Lorenzo Makes it Three in a Row with Masterful Mugello Victory

Jorge Lorenzo struck again at Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello today, taking his third consecutive Gran Premio d’Italia victory in fine form. Starting from second position on the grid the Yamaha Factory rider wasted no time in striking, diving up the inside of leader Dani Pedrosa through turn three and taking control of the race. The reigning World Champion kept Pedrosa and Marc Marquez close behind until the halfway point, then put the hammer down, delivering a series of untouchable laps to build a gap that had grown to nearly five and a half seconds as he crossed the finish line. The race win, Lorenzo’s 25th Premier Class victory, moves him to second position in the standings on 91 points, now just 12 behind Pedrosa in front and 14 ahead of Marquez in third.Home hero Valentino Rossi’s Mugello race proved to be the nightmare opposite of his teammate’s success story. The Italian nine-time World Champion came together with Alvaro Bautista between turns two and three on the first lap, coming off at high speed and into the air fences to the disappointment of the thousands of fans present. The resulting DNF leaves Rossi in sixth position in the Championship standings on 47 points. 


Jorge Lorenzo, 1st

“The conditions and the circumstances were good for us and I didn’t make a mistake, I made my best performance even if the conditions were much hotter than this morning. We are still struggling so much when the conditions get hotter. Anyway the key of the race was in the middle where I improved my riding, I was able to brake later with less fuel in the tank so I was able to improve the lap time by two tenths, from this moment Dani gave up a little pace and I could get away and win the race, more or less like last year. It’s very special; I won the last three years here so this track is magic for me and very positive for Yamaha. It also reminds us to keep working on the bike as at the tracks which are not so flowing like Mugello we will struggle. I’m very happy to give this win to Yamaha Motor Racing President Shigeto Kitagawa because this was his last race here in Grand Prix, as he will retire. He has done a great job for the team in the last years and it is a big loss for us. I hope he will enjoy the different life he will have. Our president Yanagi-san is also lucky for me, I won the 2010 Championship in Malaysia when he was there on the track and again today a victory with his presence.”
Valentino Rossi, DNF

“Unfortunately in the start I had a problem with the clutch spinning and I lost two or three positions. Then I was attacking because we had a good pace and I was fast. On the second corner I was on the outside already in front of Bautista. For me, from the inside he opened the throttle to close the line so he doesn’t lose another position but I was already in front so he came to me and took me on the boot. I was lucky because it was a bad crash and I arrived at the wall but I’m ok. We will try next week in Barcelona, but it is a pity because firstly it is Mugello and secondly I think we could have done a good race and maybe arrived on the podium.”
Crutchlow storms to majestic Mugello podium

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed to a second successive podium in 2013 after a fantastic late attack in today’s Italian MotoGP race was rewarded with a richly deserved third position. The British rider quickly seized fourth position from former Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso on the second lap, but leading trio Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez had already established a lead of over one second. Crutchlow showed tremendous fighting spirit and blistering speed in the second half of the 23-lap race to superbly cut into a big advantage held by Pedrosa and Marquez, who were locked in an exciting battle for second. The 27-year-old’s stunning charge paid off when Marquez was unfortunate to tumble out of second with just three laps remaining, just as Crutchlow was sizing up an attack on Pedrosa.With a brilliant third place secured to follow up his career best second in Le Mans last time out, Crutchlow called off his pursuit of Pedrosa to collect 16 priceless World Championship points that consolidated his fourth position in the rankings.

Award for the bravest and most courageous ride of the day went to outstanding rookie Bradley Smith, who demonstrated amazing determination to bounce back from two heavy crashes ahead of the fifth round of the Championship. Nursing a nasty left hand injury after a heavy fall in Friday’s FP2, Smith suffered another bruising crash during this morning’s warm-up session. Way below his peak physical condition, it seems nothing can knock the 22-year-old’s confidence and he showed he has desire and determination to match his talent by riding his YZR-M1 machine to a heroic top 10.

Smith, who will undergo skin graft surgery in San Marino to repair damage to his left little finger tomorrow (Monday), finished in ninth position and he will now begin a period of rest and recuperation to be in the best physical condition for the next race in Catalunya.

Cal Crutchlow, 3rd

“I am really happy to be back on the podium because Mugello is one of the blue riband races on the calendar and that makes it feel a bit more special. It is an awesome result and I have to pay a big tribute to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew who did an incredible job this weekend. I’ve not felt comfortable on the bike but today they gave me a package that was really competitive. In the second half of the race I was really strong and consistent and I could see for the last 10 laps I had the pace that was bringing me closer to Dani and Marc. I was in a really fast and consistent rhythm but I hate to be gifted a podium like that. I’m sorry Marc crashed because he was doing an amazing job again but to be honest I felt I could have caught Dani and taken third anyway. When I saw Marc crash I slowed down to not risk losing a second podium in a row, which is a fantastic achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and me. I’m fourth in the Championship, top non-factory rider again, so it has been another great way to finish the weekend and continue our very strong start to the season.”

Bradley Smith, 9th

“To be honest ninth position was obviously a really good result considering the circumstances of today. This morning’s crash was the last thing I needed, so to be able to go the whole race distance with just one mistake was positive for me. I had a lot of problems with my left hand as well as with my wrist and it was magnified with Mugello being such physically demanding track. So I believe I did a really good job. It would have been good to beat (Aleix) Espargaro at the end but considering the whole weekend I should be satisfied with another top 10 result. After a very difficult weekend for my body I just need to rest as much as I can to put me in the best possible condition for Barcelona. We still learned a lot during these tough days, especially from the big crashes, but I suppose that’s all part of the game on my way to becoming a better MotoGP rider.”

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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