Photography by Gold & Goose
SILVERSTONE, England (Sept. 1, 2013) – In one of the most epic last-lap battles in the MotoGP era, defending series champ Jorge Lorenzo came out on top over Marc Marquez in a torrid last lap battle that saw both riders pushing and shoving their way past one another, with all the passes relatively clean. Marquez showing a heroic effort after dislocating his left collarbone in a morning practice crash.
On the cool-down lap Lorenzo and Marquez congratulated one another, both savoring a fabulous race.
Pedrosa chased down and ran with Lorenzo and Marquez, but in the end didn’t have the pace on the final lap, or perhaps the stomach, to get mixed up in a tooth and nail battle.
And if the battle up front wasn’t enough for British fans, Valentino Rossi outdueled Alvaro Bautista on the last lap in another riveting clash, to nail down fourth place.
Stefan Bradl was a lonely sixth, followed by home country hero Cal Crutchlow in seventh. Crutchlow was perhaps a bit shell shocked having crashed three times on the weekend.
American Nicky Hayden was eighth on the Ducati, winning out in a race-long battle over Bradley Smith and Andrea Dovizioso, who crashed with a couple laps to go. Smith came home ninth and Aleix Espargaró rounding out the top ten as top CRT finisher.
American Colin Edwards scored world championship points for the eighth time in 12 races on his FTR Kawasaki, finishing 14th.
The race began with Lorenzo getting his normal flyer start to take the early lead, but surprisingly it was Marquez, injured shoulder and all, following in his draft. The leading duo immediately gapped the rest of the field on the first lap.
Rossi was third in the early going, but Bradl was quickly through to take the position. He held it for three laps before a slow-starting, but charging Pedrosa moved though with lap-record pace to take over third. Pedrosa then blazed in an effort to catch the leaders who were nearly two seconds ahead.
Lukáš Pešek was an early faller.
In the middle section of the race Pedrosa steadily chiseled away at the lead of Lorenzo and Marquez to make it a three-way battle.
As the race went into the latter stages it was fully a three-rider battle for the lead, with Lorenzo leading the Honda pair. Marquez probed Lorenzo at various points, seeming to be able to hold a tighter line through the turns, while Pedrosa looked content to follow in third and consider his options.
Alvaro Bautista moved up past Bradl to fourth. Then it was Rossi moving by Bradl, but not before a classic couple of laps hard battle between the two.
Bradley Smith led the Ducati pair of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden in a tight fight over eighth. The pace finally caught up with Dovi who crashed out with a couple to go.
With three to go Marquez took the lead for the first time, stuffing his Honda up the inside of Lorenzo in a fast left hander and causing the Yamaha man to lift up to avoid contact. But Lorenzo would not be denied. He forced his way to the front with two to go setting up the amazing last lap.
Marquez out-braked Lorenzo and went up the inside going into Brooklands. With just a few turns to go Lorenzo thought he would have to settle for second, but he saw a little gap on the tight Luffield right hander and stuffed his way inside and back into the lead. Coming through the fast, sweeping right hander onto the front straight, both riders had their bikes drifting in an all-out effort to make it to the line first. It was Lorenzo getting the nod by 0.081 seconds. Pedrosa having wasted his tires in chasing down the leaders mid-race, gave up the fight on the final lap and was a 1.5 seconds back.
Lorenzo admitted it was one of his top races ever.
“Yes, that was one of the best races I’ve ever done,” said Lorenzo, who has now won three of the last four races at Silverstone. “I tried to open a gap at the beginning, but with the hard tire it was very difficult, also Marc was very good at the beginning. I pushed every lap, at every corner to open a gap, but it was impossible. Marc never gave up. He was always there.”
Lorenzo said a miscue on the final lap nearly cost him.
“I made a mistake at the chicane on the last lap and almost crashed,” he said. “Two corners to the end he passed me and I thought, ‘OK, again I’m in second place.’ But then he opened a little gap and I say it’s now or never so I try and I won this magnificent race for us. Very emotional and very exciting.”
Championship leader Marquez said he thought his weekend was over after the morning crash.
“When I dislocated my shoulder I thought I had finished my weekend,” said the rookie sensation. “Then we put it (popped it back in) so quick. OK, it was painful, but we take some pills and take some injection. The most difficult part was I didn’t have power, especially in the transitions from left to right. It was difficult, but I was able to stay with Jorge. With Jorge we did a very nice last lap. I try it, but then (in) the last corner I opened too much because both wheels to slide. But even with that I’m happy because 20 more point for the championship and we opened the gap (over Pedrosa) and that is important.”
Marquez now leads Pedrosa by 30 points (233-203), while Lorenzo is 39 points back in third.
Next up is San Marino in two weeks.
British MotoGP - Silverstone - Race Results
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