Lorenzo wins Spanish Grand Prix

“It was a good race, I felt great and in reality it has been a perfect weekend,” Lorenzo told reporters.

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“I had no problems at any stage of the race, the brakes were fine, better than on other occasions and I was able to win.”

Marquez, riding with a fractured little finger after a training accident, finished 5.576 seconds behind after holding off a challenge from Lorenzo’s Italian team mate Valentino Rossi.

Rossi made MotoGP history with his 200th podium finish and also extended his championship lead to 15 points over compatriot Andrea Dovizioso.

Rossi now has 82 points, with Dovizioso on 67 and Lorenzo on 62. Marquez is fourth with 56.

“There was a part of the race where I went faster than Marc but it has been a difficult weekend,” Rossi told reporters.

“I didn’t want to take too many risks when I was pushing for the front and I have the 200th podium which is not too bad. Next time I’ll try and do better.”

Ahead of Jerez, it was expected to be a tussle between Rossi and Marquez, but instead it was Lorenzo who triumphed after a poor start to the season where he had not had a podium finish.

His fifth win in Jerez across all classes came after he set a lap record in qualifying for Yamaha’s first pole of the season. The Spaniard made a strong start, with Marquez close behind.

He had a lead of more than two seconds after 10 laps while Rossi trailed Marquez by almost three but the Italian gradually closed the gap.

By the 18th lap, it looked as though there could be a repeat of the last race in Argentina where Rossi caught Marquez late on but this time the Spaniard responded and pulled away.

“I am happy as a week ago I was in hospital and now I have got second place,” Marquez told reporters.

“I had more pain from my right arm than the finger on my left. To be honest at times I couldn’t move my fingers and I eased off at one point so that I could have a strong finish as I could see Valentino was pushing behind.”

(Reporting by Tim Hanlon in Barcelona, editing by Alan Baldwin)