Round 07 Catalunya

  • Marquez Takes Safe Second To Increase Championship Lead

    Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez finished a strong second at Catalunya to increase his points advantage at the top of the 2018 championship chase.


Report

Marquez Takes Safe Second To Increase Championship Lead

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Catalunya, June 18, 2018

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished a strong second at Catalunya this afternoon to increase his points advantage at the top of the 2018 championship chase.

In the early stages of the race the 25-year-old local hero raced for the lead with winner Jorge Lorenzo, but track conditions were difficult, with ten of the 26 starters crashing during the 24-laps, so Marquez wisely decided to settle for a safe second-place finish. The result increased his championship lead to 27 points over Valentino Rossi, who finished the race in third position.

Marquez is currently hunting for his fifth MotoGP crown in six seasons. He scored a hat-trick of victories in the Americas, Spanish and French Grands Prix, but then slid off at Mugello two weeks ago. A safe finish was therefore a priority here, especially after two tumbles in practice and one miraculous save in FP4, which showed just how hard the youngster was pushing on a new track surface that has proven unpredictable throughout the weekend.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) scored an excellent fourth-place finish, fighting back from ninth place at the end of the first lap. The 32-year-old Briton worked hard and pushed forward, while many others fell by the wayside. He had a long duel with fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), whom he finally bettered in the later stages of the race. This was his best finish since he won the Argentine Grand Prix in April and the result lifted him from eighth to sixth place in the points chase.

The many fallers in the race – run with a 45-degree track temperature – included all three of Honda’s MotoGP rookies. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) was particularly disappointed with his tumble, which spoiled his excellent points-scoring record.

Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was able to remount after his crash and finish the race last and 14th, which gave him his sixth points score from his first seven races in the class of kings.

Third rookie Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) also fell, ruining his hopes of scoring his first points in the MotoGP World Championship.

Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing Speed Up) took the win in the Moto2 race, the 19-year-old Frenchman’s victory the biggest surprise of the season so far. Quartararo’s previous best result in the intermediate class was a sixth-place finish at last year’s San Marino Grand Prix and he hadn’t done better than eighth this season until he arrived here. His victory was also the first success for Italian constructor Speed Up since the Americas Grand Prix of April 2015.

Quartararo rode a superbly judged race, starting from pole position and completing the first lap in fourth place. Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) was the early leader but the man on the move was Mugello winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) who had rocketed through from 17th on the grid to pass Quartararo and then take the lead from Marquez on lap eight of 22. At first it looked like Oliveira would run away out front, but the next lap Quartararo also passed Marquez and set off in pursuit of the leader. When 23-year-old Portuguese Oliveira ran wide at turn four on lap ten, Quartararo took the lead, set a new lap record and kept building his advantage until he finished the race 2.492 seconds ahead of Oliveira, with local Marquez completing the podium a further 0.993 seconds down.

Marquez had to fight hard for the final place on the podium, just ahead of Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter).

The top ten was completed by Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex), championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM) and Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM).
 
Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) won a frantic Moto3 race, his first World Championship victory since the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The 21-lap contest was fast, furious and full of incidents, with two multiple crashes reducing the 11-rider leading pack to five during the final few laps.

Bastianini, who started from the front row of the grid, timed his victory move to perfection, taking the lead while braking into turn one for the final time and keeping his rivals behind him for the remainder of the lap. His winning margin was just 0.167 seconds over championship leader Marco Bezzecchi.

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) rode a superb race, breaking clear of the pack in the early stages with Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), who led the charge until he fell just before half-distance. Soon after that Suzuki was caught by Bastianini and the rest.  But the 20-year-old from Chiba stayed with the lead group for the rest of the race and was in podium contention all the way to the checkered flag. He crossed the line in fifth place, 0.639 seconds behind the winner and just four tenths of a second off the podium. If Suzuki had made the top three he would’ve been the first Japanese rider to stand on a Moto3 podium since the creation of the 250cc four-stroke class in 2012.

Martin was devastated by his tumble at turn nine, which spoiled his chances of taking the championship lead. Spanish star Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) was in the thick of the lead group when he was taken out by another rider in the closing stages.

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) scored his best Grand Prix result with an excellent sixth-place finish, the 18-year-old from Fukuoka taking the checkered flag just ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), who recovered well after an earlier off-track excursion. Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) was eighth.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) was going well and fighting for a top-ten finish, until he slid off on lap 15.
 
Adam Norrodin (Malaysian Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) scored points in 13th and 14th positions.

MotoGP heads north after premier-class testing here tomorrow, to the Dutch TT at Assen, on July 1.

Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami

Comments

MotoGP

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 2nd

“Today was a race where we had to manage as best as possible and I tried to be smart. Of course in the first laps I pushed hard because it was important to follow Jorge and to open a gap on the chasers. When we built a comfortable advantage I just managed the pace. I even slowed down a bit in the final part of the race as it was impossible to catch Lorenzo. I saw many crashes, which made me think more than I did in other races. Sometimes the tire choice you make doesn’t result in the exact feeling you were hoping for, but I think that second is very good for the Championship because we arrived here with a 23-point lead and go to Assen with 27. It’s time to understand how the situation is and try and manage it as best as possible. We made a mistake in Mugello and that had me thinking a lot. Of course, when you don’t win the feeling that you were missing something remains, but a podium is a good result! Maybe other challenging races will arrive but the good thing for us is that so far in every race we have been in good shape.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 4th

“A good day today, obviously the whole LCR Honda CASTROL team did a good job. We’re pleased with the result. For the bad qualifying yesterday I’m sorry to the team, but I think we repaid them today with a good result. I aimed for the podium and we finished fourth, so we have to be happy with the result and it’s also good for the championship. Thanks to my team for all their efforts this weekend, we put on a good show and now I look forward to Assen.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 5th

“I think we did a good enough result, considering the weekend, because starting eleventh and finishing fifth is a good recovery. Of course, we cannot be satisfied with that. The feeling was not there, and I struggled a lot with a lack of grip during the race. The riders I was fighting with could gain on me, especially mid-corner and out of the corners. I could be a bit stronger in braking but ultimately my lap times were a bit slower. Cal passed me in the end as a result, and Vinales could catch me as well, though I was able to hold him off on the last lap. Tomorrow we have a one-day test and hopefully we’ll be able to solve this issue and be fast in the coming races.”

Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 14th

“It was a tricky weekend and I crashed many times, but in the race I was feeling quite good with a decent pace and ready to attack over the final laps. But then I had to slow down on the left side and the tire got cold and I crashed in turn two like I was on ice. But I got the bike back to the garage and then went back out just to be a finisher and get two points - I’m very happy about that. Now I just want to continue to improve.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: DNF

“Unfortunately I had a crash in the middle of the race. From the beginning I didn’t have a great feeling with the front tire and in many places I started to lose the front. I knew it would be a difficult race, but that made it harder. At turn five I tried to overtake Bradley (Smith), but I was over the limit and I lost the front. I’m sorry for crashing into Bradley and sorry for the team also because this weekend they did a great job. Of course we’re disappointed, but tomorrow we have the test so we’ll just think about the next one.”

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

“The day started well when I had a good feeling in the warm-up but I finished the race too early with this crash. Unfortunately I lost the front and I could not save it, it was game over. It’s a shame because I felt I could build some confidence with more track time. I am sorry for my team who worked really hard for me so apologies to them but we will keep working.”

Moto2

Fabio Quartararo, Speed Up Racing: 1st


“Getting pole yesterday was already impressive, because before this race I had struggled to be fast on new tires. I knew we had a good race pace but our aim was top five, so to be able to pull away and win was unbelievable. We tested some new parts at Mugello and that went really well, so that now I can ride on the limit but more safely and more naturally.”

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 2nd

“After not qualifying so well our main target was to make sure we lost as few championship points as possible, so we are really, really happy with this second place. We had a good pace but not good enough for Fabio! The main thing is that I survived a scary crash on the slowdown lap when [Simon] Corsi hit me.”

Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 3rd

“This was a good weekend for us. We had a good pace but I struggled in the first part of the race, even though I was leading. When Oliveira and Quartararo went past it was impossible for me to go with them. But then as the fuel load reduced I felt better and recovered the feeling I had in practice, so I was able to push again. We need to work to improve the front end of our bike.”

Moto3

Enea Bastianini, Leopard Racing: 1st

“It was a beautiful race! At the beginning I didn’t start very well. I saw that Martin was running away and I tried to recover some positions. I knew he had the medium tire and so I didn’t push too hard, I tried to manage mine for the end of the race. It would have been nice to fight with him until the end, but I’m sure I would have won it anyway today: I gave my 100 percent all weekend with my team, we worked really well. Barcelona is a special circuit for me, but we can be competitive on every track: from now on we can have fun! I want to dedicate this victory to Andreas [Perez] and to my friend Bryan [Toccaceli], he gave me the strength to believe in my own potential: when the last lap started, I thought about him.”

Tatsuki Suzuki, SIC58 Squadra Corse: 5th

“Today I made a very good start, managing to follow Martin and keep his pace for the first ten laps. Then Martin crashed and I lost some of my rhythm, so the chasing pack caught me. Nevertheless I am quite satisfied with this weekend, which started with a very bad day on Friday. I managed to improve and that’s the most important thing. Now, I’m looking forward to Assen!”

Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 6th

“I got a good start to take third at Turn1, so, if I maintained this position in the opening stages, my race would have been different. I had dust in my right eye, which distracted my concentration and I lost some places. But I didn’t give up because my family came to see me this weekend, and I was able to get my best result in the world championship, so I am happy about that. Anyway, I have to improve my pace in the opening laps, and I will be able to do it in the coming races from the next one in Assen!”

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Results

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 07: Catalunya Race

MotoGP Class

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

Moto2 Class

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

Moto3 Class

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

Photos