2018 Barcelona MotoGP Race Result: The Law Of The Land

Lorenzo Land was shining resplendently as the premier class race got underway and the man who dominated the weekend finished it off on home soil with back-to-back wins. Jorge Lorenzo had it mostly his own way and wore down the opposition to score his sixth race win at the Catalan circuit and his 150th career podium. Marc Marquez just had to have a go at victory but his mission stalled halfway through the race and the world champion listened to his anthem from the second podium position. Valentino Rossi pulled a Rossi and excelled on Sunday, the veteran running a lonely race towards his 14th podium at the track.

Poleman Lorenzo had a decent start but Marquez did one better this time around and led the way into turn one, Andrea Iannone following suit and dropping Lorenzo into his teammate’s clutches. Rossi climbed into fifth, with Dani Pedrosa sixth, while Maverick Viñales went backwards once again, into eleventh positon, behind Danilo Petrucci, Cal Crutchlow and an impressive Bradley Smith.

Lorenzo restarted his charge soon after and got past Iannone by the end of lap one after the Italian attacked Marquez a bit too enthusiastically. The Ducati man also got past the Honda at the end of the main straight at the start and predictably attempted an escape. The reigning world champion was the lone advocate for the hard tyres amongst the leaders – who favoured the soft – closely followed by Dovizioso, with Rossi, Pedrosa and Petrucci also picking up Iannone by lap three. Smith was still hanging on behind the Italian but Crutchlow, Viñales and Johann Zarco looked hungry close behind. The British rider resisted one more lap until the trio made it past him, as did Jack Miller and Tito Rabat, but none of those three finished the race – more about that later.

Back at the front, Lorenzo had a tiny advantage but Marquez kept him within reach, while Dovizioso bided his time half a second behind, holding off Rossi. By lap five, Pedrosa – on the medium tyres – had lost over a second on the top four and was fending off Petrucci, not all that successfully. Soon after, Rossi was also starting to lose touch with the podium, giving Dovizioso a bit of a breather.

Nine laps in, Marquez was still keeping up with his future teammate, while Lorenzo’s actual teammate was dropping off slightly. It did not look too damaging until Dovizioso went down in turn five in a very damaging third DNF of the season. That promoted Rossi into the final podium position, while the two leaders were trading fastest laps. Two seconds behind Rossi, Pedrosa had a new rival in Crutchlow, who had escaped the Yamahas of Zarco and Viñales to have a go at Petrucci for fifth. A Honda battle ensued, with Pedrosa and Crutchlow swapping fourth place several times, while Petrucci was not really letting go of that bone either.

On lap 11, Marquez finally gave up the fight after seeing one of his main title rivals out of play and let one second slip between his fingers. The Spaniard had three seconds in hand on Rossi, who in turn had three seconds on the Pedrosa/Petrucci/Crutchlow shenanigans, the trio providing the entertainment at the halfway point of the race. With nine laps left, Petrucci abandoned that mission and surrendered his sixth position to the two Yamahas led by Zarco, the Frenchman running ahead of factory teammate Viñales.

Not much action followed for the next handful of laps, with the exception of Crutchlow making it stick on Pedrosa with seven laps left. And also a bit of action was Rabat being forced into retirement after his Ducati turned into a camp fire at the end of the straight. A few oil flags worried the final four laps, although Lorenzo had no problem keeping up his metronomic pace of old. Significantly lower down the grid, Viñales finally made it past Zarco and set off to make up a one second gap on Pedrosa. Other than that, riders kept not wanting to finish the race, with the likes of Franco Morbidelli and Hafizh Syahrin falling out of point positions and leaving fewer riders on track than points available.

As the riders crossed the line one final lap, Lorenzo had a casual four-second advantage, with Marquez cruising to second and Rossi in a solitary ride to third. Crutchlow came home in fourth, three seconds down the road, with Pedrosa finally finishing a race in fifth and Viñales settling for sixth. The Yamaha man had made one of his usual races of late, a shockingly poor start followed up with excellent pace in the second half of the race, finishing only a tenth of a second behind his compatriot. Zarco finished seventh, ahead of Petrucci and a welcome result for Alvaro Bautista in ninth place. Iannone completed the top ten after fading throughout the race.

The world championship leader extended his advantage at the front to 27 points, Rossi consolidating his second place ahead of teammate Viñales. The Spaniard is still third, 38 points down on his leading compatriot. Zarco climbs ahead of Petrucci in fourth, Crutchlow picking up two places in sixth. Meanwhile, Lorenzo equalled his teammate’s points and jumped ahead of him in the championship standings, in seventh position.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 40'13.566
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +4.479
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +6.098
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +9.805
5 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +10.640
6 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +10.798
7 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +13.432
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +15.055
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati +22.057
10 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki +24.141
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +36.560
12 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia +38.229
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +1'21.526
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 3 Laps
    Not Classified    
  55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 4 Laps
  53 Tito RABAT Ducati 6 Laps
  43 Jack MILLER Ducati 7 Laps
  38 Bradley SMITH KTM 11 Laps
  30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 11 Laps
  42 Alex RINS Suzuki 13 Laps
  4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 16 Laps
  10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 17 Laps
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 20 Laps
  12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 21 Laps
  50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 22 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  36 Mika KALLIO KTM 0 Lap
Round Number: 
7
2018
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Total votes: 101

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Comments

Metronomic hammer and butter Lorenzo at his best. Love him or loathe him he is something special. Unlike Mugello win last time out he had to silence critics who suggested if he got duffed up on the first lap he would have problems. Well, he duffed up those who duffed him up on lap one, settled down, cool as a cucumber and vanished. No, it was no spectacular last lap showdown, but seeing him wrapped around that bike like a python preventing any attempt by it to resist his control and strangulation of the race was simply a pleasure to behold. It was almost an 800 era race which 99% hate, yet I still reflect fondly on that era. You did not see that much hammer and tongs race after race, but you did see the dawn of so called alien tallent on track. I glimpsed 800 era again in this race and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lorenzo just has to take the next step when a diverse weather weekend steps up to upset the applecart. I'm one of those who put my hand up saying Lorenzo should be dropped from Ducati and I stand by it. Dovi hit another low point. Clearly he could not run Lorenzo's pace and chucked it down the road trying to keep pace with Marquez. I was saying to myself after Friday's FP2 session...why does Dovi not try the aero? Answer...pride commeth before a fall. Anyway, all applauds and fantastic job done Jorge Lorenzo you old 800/1000cc pirate.

Total votes: 50

Simon Crafar questioned his crew (forgot who) earlier in the weekend and was told that Dovi doesn't need the extra weight on the front end during braking/ entry but requires a more rearward weight balance due to his heavy use of the rear brake. Really enjoying Crafar's inputs these days, he asks some very good and often quite direct questions, and actually seems to get a positive reception around the paddock 

Total votes: 41

The race was over after 9 laps when Dovi crashed.... then it was just a boring procession.

But Lorenzo's pace... oh boy, amazing! Awesome!  What a shame he left Ducati. I for one never believed he was going to make it, but to see him leave now when the bike is almost perfect... ah! The power of a piece of plastic...

Great shame too to witness Dovi breaking up: the calmest coolest guy is feeling the pressure in the worst possible way. 

I'm still convinced that this season's outcome is already sealed, but we might be in for another couple of "boring metronomic pace" races.

On a side note : how ironic that both Vinales and Zarco were among the slight majority of riders who chose the soft tire strongly disliked by  the other factory Yamaha guy  (as per your previous article David) : come race day Vinales seems confident with it  and  Zarco in a sudden change of heart  choses the medium, and look where they finished. 

 

Total votes: 44

I see Claudio Domenicali is still getting the cold sholder from Lorenzo 

Total votes: 54

I think Ducati has lost better driver...

Total votes: 27

belongs to Tito Rabat.  Sorry ;)

What next for Ducati now that they tossed their championship contending quality rider just as he comes back into form (with hindsight, Dovi's 2017 challenge was greatly aided by Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha producing bad bikes)?  Throw money at Fabio Quartararo whose career has taken a phoenix like turn or whomever emerges as the best Italian rider from the current Moto3 crop (another Phoenix in Bulega) for 2020 (or 2021)?

Total votes: 27

Unbearable I mean. After winning two in a row. I quickly hit the stop button before the Parc Ferme stuff. Anyway, fair do’s, well done Jorge.

It’s got me wondering though about Honda’s game in hiring him. You’d think there’s a risk that Marc and Jorge will spend all season tripping each other up and, sooner or later, it’ll end in tears. Is this a replay of Honda and Vale some 15 years back? That when the No.1 starts thinking it’s entirely him rather than him and the bike, they put him in his place. It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure.

 

Total votes: 41

My humble non informed guess. First, no matter the consequences, I think that to have a team of multiple champions looks damn good from a pr point of view, and scary for the rest of the field.  Second, i think that Puig wanted to bring in the garage a real balance if power. In a way, bringing in Lorenzo takes away some influence from Marquez team. In doing so Puig takes power off from Alzamora. This line of thought makes sense : history has shown that you can have two very strong teammates and win all - 2009 and 2015 are proof of that... 

The downside is that the future experience In the Honda garage might be something totally new in respect to what we witnessed in Yamaha.  though it was ferocious and sometimes nasty, the two Yamaha boys kept it reasonably fair play on the track. They certainly hated each other but I don't recall any major dirt move on track. (Please: anyone thinking of bringing up motegi 2010 refrain! There are zillions reasons why that race was hard but fair) I cannot say the same for a Marquez Lorenzo total war if they are both fighting for the championship, as I'm sure they will. Lorenzo will not take any ramming/barging from Marquez. And I doubt Marquez will ever stop his overagressive style, not even with Lorenzo - barring Valencia 2015 of course.

Total votes: 37

Doohan-Okada 1997

Doohan-Crivillé 1995-1996

Agostini-Read 1973

Hailwood-Agostini 1965

Any disagreement?

Note that Doohan was definitely the best rider those seasons, while the other two pairings only lasted one season before one rider left.

Total votes: 21

Pros

One of the top five riders of the modern era

Knowledge and experience of your two closest rival manufacturers

Proven track record of taking motorcycle development towards speed and rideability for many riders

A worthy rival in the garage to help Marquez contract negotiations when the time comes

Cons

EGO

Possibly toxic team environment

Verdict

A no brainer. Espcially when you didn't even have to go looking for it.


I can't wait to see how he does on a Honda and I hope he retains his form on a Ducati to the end of the year.

Total votes: 34

You’re probably all right, and it does promise (or threaten) to lock out the title for the next few years. But I can’t imagine Márquez accepting, with equanimity, being repeatedly beaten by Lorenzo next year or the year after. Who knows, maybe he too will switch bikes.

Total votes: 24

... post race theatrics too, but you should perhaps go and watch the parc ferme.  My impression of it was that it was joyful and jovial.  Jorge was boffing everyone on the head with his toy hammer, laughs and smiles all round.  I'm about as jaded as they come and thought it was quite funny.  Having now watched snippets of the post-race press conference it's quite clear that Jorge (often a rather tortured soul) is in a great head-space right now.

Total votes: 41

Re: Lorenzo's head space, yes, I thought so, too. It's amazing what relief a couple of grand prix wins on a Ducati can bring, eh? :)

I also thought Rossi's answer about him winning on the new-era Ducati was very savvy and politically correct, in a good way. Then JL followed up with the correct answer to that question, as well as answering well on whether or not he and VR are friends. It was honest and very nice to hear, and you could tell that VR actually agreed.

Total votes: 27

Be sure to note the crash total for Fri and the whole wknd. Wow! Each one a few hundred thousand Euros or so, lots of money skidding around there. Few injuries thankfully.

New surface and warm temps plus dirty track offerred little room between approaching the limit and BONK. Greasy being atop a layer of Moto2 rubber. Some riders complained about the front tire selection, but given these conditions at a fresh track it wasn't going to be easy.

Plus, Lorenzo's renewed ability to start immediately on top pace then stay there, plus Marc's ability to similarly push a skating bike not yet settled in...the bar has been raised. The field is closer pace tip to tail. If you don't push the limit on Friday, burst onto the pace on lap one rather than burn some fuel and bed some tires in, you look like Vinales.

Total votes: 57

Morbidelli listed as out initially, then in pits yet he gets points? Must have stayed out of garage.

Puig knows Honda is one bad crash from Marquez away from being in trouble. Plus Lorenzo brings incredible wealth of tech to make the Honda easier to ride.

Total votes: 37

However he goes on a Honda, at the moment I imagine Honda are pretty pleased that they have at least ensured Lorenzo won't be on a Ducati next year.

Total votes: 54

Honda have been very savvy in ensuring all their eggs are not in one basket, where pretty much all the other teams are battling to even have an effective Plan A, let alone Plan B.  

The old dog at Yamaha seems to be the only mutt with any bite, with Vinales pointing the Purdey side by side at his foot and pulling the trigger the moment the start lights go out.  Iannone is a potato sack full of racoons but he is making everyone ask "Where's Rin's?" because he has simply gone AWOL.  KTM and Aprilia seem cast in place, unable to will a step in the forward direction.

As hard as it is to bet against Honda for 2018, 2019 may be even worse for the rest of the teams.  

Very much a return to 800 era-style racing, one that F1 would laugh at and say "I thought you said MotoGP was exciting?" 

Total votes: 25

Absolutely spot on there.  Ducati must be kicking themselves, they put in the hard graft, paid the huge bill to entice him from comfortable ground, then tired of their new toy too early (assisted by the pleasantly unexpected upsurge of Dovi), forgot what they had bought.  I am quite certain Lorenzo will initially struggle on the Honda, but if HRC are smart (and they are) they will devote resources to a parallel development of the RCV in order to make it work for JL.  He has the self-assurance now that he can do it (not that HE ever likely doubted it).

With another year he'd have been a real prospect next year for sure. If nothing else, Honda have bought that away from Ducati, probably well worth whatever they paid.

Total votes: 27

And Surely Honda will remember what happened with Ducati and Jorge. Maybe it will help the spaniard to benefit from more patience next year from the HRC. :)

Total votes: 32

@mtiberio: I saw on the timing screens that Morbidelli came back out of the pits as the leaders were on the last lap. I assume to pick up a few points, as at that point all riders that finished got points.

Total votes: 25

0.4 of a second difference in lap time for the whole race. The alien returns.

Total votes: 24