Barcelona MotoGP: Lorenzo fends off Rossi, Marquez crashes again

Jorge Lorenzo held off Valentino Rossi to win MotoGP's Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona as Yamaha dominated the race while key rivals including Marc Marquez crashed out

Barcelona MotoGP: Lorenzo fends off Rossi, Marquez crashes again

Dani Pedrosa finished a distant third for Honda to claim his first podium of the year and his first since the 2014 season finale at Valencia.

Lorenzo grabbed a lead he would never lose at the first corner as Suzuki pair Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, who had lined up first and second on the grid, were swamped off the line.

Marquez had followed Lorenzo off the line and put pressure on the Yamaha rider in the early laps.

But as the pair approached Turn 10 on the third lap, Marquez misjudged his braking and ended up crashing into the gravel trap on the exit of the corner after narrowly avoiding slamming into the back of Lorenzo.

Marquez was quickly back on his feet but only got going again to bring the bike back to the pits to retire.

Rossi had made steady progress from seventh on the grid and slotted into second when he dived down the inside of Andrea Dovizioso at Turn 4 on the fourth of the 25 laps.

The championship leader then set about chasing down his Yamaha team-mate but Lorenzo was able to extend his lead, little-by-little, every lap.

Lorenzo's cushion reached a maximum of two seconds just before half-distance, before Rossi narrowed the gap back down in the closing stages.

The Italian got within 0.8s by the end, but Lorenzo was able to hold him off and claim his fourth win of the season and in succession, reducing his team-mate's championship lead to a single point.

Pedrosa had passed Aleix Espargaro for third by diving down the inside of Turn 1 a quarter of the way into the race but he was left trailing by the dominant Yamaha pair in front.

Marquez's accident was one of a multitude of crashes, starting when Cal Crutchlow was edged wide by the recovering Aleix Espargaro on the first lap and lost control of his LCR Honda.

Pol Espargaro then crashed out at Turn 3 when he got his Tech 3 Yamaha on the slippery line at the exit of the corner on lap five.

The following lap, Dovizioso was the next rider to fall when he lost the front end of his bike at Turn 4 while holding third.

Aleix Espargaro also went out in a crash, losing the front end of his Suzuki at Turn 5 just five laps before the end of the race.

That elevated Andrea Iannone, who had passed Bradley Smith to take fifth late on, into fourth.

Vinales eventually recovered to come home sixth ahead of Scott Redding and Stefan Bradl.

Danilo Petrucci finished ninth on the Pramac Ducati and Alvaro Bautista completed the top 10 and secured the Gresini-run Aprilia's best result yet.

RESULTS - 25 LAPS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 42m53.208s
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 0.885s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 19.455s
4 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 24.925s
5 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 27.782s
6 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 29.559s
7 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 36.424s
8 Stefan Bradl Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 42.103s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Racing Ducati 49.350s
10 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Gresini Aprilia 52.569s
11 Jack Miller LCR Honda 53.666s
12 Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 55.765s
13 Loris Baz Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 55.832s
14 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Ducati 1m09.037s
15 Alex de Angelis IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia 1m25.263s
16 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 1 Lap
- Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki Retirement
- Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda Retirement
- Marco Melandri Aprilia Gresini Aprilia Retirement
- Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha Retirement
- Marc Marquez Honda Honda Retirement
- Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Retirement
- Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati Retirement
- Karel Abraham AB Motoracing Honda Withdrawn

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Valentino Rossi 138
2 Jorge Lorenzo 137
3 Andrea Iannone 94
4 Andrea Dovizioso 83
5 Marc Marquez 69
6 Bradley Smith 68
7 Cal Crutchlow 47
8 Maverick Vinales 46
9 Pol Espargaro 45
10 Dani Pedrosa 39
11 Danilo Petrucci 39
12 Aleix Espargaro 31
13 Scott Redding 27
14 Yonny Hernandez 26
15 Hector Barbera 16
16 Loris Baz 13
17 Alvaro Bautista 11
18 Jack Miller 11
19 Stefan Bradl 9
20 Michele Pirro 8
21 Nicky Hayden 8
22 Eugene Laverty 7
23 Hiroshi Aoyama 5
24 Mike Di Meglio 2
25 Alex de Angelis 1


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