From seventh on the grid to the 70th win in his career: In Malaysia, Marc Marquez took his ninth win this season and his 44th in MotoGP, earning Honda its 24th Premier Class Constructors Title. Furthermore, thanks to today’s win of newly crowned Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin, Honda has achieved also the Moto3 Constructor Title bringing its tally to 69 over all classes, a record in the Championship’s history.
Such were the numbers, but today’s competition was also another master class race for the 2018 MotoGP World Champion, who recovered from the third row of the grid to second place within five laps of the start before beginning a long chase of erstwhile leader Valentino Rossi. Marc was preparing for what seemed certain would be a battle for the victory when the Italian slipped off four laps from the end.
On the other side of the garage, Dani Pedrosa matched his best result of this season, taking fifth place after displaying a strong pace during the race.
Now the Repsol Honda Team will pack up and fly back to Europe, where Marc will pay a visit to the Honda stand at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday before heading home to Spain.
It was another master-class race for Championship leader Marc Marquez, who took the first MotoGP win ever in Thailand in front of a cheering, enthusiast crowd of more than 100.000 spectators. Marc’s seventh victory of the season is also the 68th of his career, putting him equal with Jorge Lorenzo as the fifth-most winning rider across all classes. It was a hat-track weekend for the Spaniard, who earned pole position, set the lap record and earned the victory.
Marc’s win came down to the last corner of the last lap, thanks to a thrilling battle with title contender Andrea Dovizioso. The points scenario makes the next round, the Grand Prix of Japan, the first match point for the MotoGP Title.
On the other side of the garage, a crash at turn five on lap 18 was a true shame for Dani Pedrosa, as it ended what until then had been his best race of the season; Pedrosa was charging forward from the back, with hopes of launching himself into the podium battle.
Yesterday Sunday 12th August, Marc Marquez scored a hard-fought second place at a sunny Red Bull Ring, sharing the podium with race-winner Jorge Lorenzo and third-place rider Andrea Dovizioso.
Marc ultimately missed the win by only 0.130”, and definitely not for lack of trying. After taking the lead on the second lap, he tried to pull a gap at the front, but Lorenzo and Dovizioso closely chased him for most of the race. An inevitable battle was looming.
It began on lap 19 and had all of the 92,955 spectators on the edges of their seats until the last lap. At that point, it was duel between the two fellow countrymen, as Dovizioso had fallen slightly behind.
Although he still has yet to tame the Red Bull Ring, Marc leaves the track with an increased advantage in the points standings (+59 over Valentino Rossi) and the enjoyment he always feels after having given it his all in a race battle.
Dani Pedrosa also made some good overtakes today that allowed him to cross the finish line in seventh place, despite a mishap soon after the start having dropped him from a ninth-place grid spot to 14th at the end of the first lap.
The Repsol Honda Team is now leading the Team standings, Honda the Constructor and Marc Marquez the Rider Standings.
At the Czech GP, Marc Marquez celebrated from the third step of the podium the special milestone of 100 MotoGP races, showing once again the reasons behind the impressive numbers of his still relatively short Premier Class career.
His 71st MotoGP podium out of 100 starts (71%) was the best result the young Spaniard could achieve today, so after sticking with Lorenzo and eventual winner Dovizioso until the last lap of the race, he ultimately settled for third. At the same time, he achieved his weekend goal of extending his Championship lead at a track where he did not feel totally comfortable. He arrived in the Czech Republic with a 46-point advantage on Valentino Rossi and left with +49.
The other statistics related to his special 100th MotoGP milestone are 40 wins (40%), 68 Pole positions (68%), and 42 race-fastest-laps (42%).
Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who started from 10th on the grid, continued to struggle in corner exits; only at the end of the race was he able to recover two positions and cross the finish line in eighth place.
Tomorrow, the Repsol Honda Team will remain at Brno for a one-day post-race test before moving on to Austria for next Sunday’s Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring Circuit.
Following two back-to-back wins and a two-week break, Marc Marquez now has the Czech GP on his radar, an event where he will hit the special milestone of 100 MotoGP races.
The landmark is a good occasion for a quick look at the amazing achievements the 25-year-old has tallied so far in his still relatively short Premier Class career. In the five seasons and 99 MotoGP races since his debut in the class at the 2013 Qatar GP, Marc has so far earned:
48 pole positions
42 fastest laps
4 World Titles (the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class World Championships)
The Championship leader looks forward to updating some of those statistics next Sunday, at a track where he won last year and where he attended a one-day private test in early July alongside teammate Dani Pedrosa, who has also been very successful at the Czech circuit through his career.
The Repsol Honda pair have achieved two 1-2 finishes at the Czech GP, in 2013 and 2017. Marc holds the Pole record of 1’54.596” (2016), Dani the Circuit record at 1’56.027” (2014).
At the Grand Prix České Republiky:
Marc Marquez has 3 wins: 1 x Moto2 (2012) and 2 x MotoGP (2013, 2017), plus an additional 3 podiums and 4 pole positions.
Dani Pedrosa has 4 wins: 1 x 125 (2003), 1 x 250 (2005), and 2 x MotoGP (2012, 2014), plus an additional 7 podiums and 2 pole positions.
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.