Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi might be the one grabbing headlines, but at least for one race, his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, was the one taking the victory lap. The two-time MotoGP world champion dominated the Spanish MotoGP from start to finish, claiming his first MotoGP victory since winning the Japanese GP at Motegi on October 12, 2014.

It was a masterclass performance from the 28-year old rider who raced to the lead from the get-go, gamely keeping defending champion Marc Marquez at bay to compete his dominant run. In the end, Lorenzo finished the course in 44:57.246, five seconds clear of the Repsol Honda rider.

Despite falling short in catching Lorenzo, Marquez made an impressive showing of his own with the second-place finish and doing so only a week after suffering a dirt track training injury that forced him to race with a titanium plate inserted into his left little finger. The champ’s performance was also a tremendous shot in the arm for Repsol Honda, which once again had to rely on its star rider to score points for the team after teammate Hiroshi Aoyama once again failed to finish the race.

Current points leader Valentino Rossi finished in the last step of the podium. He could’ve had a better by race by his own admission, especially after starting from fifth and moving to third in just under five laps. But from there, it was a game of catch-up between Marquez and Rossi. The latter had his hard-charging moments, but in the end, the Doctor just couldn’t get his worn down tires to overtake Marquez and as the race wound down, the nine-time world champion was more than happy to settle for third place and the 15 points that came with it.

Getting as many points as possible is more important this season as the title race figures to go down the wire. Rossi remains on top of the standings with 82 points, 15 points clear of second place Andrea Dovizioso at 67 points. Meanwhile, Lorenzo’s win vaulted him to third place in the standings with 62 points, followed closely by Marquez at 56 points.

Continue reading to read more about Jorge Lorenzo’s dominant display ay the Spanish GP.

Why it matters

If it isn’t obvious yet, the 2015 Spanish MotoGP at Jerez proved that this season is going to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable MotoGP years we’re going to have. The current standings might say that it’s shaping up to be Valentino Rossi’s title to lose, but one non-finish from the Doctor immediately puts his points total vulnerable to getting leap-frogged.

Whether it’s a combination of the quirky points allocation of MotoGP or the sheer parity that seems to have settled over the paddock this season, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this season’s championship race will likely go to the wire.

That’s a great thing for obvious reasons. It keeps everyone on their seats, making every remaining race in the calendar a must-watch event. It also puts a positive light on MotoGP as it continues to claw its way to garnering more mainstream media attention.

But most of all, it gives people who are only starting to watch the series a tremendous way to get hooked up in all the excitement it can provide. I was in a similar position before and I still remember Nicky Hayden winning the 2006 title from Valentino Rossi in the last race of the season in Valencia after seemingly trying his best to choke away what was supposed to be an insurmountable lead in the five races before the finale.

That got me hooked to MotoGP and after a decade of watching the series, this year has the makings of becoming one of the most exciting and unexpected seasons the series has had in a long time.

Hold on to your saddles, ladies and gentlemen. The best is still to come.

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