Strong Second for Lorenzo in Jerez

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his unbroken premier class podium run at Jerez for the third year running today, taking second in the Grand Prix of Spain. Starting from pole, Lorenzo initially dropped to third, then swiftly moved up to second by lap three behind race leader Casey Stoner. The gap never grew to more than a second, then closed to just over 0.2 seconds in the last laps. Unfortunately by this point the soft front tyre choice left Lorenzo unable to make a pass. He crossed the line 0.947 seconds behind Stoner, taking 20 Championship points and as a result heads to Estoril leading the Championship by four points with a total of 45.

Ben Spies suffered a second disappointing race today, despite starting well the Texan was unable to find a good feeling from the front end of his M1 and was cautious to push to hard and risk a fall. He took the same result as in Qatar, finishing in 11th to take a further five Championship points, bringing his total to ten and 11th in the standings.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 2nd - Time +0.947

[“Today I knew it would be a very important decision on the grid to choose the right front tyre. Finally we chose the soft one, unfortunately we were wrong and had a lot of problems during the race, I wasn’t as confident as in practice. Without good feelings to finish second is not so bad, we are still leading the Championship and have good motivation for Estoril.”

Ben Spies

Position 11th - Time +38.041

“I don’t really know what happened, I got off to a pretty good start from the line but after that I didn’t have a good [feeling with the bike, it was a pretty pathetic race really for me. I’ve apologized to the team and we’ve had a long meeting about what I was feeling with the bike. I just wasn’t comfortable, I rode as hard as I could but the speed just wasn’t there. We need to find something because we can see the Yamahas are working well but my feeling with the bike is not great. It was a bad day at the office today.”

**Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager **

“A very difficult weekend but a very good result, second place was the maximum we could get today. The front tyre was gone so an attack would have been a disaster at the end. We’re leading the Championship and we’re on to the next round. The team worked really hard here in constantly changing conditions to deliver a competitive bike for Jorge.”

**Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director **

“It’s been a very challenging weekend for the whole team, obviously we are delighted with Jorge’s performance, he’s shown great maturity again today to collect the maximum possible points and retain the lead going to Estoril. A disappointing race for Ben, we know he tried his hardest but unfortunately he couldn’t find a good feeling with the set up so was unable to fight with the front groups. We will work hard between here and Estoril to see what we can do to improve this for the next race.”

Crutchlow fourth after stunning podium challenge in Jerez

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow produced the best performance of his MotoGP career in an enthralling Spanish Grand Prix today to finish fourth after an epic podium battle with Circuito de Jerez specialist Dani Pedrosa.

The British rider finished fourth for the third MotoGP race in succession having been in podium contention right from the start of a 27-lap race that started under grey skies that threatened rain and finished in arguably the best conditions of a weather disrupted weekend.

Having had only one dry session all weekend, Crutchlow's decision to race with the ha rd compound front Bridgestone tyre was fully vindicated and his fantastic surge towards the top three began with 19 laps remaining when he passed Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden in quick succession.

The 26-year-old then embarked on a relentless pursuit of Pedrosa for the remainder of the race, with Crutchlow exerting immense pressure on the Spanish rider to try and secure his maiden MotoGP rostrum.

The engrossing battle captivated a crowd of over 103,000 fans and went right down to the last lap but despite his best efforts, Crutchlow was unable to find a way to make a pass on Pedrosa, who was having to showcase all his talent to keep the former World Supersport Champion at bay.

At the chequered flag, Crutchlow was just over 0.4s behind Pedrosa and only 2.465s away from race winner and reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. He also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1.40.019 on the 15th lap, which was over 0.3s quicker than factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo's personal best.

Andrea Dovizioso also played a major part in an exciting opening half of the race. The Italian rider was right in the heart of the battle for the top three for the opening 10 laps but he was unfortunately unable to sustain his challenge to score his first Yamaha podium.

Dovizioso opted to use the softer compound Bridgestone front tyre and as he pushed hard to keep himself in the hunt for the rostrum places he experienced a loss in grip. Rather than take unnecessary risks he settled for a comfortable fifth place.

Cal Crutchlow

[Position 4th - Time +2.465

“That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium. One of the pleasing aspects is that I don't really like Jerez that much. It's a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic. The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well today and I can't say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but they gave me a great bike today and our decision to run the hard front was definitely the right one. I was fourth in Qatar but today I could actually see the winner and there is no reason why I can't be up there battling for the podium from now on. There will still be some races where I won't be that close to the podium but now I know we can be there. I gave it everything I had to pass Dani but there was nothing I could do. He is phenomenal round this track, so I'm happy to have challenged him so closely. But he was the better rider today and it was really hard to stay with him. I set the fastest lap of the race though, so that proves the progress I've made since last season.”

Andrea Dovizioso

[Position 5th - Time +18.100

“It has been a very tricky weekend because I don't particularly like this track and while I am not completely comfortable with the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine it means I struggled quite a lot. What I need more than anything is time in the dry to improve my performance and show what I know I am capable of. I am really happy with my start today and for the first laps of the race I was able to fight in the leading group and this helped collect a lot of information that will help me improve in the future. It was very interesting following Cal because he is still much faster than me entering the corner and I need to adapt my style more to take profit in this area, which is the strong point of the Yamaha. I also made the wrong choice with the front tyre. I wanted to race with the hard one like Cal but I cha nged on the grid to the soft option as all the top guys selected the softer tyre. But from the middle of the race I couldn't maintain my pace to stay with Cal and Dani. It was still a positive experience with everything I learned, so I am looking forward to hopefully a completely dry weekend in Estoril.”

**Hervé Poncharal - Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager **

“What more can you say about Cal? Considering this was only his third time at Jerez and how much experience Pedrosa has riding here, he did a phenomenal job. When you finish right behind a rider of Pedrosa's calibre in his home race, you know you have delivered an outstanding performance and Cal did that. He never gave Pedrosa one moment to relax and there is nothing more he could have done to try and get on the podium. There are so many positive points when you think that he was less than 2.5s behind Casey at the front and he set the fastest lap of the race. This shows he's made incredible progress since last season and I'm sure we are going to be seeing a lot more of Cal challenging at the front in the future. Andrea didn't have the same exciting race as Ca l but I am still happy with his performance. It is clear he needs more time to adjust to the Yamaha, but we know he has the talent and experience to do this, so it is only going to be a matter of time before he is battling for the podium. Today he went the wrong way with the front tyre choice, but that can happen sometimes and it is part of the learning process. He rode very aggressively in the first 10 laps, so it was fantastic to see both Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bikes battling for the podium. We have made a brilliant start to 2012 and confidence is very high, so we are looking forward to Cal and Andrea fighting for the podium in Estoril in a few days time.”

2012 MotoGP Spain

Jerez Circuit 29/04/2012 27 Laps

race I

1. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 45'33.897
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0'00.947
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'02.063
4. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0'02.464
5. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 0'18.100
6. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0'21.395
7. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0'28.637
8. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0'28.869
9. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA **0'34.852 **
10. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0'35.103
11. Ben Spies Yamaha USA **0'38.041 **
12. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1'12.728
13. Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA 1'18.669
14. Mattia Pasini ART ITA 1'29.142
15. Ivan Silva BQR-FTR ESP 1'32.478

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 2 of 18

1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 45
2. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 41
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 36
4. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 26
5. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 22
6. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 19
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 18
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 17
9. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 13
10. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 13
11. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 10
12. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 5
13. Colin Edwards Suter USA 4
14. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 3
15. Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA 3
16. Mattia Pasini ART ITA 2

Temp:
14

Weather:
Dry

Lap Record:
1'39.818
(Valentino Rossi, 01/01/2009)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1'38.189
(Jorge Lorenzo, 30/03/2008)

Last Years Winner:
Jorge Lorenzo

**
**

Manufacturer Standings

29/04/2012

1. Honda 45
2. Yamaha 45
3. Ducati 18
4. ART 7
5. Suter 4
6 Ioda 3
7. BQR-FTR 3

Team Standings

29/04/2012

1. Repsol Honda Team 77
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 55
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 48
4. Ducati Marlboro Team 31
5. LCR Honda MotoGP 17
6 Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 13
7. Power Electronics Aspar 8
8. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 4
9. Avintia Blusens 1