Lorenzo Too Strong For Repsol Honda In Barcelona

Jorge Lorenzo clinched back-to-back victories after leading every lap of the Catalunya Grand Prix despite pressure from the Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. The world champion was shadowed for lap after lap but had too much for his compatriots in the closing stages of the 25 lap race.

The decisive moment would actually come at the start, an area where Pedrosa is normally so difficult to beat. However on this occasion, Lorenzo would grab the hole shot from the outside of the front row ahead of Dani with Marquez climbing to third with Cal Crutchlow dropping two places to fourth. Valentino Rossi meanwhile had gained two and managed to form part of a five-man breakaway.

He had almost been the unfortunate victim of lightning striking twice on the opening lap though as Alvaro Bautista lost the front of his Gresini Honda at turn ten, just missing the Yamaha which he collided with at Mugello and ending his own race. Bautista wasn’t alone in making that error though as Michele Pirro and Michael Laverty skated off behind him, the latter retiring for the first time in his MotoGP career.

The left handers were catching many a rider out with Andrea Iannone tumbling out of ninth at the same turn as his Pramac teammate on lap five while Nicky Hayden became the third Ducati rider to fall a lap later. The big hitters were dropping like flies and seconds before Hayden’s exit, Cal Crutchlow blew a hole in the leading group by sliding out of fourth at turn seven. The Briton was dumbfounded by the crash but the upshot was an end to his podium streak while also killing off any hopes Valentino Rossi had of making the rostrum with the hold-up allowing the top three to ease clear.

Pedrosa occasionally threatened down the main straight but with six laps to go, Lorenzo upped the ante and extended his lead. Dani’s job now was to maintain second and when Marquez locked up at turn four on the penultimate lap, his mission was accomplished despite coming dangerously close to being tailgated by his teammate.

Rossi was a lonely fourth with Stefan Bradl having a similarly quiet ride to fifth thanks to the demise of the Ducatis. One GP13 did make it to the finish undamaged but Andrea Dovizioso’s pace tailed off as the race went on and was eventually overhauled by Bradley Smith three laps from home, the British rookie claiming his best result of the year.

Aleix Espargaro completed a good day for his family by winning the CRT battle, four seconds clear of Colin Edwards while Michele Pirro salvaged some points for Pramac by returning from the gravel and racing through to twelfth.