Rossi edges Marquez to win Catalan classic

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi fought off a determined Marc Marquez to win a dramatic Catalan Grand Prix that saw Jorge Lorenzo lose the championship lead after being taken out by Andrea Iannone.

Rossi emerged eighth from the start but the Yamaha rider climbed into the lead on Lap 7 of 25 before coming through an exciting battle with Honda’s Marquez in the closing laps.

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa claimed the final place on the podium after a solid ride.

Lorenzo led the field away from the middle of the front row, tailed by Marquez, while Pedrosa passed Iannone for third on the opening lap.

Rossi was sixth by the end of the opening lap, and found himself in a podium position when he passed Pedrosa on Lap 3.

The Italian relieved Marquez of second on Lap 6, then took the race lead off his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo at the start of Lap 7.

Marquez followed four corners later before Pedrosa ran down Lorenzo easily, the defending world champion was clearly struggling for pace.

His afternoon became even worse when he was collected by Iannone on Lap 17 at Turn 10.

The Ducati rider misjudged his braking resulting in heavy contact with the Yamaha, which eliminated the pair from the race.

Marquez meanwhile continued to harass Rossi until he took the lead into Turn 1 with three laps remaining.

Rossi, however, returned the favour one lap later and ultimately pulled away for a 2.7s victory as Marquez became increasingly ragged in attempting to fight back.

“All race I was pushing a lot but unfortunately I wasn’t able to gap Marquez enough to escape,” explained Rossi.

“I knew that it would be hard but I tried another time and I was able to take the small gap that is so important for the last lap.

“It’s a great, great victory. One of the best of my career. This win is for Luis Salom and all his family,” he said in one of many tributes to the Moto2 rider, who lost his life in a crash during Friday practice.

After a spirited challenge early on, Maverick Viñales finished fourth ahead of Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha).

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Aprilia) recorded their best finishes of the season with sixth and eighth respectively.

Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller claimed a career-best 10th having been promoted a position after Hector Barbera was penalised for shortcutting the chicane on the final lap.

Marquez reclaims the championship lead with a 10 point margin over Lorenzo ahead of Round 8 in Assen from June 24-26.

Result: MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix

Position Rider Team/Bike Laps Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 25
2 Marc Marquez Honda 25 +2.652s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda 25 +6.313s
4 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 25 +24.388s
5 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 25 +29.546s
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 25 +36.244s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 25 +41.464s
8 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 25 +42.975s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 25 +45.337s
10 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 25 +49.514s
11 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 25 +46.669s penalty for illegal move on final lap
12 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 25 +55.133s
13 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 25 +57.974s
14 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 25 +1:00.141s
15 Michele Pirro Avintia Ducati 25 +1:00.429s
16 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 25 +1:16.269s
17 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 24 +1 Lap
DNF Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 18 Retirement
DNF Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 16 Retirement
DNF Andrea Iannone Ducati 16 Retirement
DNF Bradley Smith Yamaha 6 Retirement

Championship Standings

Position Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 125
2 Jorge Lorenzo 115
3 Valentino Rossi 103
4 Dani Pedrosa 82
5 Maverick Vinales 72
6 Pol Espargaro 59
7 Aleix Espargaro 49
8 Hector Barbera 49
9 Andrea Dovizioso 43
10 Andrea Iannone 41
11 Eugene Laverty 39
12 Bradley Smith 29
13 Stefan Bradl 29
14 Alvaro Bautista 29
15 Danilo Petrucci 24
16 Cal Crutchlow 20
17 Michele Pirro 19
18 Scott Redding 16
19 Tito Rabat 13
20 Loris Baz 8
21 Jack Miller 7
22 Yonny Hernandez 3

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