Monday, September 2


IN A very tight battle, defending champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) fought off the advances of series leader Marc Marquez (Honda) to win the British GP at Silverstone on Sunday.

Having just missed out on grabbing pole position by a fraction to Marquez the day before, Lorenzo took control of the race from the start and led Marquez and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Honda) by just fractions of a second as the race reached its thrilling crescendo.

With two laps to go, Marquez made his move and snatched the lead.  This time Lorenzo was ready, his tyres were good and he was in no mood to be beaten by the 20-year-old again.

So he dug deep and turned the tables to win by just 81 hundreds of a second while Pedrosa finished third, 1.5 seconds back on Lorenzo.

The race was run at a torrid pace, Pedrosa breaking Lorenzo's lap record on just the sixth of 20 laps, to set a new mark of 2m 01.941s.  The old mark was 2m 02.888s, set by Lorenzo on his way to winning the race from Casey Stoner (Honda) last year.

However, Lorenzo shattered his race record, also set last year, covering the 20 laps in 24 seconds less time, or better than a second a lap under his 2012 effort.

The record books will also show he led every lap but one on his way to victory.

Pedrosa was fifth early on but quickly passed Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Stefan Bradl (Honda) to settle into third position.  But while he was able to tail his young team-mate, he could not find a way to get ahead and settled for third.

When Pedrosa went past Rossi early on, Alvaro Bautista (Honda) saw his opportunity and also got ahead of the Italian then passed Bradl for fourth as Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa steadily drew away.

Rossi was content to sit behind Bradl until the halfway point, then upped his pace to get past the German before stalking Bautista and making his bid for fourth with three laps to go.  He made the move stick and was in front of the Spaniard as they ran to the finish line.  But Bautista made a last charge and very nearly pulled it off, coming up less then six hundredths of a second short at the end.

Further back, Bradl rode to a lonely sixth ahead of Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) who in turn had a safe buffer over a three-way battle for eigth between Bradley Smith (Yamaha) and the factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden.

With less than four laps to go, Dovizioso got in front of the young Englishman and Hayden was sniffing for a way past the pair of them.  He made it with two laps to go when his team-mate crashed.  Hayden seized the initiative to get ahead of the satellite Yamaha rider to grab eighth place, 35 seconds back on race winner Lorenzo.

While Lorenzo won the battle, and pulled five points back on Marquez, he is still third in the title chase, 39 points behind his young countryman, who is now 30 points ahead of Pedrosa.

Full race results here

Full world championship table here