It's been 5 races since Valentino Rossi won a race. Which is his longest span ever. So you have to imagine there was some pressure on him, both internally, and from the Fiat Yamaha team. I mean, they're paying him a big chunk of change to be the greatest rider in the field, so when you combine 5 races without a win, with his 2nd place finish in the championship last season to Nicky Hayden, I can imagine some angry Yamaha race execs.
Luckily, winning wasn't really an issue in Jerez on Sunday. It took about a half lap for Rossi to get in front, and he never looked back. Dani Pedrosa, racing in front of his home crowd, stayed close until about the 14th lap, when Rossi stretched the lead to a full second. At that point, it was all over and Rossi cruised comfortably to the checkered flag.
Ever gracious, Rossi credited his team, his tyres and his bike for giving him the win, saying "they did a fantastic job for me this weekend, and they all deserve this win". Rossi is now 1st in the championship series, 9 points ahead of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
The top 5 in Jerez were as follows:
Valentino Rossi - 45:53:340
Dani Pedrosa - 45:54:586
Colin Edwards - 45:56:041
Toni Elias - 45:57:691
Casey Stoner - 45:58:333
Hayden was notably in 7th, with a time of 46:07:486, putting him at 6th in season standings.