Just 0.043s separated Marc Marquez from victory at an explosive Italian GP as his Repsol Honda Team teammate Jorge Lorenzo collected more world championship points.
The hottest conditions of the weekend, the track at almost 50°C, awaited the MotoGP World Championship as they 23-rider field lined up for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. From a record-breaking pole position, Marc Marquez made a perfect launch to lead from fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.
A race-long battle for victory saw Marquez fending off Petrucci, Dovizioso and Rins for the majority of the race. In true Mugello style it all came down to the final lap of the race, the reigning world champion saving himself for a late attack. A small mistake at San Donato opened a gap to Petrucci that was fractionally too big to close, Marquez taking second by 0.043s as they roared across the line.
With a haul of 20 points, Marquez extends his championship lead to 12 points over Dovizioso. Honda have a six point advantage over Ducati in the Constructor Championship.
A strong launch off the line saw Jorge Lorenzo move into 15th on the opening lap and with some clear space on track. Able to lap consistently, Lorenzo was able to avoid trouble and steadily gained positions during the course of the race. Crossing the line in 13th, Lorenzo picks up more valuable championship points and experience on the RC213V.
LCR Honda Rider Takaaki Nakagami achieved his best finish to date on the Honda RC213V, crossing the line in fifth and as the first Independent Team rider.
The MotoGP World Championship now enjoys a week off before the Catalan GP, the home race of both Jorge Lorenzo and championship leader Marc Marquez. There’s not long to wait until the lights go out on the Catalan GP on Sunday, June 16.
Marquez lit up the Qatar night with second place after a race-long brawl as Lorenzo worked his way up to 13th place.
With Warm Up held in the late afternoon and still under the daylight, it only offered the Repsol Honda Team a brief chance to confirm their settings ahead of 2019’s opening Grand Prix. As the sun set and the floodlights flickered to life the ambient temperature settled at 18ºC with the track at 19ºC.
Marc Marquez held his own in the opening laps, keeping out of trouble and moving ahead of the chasing pack with Andrea Dovizioso. The reigning World Champion was soon joined in his hunt for victory, a frantic melee between the leading seven riders playing out over the next 20 laps. Just 0.023s split Marquez from Andrea Dovizioso as they crossed the line, Marquez opening his 2019 account with 20 points.
After yesterdays pair of heavy falls, Jorge Lorenzo’s Repsol Honda Team debut was heavily restricted by lingering pain in his back and shoulder. Focusing on his own rhythm and understanding the Honda over race distance, Lorenzo battled to 13th to earn three points on his debut.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the podium in third.
The MotoGP™ World Championship now prepares for Round Two at the Argentina Grand Prix, March 29 – 31 hosted at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit.
Repsol Honda’s current champion Marc Marquez took a stunning second win of the season this weekend in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. This is the rider’s second win at Jerez. With 16 laps to go Marquez passed Lorenzo of Ducati and then took the title.
Things did not go as well for Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow of Honda who both crashed out prior to finishing.
Cal Crutchlow, riding for LCR Honda on a CASTROL RC213V took MotoGP victory yesterday for the third time in his career. He secured Honda’s 750th Grand Prix victory at the end of a thrilling battle with Frenchman Johann Zarco and Spaniard Alex Rins at Termas de Rio Hondo.
The Argentine Grand Prix was less successful for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), who had dominated practice and were both expected to be in the battle for victory.
Pedrosa started from the front row, only to fall on the first lap, following an incident with Zarco. Marquez started from the second row and rode at an astonishing pace but finished outside the points after suffering several penalties.
The second round of Grand Prix racing’s 70th season was certainly worthy of history – it was a thriller from start to finish. The 24-lap race got underway late, due to changing track conditions that caused 23 of the 24 riders to leave the grid to switch to slick tires. The race finally got underway on a track that was still damp in many places from earlier rain. Marquez took the lead on the second lap, riding at amazing speed, despite the treacherous conditions. However, he was given a ride-through penalty for a grid infringement, which dropped him out of the fight.
That left a four-way contest for the lead between Crutchlow, Zarco, Rins and pole-starter Jack Miller, who later faded to leave the other three swapping positions until the very end. Crutchlow rode a superb race, saving his tires at the back of the group and only pushing forward in the final stages, when each of the trio took turns in the lead. His winning advantage over Zarco was just 0.251 seconds, with Rins a further two seconds back.
This was the 32-year-old Briton’s third MotoGP victory, all with Honda RC213V machinery, following his successes in the 2016 Czech and Australian Grands Prix.