Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has won the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya for the third time in four years, beating Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on Sunday afternoon. Valentino Rossi rode a lonely race to fourth position while as many as eight riders retired, including Cal Crutchlow who crashed out on the sixth lap.
Two weeks ago, Lorenzo had sealed his second victory of the campaign in Italy, and he now becomes the first rider to win three times in 2013, moving to within seven points of championship-leading Pedrosa. This afternoon, the Mallorcan made the most of the battling Hondas to pull out a lead of over one second with four laps to go.
As he rode to victory, Pedrosa was forced to fight a rear-guard action even though Marquez had almost removed himself from the race on the penultimate lap. Heading into Turn 4 on the 24th of the 25 tours, Marquez suffered a significant scare and came perilously close to losing the front end of his bike. He would go on to reduce a six-tenth of a second margin to finish the race just six hundredths behind Pedrosa, although the key to his day had been a strong getaway from sixth on the grid.
Taking advantage of the dramas in front of him – such as accidents for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, going out in separate solo incidents on the tenth lap – Stefan Bradl enjoyed a second consecutive top five finish as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith celebrated a personal best result of sixth.
The leading CRT rider for the sixth time in as many Grand Prix this season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, finished eighth for the second race in a row, while GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista was upset to have crashed on the opening lap following a near-miss with Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha.
Also in the gravel at the La Caixa corner were PBM’s Michael Laverty and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro, although the Italian went on to finish tenth. The high attrition allowed an assortment of riders to enjoy their best races of the season, including Australian newcomer Bryan Staring who finished 14th to score the first points for the Gresini CRT bike. Scoring on his debut was Avintia Blusens’ Javier del Amor, substituting for Hiroshi Aoyama who injured a finger in a crash on Saturday.
The majority of the MotoGP grid will stay on for a one-day test tomorrow at the Montmelo circuit.
1- Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 43’06.479
2- Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda 1.763
3- Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1.826