Marquez Pulls Further Clear With Indianapolis Victory

by Louis Suddaby

Marc Marquez has extended his MotoGP championship lead to 21 points with a third consecutive victory in 2013, proving too strong for Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa at Indianapolis. The Moto2 champion overhauled Lorenzo just before half distance and eased into the distance with Pedrosa snatching second from the Yamaha rider in the closing stages.

Despite claiming a dominant pole position, Marquez had plenty to think about early on as Lorenzo and Pedrosa outdragged him to turn one. Bradley Smith made a lightning getaway to complete the opening lap in fourth ahead of teammate Cal Crutchlow but the British rookie was soon shuffled back down the order as Alvaro Bautista took the fight to the leading Tech 3 Yamaha.

Ahead of that tussle, the top three remained locked together but Marquez’s patience only lasted eight laps before the rookie rode around the outside of his teammate at turn six, completing the move at turn seven to claim second. Lorenzo was in no mood to fall victim in similar fashion but on lap thirteen, the inevitable happened.

Again taking a wider line, Marquez lurked on the outside of the Yamaha, this time at turn one, and under braking for turn two he eased up the inside to take the lead. Lorenzo kept pace for a brief spell but successive fastest laps from Marquez broke the tow, and Jorge’s spirit. The reigning champion’s mood wouldn’t be helped two laps from home when Pedrosa slipstreamed past him for second but in truth, neither was happy to be soundly beaten by their younger compatriot.

The fight for fourth went right down to the wire with Crutchlow and Bautista swapping places throughout the Grand Prix but as the laps ticked away, they were being chased down by a relentless Valentino Rossi. Having started in a lowly ninth spot, the Doctor had to fight his way past Bradley Smith and Stefan Bradl before getting on terms with Bautista and Crutchlow but with three laps to go, he was right on top of them.

Rossi left it very late to snatch fourth from Crutchlow (Photo Credit: Yamaha)

Rossi left it very late to snatch fourth from Crutchlow (Photo Credit: Yamaha)

Bautista succumbed on the penultimate lap as Rossi dived through at turn seven but Crutchlow was wise to the move when Valentino tried again next time around, ducking back underneath the Italian. Rossi kept the pressure on though and when Crutchlow left the door slightly ajar at turn fourteen, Rossi barged through it. Bautista couldn’t capitalise on the fireworks ahead of him and had to settle for sixth in the end with 0.166s covering the trio over the finish line. Bradl was four seconds further back in seventh.

The all-Ducati fight for eighth also went to the wire with Nicky Hayden keen to claim the honours on what could be his final appearance on home soil. That desperation prompted a forceful move at the final corner which sent them both over the kerb and Bradley Smith was in the ideal position to pick their pockets, stealing eighth from under the nose of Nicky.

Dovizioso would cross the line in tenth ahead of Andrea Iannone while Aleix Espargaro took the CRT honours, beating the Forward Racing FTRs of Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti, with Hiroshi Aoyama taking the final point.

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