Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed a second soncesutive victory in front of his home crowd in Barcelona in a flag-to-flag performance, seeing off championship rivals Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez who finished second and third respectively.
Lorenzo took the lead off the start from third on the grid before pulling away from the field, beating pole-sitter Pedrosa and British rider Cal Crutchlow to the first corner. Crutchlow, who was searching for his third podium in a row, saw any hopes evaporate when he crashed out of fourth place on the fifth lap.
Seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi suffered another disappointing qualifying session, starting the race in seventh despite finishing Friday practice at the top of the tables. Having crashed out of the last race at Mugello after tangling with Alvaro Bautista, he was nearly taken out on the first lap by the same rider.
Bautista out-braked himself going into turn 10 while trying to overtake the Yamaha of Rossi, pushing the Italian out wide before losing control and sliding off into the gravel. He very nearly collected the rear-wheel of Rossi on his way, but thankfully he slid behind and was able to walk away unhurt.
He was soon joined at turn 10 by Randy De Puniet, Andrea Iannone and Nicky Haydon in the opening laps as a number of riders struggled to stay on the track. Up front though, the race settled down as Lorenzo controlled proceedings in front of the two Honda’s.
Heading into the closing laps, the third-placed Marquez decided to have a crack at his teammate Pedrosa, and he very nearly took the pair of them off with just two laps to go as he attempted to dive up the inside of his fellow Spaniard at turn four.
Marquez just missed the back of Pedrosa, but he recomposed himself and managed to catch-up to the back wheel as they crossed the finish line, with just 0.063s between the two as the race ended.
Although there was disappointed faces in Crutchlow’s garage, his Tech 3 teammate and fellow Brit Bradley Smith finished a career best sixth, passing Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to bring some joy to the Yamaha team.
Lorenzo now trails championship leader Pedrosa by just seven points, with the Honda rider leading the way on 123 points. Marquez sits in third with 93 points, ahead of Cructhlow who remains on 71 points.
In Moto2, Pol Espargaro took his second victory of the season, moving him up to second in the championship. Britain’s Scott Redding still leads the way after claiming fourth with an advantage of 35 points. Luis Salom claimed the Moto3 win to take the championship lead ahead of fellow Spaniard Maverick Vinales, who finished third and now trails Salom by 5 points.