Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken his sixth win of the year at the Spanish Grand Prix in Aragon, thereby increasing the possibility of him becoming a rookie MotoGP World Champion. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished second and third respectively.
Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the race on the sixth lap having started on the front row for the first time since Indianapolis.
Starting from his seventh pole position of the season, Marquez had beaten Lorenzo by one hundredth of a second on Saturday, but Lorenzo led the way with yet another of his trade-mark lightning starts, leading by a second after the first lap, with Marquez second and Pedrosa third.
The critical moment of the afternoon, and perhaps of the 2013 World Championship, would come on Lap 6. As both Hondas closed in on Lorenzo for the lead, Marquez ran third but appeared to out-brake himself at Turn 12.
Moments later, Pedrosa dramatically highsided out of the race and it was later confirmed that the two team-mates had made contact resulting in a broken sensor on the rear of Pedrosa’s bike. Pedrosa was taken to the medical centre for checks, thankfully escaping serious injury.
The moment allowed Lorenzo to extend his lead to 1.7 seconds, although he was caught by Marquez and overhauled at the same corner eight laps later. The championship lead now increases to 39 points with 100 left on offer.
Marc Marquez: “Today was a very gruelling race, because I had to make two comebacks; the first was to catch Jorge after he broke free at the start, then I needed to make another after Dani passed me and I wanted to overtake him after two laps. I felt comfortable but I went a little wide under braking, lifted the bike up and made light contact with him. I’m not sure he even noticed it, but it was a bit of bad luck because the team told me I caused his traction control cable to snap and I’m sorry for that – it’s something very unusual to see. The important thing is that Dani is OK. I was eventually able to overtake Jorge and take the victory, which is important in terms of both the 25 points and for my morale.”
Jorge Lorenzo: “My tactic was to start well and open a gap like I did in the last races. I could make one second at the beginning but then simply Marc was faster. When he caught me I closed the throttle to try to save some energy until the end; then he passed me and tried to go away. I tried my best to catch him but it was impossible. Today he was faster than me; there are no excuses. We have to congratulate him and now we think about the next races. The championship is more difficult now than before the race but we are going to fight for it until the end. We will try to win as many races as possible.”
Valentino Rossi: “Third position is positive, to be on the podium is good. I expected to go a little bit faster after the practice this morning where I was very strong. I decided for the hard front tyre whilst Marc and Jorge went for the soft and I think it was a better choice for this afternoon as I was a little bit slower. In the end the third position is very positive.”
Rossi finished on the podium for the first time since Laguna Seca, fending off GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow in a highly entertaining four-rider contest.
It came to a climax in the last six laps. First Bautista got ahead of Rossi, then Bradl joined the action, with Crutchlow a close spectator. The trio changed places again with two laps to go, Rossi regaining the upper hand to lead Bautista over the line by less than a second. The Spaniard had his hands full with Bradl, less than two tenths behind. Crutchlow was just over half a second away. Less than two seconds covered the quartet.
Dani Pedrosa: “Fortunately I’m fine physically. I took a heavy knock to my hip and my groin area, but I was able to escape relatively unhurt from what was a big crash. Marc went in too wide on the corner entry, clipped me from the outside and I went flying when I got on the gas. My mechanics told me later that the traction control cable had been cut by the contact.”
Alvaro Bautista: “It was a great race and I had a lot of fun fighting with Crutchlow, Bradl and Rossi. It’s just a shame that I missed out on the podium again but I am happy because I fought for it until the end. Unfortunately I ended up getting into a fight with Bradl on the final lap and lost touch with Valentino but I have no complaints and we have to be happy with a result like this at a circuit where we have had so many difficulties in the past. Thanks to all the guys for the incredible job they are doing. It is nice that we were back to our best today, proving that Misano was not our fault.”
Tech3’s Bradley Smith, Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone completed the top ten, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was once again the leading CRT runner in 11th spot.
In 17th place, Italian Luca Scassa ended his debut with Cardion AB Motoracing ahead of two other CRT machines, covering for Karel Abraham who has been ruled out of action for the rest of the campaign.
A total of five riders failed to finish. Pedrosa retired for the first time this year on his 28th birthday, while PBM’s Michael Laverty and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were put out of action on the opening lap in an incident also involving Scassa.
On his return to MotoGP, Australia’s Damian Cudlin suffered gearbox issues while Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera pulled into the pits, having already changed bikes after encountering pre-race problems with his original.
The next race is the Malaysian GP in two weeks’ time, followed week by week by two more long-distance races, in Australia and Japan, before the season finale in Valencia.
Race Result – Round 14
1 Marc Marquez 42’03.459 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo +1.356 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
3 Valentino Rossi +12.927 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Alvaro Bautista +13.787 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
5 Stefan Bradl +13.973 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Cal Crutchlow +14.662 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Bradley Smith +31.220 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Andrea Dovizioso +40.671 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden +53.413 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Andrea Iannone +55.067 ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
11 Aleix Espargaro +58.001 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Yonny Hernandez +1’05.513 COL DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Randy De Puniet +1’06.589 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
14 Hiroshi Aoyama +1’08.674 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Claudio Corti +1’09.130 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
16 Colin Edwards +1’12.041 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
17 Luca Scassa +1’45.152 ITA ART Cardion AB Motoracing
18 Bryan Staring +1’45.228 AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
19 Lukas Pesek +1’45.583 CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
20 Hector Barbera DNF SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
21 Dani Pedrosa DNF SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
22 Damian Cudlin DNF AUS PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
23 Danilo Petrucci DNF ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
24 Michael Laverty DNF GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
1 Marc Marquez 278 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 239 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
3 Dani Pedrosa 219 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Valentino Rossi 185 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Cal Crutchlow 156 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Stefan Bradl 135 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Alvaro Bautista 125 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
8 Andrea Dovizioso 112 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden 102 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Bradley Smith 80 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Aleix Espargaro 76 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Michele Pirro 50 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 47 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Colin Edwards 31 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
15 Hector Barbera 27 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Randy De Puniet 23 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
17 Danilo Petrucci 23 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
18 Yonny Hernandez 11 pts COL DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
20 Hiroshi Aoyama 8 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
21 Claudio Corti 8 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
22 Karel Abraham 5 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Alex De Angelis 5 pts RSM DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
24 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
25 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
26 Javier Del Amor 1 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Martin Bauer 0 pts AUT S&B SUTER Remus Racing Team
28 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
29 Luca Scassa 0 pts ITA ART Cardion AB Motoracing
30 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
31 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance