Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took the upper hand in the epic 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship battle against his teammate and title rival Valentino Rossi after claiming his fifth pole position of the season. The Mallorcan set the fastest ever MotoGP™ lap around the Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo in near perfect conditions (Track temp. 30˚C), a 1’31.011. In the process he smashed Marc Marquez’s Pole Record (1’30.237) from 2013 by over two-tenths of a second. Lorenzo said afterwards it was the most important lap of his life as he aims to overturn the seven-point advantage Rossi holds in the championship standings in #TheGrandFinale on Sunday. it was his 61st career GP pole position, and his 35th in MotoGP™.
Lorenzo set his fastest time on the second of his three runs as he made use of a two-stop strategy. The Spaniard is brilliant at managing races from the front and by starting on pole he has made the task of winning the Championship that much easier, as he aims to make it four wins out of four in Spain for 2015 after winning in Jerez, Barcelona and Aragon. Although don’t write Rossi off yet.
The ‘Doctor’ (+1.460s), who has to start from the back of the grid after the CAS denied his stay of execution on his penalty from Sepang, ended the session in 12th after crashing out on his last flying lap at turn 8 but walked away unhurt. It was only Rossi’s second crash of the season, and served notice to anyone that thought the Italian would not be pushing hard in Q2.
The only man who looked like he might displace Lorenzo at the top was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (+0.488s). The Spaniard rode his RC213V to the absolute limit, having a number of huge moments, but even he could not deny Lorenzo in the end. Marquez was the only rider to get within half a second of Lorenzo, as he was another to utilise a two-stop strategy, recording his 16th front row start of the season in the process.
Dani Pedrosa made it two Repsol Honda’s on the front row as he qualified in third, but he was +0.505s off the pace of Lorenzo. Pedrosa holds a two-point advantage over Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) in the battle for fourth in the standings, after winning two of the last three races. The Spaniard also has an excellent record at Valencia having won six races across all classes and should be a threat during Sunday’s race.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro (+0.906s) will start from the head of the front row in fourth in his best qualifying performance since Assen. The Spaniard’s feat was made even more impressive by the fact he was forced to progress through Q1 after ending practice in 11th on the combined timesheets.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (+0.937s) qualified in fifth for the third race in a row as he was one of only five riders the break the 1’31 barrier in Q2. The Brit had been struggling with grip on Friday but improved to put in his best lap time on his final flying run to start as the leading Satellite rider.
Just 0.064s behind Crutchlow was his compatriot Bradley Smith (+1.001s) on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 in sixth. The British rider secured his first second row start since Misano as he aims to secure sixth in the standings from Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Iannone (+1.045) heads up the third row after he failed to improve on his best time from Practice that had seen him top the combined timesheets after FP3. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will start from eighth, with Dovizioso in ninth and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) completing the top ten.
Maverick Viñales will start from 11th after he also made it through from Q1 alongside his teamate despite a nasty looking highside during that session, with Rossi completing the fourth row in 12th and Ducati Team wildcard Michele Pirro in 13th.
Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera will start as the leading Satellite rider in 15th, ahead of the man he leads in the standings by five points, Forward Racing’s Loris Baz, in 16th. American Nicky Hayden qualified in 17th as the leading Open class Honda in his last MotoGP™ race before he moves to WorldSBK in 2016, after he was inducted into the MotoGP™ Hall of Fame on Friday in Valencia.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding continued his struggles from practice and could only qualify in 20th, ahead of Australian Jack Miller (LCR Honda) in 21st and Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) in 24th.
Anthony West (AB Motoracing) filling in for the injured Karel Abraham was in 23rd, while Alex De Angelis’ replacement Broc Parkes (E-Motion IodaRacing Team) finished the session in 26th.
Saturday, 07 November 2015 12:10 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Four days from now, we should know who has won the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. I say “should" since protests and ongoing legal wrangling might delay the official results.
This type of behavior is rare in bike racing, more likely in automotive competition. However the days following October 25 and the penultimate 2015 season round in Malaysia have confirmed that we live in interesting times.
Thursday, 05 November 2015 11:57 Published in Colin Fraser
MI ES, 29 October - Open letter from FIM President Vito Ippolito:
The recent events arising in connection with the competition for the 2015 FIM MotoGP world title have had a damaging effect on the staging of our competitions and poisoned the atmosphere around the sport. We are moving away from the tradition of pride in sportsmanship that is part of the heritage of motorcycling.
Everyone has the right to express his or her own ideas. But words and actions always have consequences. Every individual has to take responsibility for those consequences. The riders, first of all, must be aware of this. Each one of them has thousands of fans who follow their exploits on the track and listen to what they say off the track. For that reason, we look to them, not just in this Championship but in all our disciplines, to set the best example of what our sport should and aspires to be.
This responsibility is also shared by the people who form their entourage, beginning with their teams and sponsors. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, if some of those people unnecessarily fuel polemics about events or decisions in a wrongheaded way, they are doing a great disservice to the sport, to the detriment of our entire community and all the good things it offers to everyone.
Riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors should not only respect the rules but they should accept the decisions of the officials, whatever they may be. Otherwise, they are contributing to anarchy and undermining the future development of our sport.
On behalf of the FIM and all those who are doing their best to bring about a happy conclusion to this Championship, I express the hope that at the next and final round in Valencia the riders will fight it out on the track and in a way that fully respects the spirit of fair play.
Thursday, 29 October 2015 13:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points
A controversial bumping incident during lap seven of the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 25 caused Repsol Honda’s World Champ Marc Marquez to fall from third, while Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi continued on to net that spot at the finish, holding his points lead in the MotoGP World Championship.
Dani Pedrosa won the race for Honda, while Rossi’s arch-rival and teammate Jorge Lorenzo netted second.
Following the event, race control reviewed multiple-camera video footage of the incident and spoke to both racers, and then Race Director Mike Webb gave Rossi three penalty points against his licence due to his actions.
This decision gave 36-year-old Rossi a total of four of a possible seven per-season penalty points against his status, and means he will start the final event of the season at Valencia from the back of the MotoGP feature race grid. His initial point was awarded due to a qualifying incident earlier in the season at Misano involving Jorge Lorenzo.
This decision means that Rossi, although seven points ahead of teammate Lorenzo in the 2015 championship standings, is unlikely to hang on to his championship lead. Rossi has 312 points while Lorenzo trails at 305, Marquez out of contention with a total of 222 points in third spot.
“I don’t know if I have lost the championship,” stated Rossi after the race direction ruling. “This will be very difficult now. I am very disappointed in the three points. He (Marquez) won. He decided the championship and he made me lose the championship. I think that he will be very happy.”
“I don’t want to make Marquez crash and I didn’t kick him,” continued Rossi, still very aggressive while on defence. “From the helicopter shot, you see, in slow motion, it is quite clear that I go wide. I don’t want to say I do the normal corner – I want to go to him, slow down and make him loose time.”
“When I go to slow down, slow down, slow down, and I go to cut his line, and we touch. He touched me with his handlebar on my left leg and it is for that reason he crash. If you kick a MotoGP rider he don’t crash, because the bike is heavy, it has a lot of grip.”
Following the post-race review and penalty, 22-year-old double MotoGP Champ Marquez spoke out regarding his crash, saying: “I didn’t expect that he (Rossi) would take off the leg and push my handlebars and my front brake. Then I lost my front and when I was on the floor I saw him (Rossi) look behind again.
“For me, it does not matter if you are Valentino or another racer, in this type of incident you are out of control. When you are a rider you know what is going on – to take a leg off and push another rider out, it is difficult to see how you can think this on your bike.”
Meanwhile, forgotten victor Dani Pedrosa, age 30, spoke about the incident at the delayed post-race press conference, an event Rossi opted not to attend.
“I had the chance to watch this incident just now, and this is not good,” said the Repsol Honda rider. “It is not good for the championship, it is not good for Rossi, and for Marc, Jorge and me – even though I was not involved.”
“This is not a good thing, happening so late in the fight for our championship. The manoeuvres were okay, for sure Valentino wanted to have a more calm race, to try and catch Jorge for second. But in their last manoeuvre, yes you can go as wide as you want if you are on the inside (Rossi), you have the line for that corner. The guy on the inside has the preference always, so normally the guy on the outside would shut the throttle.
“But the speed was very, very slow, and Marquez understood this and close the throttle completely, waiting for Valentino to turn. Then there is the moment when I can see Valentino’s leg moving and we see Marquez crash. Unfortunately, not a good thing, and I am really disappointed about this. I started out front from the beginning and stayed in front, and I am really happy to escape out front and be unaware of all the problems behind,” stated the Malaysian victor.
Sunday, 25 October 2015 14:39 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Repsol Honda’s current MotoGP World Champ Marc Marquez came out on top of a wild four-bike fight for first to win the MotoGP round at Phillip Island, Australia on Sunday, October 18. With one lap of the 28 left to run at the daunting down under venue, Jorge Lorenzo held a miniscule edge with the works Movistar Yamaha from a wheel-to-wheel trio: early leader Andrea Iannone’s factory Ducati, Marquez and the other “A” Yamaha of World Championship series points leader Valentino Rossi.
Monday, 19 October 2015 12:08 Published in Reports, Results & Points
After years of speculation and months of anticipation, Honda finally unveiled its MotoGP-derived street bike, the RC213V-S, live on the internet from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of the weekend's MotoGP race.
Thursday, 11 June 2015 10:39 Published in Industry News
The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France was host to another dominating Lorenzo victory while an intense battle for fourth burned.
Fortunately rain was nowhere to be seen in Le Mans, setting the stage for an exciting and eventful MotoGP™ race. The French GP comes after a post race test in Jerez and many riders arrived in France with new confidence, direction and parts. Bradley Smith was one such rider, running new front forks this weekend and leading FP2 on Friday. Marquez and Crutchlow both also had new swing arms.
Round five of the MotoGP™ World Championship also saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa return to the grid, the Spaniard having missed three rounds after having surgery to cure arm pump issues. Returning for Jerez had been a possibility, but a test on a Supermoto bike had Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda crew air on the side of caution and wait till Le Mans.
Lorenzo had appeared strong again this weekend, as he had done in Jerez, despite feeling his third on the grid was one of the worst results of his career. A lightning start allowed the Spaniard to break away early, quickly able to pass Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and focus on riding his own race. One of Lorenzo’s strongest areas is his ability to run at the front and set incredibly consistent lap times when not having to battle with other riders. As in Jerez, Lorenzo demonstrated this incredible skill and was nearly untouchable. “I could overtake Dovizioso early and stay in the lead. I had to manage the one second gap and I had to push really hard even though the front feeling wasn’t great,” he said.
This makes it back-to-back wins for Lorenzo and reignites his championship hopes after many had begun to doubt the Spaniard. The MotoGP™ paddock heads next to Mugello, a favourite track of Lorenzo and one that has seen several outstanding rides from the Movistar Yamaha rider. On his current form he will be difficult to match.
While Lorenzo was surging ahead, Marc Marquez had a difficult start to the race, dropping as low as sixth before finding his form in the closing stages.
The Spaniard quickly caught Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith ahead, leading to a fiery battle between Marquez and Iannone. The duo swapped positions at nearly every corner, giving spectators flashbacks of their Moto2™ days. The performance of Iannone was particularly impressive as he dislocated his left shoulder less than a week ago at a private Ducati test at Mugello. Marquez eventually came out on top as Iannone’s lap times dropped off significantly in the final three laps, no doubt feeling the pain in his shoulder.
While the battle tore on behind, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi had a brief battle, the Yamaha rider coming out on top. Issues in Jerez saw Dovizioso finish off the podium for the first time this year, this third at Le Mans is important for the Ducati rider’s championship as he sits in third with 83 points. “The grip after ten laps was not great, I struggled a bit. I couldn’t gain much in the braking. I didn’t have Lorenzo’s pace though. To return to the podium is important for the championship and us,” reflected Dovizioso after the race.
Charging through the field, Rossi seemed as though he may be able to catch his teammate but the gap never dropped below one and a half seconds. It had been a less than ideal start to the weekend for the Italian as he and his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team struggled with finding a good setting. Big risks in changes to the set up of Rossi’s M1 paid off come the race as he once again extended his championship lead, now 15 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo. “We suffered a lot during practice because I couldn’t ride to the limit. We risked more with the set up for the race and I felt very good. It took a couple of laps to understand it fully,” said Rossi.
Le Mans was a difficult race for many of the British riders, both Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding fell from the race in what was an overall disappointing weekend for many of the Honda bikes. The higher track temperatures on race day having a negative impact for the Honda riders who struggled for front end feel. Bradley Smith did well to finish in sixth behind the dueling pair of Iannone and Marquez after a strong showing earlier in the week. There were also reasons to celebrate for rookie Eugene Laverty, the Irishman scoring his first MotoGP™ points as he finished in 14th and as the second Open Honda bike.
The Open category was led by Nicky Hayden, the American also qualifying as the highest Open rider. He and Jack Miller had battled during the early stages of the race, but the Australian fell as he exited Turn 4. Local rider Loris Baz also finished in the points in 12th, taking his best ever MotoGP™ finish in front of a cheering crowd.
Miller was not the only rider to fall as he exited Turn 4, returning Dani Pedrosa also took a tumble there. The Spaniard was unhurt and remounted to finish in 16th, some 15 seconds out of the points. Stefan Bradl was another early faller as he continues to adapt to the Yamaha Forward machine. Both Aleix Espargaro and Karel Abraham were forced into the pits with technical issues, ending their races early.
- From MotoGP.com
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:47 Published in Reports, Results & Points
An enthralling MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina saw Marc Marquez clinch his third win of the year, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in the top three.
Sunday, 27 April 2014 23:34 Published in Reports, Results & Points