Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory in a row at Catalunya in tricky conditions. He and his Yamaha M1 machine used the harder front and softer rear Bridgestone slicks most efficiently on a hot and slippery track.
This was his fifth MotoGP victory of the season and third in a row. This means that Yamaha now has more wins than any other manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era, with 57.
Every rider with the exception of Hector Barbera favored the harder front slick tire because of the high track temperature that reached a scorching 55 degrees Celsius.
Starting from the Moto GP pole position, also for the third consecutive race, Lorenzo lost ground to Dani Pedrosa into turn one but his fellow Spaniard then ran wide, leaving the Fiat Yamaha man in the lead.
The next few laps saw Lorenzo at the head of a tight trio, as Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner pushed hard to stay with him. Early on lap four the Italian Dovizioso briefly got his nose in front but Lorenzo soon got back by him to lead once again the next time around.
On lap six the trio became a twosome when Stoner ran off track, but it looked like Lorenzo might have a battle on his hands as Dovizioso showed no signs of letting him get away. With ten laps to go however Dovizioso crashed out, leaving Lorenzo nearly six seconds clear of Pedrosa in second.
From then on it was just a case of keeping his head as the tyres started to slide more and more in the extreme heat, but the 23-year-old is a cool customer these days and he eventually flew over the line 4.754 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Stoner third.
Jorge Lorenzo (Position: 1st Time: 43’22.805) says: “This is very special. After losing so closely last year I was happy but not completely so and today I can say I am completely happy, winning here at my home race. It was very difficult today because it was so hot and the front tyre was sliding a lot.”
“I thought I was going to have a big battle with Dovizioso because he was pushing very hard but then he crashed and I was alone; it was lucky for me because then I was able to take it more gently to the finish. I think I rode a clever race today.”
“I am so grateful to my team and to everyone at Yamaha and Bridgestone because they are working so hard to make our bike competitive at every track. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that came to watch today, it is a great feeling for me to win here in front of them all.”
Lorenzo has taken a hat trick of wins once before in his career, in his 250cc days, and is the first Yamaha rider to take three wins from three poles since Eddie Lawson in 1986 on the 500cc race machine.
Wilco Zeelenberg says: “What can we say? Five races won out of seven, three in a row…it’s amazing. I was a little bit worried about this one because it’s Barcelona, Jorge’s home track and there was maybe a little bit more pressure for him, I think he was even a little bit nervous!”
“But finally we decided to use the same tyre as the others and just go for it. He was under pressure from Dovizioso plus Moto2 had changed the grip conditions quite a lot so the race pace was quite a lot slower, but he was clever and smart, stayed on two wheels and won the race. Well done to him and to our whole team.”
Lorenzo now has an impressive 52-point lead in the standings ahead of Pedrosa, whilst Rossi drops to seventh after missing four races.
Following three punishing weeks on the road, the MotoGP paddock now has a ten-day rest before it reconvenes at the Sachsenring in Germany for MotoGP Round Eight.