Photography by Gold & Goose
MISANO, Italy (Sept. 15, 2013) -- Jorge Lorenzo is doing everything he can to close the gap on series leader Marc Marquez. Not giving up without a great fight, Lorenzo utilized the new seamless transmission of the factory Yamaha M1 to full advantage scoring his third straight victory at Misano and beating rival Marquez to the flag by a margin of 3.379 seconds.
Dani Pedrosa was third after an exciting battle with his Honda teammate.
As a result of Lorenzo’s win he’s now tied Pedrosa in the standings and has moved to within 34 points of Marquez with five rounds remaining.
Lorenzo seemed to be a man on a mission at Misano, a track where he’s experienced so much success. He blasted off the line first and immediately opened a gap on the rest of the field. He held a 1.2 second lead after the first lap, almost unheard of in MotoGP. The Repsol Honda pair of Pedrosa and Marquez were next in line, closely followed by Misano favorite Valentino Rossi.
Andrea Iannone was an early faller on the Pramac Ducati, while CRT standout Aleix Espargaro was given a ride-through penalty for jumping the start. Karel Abraham pulled into the pits unable to race with his injured shoulder.
As Lorenzo continued his torrid pace up front, it was Pedrosa emerging a strong second, while rookie Marquez had his hands full with living legend Rossi. On lap five Rossi moved past Marquez and the two began a great battle that would last for seven laps, as the partisan Italian crowd cheered on their hero Rossi.
Ten laps in and Lorenzo stabilized his lead at about 2.5 seconds. He seemed to be able to easily manage the race from the front. Pedrosa stayed ahead of the Rossi/Marquez fray. On lap 13 Marquez was able to get back past Rossi. The Yamaha veteran was unable to mount a challenge to reply to Marquez.
In the second half of the race Lorenzo was able to extend his lead even further. On lap 23 he held his biggest lead of the race at 4.3 seconds. In the closing five laps he was able to ride a steady pace to hold on to a comfortable win. No doubt it was a command performance by Lorenzo, the kind he will need for the rest of the season if he’s to have any hope of catching Marquez in the championship.
Marquez made a great charge of his own in the latter stages of the race. On lap 18 he took over second from Pedrosa . Pedrosa fought back, but Marquez was not to be denied. He cleared away from Pedrosa, but was didn’t have enough time, and on this day, not enough speed to gain on Lorenzo.
Rossi came home fourth, a position he seems to own this season. Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow had an outstanding last-lap dice, with Bradl using the power of his LCR Honda to hold off the Tech 3 Yamaha of Crutchlow. Alvaro Bautista was a lonely seventh and then came top Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, who again had a long battle with teammate Nicky Hayden, who was ninth. Pramac Ducati’s Michele Pirro rounded out the top 10.
The win marked Lorenzo’s fifth of the season, matching Marquez’ win total. The standings show Marquez leading with 253 ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa each with 219. Those three are realistically the only riders left to battle for the championship with Rossi a distant fourth with 169 points.
“It’s important to win so we don’t lose points,” Lorenzo said with his eyes squarely on defending his title. “We gathered five more points as we did at Silverstone. For the championship it is not a big deal, but anyway we are very happy with this victory because we struggled so much during all the weekend, especially on braking. In the warm-up we made some modifications to the bike that improved it a lot. So I was really convinced to make the same start I did for the last four or five races. And finally I could make this a strategy and go away from the beginning.
“I’m very happy because it was a very hard race physically, because Dani and Marc never gave up. And they stayed constantly the same pace and I thank my team, especially for this race for improving my bike.”
American Colin Edwards finished the top CRT bike in 12th on the NGM Forward Racing FTR-Kawasaki.
Next up is Aragon on Sept. 27.
Results of the San Marino GP from Misano, Sept. 15, 2013
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 44m 5.522s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 44m 8.901s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 44m 12.890s
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 44m 20.584s
5. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 44m 27.877s
6. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 44m 28.121s
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 44m 36.581s
8. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 44m 48.224s
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 44m 50.380s
10. Michele Pirro ITA Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 44m 53.340s
11. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 44m 53.533s
12. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 45m 8.676s
13. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 45m 13.122s
14. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 45m 21.050s
15. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 45m 23.429s
16. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 45m 35.177s
17. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 45m 39.512s
18. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT) 45m 42.382s
Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) DNF
Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) DNF
Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) DNF
Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) DNF
Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) DNF
Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) DNF