Series rookie Jorge Lorenzo took victory in MotoGP’s Virtual British Grand Prix at Silverstone, recovering well from a first lap collision with Taka Nakagami to win against a somewhat depleted field.
Yamaha returnee Lorenzo replicated his initial performance from his real-world MotoGP debut in Qatar in 2008 by taking pole at the first attempt and leading off the line.
But the clash with Nakagami left him fighting his way through the field and he had to hunt down Tito Rabat in the closing laps for the win.
“Like a Roman emperor once said ‘veni, vidi, vici!’” said Lorenzo.
“Fabio [Quartararo] was clearly faster than me, but to win the race you have to finish first, even if I did crash in the second corner.
“I overheated the rear tyre so it was quite hard to catch Tito, but I was able to make it work.
“In the past three days I’ve tried all the tyre options, and I knew I could use the soft front.
“The medium option on the rear was on the limit, so going with the hard was the right choice. But I’m lucky that Fabio crashed so many times!”
Quartararo was still able to pick off Nakagami for third behind Rabat after a solo crash cost early race leader Nakagami his shot at victory.
Despite showing rapid pace throughout the series, third place at Silverstone was Quartararo’s first podium.
Round five of the series, which is likely to be its final race as MotoGP gears up to head back on track for real in July, was a disastrous outing for title fighter Pecco Bagnaia.
With main rivals Alex Marquez and Maverick Vinales not participating, Bagnaia should have been able to take control of the series but instead he ended up only sixth after crashing four times.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was fifth ahead of Aprilia tester Lorenzo Savadori, Bagnaia and Suzuki’s Joan Mir.
The absent Alex Marquez maintains a seven-point lead in the series over Bagnaia, with Vinales another eight points back.
In the Moto2 class, Bo Bendsneyder took a dominant win by six seconds from Kasma Daniel and Hector Garzo, while Stefano Nepa won in Moto3 from Jeremy Alcoba and Ayumu Sasaki.