CASEY STONER (1th – Repsol Honda): “We didn’t get a great start so I tried to stay out of trouble, there were people out braking each other, touching and it was important just to keep out of the way! Then I managed to gain a lot of positions in a short space of time and reached the front. I didn’t try to pull a gap, as I knew Jorge and Dani were very fast, but I just wanted to stay in front with them and pull away from the others. Then I saw that Jorge and I had slightly better pace and we could make a gap. I was focusing on where I wanted to go as there were a lot of wet patches and it was easy to make a mistake. We managed the race for the conditions of the circuit and as they improved I pushed a little more, the bike on a whole felt much better than in qualifying. I did get some arm pump again but thankfully not to the extent I had it in Qatar. Considering the weekend in general and how fast Dani and Jorge are at this track, to win here is something very special for me”.
JORGE LORENZO (2nd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “Today I knew it would be a very important decision on the grid to choose the right front tyre. Finally we chose the soft one, unfortunately we were wrong and had a lot of problems during the race, I wasn’t as confident as in practice. Without good feelings to finish second is not so bad, we are still leading the Championship and have good motivation for Estoril”.
DANI PEDROSA (3rd – Repsol Honda): “It’s been a strange race for me. On the grid I thought it might not be a completely dry race so I was very cautions at the beginning also after we saw so many crashes in the first laps of Moto3 and Moto2. So I started well but I was passed and then I lost too much time with Dovizioso and Hayden. When I managed to overtake them and take the third position, Casey and Jorge were already too far in front, 4 seconds ahead. So I put my head down and started increasing my pace but at the same time it was difficult to keep the concentration because Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps. In general, I feel happy with my performance on a really tricky weekend. A second and a third position finish is not the best, but it’s a good start to the season”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (4th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium. One of the pleasing aspects is that I don’t really like Jerez that much. It’s a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic. The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well today and I can’t say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but they gave me a great bike today and our decision to run the hard front was definitely the right one. I was fourth in Qatar but today I could actually see the winner and there is no reason why I can’t be up there battling for the podium from now on. There will still be some races where I won’t be that close to the podium but now I know we can be there. I gave it everything I had to pass Dani but there was nothing I could do. He is phenomenal round this track, so I’m happy to have challenged him so closely. But he was the better rider today and it was really hard to stay with him. I set the fastest lap of the race though, so that proves the progress I’ve made since last season”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (5th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “It has been a very tricky weekend because I don’t particularly like this track and while I am not completely comfortable with the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine it means I struggled quite a lot. What I need more than anything is time in the dry to improve my performance and show what I know I am capable of. I am really happy with my start today and for the first laps of the race I was able to fight in the leading group and this helped collect a lot of information that will help me improve in the future. It was very interesting following Cal because he is still much faster than me entering the corner and I need to adapt my style more to take profit in this area, which is the strong point of the Yamaha. I also made the wrong choice with the front tyre. I wanted to race with the hard one like Cal but I cha nged on the grid to the soft option as all the top guys selected the softer tyre. But from the middle of the race I couldn’t maintain my pace to stay with Cal and Dani. It was still a positive experience with everything I learned, so I am looking forward to hopefully a completely dry weekend in Estoril.”
ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “It has been a difficult weekend because of the weather but finally we got dry conditions for the race even though there were a few spots around. It was really important to be patient over the opening laps but maybe I was too careful over the opening laps and I wasn’t able to get involved in the battle at the very front. Once I got comfortable with the track conditions I was able to pass Bradl and Hayden but Dovizioso, Pedrosa and Crutchlow were too far ahead by then and I just had to defend the position I was in. We have gone one better than Qatar and improved our confidence with this bike, which are the main things we take away from the weekend. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done especially in such challenging conditions this weekend”.
STEFAN BRADL (7th – LCR Honda): “I am very happy with this result. First of all I think it was a difficult week end for everybody due to the weather conditions so I want to thank the whole Team for their great job. During the sighting lap I was very nervous because I thought that the last part of the track was wet so I changed my helmet visor and everything was clearer. I was capable to attack my competitors since the beginning of the race but I found it a bit risky so I waited a little bit and after some laps I was fighting with Bautista and Hayden. We were doing well but Hayden blocked me a little bit in the middle of the race and Bautista got away from us. When he was gone I started my fight with Nicky which I enjoyed very much especially in the last two laps. I got some problems with my right arm because it was sore in the middle of the race and this cost me a bit of time because I had to force the bike in a different way. Basically this was another positive week end for me and I really enjoyed the applause the Team made for me when I was back at the garage”.
NICKY HAYDEN (8th – Ducati Team): “It was fun for a couple of laps. We know our bike is great at generating heat in the tyres, and for the first few laps, I was able do what I wanted. Then about the time it looked like the other guys’ tyres came up to temperature, mine had already started losing grip, especially in the front. I was pushing wide in places and guys started coming past me. We knew it would be tough in the dry. My setup was okay, but to really try to go with those guys wasn’t possible. I was able to close back down on Bradl at the end and have a bit of a race the last couple of laps, but he beat me. Eighth place is certainly not what our goal is. The bike’s got a lot of potential, but at the moment, the gap to the rest is still too far. Hopefully we can get a dry weekend in Estoril and try to be closer to the front on Sunday”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (9th – Ducati Team): “The positive thing from today’s race is that I think it might help us to do a bit better in the coming events, starting next week in Portugal. Today we used a setup that’s new for us, and it gave some positive signs. First we tried some solutions to give me a feeling similar to what I’ve had in the past, but it doesn’t work. Today’s setting was very similar to what Nicky has used for a while, though not exactly the same. I must get used to riding the bike a bit differently than I’m used to, and today that caused me to lose some ground in the early laps because I was basically starting blind. I wasn’t going bad once I found my rhythm, in the sense that I was matching the times of those who were fighting for sixth place, and I was able to push until the end, doing a 1:41.0 on the penultimate lap. This helps me to be a little more optimistic as I look ahead to the next races because if I’m able to ride a bit better, it could be a place for us to start from. In fact, we’ll use this setting when we start on Friday. Naturally, we’ll have to keep working, be more effective in qualifying so that we can start further forward, and improve acceleration and a number of other things, which we’ve already discussed at Ducati as we try, together, to improve the GP12”.
HECTOR BARBERA (10th – Pramac Racing): “During this weekend I struggled a lot, even if this race was one of my home races. The Andalusian circuit layout didn’t fit my riding style and, to be honest, I had some issues also with the track condition because I wasn’t able to find the right confidence with the track. Despite that I tried to overcome the problems and I had fun, fighting with Vale, who is a great rider. My mood is pretty high and now I’m focused on the next race, which will take place in Estoril, a track that I like a lot”.
BEN SPIES (11th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “I don’t really know what happened, I got off to a pretty good start from the line but after that I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, it was a pretty pathetic race really for me. I’ve apologized to the team and we’ve had a long meeting about what I was feeling with the bike. I just wasn’t comfortable, I rode as hard as I could but the speed just wasn’t there. We need to find something because we can see the Yamahas are working well but my feeling with the bike is not great. It was a bad day at the office today”.
ALEIX ESPARGARO (12th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “We had a lot of problems all weekend, but in the end it worked out well for us. Things weredifficult in the first part of the race, with the track damp and tricky. I took things too calmly then, which allowed Randy to get away from me. I matched his speed later on, but he was already too far ahead to be caught. It is a shame for him that his bike broke down. I was the highest placing CRT, which gives me even more motivation ahead of Portugal and Le Mans”.
DANILO PETRUCCI (13th – Came Iodaracing): “I’m very happy this fantastic result is thanks to the great job done by my team and by Iodaracing that in a very short time has created a competitive bike. I didn’t started well and in the first two laps I was not fluid, then I have found a good pace and I have reached in first Pasini and then Pirro and Ellison. We did a great exploit because with a “homemade” bike we have already gotten the first points in the championship at the second race and here we were also the second best CRT. Next week we will race at the Estoril, I never practice on this track, where we have to work hard trying to repeat this result”.
MATTIA PASINI (14th – Speed Master): “This race went well, I’m really happy. We have to consider that, during this weekend, we didn’t manage to work much on dry track. With this type of conditions we had some extra problems, and our objective was to put in a consistent performance and to see the chequered flag, which we did. These are our first points in MotoGP and that makes me happy. We improved a little during this weekend, for Estoril we’ll do our best to make some further step forward to be more competitive”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (17th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “The whole weekend everybody expected it was going to be a wet race. But the track was dry during the race. It was a problem for us. I think we were well prepared for wet conditions, but on the other hand the settings were not particularly suitable for dry conditions. Only a very small portion of the programme actually took place on dry surface – only the qualifying session. The bike was not behaving perfectly, but I still wanted to stay in the same group with Rossi, Barbera and Spies. It just went wrong in one turn and my front wheel slipped as it has a few times before. It is my second unfinished race after Qatar where I did not finish due to technical difficulties. It is a very bad start of a new season. It is hard for me and it is hard for the entire team but we have to leave these worries behind and have our minds set on the next race, one week from now in Portugal”
RANDY DE PUNIET (Not classified – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am very disappointed. This had been a perfect weekend for us, as we were tenth on the grid with some non-CRT bikes behind us. I got a good start and had to make a big effort tofollow Barberá, Abraham, Spies and the rest of that group. I decided then to take things more calmly and to manage my pace, with an advantage of around ten seconds over the next best CRT. Seven laps from the end I had a problem when engaging second gear, which got progressively worse and caused me to have to pull up with two laps to go. It wasn’t a serious issue, just a problem with the fuel pump, but it is a pity because we could have taken four points and moved ahead in the CRT championship. That’s the way it goes, so we will see if we can continue to do well at Estoril”.
MICHELE PIRRO (Not classified – San Carlo Honda HGresini): “Our dream melted like snow in the sunshine. I was on my way to my first MotoGP points when I ran out of luck and an electronic problem forced me to retire. It is another teething problem for this new project but we have taken a step forward here and if we keep working as hard as we have been doing it won’t be long before we achieve our goals. My guys have a lot of work to do but they have unbelievable commitment to our cause and I have the utmost faith that they can develop a bike that will allow me to be competitive”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús