Jorge Lorenzo won his third Italian Grand Prix in a row to close the gap on Dani Pedrosa in the all-Spanish championship battle. The reigning champion led every lap on his way to a dominant victory while a dramatic late crash for Marc Marquez promoted Pedrosa to second with Cal Crutchlow inheriting the final podium position.
While there was action in the closing stages, the race also got off to a chaotic start as Pedrosa made his usual lightning getaway from pole position, only to be sat up by Lorenzo halfway around San Donato. The Yamaha rider darted into the lead but his teammate Valentino Rossi suffered a nightmare first lap as a collision with Alvaro Bautista ensured it would be his last. The pair came together approaching Poggio Secco and both were fired into the air fence on the outside, thankfully emerging uninjured, but the home favourite was out on the spot.
Lorenzo had the two Repsol Hondas for company in the early laps with Pedrosa often showing a wheel approaching San Donato only to be beaten on the brakes, keeping him back in second. Dani’s challenge would fizzle out though in the second half of the race as he began to lose grip from his rear Bridgestone tyre and the battle would instead be on for second.
Marquez swarmed all over the back of his ailing teammate as he searched for a place to overtake cleanly and decisively and with five laps to go, the moment came through Casanova Savelli as Marc scythed inside his compatriot at the left hander. That same corner would see second change hands again in shocking circumstances two laps later as the no.93 Repsol Honda slid off into the gravel. The rookie was furious after seeing twenty points slip away following his third accident in as many days on a bruising weekend.
That promoted the impressive Crutchlow to third with the Tech 3 rider having ridden a lonely race up to that point but the problems affecting Pedrosa almost saw the Briton snatch second, just a second separating him from Dani at the finish. Stefan Bradl matched his career best result in MotoGP, achieved here last season, with fourth after holding off the leading Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso while Nicky Hayden and Michele Pirro ensured the factory Desmosedicis finished line astern in fifth, sixth and seventh.
Aleix Espargaro took top CRT honours in eighth with Bradley Smith riding through the pain barrier to take ninth. The Briton compounded his injuries from earlier in the weekend with another tumble in morning warm-up but bounced back to match his best result in the premier class.