Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi took his second MotoGP win of the year in Catalunya beating Marc Marquez in a straight fight while Jorge Lorenzo ended with no points after being taken out by an errant Andrea Iannone.
Marquez had shadowed Rossi for most of the race after the pair got past Lorenzo but the Repsol Honda man left it until the final few laps to try and make his move. With five laps to go, Marquez tried a pass into turn ten but ran wide and Rossi was back in front but then got past on the pit straight.
However, Rossi outbraked his hated rival into turn one with four laps left only for Marquez to return the favour a lap later. With to laps left, Rossi pulled the same move on Marquez and then a mistake from the former champion at turn seven gave Rossi the break he needed to take victory by more than two seconds. Dani Pedrosa, who opted for the medium rear tyre, came home in a lonely third.
In parc ferme, Rossi and Marquez who have been at each other’s throats since Sepang, shook hands - an act which did the sport a world of good on a tragedy filled weekend when three riders have lost their lives.
Rossi and Lorenzo had complained their bikes didn’t suit the track configuration when it was changed followed Luis Salom’s crash but in morning warm-up, Rossi and his crew demonstrated they had found something which was enough to take it to Marquez, who had struggled before the alterations were made, as they moved some weight further over the front wheel.
It was disaster for Lorenzo, who slips back behind Marquez in the title chase after being nerfed off by Iannone. The Movistar Yamaha man didn’t have the pace to challenge Marquez and Rossi. He slowly slipped back into the path of the Ducati man who tried an insane pass on the brakes into turn ten and both ended on the floor.
Iannone was given a huge bollocking on live television by Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna and Yamaha have already made a complaint to race director Mike Webb, who is evaluating Iannone’s behaviour and will more than likely hand out a decent-sized penalty.
Pedrosa had to deal with an fast-starting Maverick Vinales early doors but the after the Ecstar Suzuki man had harried Lorenzo and but didn’t have the pace for Pedrosa. Pol Espargaro was the leading independent rider and he gambled on the medium compounds all round when almost all of the pack went for hard/hard.
Espargaro finished in fifth while Cal Crutchlow took his best result of the season so far in sixth place but the LCR Honda man won’t be happy finishing 36s behind the leader. Alvaro Bautista took a great result for Aprilia in eighth, one behind Andrea Dovizioso who seems to have lost his form after signing a two-year deal to remain with Ducati.
Danilo Petrucci captured ninth on his satellite Octo Ducati while Hector Barbera couldn’t capitalise on his second-row start, slipping to tenth on the customer Desmosedici GP14.2. Jack Miller did a great job in 11th place on the Estrella Galicia RC213V with Stefan Bradl taking the second Aprilia to 12th - one ahead of Eugene Laverty.
Scott Redding dropped down the order very quickly and finished just outside the points in 16th place.
Bradley Smith’s horrible season continued as he retired with tranmission problems. Aleix Espargaro cruised down pitlane at half distance.