2017 Jerez MotoGP Preview

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This weekend MotoGP arrives in Europe for the first of 11 consecutive rounds before the series embarks on the three fly-away rounds before returning to Europe for the season finale at Valencia.

The Jerez circuit in Spain hosts the first of these rounds and celebrates its 30th anniversary on the Grand Prix calendar. The circuit has been a good hunting ground for Spanish riders. For the last 13 years there has been at least one home rider on the podium.

Spanish success aside, Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider at Jerez, with seven victories in the premier class and nine in total across all three classes.

In the premier class the last five years have seen five different winners, three of them Spanish. Valentino Rossi’s second place at Austin at the last round means that the Monster Yamaha rider heads the World Championship ahead of this weekend’s race, making him the oldest rider to head the premier class since Jack Findlay in 1977.

Rossi has fond memories of Jerez from last year when he started from pole, won the race and led across the line for every lap of the race – the first time in his illustrious career he had achieved such a feat.

Marc Marquez’s victory in Austin in the last round brought the Repsol Honda rider back into contention, more so with the previous series leader (and winner of the first two GPs), Maverick Vinales, crashing out. That result means that Vinales has dropped to second place in the championship behind team-mate Rossi. Vinales, however, remains 12 points ahead of Marquez in third place in the championship.

Rossi is now the only rider in the MotoGP class to finish on the podium in all three races so far this season. He has also finished on the podium at Jerez for the past three years. Marquez, however, goes one better having finished on the podium every year since 2013, his first season in the premier class.

Currently only three points separate third and sixth place; perceived number two factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso is fourth, closely followed by top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda.

Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who achieved his first podium since winning in San Marino last year, is currently sixth. Austin was the first time the Repsol Honda pair had shared a place on the podium since last year’s Catalan MotoGP.

MotoGP rookies (and team-mates on the satellite Tech 3 Yamahas) Johann Zarco and Janus Folger are seventh and eighth. Both have been impressive this year, Zarco especially. The reigning Moto2 champion had a coming together with Rossi in Texas, with Rossi being penalised 0.3 secs for gaining an advantage when he cut a corner after the incident. Rossi was not impressed with Zarco and has not been shy in expressing his views.

Jorge Lorenzo continues to struggle with the factory Ducati. He currently lies 13 in the championship, with just 12 points from three races.

2017 MotoGP standings

1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 56 points

2. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 50

3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 38

4. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati ) 30

5. Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 29

6. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)  27

Moto2

In the Moto2 class, Franco Morbidelli continued his impressive early-season form, making it three wins out of three for the Italian.

His nearest rival is Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, who has yet to finish off the podium but still finds himself 19 points behind Morbidelli. Both riders use Kalix chassis. In 2016 the top nine finishers in the series all used Kalex.

Third in the championship is Portuguese rider Miguel Oliviera, on the new-for-2017 KTM chassis. So far Kalex appear not to have the same dominance as last year, currently they occupy six from the top 10, with the four remaining places going to four different manufacturers; KTM, Tech 3, Suter and Speed Up.

British rider Danny Kent sensationally walked away from his team prior to the Austin race. His future currently looks uncertain.

2017 Moto2 standings

1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 75 points

2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 56

3. Miguel Oliveira (KTM) 43

4. Takaki Nakagami (Kalex) 32

5. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3) 25

6. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 24

Moto3

Briton John McPhee continued his impressive start to the 2017 season at the last round in Austin, with a seventh place finish to back up two seconds in the first two rounds. The result puts McPhee in third in the championship behind the Italian pairing of Joan Mir and Jorge Martin.

Martin has finished on the podium in each race so far, albeit with a best place finish of second in Austin. Mir, however, by virtue of winning the first two races, sits atop the pile by six points from compatriot Mir.

After McPhee the top six is completed by the Italian trio of Romano Fenati, Andrea Migno. KTM-mounted Migno apart, all the riders are on Honda machinery – so far all nine podium place have been taken by Honda riders.

2017 Moto3 standings

1. Joan Mir (Honda) 58 points

2. Jorge Martin (Honda) 52

3. John McPhee (Honda) 49

4. Romano Fenati (Honda) 45

5. Andrea Migno (KTM) 25

6. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 24