At the Motorland Aragón circuit, the MotoGP had its last race before moving to the Southern Hemisphere where in a weeks’ time the MotoGP riders will face, for the first time ever, the Thailand GP in Buriram. And, under scorching conditions for this time of the year in Spain, it was Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) who got the win after an intense battle his main rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).
At the beginning of the MotoGP race, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) started from pole position and got off to a good start, but coming to the first corner, Marc Marquez got on the inside line and pushed Lorenzo wide. Lorenzo then tried to get on the throttle earlier, but his rear Michelin tyre lost grip on the dirty part of the track, and the Spanish rider suffered a big highside.
Lorenzo ended what promised to be a great race for him in the first corner, and worst of all, he was later diagnosed with a fractured metatarsal and a dislocated big toe in his right foot, which probably won’t be fully healed by the time the MotoGP riders need to race in Buriram.
Immune to all this, Marquez decided to hold on to the lead of the race in the first moments, and it was Andrea Dovizioso on the second Ducati that tried to counter Marquez, taking with him the Ecstar Suzuki duo of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins.
Dovizioso then passed Marquez, and both were keeping the distance to the pursuers, but by the middle of the race Marquez intensified his pressure on the leader, with Dovizioso trying by any means to hold Marquez behind. The champion eventually managed to pass Dovizioso on a great racing move, a bit more physical than expected, but not beyond the rules.
Dovizioso still tried to pass Marquez, and with that Iannone, who passed his teammate, saw the chance to get the lead with no more than five laps to the end of the race. But Iannone’s try to run with the lead didn’t work, with Dovizioso still getting the Ducati power down on the backstraight of the Aragon track, while Marquez, who seemed to be lost at that moment, made a great comeback and recovered second spot before the end of that lap.
Iannone then couldn’t match the pace from race leaders, and was content with third place, while at the front Dovizioso and Marquez engaged on another enthralling battle, passing each other many times in the last four laps, before Marquez decided the race on another great pass that left Dovizioso without answer.
This meant the return to winning days for Marc Marquez after three straight wins for Ducati, and the champion extended his lead in the championship standings even further over Dovizioso, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) only getting an 8th position and retaining third position in the championship, with the Yamaha bike still having a lot of problems.
As for Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech3), today’s race in Spain was one of the hardest ones he faced this season, and the 18th position is testimony of how hard it was. Syahrin made a great start, and was riding close to the Top 10, but with the first quarter of the race gone, the Malaysian rider started to lose many places, and eventually finished in 18th position.
With this result Hafizh Syahrin will now need to make up seven points in order to catch Franco Morbidelli (MarcVDS Honda) as the Best Rookie title fight heats up
“We made a good start, I was P13 in the beginning, just behind Rossi. I was fully motivated to stay with him, Morbidelli, Nakagami and Johann. I don’t know why, but suddenly after eight laps I lost the rear contact on the ground, didn’t have any grip anymore, I couldn’t turn the bike and it was really hard to ride the bike like this. In the beginning of the race it was good, I believed we could score points in front of the other rookies, but in the end, I couldn’t keep the pace. I was struggling a lot to stop the bike and to turn. Now, I try to continue with this motivation like in the beginning of the race. I don’t know what to do, I just try to keep focused and try to take something away to improve myself and work hard with the team. I really hope Yamaha can find something to improve the bike”, said Syahrin.