Round 06 Italy

  • Marquez Tumbles, Crutchlow Takes On Podium Battle

    Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez endured his toughest Sunday of 2018, crashing out of the battle for victory in the early stages of the race at sun-blessed Mugello.


Marquez Tumbles, Crutchlow Takes On Podium Battle

MUGELLO, Italy, June 3 , 2018

Marquez tumbles, Crutchlow takes on podium battle

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) today endured his toughest Sunday of 2018, crashing out of the battle for victory in the early stages of today’s race at sun-blessed Mugello.

The 25-year-old did everything he could to hold onto his sliding RC213V but eventually had to give up the fight. But that wasn’t the end of him. Marquez bravely remounted and kept racing as hard as he could, lapping at a similar pace to some of the podium finishers, only to cross the finish line one place short of a World Championship point.

Yesterday Marquez already knew this would be a difficult race because during practice he couldn’t find the perfect front tire for his riding technique and the track conditions. He finally chose a hard-compound asymmetric front tire, which lost grip as he attacked the downhill Scarperia right-hander on lap five of 23.

The crash lasted a long time – in true Marquez style he tried to save the situation by digging his right knee and elbow into asphalt. He was still holding onto the handlebars as he finally slid into the gravel, where he quickly picked up the bike, remounted and continued on his way, down in 18th place.

The reigning World Champion – who has won four of the past five MotoGP crowns – scored no points today but still goes to his home race outside Barcelona in two weeks with a 23-point lead over Italian Valentino Rossi, who finished third today behind winner Jorge Lorenzo and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

A noisy, appreciative crowd of 90,000 fans was treated to a thrilling battle for the last place on the podium, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) chasing Rossi, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins. Crutchlow finally crossed the line in sixth place, less than three seconds behind third-place Rossi. The Briton also enjoyed the accolade of taking the prize for the top independent-team finisher.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP rookie Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) did superbly in practice, ending the first three sessions eighth fastest, in his first visit to Mugello on the MotoGP bike. He then qualifying on the fourth row of the grid. However, the race was more complicated for the 23-year from Rome, who took the last World Championship point in 15th position, his fifth points-scoring result in six races.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Today didn’t go so well for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) who went down at the second corner of the first lap. Nakagami’s fellow rookie Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) didn’t last much longer. The Swiss Moto2 runner-up fell on the following lap.

The best Moto2 race of the year saw the first four finishers take the checkered flag covered by less than half a second. The race win went to Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) who had been in the lead group throughout after an amazing start from 11th on the grid.

The 23-year-old Portuguese, who won the last three races of 2017, spent the first two thirds of the race battling with last year’s winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), who slid out of the lead on lap 14, leaving Oliveira just ahead but with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex), Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) and rookie Joan Mir (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) right behind him.

Baldassarri made some very brave passes on Oliveira to take the lead on several occasions, only for the Portuguese to retake the lead with similar audacious moves. On the final lap Baldassarri was just ahead, until he had a huge wobble, which allowed Oliveira to get ahead for the last time as they swept through the Casanova Savelli section. Oliveira held on to win his first race of the year – which was also the first success of 2018 for the KTM chassis – by less than two tenths from 21-year-old Italian Baldassari, with 20-year-old Spaniard Mir third for the second consecutive race, 0.150 seconds further back.

World Championship leader Bagnaia finished fourth, missing the podium by less than two tenths of a second but retaining the series lead, 13 points ahead of today’s race winner and 14 points ahead of today’s runner-up.

Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) was with the leaders in the early stages but slipped back to a lonely fifth-place finish, two seconds ahead of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM). Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) finished seventh, with the top ten completed by Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex).

Front-row starter Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) had hopes of scoring his first Grand Prix victory today, but slid off at the second corner of the first lap.

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) scored a stunning Moto3 victory at the end of a breath-taking three-way battle with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) and fellow Italian Marco Bezzecchi.

Last year the Mugello Moto3 race produced the closest top 15-finish since World Championship racing began in 1949, with the first 15 riders past the checkered flag separated by 1.5 seconds! This time the victory contest was just as thrilling, although there were only three riders in the mix. Martin, Di Giannantonio and Bezzecchi swapped the lead constantly, drafting each other and out-braking each other every single lap. Any of them could have taken the win; Martin probably the luckiest of them all when he just missed a hare that ran across the track!

On the final lap they were all together, Martin just ahead and getting amazing drive out of the final corner to take victory by 0.019s seconds from Bezzecchi. This success was especially well deserved for the 20-year-old Spaniard, who had been knocked out of the last two races by rivals. Martin now stands second in the title chase, three points behind Bezzecchi.

Di Giannantonio took third place, making it wo Honda riders on the podium, less than three thousandths of a second behind Bezzecchi. The 19-year-old Roman was at least happy that he was could join the podium party at his home race.

The fastest trio did great work in the early laps to escape from the rest of the pack, which at one point included 20 riders fighting for fourth! In the closing laps four riders escaped from the pack, with Gabriel Rodrigo crossing the line just ahead of last year’s winner Andrea Migno, Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW).

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) led the next group in eighth place, chased over the line by Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW), impressive wild card Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), who made it eight Honda men in the top 11.

Japanese duo Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) performed superbly in yesterday’s qualifying session, taking second and third on the grid just behind Martin. But the race was more complicate for the pair: Sasaki finished 16th, one place outside the points  and one place ahead of Suzuki. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was 20th.

The next MotoGP round takes place at Catalunya, just outside Barcelona, Spain, on June 17.

Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami



Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 6th

“That was a damage-limitation race for me. When we came here testing recently both Marc and I were fast, but the track temperature was 20 degrees less, so this weekend we were in trouble with the tire allocation. When I was alone in the race I had a good pace, but once I caught the group in front of me the heat from the bikes was overheating my front tire. The fastest guys in the race were all the guys who were racing in fresh air. The good thing is that Honda has done a great job, because we were much better this time here than we were last year. I’m happy enough with the result and look forward to Barcelona, where the tire allocation should be better for us.”

Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 15th

“The race was a good for me because it wasn’t the easiest situation today for Honda but I managed it very well, particularly at the beginning of the race. When I’m behind another rider I was losing quite a lot but I managed to remain calm and stay on the bike in the first few laps. My pace wasn’t super but I stayed as consistent and to collect one point in the end is precious for us. It was a great weekend in many respects because I was able to go into Q2 for the first time and show I’ve got the speed. If we can improve my feeling in the race we will definitely be more competitive in the future.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: DNF

“We’ve been struggling the whole weekend to be perfectly comfortable with these particular spec tires, but I wasn’t suffering that much in the race today. Instead, the front folded quite unexpectedly, as I wasn’t pushing that hard, and I crashed, though I almost saved it! When I re-joined the race, our pace wasn’t bad at all, despite the bike being a bit damaged, so that’s okay.  Furthermore, we still have a 23-point advantage in the rankings, and this is also very positive; last year at this point we were 37 points back. Today also demonstrates what I’ve been saying for a while: things this year are pretty tight, the season is long, and anything can happen. That said, we’ll keep working as usual at Montmelo [Barcelona], where we’ll go back to the usual tire spec, and we’ll try and come back strong.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: DNF

“It was a very difficult weekend, as we’ve had many problems getting a good feeling here at Mugello. Only in this morning’s warm-up were we able to find a set-up that gave me better confidence. Unfortunately, I was starting very far back on the grid, and that often increases the risks. I was aiming to recover some ground at the start, and I did pass some riders but found myself parallel to Taka when unfortunately I slightly touched Bautista’s rear tire and crashed, taking Nakagami out. I’m really sorry for that.  It’s also a shame I didn’t have the chance to see how the set-up changes worked or how many positions I would be able to recover in the race, but we’ll try to improve in the next race.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: DNF

“I’m very disappointed about the race after what happened at the start on turn two. I understand that Dani lost control and hit into my rear tire, it was a very unlucky crash. I took some time, but I restarted again. I went back to the box and discussed things with the team. They said no, but I couldn’t finish like that after two corners and so I restarted again. The bike was ok, the handlebars were a little bit broken but I tried my best just to finish the race. Ok, I finished in last position, but this is racing. My pace during the race was quite good and I’m looking forward and am positive about Montmelo [Barcelona] now. I want to say thanks to the team and the fans for all their help this weekend.”

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

“For many reasons it has been a very difficult weekend because I crashed many times during practice and this was bad for my confidence. Then in the race I crashed again because Xavier Simeon almost crashed in front of me and I tried to go inside him but I lost the front. I feel really sorry for the team because they worked really hard and it was difficult today with the high track temperatures.”


Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 1st

“Starting from so far back on the grid, I knew I had to make a good start. I pushed my hardest on the first lap and, shortly after, I was already up into third. Pasini was very strong and very fast, but I saw that I had a chance to win the race and, simply, I decided to go for it. Baldassarri also had a great pace, and I fought with him until the last lap. It was a very fun and spectacular battle I am very happy to have taken this victory that we had been chasing since the beginning of the season. I have to thank the team because they worked really hard, and from FP3 to qualifying we had to change the bike almost completely; in the end, it worked out very well.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri, Pons HP40: 2nd

“My qualifying wasn’t so good, so I had to push really hard to find my rhythm and start my comeback. I was looking ahead and could see Pasini and Oliveira escaping a bit; especially Mattia, who was pushing so hard. When I arrived with Oliveira I saw my rhythm was good. I had no strategy, so I just tried to pass him and make my rhythm. We made a very good fight and I’m so happy to do that in front of my home crowd. We overtook many times, but I was less strong in turns three and four, so Oliveira was able to use that. On the last lap I tried to be perfectly as fast as possible, but when you do that you can make a mistake. I was lucky to stay on the bike and finish second!”

Joan Mir, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 3rd

“I am really, really tired after this race, maybe the hardest race of my life physically with the heat, because you have ride at 100 percent every lap in Moto2. Thanks for the work by the team to be on the podium, it is almost like a victory for me. The rear tire dropped down at the halfway point but we had a good set-up and I was able to pass Bagnaia on the final lap and get the podium.”


Jorge Martin, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 1st

“It has been a great race. The strategy was to try and make some selection while trying to enter the last turn in first position: it was the only way to win as the KTM bikes were flying on the straight – and it worked. I’m really happy; it was a difficult race given the stone that hit my windshield and the hare that crossed the track. It was really important to get back in the points after two DNFs and to be doing that at Mugello is even better!”

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 3rd

“It’s always good to be on the podium at Mugello, but it’s also true that this is our third podium in a row here, and always very close to the win! Unfortunately, we missed it by the blink of an eye again. The plan was to keep following Jorge up to the last turn, but Bezzecchi’s overtake took away the possibility of a good slipstream and so it was impossible to make a move before the line. A huge thanks goes to the team who has been close to me: we’re getting better and better and I’m sure the win is only a matter of time.”

Enea Bastianini, Leopard Racing: 6th

“On the first lap I saw that the leading trio immediately ran away and got a good margin. It’s a pity, because by halfway I started pushing with a strong rhythm. In the last laps my rear tire began degrading and the others managed to close the gap, taking advantage of my slipstream. It’s not a bad result, but it’s not where we want to be.”



MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 06: Italy Race

MotoGP Class

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

Moto2 Class

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

Moto3 Class

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