MotoGP: Unshakeable Rossi Conquers Grand Prix of Catalunya

Lorenzo taken out of race contention in race incident with Iannone

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo race action
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi returned to the top rostrum today after a brilliant performance at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya.Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

Movistar Yamaha Press Release:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi charged to an impeccable victory today at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, taking his second win of the season at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Jorge Lorenzo also set a strong pace over the first stages of the race, but he was unable to hold his lead due to front tire grip issues. Riding in fifth place, he was looking to take home vital points for the championship, until Andrea Iannone clipped him and caused a DNF for them both.

Starting from fifth on the grid Rossi had his work cut out for him as he dropped back to eighth when exiting the first corner. The Doctor immediately put his nimble YZR-M1 to work and carved his way through the pack like a knife through butter. By the end of the first lap he had overtaken Hector Barbera and Andrea Dovizioso. Riding in sixth place as he crossed the line for the first time, Rossi moved on to his next targets, Maverick Viñales and Andrea Iannone. He overtook the both of them with a great manoeuvre and quickly passed Dani Pedrosa to earn a spot in the top three with still 22 laps remaining to reel in the front riders.

As he pursued Marc Marquez, the Italian quickened his pace setting a fastest lap of the race so far. He soon reached the back of his rival‘s bike and smoothly passed the Spaniard on lap six and swiftly moved on to pass his teammate to take over the lead on the very next lap. Now with a clear track in front of him, he put the hammer down, but he was unable to shake off Marquez, who was riding in second place.

The end of the race saw a brilliant fight between the two key protagonists. The local rider made a move in turn five, but Rossi was quick to respond with a brilliant move in turn two a lap later. Marquez used the slipstream to find a way through again, but Rossi fought back. With two laps to go the Italian was in Marquez‘ slipstream and needed no second invitation when the Spaniard left a gap on the penultimate lap in turn seven, allowing Rossi to make the race-winning pass. Marquez was unable to make up the lost time, while Rossi rode towards his second victory of the season, holding a 2.652s margin over the finish line.

Lorenzo had a lightning fast start from second on the grid to take the holeshot. He rode the early stages of the race exactly as he had planned, increasing his lead to over 0.7s by lap two, whilst the 20 riders behind him tried to sort out their order.

The Mallorcan rider pushed hard, but was unable to completely break away from Marquez in second place and his fast approaching Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate. He was forced to let the pair go past with 19 laps to go as he struggled to find grip on the harder front tire. Lorenzo tried to make his Yamaha as wide as possible, yet Pedrosa also found his way past. He was then put under pressure by Viñales. A hot battle followed, with multiple overtakes from both riders, but in the end Lorenzo was unable to stick with his compatriot as the grip-level of his tyre was too deteriorated. The Spaniard then cleverly focused on collecting as many points as possible and was determined to keep Andrea Iannone at bay, but then disaster struck. Nine laps before the end Iannone ran into the back of Lorenzo‘s bike whilst entering turn ten, thus ending the race for both riders.

Rossi's first place earns him 25 points. This result keeps him in third place in the championship standings on 103 points, now just 12 points behind Lorenzo in second position.

Valentino Rossi on the podium

Valentino Rossi #46

Valentino Rossi on the podium at Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya.Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

VALENTINO ROSSI #46

“I think it was a perfect Sunday, because this morning we improved the setting of the bike a lot and after the warm-up I felt more confident about the race. The race was great! Though the start was not fantastic, I was strong enough to come back, do some good overtaking and arrive in front. From that moment I tried to push at 100 percent to go away alone, but unfortunately I wasn‘t fast enough to pull away from Marquez. I tried to stay quiet and ride well, because I felt I had a good pace and felt good with the bike. At the end I was ready for the battle, which was a good one, with a lot of overtaking and I was ready to give it a try. You can‘t wish for a better race, I think. This is one of my favorite tracks and it was from 2009 that I didn‘t win here, and that wasn‘t great for me. For this reason I‘m more happy today and the battle with Marquez we can put on the same level as the battle with Lorenzo. What happened in Mugello was very sad because I was ready to fight for the victory there, which was fantastic. Over the last week I just thought I had to try do the same, to arrive ready for the race. Together with my team we did a great job and I think this is the best way to forget about the zero points in Mugello.”

Jorge Lorenzo race action

Jorge Lorenzo #99

Jorge Lorenzo suffered from a premature ending to the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya after a race incident caused by Andrea Iannone.Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

JORGE LORENZO #99

“First of all, as I said yesterday, everything is secondary after what happened on Friday. About the race, it‘s unbelievable that Iannone made this mistake again and when he did, instead of saying “sorry” he asked me if I had an engine failure or something strange happening in this corner. I thought it was his fault, but he had this reaction and didn‘t say sorry. There is always one rider that doesn‘t understand the risks and that his actions can seriously injure the other riders and if Race Direction don‘t give him a hard penalization, like they did with me in 2005, these kinds of riders don‘t understand that they have to change their mentality. That's why I think starting the race from last position is not enough, because in five to seven laps he will be positioned at the front again due to his pace.”

MASSIMO MEREGALLI - TEAM DIRECTOR

“Until the start of the race it had been a very strange weekend because we faced many issues, first with the front tyre wear, then with the new track layout and finally with the tire choice. The decision on the tires was never a question because there was only one option for us, but when we tested the hard tyre in FP4, the riders‘ feelings were not good at all, so we did not know what to expect from the race.

Our crew reacted in a magnificent way because they drastically revised the set up of both bikes, especially to make them suitable for T4, which was our weakest sector.

The race was another bittersweet one after Mugello. I‘m almost speechless in front of Valentino‘s supremacy on track today. I believe he‘s written a new page in the history of this sport, winning at Montmelò seven years after his last victory here. He‘s been able to recover from a less than perfect start that moved him back to the eighth place, and then he‘s given the race a rhythm that was unmatchable for his rivals.

Jorge did a great start and led the race for six laps, until the front tyre dropped and he had to manage the attacks from Pedrosa, Viñales and ultimately Iannone. I believe Iannone has no excuses and, because it‘s not the first time he causes such an accident, I expected the Race Direction to be more strict with him, as this incident could seriously compromise Jorge‘s chances to fight for the title.

Finally, a special thought to Luis Salom and his family. Today‘s show, put together by all riders, is the best way to pay tribute to a member of our extended “MotoGP Family” who is no longer with us.”

RACE RESULT - 05/06/2016:

  1. V. ROSSI - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 44'37.589
  2. M. MARQUEZ - Repsol Honda Team + 2.652
  3. D. PEDROSA - Repsol Honda Team + 6.313
  4. M. VIÑALES - Team Suzuki Ecstar + 24.388
  5. P. ESPARGARÒ - Monster Yamaha Tech3 + 29.546
  6. C. CRUTCHLOW - LCR Honda + 36.244
  7. A. DOVIZIOSO - Ducati Team + 41.464
  8. A. BAUTISTA - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini + 42.975
  9. D. PETRUCCI - Octo Pramac Yakhnich + 45.337
  10. H. BARBERA - Avintia Racing + 46.669
  11. J. MILLER - Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS + 49.514
  12. S. BRADL - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini + 55.133
  13. E. LAVERTY - Aspar Team MotoGP + 57.974
  14. T. RABAT - Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS + 1'00.141
  15. M. PIRRO - Avintia Racing + 1'00.429
  16. S. REDDING - Octo Pramac Yakhnich + 1'16.269
  17. Y. HERNANDEZ - Aspar Team MotoGP After 1 laps
  18. A. ESPARGARÒ - Team Suzuki Ecstar N.C. (7 laps)
  19. J. LORENZO - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP N.C. (9 laps)
  20. A. IANNONE - Ducati Team N.C. (9 laps)
  21. B. SMITH - Monster Yamaha Tech3 N.C. (19 laps)

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION RIDER

  1. Marc Marquez (SPA) - Repsol Honda Team 125
  2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 115
  3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 103
  4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) - Repsol Honda Team 82
  5. Maverick Viñales (SPA) - Team Suzuki Ecstar 72
  6. Pol Espargarò (SPA) - Monster Yamaha Tech3 59
  7. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) - Team Suzuki Ecstar 49
  8. Hector Barbera (SPA) - Avintia Racing 48
  9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) - Ducati Team 43
  10. Andrea Iannone (ITA) - Ducati Team 41
  11. Eugene Laverty (IRL) - Aspar Team MotoGP 39
  12. Bradley Smith (GBR) - Monster Yamaha Tech3 29
  13. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 29
  14. Stefan Bradl (GER) - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 29
  15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) - Octo Pramac Yakhnich 24
  16. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) - LCR Honda 20
  17. Michele Pirro (ITA) - Avintia Racing 19
  18. Scott Redding (GBR) - Octo Pramac Yakhnich 16
  19. Tito Rabat (SPA) - Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 13
  20. Jack Miller (AUS) - Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 8
  21. Loris Baz (FRA) - Avintia Racing 8
  22. Yonny Hernandez (COL) - Aspar Team MotoGP 3

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION CONSTRUCTOR:

  1. Yamaha - 165
  2. Honda - 135
  3. Ducati - 92
  4. Suzuki - 78
  5. Aprilia - 37

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION TEAM:

  1. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 218
  2. Repsol Honda Team - 207
  3. Team Suzuki Ecstar - 121
  4. Monster Yamaha Tech3 - 88
  5. Ducati Team - 84
  6. Avintia Racing - 75
  7. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 58
  8. Aspar Team MotoGP - 42
  9. Octo Pramac Yakhnich - 40
  10. Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS - 21
  11. LCR Honda - 20

For more information: www.yamahamotogp.com