News & Multimedia

Lorenzo Takes MotoGP Points Lead With Win At Wet, Wild Spain

An unpredictable race in rainy conditions turned the standings and many superstars of MotoGP upside-down, as defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo won the thrilling Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday, April 3 at the Jerez Circuit.

Lorenzo’s Yamaha beat the Honda of fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa to the finish by 19.339 seconds, a margin of victory that belied the drama of the race. American Nicky Hayden finished third on his Ducati.

2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Lorenzo took the series lead by nine points over Pedrosa, and Yamaha tied previously dominant Honda atop the constructor standings.

“It has been one of my most patient races,” Lorenzo said. “It’s a great victory, which we needed, and I feel so good. This is also the first time I have won in wet conditions.”

Patience paid for Lorenzo on a track made greasy by light rain. Aggressive satellite Honda rider Marco Simoncelli passed pole sitter Casey Stoner and Lorenzo for the lead on Lap 6 of the 27-lap race. Simoncelli appeared to be running away with his first career MotoGP victory.

Meanwhile, seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was slicing through the field on his Ducati. He caught and passed Lorenzo on Lap 7 and tried the same move on Stoner the next lap. Rossi lost the front end of his bike with his lunge under Stoner in Turn 1, eliminating Stoner from the race. Rossi picked up his bike and stormed back to finish fifth.

On Lap 12, Simoncelli cruised at the front when he also lost the front end of his San Carlo Honda Gresini in Turn 1.

Lorenzo inherited the lead, with Pedrosa closing in. But Pedrosa, weakened by a vascular problem in his injured shoulder that will require surgery April 4, lost ground when Lorenzo increased his pace.

The mayhem continued behind Lorenzo. American Ben Spies caught the tiring Pedrosa on Lap 23 for second place. But one lap later, Spies fell from his factory Yamaha and out of the race, the victim of badly worn tires.

That mishap elevated Hayden to an unlikely third on a Ducati that lacked pace during the preseason and at the first race of the season March 20 at Qatar. But fellow American Colin Edwards, whose smooth style always makes him a threat in the wet, caught Hayden and passed him, heading toward his first podium finish since a wet race in July 2009 in Great Britain.

But a mechanical problem caused Edwards’ Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine to stop in Turn 1 on the last lap. Hayden then held off the fast-charging Hiroshi Aoyama for third.

The next race is the Grand Prix of Portugal on May 1 at Estoril. The Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.



JEREZ, Spain – Results of the 27-lap Grand Prix of Spain MotoGP race, with position, rider, country, motorcycle, time behind winner. All riders on Bridgestone tires:
1. Jorge Lorenzo Spain Yamaha
2. Dani Pedrosa Spain Honda +19.339
3. Nicky Hayden United States Ducati +29.085
4. Hiroshi Aoyama Japan Honda +29.551
5. Valentino Rossi Italy Ducati +1:02.227
6. Hector Barbera Spain Ducati +1:08.440
7. Karel Abraham Czech Republic Ducati +1:14.120
8. Cal Crutchlow Great Britain Yamaha +1:19.110
9. Toni Elias Spain Honda +1:42.906
10. John Hopkins United States Suzuki +1:48.395
11. Loris Capirossi Italy Ducati +1:51.876
12. Andrea Dovizioso Italy Honda +1 lap
NC Colin Edwards United States Yamaha +1 lap
NC Ben Spies United States Yamaha +3 laps
NC Randy de Puniet France Ducati +11 laps
NC Marco Simoncelli Italy Honda +16 laps
NC Casey Stoner Australia Ducati +20 laps
NC – Not classified
Fastest lap: Rossi, 1:48.753, Lap 4; Pole lap: Stoner, 1:38.757



Riders: Lorenzo 45, Pedrosa 36, Stoner 25, Hayden 23, Rossi 20, Aoyama 19, Dovizioso 17, Barbera 14, Crutchlow 13, Abraham 12, Simoncelli 11, Spies 10, Edwards 8, Elias 7, Hopkins 6, Capirossi 5.

Manufacturers: Yamaha 45, Honda 45, Ducati 25, Suzuki 6.



JORGE LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing, winner): “It has been one of my most patient races. It’s a great victory, which we needed, and I feel so good. This is also the first time I have won in wet conditions, the first time ever! Now we are working to improve our bike, taking as much points as possible on the way. The King of Spain said to me that he would bring me good luck after our meeting last February in Madrid. He was right! With the competition so high this year, I never imagined I would be leader after two races. I am so happy to have won this weekend, especially as my friends from Yamaha Indonesia came all the way here to support us. ‘Semakin di Depan’ means ‘One Step Ahead,’ which was true today.”

DANI PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team, second): “It’s been a very difficult race. At the start, many riders overtook me, and I thought, ‘That's it.’ Anyway, I knew there were 27 laps, and the situation was difficult for the tires. I was a little nervous after my bad start, but when I realized that in the first lap I was faster than in the warm-up, I calmed down and started to improve. I took a good pace and had to ride at maximum concentration in order not to not make any mistakes; it was very easy to crash. Some riders started falling down, and it was a matter of resisting there. I tried to catch Lorenzo when I saw that his gap was about a second, but at 10 laps to go, the tires were almost finished. I couldn't even open the throttle on the straight because the track was very slippery. When Spies crashed, my gap with Nicky was big enough to keep the second place, and I crossed the finish line very, very happy. It's been a tough weekend for the arm injury. Today I also had numbness and lack of strength, but to ride in wet has helped me because it's not as aggressive as in dry conditions. To leave Jerez with a second-place finish, after the third place in Qatar, is amazing.”

NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Team, third): "That wasn’t necessarily a pretty win because my last laps were so slow when the tires were worn, but we're on the podium, and I'm pretty happy about it. In the beginning, our bike was really good because I had a lot of traction. After a while, it was all about focus, and there was no room for error. The track was changing every corner because there was rain in some parts and no rain in other parts. Also, the tires and the lines kept changing. It certainly hasn't been an easy start to the season, so we'll take success any way we can get it. Big thanks to the team. Hopefully we can try to build on this, and it will be the little shot in the arm to help get us going. I know Ducati's not sleeping. They've got some work to do, but I think our bike is better than we've been showing. We've just been missing a little bit, but I'm confident we can still recover and have a good season.”



JOHN HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 10th): “Well, I finished where I wanted to – I certainly wanted to get into the top 10! That was the goal for the whole weekend, but I did wonder if it was going to be a reality when I started on Friday. We pushed right from the start of practice and chipped away little-by-little to bring the lap time down and just went about the job as professionally as possible. My main target

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Lorenzo Takes MotoGP Points Lead With Win At Wet, Wild Spain
Lorenzo Takes MotoGP Points Lead With Win At Wet, Wild Spain
An unpredictable race in rainy conditions turned the standings and many superstars of MotoGP upside-down, as defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo won the thrilling Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday, April 3 at the Jerez Circuit.
Read More
Related Media
Michael Andretti
Ask Donald Davidson: Racking Up Top-10s at Indy, and the Lone Louisville Champion
Do you have a question for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson? Ask via Twitter with the hashtag #AskDonald or on Facebook.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
Hinch Gets Ready to Rumba on 'Dancing With The Stars'
Hinchcliffe is coming off a week in which he totaled the highest judges’ score – 29 out of a possible 30. But his and Burgess’ fate and that of the other eight remaining couples will be decided when the judges’ scores are combined with fan voting from last week.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
Harvick Wins at Kansas, Clinches Spot in Round of 8
With his second victory at Kansas, his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career, Harvick joined last week's Charlotte winner, Jimmie Johnson, in the Chase's Round of 8 and erased the specter of racing under pressure next Sunday in the crapshoot that is Talladega.
Read More
Sebastien Bourdais
Bourdais and Friends Join Dale Coyne Racing for 2017
Two years of offseason uncertainty had Sebastien Bourdais yearning for team stability. Dale Coyne wanted a driver who can win to boost his Verizon IndyCar Series team’s profile.
Read More
Torch Relay
Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay’s Final Day Includes Stop at IMS
On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 15, before heading to downtown Indianapolis, the Torch Relay will pass through the “Racing Capital of the World.” And it will do so in a distinctly IMS way – on a two-seat IndyCar driven by former IndyCar driver and team owner Sarah Fisher.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,362
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
RT @aleksagappmayer: Thank you @IMS for such a perfect morning! #IKissedTheBricks?? @UVUPRSSA #UVUPRcrew
about 20 hours ago