Jorge Lorenzo wins at Catalunya...again
It's a clinical performance by the reigning world champion on a day dominated by the home riders
If you watched today's race, you would be forgiven for thinking it was (at the start, at least) footage being repeated from the previous race at Mugello. Dani Pedrosa blitzed qualifying on Saturday, and on Sunday (which also happened to be his 200th Grand Prix weekend), was duly pushed back by the world champion, Jorge Lorenzo, on the first lap itself. Not a very good feeling, but Dani must've surely gotten used to it by now.
When the lights went out, Pedrosa and Lorenzo both got off the line well, and within a matter of seconds, could've seen their races end even before they'd reached the first corner. Their bikes came agonisingly close to trading paint, but somehow, Lorenzo managed to pull up and away from Pedrosa, and for the second consecutive time in the last two weeks, completed Lap 1 as the race leader, having not started from pole.
Something else interesting happened on the first lap too. Alvaro Bautista seems to have developed quite some affinity towards Valentino Rossi, and again, like in Mugello, he put in his 100 percent to try and take The Doctor out. Trying to find a way past him, he slid off his bike and could very well have dragged Mr.46 into the gravel trap. This weekend wasn't second time unlucky for Vale, though, and he completed a lonely race in 4th position.
Which leaves us with what happened with the third spot - yes, it was the rookie again, Marc Marquez, who, having started sixth on the grid, made his way up to 3rd place into the very first corner itself, with Cal Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden losing spots early on. It got worse for the trio, as all of them managed to crash out one after the other, contributing to a grand total of 8 retirements on a tremendously tricky track.
Which also meant happy times for Stefan Bradl, who finished in the top five, much like the last race. Bradley Smith secured a career-best sixth place, but towards the end of the race, all the attention was at the front of the pack, because Marquez was in no mood to settle for 3rd place. As he'd done in Mugello, the greenhorn pushed his team-mate to his absolute limits - we're so sure Pedrosa has never been given a run for his money like he was today, ever before - and again, like in Mugello, he almost lost control of his bike on the penultimate lap, but only just managed to rein it in, and eventually rounded up an all-Spanish podium.
Today's victory is Lorenzo's 3rd home victory in four years, and it also means that he is now only seven points away from the current championship leader Pedrosa, but the way it stands right now, Repsol Honda's No.1 only seems good for qualifying on pole and then letting the Yamaha zip past him on race day. Will things change come Round 7 at Assen? Two weeks, ladies and gentlemen.
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Marc Marquez
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Bradley Smith
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Aleix Espargaro
9. Colin Edwards
10. Michele Pirro
11. Danilo Petrucci
12. Claudio Corti
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Bryan Staring
15. Javier Del Amor
16. Lukas Pesek
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