Round 04 Spain

  • Marquez Takes Title Lead With Masterful Jerez Victory

    Marc Marquez took the World Championship lead for the first time this year with a brilliant victory in the fourth round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship at red-hot Jerez.


Marquez Takes Title Lead With Masterful Jerez Victory


Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) took the World Championship lead for the first time this year with a brilliant victory at red-hot Jerez today. The local hero dominated the fourth round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship, taking the lead before halfway and pulling away from his closest pursuers – Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) – who were later involved in a three-way accident. The podium was completed by Frenchman Johann Zarco and Italian Andrea Iannone.

Twenty-five-year-old Marquez had started from the second row of the grid, following two tumbles in practice and another in morning warm-up, so victory seemed far from certain. But once again his talent shone through. His only big moment came when he hit some gravel that had been thrown onto the circuit following a turn-11 crash by rookie Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V). Marquez’s bike went sideways at high speed, but the reigning World Champion seemed to have it all under control.

Marquez’s 37th MotoGP victory equals the achievement of Mike Hailwood, regarded by many fans as the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. Briton Hailwood (1940-1981) won 37 500cc Grands Prix between 1961 and 1967 with Norton, MV Agusta and Honda, which he helped win the 500cc Constructors World Championship in 1966, when the company managed the unique achievement of securing constructors prizes in all five solo categories: 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500c.

Since 2013 Marquez has won 37 MotoGP victories and four MotoGP world titles with Honda. Before he graduated to the class of kings he won 16 races and the 2012 world title in the Honda CBR600-powered Moto2 class and ten races and the 2010 world crown in the 125cc category.

Today’s race followed a similarly dominant success in the USA two weeks ago, his first victory of the year.

Pedrosa qualified a superb second-fastest yesterday and was battling with Dovizioso and Lorenzo for second place. On lap 18 of 25 the trio arrived together at the turn six hairpin; Dovizioso out-braked Lorenzo, who then cut inside to repass his team-mate, only to make contact with Pedrosa. The pair fell, taking out Dovizioso in the process. Race direction decided the three-way tumble was a racing incident, with no rider at fault. It was a sad end to the weekend for Pedrosa, who won last year’s Jerez race in fine style, and had every chance of fighting his way through to join Marquez on podium, despite the lingering effects of a recently broken right wrist.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) had qualified on pole position and was right with early lead group of Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa when he slid off at turn one at the start of lap eight. The Briton overheated his front tire and paid a high price.

Marc Marquez
Dani Pedrosa

Reigning Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was overjoyed with his first top-ten result in MotoGP, just 16 seconds behind the winner, after scoring his first points in Qatar and Argentina. The 23-year-old rode an intelligent race, proving once again that he is mastering the demands of a MotoGP machine.

Fellow rookie Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) also had reason to smile; the 26-year-old from Chiba taking home more championship points with a hard-earned 12th-place result, his best finish since graduating to MotoGP.

Luthi had a difficult first few laps, with a full fuel tank, but as the fuel load decreased he was able to up his pace and was having a good race until he lost the front at turn 11 and crashed, unhurt.

The noisy 70,000-strong crowd erupted into cheers on the 13th lap of all three of today’s races, to celebrate the life of Spanish motorcycling legend Angel Nieto, who won 13 World Championships between 1969 and 1984. Nieto died following an accident last summer. On Thursday this circuit was renamed in his honor.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex) completed a perfect Moto2 weekend for his Spanish team, owned by former Honda 250cc World Champion Sito Pons, with a superb victory over Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM). The 21-year-old Italian started from pole position and took command of the race early on from last year’s winner Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), who later slid off.

Baldassari, who won his last Moto2 victory at Misano in 2016, set a new lap record on lap five to beat Oliveira, who closed on the leader in the closing stages until Baldassarri reacted, crossing the finish line almost three seconds in front of the 23-year-old Portuguese rider.

The podium of the CBR600-powered race was completed by World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), winner of two of the year’s opening three races. Bagnaia also had to work hard in the final stages, fending off a hard-charging Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter), who finished runner-up in last month’s Argentine GP. Bagnaia took the last podium spot 3.399 seconds behind Oliveira and 0.703 seconds ahead of Vierge.

Argentine GP winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) recovered from a crash during practice to finish a strong fifth, coming through from ninth on the first lap. He finished ahead of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), who had spent the earlier laps battling with the lead group.

Six seconds behind Binder came Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter), riding bravely despite carrying injuries from a recent accident. The German bettered Briton Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM) by half a second. The top ten was completed by Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM) and Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing Speed Up). Reigning Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) came home 11th, despite suffering from a nasty stomach bug that caused him extreme fatigue throughout the race.

The Moto3 race was a typically frantic affair, with the top 18 riders separated by 2.9 seconds at half-distance; but the racing became too frantic during the final laps when Honda’s four top riders were taken out in a turn-six pile-up.

World Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) were all in the midst of the battle for victory when Canet made a big mistake as he braked into the hairpin, taking out himself, along with fellow NSF250RW riders Bastianini, Arbolino and Bastianini.

The accident left German Peter Oettl to win his first Grand Prix victory from new title leader Marco Bezzecchi. Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) crossed the line in third place but was denied his first podium because he had exceeded track limits. The 16-year-old rookie was thus relegated to fourth.

Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) was also in the hunt for a podium finish in the late stages, finally crossing the line in sixth. The 20-year-old from Chiba ended the 22 laps 0.33 seconds ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW). Two places behind the Italian youngster was Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), the 18-year-old from Fukuoka. Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) finished 11th, just four seconds behind the race winner

Following the first three overseas GPs and today’s Spanish round, the MotoGP circus remains in Europe until the end of September. Then following three further overseas events, the 70th season of Grand Prix racing concludes at Valencia, Spain, on November 18.

Lorenzo Baldassarri
Alonso Lopez



Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st

“This win in front of these amazing fans is great! I’m very happy with the result, which is especially important at this track, because winning here is usually difficult for me. That said, I was convinced before the start that I could fight for the victory today. It was a tough weekend, but we did good work, and in the end I was able to manage the race in the best way, despite the fact that I wasn’t the fastest rider out there today. The key was the rear-tire choice; we made the decision after the warm-up to go with the medium, and that was the right move. Then I was able to take the lead at the right moment and push when I had the chance. I also had a big moment when I hit some dirt on the track. When I realized that the asphalt was covered in gravel, it was already too late. I closed the gas, but I had a huge slide! Let’s say it was a bit of a ‘Marquez style’ show! I’m happy to have taken my first win at Angel Nieto’s Circuit, and to have an advantage in the championship. We’ll have a test here tomorrow, and we’ll try to continue the good work. It will be a long season and we must keep our focus high.”

Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 9th

“It was a positive race for me, I was able to make a strong start and with good grip I was fast and able to make some positions. I tried to manage the tire for the second half of the race but towards the end I had to slow down and make sure I got this top ten finish. It is great for our team and also for my feeling for the coming races.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 12th

“It was a really hard race in really hot conditions – you could see how many crashes there were during the race. The track temperature was quite high, so it was really difficult to feel tire grip. At the end of the race I struggled to find good grip. Most of all we must improve the beginning of races, after the start. I have to understand why I am slow there. The team helped a lot during the weekend. We got our best result but we have to get better – we are still not happy enough! I hope the next race at Le Mans we will be able to improve the beginning of the race. I believe we can make the top ten at Le Mans.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: DNF

“I have a lot of pain in my right hip, which is very swollen at the moment, so tomorrow we’ll have to see how I feel and whether I’ll be able to ride in the test. Regarding the race, of course it’s a great pity. I was riding well and was able to keep a very good pace, even if I wasn’t totally comfortable with the acceleration, and making passes was difficult for me. I was just sticking to Dovi and Jorge, trying to see if I could conserve my tires and improve my pace at the end of the race, or if they would make a mistake. Finally they did, and they both went very wide. I kept the regular inside line, and the next thing I felt was a big hit, and I suffered a heavy high-side. Unfortunately, it ended up with the three of us crashing. I’m very sad and disappointed for all of us, as we were having a great race but ended with zero points, and also because all of us are used to a nice style of riding and didn’t deserve this result. However, what makes me sadder and more disappointed is that I could see that the Race Direction don’t seem to understand very well how to manage these situations, and how to make decisions about things that happen on the track. I went to speak with them, just because I wanted to understand how they make decisions. In the end, there are many people who watch us, and many other riders who look at us as examples. I asked them how they judge: Was I on the correct inside line? Yes. Were the other guys on the outside coming back from a mistake, re-joining the right line? Yes. So who has the preference in this case, the guy who is inside or those who are outside? The one on the inside. So, who was at fault? But I didn’t get an answer, only that they had already made their decision and that if I didn’t agree with it, which I don’t, to appeal against Jorge if I wanted. But I didn’t want that, as I don't want Jorge to be penalized, only for them to understand correctly what is happening on track.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: DNF

“We had another good weekend, until the race. Regarding our pace, our set-up wasn’t good enough for the race. I was overheating the front tire because I was struggling with rear grip, so I was trying to make it all up on corner entry. I leant the bike a little too much and I think I touched a white line when I got on the throttle. it’s frustrating because I think we let an easy podium go. Marc had a great pace, but only a tiny bit better than everyone else. We go to Le Mans knowing that we have the speed to be there again, but today wasn’t good enough.”

Thomas Luthi, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: DNF

“I was struggling with the front at the beginning of the race with a full fuel load but then I was able to pick up the pace and got involved in a good battle with Tito Rabat. But as the race went on it was difficult to hold the pace and I lost the front in turn 11 which unfortunately ended my race.”


Lorenzo Baldassarri, Pons HP40: 1st

“That was a very, very good weekend. I won again and it’s been a long time since I last won a race! We have worked well from Friday achieve my first pole position. We enjoyed that moment but we were still focused on the race, which is always the important thing. I knew I had a good pace and although the asphalt had less grip today I continued to focus on setting my own pace and I managed to win. It’s very exciting to win at the team’s home race, to see all the team partners who support us so happy and celebrating. I can only thank them and the team. I'm very happy.”

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 2nd

“Qualifying yesterday was very hard for me, because I couldn't find the right line. I knew inside that I had some strong points for this race but yesterday I couldn't place higher than 14th position. I knew I had to give everything in the race and climb positions as quickly as possible. On the first few laps I realized that the group at the front was breaking away, but I thought I would be able to catch up with them. Fighting for the victory was difficult because Baldassarri was very strong and gave everyone else no chance. This second position, with all the fans that have come from Portugal cheering me on – it’s like my home Grand Prix – feels even better than a regular victory.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Sky Racing Team VR46: 3rd

“It was not an easy weekend, so closing with a third place is really important for the championship. The track conditions were difficult. We knew that with the high temperatures and the wind we would struggle more. It was easy to make mistakes because the consumption of the tires was not constant. In the first laps I was able to fix my pace, even though I lost some time with Binder, but I managed to be fast in the last laps. Balda certainly had something more than me. His riding was much cleaner, but I thought to got a good result and conquered as many points as possible.”


Alonso Lopez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 4th

“At the beginning of the race I went on the gravel when I tried to overtake and I lost a lot of positions. Luckily, I found my fast pace again and started to overtake riders until I caught those at the front. On the penultimate lap I received a warning on the screen that I needed to serve a penalty and I let Toba pass, but I’ve been told that there was another penalty on the last lap. It’s a shame, but I’ve learned a lot in this race and that’s the important thing.”

Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 6th

“The conditions were very difficult today because the track temperature was quite hot. I enjoyed the race. There was quite a few of us racing together, with quite a lot of passing. At the finish there were eight riders in my group and we finished the race with less than a second between us! The good thing is that we achieved the best result of the year, so I want to say a big thank you to all my team. Now we go to Le Mans and we hope to do better.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 7th

“This could have been a win, no doubt. The bike was perfect and things were going as they should. Unfortunately, what I was gaining in the mixed section I systematically lost on the straight, as everyone got past me. Despite giving 120 percent during the whole race and even something more in the final stages, so I had neither a good race nor a good result. Seventh place is not where we should be: now we need to know what happened, but fortunately there’s a test very soon because there’s work to do.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 04: Spain Race

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Johann ZARCO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4 Danilo PETRUCCI (Alma Pramac Racing)
5 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
6 Jack MILLER (Alma Pramac Racing)
7 Maverick VIÑALES (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Angel Nieto Team)
9 Franco MORBIDELLI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
10 Mika KALLIO(Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
11 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
13 Bradley SMITH (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
14 Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)
15 Scott REDDING (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
17 Xavier SIMEON (Reale Avintia Racing)
18 Karel ABRAHAM (Angel Nieto Team)
RT Jorge LORENZO (Ducati Team)
RT Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
RT Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
RT Thomas LUTHI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
RT Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Pons HP40)
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3 Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
4 Xavi VIERGE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
5 Mattia PASINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
6 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
7 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
8 Sam LOWES (Swiss Innovative Investors)
9 Iker LECUONA (Swiss Innovative Investors)
10 Fabio QUARTARARO (Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing)
11 Joan MIR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
12 Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
13 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
14 Hector BARBERA (Pons HP40)
15 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
16 Bo BENDSNEYDER (Tech 3 Racing)
17 Jorge NAVARRO (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
18 Khairul Idham PAWI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
19 Isaac VIÑALES (SAG Team)
20 Lukas TULOVIC(Kiefer Racing)
21 Federico FULIGNI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
22 Xavi CARDELUS(Team Stylobike)
23 Hector GARZO(Tech 3 Racing)
24 Jules DANILO (Nashi Argan SAG Team)
RT Alex MARQUEZ Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
RT Danny KENT (Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing)
RT Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (SIC Racing Team)
RT Stefano MANZI (Forward Racing Team)
RT Romano FENATI (Marinelli Snipers Team)
RT Eric GRANADO (Forward Racing Team)
RT Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Philipp OETTL (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing)
2 Marco BEZZECCHI (Redox PruestelGP)
3 Marcos RAMIREZ (Bester Capital Dubai)
4 Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5 Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)
6 Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
8 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
9 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
10 Gabriel RODRIGO (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
11 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
12 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
13 Andrea MIGNO (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
14 Makar YURCHENKO (CIP - Green Power)
15 Ai Ogura(Asia Talent Team)
16 Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
17 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
18 Livio LOI (Reale Avintia Academy)
19 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAP (Honda Team Asia)
20 Kazuki MASAKI (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
RT Enea BASTIANINI (Leopard Racing)
RT Tony ARBOLINO (Marinelli Snipers Team)
RT Jorge MARTIN (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
RT Aron CANET (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
RT Albert ARENAS (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
RT Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
RT Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
RT John MCPHEE (CIP - Green Power)
RT Jeremy Alcoba(Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,)