Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo managed a last lap pass on Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez two corners from the finish to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in a classic battle for the ages of MotoGP. It was scintillating duel between what is appearing to be the two main protagonists for the title, even though Lorenzo still sits 39 points behind Marquez, and nine points behind Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who finished third.
Marquez nearly put himself out of the running in morning warmup, when he crashed in the same corner under braking as Cal Crutchlow did moments earlier, his tumbling bike nearly taking out corner workers who had responded to Crutchlow’s crash. Marquez suffered a dislocated shoulder in the fall, but luckily the circuit medical personnel were able to pop it back into place; he was cleared to ride, although he later said that the injury did affect him later in the race.
Marquez was later assessed two “penalty points” by race direction (in accordance with the new regulations for 2013 on that specify dangerous or reckless actions by riders will warrant penalty points, with certain thresholds of points calling for various actions leading up disqualification from future races) because he had apparently been running at full speed in an area where waving yellow flags were shown. Marquez said he didn’t see any flags, but took the penalty points without too much protest.
Sensing blood, Lorenzo pulled the holeshot from his second spot on the grid, but Marquez instantly latched onto his tail as the pair started to gap the field. Lorenzo tried to break away from the Repsol Honda rookie, but Marquez doggedly stayed in his draft, eventually making his first move with three laps to go at Brooklands. Lorenzo quickly retaliated by outbraking Marquez at Vale (where Marquez had crashed in warmup, perhaps leading to some hesitation on riding hard in that area), but Marquez struck back on the final lap at Brooklands once again, and Lorenzo thought that perhaps he was going to finish second again. But Marquez left the door slightly ajar heading into Luffield, and that’s all the invitation Lorenzo needed to swoop in two corners from the finish and steal the win.
Jorge Lorenzo stole the win...
Jorge Lorenzo stole the win at Silverstone with a last lap, penultimate corner pass on Marc Marquez.
“I’m really, really happy, really pleased,” said Lorenzo afterward. “It has been one of my best victories in my career...very emotional, very important also. I push from the beginning as always to try and open a gap—even a little bit more than the last races, I push even more. But was impossible; Marc never give up, even if he’s a little bit injured in the warmup. He never give up, and he overtake me four laps from the end. So I study him a little bit one lap, and I see that he struggle in some braking so I pass him in the corner that he crash (in warmup). So I push in the last lap maximum, I think we open a little gap. But I make a mistake in braking and almost crash, the front (tucked) and I almost crashed, I save the crash, so he recovered there. So in the only braking I think he was stronger was the corner where he overtook me in the last lap, so when he pass me I thought, ‘OK, again (I finish) second, no?’ But suddenly I think I have to try in the last corner, he open a little gap and I say, ‘now or never, I have to try this (pass).’”
MotoGP Silverstone race results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha
5. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda
6. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda
7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati
9. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia
11. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati
12. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
14. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia
17. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki
18. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki
19. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia
20. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia
21. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda
DNF Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati
DNF Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW