Jorge Lorenzo has returned to winning ways in a dramatic Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, beating championship leader Marc Marquez by less than one tenth of a second with Dani Pedrosa completing the podium.
On Saturday, Marquez had clinched his third pole position in five race meetings but further participation was put in doubt when he dislocated his left shoulder by crashing in Sunday morning’s Warm-Up.
After being given the green light in the circuit Medical Centre, the 20-year-old Repsol Honda Team rider headed up the front row from Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow.
Critically for Lorenzo, the Mallorcan made another strong start and dived into the lead at Copse corner. In a near repeat performance to Brno last weekend, he would proceed to resolutely defend from both Repsol Honda Team riders. Marquez then seized the advantage at Brooklands just over two laps from home, only for Lorenzo to retake the lead as he confidently out-braked his opponent at Vale.
On the final lap, Marquez again grabbed the advantage at Brooklands, before Lorenzo re-passed in a confident move at Luffield which featured slight contract between the two bikes.
The leading duo crossed the finish line separated by just 81 thousandths of a second, meaning Silverstone continues a pattern from Brno of witnessing the closest finish of the season so far. The triumph also marks Lorenzo’s first win since Catalunya in mid-June. Struggling for rear grip, Pedrosa was a further one and a half seconds behind, having been unable to take advantage of the battling pair in front of him.
Jorge Lorenzo: “This was one of the best races I’ve ever had,” Lorenzo enthused as he reflected on the battle. “I’m really happy and really pleased. It’s a very important win. I pushed from the beginning to try and open a gap, even more than in recent races but it was impossible.”
The man from Majorca continued, “Marc never gives up, even if he’s a little bit injured after the warm up. He overtook me three laps from the end so I studied him a little for one lap and I saw he was struggling in some braking so I overtook him on the corner where he crashed. I pushed in the last lap to the maximum, I opened a little gap but I made a mistake in braking and almost crashed.”
“When he overtook me three corners from the end I thought it was over again and second place but then he opened a little gap in the last corner so I thought “now or never” and I tried and got it. To be honest I’m not thinking about the championship, I’m thinking just to enjoy this victory which was very special.”
Marc Marquez: “I’m very happy with how things went today,” said Marquez after the race. “This morning when my shoulder popped out I thought that my weekend was over, but the doctors were able to put it back in place quickly and that allowed me to be up there at the front, fighting with Jorge.”
On the experience of the race itself he explained, “I didn’t feel much pain, because I received an injection to dull the pain, but I was lacking strength and was feeling tired by the end. Despite all this, I was able to battle all the way until the final corner with Jorge, who eventually emerged victorious today. Congratulations to him! For me these 20 points are like a win!”
Dani Pedrosa: “I’m disappointed with the result today,” stated Pedrosa as he reviewed the race. “I rode well but got a bad start and conceded a lot of seconds on the opening two laps, so I had to really push in order to recover ground. I gradually caught up with Marc and Jorge, but I wore my tyres out in the process and at the end of the race I lacked grip on the right-hand corners.”
“I tried to calm down and slow my pace in order to lower the tyre temperature, although finally I wasn’t able to match their performance. That meant that when I attempted to pass the bike slid out a lot and I was unable to really get involved in the fight for the win. I will have to give it another go at Misano.”
In fourth spot was Rossi who, having dropped back after his strong start, had become involved in yet another entertaining battle with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl finished in sixth place.
Valentino Rossi: “For me this result is a bit more positive than in Brno. Every time I come here I have a bad result, this time we worked in a different and better way. The fourth place is better than in Brno, but it is still a fourth place. Unfortunately I made a good start but in the first laps the other guys between the second and seventh lap were a lot faster than me, but the second half of the race was not so bad,”
Alvaro Bautista: “Unfortunately, once again I have had to concede to Valentino, but we had a lot of fun out there. The last lap was really nice because we overtook each other several times, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it stick and he beat me by just 0.065 seconds!
Having missed his home race in 2011 before starting at the back in 2012, Cal Crutchlow had hoped for a much stronger Silverstone weekend in 2013. He crashed twice on Saturday and again in Sunday’s Warm-Up, then paid the price for a poor getaway as the Tech3 rider plummeted from third to sixth at the start. He would fall back to his eventual finishing position of seventh when the charging Bautista – who had lined up eighth on the grid – overtook at the end of Lap 1.
Crutchlow’s teammate Bradley Smith again found himself dicing with the pair of Ducati Team riders, but was ultimately taken advantage of by Nicky Hayden for eighth place. Smith would end the day ninth, while Andrea Dovizioso crashed out on the penultimate tour.
The Italian joined second-lap faller Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project) on the sidelines, promoting Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro into the top ten despite a broken finger and injured neck after a Saturday crash; he therefore led home the CRT riders as PBM’s Michael Laverty ended his maiden home race in 19th position, ahead of Colombian teammate Yonny Hernandez.
With the triple-header of Indianapolis, Brno and Silverstone now over, MotoGP returns in two weekends’ time with the GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini from Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
With six events remaining in 2013, debutant Marquez carries an advantage of 30 points over Pedrosa, with Sunday’s winner Lorenzo now trailing the championship leader by 39 points.
After the race, it was announced that Marquez had received two penalty points for his part in the Crutchlow Warm-Up incident, having not slowed sufficiently under yellow flags.
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 40m 52.515s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 40m 52.596s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 40m 54.066s
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 41m 5.748s
5. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 41m 5.813s
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 41m 12.742s
7. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 18.814s
8. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 41m 28.508s
9. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 28.634s
10. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 41m 45.711s
11. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 41m 51.573s
12. Michele Pirro ITA Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 41m 53.225s
13. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 41m 54.205s
14. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 41m 54.358s
15. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 42m 1.348s
16. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 42m 1.578s
17. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 42m 8.989s
18. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 42m 9.050s
19. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* 42m 24.572s
20. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 42m 28.739s
21. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 42m 53.150s
22. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) DNF
23. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* DNF
1 Marc Marquez 233 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 203 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 194 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Valentino Rossi 156 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Cal Crutchlow 136 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Stefan Bradl 113 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Alvaro Bautista 103 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
8 Andrea Dovizioso 96 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden 88 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Aleix Espargaro 68 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Bradley Smith 66 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
12 Michele Pirro 44 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 41 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Colin Edwards 27 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
15 Hector Barbera 27 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Danilo Petrucci 22 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
17 Randy De Puniet 20 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
18 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Claudio Corti 7 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
20 Yonny Hernandez 7 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
21 Alex De Angelis 5 pts RSM DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
22 Karel Abraham 5 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Hiroshi Aoyama 4 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
24 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
25 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
26 Javier Del Amor 1 pt SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Martin Bauer 0 pts AUT S&B SUTER Remus Racing Team
28 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
29 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
30 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance