Jorge Lorenzo Takes the Honors in Eventful Jerez Race

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) took victory in the wet MotoGP race at the Gran Premio bwin de España after a chaotic series of events saw Casey Stoner taken out by Valentino Rossi's bike early on, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) crash out whilst leading and a series of other riders struggle to deal with the conditions. It was a Spanish one-two with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) claiming second position and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) in third.

Lorenzo started from the front row and was able to pick up 25 points and claim his first victory of the 2011 season at the Gran Premio bwin de España, thus assuming the Championship lead. This result was his second successive win at the Andalusian circuit and a replica one-two with Pedrosa. The Mallorcan finished a clear 13.256s over his fellow compatriot after a gripping race which was unpredictable until the very last lap.

On a wet track Simoncelli appeared to be on his way to his first victory in the premier class with a three-second advantage over Lorenzo, but the Italian suffered a nasty highside at turn one with 16 laps remaining and was unable to continue. Pedrosa had made a tentative start to his race but managed to get back in the hunt for the win. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) had passed the Spaniard for second in the closing stages of the race, but made a mistake and ended up in the gravel, losing a potential 20 points. It was the same story for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who due to Spies’ error, was on course to take a rostrum place behind Pedrosa. However the American also ended up visiting the gravel trap and was unable to restart. It was Hayden who finished in third to take the first podium for Ducati Team this season and his second of his career with the team.

Qatar race winner Stoner (Repsol Honda) was the victim of a mistake from Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) which ended his race prematurely. The Ducati rider, who started from 12th, tried to pass Stoner on the inside but lost the front of his GP11, thus taking the Australian down with him. Rossi was able to rejoin the race but Stoner could not, the Italian eventually finishing fifth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) took fourth position, his best result in MotoGP, Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar Team) built on his performance in Losail to finish sixth, ahead of Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) who after crashing during the race was able to remount to take seventh place. Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was able to take eighth after a similar fate to the Czech rider, when he crashed whilst riding in a solid top five position in his first ride at the circuit. Last season’s Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías (LCR Honda) brought his bike home in ninth place with the final place in the top ten going to Rizla Suzuki’s John Hopkins, replacing the injured Álvaro Bautista.

Listen to Lorenzo's audio interview here.

In Moto2 Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) mastered the rain to take his fourth victory in the category, a first of the season, and joining him on the rostrum were Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project). Lüthi took the early control in the race and was on course for his first win in Moto2, until the Italian rider passed him for the lead and pulled a large advantage. His winning margin was 7.850s. Building on the second place the Speed Master rider achieved in Losail, Iannone takes the lead of the 2011 World Championship after scoring 25 points for the win. The race started in damp conditions and more rain fell throughout, leading to a slippery and difficult circuit. Starting from 18th position Corsi was leading the race after a lap and half, but was caught by Iannone and the Swiss rider and took the final spot on the rostrum to take his third podium in the intermediate class.

Bradley Smith (Tech 3) who started from fifth, finished in fourth place in only his second ever Moto2 race. With a few laps to go, he was in fifth place until Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) made a costly error when he nearly lost control of his bike and Smith was there to take his fourth position. Bradl had been aiming to become the first German rider to win back-to-back races in the intermediate class since Ralf Waldmann in 1996 but dropped a handful of places at the start. Lüthi and Bradl now share second place in the standings.

Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) was the first Spanish rider to cross the line in sixth place, ahead of Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who salvaged seventh position after a ride through penalty for jumping the start. Scotsman Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castelló) finished in eighth place after qualifying back in 24th position, scoring his first Grand Prix points. Rookie Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing Moto2) took ninth place and it was a titanic tussle until the final corner between MZ Racing team-mates Anthony West and Max Neukirchner with the German taking tenth and the Australian 11th.

Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) who had been involved in the fight for third, crashed out at high speed at turn 12 losing front grip and missed out on a potential 16 points. Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) failed to pick up his first points of his Moto2 debut season after Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) was unable to stop his bike in time and ran into the back of the current 125cc World Champion after a battle for sixth place. The incident put them both out of the race.

**125cc **
Nico Terol led the way to score another 25 points in the 125 race ahead of Jonas Folger (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) in a thrilling race. It looked set to be a Bankia Aspar one two until Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar), after battling with his team-mate through out the race, fell on the last lap in his 150th Grand Prix start and eventually finished 11th. Terol claimed his 11th successive podium with this victory and his seventh win of his 125cc career, finishing a massive 17.446s ahead of second placed man, Folger.

The race got underway in damp, patchy conditions with all the riders starting on wet tyres. However it became much tougher with the rain becoming stronger midway through the race leading to many accidents in the difficult conditions.

17 year old Folger took only his second ever rostrum position with second place in a frantic race, ahead of Zarco who joined him on the podium. The Frenchman’s previous best result had been a sixth place. Folger and Zarco had been involved in an intense fight with pole sitter Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany) and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) and kept their composure to take the podium, whilst Cortese fell in the battle for third place. The German remounted to finish in sixth. Vázquez suffered a similar fate as he also ended up in the gravel but like Cortese was able to rejoin and eventually finished in ninth.

It was a happy day for two British riders with Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) and Taylor Mackenzie (Phonica Racing) crossing the line in fourth and fifth. Kent whose previous best result had been 13th, whilst Mackenzie’s had been 18th, were impressive results for relative newcomers to the class. Jakub Kornfeil (Ongetta-Centro Seta) took seventh position scoring good points ahead of Hiroki Ono (Caretta Technology Forward Team). The Japanese rider’s career best had been 24th after two starts in the 125cc category. Tenth place went to Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-SIC-Ajo).

Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) had also been involved in the very exciting and close tussle with Cortese, Zarco and Vázquez but suffered a clutch problem which took him out of the race. The Finn Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Events Racing) crashed out very early on and as the rain fell, followed by 16 year old Miguel Oliveira (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica) who was in third place at the time he tumbled out at turn. Spaniard Luis Salom (RW Racing GP), after securing his best qualifying result in sixth place, was another victim of the final turn of the circuit and dropped out whilst in a top 10 position.