The comeback story so far in 2015 MotoGP is the one of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.The two-time MotoGP Champion began the season with a fourth at Qatar, followed by a fourth at Circuit of the Americas in Texas, and a fifth at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina. This was very un-Lorenzo like considering the 28-year-old Spaniard’s usual podium finishes.
But when Lorenzo headed home for round four at Jerez, he rode more like himself. Smooth and consistent, Lorenzo dominated at Jerez, getting away at the front and not being challenged. He continued this same style that earned him wins at Le Mans and Mugello.The biggest question heading into round seven of 2015 MotoGP at the Catalunya-Barcelona Circuit was can Lorenzo do it again, and earn four in a row, something he had never achieved? Could he take a fourth-consecutive vicotry and finally take the championship points lead from Rossi, who held the top spot since winning at round 1?Twenty-five crash-filled laps would answer this question. And once again, it was pure domination by Lorenzo, who led every lap of Catalunya MotoGP. His teammate Valentino Rossi finished second, earning his seventh-straight podium of 2015 MotoGP. Taking the final podium position was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.Though Lorenzo won, he wasn’t able to rob the points lead from Rossi. VR46 retained his lead in the MotoGP Championship – but now only by a single point.The excitement began during Catalunya MotoGP qualifying. Four Spaniard filled the top qualifying positions, led by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro, who gave Suzuki it’s first MotoGP pole position since 2007 (Chris Vermuelen, Assen). Following was Espargaro’s teammate Maverick Vinales, Lorenzo, and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.But when Catalunya MotoGP began before nearly 90,000 fans at the tight and technical 13-corner circuit, both Suzuki GSX-RR prototypes got swamped; Espargaro was down in seventh, and Vinales 13th.Lorenzo got to turn one first, the YZR-M1 pilot followed closely by Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro, Rossi, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith.On the opening lap CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow crashed out on turn four – a corner that would claim other riders as the race progressed.Marquez wasted no time. The 22-year-old was up into second, not wanting to lose sight of Lorenzo. He would set the fastest lap of the race on lap two. Behind, Rossi was doing the same. He passed Pol Espargaro for fourth, and began the hunt for Dovizioso.Up front, Marquez was putting the pressure on Lorenzo. But the unfortunate happened once again – on the third lap, Marquez entered turn 10 a bit hot, nearly slamming into Lorenzo. Marquez lost the rear of his RC213V, and was forced into the gravel track where he suffered the third crash and DNF of 2015 MotoGP.With Marquez out, Lorenzo had a bit of relief. He continued his smooth and consistent style, and finished the race basically unchallenged.With 22 to go, Rossi took second from Dovi. While Aleix Espargaro battled with Smith, Pedrosa charged through and passed both riders within two laps to move into fourth.The next rider to crash out was Pol Espargaro, followed by Dovizioso. The Italian lost the rear of his Ducati GP15 at turn four where Crutchlow also crashed on the opening lap. This was Dovi’s second-straight DNF; he also crashed at Mugello.With 18 to go, Lorenzo was nearly two seconds ahead of Rossi, who ran alone in second. Behind, Pedrosa was third, followed by Aleix Espargaro, Smith, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, Marc VDS Racing Honda’s Scott Redding, Vinales and Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.Rossi began a late-race charge, and was able to close in on Lorenzo. But it was a bit too late, and Lorenzo went on to earn his fourth-consecutive MotoGP by 0.885 of a second ahead of Rossi. With his pure domination at the last four rounds of 2015 MotoGP, Lorenzo also broke Casey Stoner’s record for most-consecutive laps led. Pedrosa finished in a lonely third, 19.455 seconds behind Lorenzo.Iannone finished fourth, followed by Smith and Vinales. Rounding out the top 10 were Redding, Athina Forward Racing Yamaha’s Stefan Bradl, Petrucci and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden suffered a DNF at Catalunya MotoGP after crashing with 12 laps remaining.After seven of 17 of 18 rounds, Rossi has 138 points – one ahead of Lorenzo. Iannone moved into third with 94 points. Dovizioso is in fourth with 83, and Marquez fifth with 69 as his change of earning a third-straight title dwindle.The series now breaks for two weeks before heading to the Assen in the Netherlands.2015 Catalunya MotoGP Results:1. #99, Jorge LORENZO, SPA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 165.3 42’53.208 2. #46, Valentino ROSSI, ITA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 165.2 +0.885 3. #26, Dani PEDROSA, SPA, Repsol Honda Team Honda 164.0 +19.455 4. #29, Andrea IANNONE, ITA, Ducati Team Ducati 163.7 +24.925 5. #38, Bradley SMITH, GBR, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 163.5 +27.782 6. #25, Maverick VIÑALES, SPA, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 163.4 +29.559 7. #45, Scott REDDING, GBR, EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 163.0 +36.424 8. #6, Stefan BRADL, GER, Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 162.6 +42.103 9. #9, Danilo PETRUCCI, ITA, Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 162.2 +49.350 10. #19, Alvaro BAUTISTA, SPA, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 162.0 +52.569 11. #43, Jack MILLER, AUS, CWM LCR Honda Honda 161.9 +53.666 12. #50, Eugene LAVERTY, IRL, Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 161.8 +55.765 13. #76, Loris BAZ, FRA, Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 161.8 +55.832 14. #63, Mike DI MEGLIO, FRA, Avintia Racing Ducati 161.0 +1’09.037 15. #15, Alex DE ANGELIS, RSM, E-Motion IodaRacing Team ART 160.0 +1’25.263 16. #8, Hector BARBERA, SPA, Avintia Racing Ducati 156.1 1 LapDNF: #41, Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 163.8 5 Laps #69, Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 157.9 12 Laps #33, Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 155.1 19 Laps #4, Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 145.9 19 Laps #44, Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.9 21 Laps #93, Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 143.4 22 Laps #35, Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda 118.0 22 Laps #68, Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 161.3 23 Laps2015 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after seven of 18 rounds): 1. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 138 2. Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 137 3. Andrea IANNONE Ducati ITA 94 4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 83 5. Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 69 6. Bradley SMITH Yamaha GBR 68 7. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 47 8. Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki SPA 46 9. Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha SPA 45 10. Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 39 11. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 39 12. Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki SPA 31 13. Scott REDDING Honda GBR 27 14. Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati COL 26 15. Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 16 16. Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward FRA 13 17. Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia SPA 11 18. Jack MILLER Honda AUS 11 19. Stefan BRADL Yamaha Forward GER 9 20. Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 8 21. Nicky HAYDEN Honda USA 8 22. Eugene LAVERTY Honda IRL 7 23. Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 5 24. Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati FRA 2 25. Alex DE ANGELIS ART RSM 1
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!