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Italy MotoGP: Marquez beats Lorenzo in epic Mugello battle

Marc Marquez wins the 2014 Italian MotoGP at Mugello, Valentino Rossi rides from 10th to 3rd in his 300th GP.
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Marc Marquez took a perfect sixth victory in a row after an epic battle with Jorge Lorenzo in the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.

Marquez and Lorenzo exchanged the lead throughout the last seven laps, Marquez's victory pass being a slipstream move on the home straight at the start of the final lap.

On the four previous occasions, Lorenzo - lacking top speed - had successfully retaliated on the brakes at turn one. But this time Marquez was just able to cling on, then soak up the constant pressure from Lorenzo for the rest of the lap to win by 0.121s.

Home legend Valentino Rossi completed the podium after thrilling the fans with an early charge from tenth on the grid (after a front tyre mistake) to third, where he remained unthreatened during the second half of the grand prix. Rossi finished 2.688s from Marquez.

A deafening podium ceremony, in front of a sea of Italian fans, saw Rossi left in no doubt as to the level of adoration he still enjoys. Rossi is now ahead of Dani Pedrosa for second in the world championship, but 53 points behind Marquez, with Lorenzo climbing to fourth.

After dropping from pole to third at turn one, Repsol Honda's Marquez had wrestled his way past Ducati's Andrea Iannone and was within striking distance of race leader Lorenzo by lap 6 of 23.

Marquez then stalked the Movistar Yamaha rider - back to his best after a miserable start to the season and seeking his fourth Mugello win in succession - until taking the lead for the first time when Lorenzo clipped the grass on the 200mph straight with seven laps to go.

Lorenzo was determined to retaliate and got by on the brakes for turn one next time around, a pattern that was repeated time and time again. Lorenzo also successfully levered his way past Marquez in the tighter sections and the pair made light contact on one occasion, but there were no dirty moves and it was surely Marquez's most hard fought victory.

After being shuffled down the order in the early laps, Marquez's team-mate Pedrosa held off Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Pole Espargaro to finish where he had started in fourth - but 14 seconds from victory. Andrea Dovizioso passed Iannone, running the soft rear tyre, to be the top Ducati rider in sixth.

All of the Factory class Honda and Yamaha riders used the medium tyre compound, front and rear.

Starting from a Ducati best of sixth, Cal Crutchlow was nudged by Lorenzo at turn one and later lowsided from his Desmosedici while in eighth place on lap four - his bike then wiping out Stefan Bradl. Bradl was already sore after a massive highside in warm-up, but fortunately avoided any serious injuries.

Bradley Smith also fell early on, helping Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda), Aleix Espargaro (Open class Forward Yamaha) and Yonny Hernandez (Pramac Ducati) complete the top ten.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro claimed eleventh as a wild-card, with Karel Abraham edging out Scott Redding to be the top Open class Honda rider in twelfth.

Aspar's Nicky Hayden withdrew earlier in the weekend due to his ongoing wrist issues, with team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama taking two points for 14th.

Colin Edwards completed his first race with the new FTR chassis on his Forward Yamaha in 15th, for the final point.

Michel Fabrizio, replacing the injured Danilo Petrucci at Ioda, did not finish.

The Catalunya MotoGP takes place from June 13-15.

Italian MotoGP:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Pol Espargaro
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Andrea Iannone
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Yonny Hernandez
11. Michele Pirro
12. Karel Abraham
13. Scott Redding
14. Hiroshi Aoyama
15. Colin Edwards
16. Michael Laverty
17. Broc Parkes
18. Mike Di Meglio
Hector Barbera
Michel Fabrizio
Cal Crutchlow
Stefan Bradl
Bradley Smith

Tagged as: Lorenzo , Marquez

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June 01, 2014 2:00 PM

Lorenzo deserves a lot of credit for this one. Not only he almost beat the unbeatable but the Honda's better fuel consumption has been so obvious in the last laps of the race. What a top speed difference. Thanks for the entertaining race guys.

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