Today was a historic day for Honda Motor Co., Ltd, with young Spaniard Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) winning the Moto3 race to become the 100th rider to win a Grand Prix on Honda machinery.
Masia joins an illustrious rollcall of Honda winners, from the company’s first GP victor Tom Phillis to legends like reigning MotoGP king Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), five-times 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan, 1980s genius Freddie Spencer and 1960s hero Mike Hailwood. Fittingly, the 69th rider to win a Grand Prix on a Honda was the much-loved Nicky Hayden, who always raced with the number 69.
Three hours after Masia’s historic Moto3 success reigning Moto2 World Champion Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) came within 0.263 seconds of scoring his first MotoGP victory.
The premier-class rookie, who achieved his first MotoGP podium in last Sunday’s rain-soaked French GP, had a breathtaking ride from the fourth row of the grid to take second place, underlining his amazing forward progress on his RC213V. Marquez, whose brother Marc won the last four Aragon MotoGP races, also scored Honda’s 850th premier-class podium.
Marquez arrived here for the first of two back-to-back races boosted by his stunning ride to second place in treacherous conditions at Le Mans.
The 24-year-old was immediately on the pace at chilly but dry Aragon, ending the first three practice sessions seventh, then improving to second in FP4, when riders usually work on their race pace. His speed in FP, FP2 and FP3 promoted him to the Q2 qualifying session, which he finished 11th quickest, unable to get the best out of his tires.
His race was phenomenal. Ninth on the first lap he started moving forward, overtaking one more experienced rider after another. Marquez is a thinking rider, so even though he was pushing hard he was trying to conserve his tires, because the Aragon circuit causes a lot of tire degradation.
Using the speed and excellent turning of his RC213V to brilliant effect Marquez was the fastest rider on track during the middle stages of the race, which moved him into third place on lap 14 of 23. But he was far from finished. Five laps later he snatched second from Joan Mir and then he went after race leader Alex Rins. With four laps to go he was right behind his countryman. Several times it seemed he might be able to grab the lead, but at the end of lap 21 and at the start of 22 he had a couple of scares, which told him that his tires were past their best. He still kept pushing, ending the race more than two seconds ahead of Mir.
The result was greeted with delight by the older Marquez, watching from home while recovering from injuries sustained at the season-opening Spanish GP.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) finished top independent-team rider, three places behind Marquez and less than two seconds off a first MotoGP podium. The result maintained the 28-year-old from Chiba’s 100 percent points-scoring record – all of them inside the top ten – and he is the only rider on the grid to have finished every race in the points, underlining his impressive ability to ride fast and safe.
Yesterday Nakagami achieved his first top-ten qualifying performance since August’s Styrian GP, where he took his first MotoGP front row. He started well from seventh, got pushed back one place by Marquez and then started chasing his fellow RC213V rider through the pack. He couldn’t quite match the pace of his former Moto2 rival. He moved into sixth just before half-distance and on the last lap swept past San Marino GP winner Franco Morbidelli to finish fifth, his second-best result of 2020.
Team-mate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) had high hopes of fighting for a podium finish after qualifying third fastest, his first time on the front row this season, during which he has battled injury and post-surgery problems.
The 34-year-old Briton initially made a good getaway but struggled with clutch slip during the first few laps. That dropped him from third on the grid to 12th on the second lap but once the issue settled down he was one of the faster riders on the track, making some great passes to move into the top ten around one-third distance. He had some great battles with other riders, finally taking eighth, less than a second behind seventh-placed Andrea Dovizioso.
Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) wasn’t able to repeat his strong top-ten performance at Le Mans, coming home 17th, just outside the points. The HRC test rider, who was riding Marc Marquez’s bikes for the eighth time this year, started from the back of the grid but was much better with his race pace, so he made progress and enjoyed several exciting duels with rivals.
A dramatic Moto2 race completely rewrote the story of the battle for the 2020 Moto2 World Championship. Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) went into this round leading the title chase, but he slid out sixth place in the early stages. Team-mate Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) led much of the race, looking likely to take over the championship lead, but he crashed out on the penultimate lap. Both riders were unhurt.
Finally on the last lap Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) won the battle for second place from Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) to lead the championship, two points ahead of race winner Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), who followed up last Sunday’s Le Mans victory with another superbly judged ride.
Marini now stands third overall, five points behind Bastianini and three behind Lowes, while Bezzecchi is 25 points down, with four races remaining.
Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) scored his first top ten in France last weekend but was unable to repeat the performance this afternoon. The 21-year-old Thai rider ended the race in 23rd place after running out of rear grip in the early stages, so he couldn’t get the drive he needed when exiting corners.
Grand Prix rookie Andi Farid Izdihar (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) beat his team-mate for the first time, taking 22nd place, almost a second in front of Chantra. The 23-year-old Indonesian is still chasing his first World Championship points and was hoping for a top 15 today, until he lost time avoiding another rider’s crash.
A famous Moto3 victory went to Masia who forced his way to the front to win his first Grand Prix with Honda and become the 100th rider to win a GP race on Honda machinery. This was a superb ride from the 19-year-old Spaniard, who had to fight his way through the second group to chase and then catch the leaders in the final laps.
Masia took the lead for the first time with three laps remaining, using the impressive speed of his NSF250RW on the track’s long main straight. The final lap could hardly have been closer, with Masia battling for the win with the lead group of seven riders. He finally took the checkered flag less than one hundredth of a second ahead of South African Darryn Binder.
Masia’s victory – after a frantic battle – was Honda’s 235th in the Moto3/125cc class and returned Honda to the lead of the Moto3 Constructors World Championship. Honda is chasing a fourth consecutive and record-breaking 20th constructors crown in the category.
The top seven was covered by less than four tenths of a second, with 26-year-old Briton John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in fifth place and 18-year-old Spaniard Jeremy Alcoba (Kommerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) in sixth.
McPhee’s result was particularly impressive, because he had to take a long-lap penalty, awarded for a rules infringement in qualifying, which cost him more than two seconds.
Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) spent much of the race in the lead group but slipped back to eighth at the finish, only 1.9 seconds behind Masia. Czech Grand Prix victor Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) completed the top ten.
Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) retained second place in the points chase, despite a complicated race which he finished in 14th place. The 19-year-old had qualified a promising eighth fastest, his best grid position since he took pole position at last month’s San Marino GP but chose a too-hard rear tire for the race, so he couldn’t fight. Ogura will learn from this and be stronger next Sunday.
Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) wasn’t able to find his pace in the early laps, so he lost time and positions. After that the 17-year-old from Setagaya’s pace wasn’t so bad and he moved forward to score his second consecutive top-20 result.
Tony Arbolino (Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW), who was in the title fight after podiums at the last two races, had to miss this weekend’s action. Despite a negative COVID-19 test the 20-year-old Italian had been in contact with someone who tested positive, so according to MotoGP’s COVID-19 protocol he wasn’t allowed to attend this event.
MotoGP stays put this week, for next weekend’s Teruel Grand Prix at MotorLand. The event is named after the province that’s home to the circuit.
|1||Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)|
|2||Alex MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|5||Johann ZARCO (Esponsorama Racing)|
|6||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|7||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|8||Stefan BRADL (Repsol Honda Team)|
|9||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|10||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|11||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|12||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|13||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|14||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|15||Iker LECUONA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|RT||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|RT||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|RT||Tito RABAT (Esponsorama Racing)|
|RT||Bradley SMITH (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|RT||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|1||Sam LOWES (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|3||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|4||Jake DIXON (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|5||Remy GARDNER (Onexox TKKR SAG Team)|
|6||Marcos RAMIREZ (Tennor American Racing)|
|7||Hector GARZO (Flexbox HP 40)|
|8||Joe ROBERTS (Tennor American Racing)|
|9||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|10||Simone CORSI (MV Agusta Forward Racing)|
|11||Augusto FERNANDEZ (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|12||Thomas LUTHI (Liqui Moly Intact GP)|
|13||Edgar PONS (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|14||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Forward Racing)|
|15||Marcel SCHROTTER (Liqui Moly Intact GP)|
|16||Xavi VIERGE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|17||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|18||Nicolo BULEGA (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|19||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Inde Aspar Team Moto2)|
|20||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|21||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|22||Andi IZDIHAR (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|23||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|25||Kasma Daniel KASMAYUDIN (Onexox TKKR SAG Team)|
|26||Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI(NTS RW Racing GP)|
|27||Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|RT||Marco BEZZECCHI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|RT||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|1||Jaume MASIA (Leopard Racing)|
|2||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|3||Raul FERNANDEZ (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|4||Romano FENATI (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|5||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|6||Jeremy ALCOBA (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)|
|7||Albert ARENAS (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3)|
|8||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|9||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|10||Dennis FOGGIA (Leopard Racing)|
|11||Kaito TOBA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|12||Carlos TATAY (Reale Avintia Moto3)|
|13||Ayumu SASAKI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|14||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|15||Deniz ONCU (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|16||Filip SALAC (Rivacold Snipers Team)|
|17||Alonso LOPEZ (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|18||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|19||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|20||Yuki KUNII (Honda Team Asia)|
|21||Riccardo ROSSI (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy)|
|22||Jason DUPASQUIER (CarXpert PruestelGP)|
|23||Stefano NEPA (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3)|
|24||Ryusei YAMANAKA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|25||Barry BALTUS (CarXpert PruestelGP)|
|26||Davide PIZZOLI (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy)|
|27||Khairul Idham Pawi (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|RT||Maximilian KOFLER (CIP Green Power)|
|RT||Andrea MIGNO (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)|