Rossi wins Marquez duel as Iannone dents Lorenzo title hopes
Valentino Rossi emerged victorious from a thrilling duel with Marc Marquez to win the Catalan Grand Prix as Jorge Lorenzo lost the championship lead in dramatic circumstances on Sunday.
The race weekend has been marred by the death of Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who was killed in a crash at turn 12 in Friday’s free practice.
That incident led to a revised track layout to be adopted, with Movistar Yamaha duo Rossi and Lorenzo quick to fume at the changes, claiming they gave the advantage to the Repsol Hondas of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
But it was Rossi who claimed maximum points, holding off Marquez to seal victory - making the telling move with two laps remaining - with Pedrosa completed the podium.
Despite settling for second, Marquez is now 10 points clear of Lorenzo at the top of the standings after the defending world champion was knocked off his bike by Andrea Iannone.
Iannone, who will leave Ducati at the end of the season to allow Lorenzo to join the team, careered into the back of the Spaniard’s bike, unseating both riders and handing Marquez the advantage in the title race.
LORENZO MOVES INTO LEAD AS IANNONE MAKES FLYING START
Lorenzo appeared in prime position to claim a third win in a row when he surged past pole-sitter Marquez at the start, while Iannone flew from eighth to third, however, both finished the weekend without a point after their collision.
DEFENDING CHAMPION FUMES AFTER IANNONE ENDS HIS RACE
Lorenzo slipped back down the field as the pace he showed at the start faded, but was still poised to remain ahead of Marquez in the standings, yet he was robbed of a fifth-placed finish when Iannone got it all wrong at turn 10.
ROSSI OUTDUELS MARQUEZ
Rossi moved into the lead with 19 laps to go as the swooped past Lorenzo, with Marquez soon following him past his Spanish compatriot. Marquez looked to have made the vital overtake with three laps left on the start-finish straight, only for the Italian to pull off a similar move a lap later and surge to clear to seal a second win of the season.
IN THE POINTS
1. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 44:37.589
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +2.652
3. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +6.313
4. Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) +24.388
5. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha) +29.546
6. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) +36.244
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +41.464
8. Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) +42.975
9. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac) +45.337
10. Jake Miller (Marc VDS) +49.514
Marc Marquez 125
Jorge Lorenzo 115
Valentino Rossi 103
Dani Pedrosa 82
Maverick Vinales 72
The riders now have a long break before returning to action at the TT Assen on June 26.