Jorge Lorenzo took the holeshot and never looked back at the Catalunya circuit Sunday to take his fourth MotoGP win in a row. Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi overcame a third-row start to grab second and Dani Pedrosa managed his first podium of the year in a crash-filled race that saw eight riders fail to finish and every remaining rider but one taking championship points.
Lorenzo's win closed the gap in the championship to a single point behind his teammate Rossi with the Assen race coming in 11 days. Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP champion, has been the picture of consistenecy in 2015 with a podium finish in all seven races (including two wins).
Andrea Iannone compensated for a weak start and a mid-race battle with Bradley Smith to take fourth. Smith took advantage of a late crash by Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro to finish in fifth. Maverick Vinales (6th) came home as the top factory Suzuki with Scott Redding (7th) another six seconds back. Stefan Bradl earned points for only the second time this year -- he managed a single point in Argentina -- for eighth, his best finish of 2015. Danilo Petrucci held on for a lonely ninth, three seconds in front of Alvaro Bautista (10th) who gave Aprilia its best result of the year.
Very early on, the race looked to be a tight contest with Lorenzo seizing the lead on the first corner with 2014 champion Marc Marquez locked on his tail. At the end of the first lap, it was Lorenzo, Marquez, Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro, and Rossi as the top-five placed riders. But on the second lap, disaster struck again for Marquez. While closing on Lorenzo, he ran into turn 10 too hot and nearly clipped the rear wheel of Lorenzo's bike. Marquez stood his bike up and ran wide and off-track, crashing hard in the gravel trap. His day was over before the second lap was completed.
And he was hardly the last crasher. In fact, he wasn't even the first; Cal Crutchlow went down in the third corner of the first lap after an Aleix Espargaro bump. Yonny Hernandez too dropped out the contest. Then within five laps, three additional riders crashed on the hot, bumpy, slick surface including Pol Espargaro (22 laps remaining) Andrea Dovizioso (19 laps remaining) and Marco Melandri (19 laps remaining).
At the front, Lorenzo began opening a gap with Rossi now in second but nearly two seconds back. Pedrosa charged through the field to grab third, another two seconds behind Rossi. The top-three positions remained unchanged for the duration of the race with Rossi mounting a late charge on his teammate to close the gap to a single second at the race's end.
It was the first time in Lorenzo's career he has won four races in a row. Marquez has crashed out of three races this year.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bikend||Time / Diff.|
|8||6||Stefan BRADL||Yamaha Forward||42.103|
|13||76||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||55.832|
|14||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||+1'09.037|
|15||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||ART||+1'25.263|
|16||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||1 Lap|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||5 Laps|
|69||Nicky HAYDEN||Honda||12 Laps|
|33||Marco MELANDRI||Aprilia||19 Laps|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||19 Laps|
|44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||21 Laps|
|93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||22 Laps|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||22 Laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||23 Laps|