Whodunit? Once again, the butler did it, namely Marc Marquez who, after COTA, proved once again to be a steam roller, outperforming the competition for a solitary win in Jerez. More than a mystery novel, the Grand Prix of Spain was a true thriller, worthy of the best Alfred Hitchcock tale. Indeed, because what happened eight laps from the end is truly incredible with the smash-up that, with a single blow, left Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso in the gravel.
All three were battling for second place when the unexpected happened with the number 99 Ducati closing down the trajectory too far, ending up colliding with Pedrosa and then hitting Dovizioso in full trajectory. With them out of the way, a grateful Marquez not only wins the race, but even manages to entrench himself in the championship lead: “I think what was done today is great – the number 93 rider said – I wasn’t so sure that I would be able to win. Dani was stronger, but it’s a long race here and good management becomes fundamental. In the end we managed to achieve this important result.”
The Spaniard finished ahead of Johann Zarco who capitalised on the Ducati machines’ exit: “I was lacking acceleration – the Frenchman admitted – In fact, I struggled with Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Crutchlow. I was hoping for a chance at the podium, although I didn’t think I would see all three end up on the ground.” Winning the battle for the third step of the podium was Andrea Iannone: “The wrong tyre choice made me struggle a lot, but I am happy with the result – The Maniac admitted – The podium is important and we need to keep moving in this direction.”
Despite the wide gap behind the leader, in the final sprint, the Italian bested Danilo Petrucci, Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller. Behind them were, Viñales, Bautista and a surprising Franco Morbidelli in ninth place. Mika Kallio finished in the top ten with the first of the KTM machines. Noteworthy were the DNFs by pole man Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins.