element, he picked up three places in two laps.
Having arrived in sixth place with five laps to go, he had an over 2s-gap to bridge. The Doctor tried his utmost but was unable to inch closer. He crossed the line in sixth place, 7.547s from the top, earning himself ten important championship points.
Today's results see Rossi now in fourth position in the championship standings with a 9-point gap to first. Viñales made a big step, moving up from 12th to 6th place, with a 40-point margin to the top. Yamaha is fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is second in the team classification.
The team will be back in action at the Jerez track tomorrow for the official one-day IRTA test, in preparation for the Grand Prix de France, held at the Le Mans circuit, in two weeks' time.
Position: 3rd - Time: + 2.443
“To be on the podium feels like a victory to me. I saw that Dovi and Petrucci were behind me, together, so I thought “Woah, Dovi is going to push, so it‘s going to be difficult”, so I just tried to do my best laps and ride the best sectors I could. Honestly, it was difficult because I had just a little bit of tyre left at the end. I don‘t know if I could have done more laps like that last lap, but I‘m happy because the bike was good at the end. It was very important to demonstrate that we could be there. We recovered a lot of confidence, especially with the front tyre. We‘ve done something different on the bike, that gives me more consistency at the start so I can be much more precise. I‘m really happy because we didn‘t lose any positions at the start, we even gained one, and then another during the race. We‘ve been working really good during the whole weekend. After FP3 we were out of Q2, which means that, since then, we‘ve improved the bike quite a lot. Today was a good test to see where we are. It‘s important that we weren‘t so far from the front in the end. The most important thing is to be on the podium consistently. If we give our best, I think I can arrive at the top, but honestly there‘s no time to relax. Especially tomorrow, we need to do a good test. It‘s very important tomorrow to get everything done and go to Le Mans with a good mindset.”
Position: 6th - Time: + 7.547
"We made the choice of the tyre at the very last moment. I wanted to race with the medium, but later the temperature rose a lot and we thought "Medium or hard? Medium or hard? Medium or hard?". In the end we put in the hard, and I think this is the big thing we could have changed. I'm very curious to try the race with the medium, because at the end Maverick was good. I did a good start, but at the beginning I didn't have enough pace to overtake, but on the second half of the race I was good. I was stronger and my pace wasn't too bad, good enough to overtake, go, and take some points, which are good for the championship. I think that if I had started more towards the front I could have stayed with the front group, around where Maverick was. The pace of today's race was very, very fast. I was like 25 seconds faster than my race last year, the gap to first position is less, I felt more comfortable on the bike, and especially on the last lap I was fast. Now we have to concentrate on the next few races."
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
“Considering where we were at after FP3, we welcome today‘s results with open arms. A lot of work has been done this weekend. We found a good set-up for Maverick in FP4. He had a really good start and positioned himself at the back of the front group, that was a key factor for today‘s podium. Also, he kept a really good pace the entire race and fended off Dovizioso, setting a 1‘38.1s on the last lap. We‘re very pleased with this third place, because it‘s a great confidence booster after a couple of tough races for him. Valentino‘s race had been compromised by the Q1 session and, at a track like this, starting from the fifth row is a huge set-back. The beginning of his race wasn‘t as good as usual, and he wasn‘t feeling comfortable with the hard front tyre for most of the race. Still, there are some positives to take away from this round. We arrived here with some doubts, because the last two years we have struggled here, so today‘s third place is a testimony to the hard work we have done and improvements we have made over the winter. Tomorrow we have a few things that we would like to try, especially concerning the electronics settings. If we find positive results, then we will use this new solution in Le Mans.”
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci respectively fourth and fifth in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci concluded the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, home of fourth round of the 2019 MotoGP calendar, in fourth and fifth position respectively. Both Mission Winnow Ducati riders saved their best for the latter phases of the race, trying to preserve the tyres over the 25-lap distance given also the higher temperatures of the tarmac (42 degrees) compared with yesterday, and progressively cut the gap from the podium in the final laps but couldn't completely erase it before the checkered flag.
Both opting for hard tyres on the front and rear, Dovizioso and Petrucci initially rode in fifth and sixth position, then upped the pace within 10 laps to go. Towards the end, Dovizioso tried to move past Viñales, posting his personal best time in the penultimate lap to finish only three tenths of a second off the podium, while Petrucci faced a small drop in performance and, opting to avoid unnecessary risks, closed the race in fifth, two seconds behind his teammate.
After four rounds, Dovizioso is third in the Riders standings with 67 points – only 3 behind the provisional leader – while Petrucci is fifth with 41 points; Ducati is second in the Manufacturers standings with 70 points, while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Teams rankings with 108 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 4th
"If we consider the issues we've always had in the past at Jerez, we can be satisfied with both our pace and the gap from the front at the end of the race. That said, it's a pity we couldn't step on the podium, which was our goal. The race was faster than what we expected, and I lost too much ground at the start. In the final phases, I took quite a few risks to cut the gap from Viñales, but I was still losing too much ground in the faster corners to be able to attack him under braking. We knew that on fast-flowing tracks such as this one we would have struggled a bit more. We need to improve our corner speed, we have done that to some extent already and we're not far from our rivals, so tomorrow we'll keep working in this direction."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th
"Overall, I'm happy with the way we managed a race that proved to be a bit trickier than what we expected. Early on, I simply tried to stay calm and collected to preserve the tyres for the final laps, and honestly I thought the podium was within our reach, but unfortunately it wasn't the case despite the fact that both Andrea and I gave our 100 percent until the very end. I lacked a bit of corner speed and I couldn't be as efficient as I would have liked under braking. To finish in the top-three, this year, it's necessary to iron out every single detail and, in my case, to start from a better position on the grid. That said, it's been a positive weekend. We collected important points for our championship and, starting tomorrow, we'll keep working as hard as ever to get closer to the front."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at Jerez for a one-day collective test, while next round is scheduled for May 17-19 at Le Mans (France).
Top ten finish for impressive wildcard Stefan Bradl
Germany’s Stefan Bradl completed a strong wildcard at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España with a top-ten finish. Having been fighting for the top ten places all weekend, Bradl and the HRC Test Team are pleased to deliver on their potential. The result demonstrates and is reward for the important work being done by Bradl and the Test Team.
Stefan Bradl 6
Rider – MotoGP
“I am very happy with the result because we have done a good job over the last months testing. We found positive things and turn it into a result which is important to me, reinforcing in myself that I have the speed. It’s also important for the team around me, the guys work a lot away from the races so these points and the positive feedback is a reward for them. The work we are doing now will be important for the future. Thanks to my team and to HRC for all their efforts.”
ONLY CONTACT WITH ANOTHER RIDER KEEPS ESPARGARÓ FROM A WELL-DESERVED TOP-10 FINISH
ALEIX COMES BACK, LAPPING WITH THE SAME TIMES AS THE LEADERS TO FINISH ELEVENTH 13 SECONDS FROM THE PODIUM
A SOLID RACE FOR BRADLEY SMITH AND LOTS OF DATA FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE RS-GP
It was an outstanding race for Aleix Espargaró in Jerez de la Frontera. Starting from the sixth row, the Spaniard moved up no less than four positions during the first lap. His pace, particularly in the second stage of the race, was consistently in the 38.5s and perfectly in line with that of the positions just off the podium. Making up ground lap after lap, Aleix was getting ready to attack Nakagami for ninth and only a contact with another rider while overtaking deprived him of a well-deserved top-10 finish. The narrow gap behind the race winner of just 15 seconds after 25 laps is worth a mention. With the 5 points earned today, Aleix brings his total to 18 - triple what he had at the same race last season.
Bradley Smith rode a solid race, shaking off a bit of rust in the early stages due to his being a tester and not a full-time racer. The Aprilia test rider then found his rhythm, although limited by a less-than-perfect feeling with the front. He battled down to the finish with Oliveira, gaining the upper hand for seventeenth place.
After his bad crash yesterday, Andrea Iannone was unable to take part in the race, with the Medical Centre declaring him unfit. The Italian watched the race with his team from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s spot along the pit wall.
"In the very early stages of the race, I struggled to find traction, but after just five or six laps I began to feel more at ease, and I was lapping with a good pace. The situation got even better in the last ten laps, where I was decidedly consistent. I began to make up ground on the group of riders ahead of me and I knew I could battle with Nakagami and Crutchlow, who I was getting closer to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible because Miller hit me as I was overtaking him. I was already all the way on the inside of the turn and it was a rather violent blow. Fortunately, I was able to keep it upright. However, that made me lose a position to Bradl. The race was our best track session of the weekend and that makes me happy. Right now, obtaining the maximum result and not making mistakes is the important thing, and today we were able to do that. Tomorrow will be another very important day of testing. I’ll be the first one out on the track, and we will keep working hard to improve."
"At the start of the race I was a bit rusty, but then things improved. Unfortunately, the medium front tyre did not help me to be incisive in braking, but I haven’t been able to try the hard compound much on the RS-GP and that is one of the things I intend to do in the tests tomorrow. This morning I felt good, but the high temperatures in the afternoon changed things. In the finale, I managed to ride better and be more decisive in the battle against the other riders. Overall, it was a positive weekend for the type of work that we are doing."
"I am sorry that I wasn’t able to be out there on the track. Yesterday in FP4 it seemed like we had found a positive direction for the weekend, but unfortunately the crash kept us from continuing our work. I hope to be at full fitness and back in the saddle as soon as possible. I am staying positive and confident."
Points earned at Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix
MotoGP 2019 Round 4 of 19, Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto (ESP) - RACE
On a weekend where Red Bull KTM toasted AMA Supercross championship success for the fourth time in the last five years, Pol Espargaro took his Red Bull KTM RC16 to 13th position – just in front of teammate Johann Zarco - at a sunny and busy Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
Warm sunshine bathed the fourth round of MotoGP at the Circuit de Jerez-Angel Nieto and the first fixture of the series in Europe. In front of a large crowd and busy paddock, the Red Bull KTM quartet tackled a resurfaced, grippy Spanish layout, and were slightly handicapped by qualification slots from Saturday that placed the riders towards the back of the grid.
Pol Espargaro – a former GP winner at Jerez – headed the KTM RC16 runners and engaged in a long duel with countryman Jorge Lorenzo for positions on the fringe of the top ten. As the laps clicked down and other rivals either retired or fell the tussle was on for 12th and Pol just lost out by misreading his pit-board, taking 13th by the flag and with a marginally faster race time than 2018. Zarco, using a new chassis on his #5 racebike circulated a small distance behind his teammate for 14th. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 pairing of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin rode to 18th and 19th places respectively.
Espargaro is 11th in the MotoGP standings while Zarco has obtained 7 points from the four outings so far. Jerez will be busy once more tomorrow with testing due to take place throughout Monday and for the first of four post-GP outings planned for 2019. Red Bull KTM will also ride again on Wednesday.
Pol Espargaro: “I did a good race. I suffered with the grip in the beginning but caught Lorenzo and passed him. I then just misread my pitboard and eased off a lap earlier. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my career. I was so focussed and so on the limit that I was not thinking about anything else except that Jorge would not pass me back. In the end we lost one position and also I would have been closer to the winner in terms of race time. I know we also had good lap-time speed today. We have a lot to do tomorrow now and to compare what we had in Le Mans and also this weekend.”
Johann Zarco: “Tough today. I wanted to overtake more riders but I was on the limit for a lot of the race and losing in acceleration, so it was complicated to pass people on the brakes. I could keep some pace and kept with Pol but in the second half of the race I had to set the target of just finishing. I think we will take some good information in the Monday test. We had some improvement during the weekend but we need to take the general feeling on the bike higher.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It has been a difficult race, I couldn’t manage to stay up with the riders in front of me. So I just kept my rhythm, pushed every lap and took home 18th position. The team tried many things to help me but it seems like this weekend with the new parts, it was hard to find our balance with the bike again that we built through the tests and the first races. Now with the new material, I think we need a bit more time to find solutions to help me being comfortable and fast on the bike.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “We tried some different things in the warm-up this morning and I have to admit that I didn’t think it was a big improvement but the feeling was a bit better. In the race I did my fastest laps of the weekend and caught up with [Bradley] Smith and Miguel until eight laps to go I couldn’t keep the pace anymore because the rear was sliding quite a lot and I couldn’t open the gas like I wanted to. Anyway, I keep believing in myself, stay positive and we for sure keep working hard for the next round in order to be better for the home Grand Prix for my team.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “A weekend with some problems and it looks like we struggle more with rear grip here compared to some other places. The riders pushed to the maximum and Pol made a great race. In the end a small mistake led to a big consequence and I feel very sorry for him. He could have been 12th but did well anyway. Johann was also in this group. Pol’s fastest lap-time was just 0.5 slower than the race winner and we are twenty seconds behind Marquez: these are not horrible figures but we know we have to help the riders more and we will work hard in the company to make the bike better.”
Morbidelli claims best Independent Team Rider whilst Quartararo is struck by bad luck
Raceday at Jerez was a bittersweet one for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. After riding for much of the race in the top three, Franco Morbidelli finished in seventh place, claiming the best Independent Team Rider moniker for the first time in 2019. Fabio Quartararo's race ended prematurely, when a gear shifter problem forced the poleman to retire from second position.
For the second consecutive race, Morbidelli finished a MotoGP round inside the top ten. Starting from second on the grid, the Italian rode in that position from the second corner of the race. He held onto a podium spot until lap fifteen, when he began to drop off the pace of the leaders. He then focused his efforts on defending his position as best Independent Team Rider, earning the accolade for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT for the first time.
Quartararo suffered terrible luck on race day after earning a terrific pole position on Saturday. The Frenchman was in second place early on, but an unfortunate mechanical problem with eleven laps to go ended his hopes of a top finish. Up until then, Quartararo had shown strong pace and was on course for a podium.
With today's result, Franco Morbidelli is tenth in the overall standings with 25 points, while Fabio Quartararo is 13th and the Top Rookie with 17 points.
The next race for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will be the French GP at Le Mans on May 17th-19th.
Position: 7th - Time: +8.228
"With this seventh position we have rounded off a good weekend for us. We were very quick at the start of the race and I was feeling good and comfortable with the pace of the front runners. I also felt comfortable with the tyres, although as the laps went by I lowered my speed because that changed. In the end, we managed the tyre wear well, so that on the last few laps we would have the ability to fight for the top Independent Team Rider honour with Cal Crutchlow. It's the first time we have achieved this, so it's a positive thing that we should repeat many more times. This is a good result for us and it shows that we are improving every day. Now we will try to do a good job at tomorrow's test, which is also here at Jerez, to be as prepared as possible for Le Mans."
Position: 7th - Time: +8.228
"You could say that I am both disappointed and happy. The race was very good; I felt very good on the bike and it was fantastic to ride with the top riders. That was until we suffered a small mechanical problem with the gear shifter. It's something very small but it affected us a lot, forcing us to abandon the race. Despite this, I'm happy with the work that we've done during the weekend and we will continue in the same way at the coming races. The whole team have done an exceptional job, but in this sport there are things that you can't control. As we did in Qatar, we will take away the positives - there were many of those at this GP. Before the season began, none of us expected to be fighting for the podium and to get a pole position in the fourth race of the year, so we should be happy with the work that is being done. I'm looking forward to the next race, which is the only home GP I have - I hope to do my best."
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT - Team Principal
"Our fairy tale story came to an end today, but it was still a happy ending. Our riders have shown that they have the pace to be competitive. It's the first time that both riders have ridden at the front and we must remember that this is only the team's fourth race. Unfortunately, racing can be very harsh and that is what has happened to Fabio [Quartararo] with the mechanical issue.
Franco [Morbidelli] was the top Independent Team Rider today. Our goal is to always be the best Independent Team, so that is a goal we fulfilled. I know that Franco aims higher and he is certainly capable of even stronger results. Of course, after seeing what our riders have done this weekend, we want more of the same. But we have to improve step by step and both the riders and the team will learn together. We have done a very good job at this GP and we have great potential. We are looking forward to Le Mans, which is also Fabio's home race ."
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT - Team Manager
"The final result of the Spanish GP have been a bit like in Qatar; everything was going almost too well. It goes to show that this is a sport where the mechanical side is crucial; you can be doing a great job and finally a problem can leave you with a zero by your name. There is no one to blame because the whole team have done a great job and Fabio [Quartararo] has shown throughout the weekend that he never stops learning and growing. These things happen.
Both he and Franco [Morbidelli] had great pace at the beginning of the race. Franco struggled to maintain that feeling he had on the first ten laps after the midway point. He started losing half a second per lap and that made him drop positions. In the end, he focused on not giving up seventh position and being the top Independent Team Rider. He fought for that and achieved it, so that is another positive. In general, we can be proud of what we have done "
CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS EIGHTH PLACE IN SPAIN
PRESS RELEASE: 05 May 2019 | Jerez Grand Prix
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow had to settle for eighth place in the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on Sunday. The Briton started from sixth on the grid in southern Spain, but was unable to push on and challenge at the front of field after struggling with the set-up of his bike all weekend.
Despite performing well in the warm-up session, Crutchlow opted against using a hard rear tyre in Sunday’s race. However, the LCR man struggled to find the speed or consistency he needed with a medium rear and ended in eighth spot – the second best-placed Honda behind race winner Marc Marquez. The 33-year-old admits there is now work to be done during Monday’s test session at the Circuito de Jerez angel Nieto on Monday.
Cal Crutchlow – 8th
“I never really found a good setting all weekend, I think if I’d been able to find a better setting I would have been able to use the hard rear tyre. This morning I was quite fast on the hard rear tyre, but I wasn’t confident enough to use it in the race because I didn’t know if I was going to have a bad feeling with it like the last couple of days. So I opted to go with the medium and it was the wrong choice – it’s as simple as that. But I tried my best and eighth place was better than not finishing today, for sure. We need to work on the setting of the bike, that’s the main thing, as I don’t feel very comfortable at the moment, as you saw in the race.”
NAKAGAMI CONTINUES TOP-10 RUN IN JEREZ
PRESS RELEASE: 05 May 2019 | Jerez Grand Prix
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami took ninth position in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto on Sunday. The result maintains the Japanese star’s record of having secured a top-10 finish in every round of this year’s world championship so far.
Starting from eighth on the grid, Nakagami was unable to make the progress on the opening lap he was hoping for. However, he fought hard to remain in and around the top 10 and, by the closing laps of the race, was amongst the fastest riders on the circuit.
Takaaki Nakagami – 9th
“At the end of the race we were quite competitive and the lap time was consistent, in the low 38s and on the last lap I did very close to the best time, but it was too late. The first lap was much better than at the other circuits, but we are still missing a bit of aggression on the riding and I lost a few positions at the start of the race. We have to focus on that point because during the race and at the end of the race we were quite strong. It’s another top 10, P9 is not too bad but we can improve a lot for the next race and keep improving.”
#SpanishGP Race. Difficult Sunday for Pramac Racing: Jack fights until lap 19. Pecco starts badly and crashes after 6 laps.
The first European round of the 2019 MotoGP season does not give high lights to Pramac Racing. Jack - who started from 15th position - is the protagonist of a great start and by mid-race has already recovered 7 positions. The Australian tries to stay with the group fighting for the podium but from lap 18 his race pace is no longer incisive, then the fall on lap 20.
After two very positive days, Pecco is unable to take advantage of the tenth position on the grid and finds himself 16th on the first lap. His race ended 5 laps later with a crash without any particular consequences.
DNF – Pecco Bagnaia
It was a difficult race because I didn't get off to a good start. My race pace was not bad but when I tried to overtake Espargaro I made a small mistake and crashed. It's a shame because we worked well this weekend. I can't wait to be at Le Man, a track I really like.
DNF – Jack Miller
I am very sorry because it is always a shame to fall with a few laps to go. I am especially sorry for the team that did a great job in these three days in Jerez. I tried to stay with the group fighting for the podium then I felt that I no longer have feeling. I'll be back stronger at Le Mans.
Demanding race for Oliveira and Syahrin at Jerez de la Frontera
The Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin faced a tough fourth round of 2019 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España today, but both grit their teeth and gave everything to extend their race experience with their new KTM RC16 machine.
After he launched off the line from P22, premier class rookie Oliveira made up several positions and had a race long hard duel with Bradley Smith to finally come home in 18th. Meanwhile Syahrin, who started his 100th Grand Prix race today, was able to do faster lap times than during the previous days and could stick with his teammate, but still not being 100 percent fit, the Malaysian had to bite hard in the last eight laps and finally came across the line in 19th.
“It has been a difficult race, I couldn’t manage to stay up with the riders in front of me. I made some passes in the beginning, but I didn’t have the speed and the pace to follow any rider today, so I just kept my rhythm, pushed every lap and took home 18th position. It’s a bit disappointing because I could not really find a way myself to be fast and be more comfortable on the bike. The team tried many things to help me, but it seems like this weekend with the new parts we got, it was hard to find our balance with the bike again, that we have built through the tests and the first races. Now with the new material, I think we need a bit more time to find solutions to help me being comfortable and fast on the bike.”
“Friday and Saturday have been really difficult. On the first day, my condition was not good at all, on the second day, I didn’t have a great feeling with the bike. We tried some different things in the Warm Up this morning and I have to admit that I didn’t think it was a big improvement, but the feeling was a bit better. In the race, I told myself to work on my riding and try to do the same on the brake like in Argentina. I did my fastest laps of the weekend and caught up with Smith and Miguel until eight laps to go I couldn’t keep the pace anymore, because the rear was sliding quite a lot and I couldn’t open the gas like I wanted to. Anyway, I keep believing in myself, stay positive and we for sure keep working hard for the next round in order to be better for the home Grand Prix for my team.”
“This has been a tough weekend for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 MotoGP team. From the very beginning we could see, that the feeling was not what we were expecting, the lap times were not coming. Miguel was very positive, because this is a track he likes. He was having expectations, but honestly, by Friday evening I knew it’s going to be difficult. You always have to hope for improvements tough. Everybody worked really hard, Miguel the team. We improved, but everybody else improved as well, so it was a big working weekend, we had new things to try, but with four Free Practice sessions before the Qualifying you don’t have so much time, because you always have to be concentrated on a fast lap and maybe we did a bit too much. Anyway, at the end of the day, the points were out of our reach. Miguel fought hard with Bradley, which is always interesting. Clearly, also the test tomorrow will be interesting, because we have plenty more things to try, more track time and let’s take the positive; I believe Le Mans should be suiting our bike a little bit better. On Hafizh’s side, I was really shocked by his day one pace and crash, but I have to say that – although his physical condition, because he was sick and got fever – he recovered really well today. He was matching his teammate’s and Bradley Smith’s lap time and with a full fuel tank he went faster than in Qualifying, so his fastest lap this weekend here in Jerez was during the race. This is a bit of positive feeling. He is better and like for his teammate, tomorrow is an important day. We need to carry on working and it is not easy, but we knew the challenge is going to be tough. Pol Espargaro showed the KTM package is improving as he was in front of Lorenzo on the full factory Honda till one lap go, so we can do better, we have to do better and this is what I keep on telling my riders and my crew. We just want to reassure Red Bull and KTM we are there, we are here to work, but we are not here to finish at the end of the pack. So we carry on working, pushing and believing.”
Tito manages to save a point in the GP of Spain
The Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez leaves the Reale Avintia pilots with honey on their lips again. Despite the fact that Tito Rabat has managed to enter the area of points remaining 15th, his partner Karel Abraham has returned to stay at the doors, entering behind Rabat
The Spanish Grand Prix started for the riders with the clear objective of getting the best set-up of their Ducatis. Despite the tireless effort of the Spanish, Tito Rabat and the Czech Karel Abraham, both pilots started from the 20th and 21st position of the starting grid on Sunday.
After a difficult situation in which the two riders were riding together, Tito managed to climb to 15th position while Abraham stayed 16th. A career in the team very similar to GP of the Americas in which Abraham made several mistakes that made him take off from his teammate Rabat.
A race in which they have managed to better understand the motorbike and make progress in the set-up and braking that undoubtedly focus on practice tomorrow, in the Tests.
''Well, after a complicated weekend we understood a lot of things, we improved the grip. Now the goal is to make the bike a bit more agile during the race so that we can reach a final race with more strength, pillar a slightly higher pace with less effort. But well, I have been very important to this point, at least one point is going well. Looking forward to the test tomorrow, we will work on the bike, continue working on braking and level up "
''I am very angry. There are already two races in a row in the same position, 16th. It is a shame. I made a mistake at the beginning and I hate to start the second year, it was very difficult and it is impossible to go back. In any case, the first lap was good, the first part of the race was good, so Tito overtook me, it was still good, but unfortunately I started losing the lead and made two mistakes in turn 6. Then Tito opened a lot distance When I made a mistake and then squeezed, but I kept the same part of Tito, but I could not cut it, it was very hard''
MICHELIN BREAK ALL RECORDS AS MARQUEZ TRIUMPHS IN SPAIN
Michelin’s range of MotoGP™ tyres for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in Spain this weekend produced record-breaking displays that saw the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres break every existing lap and race record.
Following a partial resurface to the Jerez circuit in the pre-season, Michelin had very little information about the new asphalt that had been laid, but the skill and knowledge of the technicians and designers in Clermont-Ferrand produced a range of rubber that not only matched the surface, but gave the riders the performance to push to the limit. The overall fastest-lap and all-time two-wheel lap-record for the 4,423m Spanish circuit was the first to go on Saturday, when a number of riders used the Michelin rubber to propel themselves under the time set last year by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) of 1’37.653, before rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) became not only the youngest pole-setter of all-time at just 20-years and 14-days-old, but also the new outright lap-record holder at Jerez with a time of 1’36.880, a huge 0.773-seconds inside the existing best. The next record broken was the race lap, as again a number of riders went inside the previous best before Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took 0.684-seconds off the record on his way to victory. It was this success for the reigning World Champion, which gave Michelin its third record of the weekend and probably most important one, as the race duration was smashed by over 30-seconds, a result which actually saw all point scorers – the top-15 riders – go underneath the time set last year by Marquez.
The race itself saw Frenchman Quartararo begin from pole and although he started well, it was Marquez who got the holeshot and led for the first lap, a position he never relinquished as he stretched his lead and commanded the race to get the very best from this hard front and hard rear combination of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres on his way to his second victory of the season. Behind him the battle continued with Quartararo looking good in second, before he was forced to retire with a machine issue. This left an enthralling race for the podium, before Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) followed up his victory in America last time out, with a second here in Jerez. Third across the line was Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to fill the top-three, as a hard-chasing Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) crossed the line in a close fourth, a result which signalled four different manufacturers in the first four positions, again showing the extent that the Michelin tyres can perform at the highest level with all types of bikes. Fifth was Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) came from thirteenth on the grid to take sixth. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finished in seventh and took the honour of First Independent Rider. Crutchlow was eighth and his team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) followed him home to take ninth, with wild-card Stefan Bradl (Team HRC) rounding out the top-ten.
Today’s race started in much warmer conditions than had been expected and as the lights changed to signal go the track was at 45°C, this led to tyre choice being less of a mix than usual, with most riders favouring the hard front and rear rubber, although a number went for the medium front and medium rear and mixed them accordingly to what they felt would give them optimum performance, with all tyres performing well throughout the duration of the 25-lap race.
Following today’s event in-front of a crowd of 75,047, Marquez moves to the head of the championship standings, but with just nine-points separating the top-four, everything is still wide open as MotoGP heads to Michelin’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans in France on Sunday 19th May, but only after a one-day Official Test is completed at Jerez tomorrow.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“It was a critical and important weekend for Michelin as it was a new surface, so there was a question mark for everybody and Michelin brought a full range of tyres that all worked in a very good way. From the start of the weekend I felt very good with the hard front and hard rear, even today when the temperature was higher, but the most important thing was the tyres worked good in the morning with colder temperatures and in the afternoon with the warmer temperatures. During the race the tyres were consistent which we saw in the lap-times and I’m happy because they gave me the confidence to open a gap and keep going until the end and win the race. It was a fast race, already yesterday we were fast, the new asphalt helped, but it was good that the tyres worked so well with it. It is not always like this, but all the riders had amazing grip and amazing performance through the whole race, so this created a very fast and consistent race.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This has been a great weekend for Michelin. From Friday onwards all the compounds worked well here at Jerez and depending on the temperatures today, all were race-able. As it was it was very warm so only the hard and medium front and rears were used, but they performed exceptionally well. We were faster in every single session than last year and then in the race we saw a huge improvement on the race duration record. This is the most important thing for us as it shows the grip and consistency from the tyres, so to be more than 30-seconds quicker than 2018 is especially pleasing. We also saw the outright lap-record broken in qualifying, which also demonstrates the ability of the race tyres over one lap to set a quick time. The race lap-record was also broken and to see this happen on lap-15 – and then have an almost identical time on the last-lap from Dovizioso – is again a very satisfying aspect as it shows the tyres are still performing well as the race draws to a close. This has put us in a very good place, but we cannot sit-back, as we have to go to Le Mans and do it all again!”