Teammate Valentino Rossi made good on a challenging 10th position grid start to take a well deserved third place podium finish for his 300th Grand Prix appearance.
The drama started before the first corner for Lorenzo as the riders bunched over the crest off the start line. He was quick to recover and fought his way through the first turn to close down and pass Andrea Iannone for the lead.
Having secured the front Lorenzo then proved he was back on form, delivering lap after lap of perfect lines with Marquez in pursuit. Even with less than 0.3 of a second between them it wasn’t until the last seven laps that Marquez was able to make a move. An incredible Spanish duel then began with the two trading places numerous times, Lorenzo always able to answer any attack from Marquez with a response of his own. The two took it to the wire, Marquez entering the last straight slightly ahead and able to hold it to the line, leaving Jorge in second, just 0.121seconds behind.
Home hero Rossi was not to be daunted by a 10th place grid position on his 300th Grand Prix start. The nine-time world champion had taken three positions by the first corner and was up into fifth place by the second lap. He made short work of dispatching Andrea Dovizioso for fourth and then with 20 laps to go passed Iannone to move up into third. By this time Lorenzo and Marquez were too far in front to catch however he remained less than three seconds behind them, hinting at what could have been with a better grid start. He completed the podium in third to the roar of the bumper Mugello crowd, just 2.688 seconds from Marquez.
Lorenzo’s stunning performance takes 20 points and moves him up into fourth in the championship standings on 65 points, 31 behind Dani Pedrosa in third.
Rossi’s impressive comeback from tenth to the podium earns him 16 points and moves him up into second place in the championship standings, 53 behind Marquez.
Pol Espargaro today delivered another impressive performance at the legendary Mugello circuit in Tuscany by riding to a well calculated and expertly executed 5th position for round 6 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The reigning Moto2 World champion began the challenge from 5th place on the grid and found himself in the leading group, maintaining the same position for the opening laps. As he set into his increasingly confident race pace, the Spaniard kept fighting with vastly more experienced riders such as Andrea Dovisioso and Dani Pedrosa. Honda rider Pedrosa eventually overtook Espargaro, before the rookie remained calm and seized 5th position back by passing Andrea Iannone on lap 18. He then put his head down and put in a series of consistent lap times to ensure that the chasing Dovisioso could not threaten him. Espargaro’s determined efforts saw him cross the line as the leading satellite rider and only a second and a half back from Dani Pedrosa’s 4th position. The 22-year-old’s 5th place at Mugello elevates him to 6th position in the point standings and sees him as leading non-factory MotoGP rider so far in the 2014 Championship.
Bradley Smith’s weekend full of promise ended prematurely with an unfortunate crash during the second lap of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM Grand Prix at Mugello. Having made strides forward during the qualifying and free practice sessions with the Yamaha YZR-M1 that he is increasingly confident with, Smith pulled off a positive qualifying performance of 7th. Here he was in prime contention to confidently battle for the top five and upwards. Yet, after starting the Grand Prix and ending the first lap in 9th Smith’s luck ran out and he fell, drawing a disappointing end to an otherwise highly positive weekend. The 23 year old will head to Catalunya next week where he will intend to amend his lack of fortune at Mugello with a high scoring finish.
The NGM Forward Racing Team closed once again as first open on the fast and demanding Mugello track. It was not an easy race for Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards who finished respectively in 9th and 15th positions. With this result, Aleix maintains the seventh position in the championship with 44 points, while Forward is 4th in the Constructor classification after the three Manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati).
Starting from the 4th row, lap by lap Aleix Espargaro recovered some positions and despite struggling during the whole race with the traction control, he succeeded to maintain his position and finish 9th.
It was a tough race also for team mate Colin Edwards, who despite the electronics problems finished the race in 15th position.
Jorge Lorenzo2nd, +0.121
“I’m happy, I could be more happy if I had won but I tried my best. Probably in the last corner I should have stayed more in the inside to try to overtake him on the inside line but I made a mistake and went wider and it was impossible to overtake him on the straight. When I feel physically strong and the bike has a small improvement I can be there and fight with him. We have some margin, some physical condition to improve for me and the bike can make another step so we will get better. I’ve worked really hard to be more physically fit and the team also worked very hard this weekend to give me a great bike, so thank you to them.”
Valentino Rossi3rd, 2.688
“Today was a great day for all the people and for MotoGP. Mugello is one of the greatest race tracks in the world; a lot of people around and the race was very funny with a great battle between Jorge and Marc. I wasn’t too far from them and all the people were happy for my podium. It is a great emotion as always, it was a solid race from fourth row to third. I think I had the chance to battle with them but unfortunately we made a mistake yesterday in practice but we will try in Barcelona again. The podium in Mugello is always fantastic, it's the most special moment of the season, it’s like a great concert. It's a great party for MotoGP and motorcycling because the passion in Italy is amazing. This is my 300th GP, so I’m in the middle of my career, another 300 before the end!”