Moto GP

Lorenzo Races to 50th MotoGP Win in a Drama Filled Race At Phillip Island

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Yamaha's Reining world champion Jorge Lorenzo raced to his 50th MotoGP win to end a drama filled Australian Grand Prix, held at Phillip Island today.

On a warm blustery late Victorian Sunday afternoon, the worlds best motorcycle racers lined up for a heavily reduced 19 lap race due to concerns surrounding the safety of the Bridgestone tyres. Riders were also forced to make mandatory pit stops to change bikes by lap ten of the race, due to fears the tyres would last no longer than 11 laps on the freshly resurfaced circuit.

When the race got underway Lorenzo shot to the lead ahead of the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, with the three running nose to tail through the first three corners before going three wide at turn four as Pedrosa momentarily stole the lead away for Lorenzo as the exited the corner. Lorenzo though carried more momentum out of the turn and tipped into Siberia back in the lead.

The three riders then rode wheel to wheel until the mid race pit-stops where all the drama started to unfold.

Pedrosa was the first rider to pit at the end of lap eight that started a bizarre chain of events that caused all types of craziness and confusion for spectators at the track during the second half of the race.

As Pedrosa left the pits he crossed the white line that separates pit lane and the track as he moved back onto the main straight which resulted in him being penalised one position, a penalty he was able to serve without losing much time as he dropped behind his team mate at the conclusion of the pitstops.

Lorenzo pitted a lap after Pedrosa at the end of lap nine having a incident free stop. However the Yamaha rider was involved in another pit lane incident the following lap as Marquez making his stop of the end of lap ten. As Marquez left the pit lane himself he and Pedrosa came together hard heading into turn one with both riders some how avoiding a big crash.
Dani Pedrosa momentarily claimed the race lead from Lorenzo on the opening lap. Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Things then took a turn for the worst for Championship leader Marquez as it was deemed that he pitted a lap to late, due to the fact that he had to cross the finish lane in pit lane as he made his way to his pit box, effectively meaning he made the stop a lap to late and was subsequently disqualified from the event.

With Marquez out and a handy gap over Pedrosa, Lorenzo was left free to race to the 2013 Australian GP win and in the process reduced his championship deficit to just 18 points to Marquez with two races remaining.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm really happy with this win, we‰Ûªve also been lucky because Marc made this mistake." Pedrosa stated. "Without that he would have been second or first because he was really fast today.

"So we‰Ûªve been lucky but we were unlucky in the middle of the championship so today is a balance," he added.

"When I was entering the first corner Marc was exiting the pit at exactly the same time, the situation was almost impossible to avoid. I was braking a little later to open the line and I don't think he was looking so much entering the corner so it was both our fault," Lorenzo commented regarding the first turn incident during the mid race stops.

"Now we have options, if Marc keeps constant on the podium then it is impossible to win the championship but there are a lot of laps to go so anything could happen."

Lorenzo also achieved a major milestone in his racing career in Australia this weekend, with this 50th GP Victory.

"It‰Ûªs unbelievable to have 50 Grand Prix victories at 26 years old. It seems like only yesterday when I won in Brazil in 2003 but it‰Ûªs been ten years. I‰Ûªm very proud of it and hope to win some more in the future," the Spanish rider concluded.
Pedrosa went on to claim a solid second place finish - Credit:
Second placed Pedrosa was glad to have the very stressful Australian GP out of the way, finding the last minute improvised race conditions to be tough and a little confusing for riders and teams alike.

Today's race was very stressful above all,, as the rules were being changed every five minutes." Pedrosa admitted. "Everything was turned on its head and it was very difficult to adapt first time, without making any mistakes.

"Marc made mistakes and I did too," he added.

"Everything was going so fast and it was confusing for both the riders and the mechanics. We had to be clear about which lap to enter the pits, as it wasn't obvious which was lap nine and which was lap ten. The two bikes needed to be prepared and the tyres as well, the pit lane was much longer than normal, it was all so strange today!

"The exit line from the pits wasn't clear, and neither could you see the entry line very well, so it was all a bit improvised," Pedrosa continued.

"In my case I was able to rectify my mistake on the track and, although the second bike wasn't the same for me as the first, I managed to take second in the race and be very competitive."
Valentino Rossi fended off a host of riders to hold on to the final spot on the podium - Credit Aaryn Minerds
Rounding out the podium was crowd favourite, Valentino Rossi. The Factory Yamaha pilot enjoyed yet another intense race long battle with rivals Cal Crutchlow from the Monster Energy Tech3 Yamaha team and Go&Fun Gresini racings Alvaro Bautista.

The three swapping positions in the fight for the last podium spot throughout the first ten laps and again in the following nine. Rossi completed a super fast pit stop, beating both out to gain two positions. As one of the most successful MotoGP riders of the modern era in Phillip Island it was never going to be easy for them to beat him, and they couldn‰Ûªt.

The Italian claimed third at the line to make it another double Yamaha podium.

‰ÛÏAt the end the result was good, I‰Ûªm so happy to be on the podium here at Phillip Island because it‰Ûªs always a great pleasure and a great atmosphere." Rossi enthused. "I tried to give the maximum, the race was very thrilling and I enjoyed it very much, especially because with the team we were able to do a very good job in the pit and gain two positions.

"I had a great battle with Cal, when I understood it was for the podium I tried to give the maximum. In the last half of the lap it started to rain which was very scary but at the end it was ok and a good result.

"We still need to work and improve to be faster for the next race.‰Û
Cal Crutchlow raced his Monster Energy Tech3 Yamaha into fourth place on the Island - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Crutchlow held on for fourth place to give Yamaha four of the top three placings for the weekend while Bautista rounded out the top five. 22 year old Monster Energy Tech3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith equalled his best MotoGp result finishing in sixth place and was followed across the line by a trio of Ducatti machines.

Factory Ducatti Nicky Hayden finished in 7th, Parmac Racing's Andrea Iannone in 8th and the second factory Ducatti of Andrea Dovizioso in 9th. Power electronics Aspar rider Rany De Puniet rounded out the top ten.

It was a tough day for the two Australian riders in the field with Damian Cudlin finishing two laps down in 21st position on his Paul Bird Motosport's machine, while Go&Fun Honda Gresini CRT racer Bryan Staring joined Marquez on the list of riders who were disqualified for pitting to late.

‰ÛÏToday couldn‰Ûªt have gone worse. I was hoping for a good race in front of my home crowd and instead it has ended prematurely with a black flag.‰Û
Australia's Staring was disqualified from his home GP for pitting to late during the Mandatory mid race pit stop - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
MotoGp Race Results Round 16 - Australia
1. Jorge Lorenzo 29m07.155s ESP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
2. Dani Pedrosa 6.936 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3. Valentino Rossi 12.344 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4. Cal Crutchlow 12.460 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5. Alvaro Bautista 12.513 ESP HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6. Bradley Smith 28.263 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7. Nicky Hayden 32.953 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
8. Andrea Iannone 35.062 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
9. Andrea Dovizioso 35.104 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10. Randy De Puniet 37.426 FRA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11. Aleix Espargaro 46.099 ESP ART Power Electronics Aspar
12. Colin Edwards 48.149 USA FTR NGM Forward Racing
13. Yonny Hernandez 49.911 COL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
14. Hector Barbera 49.998 ESP FTR Avintia Blusens
15. Danilo Petrucci 58.718 ITA IODA Came IodaRacing Project
16. Luca Scassa 58.791 ITA ART Cardion AB Motoracing
17. Claudio Corti 1'08.105 ITA FTR NGM Forward Racing
18. Michael Laverty 1'27.230 WAL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
19. Lukas Pesek 1'31.093 CZE IODA Came IodaRacing Project
20. Hiroshi Aoyama 1 lap JPN FTR Avintia Blusens
21. Damian Cudlin 2 laps AUS ART Paul Bird Motorsport
22. Bryan Staring DNF AUS HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
23. Marc Marquez DNF - DSQ ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez still maintains his championship lead with two rounds remaining, though he now sits only 18 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Championship Standings After 16 of 18 Rounds:
1. Marc Marquez 298 pts
2. Jorge Lorenzo 280 pts
3. Dani Pedrosa 264 pts
4. Valentino Rossi 214 pts
5. Cal Crutchlow 179 pts
6. Alvaro Bautista 147 pts
7. Stefan Bradl 135 pts
8. Andrea Dovizioso 127 pts
9. Nicky Hayden 111 pts
10. Bradley Smith 99 pts
11. Aleix Espargaro 88 pts
12. Andrea Iannone 55 pts
13. Michele Pirro 50 pts
14. Colin Edwards 36 pts
15. Randy De Puniet 33 pts
16. Hector Barbera 31 pts
17. Danilo Petrucci 24 pts
18. Yonny Hernandez 20 pts
19. Hiroshi Aoyama 13 pts
20. Claudio Corti 11 pts
25. Bryan Staring 2 pts

Top Image: Jorge Lorenzo
Credit: Aaryn Minerds

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