MotoGP: Lorenzo dominates Le Mans crashfest

Posted by Amaan Ahmed at 14:31 pm on Sunday May 08, 2016

What happens when you place a bagful of gold in front of a thief?

He picks it up and runs away with it.

What happens when you place clear skies, ideal track conditions and a start from the head of the grid in front of Jorge Lorenzo?

He picks it up and runs away with it.

The MotoGP paddock must have seen it coming. Lorenzo was in fine nick right from FP1 this weekend, and after smashing the qualifying lap record on Saturday, was in the best place to pick up his second win of the season. Of course, it wouldn't be easy with Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone constituting the front row, but quick as they may be, they can't start like the Mallorcan does. The lights go out, and bang, Lorenzo is gone. It has happened in the past, it happened today, and it will happen many more times in the years to come. Such was the rapidity of his start, that Lorenzo was already almost half a second ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, the man in second place, at the end of Lap 1.

The two factory Ducatis tried keeping up, but today was Lorenzo's day. Andrea Iannone clawed his way up to second, only to crash out on Lap 7. That gave Marquez a provisional podium spot, and Valentino Rossi a sniff. Rossi, who had to contend with the Espargaro brothers in the opening laps (losing lots of time as a result), reeled Marquez in, and then passed Dovizioso as well. It seemed like the fight for second place would be intense, when Marquez and Dovizioso both went down at almost the same time at Turn 7. One can imagine The Doctor laughing inside his helmet at the sight.

That was that for the top two slots, and the synchronised crashes pushed Suzuki's Maverick Vinales onto the podium for the manufacturer's first podium finish in eight long years. Marquez picked up what was left of his RC213V and got right back into it, finishing 13th and grabbing precious points. Dani Pedrosa rode a largely dull race in fourth, Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci made a fine comeback by finishing seventh, and Cal Crutchlow... yes, just like you thought, crashed out for the fourth time in five races.

With that, Lorenzo is now leading the championship. What was a 16-point lead for Marquez has now turned into a five-point deficit. More interestingly, this race could swing Vinales's decision, for that Suzuki, while competitive, was only really on the podium today because of good fortune. Yamaha, meanwhile, notched up another 1-2. The choice shouldn't be all that tough for Maverick Mack any more...

TAGS// moto gp, le mans, motogp, marc marquez, dani pedrosa, repsol honda, valentino rossi, jorge lorenzo, andrea dovizioso, yamaha factory racing, andrea iannone, suzuki ecstar, ducati corse, maverick vinales

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