MOTOGP A FULL 2014
Rossi Storms to Second in Dramatic Catalunya Clash
15 june 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi put in a stunning ride this afternoon to secure second on the podium in the GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo threatened briefly in the early race laps before settling into fourth position, which he held to the line.
The Doctor started his Catalunya attack well, shooting from fifth to third into turn one from the start and then almost immediately into second behind his teammate Lorenzo. With 22 laps to go he made a decisive move for the lead and began a run at the front that was only broken towards the end of the race.
With seven laps remaining he was passed by both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in turns one and two, the two riders then almost immediately sitting up and raising hands for a yellow flag. Rossi took advantage of this and passed the two for the lead, holding it for a lap before Marquez passed again on turn two. With four laps remaining Pedrosa also made the move, dropping Rossi to third until the final lap. As the last corners came, Pedrosa made contact with Marquez, running wide and allowing Rossi back through to claim second on the podium, just 0.5 seconds behind Marquez.
Teammate Lorenzo made a strong start from second on the grid, delivering a trademark ‘Por Fuera’ pass round the outside of Pedrosa on turn one for the race lead. With his teammate closing fast behind, it wasn’t long before Rossi was passed, then Marquez followed on turn ten of the same lap. With 19 laps to go Pedrosa also squeezed through, leaving Lorenzo to hold fourth on the tail of the fighting three to the line.
Rossi’s podium scores 20 points. He remains in second place, now on 117 points, 58 behind Marquez.
Lorenzo’s fourth place delivers 13 points, keeping him in fourth position on 78, 34 behind Pedrosa in third.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro fought hard for 7th place in his home race. The young Spaniard started from 10th on the grid, but managed to jumped up three places before the end of the first lap. Espargaro continued to ride a steady race, maintaining this 7th position until lap 16 when he and Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso got involved in a spectacular fight. Espargaro managed to hold off his opponent, thereby marking a 6th successive top ten finish during his rookie season. Espagaro remains the leading satellite bike, as his championship points increased to 58, leaving him 6th in the standings.
Pol Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith was disappointed finishing in 10th position. Smith had a good start from 8th on the grid, but lost four positions before completing the first lap. The British rider was determined to fight and steadily clawed his way back to 10th by lap 15, but unfortunately the gap to the other riders in front of him had become too large for him to bridge. Despite the disappointing end to a GP that saw Smith top the FP2 practice session on Friday, Smith collects six vital championship points, leaving him 10th in the championship standings and confident that he will be scoring a better result at the next GP.
NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro scored his best result of the season in front of his home fans. The Spaniard lost some positions on the long straight, falling back to 12th, but was soon able to climb back up the order to 6th place. Espargaro held this position until the end of the race, making him the first open bike to cross the finish line. With today’s result, the local rider gained seven important points, leaving him 7th in the championship standings.
It was a complicated race for teammate Colin Edwards, who finished 18th after being held back during the race due to wheelspin.
All Yamaha riders and other MotoGP Riders will be back on track tomorrow for a day of testing. The next GP will be held at the iconic Assen TT circuit in the Netherlands on the 28th June.
Valentino Rossi – 2nd, +0.512
“I’m so happy because it was a great race, I enjoyed it so much. I started fast and I was able to stay in front for a long part of the race. I’m not satisfied 100% because I thought I could win but in the last laps they were faster than me. I tried the maximum but also Dani overtook me and I lost time. I did a good race; it is another podium so we have to continue like this.”
Jorge Lorenzo – 4th, +4.540
“I’m a little bit disappointed, we knew that the others were very strong and also Vale had a very good pace. The pace was not so bad because the track was not very hot but unfortunately I couldn’t open the gap I wanted in the first lap. When Vale passed me it was the same and I couldn’t ride like when I am alone. The bike was working well in braking but in the last two corners where we were very strong last year, we weren’t this year. In acceleration I started losing grip and when I followed Dani it was impossible to stay with him, I just had to recover in some corners. It was a pity, if we had less problems in acceleration it was a great opportunity to win. We were strong on braking but unfortunately lost it in the last corners so I couldn’t do more.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“The race was a great spectacle and one of the nicest this year to watch, just like the last round in Mugello. It’s good to see so many protagonists fighting at the front. Valentino really showed his experience. He made a good start and then was able to lead the race for quite a few laps. At the end of the race when his tyre life had dropped he really used his experience to the most advantage to snatch second. Jorge made an impressive long run yesterday and so the expectation was pretty high for the race. Unfortunately after a good start he was unable to replicate the pace so did what he could to try and stay with the pack. It seems fourth was the best he could do in these circumstances. Tomorrow we will stay here for the IRTA test and then we will move to Aragon for a private test to prepare for the Assen race. We will analyse the data form Jorge to try understand what went wrong and how we can improve it.”
Pol Espargaro – 7th, +16.127
“We’ve been struggling a bit during the whole weekend, so to finish today’s race in 7th is still an acceptable result. Of course it’s a bit disappointing especially after the strong performance of Le Mans and Mugello and I clearly aimed to do better at my home race, but things don’t always go according to plan. I’m losing quite a lot of time in the fast corners here, especially in sector 4, as I’m lacking rear grip and I think we will work on this tomorrow at the test by experimenting with different traction control settings. It’s an issue we are always experiencing with high temperatures so we clearly have to try to improve it. However, I’m pleased I could fight with Dovizioso down to the line and keeping him behind me. I want to thank the team for the great job this weekend and we will try to challenge to be the best satellite bike again in Assen.”
Bradley Smith – 10th, +24.781
“Unfortunately there’s not a lot I can say as I am obviously disappointed with the outcome of today. We had a strong weekend until qualifying as I finished 4th overall in the combined standings and the bike felt really good. But for some reason my feeling of the bike today changed especially at the beginning of the race and I wasn’t too confident on it. Yet from the mid section to the end of the race, things slightly improved but unfortunately I was already too far back at this point. Honestly I am frustrated as in the race, my pace wasn’t anywhere near the performances I have had during the weekend. It is another missed opportunity but I will bounce back in Assen where hopefully we can have a strong weekend.”
Aleix Espargaro – 6th, +14.213
“I’m really happy with today’s result. This is my best race of the year so far. It was an incredible hard fought race and we finished just 14 seconds behind the front guys. We knew that due to the long straight we were going to loose a lot in the start in comparison with the factory bikes and in fact many riders overtook me on the straight. I gave everything to recover and in a few laps I was 6th. I was lapping with Bradl’s rhythm and with a better start I could have been with him. Anyway I’m really happy. Thanks to my team, my electrician guys and Magneti Marelli for the great work. Tomorrow we will focus on the electronics and hopefully it doesn’t rain because we will test the new chassis.”
Colin Edwards – 18th, +1’06.121
“We made a change for the warm up but we didn’t get the expected results. I have a problem with turning and my bike was spinning a lot. I had no grip and it was very frustrating. It was a tough race. Tomorrow we will test some new stuff and we will continue working.”
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