MotoGP » 5 April 2011
HAVE YOUR SAY: Who was your Jerez winner?
It was difficult to know where to look at times during the Spanish Grand Prix as speed was tempered with consistency, but who do you think was the best rider of the day?
They say rain is a great leveller, though for several during the Spanish Grand Prix – round two of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship – such a phrase was taken quite literally as many found themselves on the ground at some stage.
A carnage-filled race that was almost more about staying upright in the slippery conditions than going fast, there were plenty of commendations and commiserations in the aftermath.
Naturally, the biggest plaudits must go to Jorge Lorenzo, who put in a champion's ride to win the race, the Spaniard shrugging off the drama unfolding around him to take a win on a Yamaha that is still seemingly falling short of its Honda rivals over a single lap.
His efforts are matched – if not surpassed – by Dani Pedrosa, who put in a heroic ride to second having been on the cusp of the top ten early on as he struggled to get settled. Furthermore, that bothersome shoulder injury may have been the only thing holding him back from pulling a revenge attack on Lorenzo after losing out last year.
Still, they could have been beaten by Marco Simoncelli, who was putting in a star performance out front before his fall, while Ben Spies was also on for a third podium result before dropping the Yamaha.
Of course, there was that incident between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, the much discussed 'preferential treatment' the Ducati rider received from marshals over his rival helping him claw back a fifth place finish. As controversial as it may have been, it was still a fine fight back.
Ahead of him, Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama kept it pointing in the right direction for notable results, the latter rider doing particularly well after a poor start left him towards the back of the field initially. Indeed, one more lap and the Japanese rider – whose previous best MotoGP finish was seventh – may have nabbed a podium.
There were also best-ever finishes for Hector Barbera in sixth, while seventh place Karel Abraham could have been where Aoyama was had he not slid off whilst trying to pass the Honda rider. Either way, the Czech rider proved he isn't in MotoGP to simply make up the numbers.
Cal Crutchlow was left to rue a missed opportunity too, though he can take positives from his prior to his fall, as can Colin Edwards, who – on a day of fallers – was painfully denied a podium by mechanical issues.
We also have John Hopkins, who was commendable on his return to MotoGP with Rizla Suzuki, though he did fade in race conditions.
So, plenty of candidates for 'rider of the day', whether you favour those that stayed rubber side down or those that brushed themselves off and carried on - and that's before we take Moto2 and 125GP into account!
It's a race that will no doubt be talked about for time to come, but in the meantime we will open up the floor to you…
Tell us who you think deserves the 'rider of the day ' mantle by clicking the comments tab below
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