Lorenzo all class in Catalonia

Yamaha rider takes victory after leading from start to finish

Jorge Lorenzo celebrates on the podium after winning the Catalonia Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates on the podium after winning the Catalonia Grand Prix. QUIQUE GARCIA (AFP)

Spanish MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo proved once more on Sunday that he is in a class of his own. The reigning world champion put in a stunning performance at the Montmeló circuit in Catalonia, leading from the very start until he took the checkered flag. Meanwhile, just a few seconds behind his Yamaha, the Hondas of fellow countrymen Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez battled it out for second place. In the end it was Pedrosa who held the position, with Márquez crossing the line just a a whisker behind the veteran rider.

Lorenzo got a cracking start, and managed to get past polesitter Pedrosa before turn one, although the pair nearly made contact in the process. Márquez, who had started sixth on the grid, also managed to make progress off the line, working his way up to third.

Away from the podium finishing trio it was a chaotic race, with a high number of falls on the sun-soaked track. Cal Crutchlow lost control of his Tech 3 Yamaha at turn six, sending him bouncing into the gravel. Immediately afterward, Nicky Hayden repeated the feat at turn 10, sticking his Ducati in the gravel.

Italian rider Valentino Rossi had his second coming together in as many races with Álvaro Bautista, but unlike in Italy, Rossi managed to keep his bike on the track, leaving the Spaniard cursing his lost opportunity, having qualified fourth on Saturday. The Italian managed a fourth-placed finish.

Meanwhile, back at the front, Lorenzo turned up the pace with around seven laps to go, inching away from Pedrosa, who was having to put all of his efforts into defending from Márquez rather than making a challenge for the lead. The 20-year-old rookie made more than a few attempts to take the lead from Pedrosa, and in fact the pair actually touched in the final laps.

But it was not to be and Lorenzo took the win, followed by Pedrosa and then Márquez. The latter looked delighted after the race was run, having made a mistake in the previous MotoGP that saw him crash out from third.

After six races, Pedrosa leads the championship, on 123 points, with Lorenzo close behind on 116. Márquez, in his debut season in the category, is in third with 93 points.

In Moto2, a pair of Spaniards took the top two steps of the podium: Pol Espargaró managed the win on his Kalex, closely followed by his teammate Esteve Rabat. Swiss Suter rider Thomas Luethi took third place. Sunday's result means that British Quedgeley rider Scott Redding is still on the top of the table, with 114 points, while Espargaró is second on 79 points. Rabat is third with 75 points.

And in Moto3, as in MotoGP, it was an all-Spanish podium, with Luis Slalom taking the checkered flag, Alex Rins in second place and Maverick Viñales in third — all three of them on the KTM. The result leaves Slalom on top of the table, Viñales in second place and Rins in third.

The riders will be back on the track on July 30 in Holland, at the Assen circuit.

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