Seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi won the Spanish GP on Sunday. Starting from pole position, Rossi, in the main race at the Jerez De La Frontera, finished ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo and championship leader Marc Marquez.
Rossi has now won nine races in all categories on this particular circuit, but this was his first victory on the track since 2009. Also, this is Rossi's 138th victory overall, but first win in 10 races. The Italian, despite the Spanish Grand Prix win, stays third in the Moto GP championship. He now trails the leader Marquez by 24 points.
Rossi was challenged by his Yamaha teammate Lorenzo during the second lap, but he managed to find the right moves to hold off his teammate in the end.
"I had good pace, I had a good start and a win like this is a special taste. I think this was the perfect weekend because we start to go faster from Friday morning," Rossi was quoted as saying by AFP.
"We worked very well with the bike, during the race it was fantastic, so I have to thank all the team, especially my crew."
This was also the first time since 2009 that a Spanish rider has not won in Jerez. Marquez managed to get his fourth podium finish in as many races this season. The Spaniard faced a stiff challenge from his teammate Dani Pedrosa, but managed to hold on to the third place. Marquez seemed quite happy to secure 16 points from this race, but he also admitted he wanted to do better in front of his own fans.
"I pushed behind Lorenzo, but I tried one, two, three times then I thought, ok, 16 points is good for the championship and those two guys were faster today. The most important thing is that we are leading the championship, so for that reason I am happy. In front of all these fans I expected a better race, but today was impossible," Marquez said.
Lorenzo, who took second place behind his Yamaha teammate Rossi, faced a tyre problem during the race. Lorenzo felt that he could have finished ahead of Rossi, had it not been for the problem.
"Rossi was a bit faster than me in the beginning of the race, but in the middle I could keep the distance and when I was catching him suddenly the tyres on the straight when I went through the gears starting spinning like I had a wet tyre," Lorenzo said.
"It is a pity because at the end of the race I was very strong and I could probably won the race with a big margin, but because of the spinning I couldn't do more and I had to slow down to finish the race."