MotoGP

MotoGP: Rins snatches victory at Silverstone with stunning last corner move

Screen Shot 2019-08-25 at 20.01.25

Suzuki’s Alex Rins snatched a dramatic victory on the finish line to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Marquez led virtually all the way round and was on course for his seventh win of the season, appearing to have held off the younger Spaniard, only for Rins to produce a spectacular piece of riding on the final lap for his second win of the season.

Another Spaniard, Maverick Vinales, was third, with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi a place further back.

The result sees Marquez extend his lead in the Championship to 78 points after second-placed Andrea Dovizioso of Italy suffered a bad crash on the first lap.

Dovizioso suffered his spectacular crash on the first lap as he went into the back of Frenchman Fabio Quartararo and went flying off his bike, which caught fire.

Luckily, nothing was broken but the Italian has been taken to Coventry Hospital for further checks after he sustained a severe blow to the head that caused a momentary loss of memory.

Advertisements

MotoGP: Marquez smashes Silverstone lap record with scintillating pole

rd12_silverstone_marquez_2019-05047.jpg

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez delivered his 60th premier class pole position from 120 premier class starts with a new lap record at the British Grand Prix.

Times were tumbling from early in the day as the Silverstone circuit record was improved on continuously throughout the day. The bar was provisionally set during Free Practice 3 when Marquez was one of three riders to enter the 1’58s – over a second faster than the record from 2017.

Immediately in the 1’58s from his first flying lap of Q2, Marquez left it late to set his fastest time as he secured pole with a 1’58.168 and set a new outright lap record around the Silverstone circuit.

The record-breaking lap is his 60th pole position in the premier class on what is his 120th premier class start. This is also the World Championship leader’s eighth pole of the 2019 season and his fourth pole in a row.

He said: “With the first tyre I felt really, really good and I just tried to find a good lap and I did my first lap alone. When we went out with the second tyre there was a fair bit of traffic, I was on top in the results so I did not want to push first. We were then waiting a bit and playing with our strategy and then on the last lap the tyres were ready and we made a really good lap. Valentino was ahead, maybe a little too far because I couldn’t profit fully from the slipstream. I think we can be strong in the race tomorrow, but for sure there are many rivals for tomorrow.”

Sunday’s 20-lap British Grand Prix will begin at 13:00 local time as the second race of the day due to the unique running schedule of the British round.

 

MotoGP: Dovizioso snatches last gasp win in Austria

rd1_brno_marquez_2019-01017

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso won a spectacular Austrian Grand Prix with a last-corner pass on Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez after a terrific sparring match with the Spanish champion that lasted from the first to the last lap.

Dovizioso powered away well at the start from the front row, then overtook the provisional race leader Quartararo on Lap 6. He was followed immediately by Marquez, with whom Dovizioso then had an amazing scrap that only finished at the chequered flag.

On the final lap it was Marquez who held a slender lead, but Dovizioso used all of his race craft to line up and all-or-nothing overtake at the final corner reminiscent of Marquez’s own move on the Italian two years ago. However, unlike Marquez’s failed effort, Dovizioso pulled off the perfect block pass up the inside before using the superior acceleration of his Ducati to take an emotional victory by 0.213s. – his second win at the Red Bull Ring.

Dovizioso said: “Today I’m so happy, because this victory was really important for me. Towards the end of the race I had good right-side grip on the tyre and this allowed me to successfully attempt that incredible overtaking move at the final corner. My strategy for the race was to be aggressive right from the opening lap, but Marquez was more aggressive than me. He immediately tried to impose his rhythm but I was always able to respond and in the final stages I think he had more wear on his tyres than me so I could stay right on his tail until the end, and attempt that crazy passing move on him at the final corner. I want to thank Ducati and my team because today we did everything just perfectly.”

With this victory, Ducati continued its unbeaten winning streak at the Red Bull Ring since the Austrian circuit returned to the MotoGP calendar. The red bikes from the Borgo Panigale factory won here in 2016 with Iannone, in 2017 with Dovizioso, last year with Lorenzo and again this year with Dovizioso.

In the overall Riders’ championship standings, Andrea Dovizioso is still in second place but he has reduced the gap to leader Marquez to 58 points.

MotoGP: Marquez untouchable at Brno

rd1_brno_marquez_2019-01017

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed his 50th victory in the premier class after a chaotic start to the Czech GP.

Saturday’s dreary conditions were initially nowhere to be seen as race day at the Czech GP began. But a brief rain shower half an hour before the start of the MotoGP race left the track with wet patches and led to a delayed start and a reduced race distance of 20 laps.

After securing pole by 2.524 seconds in thrilling style on Saturday, championship leader Marquez shot forward to lead the shortened race as the lights went out. With the likes of Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Rins and Jack Miller behind, Marquez settled into a consistent pace and steadily opened up a half second lead over his rivals by lap ten. Even with a moment at Turn 10, Marquez’s lead continued to grow as the race went on.

With an advantage of over two seconds, Marquez crossed the line to claim victory in Brno and his sixth win of 2019. He becomes just the fourth rider in Grand Prix history to take 50 wins in the premier class and equals Mike Hailwood’s 76 wins across all classes.

The Spaniard said: “I was really concentrated from the beginning as there were still some wet patches, especially at Turn 1. I knew I needed to keep my rhythm as the Yamaha riders were starting from behind and they were strong in Warm Up. Then I saw that Dovi was behind me so I had to keep pushing and pushing. I had a little warning on lap 10 because that is when I started to push more to try and open the gap. Delaying the race was the best decision that could have been made because the track was in a mixed condition and it could have been quite dangerous. A crazy weekend with the weather but the whole Repsol Honda Team were perfect and helped me a lot to achieve victory!”

Fourth on the all time winner list, Marquez heads to round 11 in Austria with 210 points – 63 points clear of second placed Dovizioso.

MotoGP: Marquez takes pole at a wet Brno to equal Doohan’s premier class pole record

rd1_brno_marquez_2019-09389

A perfectly timed switch to slicks and a masterful ride aboard the RC213V saw Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez run away with pole position for the Czech GP and equal Mick Doohan’s premier class pole record.

Torrential morning rain ceased just ahead of Free Practice 3 but left the Brno circuit soaking wet. Although conditions improved throughout the morning session, the rain returned during the lunch break to ensure every Saturday session at the Czech GP was wet.

Undaunted, Marquez continued to challenge for the top spot as he had done throughout the weekend. Second in FP3 had the reigning world champion confident of a strong result in the wet or dry. Even with the rain, the grid would be decided on slicks and Marquez was the first to head out as the dry line appeared. Expertly navigating the treacherous conditions of the Automotodrom Brno, Marquez claimed pole by a staggering 2.5 seconds.

He said: “At the start I believed in the slick tyres with how the conditions were changing. In the end when the rain came back and the track got wetter it was difficult! Maybe in hindsight I took a little too much risk, but in the end we finished in a good way and I am happy. Tomorrow it looks like it will be a sunny day, so a normal race. With the conditions we have had, it is hard to know where everyone is but the target is the podium.”

This is the 86th pole of Marc Marquez’s career and his 58th in the premier class. He and five-time World Champion Mick Doohan now share the record for most pole positions in the premier class with 58 each.

MotoGP: Vinales is Top Gun at Assen

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 19.17.25

Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales proved he belongs in MotoGP’s elite when he claimed his and Yamaha’s first MotoGP win of 2019 at Assen.

Vinales took the lead with 11 laps to go, but ran wide two laps later gifting the lead back to Marquez.

However, Vinales regrouped and re-passed the championship leader, setting consecutive personal best laps to eke out a slender gap.

Marquez pushed hard to stay with him, but once clear of pole sitter Fabio Quartararo, the Honda rider, with one eye on the championship, started to back off.

This left Vinales to take Yamaha’s first win since the 2018 Australian round to breath fresh momentum into his season following a tough start which included being taken out of three races in collisions which weren’t his fault.

Vinales said: “It feels like I’m dreaming. These have been difficult times for me, because I’ve been out of the three tracks where I thought I had the most potential with the bike. My season has been difficult, but I’ve tried to keep the momentum from Catalunya, because I felt really good on the bike. I’m so grateful to the team, because they did a great job this weekend and prepared well for the last laps of the race. I was strong, even one-to-one on the brakes, I knew I could make the overtakes. It was very important to relieve some of the pressure by taking a victory. I think the team will be more relaxed now. Being back on the top step of the podium again feels really good and bringing Yamaha back to its winning ways is the most important to me. We knew we had the potential but hadn’t been able to show it. It’s always a combination between the team’s, the rider’s, and the bike’s efforts. Sachsenring is a track I’m usually fast at, so we’ll try our best.”

Quartararo, still not 100% fit after arm pump surgery, picks up a second consecutive podium in P3 to leapfrog himself to P6 in the Championship. Andrea Dovizioso did well to come home fourth to limit the damage in the overall standings as much as he could, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) securing his equal-best MotoGP finish with a final chicane move on Danilo Petrucci – the Italian finished sixth. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) crossed the line seventh, the British rider had strong pace mid-race but a mistake at Turn 1 ended his P4 charge, with Suzuki’s Joan Mir also making a mistake late on to finish P8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) finishednonth, with Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing) earning his best result of the season in P10.

MotoGP: Marquez reigns supreme at home GP

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 19.57.57

Marc Marquez celebrated a dominating home victory at the Catalan GP, riding to the front early on and controlling the race to take the 48th premier class win of his career.

The hottest conditions of the weekend met the MotoGP World Championship as the 24-rider strong field lined up on the grid. 51°C track temperature caused Marc Marquez little issue as he relished an early fight as the lights went out.

Marquez would soon find himself leading his home Grand Prix with a comfortable advantage due to incidents behind.

Consistently lapping in the mid to low 1’40s during the early stages of the race, Marquez maintained his advantage to cross the line 2.660s clear of second place.

The Spaniard said: “I chose the soft rear to try and push in the beginning and to try to not overheat the tyre but to try to be constant and fast. All of the Repsol Honda Team did a really good job this weekend; we worked hard and prepared well for the race. The team told me something had happened to Dovi, so I just kept pushing and focusing on my own race. We had the perfect strategy regardless and I want to thank all the fans who came out. Gracias! It’s always special when you can celebrate winning together with your brother, Alex rode well this weekend!”

This is the reigning MotoGP World Champion’s second premier class win in Barcelona and his fourth of the 2019 season.

However, the talking point of the race was a banzai move by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, when the three-time champion Lorenzo folded the front-end at the Turn 10 left-hander on Lap Two with an out of control move, clipping the back end of Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati, which in turn skittled Maverick Vinales’ Yamaha to his outside, while the close-following Valentino Rossi had nowhere to go but over Lorenzo’s stricken Repsol Honda.

An apologetic Lorenzo said: “You don’t have any options if you brake a little bit too late here, like happened with me. It was my fault, my mistake and I apologise. It was really unfortunate to take out Dovi, Maverick and Valentino – it wasn’t their fault obviously, it was mine. The only thing that matters today is the crash, I took out three riders unfortunately but if we think aside from this it was a weekend where we were able to make a step forward and I was consistent throughout.”

Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales was critical of Lorenzo after the race, saying: “Actually, I saw someone coming very fast on the inside, and I tried to pick up the bike to avoid a crash. Dovi was in front of me and I thought that just they were going to crash, but unfortunately they touched my rear tyre and I jumped. I couldn’t avoid it and I’m really disappointed, but on the other hand I’m really happy. We’ve made a good start and did some good first laps. We had prepared the bike really well with the full fuel tank, so the method we’ve tried this weekend is not so bad, it’s working. We’re going to try to reproduce our work in Assen and see if we get the same result, because we saw on the first lap that I was able to get to the front and push, and that was the most important for me. Who knows what would have happened if I could have followed Marc? But the bike was working well and the team was doing an excellent job this weekend, so we need to keep working like this.”

MotoGP: Dominant Marquez takes Honda’s 300th premier class win in France

rd5_le-mans_marquez_2019-2-16

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his third win of the 2019 season with another dominating performance at Le Mans.

Cold conditions from morning Warm Up carried through until the start of the French Grand Prix at 14:00 local time, with a track temperature of just 18°C making for treacherous opening laps.

Marquez was able to keep clear of trouble at the front, opening a small advantage over Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller, and while Miller was briefly able to get past, the Repsol Honda Team rider responded to the challenge on lap six and retook the lead.

Steadily building his lead lap-by-lap, Marquez crossed the line 1.9 seconds clear of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, claiming Honda’s 300th win in the premier class in the process.

The Spaniard said: “Of course here in Le Mans it’s always difficult with the temperature and the weather, especially today. I think this is the first time I have had a race where I had the soft tyre in the front but it was the safest option. I was focused on being consistent until I saw the gap increasing, I pushed a little bit more and into the low 32s until I saw I had two seconds. I’m happy with today’s result and it is fantastic to be able to take Honda’s 300th premier class win!”

The win is also Marquez’s 47th in the premier class, drawing equal with Jorge Lorenzo in third on the all time premier class wins list. Marquez now extends his lead in the MotoGP World Championship to eight points, Honda maintaining a healthy advantage in the Constructor Championship.

The win is Honda’s 300thvictory in the premier class, the first manufacturer to achieve such success in the premier class. Jim Redman and the Honda RC181 achieved Honda’s first win in the premier class back in 1966 at Hockenheim with Mike Hailwood becoming the second winner a few races later in Brno.

Freddie Spencer returned Honda to the top step of the podium in the 500cc class in 1982 at Spa-Franchoramps on the NS500. Takazumi Katayama would become the first Japanese rider to win in the 500cc class for Honda the same year.

1984 marked the debut of the NSR500 – the legendary 500cc machine taking a total of 132 wins and saw the likes of Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, Alex Criville and Eddie Lawson claim the premier class title and seven Constructors World Championships.

The debut of the four-stroke era saw Honda achieve immediate success with the RC211V, winning the first race at the 2002 Japanese GP. The RC211V, RC212V and RC213V have seen Honda take 144 wins in the four-stroke era, including Marquez’s win at the French GP.

Honda’s 300 Premier Class Wins

Jim Redman 2
Mike Hailwood 8
Freddie Spencer 20
Takazumi Katayama 1
Randy Mamola 4
Wayne Gardner 18
Eddie Lawson 4
Pierfrancesco Chili 1
Mick Doohan 54
Alex Criville 15
Daryl Beattie 1
Alberto Puig 1
Luca Cadalora 2
Carlos Checa 2
Tadayuki Okada 4
Max Biaggi 5
Loris Capirossi 1
Alex Barros 6
Valentino Rossi 33
Tohru Ukawa 1
Sete Gibernau 8
Makoto Tamada 2
Nicky Hayden 3
Marco Melandri 5
Dani Pedrosa 31
Toni Elias 1
Andrea Dovizioso 1
Casey Stoner 15
Marc Marquez 47
Jack Miller 1
Cal Crutchlow 3

MotoGP: Marquez masters a wet Le Mans to take another pole

rd5_le-mans_marquez_2019-00253

Even a crash during Q2 couldn’t stop Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez from claiming his third pole position from five races as he conquered the tricky conditions at Le Mans.

With a track temperature of just 14°C and a brisk air temperature of 12°C, conditions were treacherous in FP4, and Marquez suffered a slow speed fall at Turn 9 early in the session.

Rain returned to the 4.2 km long Le Mans circuit the same moment as pit lane opened for Q2, and a second fall of the day, this time at Turn 6, after setting his fastest lap could not stop Marquez taking pole position for the French GP. It was Marquez’s 55th premier class pole and draws him level with Valentino Rossi and just three behind Mick Doohan’s record 58 premier class poles.

The Spaniard said: “Today was one of those days! The conditions meant you didn’t know if a slick or a wet tyre would be best with the light rain, it was really difficult. In Qualifying we knew we had to push on the first lap when there was the least water on track. Then with more water on track it got more difficult. I’m happy with this pole because it was a day where you could easily start from the back if you weren’t careful. Now we see what the weather does tomorrow!”

Tomorrow’s 27-lap French Grand Prix will take place at 14:00 local time, the weather forecast remaining unpredictable. The race presents Honda with the first opportunity to seal their 300th premier class victory.

MotoGP: Marquez romps to Jerez win

2019-round-4-jerez-motogp.jpg

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has become the first repeat premier class winner of 2019 after storming to victory in Jerez.

Marquez stormed off the line to lead the 23-rider field through the opening corners, and once at the front he never looked back. Lap eight saw the Spaniard begin to open a gap and begin to break away, steadily building an advantage with each corner and eventually crossing the line 1.654 seconds ahead of second place rider, Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

Marquez said: “This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. I felt good all weekend, smooth, comfortable and able to ride how I want. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team, they’ve done an amazing job over the last few weeks and here this weekend. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”

Marquez took the holeshot from third on the grid, with Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli just getting the jump on his team-mate, polesitter team-mate Fabio Quartararo, to slot into second. But it was tight, with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso initially threatening for P2 but then getting shuffled back to fifth behind Maverick Viñales on the factory Yamaha.

Marquez quickly set about getting into a rhythm at the front, but Morbidelli wasn’t letting the reigning champion escape. Little by little, however, the gap began to extend. And as the number 21 dropped off the back of the Repsol Honda in the lead, team-mate Quartararo was looking menacing in third. Soon enough, the Frenchman was able to capitalise on a small mistake for the Italian and it was the rookie polesitter who moved into second.

Unleashed, Quartararo soon set about getting on terms with Marquez’s pace but a mechanical issue stopped him in his tracks. This mishap moved Morbidelli in second and Suzuki’s Alex Rins in third.

However, the pace was too hot for Morbidelli and Rins, then Viñales, Dovizioso and Petrucci all got past.

Out at the front Marquez took the chequered flag ahead of Rins, but the fight for third was close, with Viñales and Dovizioso fighting until the very last corner for the final podium place, and although the Italian was close throughout the final lap looking for a way through, it was the Spaniard who took third.

Dovizioso took a decent fourth, ahead of team-mate Danilo Petrucci, with Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi finishing sixth, Morbidelli seventh, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow eight, Takaaki Nakagami ninth and Honda test rider Stefan Bradl an impressive tenth.

The result was Marquez’s 46th win in the premier class, his 72nd across all classes, and sees him top the overall riders standings with 70 points, a point clear of second placed Rins. His 1’38.051 on Lap 15 of the race secured Marquez a new race lap record at the Jerez circuit along with his 25 World Championship points. He also becomes the third most successful Honda rider in the premier class, overtaking Jim Redman who claimed 45 wins, and he overtakes Lawson to become the sixth most successful MotoGP rider in terms of premier class podium finishes with 80.