MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez won his tenth consecutive race on Sunday at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi joining him on the podium.
Marquez has become the first rider since Mick Doohan in 1997, also aboard a Repsol Honda machine, to win ten successive premier class GP races. It was also the 100th win for a Spanish rider in the premier class and the 500th win for Spain across all categories.
Marc Marquez: “I am really happy to have taken this win! After the summer break it was important to start with another victory. Yesterday it seemed like it may be a straight forward race, but it ended up being quite the opposite. We suffered a lot and physically it was hard, there was a lot of humidity and I was sweating a lot.
“The track temperature rose by 10 degrees today and this made the tyres behave differently. It was hard for me to have the same level of confidence. I was patient at the beginning and when I regained the good feeling I had in practice I decided to push, opening that two-second gap which in the end was enough for the win”
Jorge Lorenzo: “The beginning of the championship was a little bit of a disaster for me. I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike and made many mistakes. Now I feel a lot better on the bike and I improved my physical condition. I rode well and consistently and I feel very fit on the bike. I ride against very strong riders now; Valentino improved his form this year. He is faster so it is not easy to overtake him and Marc is no longer the rookie rider he was last year. He has a very strong bike and he has more experience and is really fit and riding well. Despite this we are very focused on improving the bike.”
Valentino Rossi: I am satisfied because this is a good third place after a good battle with Jorge and Marc. I led the race, stayed in front and rode well. I’m happy because usually this is a difficult track for me. We worked well with the team and the bike was good for the race. We were able to achieve a good pace, but now we have to make another step to arrive in front of Jorge and Marc.”
It was a frantic start to the race with Marc losing out from his pole position. By the end of the first lap Marc was fourth, then on lap two, Marc passed Iannone into third. The top eight riders stuck together in a pack for the opening laps, with just tenths of seconds separating them.
On lap six Marc took advantage of Rossi and Dovizioso sparring for position and running wide, and slipped into first position. Rossi re-passed Marc on the same lap but Marc remained in second place ahead of Dovizioso.
By lap ten Lorenzo had passed Dovizioso into third and at the start of lap eleven he passed Marc into turn one to claim second place. However, after immediately attacking Rossi into turn two, both riders left a gap for Marc to pass and the championship leader never looked back, recording the fastest race lap on lap seventeen (1’32.831).
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) finished fourth as he came through from eighth on the grid, gambling on a harder front tyre.
Dani Pedrosa: “Overall it has been a difficult weekend in which at no point did I feel good on the bike. We couldn’t find a good setup in practice. Then in the race, although I was able to move up a few places, I was always off the pace if I was going to fight for the podium”
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) rode well to finish fifth with his team-mate Bradley Smith crossing the line sixth after suffering a heavy crash on Saturday in which he aggravated an old finger injury.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) was 20 seconds behind his seventh placed teammate Dovizioso in eighth, with Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) just behind Crutchlow at the finish in ninth. Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar) completed the top ten but there was bad luck for his substitute colleague Leon Camier who retired with six laps to go.
There were also retirements for Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Danilo Petrucci (IodaRacing Project) due to technical issues. In addition, at Turn 4 of lap one Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) crashed out with Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing).
On lap 13 Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) clashed as Bradl crashed out and Espargaro’s bike was badly damaged forcing him to pull off track, having initially tried to continue.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) stopped with a problem on lap 17, having been well placed in eighth.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 7.041s
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 42m 8.844s
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 42m 13.599s
4. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 17.057s
5. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 42m 24.848s
6. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 42m 26.645s
7. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 42m 27.800s
8. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 42m 46.837s
9. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 42m 47.548s
10. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 43m 2.801s
11. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 43m 12.171s
12. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 43m 12.387s
13. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 15.960s
14. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 43m 16.244s
15. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 43m 37.654s
Leon Camier GBR Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) DNF
Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) DNF
Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) DNF
Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) DNF
Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) DNF
Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) DNF
Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) DNF
Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) DNF
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 250
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 161
3 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 157
4 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 117
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 108
6 Pol Espargaro Monster Yamaha Tech 3 78
7 Aleix Espargaro NGM Forward Racing 77
8 Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing 62
9 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 58
10 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 56
11 Alvaro Bautista GO&FUN Gresini Honda 50
12 Scott Redding GO&FUN Honda Gresini 40
13 Cal Crutchlow Ducati Team 36
14 Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar 34
15 Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar 29
16 Yonny Hernandez Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing 27
17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 23
18 Colin Edwards NGM Forward Racing 11
19 Broc Parkes Paul Bird Motorsport 7
20 Michele Pirro Ducati Team 7
21 Mike di Meglio Avintia Racing 4
22 Danilo Petrucci IodaRacing Project 4
23 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport 2
24 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing 2
Moto3 – Podium finish for Miller at the Brickyard
Championship at Indianapolis in a finish far too close to call saw KTM rider Romani Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46), and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) pick up places 2-3 behind winner Efren Vazquez of Spain on Sunday.
Miller, who started on pole for the sixth time this season was in the mix for the entire 23-lap race and leaves the US circuit having marginally extended his championship points lead from 19 to 21. Miller’s closest rivals for the championship – Vazquez, Alex Marquez both of Spain and the Italian Fenati are only separated by seven points as the championship continues to be hard fought and very tight.
Miller got away well from pole and led the race for the opening laps but he was hotly pursued by no less than six riders right through to the final three laps when the group had extended to 10 all fiercely challenging for the lead. Miller, Fenati, Vazquez and the two Estrella Galicia riders Marquez and Rins constantly exchanged the lead back and forth as they planned strategies for what was shaping up to be a last lap charge for the line.
French rider Alexis Masbou joined the scramble in the last laps after having fought his way back from a difficult start. Both Miller and Fenati had their share of leading the pack but it was Vazquez who finally prevailed just as threatening raindrops started to fall in the closing minutes of the race.
Jack Miller: “We’ve managed to score points that allow us to continue leading the World Championship. We finished the race without making stupid mistakes and I’m very happy about that. We have a good advantage over those behind us and that’s good for us, but now we need to focus on Brno, where I think the bike will be much better suited to the track than here at Indianapolis. We knew the weekend was going to be a struggle, but at Brno think we have another good opportunity, so I’m already looking forward to next weekend.”
Fenati also said it had been a good race with many strong riders and he was also pleased to be on the podium for the championship and for his team.
1. Efren Vazquez SPA SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 39m 12.977s
2. Romano Fenati ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 39m 13.042s
3. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 39m 13.196s
4. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 39m 13.349s
5. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 39m 13.696s
6. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 39m 13.990s
7. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 39m 14.287s
8. Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 39m 14.872s
9. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 39m 15.014s
10. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 39m 15.238s
11. Enea Bastianini ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 39m 16.409s
12. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 39m 17.416s
13. Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 39m 22.575s
14. Jorge Navarro SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 39m 22.657s
15. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 39m 29.376s
16. Jules Danilo FRA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 39m 29.408s
17. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 39m 29.582s
18. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 39m 29.638s
19. Luca Grünwald GER Kiefer Racing (Kalex-KTM) 39m 33.768s
20. Philipp Oettl GER Interwetten Paddock Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 39m 34.000s
21. Arthur Sissis AUS Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 39m 36.823s
22. Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team (KTM) 39m 37.077s
23. Scott Deroue NED RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 39m 49.502s
24. Hafiq Azmi MAL SIC-AJO (KTM) 39m 58.821s
25. Andrea Locatelli ITA San Carlo Team Italia (Mahindra) 40m 3.205s
26. Ana Carrasco SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex-KTM) 40m 5.783s
27. Bryan Schouten NED CIP (Mahindra) 40m 13.616s