Marquez Second At Mugello, Increases Championship Lead
Marc Marquez scored a fantastic second-place finish in the race of the year so far at sun-blessed Mugello, giving the reigning World Champion an increased advantage in the title chase.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) scored a fantastic second-place finish in the race of the year so far at sun-blessed Mugello today. The result gives the reigning World Champion his fifth podium from six races and will take him to his home race at Barcelona-Catalunya with an increased advantage in the title chase.
Today’s race was historic for Honda, since it took place one day short of the 60th anniversary of the company’s first World Championship race, the Isle of Man Ultra-Lightweight TT, staged on June 3, 1959. On that day Naomi Taniguchi’s scored Honda’s first World Championship point aboard an RC142 125cc twin. Honda’s Grand Prix victory record now stands at more than 750 wins.
Mugello has never been an easy circuit for the 26-year-old Spaniard who with his crew revised the set-up of his RC213V to cope with the demands of this uniquely complex racetrack. Yesterday he proved the performance of his 2019 RC213V, as well as his own riding and tactical prowess, by grabbing pole position in spectacular style.
Today he played his part in an unforgettable battle for victory, spending the entire 23 laps fighting back and forth with Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Rins. They all took their turns in the lead.
Marquez gave it all and attacked wherever he could, often squeezing past Petrucci and Dovizioso through the corners and sometimes drafting past them on Mugello’s start/finish straight, where the fastest bikes exceed 350kmh/217mph. The speed of his RC213V on MotoGP’s fastest straight underlined the sterling development work undertaken by HRC engineers in their preparation for the 2019 season.
Of course, all four riders knew the race would come down to a frantic last-lap shootout. At the start of the last lap Marquez braked super-late for the first corner to retake the lead, but he ran slightly wide, which allowed Dovizioso to attack him on the inside. However, they tangled and Petrucci grabbed his chance, sweeping back into the lead and holding his advantage to the checkered flag to take his first Grand Prix victory in front of the ecstatic Italian crowd.
Marquez was right behind the local hero as they flashed past the checkered flag – only 0.043 seconds between them – with Dovizioso a further 0.295 seconds behind. Thus the podium trio was covered by 0.338 seconds. Rins took fourth, just behind Dovizioso.
Twenty points to add to the three victories and the one second-place finish achieved so far this season made Marquez a happy man as he works towards winning a sixth MotoGP crown in seven years.
Honda’s next finisher was every bit as delighted as Marquez. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) did a stunning job on his 2018 RC213V, finishing in fifth place, after qualifying tenth quickest. This was the best-ever MotoGP result for the 27-year-old from Chiba, who graduated to the premier class last season, after winning two Moto2 races during the previous few seasons.
Nakagami charged through the pack after the start, moving up to sixth at the end of the first lap, but then he lost several positions, which the regained when two rivals slid off and when he overtook team-mate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V). in the final laps Nakagami did everything in his power to hold off factory rider Maverick Vinales and he just managed it. this result was further proof of the youngster’s huge potential.
Crutchlow rode with the lead group during the early stages and seemed capable of running the same pace. But from half-distance he was unable to maintain the leaders’ pace and he slipped back to eighth place, struggling with rear tire wear issues.
Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) scored points again, maintaining a run of five points-scoring rides from the first six races of the year. However, the 32-year-old didn’t finish where he wanted to finish. He took the flag in 13th position, just a fraction of a second behind Aleix Espargaro and Joan Mir.
Lorenzo is still working with his crew to adapt his RC213V to his particular riding technique. He tried some new parts here and has more coming for upcoming races. Once he feels fully at home he is sure he will once again be able to race at the front.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) won a second consecutive Moto2 victory, dominating the race just as he did two weeks ago at Le Mans. This completed the 23-year-old Spaniard’s first back-to-back victories in the intermediate class and moved him to within two points of World Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex).
Marquez took the lead from COTA winner Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) shortly before half-distance and quickly established an unbeatable advantage – a difficult thing to achieve at Mugello, where chasing riders can use the slipstream to make up time on the super-fast start/finish straight.
By the checkered flag Marquez was 1.928 seconds ahead of the pack, with Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex) crossing the line in second place for his first podium of 2019, following crucial set-up improvements made during a recent test at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. Marini had to fight hard for the runner-up spot, finishing 0.314 seconds in front of Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), who completed the podium.
Baldassari had a challenging day, starting from 15th on the grid. The 22-year-old Italian did a great job from there, fighting through from 11th on the first lap. For a while it looked like he had the pace to take third from Luthi, but he couldn’t quite manage it. However, fourth place was good enough to retain the title lead.
Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex) and rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) also had outstanding rides, finishing fifth and sixth, less than four seconds behind Marquez. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up Speed Up) was seventh, just ahead of pole-starter Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex).
Grand Prix rookie Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) learned plenty in his first visit to Mugello, one of MotoGP’s most complex racetracks. The 26-year-old Indonesian rider rode to a 24th-place finish and gathered lots of data which will be of vital use to him and his team over the next few races.
Ekky Pratama’s team-mate and Grand Prix first-timer Teppei Nagoe (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) was less lucky. The 21-year-old from Tokyo took the place of Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex), who is recovering from surgery. However, Nagoe crashed out in the early stages, without injury. Nagoe was taking time off from his usual work, which is contesting the J-GP2 series of the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship for the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team.
Honda riders finished first and second in a breathtaking Moto3 race which featured a race-long multi-rider battle with positions changing at every corner.
The result was in doubt until the moment the leaders crossed the finish line, when pole-starter Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Honda NSF250RW) drafted past Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) to score his first Grand Prix victory by the slender margin of 0.029 seconds. The result continued Moto3’s remarkable run of 11 races with 11 different winners.
At the flag the top eight riders were separated by less than sixth tenths of a second. Honda riders did most of the leading during the 20 laps, with Dalla Porta looking the strongest. The 21-year-old led out of the final corner, but Arbolino found his slipstream to slingshot just meters from the finish. The 18-year-old was overjoyed with his home-race victory, which was only the second podium result of his Grand Prix career.
Dalla Porta was philosophical in defeat and happy that his second place moved him to within three points of series leader Aron Canet, who finished seventh today.
The race was a typical Mugello battle, with riders overtaking each other through the track’s fast, sweeping corners and also on the straight, MotoGP’s fastest.
Although Arbolino and Dalla Porta were the podium stars, Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) rode at least as well, fighting back from 18th on the grid to briefly lead in the final laps and take fourth at the finish, just 0.078 seconds off the podium. His ride made it three NSF250R machines in the Mugello top four and puts him third in the championship.
Le Mans winner John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) also fought in the lead group and looked capable of climbing the podium once again. The 24-year-old Briton finished sixth, just 0.403 seconds behind Arbolino.
Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) rode an excellent race, leading on several occasions, but in the final dash to the finish line the 21-year-old from Chiba was eighth, 0.595 seconds behind the winner.
Grand Prix first-timer Gerry Salim (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a brilliant World Championship debut, completing the race in 16th place, only 0.076 seconds outside the points! The 22-year-old Indonesian took the place of injured Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW). He also rode the 12th fastest lap of the race.
Team-mate Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was very much out of luck and unable to continue his excellent run of results. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka was in the lead group, chasing Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) when Sasaki crashed and Toba was unable to miss his fallen machine. Both riders were unhurt.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 2nd
“Today was time to defend, and we did it in the best way we could because usually this is not one of our best circuits. I stayed calm and waited to try something in the last lap. I was able to try but I missed the apex on the first corner and then both overtook me. Petrucci rode very well at the front today, congratulations to him. My goal was to finish in front of Dovizioso and Rins and we did this so I’m happy. Also congratulations to my brother Alex, he had a great race today too. As always, thanks to the Repsol Honda Team as they have worked hard to allow us to fight for victory here.”
Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 5th
“It was an amazing day and an amazing race. I was really strong from the start and I know that this is a weak point for me. In all the races after a couple of laps I’ve dropped positions and then fight back in the middle and at the end. But today, I was really strong at the beginning of the race and then tried to keep the position. At the end I knew that [Maverick] Vinales was really pushing hard, but I never gave up and fought hard. It’s the best result for me, I was the second Honda, and fifth place is amazing. I didn’t expect it, it’s a fantastic weekend for me and I want to thank the team who did a really great job all weekend, the bike worked really well.”
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 8th
“Today was a very difficult day, quite possibly my worst race of the season. Again I was in the front group, but then got dropped from the front group which has not normally happened to me in previous years. I had a bad feeling with the bike when I was changing direction, which was happening all weekend, and I was not able to be competitive in that area. Then with about 14 laps remaining I felt a big drop in the rear tire and was unable to keep my pace throughout the rest of the race. After the race we assessed the situation with the team and Michelin and found an unusual rubber wear on the rear tire. So we’ll continue to evaluate it and I’m sure Michelin will investigate why this happened. I’m pleased to finish and get some points on a tough day, but that’s not where I need to finish at all.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 13th
“Today was more or less what we expected. I didn’t have the pace and wasn’t as comfortable on the bike to be more competitive. We made a change in the warm-up and it improved some areas. Not better or worse than we expected but neither myself nor Honda give up on making progress and finding a solution together. Now I will go to Japan to work with Honda on some improvements to come back stronger.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
“That was a really good race and I enjoyed it a lot. I tried to conserve my tires, so I was slipstreaming Tom, but when I noticed he was struggling I passed him, made my own rhythm and opened a gap. I am very happy for the team because they have done an amazing job. My plan for the next races is to keep the same mentality and focus, but for now it’s time to celebrate this victory.”
Luca Marini, SKY Racing Team VR46: 2nd
“It’s unbelievable to get a podium here, it means a lot to me. I’m really, really happy and proud to get second, because I didn’t expect it. The team has done a great job since the start of the season. After a few problems we completely changed my bike after the last race and now I can fight and we know can continue to fight at other tracks.”
Thomas Luthi, Dynavolt Intact GP: 3rd
“Physically I wasn’t 100 percent today, but anyway I focused on my job and pushed really hard at the beginning. However, I didn’t have the grip I needed, so Alex went away, as he did at Le Mans. It wasn’t possible for me to attack. But we are on the podium and still in the game, so we just need to keep working.”
Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 24th
“A really hard and long race, especially for me being my first time here in Mugello. The positive part is that I finished the race, after two rounds crashing out. I get many positive things, especially about my riding style. The team has worked very hard trying to help me and trusting in me. I would like to thank them and I’m sure that in Catalunya, a circuit that I already know, I will be closer to the group.”
Teppei Nagoe, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: DNF
“I’m disappointed because my race finished on lap 5, but at the same time I’m really happy with my improvement over the weekend. I made a good lap time 1’54,2, one second faster than in Q1 and 5 seconds faster that the first practice. I tried to push hard but I lost the front into the last corner. I would like to thank Honda Motor and IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia for this opportunity. I return to Japan with much more experience and I feel I’ve made a step up as a rider.”
Tony Arbolino, VNE Snipers: 1st
“It was an incredible weekend; I felt it would be good! In this race it was important to use strategy. I kept my focus and I understood that being second in the last corner would be the winning choice. Thanks to everybody for the support, the crowd was amazing, and my team was excellent. For an Italian rider, winning here is something special.”
Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Leopard Racing: 2nd
“Me and the team did a great job all weekend, so a big thanks to them. My issue in the race was that I had finished my rear tire by the end. Anyway, I am very happy because my NSF250RW is fantastic, which means we can fight for the World Championship; that’s the most important thing. I am sure our first victory of this season will arrive very soon!”
Niccolo Antonelli, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 4th
“That was a realty tough race, especially because I had to start quite far back on the grid. I worked very hard to pass a lot of riders, but of course this cost me in the later stages of the race with tire life and energy. Anyway, considering where we started I got some good points and now we go to the next race to continue our fight for the podium and the championship.”
Gerry Salim, Honda Team Asia: 16th
“Fantastic result. Yesterday I was checking the data with my mechanics and we’ve seen that it was possible to continue improving. At the start of the race I was worried because the Moto3 riders of the World Championship are very strong, they push to the limit from the start. I just kept my focus because I didn’t want to crash. I overtook some riders to finish in P16 with the 12th best lap time. I really enjoyed the opportunity that the Honda Team Asia offered me.”
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: DNF
“What a disaster! For the second time this season I’ve not scored points, and this is very bad for my championship position. At the beginning of the race it was difficult to overtake because I couldn’t use my good lines and they overtook me easily; I didn’t understand why. In the middle of the race I arrived with the lead group, but I crashed. Nothing more to say. AT Catalunya I will try to win, I’ve done a good test there and that is a circuit where I feel very confident riding.”
|1||Danilo PETRUCCI (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|2||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|4||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|5||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|6||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|7||Michele PIRRO (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|8||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|9||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|10||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|12||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|13||Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)|
|14||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|15||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|16||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|17||Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|RT||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|RT||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|RT||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|RT||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|1||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|3||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|4||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|5||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|6||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|7||Jorge NAVARRO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|8||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|9||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|10||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|11||Mattia PASINI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|12||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|13||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|14||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|15||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|16||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|17||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|18||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|19||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|20||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|21||Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|22||Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|23||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|24||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|25||Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)|
|RT||Jake DIXON (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|RT||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|RT||Teppei NAGOE (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)|
|1||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|2||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|3||Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|4||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|5||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|6||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|7||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|8||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|9||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|10||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|11||Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|12||Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|13||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|14||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|15||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|16||Gerry SALIM (Honda Team Asia)|
|17||Ryusei YAMANAKA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|18||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|19||Vicente PEREZ (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|20||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|21||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|RT||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|RT||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|RT||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|RT||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|RT||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Kevin ZANNONI (RGR TM Official Team)|
|RT||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|