Stunning Marquez seals third victory of the year at Laguna Seca

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Repsol Honda rookie extends championship lead with devastating win

Marc Marquez stormed to the third victory of his maiden MotoGP campaign with a thrilling performance at the Red Bull US Grand Prix with the Repsol Honda rider showing devastating speed to take maximum points ahead of Stefan Bradl taking his first ever podium in the premier class or the LCR Honda team while Valentino Rossi came home in third position for the Yamaha Factory Racing team.

I am very happy, because we weren't expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca.

Marc Marquez

Bradl got the holeshot going into turn one in the 30 lap race with Rossi streaking into 2nd from his second row starting position and he was immediately on the back of Bradl while Marquez fell back a few places at the beginning. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) both got their races underway fighting for 5th position with both injured riders not letting eachother break away while Cal Crutchlow didn’t get a great start on his second bike following a crash in morning warm-up with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider in 7th early on.

Marquez didn’t take long in getting back up to the front of the race with the Spaniard taking less than a lap to get up to Rossi’s tail and the rookie made what looked an impossible move at the top of the infamous Corckscrew turn but Rossi gave way at the last second allowing Marquez through albeit by running into the gravel with shades of Rossi’s move on Casey Stoner at the same corner in 2008. There was bad luck for both Power Electronics Aspar riders early on in the race with Randy De Puniet retiring with an engine failure while Aleix Espargaro crashed out but was unhurt.

With Rossi now dealt with, Marquez then set out to reel in Bradl and there was no doubt of the Spaniard’s ability to do so and within a few laps he was on the rear of Bradl’s RC213V but he remained behind the German for nearly half of the race until lap 14 when he went passed and immediately began to build on his lead and led the remainder of the race and crossing the finish line triumphantly. Rossi meanwhile as being chased down by Alvaro Bautista on the Go&Fun Honda Gresini machine and the Spaniard was right on the seven time MotoGP World Champion for the majority of the race but couldn’t find his way passed.

The battle between Pedrosa and Lorenzo was close all race with both men circulating in tandem until Pedrosa made a move on his fellow countryman halfway through the race and both would remain in 5th and 6th. Crutchlow remained in 7th with the British rider unable to bridge the gap to the leads on his second machine. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti was another retiree from the race with the Italian rider experiencing a mechanical problem. The Ducati Team riders Andre Dovisioso and Nicky Hayden were locked in battle throughout the race and both men tried to break away but were unable to and 8th place would finally go to Hayden with Dovizioso in 9th and Hector Barbera crossing the line in 10th on the Avintia Blusens CRT machine.

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Alex de Angelis ended his race in 11th for the Ignite Pramac Racing team with NGM Mobile Forward racing’s Colin Edwards in 12th. Yonny Hernandez ended his race in 13th on the Came IodaRacing Project machine with Karel Abraham in 14th for the Cardion AB Motoracing team. Paul Bird Motorsport rider Yonny Hernandez finished in 15th while Avintia Blusens rider Hiroshi Aoyama finished in 16th place. GO&Fun Honda Gresini rider Bryan Staring ended his race in 17th place while Lukas Pesek took 18th and final place on board the Came IodaRacing Project machine. Michael Laverty failed to finish the race despite the Paul Bird Motorsport team rider running well throughout the race.

Marquez was thrilled with his third ever MotoGP win and said afterwards that he didn’t expect to be so fast in the race. He said, “I am very happy, because we weren't expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn't think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tyres got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin,”

Taking his first MotoGP podium was a dream come true for Bradl, “It’s a great result for us,” he said while continuing, “We did a good job all across the weekend. Of course expectations were high after I had pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well. I struggled a little bit. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker but, with the full tank of fuel, I had a few problems with the front. When he caught me I saw that he had some more edge grip on the tyre and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, and it was a long and tough race. Sure I want to thank Lucio, the whole Team and all the fans and I am happy to have my dad here with me to celebrate this important result together!"

Rossi was happy to secure three front row finishes in a row saying, “At this track with the Yamahas we suffer a little more than the Hondas, but we worked very well in the practice, we tried everything and I could keep a good pace in the race until the end, not far from Bradl. I fought with Bautista but always stayed in front so I could take the third podium in a row. I am quite competitive and I am happy, it is a good result. Now we take some rest, we go on holiday and we try to take some rest for the second half of the season. Regarding the pass, I tried to resist but today wasn't the right day, Marc was too strong for me. Before the end of the season we will have another battle where I will be faster and I will give back the overtake for sure!”

Marquez was thrilled with his third ever MotoGP win and said afterwards that he didn’t expect to be so fast in the race. He said, “I am very happy, because we weren't expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn't think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tyres got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin,”

Taking his first MotoGP podium was a dream come true for Bradl, “It’s a great result for us,” he said while continuing, “We did a good job all across the weekend. Of course expectations were high after I had pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well. I struggled a little bit. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker but, with the full tank of fuel, I had a few problems with the front. When he caught me I saw that he had some more edge grip on the tyre and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, and it was a long and tough race. Sure I want to thank Lucio, the whole Team and all the fans and I am happy to have my dad here with me to celebrate this important result together!"

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

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi was happy to secure three front row finishes in a row saying, “At this track with the Yamahas we suffer a little more than the Hondas, but we worked very well in the practice, we tried everything and I could keep a good pace in the race until the end, not far from Bradl. I fought with Bautista but always stayed in front so I could take the third podium in a row. I am quite competitive and I am happy, it is a good result. Now we take some rest, we go on holiday and we try to take some rest for the second half of the season. Regarding the pass, I tried to resist but today wasn't the right day, Marc was too strong for me. Before the end of the season we will have another battle where I will be faster and I will give back the overtake for sure!"

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Race reports
Tags bradl, featured, hatch, honda, lcr, marquez, repsol, rossi, yamaha