Dani Pedrosa made the perfect response to his defeat by Marc Marquez in Texas by winning the Spanish Grand Prix although his young teammate stole the headlines once again with a controversial move at the last corner which saw him beat Jorge Lorenzo to second. The riders who shared the championship lead heading into this race were no match for Pedrosa on the day but a collision reminiscent of Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau from years gone by had everyone talking.
Pedrosa’s afternoon was quiet by comparison although he did have an exciting dice with Lorenzo through the opening sequence of corners, initially using his lightning start to lead around turn one before the reigning champion fought straight back at the second turn. It was clear for all to see that Dani had the pace to power past Jorge and the move came at the end of the back straight on lap six with the Repsol Honda easing through at the Dry Sac hairpin.
Marquez had lost a place to Valentino Rossi early on but that was quickly rectified and the Moto2 champion set about making a nuisance of himself on Lorenzo’s tail. On several occasions, the late-braking youngster came within inches of tagging the back of the Yamaha as he swarmed all over the back of it but the fireworks wouldn’t truly start until the 29th and final lap.
First, Marc tried to replicate his teammate’s manoeuvre and dive through at Dry Sac but not even he could slow the Honda down in time, sliding past the apex and opening the door for Lorenzo to regain second but approaching the corner named after Jorge himself, Marquez was intent on making his own mark. The tactic was clear with the 20 year old placing his bike on the inside and leaving Lorenzo to make his own mind up, risk a crash or surrender second. In the end, contact was made as the out of control Marquez missed another apex and Repsol Honda claimed a hotly disputed 1-2. Lorenzo kept his emotions under control in parc ferme after being forced to make do with third once again but the refusal to shake Marquez’s hand post-race told us all we needed to know.
The spotlight was rather harshly diverted away from Dani Pedrosa after an exemplary ride and the 25 points have moved him to within three of his teammate at the head of the standings. Valentino Rossi lost ground in that particular tussle after a lonely ride to fourth while Cal Crutchlow fought off lower back pain and the attentions of Alvaro Bautista to finish fifth.
Nicky Hayden was the first Ducati rider home in seventh with Andrea Dovizioso eighth despite a real run for his money from Aleix Espargaro, the Spaniard taking his Aspar ART to a sensational ninth, pipping Bradley Smith by half a second. Meanwhile, Michael Laverty ensured all three British riders would score points after taking an excellent thirteenth for PBM.