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Rossi & Marquez - Catch Jorge if you can

Rossi & Marquez - Catch Jorge if you can

If Jorge Lorenzo manages to fire his Yamaha YZR-M1 into the lead at Silverstone’s first corner on Sunday then be afraid, be very afraid.

With nineteen years of experience reporting on MotoGP™ for Motorcycle News, MotoGP Commentator Matthew Birt knows the championship inside-out. For the 2015 season he joins the motogp.com team to bring you exclusive news and opinion from inside the paddock.

Five times this season we have witnessed Lorenzo blitz off the line to take an early lead and in 125 laps of action in Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello, Catalunya and Brno, nobody got close to showing the Spaniard a front wheel.

Brno was his 38th win in MotoGP and moved him level with Casey Stoner in the all-time winning list. Lorenzo is now standing with giants, with only Mick Doohan, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi winning more races in the premier class.

What I find intriguing about Lorenzo’s 38 wins is that 50% have been achieved by him leading over the line at the end of every lap (thanks for that nugget, Dr Martin Raines).

We all know how Lorenzo is the absolute master at hitting the front early before settling into a fast and consistent rhythm that eventually hammers his rivals into submission.

But I guess I’d never fully appreciated how damn good he is at executing his line of attack.

Compare that record to current main title rival Rossi, the Italian has led over the line for every single lap in just two of his 85 MotoGP victories. That’s three less in 15 years than Lorenzo has managed in the last three months!

Marc Marquez has also only managed to lead across the line in every lap of his 22 MotoGP victories in two races. Both were in his record-smashing romp to 13 wins in 2014 when he dominated proceedings at the Circuit of the Americas and Jerez.

You have to go back a lot further to find the two battles that Rossi won without anybody passing him from lights out to the chequered flag. Estoril back in 2004 was his first flag-to-flag triumph, but his last was eight years ago at Jerez in 2007.

The fact that Lorenzo has already managed it five times in 11 races this season alone will probably send shivers down the spine of any Rossi or Marquez fan.

He’s led for 168 of 276 laps in 2015, which is looking ominous when you consider that’s just one short of the entire tally he recorded on his way to winning his first MotoGP title in 2010. And it is just five shy of the total laps he led when lifting the crown again in 2012. And we still have seven races remaining.

Silverstone is up next and you wouldn’t put it past him making it a sixth start-to-finish success of 2015 on Sunday.

Three wins from five starts at the super fast and technical track is by far the best of anybody else, and his two performances since the summer break have heaped big pressure on Rossi.

The outright lead is at stake this weekend between and to be honest I think it will be damage limitation for Rossi again.

With his home race in Misano next on the title run-in, Rossi will be keen to remain within striking distance of Lorenzo, knowing full well that Lorenzo would appear to hold the aces at Silverstone.

He has shown his full repertoire of skills at Silverstone in the past. Many think he’s become a one-trick pony who can only win with ease when he’s got clear track in front of him.

When it comes to a good old fashioned carve up it has been said numerous times that Lorenzo is not as ruthless and willing to trade paint like old school scrappers Rossi and Marquez.

Lorenzo showed at Silverstone in 2013 that there’s more to his game than just breaking away at the front when a daring late overtake gave him a sweet last-gasp win over Marquez.

Perhaps Lorenzo’s biggest enemy this weekend will be the unpredictable British weather.

Remember how the demons of his collarbone-smashing crash in the wet at Assen in 2013 returned to haunt him last season in tricky conditions in Holland and Valencia?

Rain could be a massive pain for Lorenzo. For Rossi and Marquez it could be heaven sent.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, OCTO BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Repsol Honda Team

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