MotoGP: Marquez in, Pedrosa Out This Weekend At Jerez

Spain will host round four of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship this weekend at the 13-turn, 2.75-mile Circuit of Jerez, site of some of the most memorable final-corner passes in the history of the sport.

Last year, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won the premier-class race and Yamaha-mounted Valentino Rossi finished second. This time, Marquez arrives fifth in points and with a fractured left pinky. Rossi, meanwhile, has a six-point championship lead over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

This race in Andalusia comes just days after Marquez underwent surgery to fix the injury to his little finger. “Today I underwent another examination by Dr. Mir,” Marquez said, “and he confirmed the wound is healing well and looking good. He took off the cast, and now I have begun some physiotherapy work.

“My finger will be checked at Jerez after every session, and the bandages will be changed. It’s a pity about the injury, but I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much and I can get a great result in front of the fans.”

Marquez will once again be joined in the Repsol Honda garage by factory test rider Hiroshi Aoyama, stand in for Dani Pedrosa for the third consecutive race. According to the team, Pedrosa’s recovery from surgery to relieve arm pump is on schedule, but he is not yet fully healed. The Spaniard will make his comeback at the French Grand Prix, May 15-17.

“I really hoped to return in Jerez,” Pedrosa said, “but after riding a supermotard bike yesterday, we decided it’s not the best option. By competing in an entire race weekend, we risk damaging the arm further and slowing the healing process. The last thing I want to do is create a bigger problem.”

On the tire front, spec-provider Bridgestone is supplying asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left shoulder for better warm up and grip in slower corners. Harder right shoulders are said to deliver greater stability in Jerez’s faster right-hand corners.

Factory Honda and Yamaha riders can choose either medium or hard asymmetric rear slicks, while the open-class and factory-concessions riders get soft and medium options. Front-tire allocation includes three choices: soft, medium, or hard.

Last year Dovizioso started sixth, led the race, and finished fifth. “Jerez is one of the toughest tracks for Ducati and for me, especially because of the heavy tire wear,” he said, “but the results of the first three races make me feel optimistic because it seems that the GP15 goes really well at every circuit.”

American Nicky Hayden says Jerez’s fast corners should suit his open-spec Aspar Honda but he needs more grip to be competitive. “We have ridden this bike now at three completely different tracks,” he said, “and we have learned a lot about it.

“Jerez is a fantastic track, and it has an atmosphere like nowhere else, plus I had some good results there in the past.” The former world champion is currently 18th overall in points.

Practice for Sunday’s 27-lap Spanish Grand Prix begins on Friday.

Spain will host round four of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship this weekend at the 13-turn, 2.75-mile Circuit of Jerez, site of some of the most memorable final-corner passes in the history of the sport.

Last year, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won the premier-class race and Yamaha-mounted Valentino Rossi finished second. This time, Marquez arrives fifth in points and with a fractured left pinky. Rossi, meanwhile, has a six-point championship lead over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

This race in Andalusia comes just days after Marquez underwent surgery to fix the injury to his little finger. “Today I underwent another examination by Dr. Mir,” Marquez said, “and he confirmed the wound is healing well and looking good. He took off the cast, and now I have begun some physiotherapy work.

“My finger will be checked at Jerez after every session, and the bandages will be changed. It’s a pity about the injury, but I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much and I can get a great result in front of the fans.”

Marquez will once again be joined in the Repsol Honda garage by factory test rider Hiroshi Aoyama, stand in for Dani Pedrosa for the third consecutive race. According to the team, Pedrosa’s recovery from surgery to relieve arm pump is on schedule, but he is not yet fully healed. The Spaniard will make his comeback at the French Grand Prix, May 15-17.

“I really hoped to return in Jerez,” Pedrosa said, “but after riding a supermotard bike yesterday, we decided it’s not the best option. By competing in an entire race weekend, we risk damaging the arm further and slowing the healing process. The last thing I want to do is create a bigger problem.”

On the tire front, spec-provider Bridgestone is supplying asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left shoulder for better warm up and grip in slower corners. Harder right shoulders are said to deliver greater stability in Jerez’s faster right-hand corners.

Factory Honda and Yamaha riders can choose either medium or hard asymmetric rear slicks, while the open-class and factory-concessions riders get soft and medium options. Front-tire allocation includes three choices: soft, medium, or hard.

Last year Dovizioso started sixth, led the race, and finished fifth. “Jerez is one of the toughest tracks for Ducati and for me, especially because of the heavy tire wear,” he said, “but the results of the first three races make me feel optimistic because it seems that the GP15 goes really well at every circuit.”

American Nicky Hayden says Jerez’s fast corners should suit his open-spec Aspar Honda but he needs more grip to be competitive. “We have ridden this bike now at three completely different tracks,” he said, “and we have learned a lot about it.

“Jerez is a fantastic track, and it has an atmosphere like nowhere else, plus I had some good results there in the past.” The former world champion is currently 18th overall in points.

Practice for Sunday’s 27-lap Spanish Grand Prix begins on Friday.

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