There is no denying that Dani Pedrosa has looked strong all weekend. He topped the first three practice sessions and turned that into a pole positon. And as the race got underway, he had a fantastic start off the line, controlling the pace throughout and bringing home his first GP win of the season.
All eyes turned to his team mate Marc Marquez. It was very much a battle of the tyres, and as Marquez had opted for the harder option rear, we all thought it was only a matter of time until it kicked in. In the last few laps he managed to close in on Pedrosa, but there was still a gap between them that he could not close. In the end, Marquez had to settle for 2nd, but he didn’t appear visibly upset with this.
Arguably the most notable performances during the race were from Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and the satellite Yamaha of Johann Zarco. Zarco got off to an aggressive start, pushing his way past Valentino Rossi and then, the rest of the grid. He’d barged his way up to 3rd very early on, but came under fire from Lorenzo as he too worked his way through the grid. With only 23 laps to go, Lorenzo was up to 5th and was working to close in. He eventually caught up to the Frenchman, and once he was past that was it. Lorenzo worked hard to work his way up and it truly paid off as he took his first ever podium on the Ducati in front of his home crowd.
Jack Miller has had a great weekend so far, finishing in the top 10 in every practice session and achieving his best ever dry qualifying positon. Unfortunately, his race was brought to an abrupt end when he was making a move on Alvaro Bautista who crashed out, taking Jack with him. Miller was visibly angry, as he gave Bautista a huge shove into the gravel and kicked his tank. The incident was put under investigation, and Miller has been fined 1000 Euros.
Someone else who looked strong was Andrea Iannone. He hasn’t really done much so far this season, and achieved a great qualifying position. He had worked his way up to 3rd, but with 17 laps to go he slid out, bringing his race to an early end.
The factory Yamaha’s have struggled all weekend and that is no secret. Vinales put up a good fight, but only managed to secure 6th after a long fight with Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi didn’t qualify as expected, and only managed to bring home 10th.
Rossi’s championship lead still stands, but both Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez are creeping up on him, as he only has a 2 point advantage.
MotoGP next heads to Le Mans for the French round of the championship.
MotoGP race results (top 10):
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – 45:26.827s
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda + 6.136s
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team + 14.767s
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 17.601s
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team + 22.913s
Maverick Vinales, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP + 24.556s
Danilo Petrucci, OCTO Pramac Racing + 24.959s
Jonas Folger, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 27.271s
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini + 31.233s
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP + 38.682s