Five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo’s new found form with Ducati continued at today’s Catalan Grand Prix with a
Having won his first Grand Prix for the Italian manufacturer in Mugello two weeks earlier, and subsequently announcing a switch to Honda for 2019, Lorenzo continued where he left off at the Barcelona circuit by qualifying on pole position and taking a dominant win. The Spaniard was briefly led by world champion Marc Marquez, but Lorenzo was able to take the lead on lap two and was never headed in the next 23 laps.
In a largely static race at the head of the field, Marquez came home second, four seconds behind his countryman, with Italian icon Valentino Rossi gaining his third consecutive third place after Andrea Dovizioso fell out of third on lap eight.
“Today’s win was really fantastic,” exclaimed Lorenzo. “We showed that we can win not only by entering the first turn in first place, but also by recovering and overtaking the others. It was actually a complicated race because I got off to a bad start and lost a lot of metres to Marquez, but I told myself that the race was long and I had to keep calm. It wasn’t too difficult to take Marc, because I had that little bit extra under braking, but he stayed pretty close to me right down to the flag. Now we’ve got a very competitive package and I think that this is the most complete Ducati bike of all time: both Dovi and I this weekend have always been competitive. We must capitalize on this situation because the Desmosedici works well at virtually every track, it doesn’t consume the tyres too much, and this is a big advantage. Now let’s enjoy this win and then we’ll think about the next race.”
It was a race of high attrition, with only 14 of the 26 starters finishing. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow gave a strong showing to finish fourth on his Honda, Scott Redding was 12thon his Aprilia, although Bradley Smith was among the numerous non finishers.
The result sees Marquez extend his championship lead to 27 points over Rossi, with Maverick Vinales, sixth in Barcelona, a further 11 points behind in third.
The series continues at the TT Circuit Assen, in the Netherlands, in two weeks’ time.