Repsol Honda takes a stranglehold on the MotoGP™ championship with four rounds remaining.
Marc Marquez returned to winning form at Motorland Aragon, his sixth victory of the season helping the Repsol Honda to take a stranglehold on the MotoGP™ championship with four rounds remaining.
Although he was pressured over the remainder of the race by Lorenzo, Marquez held on to take the chequered flag by 1.356 seconds ahead of his compatriot, while Valentino Rossi took third place on the other Yamaha Factory Racing M1 after an entertaining battle for the final podium position. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT finisher at Aragon, finishing in eleventh place.
Ambient and track temperatures were cooler today, with a reading of 31°C recorded at the start of the race. The lower temperatures resulted in all riders selecting softer rear slick options, while four riders – including Marquez and Lorenzo – opted for the soft compound front slick. The pace of this year’s Aragon Grand Prix was the fastest ever recorded at this circuit, with the overall race time bettering the old mark by seven seconds and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa setting a new race record lap of 1’48.565 on lap two.
Marquez’s sixth win of the year stretches his lead in the championship over Lorenzo to thirty-nine points, while Pedrosa remains third in the standings and a further twenty points behind after his second DNF of the season.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “Congratulations to Repsol Honda and Marc on their victory today, both he and Jorge gave everything they had and it was fantastic watching them push each other to the limit. It was a great shame that Dani suffered from a technical issue today as he was looking so strong in the race, but I am sure we will see him back challenging for the win at Sepang.
I think the prospect of watching an exciting battle between the championship contenders was a key factor in the large crowds at Aragon this year compared to last, and I hope that we will see big crowds at the remaining races as the championship heads towards a thrilling conclusion.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Today’s temperatures were the coolest of the race weekend but they didn’t drop to a level that resulted in many riders opting for the soft compound front slick, with ultimately only four riders selecting this option.
The cool weather also meant that no riders selected harder rear slick options for the race. Both the soft and hard compound front slick performed well in the race, as the teams and riders were able to take advantage of the different characteristics these two compound options offer.
The overall race time was the quickest ever here and new qualifying and race lap records were set, so on the whole this was a positive weekend for Bridgestone.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “The start of the race was not so good but I was able to be aggressive on the opening few corners and only lost around a second to Lorenzo on the first lap, after which I was able to recover step by step. After Dani passed me I started to feel better with the bike though I did lose some time after I touched him at the end of the back. I was on the limit for many laps after that point, but I could catch and pass Jorge quite quickly and getting twenty-five points here was very important.”