Marc Marquez

MotoGP – dominant win for Marquez at Brno

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took a back-to-back victory at Brno in challenging conditions, his third this year and the 58th in his career, extending his championship lead to 14 points over his closest follower.

It was the fifth flag-to-flag race that Marquez has perfectly mastered thanks to a mix of tactics and determination – on this occasion the Spaniard found himself struggling soon after the lights went off, having fitted a soft rear tyre that he wasn’t at ease with on a drying track.

He was the first to roll the dice and pitted on Lap Two, where his team was ready with his second bike fitted with slick tyres. That allowed him to pull a huge gap on his opponents, which he managed until the chequered flag.

Team-mate Pedrosa was also on form and secured a strong second place, bringing his career podium tally to 150 (and his MotoGP podium tally to 109, one more than Jorge Lorenzo) – Pedrosa switched to his second bike on Lap Four and re-entered the race in eighth position. He immediately started riding at a very fast pace, fighting his way forward to second and setting the fastest lap of the race along the way.

Maverick Viñales finished third on the Factory Yamaha, one place ahead of his team-mate Valentino Rossi with Cal Crutchlow rounding out the top five on the LCR Honda.

The all-Spanish rostrum was a fitting way to honour the “Maestro” Angel Nieto, 12+1 World Champion, who passed away on Thursday.

Marquez said: “This was a very special Sunday because everyone was racing for Angel Nieto, but it was also a very challenging race. On the grid, I took the risk to use the soft rear tyre because I thought it would give me extra grip for five laps before pitting to change bikes, but it didn’t go like that.

“I soon started to struggle a lot and lost many positions. When I saw that, I decided to immediately get in and take the risk of the slicks. When I re-joined the race, honestly it was still too damp in some parts and I nearly crashed during the first lap out. When you go out for the flag-to-flag, it’s so difficult to get the feeling with the bike again, but I tried to quickly understand the grip.

“Honestly, today I took some risks but it was one of those days when you just have to do it. After pulling a great gap, I just tried to manage, to ride well, and to finish the race. I’m really very happy with the result. It’s a track I normally struggle at, one I worry about every year, and getting 25 points was very important. The Championship is still very, very tight; we must be able to be fast in every condition.”

MotoGP – Marquez storms to pole in Brno

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On a sunny and hot second day at Brno, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed a stunning pole position for tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix, his fourth this season and the 69th of his career.
Team-mate Dani Pedrosa was a close third, a mere 0.046” behind Valentino Rossi on the Factory Yamaha in second and just 0.138” off his teammate.
Marquez said: “I’m very happy with today because I knew that making the pole would be tough, as I normally struggle at this track, but I tried for it anyway.
“The test we did here was useful. I felt good already with the first tyre, even if I nearly crashed as I was pushing very hard. I tried to ride smoothly but still brake hard. With the second tyre, I gave it all I had and we got this pole. I’m very, very happy.
“Tomorrow we’ll see what weather conditions we have, as it looks a bit unstable and not as warm. It will be a long, hard race but we should be able to fight for the podium in either the dry or the wet, so we’re looking forward to it and to enjoying the race.”
Both Marquez and Pedrosa had already displayed a fast pace in the FP3 session, taking P1 and P2 respectively despite suffering a crash each in the early stages, Marquez going down at Turn 10 because of an oil spill from another rider’s bike and Pedrosa sliding out at Turn 8 while pushing hard.

MotoGP – Marqyez extends German winning streak

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Reigning Champion takes eighth successive win at the Sachsenring, under pressure from a stunning rookie ride by home hero Folger.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken an incredible eighth win in a row at the Sachsenring, extending his run from the 125 World championship to another year of the premier class – with all those wins from pole.

However, it was anything but easy, however – with German rookie Jonas Folger on the Tech 3 Yamaha pushing the reigning champion throughout the race in a stunning ride to his first podium. Dani Pedrosa on the seconf Repsol Honda completed the podium.

Marquez took the lead into Turn 1 from pole, with teammate Dani Pedrosa slotting into second as Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo sliced through from P6 on the grid to third, pushing Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci and Jonas Folger back.

Marquez and Pedrosa began to pull away in the lead as Folger charged through to get himself into third, and then started threatening the Repsol Honda duo in the lead.

The Tech 3 rookie look composed and smooth and quickly took Pedrosa and prepared to attack Marquez – pushing through soon after and below lap record pace.

With Petrucci through on Lorenzo into fourth, it was Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha who struck next, with the Italian, Andrea Dovizioso on the factory Ducati and Petrucci battling for fourth as Pedrosa began to drop back from the lead duo.

Folger then headed wide and Marquez took the opportunity, but couldn’t shake the German.

That’s the way it stayed – with Marquez’ pitboard remaining +0.1 lap after lap, and the rookie not for giving up. Facing down the reigning.
Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line for win number eight just over three seconds clear.

Folger’s tyres were shot, but he kept his head to cross the line in second for his first premier class podium, sealing the deal in an incredible performance at his home race. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages, also bouncing back from a tough Dutch GP.

As the top ten battled it out further, Rossi found his fourth under attack from Dovizioso, with team-mate Viñales then joining the fight. After some stunning wheel-to-wheel action, it was Viñales who took P4, with teammate Rossi close behind to complete the top five.

Bautista took P6 after an impressive ride, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points for the Noale factory ahead of the summer break.

Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in eighth and remains third in the standings – ahead of a stunning comeback from Johann Zarco (who guided his Tech  Yamaha to ninth after fighting from P19 on the grid. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the top ten, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in P11 after running at the front earlier in the race.

Danilo Petrucci was another who fell back, taking twelfth ahead of another double points finish for Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. Jack Miller on the Marc VDS Honda completed the top fifteen.

Marquez said: “I’m very, very happy. I knew before the weekend that this was an important moment in the Championship and that the Sachsenring was an important circuit for us. It was the place to take a risk if necessary and to try to win. So I’m happy we took these 25 points and the lead in the Championship before the summer break.

“I wish to dedicate this win to Nicky (Hayden) and his family. I had promised this to myself after his incident because we had some very good moments together and he was a friend.

“The race was very tight. Honestly, before the start I thought I would have to battle with Dani, but actually there was also another very fast opponent. I was very surprised at the beginning to see Jonas there, and I thought he might stay in between with the other riders, but he actually remained there! He was quite a tough opponent!

“The Championship is very close with four riders within 10 points and with Dani also not far away. Everything is open, so we’ll keep the same mentality, the same positivity and hard work. Now we have a few days of holidays, but not too much to be ready for Brno test!”

 

 

MotoGP – Marquez still unbeatable on US soil

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Marc Marquez took his first win of the season in sensational style, his stunning fifth win in a row in Austin and his 11th straight win on US soil, to get his title defence back on track.

The Repsol Honda rider was initially in an intense battle with team-mate Dani Pedrosa for victory in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, before being able to break clear in the latter laps of the race to take the chequered flag.

Marquez said: “This was a crucial race because after Argentina it was important to come back in the best way, so we are really happy with this result.

“Although I won, it was difficult, because the temperature was much higher than yesterday. Five minutes before the start, I said to my chief mechanic, ‘Okay, let’s use the hard tyre’ because I knew that I would push the medium front tyre a lot.

“In the beginning I was just trying to understand the limit because I hadn’t tried it a lot on Friday. I was behind Dani and when I saw that he was struggling a little bit and Valentino was challenging, I said, ‘Time to attack.’ I was able to win, and I’m happy to be back in the championship.”

It was a mixed day for the factory Yamaha squad – former championship leader Maverick Viñales crashed out early on, while Valentino Rossi put on a late charge to take second, despite being given a time penalty for gaining an unfair advantage.

The start of the race saw Pedrosa get a blistering launch from the second row of the grid to take the lead as the Spaniard overtook team-mate and polesitter Marquez to lead through Turn 1, with Rossi tucked in behind the two Repsol Honda machines.

Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo also got a great launch from P6 to overtake Maverick Viñales, and the two men duked it out until Tech 3’s Johann Zarco got into the action, following Viñales past the Mallorcan – before the drama struck.

After two wins from two in the first races of the season, Viñales then suddenly slid out of contention – lowsiding safely, but out of the fight for victory and taking home zero points  for the first time since Argentina 2016.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was also making progress, moving up from P9 on the grid to take the factory Ducati duo for fifth behind rookie sensation Johann Zarco, with Andrea Dovizioso getting the best of Lorenzo to move into sixth.

A moment between Zarco and Rossi then saw the ‘Doctor’ taking to the run off as the rookie attempted a move, punting the Italian off track. The nine-time champion was forced to straightline the corner, rejoining the track a little further ahead and subsequently receiving a 0.3 second penalty for time gained, to be applied at the end of the race. A strange, and harsh, decision by Race Control.

It was then the Repsol Hondas’ time to duel, as Marquez and Pedrosa diced for the lead, with the number 93 machine eventually pouncing with 13 laps to go.

As the last laps approached, Crutchlow battled with Zarco to take fourth as top independent team rider and Rossi striking against Pedrosa to take third, with Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone also making it past Lorenzo in some late battles to take his first points haul of the season in P7.

Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci also steered his satellite Ducati past a Lorenzo struggling with grip to take eighth, with the five-time champion crossing the line in P9. Marc VDS rider Jack Miller just beat rookie Jonas Folger on the other Tech 3 Yamaha to complete the top ten, as the Aussie fulfilled his goal for 2017 once again in the third race of the season.

 

MotoGP – Marquez fastest on first day of testing at Phillip Island

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The second official MotoGP test of 2017 saw blue skies greet the riders at Phillip Island, and by the end of Day One Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez topped the timesheets, with the  Spaniard posting a 1:29.497 lap.

Marquez spent the day working with the engine specification chosen in Sepang alongside teammate Dani Pedrosa, and the reigning Champion put in 68 laps and set his best on his 53rd. Pedrosa, who spent most of the day in P4 before a late charge from some others in the top ten, ended the first session in seventh on a 1:30.281, after 55 laps.

The Factory Yamaha squad held second on the timesheets for most of the latter part of Day 1, first with Maverick Viñales and later with Valentino Rossi, with the Italian finishing the day in P2 on a 1:29.683. The rider from Tavullia also saved a potential crash earlier in the session. Viñales, who did a best of 1:29.989 after 64 laps, didn’t better his time towards the end as his new teammate and Rossi’s compatriot Andrea Iannone did, moving Viñales down to P4.

Iannone shot up the timesheets on his Suzuki near the end of the day, taking third overall with a 1:29.926 after having spent much of the session outside the top ten. The “Maniac” completed 70 laps and set his fastest on number 68.

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow completed the top five with a 1:30.065. Crutchlow was another Honda pilot testing a version of the new specification engine for Honda, and put in a late charge to move up, doing 61 laps and setting his fastest on his final effort.

And what of the Ducatis? Andrea Dovizioso finished the day in eighth with a 1:30.410, while new teammate Jorge Lorenzo continued his progress as he focuses on adapting to the machine, spending much of the day in the top ten and one of the first out on track. The “Spartan” did 61 laps with a best of 1:30.631, taking 11th place.

Testing continues at Phillip Island on Thursday, with the grid eager to head back out and continue their 2017 preparations as lights out in Qatar begins to loom large.

Racing – Marquez finishes the year with a bang

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez finished the year off in style, winning the 2016 Superprestigio races and claiming his second dirt title.

The 2016 MotoGP champion crushed the opposition in the qualifying heats, setting his stall out early that he was the man to beat this year.

Choosing the inside gate for the final, he entered the first corner in good position, with AMA star Brad Baker right on his tail.

This was the duel everyone wanted to see – but while Baker has had the beating of Marquez previously, this year the boot was on the other foot and Marquez quickly built up an impressive lead.

Baker, meanwhile, was having to deal with the impressive Toni Elias, who slid past into second, leaving Baker to battle with Chareyre for the final podium spot.

Howeve, Chareyre crashed out hard after trying a desperate lunge with a couple of laps to go, leaving Baker to cross the line in third.

Marquez’s win means he is now tied with Baker on two Superprestigio titles apiece.

MotoGP – Marquez claims seventh pole of season at Phillip Island

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken pole position at Phillip Island, as the new World Champion chose the perfect moment to head out in the changeable conditions on full slick tyres. It was his 37th pole in MotoGP and the 65th in his career, which is also the new historical record, at just 23 years of age. It’s also Marc’s seventh pole of 2016, meaning that the Spaniard has already won the BMW M Award for the best-qualifying MotoGP rider of the season, a feat he has achieved every year since entering the premier class.

With Q1 seeing some incredibly high profile casualties, it was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo who moved through to fight for the front, leaving Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales and Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi behind – with Rossi in P15 on the grid in his worst qualifying since 2011.

The track was drying in Q1, and drier by the start of Q2. With rain forecast to hit halfway through the second qualifying session however, the pressure was on to do a good lap – and choose the right tyre. With some heading out on intermediates, Marquez then came back in quickly to switch to slicks – untouchable from that point on, and 1.5 seconds clear a few minutes later until the grid began to reel him closer. Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro was late to switch, attempting a fast lap on the intermediates, before coming back in for slicks and then taking the front row – as Crutchlow didn’t quite take the full gamble, and set his front row qualifier on an intermediate front and slick rear.

Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro shone in the session to challenge for the front – just beaten over the line by his brother – and will start fourth, ahead of Aussie Jack Miller on the Marc VDS at his home race, who completed the top five in his best ever qualifying result. Locking out Row 2 is Octo Pramac Yakhnich rider Danilo Petrucci.

Nicky Hayden, riding in place of injured Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda, took an impressive P7 on his return to MotoGP, ahead of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Stefan Bradl – who is also set to become Hayden’s teammate in 2017 at Honda World Superbike Team. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso is ninth to complete the third row, finding going a little tougher as the track dried. His teammate, Hector Barbera – standing in for injured Andrea Iannone – completed the top ten.

Pramac’s Scott Redding will start from eleventh, ahead of five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who once again struggled in the tricky conditions after having graduated from Q1.

Marquez said: “I’m happy because, in addition to the pole, I was able to put in five laps and I noticed some things we can improve tomorrow. For example, we can get more grip, especially with the rear and on corner entry. In FP4, in the wet, I felt very comfortable, so this weekend we’re getting things right and we have to maintain this dynamic. Tomorrow’s race is still an unknown because we aren’t sure what tyres we’ll use, nor who our rivals will be, but we’ll try to make the best of any situation we find.”

 

MotoGP – Marquez takes the win, and the title, at Motegi

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Marc Marquez took a remarkable victory at Motegi, his first on Japanese soil, to become the 2016 MotoGP world champion with three races to go.

Marquez got off to a brilliant start and immediately engaged in a fight for the lead with title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. On the second lap he overtook the Italian at turn eight and began to pursue Lorenzo, taking the lead on lap four.

He immediately showed that he had the rhythm and speed to make a breakaway, putting in a series of laps in the 1’45 range and pulling a half-second gap on his countryman.

Lap six brought the first major turn of events, as Rossi fell at turn seven and was forced to retire. Marquez continued stretching his lead until Lorenzo also slid off, with five laps remaining.

With his fifth win of 2016 and the 55th in his career (across all classes), Marquez became the youngest rider in the history of the sport to earn five World Championships (125cc in 2010, Moto2 in 2012 and MotoGP in 2013, 2014 and 2016).

Marquez is also the only rider in any class to score points at every race so far this year. Today’s victory also extended Honda’s lead in the Constructors World Championship to 28 points, and it is the sixth Honda victory in the last eight races.

The Spaniard said: “It’s incredible! Before the race I didn’t expect to be champion, and I said that here it would be impossible. However, when I saw that Rossi was out of the race, I decided to push hard for the victory. I was riding my hardest, and when there were three laps to go, I read on my pit board that Lorenzo was also out; on that same lap, I made mistakes in four or five corners, as it was difficult to stay focused.

“I’m very happy because this title is very special considering some of the crashes I had last year, and also because it came at Motegi, Honda’s home. Honda has worked so hard this year, and you could see the fruits of that effort also at this track, where we’ve struggled in the past.

“I myself also improved during the season; for instance, I learned how to better use the front Michelin tyre. It has been a demanding year, but a fantastic one. It’s great for my team, and of course I don’t want to forget my grandmother, who passed away this year and would be very happy with this World Championship. Now we can just enjoy it and go into the last three races with maybe a more ‘Marc Marquez’ style.”

 

MotoGP – Marquez wins race and 2016 MotoGP World Championship in Japan

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his first-ever MotoGP win at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt, securing the 2016 MotoGP title in the process.

At 23-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles and five World Championships over all classes during a period of only nine years of World Championship racing. Marquez has now equalled Mick Doohan, Jorge Lorenzo and Toni Mang’s tally of 5 World Titles in his career.

Marc Marquez 2016 World Championship facts so far:

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles, at the age of 23 years 242 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 24 years 108 days when he won his third successive 500cc title in 1964.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of five world championship titles, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 24 years 238 days old when he won his fifth title – the 2003 MotoGP championship.

– Marquez won all his three MotoGP Titles riding for Honda, equalling the number of premier-class title achieved by Valentino Rossi when riding for Honda (1 x500cc + 2 x MotoGP). The only rider who has won more premier-class world title riding for Honda is Mick Doohan who won the 500cc title on five occasions.

– There is only another Spanish rider with more World Titles than Marquez and Lorenzo: Angel Nieto with thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).

– With his win in Japan Marquez has won a Grand Prix at least five times per season for the last seven years (across the various GP classes), something achieved previously by only two riders in the 68-year history of motorcycle grand prix racing: Giacomo Agostini and Mike Hailwood.

– During 2016 Marquez has had more wins than any other rider in the MotoGP class (five), most podiums (eleven) and most pole positions (six).

Third premier-class World Championship title (2016)
The 2016 season positively proved that Marc is a fast learner. He approached his fourth MotoGP campaign with a new mentality, vowing that he would fight for the win or the podium when possible and would minimize the damage when the odds were against him. Consistency was the key to a season for which the introduction of unified electronics and a switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres shook the field up and made the racing more unpredictable than ever.

After a demanding preseason that produced mixed results for the Repsol Honda Team, Marc started the Championship in a positive way, climbing the third step of the podium at the season opener in Qatar. In Argentina Marc and the team took their revenge on the 2013 Australian mix-up, scoring an awesome victory in another tyre-issue-affected race that—despite taking place in dry conditions—was run in a flag-to-flag format with a compulsory stop to change motorcycles. One week later he scored his fourth successive Austin win from pole, making it his 10th victory in a row on American soil. With this success, Marc also overtook Kevin Schwantz in number of victories in the premier class, with 26.

Back in Europe for the first race on home turf, Marc realized that trying to win was too risky and wisely settled for third behind title rivals Rossi and Lorenzo. In France he wasn’t able to avoid crashing on lap seven while fighting for second but re-joined the race in last place and finished 13th. The Italian GP was a first important turning point in the season, as Rossi retired with an engine failure. Marc engaged Lorenzo in a spectacular duel for victory on the final lap, and he lost it at the line by mere 19 thousandths of a second. The Catalan GP two weeks later dealt a cruel blow to the riders and the whole MotoGP movement, as 24-year-old Moto2 Spanish rider Luis Salom lost his life after crashing during the second free practice. The event continued in accordance with the wishes of Salom’s family, and Marc and Dani both finished on the podium, in second and third respectively, in the race that won by Rossi, with Lorenzo retiring after being involved in a race incident.

Two weeks later, the Dutch TT was red-flagged due to heavy rain. Marc got off well on the second start but ran wide and dropped back to third behind Dovizioso and Rossi; after the two Italians fell ahead of him and with Lorenzo back in 10th place, Marc gave up a fight for the victory with fellow Honda rider Jack Miller, in order to avoid the risk of throwing away a vital second-place finish. Bad weather continued to affect the action during the next race in Germany, halfway into the season. Following an earlier downpour, the young Spaniard was struggling on a surface that was drying progressively and dropped back to ninth place after swerving off the track, but he never lost his nerve and changed to slick tyres before everyone else, beginning an incredible recovery from 14th position to take his seventh win in a row at the Sachsenring Circuit. The result was Marquez heading into the summer break with a healthy 48-point lead over Lorenzo in the Championship classification.

The action resumed in August, with a tight schedule of four races in five weeks that saw Marc putting into best practice his new strategy. He managed to finish fifth in the Ducati-dominated Austrian GP, took third in the Czech GP and, not perfectly comfortable with his choice of tyres in both the British and Misano GPs, scored two fourth-place finishes, the latter in a race dominated by teammate Pedrosa. At the same time, Lorenzo dropped back in third, 61 points off the top, while Rossi reduced his standings deficit to 43 points. Marc knew that more favourable tracks were about to come, and his home GP at Aragón was circled in red in his personal calendar. He didn’t miss the opportunity, taking the 64th pole of his Grand Prix career during Saturday’s qualifying, equalling Lorenzo for most career poles in history, and scoring a momentous victory on Sunday ahead Lorenzo and Rossi, bringing his career tally to 54 wins and equalling, at just 23 years of age, Australian legend Mick Doohan. Marc also moved to 52 points clear of the Italian in the standings, and 66 ahead of his countryman. With a maximum of 100 points available across the season’s remaining four races, there was an outside chance that Marquez could win the Championship at Honda’s home race in Japan and he took it winning his first-ever MotoGP race at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt and therefore securing the 2016 MotoGP title.

MotoGP – Aragon win moves Marquez one step closer to third world title

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken a stunning maiden win at MotorLand Aragon to extend his championship lead ahead, bringing his career tally to 54 wins and equaling Australian legend Mick Doohanin the all-time standings.

After a scuffle off the line through Turns 1 and 2 at a dry but cool MotorLand Aragon, it was Suzuki rider Maverick Viñales who emerged from the melee to turn his front row start into the early lead in the race. With the front group close all the way down through the top ten, Marquez soon struck to take the lead before a wobble through Turn 7 saw the championship leader drop back into the group slightly, down to P5

The lead began to stretch for Silverstone winner Viñales, before Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi hooked on to the back of the Suzuki rider and began probing for  a way past, finally making a clever but aggressive move to take the lead with 15 laps to go. Viñales, pushing to find an immediate response, then ran wide and let Marquez through, and with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo then on the scene, the front group divided into two duels.

Marquez looked menacing and quickly closed Rossi down, making his move on the inside on the ‘Aragon Corkscrew’ and making it stick. The Spaniard eked out a gap, and with the Doctor struggling to match the pace of the Honda, Lorenzo sensed blood and upped his game. The Movistar Yamahas then tussled for P2, with Lorenzo looking much quicker than his team-mate. The pressure was ultimately too much for the Italian, who ran wide, and Lorenzo ducked inside to take second place.

But nobody could catch Marquez, who crossed the line in first to return to the top spot of the podium at a Spanish race for the first time since the 2014 finale in Valencia.

The Spaniard said: “I’m very happy to have taken the win at a home Grand Prix, and one of my favourite races. I was waiting for this GP, it was a ‘red point’ on the calendar for me, as I saw it as one where I wanted to attack and where I could win the race. It was an important victory, but nothing is finished yet. I said yesterday that something can always happen in a race, and it was a miracle that I didn’t crash today when I almost lost it in turn 7. That was when I decided to relax a little and go back to my mentality from practice of riding precisely and braking in the right places.

“All this made for a more entertaining race, with many overtaking moves at the start, and a second part in which I was able to open a gap to Valentino, which was important. He had gone several races gaining points on us, and we wanted to stop that trend, because otherwise it would boost his morale and perhaps create doubts for us. Now we leave Aragón with a larger advantage and more convinced ahead of the flyaways.”

Lorenzo crossed the line in second, with Rossi finishing third. The result was a missed opportunity for Rossi to close on title leader Marquez, dropping nine points on the championship leader taking the win.

Mention must also go to former world champion Nicky Hayden, who was deputising for the injured Jack Miller on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda and claimed a single world championship point, despite never having ridden the bike, tyres or electronics.

The land of the rising sun is the next stop for the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, as the Twin Ring Motegi beckons Marquez, who is now 52 points clear at the top of the standings, back to the scene of his 2014 title win.