With each passing race in the 2015 MotoGP season, Jorge Lorenzo is making his case for the rider’s championship stronger and stronger. Tough as it is to live in the shadow of Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo nevertheless produced a master class of racing, dominating the Italian Grand Prix from start to finish and claiming his third straight race win of the season.

Simply out, Lorenzo was untouchable, and it didn’t take long for him to speed into the distance, leaving little doubt on who the man of the race was and leaving the suspense to who would join him in the last two steps of the podium. That race for second place didn’t disappoint either as the two Ducati riders - Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone - squared off against Rossi and the two Honda riders - defending champion Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

The five-man battle royale for second eventually turned into a three-man race as Dovizioso was forced to retire with a damaged rear sprocket and Marquez doing the same with just six laps left in the race. Ultimately, it was Iannone who crossed the finish line in second, ahead of Rossi and Pedrosa, who finished third and fourth, respectively.
For all the talk of Rossi’s championship lead, Ducati’s resurgence, and Honda’s struggles, Lorenzo’s 2015 MotoGP campaign has largely been left in the back pages. But after another dominant race win, it’s now time for everyone to realize that the two-time MotoGP champion is a serious threat to win his third world championship.

With the win at Mugello, Lorenzo inched closer to Rossi’s points total in the rider’s standings. The latter still leads the campaign with 118 points, but his teammate is now just six points behind at 112. Likewise, the two Ducati riders, Dovizioso and Iannone, held steady on third and fourth place with 83 and 81 points, respectively, while Marquez’s DNF saw him remain stuck at 69 points with thoughts of winning his third-straight MotoGP rider’s title slipping precariously from his fingers.

We’re now close to the halfway point of the season and if current trends hold their form, we might end up seeing the two Yamaha riders decide the 2015 MotoGP title.

The smart money is still on Rossi to win an unprecedented 10th world title, but with the way Lorenzo has looked in the last three races, Rossi’s race to the history books might not end up being as easy as it looks.

Continue reading to read more about Jorge Lorenzo’s third-straight MotoGP win.

Why it matters

I’ll come clean here. I didn’t see Jorge Lorenzo as a real challenger to the 2015 MotoGP title. I thought it would go down to Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. But like most of you, I found myself eating a wee bit of crow lately as Lorenzo has not only dominated the last three races, he’s also kicked the championship race wide open.

I still think Rossi will go down to win the championship, but my resolve on that has definitely weakened ever since his teammate turned in one race win after another. All this still paints an exciting conclusion to this MotoGP season, which is what everybody wants to begin with.

The Ducati riders are still threats, but with every Yamaha race win, that’s more points they’re leaving off of the table. It would take a massive collapse from both Rossi and Lorenzo for that to happen, something I don’t think either rider will go through this year.

Then again, nobody thought Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone would fare as well as they have this season so I guess third and fourth place finishes would be cause for celebration inside their paddock.

The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for the defending champion, Marc Marquez. Favored to win his third-straight MotoGP title at the start of the season, Marquez has fallen into desperate times, failing to register a single point at the Italian Grand Prix and seeing the points distance between himself and Rossi grow by the race.

It’s going to take a huge comeback for Marquez to get back into contention and even then, trying to make up that big a gap could prove to be too much even for the Spaniard at this stage in the season. Then again, stranger things have happened in the world of MotoGP so I’m not closing the door on that happening.

It would be exciting to see, though, wouldn’t it?

What do you think?
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