Dani Pedrosa converted pole position into his first victory of 2017 as Repsol Honda dominated the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The 31-year-old held off Marc Marquez as both riders stormed into championship contention on a day where series leader Valentino Rossi could only manage tenth.
Things started to go wrong very early on for the factory Yamaha riders but the satellite YZR-M1 of Johann Zarco was slicing through the field, the Moto2 champion piling the pressure on Marquez for second in the opening laps. With front-row starter Cal Crutchlow crashing out of fourth, the Frenchman would face a podium scrap with Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo.
With Pedrosa keeping Marquez at arm’s length, all eyes were on Lorenzo as he looked to secure an all-Spanish podium on home soil and shortly before half-distance, the five-time champion dived past into the Dry Sac hairpin to take third spot, a place he would hold until the finish to earn his first rostrum finish since switching to the Bologna squad.
Zarco held onto fourth ahead of the second Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso while Maverick Vinales’ sixth place was the highlight on a miserable day for Movistar Yamaha. After being passed for sixth by his team-mate, Rossi plummeted down the order with an apparent lack of front grip and Danilo Petrucci was the first to take advantage, grabbing seventh.
Jonas Folger would cruise past seven laps from home to finish eighth and when Aleix Espargaro deprived him of ninth on lap 23, Rossi’s misery was complete. His only consolation was that he still left Jerez in the lead of the championship.
2017 Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana: Race Result
[table id=1945 /]