Lorenzo excels in wet to take victory at Aragon
In an eventful flag-to-flag race at MotorLand Aragon, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo showed superb pace in both wet and dry conditions to take his first victory of the 2014 MotoGP season.
Starting from the third row of the grid, Lorenzo got an excellent start and was engaged in a three way battle for the race lead with the Repsol Honda’s of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. In the middle phase of the race, light rain started to fall which then intensified, changing the track conditions from dry to fully wet in a matter of a few laps. Lorenzo made the decision to pit earlier than his closest rivals and swap to his spare bike fitted with wet tires. He then proceeded to lap at a strong pace in the wet conditions, just as both Marquez and Pedrosa came unstuck in the wet as they persevered on slicks. Lorenzo then streaked away to take victory by 10.295 seconds from NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who claimed his first ever MotoGP podium finish after a brilliant ride to second place. In third place was Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, who despite a valiant battle with Espargaro for second place, ultimately crossed the finish line just 0.017 seconds behind the Spanish rider to claim the final podium position.
Conditions at the start of the twenty-three lap Aragon Grand Prix were completely dry, with all riders initially selecting slick tires. Although conditions were considerably cooler than yesterday – the peak track temperature was only 23°C - only seven of the twenty-three riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the remaining sixteen riders choosing the medium compound front. For the rear tire, both Repsol Honda riders and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl opted for the hard compound rear slick, with the remaining Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders selecting the medium compound rear. For the Open-class riders, half the riders opted for the medium compound rear slick, the other half for the soft compound rear at the start of the race. Both the hard and soft compound wet tires were used by riders in the final stages of the race after they changed bikes, with the hard compound wet tire being used by two-thirds of the field, including the three riders on the podium.
Although he finished in thirteenth place at Aragon, Marc Marquez extends his championship lead over teammate Pedrosa to seventy-five points with four rounds remaining, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi remains third in the championship standings and three points behind Pedrosa.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“Congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha on an impressive victory today, Jorge rode very well to manage the challenging conditions perfectly, and showed excellent pace in the wet and dry. Today’s race created every possible track condition for the riders, so it was important that our tires provided good warm-up performance and predictability. Despite today’s cool temperatures, all three rear slick tires, including the hard compound, were chosen by riders, as well as the soft and medium front slicks which proves the wide operating temperature our current generation of MotoGP tires have. The general feedback from the riders this weekend was that our tire allocation at Aragon was well-matched to the weather and track conditions, so this is a positive outcome for Bridgestone.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“Today I had one of the best starts in my career, and I was impressed with my pace and feeling in the bike in dry conditions. It was a pity that it started to rain as I felt I could fight for the victory in the dry, but then I saw that Marc and Dani stayed out on track on slicks, so I thought I’d take a risk and pit earlier than them for wet tires. I then found myself in first position after my first lap on wet tires, so I just had to keep focused so I wouldn’t crash. This was my first victory in a long time, so I’m very proud and very happy.”