The first European round of the long calendar of the MotoGP World Championship got underway in Jerez de la Frontera, an iconic circuit literally invaded by thousands of motorcyclists.
A challenging track for our standard bearer Andrea Dovizioso, who arrived here perfectly aware of his strength thanks to the results gained during the first three races of the season, aiming to achieve the best possible result.
Dovi worked intently throughout the weekend, managing to improve lap after lap.
On Sunday he starts from the fourth position on the grid and, despite a not brilliant start, he pushes hard to stay in the fight for the top positions.
Lap after lap he finds his race pace that assure him an important fourth place.
Our young rookie Pecco Bagnaia, after two days of positive free practices, is not able to take advantage of his tenth position on the starting grid, finding himself 16th after few corners.
His race ends with five laps to go due to a crash, fortunately without consequences.
"If we consider the issues we've always had in the past at Jerez, we can be satisfied with both our pace and the gap from the front at the end of the race. That said, it's a pity we couldn't step on the podium, which was our goal. The race was faster than what we expected, and I lost too much ground at the start. In the final phases, I took quite a few risks to cut the gap from Viñales, but I was still losing too much ground in the faster corners to be able to attack him under braking. We knew that on fast-flowing tracks such as this one we would have struggled a bit more. We need to improve our corner speed, we have done that to some extent already and we're not far from our rivals, so tomorrow we'll keep working in this direction."
“It was a difficult race because I didn’t get off to a good start. My race pace was not bad but when I tried to overtake Espargaro I made a small mistake and crashed. It’s a shame because we worked well this weekend. I can’t wait to be at Le Man, a track I really like.”.
A shakedown weekend with a positive result for our Moto2rider Stefano Manzi who, returning on the bike after the injury in Argentina, manages to reduce the gap from the leaders during practice and to finish the Spanish race in 21st position.
"Today's race was a bit unusual, I certainly didn't expect it, given the good warm-up this morning. Now we have to understand what happened and work well during Tuesday's tests in view of the next race in France. I'm sure my commitment will always be great and I'll do my best to find the best possible feeling with my F2".
An unlucky race for Romano Fenati, our Moto3 talent.
Starting from the tenth position on the grid, despite a first part of the race in the leading group, he was forced to retire with four laps to go.
“After some laps the cervical inflammation I had after Austin came back. My neck was hurting me I couldn't lift my head up.
By the way, I reached the group ahead and I was preparing the final attack when Ramirez crashed in front of me and the bike was in the middle of the track and to avoid it I was obliged to exit the track and I finished my race in this way”.
LE MANS: HALF AND HALF
Le Mans, 05/18/2018
Le Mans, the iconic track that offers to the #suomyriders a mix of happiness and disappointment.
In MotoGP, SR-GP is again on the podium with Andrea Dovizioso.
Our huge talent starts from the forth position on the grid.
During the first laps, Dovi struggles a little to find his race pace but, turn by turn, he manages to be more and more incisive, achieving the second place.
Dovizioso and his teammate then enjoyed a spectacular and clean fight for second position, crossing trajectories several times in the final phases until the checkered flag
Desmodovi finishes his race in second position.
An important silver medal that shortens the gap from the leader of the ranking, who is now just 8 points ahead.
Regret instead for our rookie Pecco Bagnaia who, after a positive qualifying weekend, defends his position in the first laps and fights great with Vinales and Rins.
His race pace is good but, with 21 laps to go, he cannot avoid a contact with Vinales, crashing out on the gravel.
"I'm happy with my result because the conditions have been really tricky here all weekend and, nonetheless, we managed to seize second position in both the race and the championship.
That said, we need to stay focused and try to make further improvements if we want to fight with Márquez until the end. I couldn't keep his pace until the checkered flag because the rear tyre dropped a bit too much, and in the final laps I also had to fend off Danilo's comeback.
It was a good fight, and I'm not surprised by his speed, as I know him well.
We scored the best possible result and the championship is still open. I can't wait to race again in two weeks' time at Mugello, a track we know quite well and on which we achieved important results in the recent past."
“The pace was very good and I am satisfied. I was convinced that I could fight for the Top 10. Unfortunately I found myself with Maverick who suddenly slowed down and I couldn’t avoid the impact. I am still confident because we are improving”.
A good feat for Stefano Manzi who, in Moto2, is able to finish the race into the top 15, gaining his first point of the 2019 season.
"I can’t say that today’s race was a very good one, because I got off to a good star but after 6-7 laps, I went out due to a crash in front of me. I was able to finish in 15th place and do the rest of the race at my own pace.
Now we are already looking forward to the test in Barcelona on Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping to find the right adjustments to get to the home race, Mugello, more confident and stronger".
Romano Fenati, our Moto3 standard barear, is forced to retire due to the pain on his foot that, anyway, did not allow to the team to set up the bike at the best.
“It was a difficult weekend and the crash in the free practices compromised a little bit our work. We’ll have a two days test noiw in Barcelona that, in this phase, become fundamental to reset and find the confidence again.
But, for each of our talents, Le Mans has added a new piece in their experiences luggage that it will make them even more ready for the next important appointment: Mugello, our home race.