Lorenzo closes on championship lead with Italian GP victory

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo closed the gap in the MotoGP title race with a dominant ride to victory in an eventful Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Lorenzo led from lights-to-flag but the win was by no means easy as he had to survive immense pressure from Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

However, the Spaniard stayed cool and completed what was in the end a comfortable win in closing to within 12 points of the Championship lead.

The race finished in dramatic circumstances with Marquez crashing out from second with three laps remaining, handing Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow well earned spots on the podium.

The expectant Mugello crowd were left subdued as their hero, the multiple world champion Valentino Rossi was involved in an explosive first lap crash. The Yamaha rider was collected by Alvaro Bautista at turn four which speared both riders into the barriers at high speed. Luckily both walked away from the crash unscathed.

Meanwhile at the front, Lorenzo asserted himself in the lead with pole man Pedrosa and Honda team mate Marquez , who stormed up to third with an impressive start. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso held fourth ahead of Crutchlow and Nicky Hayden.

The top three soon began to break away from the rest of the field although Crutchlow led the charge to reel them in after he slipped past Dovizioso. Another man on the move was German Stefan Bradl as he grabbed fifth with moves on the Ducati duo of Dovizioso and then Hayden.

Pressure increased on Lorenzo at the front with Pedrosa and Marquez both looking hungry to take the lead. However, lap-after-lap the Yamaha man held firm and he soon managed to put some breathing space between himself and the Honda pair.

A string of blistering laps gave Lorenzo a healthy five second lead and the attention switched to the battle for second. With five laps remaining Marquez made his move and shot past Pedrosa and it seemed the race would finish in this order.

But with just three laps to go Marquez made an uncharacteristic error and he dropped the bike at turn 12 and endured his first DNF of the season.

The accident was his fourth crash of a difficult weekend in Mugello for the rising star.

A gusty last lap secured fourth for Bradl ahead of the Ducati trio of Dovizioso, Hayden and Michele Pirro.

Western Australian Bryan Staring produced another solid ride to bring his CRT bike home in 18 position.

MotoGP heads to Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya for round six on June 16.

Result:

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 23 41:39.733
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda 23 +5.400
3 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 23 6.412
4 Stefan Bradl Honda 23 19.321
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 23 19.540
6 Nicky Hayden Ducati 23 26.321
7 Michele Pirro Ducati 23 38.144
8 Aleix Espargaró ART/Aprilia 23 39.802
9 Bradley Smith Yamaha 23 40.243
10 Héctor Barberá FTR/Kawasaki 23 48.392
11 Randy de Puniet ART/Aprilia 23 48.480
12 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter/BMW 23 1:13.708
13 Andrea Iannone Ducati 23 1:14.601
14 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 23 1:21.249
15 Karel Abraham ART/Aprilia 23 1:25.738
16 Yonny Hernández ART/Aprilia 23 1:27.339
17 Michael Laverty PBM/Aprilia 23 1:27.758
18 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 23 1:44.424
19 Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter/BMW 23 1:45.227
Marc Márquez Honda 20 Crash
Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 17 Retirement
Hiroshi Aoyama FTR/Kawasaki 16 Retirement
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0 Crash
Ben Spies Ducati 0 Withdrawn
Alvaro Bautista Honda 0 Crash

Points:

1 Daniel Pedrosa 103
2 Jorge Lorenzo 91
3 Marc Márquez 77
4 Cal Crutchlow 71
5 Andrea Dovizioso 50
6 Valentino Rossi 47
7 Nicky Hayden 45
8 Alvaro Bautista 38
9 Stefan Bradl 30
10 Aleix Espargaró 28
11 Bradley Smith 24
12 Michele Pirro 22
13 Andrea Iannone 21
14 Héctor Barberá 13
15 Randy de Puniet 11
16 Ben Spies 9
17 Danilo Petrucci 8
18 Michael Laverty 3
19 Colin Edwards 3
19 Yonny Hernández 3
21 Karel Abraham 2
22 Hiroshi Aoyama 1

 

 

 

 

 

Comments are closed.