Lorenzo’s win reminds us why we love motorcycle racing

JORGE Lorenzo’s last-lap victory over Marc Marquez at Silverstone was a spectacle so breathtaking it reminded fans of MotoGP why they love the sport.

The last-lap shootout that eventually saw Lorenzo pip his compatriot and rival harked back to Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi clashing fairings in a bygone era.

To see Marquez’s lunge followed up by Lorenzo’s opportunistic dive back up the inside – all at a track steeped in history such as Silverstone – was the perfect ending to a breathless weekend.

What made it seem even more special is, whether MotoGP fans want to admit it or not, the sport has struggled in recent years to reproduce the drama of the 500cc and embryonic 990cc days.

There have of course been glaring exceptions – Toni Elias winning one of the most extraordinary races ever seen at Estoril and Rossi pipping Lorenzo at Catalunya both stand out.

But the simple fact of the matter is, and as painful as it is to admit this, those races are not as common as they once were.

That is not to say this season has not been remarkable in its own right. Marquez, a MotoGP rookie, pushed the reigning world champion to the very last corner with a shoulder he dislocated less than three hours before the race.

That Lorenzo’s last-gasp victory denied the prodigiously talented Marquez a fifth straight win is nothing short of astonishing.

In all honesty, it seems it will be little more than a stay of execution for Lorenzo’s second stint as world champion. Marquez will, in all probability, become the first man since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the senior class in his first year.

Take a moment to consider that as a potential achievement for Marquez and it becomes clear just how talented this 20-year-old from Cervera is.

To cap things off, it is being done against one of the strongest fields MotoGP has ever seen.

The field at Silverstone boasted more than 20 world titles of various descriptions between them.

Lorenzo already has two in the senior class and is one of the finest riders of his generation. His stark admission that, despite some of the best riding of his career, he still could not out qualify Marquez shows how high the bar is being pushed.

Pedrosa may be the best rider never to win a senior title – an unkind and back-handed compliment if ever there was one – yet it is looking more likely every season.

For the second race running, Pedrosa was able to demonstrate superior speed in sections of the race yet could not put a move on his teammate – and an injured one this time round at that.

Rather like the Federer-Nadal epics in tennis, Marquez is pushing the sport to new heights, bringing out the best of his rivals just to keep up with his meteoric rise.

For some reason, it has not yet consistently brought the kind of excitement its billing promises. Races have all too often seen Lorenzo set the pace with Marquez happy to pull a late move and dash the last few laps to victory.

Yet deep in Northamptonshire, we caught that tantalising glimpse of just how talented these riders are, and just how exhilarating their duels can become when the perfect set of circumstances combine.

It does not seem to happen enough but, when it does, it is so spectacular that it keeps fans hooked and happy to wait as long as it takes for another episode of some of the finest drama around.

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