MotoGP 2020 Round 11 Aragon

Moto3 Star Masia Is 100th Rider to Win A Grand Prix With Honda

Motorland Aragon, Aragon, October 18, 2020

Report

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.

Comments

MotoGP

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 2nd
 MotoGP Alex Marquez“Honestly I didn’t expect to get a podium from starting in 11th but I was able to recover well. I found myself in a good position, so we did what we could! I knew I could take quite good care of my tires for the end of the race. I enjoyed every overtake, but I was really on the limit with the front tire. Even so, it’s great to be back on the podium and to do it in the dry, we really showed our potential all weekend. We still need to work on Qualifying, but we can enjoy what we achieved today. I want to again say thank you to the Repsol Honda Team for believing in me, supporting me, guiding with me and never giving up. They gave me an amazing bike and I enjoyed the whole race.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 5th
 MotoGP Takaaki Nakagami“I’m pretty happy to finish top independent rider and it was nice to be in the parc fermé after the race. The race was tough – it was difficult to manage the rear tire – but we did our best. Congratulations to Alex – he did very well, his riding performance was very good. We will try our best to fight for the podium at the next race here at Aragon. After this race I’m happy and I want to say thanks to all my team, who did a really great job all weekend. Let’s see the next race!”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 8th
 MotoGP Cal Crutchlow“Unfortunately we had an issue with the clutch on the warm-up lap, so I had to make a careful start. After the first few laps it got better and gradually I was able to start fighting and pushing through. I think I did a good job getting back to eighth, I battled and I had a pretty good pace. I’m pleased with the way I rode but I’m disappointed because I could’ve had a good result if we had got away at the start. The arm still isn’t fantastic, but it was okay.”

Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda Team: 17th
 MotoGP Stefan Bradl“It was an exciting race, starting last was a disaster but we were able to make up some positions and have some good fights. We have been working with the geometry of the bike and we are improving, step by step. Our pace in warm-up was not so bad but unfortunately it didn’t lead to a better result in terms of position. We’re making progress, so coming back next week is a positive thing to let us try and improve again. Congratulations again to Alex for another great podium, the Repsol Honda Team is doing a great job.”

Moto2

Sam Lowes, EG 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
“I’m happy. I didn’t quite feel as good as the rest of the weekend. But I’m happy with the pace, I was constant and maybe a bit faster than I expected. I think I can improve for next weekend. It’s nice to be in the fight for the championship. After missing the first race in Qatar, I’ve come back strong and I’m in the mix. It’s the first time in my career I’ve had four podiums in a row and had back-to-back wins. It’s a really good moment for me. I just need to keep this momentum. The team are doing a fantastic job. Now we just need to be smart race-by-race and take the good points. I’m really happy with how it’s going and I’m looking forward to Aragon 2!”

Enea Bastianini, Italtrans Racing Team: 2nd
“The feeling is incredible! I started from 12th, because my feeling with the bike yesterday and also this morning was a disaster. I started aggressively and then tried to be fast but also soft on the tires. Finally, step by step, it was possible to make a podium finish. Leading the championship is fantastic for me, so my big thanks to the team. Now we have the next few races and we will see if I can be fast like today.”

Jorge Martin, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 3rd
“I’m very happy. This podium feels like a victory. It was a tough Grand Prix but the team did an incredible job setting up the bike just how I needed. We still have to take a small step forward on the final laps next week, but I am satisfied with the performance we had at this round.”

Andi Farid Izdihar, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 22nd
 Moto2 Andi Farid Izdihar“A rider crashed on the second corner, just in the middle of the group, and I lost the contact with the group trying to avoid the crash. But, step by step I tried to keep my best rhythm. Finally, the most important thing was to finish the race. The main goal was to be in points position. It's not easy, but for sure next week I'll try even harder.”

Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 23rd
 Moto2 Somkiat Chantra“The race started very well for me. I felt confident and I was riding close to the points group. But suddenly, after five laps, my rear tire starts to slide dramatically. I could not open the throttle as I liked, because the spinning got worse every lap. We need to understand the reason and work hard for a better result next week.”

Moto3

Jaume Masia, Leopard Racing Honda: 1st
 Moto3 Jaume Masia“I’m happy: a victory is always a victory. This weekend has been difficult but the team hasn’t given up and we’ve proven it. This result becomes a motivation for the next races. Let’s work harder than ever and let’s go for it!”

John McPhee, Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda: 5th
 Moto3 John McPhee“It was a tough fight today, especially with the long lap penalty as I dropped to 17th. I then just tried to make my way forward, which was tough. Originally I thought about tire management but after the long lap I just pushed as hard as I could every lap. I was really happy with my rhythm and I was able to catch the front group with ease. Once I got there I struggled a little to have that edge to be in the fight. Then on the second to last lap I lost the group but I’m really happy to be P5 today. It’s some good points on the board and it shows that we’ve got a good rhythm. I’m just looking forward to the race next week now.”

Jeremy Alcoba, Kommerling Gresini Moto3: 6th
 Moto3 Jeremy Alcoba “It was an incredible race. I never raced with the hard tire but it was a good choice. I didn’t have a great feeling with the soft one, so we tried this option and I think at the end of the race we were among the fastest. Too bad for a not-as-great qualifying, but in general I must be content, and I would like to thank the team because they gave me 100 percent. Now we’ll enjoy the moment and then we’ll put our heads down ahead of next weekend: the goal is to keep improving!”

Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 14th
 Moto3 Ai Ogura"After morning warm-up we thought a lot about what tire to use for the race, and I decided on the hard option for the rear tire. I think it was the wrong choice because I had grip problems during the race. But some other riders chose the hard tire and finished in the front of the race. I didn't have enough confidence to be in front. We need to work hard next week – we have seen many details we need to improve, which is good for the next weekend.”

Yuki Kunii, Honda Team Asia: 20th
 Moto3 Yuki Kunii "The overall analysis of the weekend is that we improved from last weekend in France. About the race, my start was again horrible. After the first lap I was at the back of the group. I need to improve that point. After that I had a good pace, even riding alone, catching the group and finishing P20. The positive thing is that next weekend we race again here, and we will have the chance to compare all the data, evaluating how can I improve, especially in qualifying.”

Results

MotoGP

Rank Rider
1Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)
2Alex MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
3Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
4Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
5Johann ZARCO (Esponsorama Racing)
6Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
7Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)
8Stefan BRADL (Repsol Honda Team)
9Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
10Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
11Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
12Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
13Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)
14Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
15Iker LECUONA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
RTAlex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
RTJack MILLER (Pramac Racing)
RTFranco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
RTCal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)
RTTito RABAT (Esponsorama Racing)
RTBradley SMITH (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
RTValentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)

Moto2

1Sam LOWES (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
2Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
3Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Jake DIXON (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
5Remy GARDNER (Onexox TKKR SAG Team)
6Marcos RAMIREZ (Tennor American Racing)
7Hector GARZO (Flexbox HP 40)
8Joe ROBERTS (Tennor American Racing)
9Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10Simone CORSI (MV Agusta Forward Racing)
11Augusto FERNANDEZ (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
12Thomas LUTHI (Liqui Moly Intact GP)
13Edgar PONS (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
14Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Forward Racing)
15Marcel SCHROTTER (Liqui Moly Intact GP)
16Xavi VIERGE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
17Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Italtrans Racing Team)
18Nicolo BULEGA (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
19Hafizh SYAHRIN (Inde Aspar Team Moto2)
20Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)
21Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)
22Andi IZDIHAR (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
23Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
240
25Kasma Daniel KASMAYUDIN (Onexox TKKR SAG Team)
26Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI(NTS RW Racing GP)
27Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
RTMarco BEZZECCHI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
RTFabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
RTLuca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)

Moto3

1Jaume MASIA (Leopard Racing)
2Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)
3Raul FERNANDEZ (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Romano FENATI (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)
5John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
6Jeremy ALCOBA (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)
7Albert ARENAS (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3)
8Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
9Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)
10Dennis FOGGIA (Leopard Racing)
11Kaito TOBA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
12Carlos TATAY (Reale Avintia Moto3)
13Ayumu SASAKI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
14Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)
15Deniz ONCU (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
16Filip SALAC (Rivacold Snipers Team)
17Alonso LOPEZ (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)
18Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
19Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
20Yuki KUNII (Honda Team Asia)
21Riccardo ROSSI (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy)
22Jason DUPASQUIER (CarXpert PruestelGP)
23Stefano NEPA (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3)
24Ryusei YAMANAKA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
25Barry BALTUS (CarXpert PruestelGP)
26Davide PIZZOLI (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy)
27Khairul Idham Pawi (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
RTMaximilian KOFLER (CIP Green Power)
RTAndrea MIGNO (SKY Racing Team VR46)
RTGabriel RODRIGO (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)

Photos

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Alex Marquez

 MotoGP Takaaki Nakagami

 MotoGP Takaaki Nakagami

 MotoGP Takaaki Nakagami

 MotoGP Takaaki Nakagami

 MotoGP Cal Crutchlow

 MotoGP Cal Crutchlow

 MotoGP Cal Crutchlow

 MotoGP Stefan Bradl

 MotoGP Stefan Bradl

 Moto2 Andi Farid Izdihar

 Moto2 Andi Farid Izdihar

 Moto2 Andi Farid Izdihar

 Moto2 Andi Farid Izdihar

 Moto2 Somkiat Chantra

 Moto2 Somkiat Chantra

 Moto2 Somkiat Chantra

 Moto3 Jaume Masia

 Moto3 Jaume Masia

 Moto3 Jaume Masia

 Moto3 John Mcphee

 Moto3 John Mcphee

 Moto3 Jeremy Alcoba

 Moto3 Jeremy Alcoba

 Moto3 Tatsuki Suzuki

 Moto3 Dennis Foggia

 Moto3 Dennis Foggia

 Moto3 Ai Ogura

 Moto3 Ai Ogura

 Moto3 Filip Salac

 Moto3 Filip Salac

 Moto3 Niccolò Antonelli

 Moto3 Niccolò Antonelli

 Moto3 Sergio Garcia

 Moto3 Sergio Garcia

 Moto3 Yuki Kunii

 Moto3 Yamanaka Ryusei

 Moto3 Yamanaka Ryusei

 Moto3 Khairul Idham Pawi

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