Fans of motorsport, no matter what catgeory of preference, were given one of the finest showings this weekend at Mugello, as the latest round in the MotoGP World Championship took place.
Jorge Lorenzo produced a near perfect display of race control to consolidate his championship lead.
The reinging world champion was under constant pressure throughout the race. Having had a perfect launch on the grid, Lorenzo forced his way past his team-mate, Valentino Rossi, into the lead at the first corner. As ever, the Spaniard was metronomic in his ability to lap consistently fast and stretch the chasing pack. However, he was subject first to pressure from Rossi, then from Honda’s Marc Marquez, following the Italian’s mid-race retirement with a spectacular engine blow out. The two spaniards were locked to each other over the closing stages of the race, and fans were treated to a masterful demonstration in hard, but mostly clean, wheel-to-wheel racing – even if both riders elbowed each other through the Ducati chicane on the final lap. All is fair in love, war and MotoGP.
Victory for Lorenzo spared the blushes of Ducati, who would have had more than a little explaining to do if Andrea Iannone had taken his maiden victory. However, a disastrous start for ‘The Maniac’ saw him shunted down to P11 after the opening lap, putting an end this time to a race win which is surely not too far away. That being said, the Italian produced one of the strongest recovery rides, forcing his way back up the field to round out the podium. It might not have been the coveted victory, but the result sealed a weekend where he emphatically dominated his team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso.
Elsewhere it was a strong performance from Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who split the two Ducati bikes to finish fourth, almost snatching the final place on the podium with a daring sequence of moves on the final lap. Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales will perhaps be wondering what might have been, as he was unable to convert his front-row start into a front-running result. Nevertheless, a solid finish in sixth place further highlights his talent, which will be fully realised next season at Yamaha.
As for Valentino Rossi. The timing of his retirement from the race was unfortunate, as he had been harrying Lorenzo and looked to be on the verge of overtaking him for the lead. His non finish however has now left the nine times world champion with an almost insurmountable task, if he is to win the championship.
In the end, the gap between Lorenzo and Marquez as they crossed the finish line was a mere 0.019 seconds. Be prepared for the championship battle between these two to be just as tight.
1: Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha – 41:36.535
2: Marc Marquez – Honda – +0.019
3: Andrea Iannone – Ducati – +4.742
4: Dani Pedrosa – Honda – +4.910
5: Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati – +6.256
6: Maverick Vinales – Suzuki – +8.670
Full results can be found at http://www.motogp.com