Jorge Lorenzo beat the honda duo of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez for his third win of the season. Jorge Lorenzo beat the honda duo of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez for his third win of the season. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Lorenzo tightens title battle with win

Written by  on Monday, 17 June 2013 08:04

Jorge Lorenzo won the MotoGP Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya for the third time in four years, beating 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.

Saturday had seen Pedrosa smash Casey Stoner’s 2008 lap record en route to an impressive pole position for the Repsol Honda Team rider’s 200th Grand Prix weekend. He would ultimately lose his lead on the drag to the first corner and never regain the top spot, not least as teammate Marquez closed in from behind.

Two weeks ago, Lorenzo had sealed his second victory of the campaign in Italy. He now becomes the first rider to win three times in 2013, in the process moving to within seven points of championship-leading Pedrosa. On Sunday, the Mallorcan made the most of the battling Hondas to pull out a lead of over one second with four laps to go.

“A perfect day,” Lorenzo began. “To be honest I didn't expect to win; I knew I had some chance, but not like in Mugello where I was more convinced we could get the victory. It was really difficult physically as it was the hottest race of the year. I kept pushing 100 percent all race because any mistake would have been a disaster.

“I was surprised at the start, as I expected to just pass Cal (Crutchlow) but I passed Dani (Pedrosa) as well. I took profit from it and tried to open the gap but it was not enough to get away; Dani was there and we played some games. Finally, because I was tough mentally and never gave up, I could open up a little gap in the last five laps that was enough to win.”

As Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo moved to seventh in the all-time rankings for premier class race wins, with his 26th victory putting him one ahead of 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz, Pedrosa was forced to fight a rear-guard action even though Marquez had almost removed himself from the race on the penultimate lap.

“Today was a bit of a strange race,” Pedrosa said. “We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tires. When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful. We three front-runners were battling the track conditions today.

“It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal. We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking. It was very easy to make a mistake and in fact, on the closing laps, Marc made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place.”

Heading into turn four 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.

“It was a difficult race,” began the 20-year-old. “We expected it to be tough, but we never imagined that we would be fighting for the podium with Jorge and Dani and I'm very happy with this result! It gives us confidence after a slightly tricky weekend, as in the end we found the ideal setup.

“During the race I learned a lot from riding behind Dani, trying to figure out how to ride a MotoGP bike at this track, and in the end we did quite well. We knew it would be difficult to finish in the top five, but we managed to get on the podium. I can only say I'm thrilled with the result.”

Taking advantage of the dramas in front of him – such as accidents for Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, going out in separate solo incidents on the 10th lap – Stefan Bradl enjoyed a second consecutive top five finish as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith celebrated a personal best result of sixth.

In ninth, Colin Edwards picked up his personal 2013 best for NGM Mobile Forward Racing.

The leading CRT rider for the sixth time in as many Grands 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 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 10th.

Six races into the 2013 MotoGP™ campaign, Pedrosa leads Lorenzo by the further reduced margin of seven points. The battle will continue in The Netherlands, with the historic Iveco TT Assen on Saturday, June 29.

Pol Espargaro claimed his second victory of the Moto2™ campaign, winning Sunday’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya after fending off teammate Esteve Rabat. In third place, Tom Luthi returned to the podium for the first time since Brno 2012.

On Saturday, Espargaro had taken pole position and was only headed Sunday afternoon when he allowed Tuenti HP 40 teammate Rabat through, only to retake the lead on lap 17. Rabat mounted a strong attack on the final lap and would be less than one tenth of a second behind at the finish line.

Having demonstrated strong form in practice, Luthi was thrilled to claim his first podium of the season for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing, despite being yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in a Valencia pre-season testing accident.

Scott Redding maintains his championship lead courtesy of fourth place for Marc VDS Racing Team, with Takaaki Nakagami fifth for Italtrans Racing Team.

Redding carries an advantage of 35 points over Espargaro, who has elevated himself from fifth to second place overall ahead of the seventh round of the campaign in The Netherlands.

Luis Salom won the Moto3™ Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take the lead in the World Championship. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider carried out a well-judged race, saving tires before hitting the front in the closing stages. Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales completed the podium as the top five places were filled by Spaniards.

Salom’s third victory from six races sees him lead the championship by five points from Viñales, with the next race taking place at Assen in two weeks’ time.

MotoGP Race Results

1

Jorge Lorenzo

43'06.479

SPA

YAMAHA

Yamaha Factory Racing

2

Dani Pedrosa

+1.763

SPA

HONDA

Repsol Honda Team

3

Marc Marquez

+1.826

SPA

HONDA

Repsol Honda Team

4

Valentino Rossi

+5.874

ITA

YAMAHA

Yamaha Factory Racing

5

Stefan Bradl

+26.756

GER

HONDA

LCR Honda MotoGP

6

Bradley Smith

+32.228

GBR

YAMAHA

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

7

Andrea Dovizioso

+32.692

ITA

DUCATI

Ducati Team

8

Aleix Espargaro

+58.615

SPA

ART

Power Electronics Aspar

9

Colin Edwards

+1'03.142

USA

FTR-KAWASAKI

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

10

Michele Pirro

+1'09.774

ITA

DUCATI

Ignite Pramac Racing Team

11

Danilo Petrucci

+1'24.377

ITA

IODA-SUTER

Came IodaRacing Project

12

Claudio Corti

+1'33.679

ITA

FTR-KAWASAKI

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

13

Yonny Hernandez

+1'45.355

COL

PBM

Paul Bird Motorsport

14

Bryan Staring

+1'50.745

AUS

FTR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

15

Javier Del Amor

+1 lap

SPA

FTR

Avintia Blusens

16

Lukas Pesek

+1 lap

CZE

IODA-SUTER

Came IodaRacing Project

17

Hector Barbera

DNF

SPA

FTR

Avintia Blusens

18

Karel Abraham

DNF

CZE

ART

Cardion AB Motoracing

19

Cal Crutchlow

DNF

GBR

YAMAHA

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

20

Nicky Hayden

DNF

USA

DUCATI

Ducati Team

21

Andrea Iannone

DNF

ITA

DUCATI

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

22

Randy De Puniet

DNF

FRA

ART

Power Electronics Aspar

23

Alvaro Bautista

DNF

SPA

HONDA

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

24

Michael Laverty

DNF

GBR

PBM

Paul Bird Motorsport

MotoGP Point Standings

1

Dani Pedrosa

123 pts

SPA

HONDA

Repsol Honda Team

2

Jorge Lorenzo

116 pts

SPA

YAMAHA

Yamaha Factory Racing

3

Marc Marquez

93 pts

SPA

HONDA

Repsol Honda Team

4

Cal Crutchlow

71 pts

GBR

YAMAHA

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

5

Valentino Rossi

60 pts

ITA

YAMAHA

Yamaha Factory Racing

6

Andrea Dovizioso

59 pts

ITA

DUCATI

Ducati Team

7

Nicky Hayden

45 pts

USA

DUCATI

Ducati Team

8

Stefan Bradl

41 pts

GER

HONDA

LCR Honda MotoGP

9

Alvaro Bautista

38 pts

SPA

HONDA

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

10

Aleix Espargaro

36 pts

SPA

ART

Power Electronics Aspar

11

Bradley Smith

34 pts

GBR

YAMAHA

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

12

Michele Pirro

28 pts

ITA

DUCATI

Ignite Pramac Racing Team

13

Andrea Iannone

21 pts

ITA

DUCATI

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

14

Danilo Petrucci

13 pts

ITA

IODA-SUTER

Came IodaRacing Project

15

Hector Barbera

13 pts

SPA

FTR

Avintia Blusens

16

Randy De Puniet

11 pts

FRA

ART

Power Electronics Aspar

17

Colin Edwards

10 pts

USA

FTR-KAWASAKI

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

18

Ben Spies

9 pts

USA

DUCATI

Ignite Pramac Racing Team

19

Yonny Hernandez

6 pts

COL

PBM

Paul Bird Motorsport

20

Claudio Corti

4 pts

ITA

FTR-KAWASAKI

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

21

Michael Laverty

3 pts

GBR

PBM

Paul Bird Motorsport

22

Bryan Staring

2 pts

AUS

FTR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

23

Karel Abraham

2 pts

CZE

ART

Cardion AB Motoracing

24

Javier Del Amor

1 pts

SPA

FTR

Avintia Blusens

25

Hiroshi Aoyama

1 pts

JAP

FTR

Avintia Blusens

--From motogp.com

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John Hopkins

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