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GP Week : Issue 211
MOTOGP >>> nEWs MOtOGp – race jOrGe tOps the 800 era It is difficult to imagine that the 799 500cc or MotoGP races that preceded Aragon’s 2014 event had as much drama, incident of controversy. Let’s get the simple part done first. Jorge Lorenzo won, ending his 2014 drought and a hoodoo that has seen Yamaha never win on the demanding circuit. Valentino Rossi crashed, and ended the race in the medical centre being treated for concussion. Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa crashed too – but both remounted, made a pit stop and not only finished the race, but finished in the points (!) And for the first time, an ‘Open’ bike was in victory lane on merit, not for having taken the honours in the class-within-a -class. The reason behind many of these happenings was rain. When it started to sprinkle, then drizzle, then properly rain during the race, riders started to come to pitlane for their ‘wet’ bikes, led by Aleix Espargaro. Rider after rider pitted, until only the two Repsol Honda men, well clear of the field and seemingly negotiating their pitstop order with hand signals, remained. Then Pedrosa crashed, followed shortly after by Marquez. Both men had seen winning chances slip through their fingers. Through the murk came Lorenzo, followed shortly after by Espargaro. But as impressive as his ride and tactical nouse were, he had to fight elbow to elbow – quite literally – with the Ducati of Cal Crutchlow for the position. Even if he was on the older (and far less developed) GP14 the Brit reminded everyone of his speed, and it was a deserving podium before he decamps to Honda. The man he will replace next season, Stefan Bradl and Yamaha Tech 3 pair Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro completed the top six. Ducati’s progress was no illusion. Andrea Iannone put his GP’14.2’ on the front row of the grid and led early, until he ran off the road in the tricky conditions. In spite of hitting the floor for the second race in a row Marquez, unbelievably, left for the Far East with an increased points lead. He is now 75 points ahead of new second- placed man Dani Pedrosa, with Rossi third. Lorenzo is a further 10 points in arrears, guaranteeing an exciting battle to determine who is the second-best motorcycle racer in the world. 19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: