For once I was glad I wasn’t at the track alongside the 88,500 fans that watched the Catalunya MotoGP. There is no way I could have got the view that the BBC gave me watching Lorenzo and Rossi in the most closely fought race of the season. Valentino Rossi commented on Jorge Lorenzo taking pole position for the race that maybe if he had gone to the toilet before the final qualifying session he would have been on pole instead, it was that close.
And the race didn’t disappoint as they duelled with each other wheel to wheel for 25 laps. At 200 mph down the straight Lorenzo passed Rossi with 13 laps to go and still they stayed locked together. With 3 laps left Rossi took the lead back from Lorenzo and they then both went all out for the win. Rossi was out to re-establish his pride having been beaten by Stoner and Lorenzo in front of his home crowd at the Italian MotoGP. Lorenzo wanted to show his home crowd that he could beat the Doctor.
For a couple of the corners it was sharp intakes of breath for the viewers as it looked almost certain that their desire to win was going to leave them both face down in the gravel. The superb Yamahas kept their grip and on the last corner of the last lap Rossi nipped through to take the victory. As Rossi commented at the press conference - “Mama Mia”!!
Stoner, suffering with some sort of bug, came in third battling to hold off Dovizioso. Capirossi had a great result coming in 5th ahead of the injured Pedrosa.
The overall results show that there are now three joint leaders of the MotoGP World Championship – Lorenzo, Rossi and Stoner – now that’s what you call close.