Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won his first ever Grand Prix at Jerez and made it four victories from four starts to take a commanding position in the MotoGP championship standings.
Starting his one-hundredth Grand Prix, Marquez exchanged the race lead with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi during the opening laps, before increasing his pace – setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five – to build a comfortable gap over his challengers. Marquez then controlled the race to cross the finish line 1.431 seconds ahead of Rossi in second place. In third place was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who stormed home in the final laps but ultimately crossed the finish line just 0.098 seconds behind Rossi. All riders on the podium opted for the medium compound rear slick, with Marquez and Pedrosa using the medium compound front, while Rossi selected the hard compound front slick for the race.
Hot and dry conditions were present for the twenty-seven lap Spanish Grand Prix and during the race the track temperature reached its highest level of the weekend at 55°C. Although conditions were extremely hot, all three asymmetric rear slick options supplied this weekend worked well on the greasy track surface and were used during the race. The extra-soft rear slick was the most popular choice with ten riders selecting this option for the race. The soft rear slick was selected by seven riders, with the remaining six riders opting for the medium compound rear. Front tire choice showed a strong preference for the medium compound option, with twenty of the twenty-three entrants choosing this option.
Marquez’s flawless start to the season gives him a twenty-eight point lead in the MotoGP championship standings over teammate Pedrosa after just four rounds. Rossi remains in third place and a further eleven points adrift.
Kyota Futami – General Manager, Global Motorsport Department, Bridgestone Corporation
“Repsol Honda and Marc dominated another race weekend and I’d like to congratulate Marc on winning his first ever Grand Prix at Jerez. This is such a fantastic venue for racing and this weekend was no exception, with the largest crowd in the last few years coming out to support the MotoGP riders. Both our front and rear tire allocation for this race was changed from last year, and I am happy that it was received well by the riders. It was unfortunate to hear Danilo broke his wrist in his accident during Warm Up and I hope that he makes a quick recovery and is back on his bike soon. The next round is at Le Mans which in terms of layout is very different from Jerez, so it will be interesting to see if this will enable another rider to make a strong challenge for the race victory.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“It was very hot all weekend but the conditions were consistent each day which meant the teams and riders had a lot of opportunities to evaluate their tire options for the race. Jerez can be a difficult circuit when the temperatures are high, but our new expanded front tire allocation ensured the riders had options to manage the challenging conditions. It was good to see that all three rear slick options we brought to Jerez performed well in the race and I hope we see similar variation in race tire choice for the next round at Le Mans. For now our technical team will be on hand to assist the MotoGP test at Jerez tomorrow and once again it looks like it will be very hot here.”
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“Of course I’m really happy. It was a different kind of victory as at this circuit I struggled a little bit during the weekend. Everyone was so close in the race but at the beginning on the new tires I felt good so I could push hard to create a gap as I knew at the end of the race Dani and Valentino would be strong. It was a special victory and we are in a good moment, so now we need to try and keep our advantage.”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.