Jorge Lorenzo cut Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi’s lead in the 2015 MotoGP riders’ championship down to just 14 points by claiming a dominant victory in Sunday’s Aragon Grand Prix in Spain.
Starting second on the grid, Lorenzo managed to get the jump on pole-sitting Honda rider Marc Marquez off the line to take the lead of the race.
As Marquez tried to keep up with Lorenzo and apply pressure in second place, he pushed too hard, crashing off at high speed on just the second lap of the race.
Despite trying to get his bike back going, Marquez was forced to retire from the race. It marked his fifth DNF of the year and ends his already-faint title hopes as the gap to Rossi at the top of the championship now stands at 79 points.
After starting sixth, Rossi made a good start to rise up to fourth in the opening stages of the race. The Italian picked off Ducati rider Andrea Iannone to claim third before becoming embroiled in a titanic battle for second place with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in the final laps of the race.
Both drivers produced some impressive overtaking and defensive moves, but it was Pedrosa who managed to finish ahead at the flag, albeit only by less than one-tenth of a second.
In third, Rossi limited the damage of Lorenzo’s victory, ensuring that he retains a 14-point lead heading into the flyaway triple header of Japan, Australia and Malaysia that begins in two weeks’ time.
Iannone led Ducati’s charge at Motorland Aragon by finishing fourth ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso, whilst Aleix Espargaro ran well to P6 in front of his home fans in Spain. Cal Crutchlow ended the day seventh ahead of fellow Briton Bradley Smith, while Pol Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez rounded out the points in P9 and P10 respectively.