Valentino Rossi celebrates MotoGP win in Jerez

The Italian MotoGP legend has claimed his first win of the 2016 at the Circuito de Jerez, Spain ahead of a chain of Spaniards at their home GP.

Valentino Rossi celebrates MotoGP win in Jerez
Rossi claims first win in Jerez since 2009 after a 'perfect' weekend | Photo: Yamaha Racing

Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has won at the fourth round of the MotoGP season at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain in what he has described as the ‘end to a perfect weekend’.

Success all weekend for the Italian

Rossi celebrated claiming pole as if he had won the race; he got the perfect start, set the fastest lap, and led from start to finish (a challenge set to him previous to the race). Rossi’s win only came into jeopardy once when his teammate Jorge Lorenzo attacked, but Rossi retaliated straight away, setting his fastest lap and the Italian continued to break away and won comfortable with a lead of almost 2.5 seconds.

Rossi led the first corner ahead of Lorenzo, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda). Pedrosa soon overtook Dovizioso allowing the two sets of factory bikes to start to break away in a small group of four machines.

Disappointing race from Lorenzo | Photo: Yamaha Racing
Disappointing race from Lorenzo | Photo: Yamaha Racing

Irishman Laverty had another fantastic performance

Aspar MotoGP Team rider Eugene Laverty made a fantastic start; having qualified 15th on the grid he was in eighth position chasing Pol Espargaro (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha). He was soon successful and sat in seventh briefly however Pol Espargaro soon got him back.

Pedrosa momentarily claimed third position from his teammate but not for long; Marquez made a mistake in his first attempt to overtake but made it stick when he caught him on turn thirteen on the second lap. Marquez’s focus turned to Lorenzo and the two battled for second position during the middle section of the race. Pedrosa could not keep up and began to drop of the front group of now three riders.

More bad luck for Dovizioso

Dovizioso’s bad luck continued as he appeared to go backwards through the pack, he became victim to both the Team Suzuki Ecstar riders Aleix Espargaro, who briefly took fourth from Pedrosa, and Vinales. The Italian was almost thrown from his bike when he experienced a problem with his rear Michelin tyre which was confirmed by Laverty who was now behind him; Dovizioso was forced to retire for his own safety collecting his third DNF.

Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Gresini) crashed out with 18 laps remaining; he was unhurt. Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Team Moto GP) over took his teammate Stefan Bradl soon after on his Ducati.

Laverty unfortunately lost his spot in the pack as the top independent rider when Pol Espagaro stole the title from him; the Spaniard overtook him on the inside of a right-handed corner in what was a clean move.

Iannone finally turned things around

Andrea Iannone (Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) had a great battle on track for a few laps as Crutchlow refused to lose a place to the Italian. Iannone was the successful one out of the two on his factory Ducati and went on to then overtake Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati) to become the lead Ducati, Laverty and Pol Espargaro, he was unable to get near the Suzuki riders.

The results are in...

Rossi claimed his first win of the season at Jerez; an Italian in front of a line of five Spaniards who filled the top six positions. A very disappointed and frustrated Lorenzo claimed the second place of the podium at his home GP, (maybe he is regretting his move to Ducati as they really struggled here). Marquez settled for third position claiming the third podium place and retaining his lead in the Championship. Aleix Espargaro finished as the fastest Suzuki in fifth behind Pedrosa and ahead of his teammate Vinales.

Marquez finished on the podium | Photo: Box Repsol
Marquez finished on the podium | Photo: Box Repsol

Iannone finished in seventh as the top Ducati ahead of the fastest independent rider Pol Espargaro and the second independent rider Laverty.

Barbera completed his home GP in tenth ahead of Brits Crutchlow and Bradley Smith (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha). Loriz Baz (Avintia Racing) was ahead of Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Hernandez who claimed the last available championship point in fifteenth.

Michele Pirro (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati) who is standing in for injured Danilo Petrucci who will be returning soon, finished just outside the points in 16th ahead of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller in 17th and Tito Rabat in 18th. Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati) completed the field of finishers in nineteenth.

How the championship stands

Marquez remains the championship leader with 82 points ahead of Lorenzo who has 65. Rossi is in fourth after his win, ahead of Pedrosa and top independent rider Pol Espargaro. Vinales is in sixth ahead of Aleix Espargaro, Barbera, Laverty and the two Ducati riders Iannone and Dovizioso, in tenth and 11th.