MotoGP: Marquez trumps Lorenzo in epic Silverstone duel
Almost as thrilling as last year's British GP, only with a slight plot twist this time around
With the exception of the brilliantly sunny weather, today's MotoGP race could as well have passed off as a 2013 re-run. Engrossed in battle up front today were the same men who fought tooth, nail and everything else in last year's cliff-hanger at Silverstone. Yes, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez were at it all over again.
Marquez had a decent start compared to the rest of his starts this season, but Lorenzo had his best - he took the lead right from Turn 1, and held it for longer than anyone would've expected him to. Especially with at least four riders - including Marquez - hot on his tail.
Andrea Dovizioso, who started between Marquez and Lorenzo on the grid, was overtaken by Aleix Espargaro, only for Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi to both go past him, leaving him to deal with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Bradley Smith. Soon enough, the top five looked like this: Lorenzo, Marquez, Dovizioso, Rossi, Pedrosa. Things were about to get serious.
While the Ducati-Yamaha-Honda trio slugged it out for third, the two men at the front had eked out a fairly sizeable lead. Lorenzo was making the most of the bright conditions, riding in full flow, but you could sense that, as always, Marquez was sizing him up, waiting for the right opportunity.
And the opportunity, again, as always, did come. With just seven laps to go, Marquez crept up on the inside of Lorenzo at Stowe, and almost immediately put three-tenths of a second between them. The Mallorcan was fighting hard, but it looked like MM93 was doing what he does in every race: Wait, wait, wait, overtake, build a yawning gap, take home the trophy. But this time, there was more drama.
With just five laps left, the world champion made an error under braking, running wide and leaving the door open for Lorenzo to barge through. Last year, this had happened on the last lap, and Lorenzo had beaten Marquez to the finish line. The ending wasn't to be the same today, though.
Just two laps remained as Marquez reeled Lorenzo in, trying to go past him on the inside at Farm corner, but #99 bravely kept going around the outside (almost acquainting his shoulder with the Honda) to hold on to first place. However, at the very next turn, Marquez tried taking him on the inside, and this time, he sat back up sharply, making Lorenzo recoil to avoid being taken out by the RC213V. And that was that. Marquez had beaten him at his game.
Far behind, Rossi won the fight for the last podium spot, denying Dovizioso a chance to cap off a brilliant ride with a rostrum finish. The Italian in red had troubled the Italian in blue all through, as well as Pedrosa, who had the better of him on the last lap to finish fourth.
This was Marquez's eleventh win of 2014, a feat that was last achieved in 2005 by The Doctor himself, who, by the way, broke Alex Barros' record (245) for the highest number of starts in premier class motorcycle racing.
It's been a very good second half for the factory Yamahas, with a hat-trick of podium finishes since the break. The thing is, though, they'd prefer a 1-2 more than a 2-3, but with Marquez going the way he is right now, it doesn't look like they'll be seeing any one their own occupying that top spot any time soon. For the sake of the championship, though, we hope we're wrong.
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Pol Espargaro
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Andrea Iannone
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Scott Redding
11. Yonny Hernandez
12. Cal Crutchlow
13. Karel Abraham
14. Hiroshi Aoyama
15. Alex De Angelis
16. Leon Camier
17. Michael Laverty
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Hector Barbera
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Broc Parkes
22. Bradley Smith