Aragon MotoGP: Lorenzo wins crazy race as Marquez crashes again

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP win of 2014 as Marc Marquez crashed from the Aragon Grand Prix lead while trying to stay out on slicks in damp weather

Aragon MotoGP: Lorenzo wins crazy race as Marquez crashes again

A rain shower in the closing laps totally changed the complexion of a race that also featured a violent crash for Valentino Rossi, who has been taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

The leaders tried their utmost to hang on with slicks tyres as the rain arrived, while midfielders were soon coming in to change bikes.

As the weather worsened, Marquez started escaping from what had been a ferociously close, place-swapping, lead battle with Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo's Yamaha.

Lorenzo lost touch with the Hondas and finally pitted for wets, emerging just ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who had been the first man to come in.

Pedrosa then crashed under braking for Turn 1, while Marquez continued to persist with slicks even as Lorenzo began to close down what had become a half-minute lead.

Eventually the conditions became too much and Marquez fell on the way into Turn 2.

Like Pedrosa he was able to rejoin and tiptoe back to the pits to finally take his second bike and wet tyres, but it relegated the championship leader to a distant 13th place, one spot ahead of his team-mate.

After the Hondas' accidents, Lorenzo rapidly escaped from Espargaro, who was coming under pressure from the resurgent Cal Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl.

Crutchlow caught the Forward Yamaha on the last lap, with the pair banging fairings on the run to the line.

Espargaro held on to claim his first MotoGP podium by 0.017s over Crutchlow, whose third place was his first rostrum with Ducati.

Lorenzo's win ended a personal drought stretching back to the final race of 2013 at Valencia.

Rossi's crash came in the early, dry, part of the race, when he nearly clipped Pedrosa under braking as they battled for third.

The Yamaha slewed over the kerbs and had a big accident in the run-off area.

Rossi was taken away from the scene on a stretcher, but was able to walk into the medical centre himself before heading to hospital for checks.

Other crashers included Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso on the two new Ducatis.

Iannone had battled hard with Marquez and Pedrosa for the race lead at first, heading the field after lap one.

But he then ran wide at high speed, destroying his Pramac Ducati when he eventually lost control on the wet grass and sent his bike tumbling end over end.

Dovizioso's crash was more gentle but still race-ending, as he fell from fourth while among those trying to stay out on slicks as the rain came.

Bradley Smith narrowly beat Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Pol Espargaro and Gresini's Alvaro Bautista to fifth.

The incidents and pitstop issues helped several underdogs to make it into the top 10, with Hiroshi Aoyama taking eighth ahead of Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden and the second Gresini bike of Scott Redding.

RESULTS - 23 LAPS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 44m20.406s
2 Aleix Espargaro Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 10.295s
3 Cal Crutchlow Ducati Ducati 10.312s
4 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 11.718s
5 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 29.483s
6 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 29.686s
7 Alvaro Bautista Gresini Racing Honda 29.763s
8 Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 37.841s
9 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 42.957s
10 Scott Redding Gresini Racing Honda 53.937s
11 Danilo Petrucci IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 59.824s
12 Alex de Angelis Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 1m00.718s
13 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m15.227s
14 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m24.526s
15 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati 1m38.255s
16 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport PBM/Aprilia 1 Lap
17 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Avintia/Kawasaki 1 Lap
18 Broc Parkes Paul Bird Motorsport PBM/Aprilia 1 Lap
19 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1 Lap
- Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha Retirement
- Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing Ducati Retirement
- Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing Honda Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 292
2 Dani Pedrosa 217
3 Valentino Rossi 214
4 Jorge Lorenzo 202
5 Andrea Dovizioso 142
6 Aleix Espargaro 112
7 Pol Espargaro 108
8 Andrea Iannone 92
9 Stefan Bradl 87
10 Bradley Smith 85
11 Alvaro Bautista 73
12 Cal Crutchlow 63
13 Scott Redding 60
14 Hiroshi Aoyama 51
15 Yonny Hernandez 39
16 Nicky Hayden 36
17 Karel Abraham 33
18 Colin Edwards 11
19 Michele Pirro 11
20 Danilo Petrucci 9
21 Broc Parkes 7
22 Alex de Angelis 7
23 Mike Di Meglio 4
24 Michael Laverty 2
25 Hector Barbera 2
26 Leon Camier 1

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