It was most certainly a matter of mixed emotions on the podium as Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi claimed his first win of the 2016 MotoGP season ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, and rival Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez in third, just like they qualified on the grid.
Rossi was ecstatic about his first win of the season
Rossi not only claimed pole at the Circuito de Jerez, Spain, he led from start to finish, set the fastest lap of the race and won; overall it was what the Italian described as being “the perfect weekend.”
The Movistar Yamaha rider looked strong and confident all weekend, he was the fastest in the third free practice session after finishing third and fifth in previous sessions.
“From Friday morning we worked very well and the bike in the race was fantastic,” said Rossi. The Italian was extremely happy with his result and could not thank his team enough saying, “We worked very well with the team so I have to thank all the Yamaha MotoGP Movistar team, especially my crew.”
Rossi puts his result down to his great form as a result of their work saying, “I had a good pace, I had a good start, I feel good with the bike from the beginning so I can push” as was able to win as he had “ small advantage every lap.”
Rossi admitted that before his race his mechanic Brian set him a challenge of, “First in front from the first to the last corner!” and his reaction was, “Hmmm, maybe it’s a good idea!” - Rossi laughed as he confirmed that this challenge was “not so bad.”
Rossi claims "Today was my turn!"
The Italian claims that the win is down to the amount of “desire” a rider has saying that “today the desire was very high.” Rossi last won in Silverstone during the 2015 season, after this he watched his Championship he was currently leading slip from his grasp whilst his teammate Lorenzo stole the crown in a controversial end to the season. About his victory in Jerez he said, “Today was my turn!”
Smiling throughout his interview he spoke of how confident he felt with a good base setting on the bike, the Michelin rear tyre, and his familiarisation of the Spanish track that he is has grown up racing at.
He finished by saying, “When you understand in the race that you have two or three seconds of advantage you say, “Oh! Today we can have fun!”
Completely opposite thoughts and emotions from teammate Lorenzo
Rossi’s teammate must have struggled to watch him bask in his triumph when the riders were in Parc Ferme. The first action Lorenzo did when he got off his M1 was check the rear Michelin tyre; he appeared to be disgusted with as he threw his hands up in the air.
The Spaniard blames the rear tyre for his ‘disappointing’ result and admitted “The pace from the beginning was not very fast, but you know Rossi was faster than me at the beginning of the race.” Lorenzo believes he was catching Rossi during the middle section of the race when ‘suddenly’ he found that when he “Changed gear was spinning like I had a wet tyre!”
Lorenzo blamed the rear Michelin tyre
The Spaniard could not understand how he the rear tyre seemed to be ‘spinning’ as he changed up the gears when going straight. He admitted to being “a little bit scared” because he feared “something had gone wrong.” He feels that the tyres issues have switched from the front to the rear Michelins; he is concerned especially following the incidents concerning Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) and Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati).
Analysing what he called a “very uncomfortable situation” on track Lorenzo said, “I was lucky that Marc was very far back with a lot of distance, if not I could lose him second place to him.”
A mature Marquez speaks of new approach to race
Despite only finishing third after qualifying third (he almost lost a position to his teammate Dani Pedrosa), Marquez remained optimistic as he is still leading the championship after managing to gain sixteen points.
Marquez started from the third place on the front row of the grid, in the early stages of the race he said that “the feeling was not exactly the same like yesterday.” He spoke about how he continued to push but after nearly crashing several times he decided to settle for the championship points.
Marquez admits to having a difficult day
The Spaniard admitted that the fourth round in front of his home fans was a “really difficult day” and blamed the increase in temperature as his main hindrance. He felt he needed to “push a lot on the braking points” as he felt the front tyre was “pretty soft.” He feels that they are “losing a lot of acceleration” and that they “need to brake too late” to counteract the time lost.
Despite this he thought he could “keep the rhythm” but decided to take a more mature approach to this race this time reminding him of past experiences saying in his mind “Remember last year!”
He finished by saying: “The most important is that we are leading the championship so for that is the reason I am happy and in front of all these fans I expect a better race but today wasn’t possible.”
Marquez still on top of the championship
Marquez continues to lead the championship with 82 points, he is 17 points ahead of Lorenzo who is on 65 points and Rossi is in third now on 58 points after collecting the twenty-five from his win at Jerez.