Race Report follows.
Dani Pedrosa led at the start but was quickly worked over by Andrea Ianonne and Marc Marquez. Ianonne led over the line for the start of the second lap but Marquez short work of him. As Ianonne tried to recover the lead, he hit a puddle outside the kerb and had to take to the grass, but as soon as he was on the wet grass, at the high speed, a crash was inevitable and Ianonne slid in the mud as his bike destroyed itself next to him.
Two laps later, as Marc Marquez led Jorge Lorenzo led Dani Pedrosa led Valentino Rossi, Rossi had more corner speed and passed Pedrosa on the outside, heading towards a right-hander and realised that he was on the damp kerb and couldn't apply the brakes. He charged onto the astroturf and aquaplaned, separating bike and rider at high speed. Rossi tumbled toward the wall as his bike managed to avoid hitting him. Rossi and bike didn't hit the wall, but he was stretchered off and sent to the medical centre, luckily under his own power, for a CT scan, fearing concussion.
Behind the front three, Pol Espagaro and Andrea Dovizioso had their own duel while Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow fought for sixth place. Jorge Lorenzo using the medium rear tyre took the lead from Marc Marquez who used the harder rear, same as Dani Pedrosa in third. The lap after, eyes turned to the sky as Marquez's second bike came out of the garage and Marquez took first place back off Lorenzo.
At the halfway mark, the white flag came out. The rain had arrived.
With nine laps remaining, nobody deemed the conditions bad enough to change bikes and Marquez motioned to Lorenzo to pass him on the start/finish straight. A lap later, both Honda riders passed Lorenzo as lap times dropped. Aleix Espagaro, on his open class Yamaha, pitted in and changed to his wet bike, shortly followed by Nicky Hayden and Alex De Angelis. Pedrosa passed Marquez for the first of five lead changes in one lap and both riders were communicating to each other as they started lap nineteen, as if they were deciding if they could manage the last five laps on hard slicks, and the rain kept coming.
Most of the riders changed bikes, but Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo waited a little longer as the laps ran out. Lorenzo, seeing the Hondas getting away, made his move and changed bikes, a tactical decision that would be proven right immediately as Dani Pedrosa crashed out on turn one, and Aleix Espagaro climbed to third place.
With three laps to go, with a huge lead and no grip, Marc Marquez finally crashed, recovering his bike with enough time to get his scraped bike back to the pits, change bikes and recover in thirteenth place, one place ahead of Dani Pedrodsa who had done the same.
Jorge Lorenzo, with two laps to go, had a four and a half second lead over Aleix Espagaro who in turn was over two and a half seconds ahead of the fight between Cal Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl, but as the gap between Lorenzo and Espagaro increased, the gap between Espagaro and Crutchlow decreased, and, on the last lap, Lorenzo was assured of victory while Crutchlow, having shaken off Bradl, was closing on the second-placed man.
Jorge Lorenzo took his first victory of the year, winning through both skill and tactics, while his Honda rivals languished in thirteenth and fourteenth places and his teammate scored no points at all. Cal Crutchlow exited the final corner alongside Aleix Espagaro and both bikes were locked together as they crossed the line, but Espagaro retained his second place, giving an open class bike a first ever podium. Stefan Bradl took fourth with Bradley Smith, Pol Espagaro and Alvaro Bautista a further nineteen seconds behind him.
Marc Marquez increased his lead, incredibly, over Dani Pedrosa who in turn eked out two further points from Valentino Rossi.
|2||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||+10.295|
|12||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||Forward Yamaha||+1'00.718|
|16||70||Michael LAVERTY||PBM||1 Lap|
|17||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||1 Lap|
|18||23||Broc PARKES||PBM||1 Lap|
|19||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||1 Lap|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||5 Laps|
|46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||20 Laps|
|29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||22 Laps|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||Honda||22 Laps|