Gran Premio bwin de España, Jerez: Race round-up – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
A huge crowd of more than 115,000 fans saw Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) take a fourth premier class victory in a row at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) also on the podium at Jerez.
With victory in the south of Spain in his 100th Grand Prix, Marquez becomes the first rider to win the opening four premier class races of the year since Mick Doohan in 1992. Marquez had never previously won at Jerez in the World Championship.
No-one could live with Marquez in the heat of the afternoon in Andalusia as he built up a four second lead by lap 12 and never looked back, eventually crossing the line comfortably ahead of Rossi.
Indeed it was also another superb performance for Rossi as he returned to the podium for the first time since Qatar, holding off Pedrosa on the final corner.
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had to settle for fourth at his 200th GP, crossing the line 8.5s behind Marquez on his 27th birthday.
Behind the factory Honda and Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso was the top man for the Ducati Team in fifth, whilst there was disappointment for his teammate Cal Crutchlow who retired early on his comeback and wild card test rider Michele Pirro who crashed out in the initial laps.
There was relief for Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) as he picked up his first points of 2014 in sixth, finishing just 0.112s behind Dovizioso.
Meanwhile, Bautista’s compatriot Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was seventh and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) eighth, the pair of them also reaching the finish line within 0.5s of Dovizioso.
The top ten was rounded out by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP).
The were retirements for Mike Di Meglio (Avintia Racing) after some tyre issues and Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) due to a technical problem, whilst crashes for Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) ended their respective point scoring runs.
The MotoGP teams will remain in Jerez overnight as they have a day of post-GP testing scheduled for 10am-6pm on Monday at the 4.4km circuit.
Moto2™ victory was secured by Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) at the Gran Premio bwin de España as he crossed the line 2.434s in front of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), with Jonas Folger (AGR Team) joining them on the podium in third place.
An excellent ride to win from pole by experienced Finn Kallio, over a demanding 26-lap race in the southern Spanish heat, saw him close the gap on teammate Tito Rabat at the top of the standings to 16 points – as Rabat came home fourth.
Behind the front four Moto3™ World Champion Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) got the better of teammate and fellow lightweight class graduate Luis Salom for fifth place.
The top ten was completed by Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2).
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) crashed out and suffered a right shoulder dislocation in the process, whilst there were also crashes for Louis Rossi (SAG Team), Sam Lowes (Speed Up), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3), Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia), though fortunately they all escaped injury.
The first race of the day at the Gran Premio bwin de España was won by Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), who took victory from fellow podium finishers Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the final lap.
A tight leading group did battle for the honours over the course of the 23 lap race, with Fenati taking the victory by just 0.144s after a 102km-long battle. The Italian rider held off a strong final lap challenge from Rins to give KTM their 50th Grand Prix triumph.
Also crossing the finishing line in the top five were Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team), both around a second off the podium pace.
Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team), Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) and Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) completed the top ten at a red hot Jerez.
Eric Granado (Calvo Team) crashed out on the first lap, and fractured a finger on his left hand in the process. Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) rejoined having also crashed in early stages after clashing with Bagnaia but later retired.
Wild card Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) also fell mid race, whilst Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) and Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) were late crashers, but none were hurt. Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Arthur Sissis (Mahindra Racing) both pulled into the pits with technical problems, meaning a total of seven riders were unable to finish the race.
The World Championship returns to action in just under two weeks at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France (16th – 18th May).