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Jerez gives Rossi Wing[let]s

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Monday, April 25, 2016

Many racing series are plagued at various times by predictable outcomes. The same one, two, or three racers winning week after week. While that hasn't been the case in a very competitive MotoGP field for last year or this season so far, the dominant powers did control the race from the start, and I didn't mind one bit. 

I may be saying this because I'm one of the millions that support Valentino Rossi, but also because at least in the initial laps, Jerez showed some awesome racing and challenges from the major parties, all which looked initially to be closely matched. 

Lorenzo took a few good stabs at Rossi, who led from the start at pole position. Marquez kept regular pressure on Lorenzo, who has a turn at Jerez dedicated to his name. Maverick Viñales lurked behind the lead group on his Suzuki, looking forward to his premier ride in 2017 where he'll be in the mix for the championship, and Dani Pedrosa lingered nearby, ready to pick up any pieces if the leaders faltered.

 However, Lorenzo soon faded. He had gambled on a softer tire compound, which should have given him superior pace early on but it deteriorated as the race wore on. He did hang in for a frustrated 2nd, almost 5 seconds ahead of Marquez who also left his best in the 1st half of the race.

 What's notable is that Rossi took the pole then ultimately went on to a dominating victory, after making the switch this week to a bike that included the winglets on the front end. Some of this decision may have come from the search for stability after crashing in a previous contest or just a better feel after trying both options earlier in the week in practice. Most impressive this week was the lack of trouble in the pack from front end slippage. Word had been that troubles with the Michelin tires would be reduced once the competition moved onto the European tracks and so far it looked good in Spain at Jerez. 

The big news to note, although it was the worst kept secret and about a week old at this point, is that Jorge Lorenzo has officially signed to ride with Ducati in 2017. While this information isn't fresh, the impact on other riders remains to be seen, as we start silly season unusually early this year. I'm looking for Maverick Vinales to join Rossi at Yamaha and finish no worse than third next year. 

Another impressive sight at Jerez was the attendance. This scenic area of Southern Spain brought in over 100,000 fans on Sunday and the image of the motorcycle parking lot was stunning.

This coming weekend has MotoAmerica and World Superbike on BeinTV, and a great way to have breakfast before a ride, F1 live from Russia on CNBC at 7:30am

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