ALCANIZ, Spain – In a thrilling race at the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón Sunday, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took a dominant victory under sunny skies at his home race ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo got the holeshot ahead of Pedrosa, with Yamaha’s Ben Spies in tow. The first two laps were not good for the Ducati team, as Valentino Rossi touched the rear wheel of Repsol Honda’s Jonathan Rea, with the Italian forced to run off.
This was followed by a big crash from American Nicky Hayden, who was violently thrown over the advertising boards in turn 16 after failing to slow down on time. He received instant medical attention and was later declared ok by the medical center, yet has been given a neck brace and will undergo more precautionary checks to rule out internal injuries.
Lap four saw Pedrosa close in on Lorenzo’s rear wheel, as Avintia Blusens’ David Salom had to retire from the race. Meanwhile LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl took Spies for third, yet crashed out a few turns later as he lost the front pushing too hard.
This left the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso to hunt down the American for a spot on the podium. It took Pedrosa until lap seven to make his move on Lorenzo, taking the lead for the first time.
On lap nine Lorenzo had a big wobble giving Pedrosa a bigger gap at the front, as Rossi was making his way up through the pack. With 13 laps left, Crutchlow ran wide coming onto the home straight, letting Dovizioso into fourth.
Six laps later Pedrosa had pulled out to gap of more than four seconds at the front, as Dovizioso made his way past Spies, with Crutchlow probing the inside line of the American, but to no avail.
The Brit was, however, not to be deterred and got past with five laps to go, immediately setting his sights on his Italian teammate. At the same time an entertaining battle for 13th ensued between Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison and Avintia’s Yonny Hernandez. A lap later Rossi’s day took another bad turn as he ran wide through the gravel, but retained eighth place.
The Tech 3 pair provided a thrilling last couple of laps fighting for the final podium spot, with the Brit desperately looking for a way past. In some hard passing where the two went fairing-to-fairing Crutchlow was altering his line in numerous corners to get past the Italian who was defending aggressively.
In the end it was Pedrosa who crossed the finish line first over six seconds ahead of second placed Lorenzo, with Dovizioso taking his sixth podium this year. Pedrosa has now cut the championship gap to Lorenzo to 33 points.
Crutchlow came in a close fourth, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, Rea, Rossi, and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham completing the top nine. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró came in tenth as top CRT in tenth.