Le Mans MotoGP: Pedrosa takes wet win, Cal second!

Dani Pedrosa took his second win of 2013 in wet conditions at Le Mans, ahead of Cal Crutchlow taking his best ever MotoGP finish and rookie Marc Marquez, as mechanical problems relegated Jorge Lorenzo to 7th.

Andrea Dovisioso was the surprise leader off the line, making the most of his unexpected front row start to lead from Lorenzo and Pedrosa, before he passed his fellow spaniard to take second with 3 laps gone.

Valentino Rossi, off the line in fourth, was able to begin hunting down teammate Lorenzo as Pedrosa closed the gap to Doviozo's Ducati.

Pedrosa made multiple attempts to pass the Ducati but was unable to initially find. Way through until lap 6. By the time he had made it through, both Lorenzo and Rossi has closed in on the battle for the lead.

Rossi's attempts to pass Lorenzo for third allowed Cal Crutchlow to close in on them, after consistently setting the fastest times of the race at one third distance.

A big tankslapper from Pedrosa at the Dunlop chicane on lap 9 threw him back into the pack, allowing Doviozo to pass him back for second.
With 12 laps gone, Lorenzo started to drop off the pace, falling back to 7th, a place ahead of Marquez, as the rookie struggled somewhat on his first time in the rain on a MotoGP bike.

It took three laps for Pedrosa to make it back past the Ducati, before another mistake allowed Doviozo past again.

At the half way point, Crutchlow managed to make a pass stick on Valentino Rossi to take the final podium position. Cal was immediately able to gap Rossi, as the former world champion came under pressure from the second Ducati of Hayden.

A series of crashes started on lap 19, with Randy de Puniet and Stefan Bradl soon followed by Rossi, crashing out of fourth before rejoining in 12th.

Crutchlow was able to catch Doviozo, but was unable to find a way past, sitting behind him for multiple laps. His satellite Yamaha was noticeably slower on the straight than the factory Ducati, leaving him to do all the work in the corners.

With 6 laps to go, Marc Marquez, finding his feet on the bike, was able to make his way forwards to take Hayden for fourth.

On lap 25, a mistake from Doviozo at the Dunlop chicane allowed Crutchlow to make his, move, taking second place and allowing him to pull out a gap. However, by now Pedrosa was unassailable, 20 seconds ahead in the lead.

The Ducati dreams of a podium were squashed on the last lap, as Marquez was able to pull in the difference and overtake Dovi for the final podium spot, ahead of his teammate in fifth.

Bautista was sixth, Lorenzo seventh free his earlier problems, and satellite Ducati rider Pirro eighth. Bradley Smith was 9th, while Stefan Bradl, recovering from his earlier crash, rounded out the top ten.

Rossi recovered to 12th, while Espargaro was best of the CRTs in 13th. Michael Laverty battled with his teammate Yonny Hernandez before mechanical problems for the Columbian gifted him 17th.

Crutchlow said after the race: 'The whole team did a fantastic job. We've shown our pace in the dry and in the wet, and I think we deserved it. We've had great support, both ehre at the team's home round and from the British supporters at home.'

'I knew Dovi would crack under pressure, so I waited my time. He slowed me up and let Pedrosa get away, what was a bit disappointing. The main problem in the race itself was visibility, though.'

Pedrosa said: 'I'm so happy today; I didn't expect it and it was a great race for me. I got some good grip from the tyres, especially under braking. I made a few mistakes, but was able to stay on the bike and then keep working well to the end.'

 1 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 49'17.707
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +4.863
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +6.949
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +10.087
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +18.471
6 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda +23.561
7 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +27.961
8 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati +40.775
9 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +41.407
10 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +1'00.995
11 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati +1'05.110
12 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +1'16.368
13 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1'24.200
14 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter +1'25.726
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART +1'32.111
16 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki +1'40.602
17 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 1 Lap
18 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 1 Lap
19 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 1 Lap

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer