Yamaha‘s Jorge Lorenzo has won the Gran Premio bwin de EspaÃ±a after a rain soaked thriller in Jerez, which became a matter of last man standing, with many big names ending the race in the gravel. Lorenzo didn’t get the greatest of starts, but to be fair neither did anyone else in the tricky conditions. The Repsol Honda of Casey Stoner led into turn 1 as all the riders were struggling for grip with teammate Dani Pedrosa losing out in the pack and dropping off into 5th.
The man on the move at the start was the Ducati of Valentino Rossi, starting in 12th. Rossi put on a masterful display of rain riding to scythe through the field to mix it up with the leading pack of San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli, who took the lead on Lap 5 with a stunning move to pass Lorenzo and Stoner.
On Lap seven Rossi braved a move on Stoner going into turn 1. As Rossi drove it up the inside, the Italian overcooked it and suffered a lowside right next to Stoner. With nowhere to go, Stoner’s bike mounted Rossi’s and they both slid into the gravel. After a controversial push-start from the marshalls, Rossi managed to rejoin, but to huge frustration Stoner was forced to retire after being unable to get his RC212v started again.
With Simoncelli pulling away at the start, things were looking good for the young Italian, until Lap 11, when, as he turned into turn 1 he leant into the corner too much and suffered a nasty looking highside. Luckily for Simoncelli he was ok, but his throttle side of the handlebars was bent out of shape, and he could not continue on.
From that moment on, it was Lorenzo’s to lose. As he started to build a lead at the front Pedrosa was sat in 2nd with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Yamaha’s Ben Spies fought for 3rd. With Pedrosa now closing the gap to Lorenzo, Spies passed Hayden and set off after the Repsol Honda. On Lap 23 Spies passed and setup what looked to be a safe Yamaha 1-2 finish as Pedrosa’s tyres were shot, and he started to drop back. Lap 24 however saw Spies in the gravel after losing the front end in the middle of a corner. Pedrosa re-inherited 2nd with Colin Edwards set for a podium on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Yet again though, the track had something to say about that and saw Edwards end his race parked in the gravel, in what looked more like a mechanical failure rather than rider error. Nicky Hayden held on to secure the final spot on the podium 29s behind Lorenzo, with Pedrosa 19s behind the winner.
4th place was taken by the San Carlo Honda Gresini of Hiroshi Aoyama after a solid ride after falling to 16th at the start of the race. Valentino Rossi managed to claw his way back up to 5th, just over a minute behind Lorenzo. Rossi led a pack of 3 Ducati’s home, with Hector Barbera on the Mapfre Aspar Ducati in 6th, with Karel Abraham recovering from an excursion into the gravel to claim an impressive 7th.
Cal Crutchlow must have wondered what might of been in 8th, another rider who visited the gravel on Lap 20. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was running all the way up in 5th at one point. 9th place went to Toni Elias on the LCR Honda. Despite the high finishing position Elias still wasn’t fully happy with his machine. The top 10 was rounded out by a solid performance from John Hopkins on the Rizla Suzuki.
Loris Capirossi‘s difficult weekend was made slightly better by being the only Pramac Ducati to finish, coming in 11th after Randy De Puniet failed to get his bike started after a trip wide into the gravel. After a good start, it all went wrong for Dovizioso. Suffering after running wide and into the gravel, he made a lengthy stop in order to change his wet tyres and ended up last, in 14th.
|Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda||36|
|Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda||25|
|Hiroshi Aoyama||San Carlo Honda Gresini||19|
|Andrea Dovizioso||Repsol Honda||17|
|Hector Barbera||Mapfre Aspar Ducati||14|
|Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||13|
|Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati||12|
|Marco Simonchelli||San Carlo Honda Gresini||11|
|Colin Edwards||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||8|
|Toni Elias||LCR Honda||7|
|John Hopkins||Rizla Suzuki||6|
|Loris Capirossi||Pramac Ducati||5|