Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) raced to a famous victory at Jerez today in front of his legions of Spanish fans. Marquez's second dominant victory from the first four races of the season moved him back into the lead of the World Championship.
The 26-year-old's 46th MotoGP success was also great reason to celebrate for the Spanish-based Repsol Honda Team, which won its third consecutive victory at Jerez, following Marquez's win last year and the now-retired Dani Pedrosa's in 2017. Before this weekend got underway Jerez's turn six was named in honor of Pedrosa, who won 54 Grands Prix with Honda machinery between 2002 and 2017.
Marquez took control of this race from the very beginning, winning the charge to the first corner from third on the grid and never once relinquishing the lead. However, he had to resist huge pressure from his pursuers in the early stages. At one third distance he was still only a few tenths ahead of Franco Morbidelli, but as the race reached half-distance and tire wear began to tell, he was unmatchable.
The man who is chasing a sixth MotoGP crown in seven years is a master of controlling his motorcycle when tires wear and grip reduces. Midway through the race he twice broke the lap record to open his advantage to four seconds, allowing him to control the final stages. This was an important and psychologically demanding success for Marquez, who had crashed out of the lead of the last race and lost the points lead.
This latest win once again underlined the amazing performance of the 2019 RC213V, which puts Honda at the top of the Constructors World Championship. Honda is aiming for a fourth successive constructors title. And since the first Jerez Grand Prix in 1987, Honda riders have won 22 of the 33 premier-class races stages at this popular venue.
Team-mates Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) finished in team formation after a frantic contest in the second group. Crutchlow crossed the line in eighth place, having bounced back well from a heavy tumble yesterday. The 33-year-old Briton finished just two tenths of a second in front of 27-year-old Chiba rider Nakagami, who performed particularly well in the later stages. He started from eighth on the grid, following the best qualifying performance of his MotoGP career.
HRC test-rider Stefan Bradl (Team HRC RC213V) completed the top ten, an astonishing result from the 29-year-old German, whose last race was last November's Valencia GP, when he took the place of injured Crutchlow. Like other MotoGP riders, the former Moto2 World Champion will stay here tomorrow for an important one-day test, evaluating various parts for Honda.
This weekend started well for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), who was one of the fastest riders on Friday. However, a low-speed fall in qualifying left the three-times MotoGP World Champion 11th on the grid, for a race at a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult. The Spaniard found himself caught up in the pack during the early stages and unable to make significant progress. in his keenness to push forward he ran wide several times, which dropped him to 15th at one point of the race. He rallied in the closing stages, moving up to 12th place at the finish. Lorenzo celebrated his 32nd birthday yesterday.
Moto2 World Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex) won a tense Moto2 victory to extend his series lead, finishing just three tenths ahead of a hard-charging Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up Speed Up), who had made a sluggish start from pole position.
Baldassarri, who also won here last year, has now won three of the first four races – in Qatar, Argentina and here in Spain – and crashed out of the other, in the USA. The 22-year-old Italian now leads the championship by 17 points from COTA winner Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), who finished fourth today.
The Moto2 race was run over a shortened distance after a multiple pile-up at the first two corners, triggered by second-row qualifier Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex) who fell exiting turn one. Front-row starter Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) was one of many who fell in the wake of Gardner's tumble. Gardner suffered a minor concussion in the tumble; no one else was injured.
Early leader was Baldassarri's team-mate Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex), making an amazing comeback from injuries sustained at last month's Argentine GP. The 21-year-old Spaniard led Baldassarri until just before half-distance, when the Italian moved ahead, never to be bettered. Later Fernandez couldn't quite hold off Navarro, who grabbed second place on the penultimate lap. The podium was covered by just 1.091 seconds.
Luthi spent much of the race with Navarro but didn't quite have the late-race pace to follow him onto the podium. Next up were Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) and Xavi Vierge (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).
Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex) scored his best-ever Grand Prix result with a strong ride to seventh place, less than eight seconds behind the winner.
Marquez's mechanics did an amazing job to get the 23-year-old's machine fixed just in time for the restart, although he was too late to make it onto the grid, so he had to start the race from the pit lane. He rode from last place to 24th at the finish.
Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) had a great ride from 21st on the grid to finish 17th, just two positions outside the World Championship points. The 20-year-old Thai rider's team-mate Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a more difficult day – he was another innocent victim of the accident soon after the start and was unable to take part in the restart.
Honda NSF250RW team-mates Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) scored a superb one-two in today's breath-taking Moto3 race, which had the first five riders pass the checkered flag covered by just half a second.
This was 23-year-old Italian Antonelli's first Grand Prix victory since he won the 2016 Qatar GP, also on Honda machinery. His fourth career GP success moves him to second in the 2019 World Championship, just one point behind Aaron Canet.
Suzuki did much of the leading in a typically frantic Moto3 encounter, in which all 15 points scores were separated by just two seconds at half-distance! The lead changed multiple times, often several times a lap, with the pack jostling for position behind. Finally Antonelli bettered his team-mate on the last lap, the 21-year-old from Chiba crossed the finish line 0.242 seconds behind his team-mate for his first GP podium.
The one-two achievement was particularly emotional for team owner Paolo Simoncelli, father of the late, great Marco Simoncelli, who won his first Grand Prix victory 15 years ago, here at Jerez, in the 125cc class.
Two other Honda team-mates also had a remarkable race. Qatar Grand Prix winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) finished sixth and ninth, after starting from 24th and 20th on the grid.
Toba's race was particularly sensational. The 19-year-old Fukuoka rider's grid position was the result of a tumble during qualifying, so he spent the entire 22 laps carving his way past other riders to cross the line 1.1 seconds behind the winner. The fact that he completed the first lap in 24th place and after six laps was still 6.6 seconds behind the race leader proves that he would have been in the fight for victory once again, if he hadn't slid off yesterday afternoon. Today's result – his third top ten from four races – moved him into fourth place in the championship.
Rookie Ogura also rode brilliantly, fighting his way past numerous rivals to score his first top-ten result in fine style. The 18-year-old from Tokyo was 19th after the first lap and finished the race one tenth of a second behind eighth-placed Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who started from pole for the first time in his career and was one of the strongest riders in the race, until a collision with a rival damaged his machine's clutch.
Three other Honda riders scored points: John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in 12th, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) in 14th and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in 15th.
MotoGP continues the European sector of the championship with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, on May 19.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
“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.”
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 8th
“I never really found a good setting all weekend, I think if I'd been able to find a better setting I would have been able to use the hard rear tire. This morning I was quite fast on the hard rear tire, but I wasn't confident enough to use it in the race because I didn't know if I was going to have a bad feeling with it like the last couple of days. So I opted to go with the medium and it was the wrong choice – it's as simple as that. But I tried my best and eighth place was better than not finishing today, for sure. We need to work on the setting of the bike, that's the main thing, as I don't feel very comfortable at the moment, as you saw in the race.”
Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 9th
“At the end of the race we were quite competitive and the lap time was consistent, in the low 38s and on the last lap I did very close to the best time, but it was too late. The first lap was much better than at the other circuits, but we are still missing a bit of aggression on the riding and I lost a few positions at the start of the race. We have to focus on that point because during the race and at the end of the race we were quite strong. It's another top 10, P9 is not too bad but we can improve a lot for the next race and keep improving.”
Stefan Bradl, Team HRC: 10th
“I am very happy with the result because we have done a good job over the last month's testing. We found positive things and turned it into a result which is important to me, reinforcing in myself that I have the speed. It's also important for the team around me, the guys work a lot away from the races so these points and the positive feedback is a reward for them. The work we are doing now will be important for the future. Thanks to my team and to HRC for all their efforts.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 12th
“It has been a difficult end to the weekend, we wanted to be stronger, but I am still not comfortable on the bike. We are still lacking kilometers compared to the other Honda riders. Today especially I was not comfortable on the bike and it was a very difficult race. Tomorrow's test will be important for us to try and improve my feeling, especially on corner entry where I think I am losing the most. We have to keep working.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri, Flexbox HP 40: 1st
“I am very happy with today's victory. At the beginning there was a fall and restart of the race, but from the first moment we were there, we were constant with the pace and that led us to victory. The important thing is that we are on top and constant. I want to thank the team for the good work as well as congratulate Augusto for his good race and first podium, and also to all the sponsors who have come to see us.”
Jorge Navarro, HDR Heidrun Speed Up: 2nd
“An almost perfect weekend! I am really happy with how we worked. With a couple of extra laps we could have fought for the victory, but in any case we are satisfied with this podium. I must say that it's always exciting to race here in Jerez. I thank the guys in the team for the work and the support they give me. See you in Le Mans!”
Augusto Fernandez, Flexbox HP 40: 3rd
“Very, very happy for the whole weekend in general. From the first practice we have been close to the top. Yesterday we were on the front row for the first time and today my first podium, so I cannot ask for more. It has cost a lot, I felt a lot of pain, but I endured as I could and got the podium. I want to thank the team for the work done, my family for the support and I'd also like to congratulate Balda for his victory. He has done a great job.”
Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 17th
“I'm very happy with my race, finishing in 17th position, despite arm-pump and a problem with front feeling, which didn't let me maintain the good rhythm I had in practice. Maybe after Le Mans I will need a surgery to solve this problem with my arm. We will know more later this week.”
Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: DNS
“I'm disappointed because I made a good start and I overtook some riders, but between the first and the second corners Gardner crashed in front of me and it was impossible to avoid contact with his bike. I tried to get up even though the impact was hard but the doctors didn't permit me to make the restart. After the medical check I'm ready and fit for Le Mans.”
Niccolo Antonelli, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 1st
“I am very happy for me, the team and Paolo [Simoncelli]. We all deserve this victory. We made a good work since the first session on Friday morning. I felt really good on the bike. I decided to stay a bit behind for half the race because I wanted to save the tire for the final laps. Then I managed to work my way up till the first position. I want to thank my team for the great job done. We are happy!”
Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 2nd
“First time on the podium and I am very happy. I am happy for team and above all for Paolo, because I know how much this means to him. After my race in Austin I was very angry with myself but also confident that we could make it. We have been fast since the beginning of the weekend and we made a great job. I was able to keep with the first positions for the whole race, keeping the right pace and overtaking many times. That was a great race and victory is just one step away!”
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 6th
“What a difficult race! I didn't do a good qualifying and so I had to start from 24th position. Also, in the first laps of the race I was very slow and I lost some positions, with a big gap in respect to the front. I tried to recover during the race, pushing really hard for this sixth position. It's not a bad result, but it's a shame because with a better position on the grid and a better rhythm in the first laps, it was possible to be in the podium. I must improve in this point.”
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 9th
“To finish with a gap of only 1.4 seconds to the winner is good after starting in 20th position and recovering to finish ninth. At the end of the race I was strong, with a very good pace but I needed to overtake more riders at the beginning of the race to make the final part of the race easier. I need to fight more, especially in qualifying, to get a better starting position.”
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|3||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|5||Danilo PETRUCCI (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|6||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|7||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|8||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|9||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|10||Stefan BRADL (Team HRC)|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|12||Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)|
|13||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|14||Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|15||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|16||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|17||Bradley SMITH (Aprilia Factory Racing)|
|18||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|19||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|RT||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|RT||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|1||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|2||Jorge NAVARRO (HDR Heidrun Speed Up)|
|3||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|4||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|5||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|6||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|7||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|8||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|9||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|10||Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)|
|11||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|12||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (HDR Heidrun Speed Up)|
|13||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|14||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|15||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|16||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|17||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|18||Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|19||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|20||Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)|
|21||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|22||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|23||Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|24||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|25||Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|RT||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|RT||Mattia PASINI (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|RT||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|RT||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|1||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|2||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|3||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|4||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|5||Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|6||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|7||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|8||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|9||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|10||Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|11||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|12||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|13||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|14||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|15||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|16||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|17||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|18||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|19||Stefano NEPA (Fundacion Andres Perez 77)|
|20||Vicente PEREZ (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|21||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|22||Meikon KAWAKAMI (Fundacion Andres Perez 77)|
|23||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|RT||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|RT||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|RT||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|RT||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|RT||Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)|