Lorenzo takes title in final round

Jorge Lorenzo lifted his third MotoGP title after winning in Valencia. The result will be tainted by the ride of Marc Marquez, who looked to be riding to prevent Valentino Rossi from securing his tenth world championship. Marquez finished second, with team mate Dani Pedrosa in third. Rossi, who had to start from the back, came fourth, but lacked the pace to catch the front three.

Source: motogp.com

Source: motogp.com

Lorenzo led the race from start to finish after his immense lap in qualifying, and you really can’t take anything away from him with how he rode. During the run in, he has kept his head down and continued to race in his own smooth style. For the first half of the race in Valencia, he looked to do the same, but in the final twelve laps Marquez caught him. Marquez rode comfortably behind Lorenzo, looking as if he could pass him comfortably if he wanted to. The two had stretched a 2.5 second gap back to third placed Pedrosa, giving Lorenzo the comfort of the top two finish he needed.

During this time, Rossi made his way through the pack, overtaking 11 riders in the first lap. He reached fourth with 18 laps remaining, having only been held up very briefly by Danilo Petrucci and the Espargaro brothers, but he was unable to bridge the 11 second gap to Pedrosa.

Source: motogp.com

Source: motogp.com

The title looked done and dusted until, with six laps to go, Dani Pedrosa smelt blood. The Honda rider chipped away at the gap to his team mate, in what looked like a repeat of his performance in Motegi. By the penultimate lap, he was right with the top two, and the pendulum started to swing back in Rossi’s favour. Pedrosa’s pass on Marquez shook the two-time world champion out of his lethargic ride, as he hit bit back at Pedrosa immediately. The battle between the Repsol Honda riders gave Lorenzo breathing space and completely knocked the momentum out of Pedrosa’s charge. You have to wonder whether in the same situation earlier in the season, would Marquez have let his team mate past and attempted to follow Pedrosa when he made a move for the lead? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Valentino Rossi can only blame himself. He buckled under the pressure in Sepang, lashing out as Marquez provoked him with a series of hard but (barely) legal passes, landing himself in the position of a points deduction and a grid place penalty for the final race. For a man of his experience, you would expect him to keep his cool.

Away from the controversy at the top, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith came fifth and sixth, with Andrea Dovizioso in seventh. Aleix Espargaro came eighth, and Cal Crutchlow, who started from the back due to mechanical issues before the race, finished ninth, ahead of Petrucci. Scott Redding came fifteenth, and Hector Barbera finished as the top Open class bike in sixteenth, one place ahead of the retiring Nicky Hayden.

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport

Britain saw its first grand prix champion in 38 years as Danny Kent secured the Moto3 championship. Kent needed two points (14th place) to secure the title, and came home in ninth thanks to a last corner collision involving Vazquez, Fenati and Antonelli, who were in second, third and fourth at the time. His title rival Miguel Oliveira did all he could, winning the race to end a thrilling season of Moto3. Tito Rabat won the Moto2 race to secure his third place in the championship. Sam Lowes’ fifth sees him consolidate fourth spot, with title winner Johann Zarco finishing seventh.

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Marquez in thrilling finish down under

Marc Marquez finished the Australian Grand Prix for the first time in some style, producing a masterful final lap to take the victory. The Spaniard went in to the last lap in fourth, but produced a lap record to pip title hopeful Jorge Lorenzo to the win. Andrea Iannone completed the podium after winning out over title leader Valentino Rossi.

Source: crash.net

Source: crash.net

Although Marquez started on pole, it was Lorenzo that set the early pace.It soon began to develop in to a four way race, with the leaders interchanging throughout. Marquez passed Lorenzo through Honda corner, and the number 99 almost slipped another place, but Iannone ran wide after blasting past on the home straight. The reigning champion was unable to escape his fellow leaders though, with Lorenzo passing him, then Rossi and Iannone both lunging down his inside on the same corner. On the final lap, Marquez passed Rossi at the beginning of the lap, before passing Iannone at Doohan. The Italian fought straight back but in doing so left the door open for Marquez to slip straight past him. As Marquez chased down Lorenzo, Rossi slipped up the inside of Iannone, just doing enough to prevent the Ducati man from biting straight back. Marquez made his move with just two corners left, holding a tight line through the hairpin. Luckily for Lorenzo, Iannone also passed Rossi at the same corner, meaning that the Spaniard’s championship hopes are still alive.

Dani Pedrosa finished fifth, with Maverick Vinales sixth and Cal Crutchlow finishing as the top Brit in seventh. Bradley Smith continued his run of scoring points in every race this season with a tenth, just ahead of Scott Redding. Jack Miller was the top Open class rider in fifteenth.

Marquez's win was his 50th Grand Prix victory. Source: twitter (marcmarquez93)

Marquez’s win was his 50th Grand Prix victory. Source: twitter (marcmarquez93)

With those 20 points, Jorge Lorenzo has now cut Valentino Rossi’s championship lead to just 11 points with two races remaining. The win for Marquez all but secures his third place, whilst Bradley Smith is still within touching distance of fifth placed Dani Pedrosa despite his tenth place at Phillip Island.

In Moto3, Danny Kent will have to wait to seal his title after he was taken out in spectacular fashion by his main title rival Enea Bastianini. Miguel Oliveira won the race to leapfrog Bastianini in the championship, 40 points behind Kent. It seemed almost inevitable that things would not go for the Brit this weekend, having been relegated to seventh from pole for slow riding in the warm-up, and being clipped already by Francesco Bagnaia before Bastianini ended his race. Alex Rins was the clear winner in Moto2, with Brit Sam Lowes keeping his hopes of reaching third in the championship alive with a second place.

Rossi wins in the wet at Silverstone

Rossi SilverstoneValentino Rossi took the victory in troubling conditions at Silverstone as his championship rivals floundered. Danilo Petrucci achieved his first ever podium and Andrea Dovizioso completed the podium. The race was initially declared dry, but after all the riders elected to change to wet tyres, a wet race was declared.

Rossi led the race from early on, with Marc Marquez challenging him. But the Spaniard crashed out leaving Rossi to cruise home for maximum points. Petrucci and Dovizioso fought their way first past Dani Pedrosa and then past Jorge Lorenzo to finish on the podium. Lorenzo’s fourth place sees him now 12 points behind his team-mate in the championship. Scott Redding, who announced he would be joining Pramac Ducati next season, finished as the top Brit in sixth with Bradley Smith behind him. Nicky Hayden finished as the top open class rider in twelfth.

It was a story of what could have been for Cal Crutchlow after he was bowled out of third position by team-mate Jack Miller. Both Honda riders had started well, but the Aussie took down Crutchlow aiming for a pass that was realistically never on.

In the other classes, the Championship leaders extended their leads. Johann Zarco took his fifth Moto2 victory of the season, whilst Danny Kent took advantage of Isaac Vinales’ fall to become the first British rider to win at home in the class.

Lorenzo dominates in Brno

Lorenzo brnoJorge Lorenzo has drawn level with Valentino Rossi at the top of the championship standings after he led from start to finish at the Czech Grand Prix. The Yamaha riders are now equal on 211 points, 52 points ahead of Marc Marquez.

After qualifying on pole, Lorenzo started well to keep the lead in to the first corner, after which he never looked back. Marc Marquez looked to be trying to replicate his Indianapolis tactics, but he was unable to keep pace with the front man, eventually ending up five seconds behind. It became clear fairly early that Marquez didn’t have the pace, looking fairly ragged trying to keep up with the metronomically smooth Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi rode a lonely race in third, and Andrea Iannone overcame his team-mate for fourth. Dani Pedrosa battled through the pain from his crash earlier in the weekend to also come out on top of an intense late battle with Dovizioso. Bradley Smith finished above his team-mate in seventh, and fellow Brit Scott Redding came 12th. Loris Baz finished top of the Open class bikes, finishing fifteenth. Cal Crutchlow crashed out with seven laps remaining, whilst Irishman Eugene Laverty crashed earlier in the race.

Niccolo Antonelli won the Moto3 race, but Britain’s Danny Kent still holds a commanding championship lead despite a seventh place finish. Johann Zarco won the Moto2 race, with Brit Sam Lowes finishing fifth.

Rossi extends lead after thrilling last lap

Valentino Rossi extended his lead in the championship to ten points after holding off Marc Marquez in Assen. The Italian had qualified on pole, and led for the majority of the race, recording his first victory from pole for six years.

Marquez makes contact with Rossi on the last corner.

Marquez makes contact with Rossi on the last corner.

Marquez, who was running his 2014 chassis, appeared to be content following Rossi and using the advantage of a harder front tyre late on. This looked to be the case when with seven laps remaining, the reigning world champion slipped under Rossi at turn one. But the Spaniard couldn’t pull away, and after a rehearsal the lap before, Rossi took the lead back with three laps to go. Rossi appeared comfortable, but on the last corner Marquez made a move on the inside and made contact with Rossi. The Yamaha man skipped across the gravel trap as he was forced in to cutting the chicane, whilst Marquez managed to stay on the track, albeit losing time on the Italian. Honda may have some complaints about the way that Rossi seemed to gain time by cutting across the gravel, but race direction have described the incident as a “racing incident”, and that “no advantage was gained [by Rossi]”.

Jorge Lorenzo recovered from a poor qualifying, starting eighth, by moving to third by the end of lap one. Although that meant the end of his 103 consecutive laps led, he didn’t seem to have the pace of the top two, meaning that his third place was really the best he could have hoped for in respect for his title bid. Fourth-placed Andrea Iannone also had a lonely race, finishing five seconds behind Lorenzo, and five clear of fifth place.

The battle for fifth place

The six way battle for fifth place, led by Pol Espargaro.

Pol Espargaro came out on top in an intriging six way battle for fifth place, with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith pipping Dani Pedrosa late on, and Aleix Espargaro finishing ninth. The other member of the group, Andrea Dovizioso, continued his poor weekend by dropping behind Maverick Vinales and Danilo Petrucci. Scott Redding finished 13th whilst Eugene Laverty crashed out.

Danny Kent extended his Moto3 championship lead with a third place, with Miguel Oliveira taking the vicotry, whilst in Moto2, Johann Zarco made it back-to-back victories, with Britain’s Sam Lowes also finishing third.