Proceedings at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday were opened with a minute’s silence on the home straight, attended by riders from all three classes, in memory of Luis Salom.
In the MotoGP race, Valentino Rossi took an emotional victory ahead of Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa, after initial leader Jorge Lorenzo was taken out in an incident with Andrea Iannone on Lap 6. From then on, the contest became a duel between Rossi and Marquez, with the Italian winning out. Marquez would change the number on his bike from 93 to Salom’s 39 when the race concluded, in tribute to the late rider. Maybe the tragic events of the weekend reminded Rossi & Marquez that there are more important things in life than the petty fued that had developed. They shook hands post race. The crowd cheered. There was a similar mood in the post race interviews:
Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty continued his points-scoring streak in the World Championship, finishing thirteenth and claiming three points. The Northern Irishman suffered less than other riders from tyre issues, but had expected to carry his pace from Friday and Saturday over and place in the Top 10. Laverty is one of just four riders to have placed in the points at every round this season, and lies eleventh overall. Teammate Yonny Hernandez struggled all weekend for a Top 10 finish, and a poor start did not prevent him from closing in on his aim. However, before the halfway mark in the race he noticed a significant loss of rear grip, and was forced into the pits to change bikes. After the switch, the Colombian crossed the line seventeenth.
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13th Eugene Laverty: “I made my best start of the year. Whilst it was a good start, I just couldn’t hold my position and was overtaken a few times. I knew it was going to be important to preserve the tyres, and in the end I had a little more left in them than other riders who were going backwards, but it was a test of endurance today. Thirteenth place isn’t where I wanted to be; I wanted to be 10 seconds in front of that, in the Top 10. I thought we could be there, but we had more tyre problems than we had expected. Some people had much bigger problems than us, but we did what we could.”
17th Yonny Hernández: “It’s a shame about this result, because we had been having a good weekend until the race –always fighting to get into the top ten. I felt good, and although the start was not great, I recovered positions and had a good pace. When I was riding in thirteenth, around Lap 10, I began to notice that the rear tyre performance dropped significantly. My times were almost three seconds slower than normal when I was riding at the limit. In the end, due to this problem with the rear, I had to pit to change bikes. It’s been a difficult year, one of the most difficult of my career, but I have a strong mind, hold my head high and will focus a lot of positive energy on the next round.”