Lorenzo halts Marquez victory streak in Silverstone thriller
1 September 2013
Jorge Lorenzo showed the battling qualities of a champion as he stood toe to toe with injured title rival Marc Marquez in a breath-taking British MotoGP and halted the Repsol Honda rider's victory streak.
Marquez, who dislocated his shoulder following a morning warm-up spill at Vale, was seeking an incredible fifth victory in succession in the premier class at Silverstone.
And despite the discomfort from his injured shoulder, the 20-year-old pushed Factory Yamaha star Lorenzo all the way to the flag in a sensational race that must surely go down as the most exciting confrontation of the season so far.
Lorenzo made the running for most of the race until lap 17 of 20, when Marquez made his move at Brooklands, where he had looked particularly strong.
However, Lorenzo responded with a calculated pass on the brakes into Vale, where Marquez suffered his morning tumble.
The pair had made a break from Dani Pedrosa, who had earlier closed a two-second gap to join the leading duo.
A sizzling final lap was in prospect and it didn't disappoint, with Marquez gradually moving closer to Lorenzo's rear wheel before making an incredible pass at Brooklands.
The series rookie ran slightly wide at Luffield, allowing Lorenzo enough room to squeeze back into the lead on the factory M1 and he held on to win by 0.08s with Pedrosa a safe third.
Valentino Rossi had the upper hand in his battle with familiar foe Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda with Stefan Bradl finishing in a lonely sixth on the LCR Honda.
Cal Crutchlow – battered and bruised after a fall in warm-up coupled with his spills in practice – was an equally isolated seventh on a disappointing day for the British hope, followed by Ducati's Nicky Hayden, Bradley Smith on the Tech 3 Yamaha and top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro.
Michael Laverty finished in 19th position on the PBM CRT machine.
Pole man Lorenzo made a flying start to the race and appeared to touch elbows with Marquez on the run to the first corner as the pair jostled for position.
Rossi also made a strong start from row two past Crutchlow into third place, although he soon lost the position to Bradl with Crutchlow dropping back to sixth.
Lorenzo and Marquez made a slight break from Bradl on lap two with Pedrosa up to fourth ahead of Rossi, Bautista and Crutchlow, who was losing touch with the leaders.
Pedrosa was beginning to make up ground and was into third at start of third lap, passing Bradl to set off in pursuit of Lorenzo and Marquez, who had broke clear.
Pedrosa set the fastest lap of the race so far at 2m01.970s on the RC213V as he attempted to reel in Lorenzo and Marquez, pulling away from Bradl, Bautista and Rossi, who were locked in a battle for fourth.
The Repsol Honda star was 2.157 seconds behind Lorenzo and Marquez but he was on a charge, making visible inroads to join the pair on lap seven.
Bautista was beginning to consolidate fourth as Rossi pressurised Bradl for fifth, the pair swapping places on the eighth lap as Rossi made his move into Vale.
The German rider hit back as the duo traded blows through Club and Abbey to cling onto fifth, entertaining the huge Silverstone crowd.
At the halfway mark Rossi finally made a pass stick on Bradl to take fifth, 1.5s behind Bautista.
Marquez had a look at Lorenzo into Brooklands on lap 11, but the positions remained the same with Lorenzo holding his nerve.
On the next lap the young Honda rider was close to hitting the rear of Lorenzo's machine at Stowe as he continued to ramp up the pressure, with Pedrosa keeping a watching brief in third. Bautista, Rossi, Bradl and Crutchlow were the top seven.
Three laps from the end, Marquez seized the lead for the first time in the race with a magnificent move at Brooklands, diving underneath Lorenzo.
The championship leader's spell at the front was short-lived though as Lorenzo moved back to the top spot on the brakes at Vale on the 18th lap with Pedrosa now looking like a spent force.
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who was involved in a scrap for eighth with Smith and Hayden, crashed out on his Desmosedici GP13.
A heart-stopping last lap lived up to all expectations as Marquez inevitably made one final bid for the victory, hitting the front at Brooklands before Lorenzo demonstrated his resolve by powering through to re-take the lead at Luffield to gain a much-needed victory in the title race.