Baldassarri returns to rule Jerez – this time virtually

Baldassarri returns to rule Jerez this time virtuallyLast year’s GP winner is this year’s virtual victor too, ahead of Dixon and Bendsneyder.

FlexBox HP40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri was eventually able to cruise to victory at the Red Bull Virtual Grand Prix of Spain after somehow managing to stay upright during a raucous fight in the early stages, with Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Jake Dixon and Bo Bendsneyer (NTS RW Racing GP) completing the podium and both after plenty of drama of their own.

The fight raucous fight saw Baldassari battling compatriot Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Dixon on the opening lap at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, which eventually saw Marini crash out and Dixon also coming to blows with ‘Baldattack’ after an outrageous divebomb that put the Italian into the gravel. Last year’s Spanish GP winner would eventually recover though and came back past the Briton with ease to take a comfortable win.

In second it was a first intermediate class podium for Dixon as the Briton recovered from the drama, with another first time visitor to the intermediate class podium in third: Bo Bensneyder. The Dutchman converted his front row start after squeezing past both Marini and Gaviota Aspar Team’s Aron Canet at Pedrosa Corner – Turn 6.

Marini had to settle for fourth after being forced wide in that move, the Italian left unable to convert his qualifying pace into a top three, with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin clinching a top five finish and a moral victory … the Spaniard was the only rider without a time penalty at the conclusion of a hectic 8-lap event.

Sixth was Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), just ahead of Canet, who failed to recover after an earlier coming together with Bendsneyder. Completing the top ten were Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team).

Lorenzo Baldassarri: “I think this race was even tougher than the others! It was not easy to achieve victory. I was sweating and so nervous that I had trouble controlling my fingers. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome!

“I first had contact with Luca. So suddenly, Jake hit me. Honestly, I was lucky I didn’t fall. Once I was in the lead, I tried to stay calm and in the end managed quite well. It was definitely a good race!”