Marquez Dominates Incident-Packed Barcelona Race
Marc Marquez extended his World Championship lead with a dominant victory in the incident-packed Catalan Grand Prix at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) extended his World Championship lead with a dominant victory in today’s incident-packed Catalan Grand Prix at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
The track has been tricky all weekend, offering minimal grip, which has caused many riders to fall. It was no different in the 24-lap MotoGP race, during which 11 of the 24 starters crashed out, none of them suffering more worse than aches and pains from their tumbles.
This was Marquez’s fourth victory from the first seven races of 2019, the year in which motorcycle Grand Prix racing celebrates its 70th birthday. It was also his 48th MotoGP win, which makes him the fourth most successful rider in the history of the premier class, behind legends Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan.
Marquez took the lead at turn ten on the second lap. Moments later there was a multiple crash right behind him as riders funnelled into the tricky slow-speed left-hander, which is a notorious accident black spot. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) fell as he braked into the corner while trying to avoid Andrea Dovizioso. Unfortunately, when he slid off he took Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales and Rossi with him.
That left Marquez all alone out front and from there he kept pushing hard, all the while controlling the race perfectly, riding as smoothly as possible to ensure he didn’t overheat the soft rear tire he had chosen.
The 26-year-old Spaniard now leads the championship hunt by 37 points with 12 races remaining. He is chasing his sixth MotoGP crown in his seventh season in the premier class, an astonishing record during the most competitive period in the sport’s history. Honda also leads the MotoGP Constructors World Championship, the company going for its fourth successive crown.
Honda’s next finisher was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), who took the flag aboard his 2018 RC213V in eighth place, two weeks after taking a best-ever fifth-place finish at Mugello. The 27-year-old from Chiba rode well in the slippery conditions, making sure he brought the bike home for his sixth points score from the first seven races; an impressive show of both speed and consistency.
Lorenzo was unharmed in the lap-two incident, which happened as Marquez and Dovizioso swept into turn ten. Suddenly Lorenzo found himself with nowhere to go and when he braked more heavily to the apex the front tire lost grip and his fallen bike hit Dovizioso. Then Vinales and Rossi also went down in the melee, which was judged by most of his rivals to be a straightforward racing incident which can happen to anyone. The 32-year-old Spaniard apologized to his fellow riders for his mistake at a treacherous corner, where only a few years ago he was taken out by another rival.
Slippery track conditions contributed to an unusually high crash rate during the weekend – 73 across all classes, with 20 of them at turn ten – but all riders were declared fit after their falls.
Lorenzo’s exit was a great shame because the three-times MotoGP World Champion had been having his best weekend yet aboard his RC213V following a recent trip to HRC in Japan, where he worked on ergonomic updates.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) had a difficult start to the race after starting from the third row, which put him 12th at the start of the first lap. In the second half of the race the 33-year-old Briton found his groove and started moving forward. With six laps to go he had worked his way into sixth place and looked capable of achieving his second podium finish of the year.
But it was not to be. While preparing an attack on fifth-placed Jack Miller he had a big moment entering turn four, ran off the track and crashed. It was a sad ending for Crutchlow, who rode an excellent race at Mugello, until he was slowed by a rear-tire issue.
One hour before the MotoGP grid roared into action Marc’s younger brother Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) rode to his third consecutive Moto2 victory to take the World Championship lead from Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex), who crashed out.
Marquez was in superbly dominant form, starting the race from the second row and steadily working his way towards early leaders Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) and Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex). The 23-year-old Spaniard spent six laps behind Luthi before finally taking the lead with nine laps remaining. Luthi tried his best to stay with the new leader but he couldn’t manage it and Marquez was able to stretch his lead to cross the line 1.989 seconds ahead of the 32-year-old Swiss rider.
Marquez and Luthi were joined on the podium by Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up Speed Up), who came through brilliantly from a difficult first few laps. The 23-year-old Spaniard’s final victim was 21-year-old compatriot Fernandez, who started the race from pole position for the first time in his career.
Top rookie was Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) who rode to a best-ever fifth-place finish, comfortably ahead of a hectic three-way battle for sixth, won by Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex), just ahead of Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) and Xavi Vierge (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex)
Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex) and Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex) completed the top ten,
Rookie Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) made a superb comeback from injury and surgery. The 20-year-old Thai rider finished 17th, just two places outside of the World Championship points.
His team-mate Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) also rode well, running well in the early stages. The 26-year-old Indonesian completed the race in 21st place, his best result so far in his rookie season.
Young Moto3 star Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) scored the first Grand Prix victory of his career in the first race of the day, coming out on top of a frantic race in which numerous riders fell.
Ramirez’s maiden success continues Moto3’s remarkable run of 12 different winners from the last 12 races, all the way back to last October’s Thailand Grand Prix.
The lead pack consisted of more than a dozen riders throughout the 21 laps, with the top ten separated by just one second at half-distance and the first seven men over the finish line covered by one second.
The result was in doubt until the checkered flag was being readied. Qatar GP winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) rode a superb race, once again staging a fantastic fightback, this time from 27th on the grid, to take the lead at three-quarters distance. On several occasions Toba was repassed by rivals but he retook the lead on the penultimate lap and was still ahead with four corners to go, when he slid off at the turn-ten hairpin. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka was bitterly disappointed, although he had once again proved he has race-winning speed.
When Toba fell, 21-year-old Spaniard Ramirez seized the advantage to take the flag 0.119 seconds ahead of points leader Aron Canet.
Another 21-year-old Spaniard Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) took fourth place, equalling his best-ever result, less than a tenth of a second behind third-place man Celestino Vietti.
Honda NSF250RW riders filled six of the top nine positions, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) also in the lead group and finishing sixth, 1.008 seconds down on Ramirez. Right behind the 18-year-old from Saitama were Romano Fenati (Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW).
Seventeen-year-old Yamanaka was contesting only his second Grand Prix, after making his debut in Qatar, where he finished 25th. This year his full-time task is contesting the Moto3 Junior World championship, which is based mostly in Spain. He currently lies eighth overall in that series after taking victory in the recent Valencia round.
Today’s Moto3 race didn’t go well for Honda’s other title hopefuls. Pole-starter Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) crashed out on the penultimate lap, while Tony Arbolino (Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) had technical issues.
Today’s racing was the 930th Grand Prix event since motorcycling’s World Championships began in 1949. The first-ever championship races took place at the 1949 Isle of Man TT, with the 350cc race on June 13 and the 250cc and 500cc races on June 17.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
“I chose the soft rear to try and push in the beginning and to try to not overheat the tire but try to be constant and fast. All of the Repsol Honda Team did a really good job this weekend; we worked hard and prepared well for the race. The team told me something had happened to Dovi, so I just kept pushing and focusing on my own race. We had the perfect strategy regardless and I want to thank all the fans who came out! Gracias! It's always special when you can celebrate winning together with your brother, Alex rode well this weekend!”
Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 8th
“The conditions were really tough out there all weekend. In the afternoons, as it was during the race, temperatures were high – over 50°C – which makes it really hard to manage the tires. We knew that because we chose the soft rear, the end of the race was going to be difficult. From the beginning I tried to manage it, but even then the last five laps it was gone and I couldn’t keep the pace. Anyway, I’m pretty happy about getting into the top ten, especially from starting 16th on the grid. The start was key in this race, we were strong and got up to ninth on the first lap, and we could keep it going to the end.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: DNF
“You don’t have any options if you brake a little bit too late, like happened with me. It was my fault, my mistake and I apologize. It was really unfortunate to take out Dovi, Maverick and Valentino – it wasn’t their fault obviously, it was mine. The only thing that matters today is the crash, I took out three riders unfortunately but if we think aside from this it was a weekend where we were able to make a step forward and I was consistent throughout.”
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: DNF
“The crash was completely my own fault. I was trying to pass Jack [Miller] and I locked the rear with the rear brake, one of the problems we have had this weekend on corner entry. There was always a possibility of it doing it if I went in hard on Jack, but I had to try to pass him because there was a chance of a podium, so I went down fighting for it at least. I’m disappointed about that, but we are at least pleased with the pace in the race, because at the point I crashed I was one of the fastest out on track, which hasn’t been the case of late. I found a better feeling and found that I am able to push the bike in certain ways, so we are pleased with what happened up to that point. What I take from the race is we had a great pace today and I hope we can take that to Assen in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
“It feels so good to take the third win and also to be the leader in the championship. It was difficult to control and starting from the second row wasn’t easy. In the first corner I had some contact with another rider, lost a bit of time but I knew this was a race to be constant and not to make any mistakes, especially at turn ten. When I was behind Luthi I felt as though I had a little bit more. I tried it and I did it! To take the lead in the championship I’m really happy for the team.”
Thomas Luthi, Dynavolt Intact GP: 2nd
“I was strong at the beginning but weaker at the end. It was a great race because my team had worked so well over the whole weekend. I wanted to stay in front, then I tried everything to stay with Alex, but I found myself getting into trouble, so I decided to focus on securing second place. The result is good for the championship and we will keep working hard going into the next races!”
Jorge Navarro, Beta Tools Speed Up: 3rd
“It was a very, very good race. The start wasn’t easy because we were running quite high gearing and I struggled to overtake other riders with a full tank of fuel. Finally I started moving forward. The only shame was that although I had a pace similar to the leaders I had lost too much time in the early laps. This is another podium, another good result, so all my thanks to my fans, my family and my team.”
Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 17th
“I’m quite happy with my race, P17 is more than expected after my double surgery some weeks ago. Having said that I am a little disappointed I wasn’t able to make points. My rhythm was really good, and my best lap faster than in qualifying. After the surgery the problem with my arm disappear and I can push all the race. Unfortunately, I did a bad start and during the race a rider crashed in front of me and there I lost some seconds. This gap was enough to lose the option to score points. I’m positive for the next race in Assen.”
Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 21st
“Compared to Mugello I felt better. About the position I honestly expected a little bit more, my goal was a top 20 but this is racing…we’ve learned a lot about these difficult conditions. I tried to gain positions at the start, but someone touched me. I tried to manage the situation because the rear wheel spun a lot with the asphalt so hot. I tried to be consistent and learn from this race. I am positive for the next race in Assen, again a new circuit for me. Assen is a very special circuit with so many fast corners.”
Marcos Ramirez, Leopard Racing: 1st
“I literally don't have words to describe the way I feel right now. I've been working so hard to get to this day and I really needed this result because the start of the season has been very hard. Sometimes racing life can be tricky but if you always believe in yourself and you push until the last moment, dreams come true. For me, the season starts here and I just want to keep doing results like this one. Many thanks to my family, to all the team and to everybody supporting me."
Alonso Lopez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 4th
“I've been working with my team-mate, Sergio Garcia, all weekend, and that has made us both stronger. In the race itself, he was riding very comfortably in the leading group. The pace had been fast on the first two laps, but then it slowed down. I was in third or second almost all the time, as well as leading the race. In the end, we missed out on the podium, but this happens and it makes us stronger ahead of the Dutch TT. I also want to thank my team because the bike was really flying. I'm feeling stronger all the time."
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 6th
“Considering my physical condition after the surgery this weekend has been very positive. Finishing 2nd in qualifying and 6th in race is more than I expected. During the first laps of the race I lost a lot of positions. Now I know that the position of the grid is really important in Moto3 to be in front. I’m looking forward for the next race to be fully fit and then try to keep improving.”
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: DNF
“I’m very disappointed, I feel that I’ve lost a big chance to win the race and fight for the championship. Starting from the 8th row meant it was not easy to arrive to the top group, but I pushed as much as possible. When I arrived in first position I tried to break the group but it was impossible. Then I changed my strategy, I felt like I could win but I was too nervous and I made a mistake. Being positive, now I know that I need to work on my mind to manage these situations. At the same time I showed that I have the speed to be in front every race.”
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|3||Danilo PETRUCCI (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|4||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|5||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|6||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|7||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|8||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|9||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|10||Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|11||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|12||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|13||Sylvain GUINTOLI (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|RT||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|RT||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|RT||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|RT||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Mission Winnow Ducati)|
|RT||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|RT||Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)|
|RT||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|RT||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|RT||Bradley SMITH (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|1||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|3||Jorge NAVARRO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|4||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|5||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|6||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|7||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|8||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|9||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|10||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|11||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|12||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|13||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|14||Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|15||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|16||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|17||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|18||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|19||Jonas FOLGER (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|20||Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)|
|21||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|22||Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|23||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|24||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|25||Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Jake DIXON (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|RT||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|RT||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|RT||Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)|
|RT||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|1||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|2||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|3||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|4||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|5||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|6||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|7||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|8||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|9||Ryusei YAMANAKA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|10||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|11||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|12||Carlos TATAY (Fundacion Andreas Perez 77)|
|13||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|14||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|15||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|16||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|17||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|18||Vicente PEREZ (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|19||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|RT||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|RT||Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|RT||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|RT||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|RT||Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|RT||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|RT||Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|