JEREZ, Spain – Dani Pedrosa held off rookie teammate Marc Marquez and Team Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo Sunday at Circuito de Jerez to score his first MotoGP triumph of 2013.
Jerez welcomed a huge crowd as the first European race of the season took place. Lorenzo had been the rider to beat for much of the weekend, comfortably sealing his second pole position of the season on Saturday. He would share the front row with the Honda duo of Pedrosa and Marquez.
Pedrosa overtook Lorenzo as the 27-lap race began. The lead was immediately snatched back, but Pedrosa made the move stick as he passed at Dry Sack on lap six. As the Yamaha rider dropped into the clutches of Marquez, Pedrosa maintained a steady pace en route to his first win since Valencia last year.
Marquez’s race was a dramatic one, having entered as the joint championship leader with Lorenzo. Having quickly demoted Valentino Rossi to fourth place after the Yamaha rider overtook him at the end of lap one, the 20-year-old charged up to the back of Lorenzo and attempted several different lines in a bid to distract the current title holder.
The eventual move ironically came at the newly-named Jorge Lorenzo corner at the end of the very last lap, with Lorenzo left fuming after contact was made.
Once dispatched by Marquez, Rossi had a lonely ride to fourth place on the second Yamaha Factory bike, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow overcoming GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista for a top five spot at the end of a difficult weekend which featured two sizeable accidents on Saturday.
Ducati Team duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso made the top eight while test rider Michele Pirro enjoyed a strong first ride of the campaign to 11th on the squad’s GP13 Lab chassis.