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MotoGP 2016: Round 4 - Jerez Recap

Valentino Rossi takes his first win of the year in Spain.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Quick note from Liam

I'm pretty ill at the minute, and having trouble focussing on real life and getting stuff done, so there's no big Burnt Rubber feature from the Jerez weekend. To make it up, I'll cover everything in the preview for Le Mans.

Luckily, Twitter has some good people. Phil Armstrong, who has his own blog covering the world of Superbikes, has done a quick GP recap for us. He'll also be back later this week at a look at who in World Superbikes could make an impact in the GP field. Have a read of his blog here.

Moto GP Race round up.

The old man still has it, or so it would seem given the race result this weekend.

Valentino Rossi started on pole, setting an impressive time in qualifying to gain his pole at Jerez since 2005. It is also the first time since 2009 that he has started on the front row in three consecutive races. Jorge Lorenzo qualified 2nd but wasn’t happy with the Michelin tyre claiming a dodgy tyre on his second run cost him pole. Marc Marquez completed the front front but was losing a lot of time to the Yamahas in the final sector.

It didn’t take Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez long to break away the rest of the field. Dani Pedrosa attempted to put up a fight but just couldn’t hold the pace of the front three.  Lorenzo attempted to pass Rossi, but Rossi hit back straight away. Rossi started to gap Lorenzo and Marquez at the front leaving the two Spaniards to fight it out behind him.

Pedrosa meanwhile had his hands full with Aleix Espargaro who seemed to have found his legs on the Suzuki finally beating his team mate Maverick Viñales, who was struggling lower down the field. Andrea Dovizioso’s run of bad luck continued as he was forced to pull out due to a water pump breaking on his Ducati.

The battle for 7th produced some of the best racing with Pol Espargaro fending off Eugene Laverty to finish as the top independent rider, while Andrea Iannone and Cal Crutchlow fought each other for 10th.

Lorenzo managed to break Marquez who seemed to have settled for third, showing maturity none had seen from the young Spaniard before, Lorenzo set about closing down Rossi at this point closing the gap down from about three seconds to 2.3 in a few laps, Rossi responded upping his pace to reopen the gap to three.

Rossi maintained the gap to Lorenzo and crossed the line for his 113th victory and 87th top class victory. This weekend was the also the first time he had secured pole fastest lap and won the race. Lorenzo finished a lonely second, complaining of tyre issues after the race, and Marquez followed home in third.

For me being a Rossi fan this was a fantastic victory, if not a dull race and also as a Northern Irish bike fan to have Eugene Laverty running in the top 10 consistently is absolutely mind blowing. Dovi - again so so unlucky. I feel so bad for him as he clearly has the pace to compete.

News

Obviously the big news from the weekend was the depature of Lorenzo from Yamaha to Ducati. The press conference, as you would expect, was all smiling happy PR friendly comments. You can see a round up of it here.

With Lorenzo departing Yamaha that opens up a seat for someone to fill, and that someone looks very much looks like Maverick Viñales, with Lin Jarvis saying an offer is there. A few people thought Moto2 rider Alex Rins may be in line for the ride but Jarvis confirmed on BT sport that Yamaha do not feel he is ready for the Factory team yet.