Jorge Lorenzo leads home his teammate Valentino Rossi to claim his fourth consecutive victory as Marc Marquez crashes out in a dramatic seventh round in MotoGP.
Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo led from start to finish for the fourth race in succession to close the gap on his teammate Rossi in the standings to just one point.
The Spaniard controlled the race from the front to claim the second 1-2 of the season for his Factory Yamaha team.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez was battling with Lorenzo for the lead in the opening stages of the 25-lap race but he crashed out at turn 10 on the third lap. That error put another big dent in the Repsol Honda rider’s bid for a third straight premier class title, with Marquez now 69-points adrift of Rossi following his third crash in seven races.
Track temperatures this afternoon reached almost 50 degrees and were the hottest recorded over the weekend, as the MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya got underway in front of a packed crowd of over 97,000 fans. Lorenzo led into the first corner as Team Suzuki Ecstar’s pole-man Aleix Espargaro dropped down to 9th after he struggled to propel his GSX-RR off the line.
Lorenzo immediately set about establishing a fast rhythm, and by the time Rossi had moved into second on lap 4, the Spaniard had already opened up a 1.5 second lead.
Rossi put in a tremendous effort in the second half of the race to try and deny Lorenzo a fourth straight win for the first time in his career, but the could not get within a second in the crucial final stages.
The nine-times World Champion had to settle for second, 0.885s behind Lorenzo, who took his 37th premier class win to equal the tally set by British legend Mike Hailwood.
Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa rode a lonely race in third. He finished over 19-seconds behind Lorenzo but it was his first rostrum finish since he underwent major right arm pump surgery after the opening round in Qatar. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone claimed fourth after a great fight with Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1. The British rider crossed the line in fifth as the leading Satellite rider.
Maverick Viñales on the second GSX-RR recovered from way down outside of the top 10 after a disastrous start from the front row to finish in a career best sixth position.
Scott Redding (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) equalled the best result of his MotoGP™ career in seventh, with Stefan Bradl (Athina Forward Racing) taking the Open class win in eighth.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top ten, as a number of riders crashed out on the slippery track surface.
Yonny Hernandez, Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, and both of the Espargaro brothers all crashed, as only 16 riders completed the race.
MotoGP™ Race Classification
1 - Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 42'53.208
2 - Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha +0.885
3 - Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda +19.455
8 - Stefan Bradl (GER) Yamaha Forward +42.103
Image and article courtesy www.motogp.com