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Handbags In Andalucia - MotoGP Round 4 - Spanish Grand Prix - Jerez

MotoGP's first European round in 2015 takes us to the Spanish province of Jerez. Guess who won here last year? He might not even make it to this weekend.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

It has been nearly six months since the MotoGP bikes were in Europe, six months since the season closed in Valencia last November. That ends this weekend, with the first of four visits to Spain.

Jerez will be known to fans of Formula One as a test track, but the bikes like to do serious business around here.

(c) MotoGP.com

(c) MotoGP.com

4.4km of tarmac, in what is forecast to be glorious sunshine (a high of 32 degrees C on Saturday for qualifying). The bikes will be sparkling, the track will be dry, and there'll be upwards of 200,000 people in attendance over the course of the weekend to see it. It's a great track, and I'm really looking forward to the races.

In The News

  • Marc Marquez's participation was up in the air until this afternoon. The defending world champion broke his finger in a dirt bike crash in Spain over the weekend. He has had surgery to repair the break, and he's been cleared to race, but how competitive he can be is up for debate. Fortunately, Dani Pedrosa stands a chance of returning for the race, but Honda best still have Casey Stoner on speed dial just in case.
  • Bradley Smith is riding injured after a crash in the winter on a motocross bike, which is affecting him walking, but seemingly not him riding.
  • Alex Rins has two pole starts from three races at Jerez, so the first year Moto2 rider will be confident of continuing his strong start in the Honda class. More Moto2 facts here.
  • Danny Kent aims to be the first British rider to win three successive races for the first time since Barry Sheene did it on a 500cc bike in 1977, and the first in the baby class since Dave Simmonds won seven in a row in 1969. More Moto3 facts here.
  • Finland's new Kymi Ring circuit is aiming to attract MotoGP in 2017 - but has no interest in hosting F1.

Last Time Out - Argentina

MotoGP

Two weeks ago, Marc Marquez threw away a guaranteed race win with a poor tyre choice, then deciding to take on Valentino Rossi rather than settling for second, then losing the bike and a race finish. Rossi extended his championship lead to Andrea Dovizioso, who finished second, with Cal Crutchlow claiming his first podium of the year.

MotoGP Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha 66
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati RT 60
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati RT 40
4 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha 37
5 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 36

Moto2

Johann Zarco's dominant win was his first of the season, and gave him the lead in the Moto2 championship. Alex Rins' second continued an impressive start to his first year in the Honda class, taking the place after a mistake by Sam Lowes, who came in third.

Moto2 Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Johann Zarco Ajo Kalex 53
2 Alex Rins Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex 49
3 Sam Lowes Speed Up 41
4 Franco Morbidelli Italtrans RT Kalex 33
5 Jonas Folger AGR Kalex 32

Moto3

The lightweight class has been the Danny Kent show for the last two races. Kent's 10.334sec winning margin in Argentina was the largest dry weather gap since the lightweights changed from 125cc to Moto3. Efren Vasquez was a distant second, with Miguel Oliveira rounding out the podium.

Moto3 Championship Top 5
# Rider Team Pts
1 Danny Kent Leopard Honda 66
2 Efren Vasquez Leopard Honda 49
3 Enea Bastianini Gresini Honda 40
4 Fabio Quartararo Estrella Galicia Honda 39
5 Isaac Viñales Husqvarna 33

Last Year At Jerez

MotoGP
# Rider Time
1 Marc Marquez 45'24.134
2 Valentino Rossi +0'01.431
3 Dani Pedrosa +0'01.529
Moto2
# Rider Time
1 Mika Kallio 44'56.004
2 Dominique Aegerter +0'02.434
3 Jonas Folger +0'03.668
Moto3
# Rider Time
1 Romano Fenati 41'28.584
2 Efren Vasquez +0'00.144
3 Alex Rins +0'00.147

Race Times

Qualifying
(Saturday)
Race
(Sunday)
MotoGP Q1
13:10-13:25 (BST)
08:10-08:35 (EST)

Q2
13:35-13:50 (BST)
08:35-08:50 (EST)
13:00 (BST)

08:00 (EST)
Moto2 14:05-14:50 (BST)
09:05-09:50 (EST)
11:20 (BST)
06:20 (EST)
Moto3 11:35-12:15 (BST)
06:35-07:15 (EST)
10:00 (BST)
05:00 (EST)