Jorge Lorenzo won an incident-packed MotoGP Grand Prix at Aragon on Sunday. The Yamaha rider emerged victorious after a long battle with the Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, who both made mistakes late in the race and finished 13th and 14th, respectively.
Aleix Espargaro finished second on the Forward Yamaha, while Ducati's Cal Crutchlow came home in third. Valentino Rossi crashed out early in the race but was declared fine by the medics on site.
Here's the full race result, courtesy of the MotoGP Twitter account:
Ahead of the race, Lorenzo suggested on Twitter that he was primed for a battle in front of his home supporters:
Pedrosa got off to a wonderful start and held the lead into Turn 1, but Andrea Iannone came roaring back to overhaul the Spaniard at Turn 2. The pair looked set for a wonderful early battle at the front, but Iannone came under pressure from Marquez, ran wide and ended up off the race track.
It was a nasty fall, as we can see here, courtesy of Crash.net MotoGP:
Marquez eventually emerged at the front of the field, showcasing the kind of form that's allowed him to build up a real head of steam in the race for the MotoGP World Championship. But it was clear the 21-year-old wasn't going to have things all his own way here.
With no pressure from behind after Iannone's error, Pedrosa was able to stick the afterburners on and went about setting the fastest lap of the race. But he was held up by Lorenzo—who had taken second place—and was unable to put any real pressure on Marquez, who was beginning to find his rhythm at the front of the pack.
Rossi has endured a frustrating time of things this weekend, and a poor few days were compounded after he ran wide on Lap 4 and suffered a terrible smash. Once again, Crash.net MotoGP gives us a closer look:
Rossi was later confirmed to be fine, and the focus quickly shifted back to what was happening on the race track. Lorenzo was doing superbly to preserve second place, but things were about to get even better for the 27-year-old as he passed Marquez to take the lead on Lap 9.
But the Honda rider quickly found his feet and regained the lead on Lap 12 after going wheel-to-wheel with the Yamaha superstar. And not long after, Pedrosa was clear of him too, seemingly paving a way for a scrap between the two Honda riders for the Grand Prix victory.
As is often the case in MotoGP though, things didn’t transpire quite as planned. Pedrosa was chasing Marquez with gumption in the latter stages, but his endeavour ultimately cost him, as he went too hard into Turn 1 and crashed.
Marquez looked home and dry, but he had gambled by not pitting during the race, and although he was way clear at the front of the pack, he was losing a lot of time as the rain came down. It was a hugely brave decision from the Spaniard, and with two laps to go it cost him; he went down in Turn 2, allowing Lorenzo to take first position with two laps remaining.
The experienced Spaniard made no mistake in the latter stages and raced home to take a dramatic victory. It was the first of 2014 for the Yamaha man, and he celebrated in style at the end of the race, as noted here by the MotoGP Twitter account:
Presenter Matthew Roberts was delighted for Lorenzo:
It was a hugely disappointing day for Honda. They would have been looking at a one-two finish during the latter stages of the race, but ultimately some elementary errors and poor decision-making cost them dearly. Despite that, Marquez remains well in charge in the race for the World Championship and will be desperate to bounce back next time out in Japan.
For Lorenzo, this victory is a massive bonus and timely reminder of his undeniable quality. In front of home supporters, the victory will be even sweeter for the Yamaha man, and from his perspective, hopefully the win at Aragon can inspire a fruitful end to the season.
Here are the updated standings in the World Championship, courtesy of MotoGP.com:
|6||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||SPA||112|
|18||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||USA||11|
|22||Alex DE ANGELIS||Forward Yamaha||RSM||7|
|23||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||FRA||4|