Marquez seals victory following stunning battle at Mugello

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Battle of the year sees Lorenzo push Marquez all the way with Rossi in third

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez sealed his sixth win from six starts after a thrilling Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello that saw the reigning MotoGP World Champion going head to head with Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo with both Spaniards pushing eachother to the absolute limit while taking the third step on the podium was Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi.

I am very happy with this win; Jorge and I had a really good battle and had a lot of fun out there!

Marc Marquez

The 23-lap race was set for a great showdown from the start with Lorenzo making the most of his front row start and pushing into the lead while Marquez lost a number of places before re-grouping and starting to make his way back to the front. Rossi had a great start and within a few laps was right up at the front after a lowly 10th place start. Dani Pedrosa didn’t get off the line as good as normal on his Repsol Honda RC213V and was circulating in 8th early on with Ducati Team rider Cal Crutchlow and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro.

The second third of the race saw Lorenzo out in front being chased by Marquez who had dispatched of Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone while Rossi was also quick to move past his fellow Italians in order to give himself hope of catching Marquez. While the front-runners were busy stretch their lead on the rest of the field, there was bad luck for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith early on while Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens) also crashed out of the race.

There was a big incident for Stefan Bradl in the middle of the race when Cal Crutchlow went down and his Ducati GP14 slid across the track leaving LCR Honda’s Bradl with nowhere to go and colliding with the machine sending the German rider into the air. By this stage Pedrosa was moving back up towards the front and was in 4th place in the final third of the race but a country mile off Rossi who was in a solitary third position with the seven times MotoGP champion unable to make any improvements on his pace with Marquez and Lorenzo out on their own at the front.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

The final 6 laps was a showdown that the Italian crowd were hoping for and albeit not involving Rossi, they were treated to a fierce battle between Marquez and Lorenzo. With multiple passes and elbows bashing together, neither rider would give any quarter and with each pass they were right back under one another within a few turns. While Lorenzo looked like he was able to pull a few tenths on his rival, Marquez was able to pull the gap back with ease and on the final lap Lorenzo ran just a little wide nearing the end of the lap and this was enough for Marquez to capitalize on to take his 6th win of the season.

Marquez was delighted with his victory and also his first real battle of 2014. He said, “I am very happy with this win; Jorge and I had a really good battle and had a lot of fun out there! I wasn’t expecting the victory, because it has come at a circuit that I had marked on the calendar as being one for picking up Championship points – not thinking about winning the race. However, I saw that it would be possible and took more risks than at other races, because Jorge and Vale were very fast and we were finding it difficult to keep up the same pace.

I think that we did a great job all weekend, and the change that we made to sixth gear in the warm-up was very important too; we did this to help pass using a slipstream at the end of the straight. I am very pleased with how the entire weekend went, and now it is time to look ahead to my home Grand Prix - racing at Montmelo is always special,” Marquez added.

Lorenzo fought side by side with Marquez until being passed with seven laps to go which sparked the best battle of the year with the two times MotoGP champion narrowly missing out on his first win of the year and speaking afterwards he said, “I’m happy, I could be more happy if I had won but I tried my best. Probably in the last corner I should have stayed more in the inside to try to overtake him on the inside line but I made a mistake and went wider and it was impossible to overtake him on the straight.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

When I feel physically strong and the bike has a small improvement I can be there and fight with him. We have some margin, some physical condition to improve for me and the bike can make another step so we will get better. I’ve worked really hard to be more physically fit and the team also worked very hard this weekend to give me a great bike, so thank you to them,” Lorenzo added.

Despite being unable to catch the front two riders, Rossi secured his 187th podium on his 300th Grand Prix with a solid third position to the delight of the masses of his fans that made the annual pilgrimage to see their hero race. Speaking afterwards he said, “Today was a great day for all the people and for MotoGP. Mugello is one of the greatest racetracks in the world; a lot of people around and the race was very funny with a great battle between Jorge and Marc. I wasn’t too far from them and all the people were happy for my podium. It is a great emotion as always, it was a solid race from fourth row to third.

I think I had the chance to battle with them but unfortunately we made a mistake yesterday in practice but we will try in Barcelona again. The podium in Mugello is always fantastic, it's the most special moment of the season, it’s like a great concert. It's a great party for MotoGP and motorcycling because the passion in Italy is amazing. This is my 300th GP, so I’m in the middle of my career, another 300 before the end!” Rossi added.

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Event Italian GP
Article type Race reports
Tags featured, hatch, honda, lorenzo, marquez, mugello, rossi, yamaha