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Update: Jorge wins Oz GP thriller

2013-10-20 07:42

WINNER ON THE ISLAND: Jorge Lorenzo - seen here waving after earning pole start for the 2013 Oz MotoGP - won the race after Marc Marquez was disqualified. Image: AFP


PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia - Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP title defence remains alive after the Spaniard won an incident-packed Australian race on Sunday as championship leader Marc Marquez committed a rookie mistake and suffered a disastrous disqualification.

With tyre problems forcing riders to change bikes mid-race in a MotoGP first, the battle between double World champion Lorenzo and Honda's 20-year-old wunderkind fizzled out on Lap 14 when Marquez was shown the dreaded black flag for failing to pit in time.

A few laps earlier, the pair narrowly averted catastrophe as Marquez emerged from the pits and he and Lorenzo bumped hard as the latter was charging up the inside on his Yamaha in a desperate bid to snatch back the lead under a cloudy sky at the Phillip Island circuit.


Lorenzo snuck past, leaving a wobbling Marquez in his wake, and powered away to win the shortened race by nearly seven seconds from Honda rival Dani Pedrosa and third-placed team mate Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo's cool win under crushing pressure and chaotic race conditions breathed new life into his title defence, trimming Marquez's lead to a more precarious 18 points with two races left – Japan and Spain.

"Today has been a crazy race," the affable Spaniard said after celebrating his first win Down Under. "With this changeover of bikes in the middle, we practised a lot before the race. So that was one of the keys. Now (the title defence) is still very, very tough ... let's see what happens in Motegi."

Having had the chance to wrap up the title in his debut season and become motorcycling's youngest premier-class champion, a crushed Marquez slumped in a chair in his team's garage with his head in his hands. The young Spaniard, who has angered rivals with his on-track aggression, wobbled dangerously on a number of corners as his tyres wore to breaking point but appeared to ignore his team's requests to pit for two laps before coming in.


The championship may be his to lose but Marquez will come under enormous pressure at Motegi from Lorenzo and his team mate Pedrosa who signalled their rivalry was anything but friendly in a fierce skirmish on the first lap.

With the race reduced by a lap to 26 on Saturday and riders ordered to change bikes, Race Direction announced hours before Sunday's start that it had been cut again to 19 due to safety fears over the degrading tyres on the circuit's newly-laid asphalt.

Lorenzo, who started from pole, had earlier complained the overhaul was in itself a safety risk and appeared to be right as riders nearly came to grief re-entering the track from the pits.

The Moto2 category, won by Spaniard Pol Espargaro, was also reduced to a nub of a race due to the tyre concerns, the original 25 laps cut to 13.

Result from the 2013 Australian MotoGP
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha
2 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda
3 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha
4 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha
5 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda
6 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha
7 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati
8 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati
9 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati
10 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia
11 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia
12 Colin Edwards (US) FTR
13 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Aprilia
14 Hector Barbera (Spain) FTR
15 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda

Points after the 2013 Australian MotoGP
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda - 298
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 280
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 264
4 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha - 214
5 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha - 179
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 147
7 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda - 135
8 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati - 127
9 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati - 111
10 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha - 99
11 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 88
12 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati - 55
13 Michele Pirro (Italy) Ducati - 50
14 Colin Edwards (US) FTR - 36
15 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia - 33

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