A patient Marc Marquez picked his moment to overtake Jorge Lorenzo and win Sunday’s Indianapolis MotoGP.
Marquez had followed Lorenzo’s Yamaha until three laps to go, when the reigning double champion neatly slipstreamed his RCV ahead into turn one, eventually holding Lorenzo at bay by 0.6s.
In doing so the Repsol star raised his unbeaten MotoGP record in America to seven in a row and claimed Honda’s 700th victory in grand prix racing.
Six seconds back, a relieved Valentino Rossi salvaged the final podium place after a tense battle with Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa, decided in Rossi’s favour at turn two on the last lap, during a race that soon developed into a two-by-two contest up front.
Rossi, who began the race from just eighth on the grid, thus saw his title lead reduced from 13 to 9 points over Lorenzo, with Marquez now 56 points adrift.
Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, who celebrated his 26th birthday at the weekend, held fourth ahead of Rossi on the opening lap before slipping 20-seconds from victory and facing a late challenge from top satellite rider Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha).
Smith had dropped to seventh after a mistake on the opening lap before clawing his way back up the order.
Fellow Englishman Cal Crutchlow almost clipped Smith in the opening turns of the race, leaving the LCR Honda rider in eleventh place.
Crutchlow, who had qualified fourth, spent the second half of the grand prix fighting Pol Espargaro for seventh, a battle that went in the Spaniard’s favour by 1.3s.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was left 21st after a first lap incident, recovering to ninth on a day when Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci completed the top 10.
Avintia Ducati’s Hector Barbera was the top Open class rider in 15th.
Rookie Jack Miller (LCR Honda) was the only retirement.
Round 11 of 18 takes place at Brno in the Czech Republic next weekend.
Indianapolis MotoGP result:
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 41m 55.371s
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 41m 56.059s
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 42m 1.337s
4. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 1.518s
5. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 42m 16.899s
6. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 42m 17.122s
7. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 42m 25.749s
8. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 42m 26.978s
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 42m 28.192s
10. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 42m 29.888s
11. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 42m 34.381s
12. Yonny Hernandez COL Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 42m 37.186s
13. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 42m 45.580s
14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 42m 55.836s
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 42m 59.518s
16. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS) 43m 0.437s
17. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 43m 2.312s
18. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 43m 9.233s
19. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (RC213V-RS)* 43m 14.077s
20. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 43m 15.101s
21. Alex De Angelis RSM E-Motion IodaRacing (ART) 43m 15.253s
22. Toni Elias SPA AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 43m 15.305s
Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* DNF
Championships standings after round 10 of 18:
|16||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||14|
|19||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||9|
|24||Mike di Meglio||Ducati||2|
|25||Alex de Angelis||ART||1|