Monday, August 10

MARQUEZ WINS BUT LORENZO NARROWS THE GAP TO ROSSI

Marc Marquez (93) was surprised by the pace set by Jorge Lorenzo (99) in the MotoGP race
at Indianapolis on Sunday so bided his time until close to the end...

Showing a new level of maturity, Repsol Honda's defending World MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez bided his time until late in the race before making his bid for a seventh MotoGP race win in the USA.

For 24 of the 27 lap race, the Spaniard shadowed the Movistar Yamaha of race leader Jorge Lorenzo before he made his move.  Lorenzo had made a terrific start from third on the grid alongside the two Repsol Hondas but made it through the first corner ahead of pole-sitter Marquez and second fastest qualifier Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez later admitted he had been surprised by Lorenzo's pace.  The Yamaha man had run in the 1m 33s bracket for much of the third pre-qualifying session whereas Marquez had been able to put in ten laps in the 1m 32s range.

He had thus expected to have been to deal with Lorenzo without too much difficulty. Instead, he had to wait to almost the end of the race before upping the ante.  On the 23rd lap both Lorenzo and Marquez clocked their best laps of the race, and both were under Marquez's 2014 lap record.  Lorenzo's 1m 32.652s effort was only marginally bettered by Marquez's 1:32.625.


Jorge Lorenzo was in sublime form on the Movistar Yamaha at Indianapolis and made Marc Marquez dig deep.

But Lorenzo was done.  His next four laps were slightly slower whereas Marquez managed a second successive 1:32 then two in the low 33s before managing to break Lorenzo with a final lap of 1:32.905.  The Yamaha man's final circuit was 1:33.420s.  That difference in final lap times pretty much accounts for the 0.688 seconds by which Marquez was able to win his seventh MotoGP race in the United States of America.

Such is the margin between winning and coming second.

"The race went very well, but we were pretty much on the limit," Marquez admitted.  

"The truth is that Jorge improved a lot during the race, and I didn’t think there would be so many laps in the 1:32s.  Even towards the end of the race we did a 1:32.6, which is very fast!  We used the strategy of attacking at the end, when there were three laps remaining, and I think it was ideal for taking victory at this circuit."


Marc Marquez (93), Dani Pedrosa (partially obscured behind Marquez) and Andrea Iannone (29) enter the second turn at Indianapolis but Jorge Lorenzo has already got the jump.


The pace Lorenzo had set had been relentless and as a result both men broke the race record of 42m 7.41s, with Marquez clipping just over 12 seconds from it.  In other words, both men averaged better than four tenths of a second a lap less than last year's race time.

However, although beaten by Marquez, Lorenzo had some consolation.  He had pulled back four precious championship points on championship leader and Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi.

"It could have been worse and it could have been better," said Lorenzo.  

"Second place in MotoGP is always a very good result because these are the best riders in the world, so to fight for the win and lead for so many laps during the race is difficult.  I pushed a lot from the start in every corner and I probably lost more energy than Marc, who was following me.  When he attacked I really didn't have enough energy and I wasn't fresh enough to make an attack on him, so I recovered four points on Vale and lost five points to Marc, but he's still quite far behind in the championship.  

"I think we should celebrate this result after a difficult weekend and my crash from this morning. I am satisfied, let's see what happens in the next race."

Just as Lorenzo had to deal with a Repsol Honda over the final stages of the race, so too did Rossi, his adversary taking the form of Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi had made his bid for third place on the podium on lap 18.  But Pedrosa came back at him two laps later and they swopped positions twice more before Rossi pulled a gap on the final go round.
Dani Pedrosa pursued by Valentino Rossi.

So Rossi kept his 2015 record of finishing on the podium in every race intact.

Behind fourth place Pedrosa was the factory Ducati of Andrea Iannone.  He had been fourth on the first lap but was demoted to fifth when Rossi swept by on his way up from the third row of the starting grid. 

Iannone had a fairly lonely race, but had to deal with a fast finishing Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) in the closing stages, coming home just two tenths of a second ahead of the Englishman.

Andrea Iannone ran fourth for most of the race.
Behind Smith was his team-mate Pol Espargaro who had a dice with the satellite Honda of Cal Crutchlow over the second half of the race.  Crutchlow first had to deal with the factory Suzuki of Aleix Espargaro, the Marc VDS Honda of Scott Redding and a surprisingly competitive Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Ducati GP14.  In fact, Crutchlow had the chastening experience of being behind the Ducati he'd abandoned last year.  It took him seven laps to work out a way past.


Andrea Dovizioso made a costly mistake on the first lap.

Petrucci was the second-placed Ducati for the first 17 laps while Andrea Dovizioso was working his way through the field after making a mistake on the first lap and running wide.  By the time he recovered, he was at the tail-end of the field.  Dovizioso's ninth place finish was thus a fine effort.


Of the two factory Suzukis, Maverick Vinales had the better performance, engaging with the Pramac Ducati of Yonny Hernandez and the Honda of Scott Redding early on and ultimately getting the better of them to finish 11th.  His team-mate Aleix Espargaro started out in tenth place but slowly drifted back to finish 14th.

For full results, click here.












Marc Marquez celebrates yet another USGP win while Yamaha men Lorenzo (left) and Rossi
count their world championship points...