Dani Pedrosa has produced an unstoppable race charge at Jerez for a lights-to-flag victory ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez with Jorge Lorenzo securing his maiden rostrum with Ducati.
Pedrosa grabbed a typically lightning start from pole position to lead into turn one and quickly built up a useful advantage on the medium Michelin tyres over the chasing field. Despite the gap bouncing around the one second mark throughout the second half of the race between Pedrosa and Marquez he held on to claim a first victory of the season.
With Marquez settling for second he has closed up to the Movistar Yamaha championship leaders after Maverick Vinales could only manage sixth and Valentino Rossi fading badly late on to tenth place. Marquez still sits third the riders’ championship but just two points behind Vinales and four points off leader Rossi.
Behind the top two, Lorenzo clinched a confidence-boosting podium on the factory Ducati having fended off a race-long battle with Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco who continued to impress in his rookie MotoGP campaign.
Andrea Dovizioso grabbed fifth place to make it a solid day for the factory Ducati squad, ahead of Vinales and Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Ducati. Jonas Folger made a late race move to take eight place ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro with Rossi a distant tenth.
Scott Redding narrowly missed out on the top ten but kept ahead of Hector Barbera and Loris Baz who enjoyed a last-lap duel in the Reale Avintia Ducati squad.
Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith continued to pick up points ahead of Karel Abraham as Sam Lowes collected his first finish of the year in 16th on the factory Aprilia.
There were a number of fallers during the race, including Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro at the same turn in separate incidents, while Alvaro Bautista took out Jack Miller at turn one which saw the pair arguing in the gravel trap.
Full Spanish MotoGP race results:
1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 45m 26.827s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 45m 32.963s
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 45m 41.594s
4. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 45m 44.428s
5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 45m 49.740s
6. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 45m 51.383s
7. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) 45m 51.786s
8. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 45m 54.548s
9. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 45m 58.060s
10. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 46m 5.509s
11. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 46m 7.806s
12. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 46m 10.026s
13. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 46m 10.038s
14. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 46m 14.791s
15. Karel Abraham CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP15) 46m 18.106s
16. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 46m 35.712s
17. Takuya Tsuda JPN Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 46m 54.277s
Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) DNF
Alvaro Bautista ESP Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP16) DNF
Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) DNF