Rossi charges to dominant Spanish GP win

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi chalked up his first MotoGP win of the season with a dominant lights-to-flag display at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The nine-time world champion took the chequered flag in Jerez well ahead of Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, while Honda’s Marc Marquez ran a distant third.

Rossi jumped best from pole position but was forced to stave off a vigorous attack from Lorenzo early on.

Having been held at bay on the opening lap, Lorenzo dived underneath the Italian on Lap 2 but could not make the move stick.

Rossi instead set about edging away at a rate of around 0.2s per lap.

Lorenzo began to eat into the advantage just beyond the halfway mark of the 27-lap journey, but ‘The Doctor’ responded to complete a comfortable win.

“I think that this was the perfect weekend because we started to go faster,” reflected Rossi.

“From Friday morning we worked very well, and the bike in the race was fantastic.”

Lorenzo revealed after the race that a lack of rear tyre grip hampered his challenge.

“Rossi was a little bit faster than me at the beginning of the race, but in the middle I could keep the distance, then suddenly the centre of the tyre on the straight was spinning like I had a wet tyre,” said Lorenzo.

“I had to use 80 percent of throttle so I lost a lot. It’s a pity because I could probably win the race with a very big margin but I had to slow down and finish the race.”

The Spaniard had suggested that a ‘defective’ rear tyre also hindered his qualifying session the day prior.

Marquez had to settle for a lonely run to third after initially going with Lorenzo, while his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa finished fourth thanks largely to a strong start from seventh on the grid.

Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Iannone, Pol Espargaro, Eugene Laverty, and Hector Barbera completed the top 10.

Iannone had fallen to as low as 14th early on after qualifying 11th, before gradually climbing through the field and passing Pol Espargaro with five laps remaining.

On the other Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso’s nightmare run continued when he missed the points again due to a mechanical problem.

Dovizioso’s last three race results read 13th, DNF, and DNF after being taken out in the previous two rounds in Argentina and America.

Marquez continues to lead the World Championship although his advantage has been cut to 17 points.

MotoGP heads to Le Mans in France for Round 5 from May 6-8.

Result: MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix

Position Rider Team Laps Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 27
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 27 +2.386s
3 Marc Marquez Honda 27 +7.087s
4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda 27 +10.351s
5 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 27 +14.143s
6 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 27 +16.772s
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati 27 +26.277s
8 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 27 +30.750s
9 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 27 +32.325s
10 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 27 +32.624s
11 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 27 +38.497s
12 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha 27 +39.669s
13 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 27 +45.227s
14 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 27 +47.886s
15 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 27 +47.988s
16 Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati 27 +49.414s
17 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 27 +49.513s
18 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 27 +53.334s
19 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 27 +1:05.555s
DNF Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 9 Retirement
DNF Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 5 Retirement

Championship Standings

Position Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 82
2 Jorge Lorenzo 65
3 Valentino Rossi 58
4 Daniel Pedrosa 40
5 Pol Espargaro 36
6 Maverick Vinales 33
7 Aleix Espargaro 32
8 Hector Barbera 31
9 Eugene Laverty 28
10 Andrea Iannone 25
11 Andrea Dovizioso 23
12 Bradley Smith 20
13 Stefan Bradl 17
14 Scott Redding 16
15 Alvaro Bautista 14
16 Michele Pirro 12
17 Tito Rabat 11
18 Cal Crutchlow 5
19 Loris Baz 4
20 Yonny Hernandez 3
21 Jack Miller 2

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