Jorge Lorenzo managed to convert his pole position into a win at the 2018 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. The Spaniard took his second consecutive of the season after a brilliant victory in Mugello last week, and beat Honda's Marc Marquez with a lead of 4.479s. Finishing a brilliant third was Valentino Rossi taking his consecutive podium of the season after starting seventh on the grid. The Catalan GP went down with a massive number of crashes and subsequent retirements that wiped out a good chunk of the competition. The Catalan GP marks Lorenzo's 150th podium finish, which puts in an exclusive of riders comprising Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini and Dani Pedrosa.
Barring the opening lap that was led by Marquez, Lorenzo dominated every lap of the Catalan GP, cruising his way to victory. Lorenzo had dropped behind Andrea Iannone to third in the opening lap, but managed to pass the Suzuki on Turn 10. The Ducati rider then charged towards Marquez and used the slipstream and outright acceleration to overtake the Honda and into the lead. Lorenzo was expected to breakaway from the rest of the field soon, but Marquez was on his tail throughout the remaining 23 lap race.
By Lap nine, Lorenzo and Marquez started to breakaway from the grid but not without Andrea Dovizioso staying close to the Honda in third. However, Dovizioso's charge ended with a crash on Turn 5 in a yet another DNF for the season. The incident has also brought the both the Ducati riders at a tie in the championship table with 49 points each.
Lorenzo, however, had found his pace by now and was quickly distancing himself from Marquez. The rider averaged 1m40s on every lap and was over a second in the lead three laps later. With Dovizioso out of contention, Rossi was a distant third, a position which remained uncontested for most of the race while the Italian also being unable to catch up with the top two riders.
LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow fought through from fourth to 10th, picking off Honda works rider Dani Pedrosa at the Turn 4 right-hander in the second half of the race. Meanwhile, the battle for fourth was brewing to be an interesting sight as LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow took fourth from Honda factory rider Dani Pedrosa in a late charge. Yamaha's Maverick Vinales finished sixth after dropping down the order post a disastrous start in the race from fourth. However, Vinales didn't have it easy and had to put up a fight against Tech3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco through out the race who finished seventh. Finishing eighth was Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, while Avintia Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista finished ninth, ahead of Suzuki's Iannone in 10th place. With not enough classified finishers. The last set of points were taken by Pol Espargaro of KTM, Scott Redding of Aprilia and Karel Abraham of Aspar Ducati. Franco Morbidelli classified 14th at the end of the Catalan GP after crashing and remounting to retire.
The2018 Catalan GP turned out to be a crash fest early on in the race. The crashes started with KTM's Mika Kallio and Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli colliding early on, which was followed by Tom Luthi, Xavier Simeon, Aleix Espargaro and Hafizh Syahrin retiring after individual falls. KTM rider Bradley Smith was wiped out of contention after LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami lost control on Turn 5 with 10 laps to go and collided into Smith. Jack Miller of Pramac Ducati and Suzuki's Alex Rins ended up in a crash too, while Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat's GP17 caught fire on Lap 20 while competing in the top 10.
With the Catalan GP, Marquez has once again consolidated his lead in the championship, while Rossi now stands second with 88 points, to 27 points adrift from the Honda rider. Vinales now sits third with a gap of 9 points over his teammate, and is ahead of Johann Zarco who sits in fourth. Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Iannone are tied up on points with 66 each. While the win must be for Ducati this season, the 1-2 finish would've surely pleased Honda as well, in anticipation of what the team can expect next season from Marquez and Lorenzo.