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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014

Round 03: Argentina

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
April 27, 2014

Honda and Marquez Make It Three Out of Three in Argentina

Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez claimed a classic third successive pole-to-victory win at Argentina’s brand-new Termas del Rio Honda circuit today, extending his championship lead in a perfect start to his season as defending World Champion.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA(Repsol Honda Team), Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team),
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

The factory team’s celebrations were all the more intense after a stirring ride from his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who set the new track’s lap record as he fought his way back from seventh place to take second from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with just over a lap to go.

It was the second double-top result in succession for the Repsol Honda pair, extending their early lead in the World Championship race on the eve of the European season and reinforcing the status of the Honda RC213V as the leader of the MotoGP pack. Marquez has won every race, and Pedrosa has a full house of podium finishes to back it up.

Marquez was in dominant form all weekend. He led all but one of the free practice session, then underlined his margin with a comfortable third pole in succession ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa.

The new circuit is in the remote north-west of Argentina, but the first race the country for 15 years attracted a massive capacity crowd from all around Latin America.

They were treated to a thrilling race. The first laps on the fast and sinuous circuit were a dramatic scramble for positions up front.

As Lorenzo capitalized on an early lead, Marquez fought his way through to second by the fourth of 25 laps, closed on his rival, then stalked him patiently before firmly outbraking him on lap 17 to move away steadily.

He won his third race successive race at a canter by 1.83 seconds. Already the youngest ever GP winner and World Champion, it was further proof of devastatingly strong form for the 21-year-old and his triumphant 1000cc V4 Honda.

The spur for him to take the lead was Pedrosa, for Marquez knew by now that his team-mate was closing fast. The older rider had been pushed back to sixth in an early brawl more reminiscent of Moto3 than MotoGP. It gave him a hard task, but he set to it with a will, picking off his rivals one by one to take third before half distance.

At this point he was more than three seconds behind Lorenzo … but with his quarry in view round several of the popular track’s long, wide corners Pedrosa used the skill and determination of a former 125 and double 250 champion to cut away at the gap with sustained aggression. With less than two laps to go, he had caught him, and scythed firmly past.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was fourth, after finally prevailing over Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V). The German rider was battered from a heavy fall on the previous day, so fifth was a well-earned addition to his fourth at the previous round.

The fourth Honda RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) crashed out of the race in the early stages – a victim of heavy traffic and a slippery sandy track surface off the racing line. It was a third non-finish in a row for the former 125cc World Champion, who has an extra role race-testing Nissin brakes and Showa suspension.

The new customer Honda RCV1000R machines played an exciting part in a long and fierce battle for the last top-ten position. All four were closely involved at some stage, and the result was only decided in the last corner, when Hiroshi Aoyama pounced on his Drive M7 Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden to steal the place by inches over the line.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) was hardly any further behind in 13th, with Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 12th, all four over the line within less than two seconds.

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RCV1000R) had been part of the battle for much of the race, and was a close 14th.

In the all-Honda-powered Moto2 class, Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex rider Esteve “Tito” Rabat extended his points lead with a masterful start-to-finish victory, after claiming his third pole position in succession.

Close, exciting and reliable racing is guaranteed in Moto2, with all entries powered by identical race-tuned CBR600 engines supplied by the organizers. Rabat rose above his rivals for all 23 laps, finishing better than two seconds clear.

Front-row qualifier Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter) followed him, also moving clear, leaving class rookie Luis Salom (Pons HP 40 Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) and Simone Corsi (NGM Forward-KLX) to live up to the class’s reputation for close fighting in a battle for third. They finished in that order.

It was Salom’s first rostrum in the class, and he also claimed fastest lap; Pons HP 40 Kalex team-mate Maverick Vinales – a surprise winner in Austin – crashed out in close combat in the early stages.

Alex de Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2 Suter) was a safe sixth; Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) was seventh; rookie Sam Lowes (Speed Up) came through to eighth, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter).

In the Moto3 class, where rival manufacturers battle it out using 250cc four-stroke engines, Honda continued its run of podium finishes, with Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) fighting tooth and nail to hang on to second in a thrilling last-corner battle.

The race was won by Romano Fenati (KTM), with the similarly mounted Jack Miller third, less than half a second behind the leader.

Second Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Alex Rins had been with the leading group, and was still less than five seconds away in fifth. He narrowly held off fellow-Spaniard Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda), who had dropped back after disputing the lead in the early stages.

Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) was at the head of a group fighting for 11th; Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda) claimed the final point in 15th. John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda) crashed out unhurt while running strongly in the top five in the earl laps.

The next race at Jerez in one week marks the start of the European season, after the three opening flyaway races in Qatar, the USA and Argentina. There are 18 rounds in the World Championship, which concludes in Valencia in Spain in November.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team),
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st
“I am happy with how the weekend went in general and I’d like to thank all my team. I think it was a nice race for the fans, with plenty of passes and I wasn't expecting it to be like that. As the race went on and I saw what the gap was to Jorge Lorenzo and I tried to catch up with him quickly and spend a few laps on his tail. When I saw that Dani was getting closer, I tried to overtake in order to maintain more of a gap. I took 25 more points today which are very important and I've put together three wins in a row, but we are aware that the season is very long and we are now heading to Jerez where Dani and Jorge are very fast. We will need to be up there with them, fighting for the win!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
"I enjoyed the race but after losing some time at the start it affected me and I found myself alone again. In the final part of the race I had a good pace and was able to recover places, but it didn't count for much. I took second place, but with the pace that we had we could have pushed for the win. You always have to learn and maybe I saved my tires too much when I was riding as part of the group. Fortunately we found a good setup that allowed us to be more competitive, and this is positive.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: 5th
“Considering yesterday’s crash in qualifying and the ninth position on the grid, I think we can be very happy with this result. I knew that we needed a good start from the third row, and I made it. The first lap was a bit crazy, but after that I think I played my role in the battle for the front group. We were strong on braking and we could fight with the other guys and I had a lot of fun. In the final part of the race I could not match the speed of the front guys because I had some issues with the front, so I preferred to remain calm to finish my race in a safe and good position.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 10th
“The race was tough. At this new circuit we had many doubts about the durability of the tires, but I’m very happy to have concluded the race as the best Open class rider. In the last third of the race my tires were almost on the limit, but I guess this was similar for everyone. I had fun, coming from behind at the end of the race. I had some good battles with Hernandez and Nicky and we swapped places several times on the closing laps. I’m glad I was able to place ahead of them and take tenth position. Earlier this year everything was new to me, but I’ve grown since I joined this team and I think that the result today is the reward for all our hard work. I hope to continue like this next weekend when we go to Europe.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 11th
“I really enjoyed riding today, though I would have liked to have beaten my team-mate after an interesting fight. At the start of the race I did not had a good feeling with the front end. The track conditions had been improving throughout the weekend and so we worked to find rear grip. However, with the improving condition of the asphalt, having so much rear grip made the bike push onto the front end. I guess I am not the only one that this happened to, either. At first I struggled to pick up the pace and move up the field, because I couldn’t brake well. As the laps went by I started to feel more comfortable and I managed to overtake people. On the last lap Hiro closed the gap and he was better on the back straight section. I went a little wide and he got past me. It would have been great to finish as the top Open rider, but Hiro deserved it. I will have to be more attentive next time. Nevertheless I think we did a very good job this weekend.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 13th
“I can say I’m really happy after this race. I finished in front of Redding and I fought all the race with Aoyama and Hayden. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay in front of them to the end. I thought to be able to do it, but I had my front wheel locked up several time when braking hard, so I decided to not take too risk. In the last lap I tried to get past Hernandez, but I was late on the brakes and he took his position back. Nevertheless it was very good race for me and I hope to continue this way in Jerez.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th
“It was a difficult race, because I couldn’t stop the bike. I was struggling a lot with front grip under braking. I already had this problem a little this morning during warm-up, but the situation in the race was worse: I went wide a lot of times and I couldn’t really overtake anyone. This basically spoiled my whole race: I lost half a second on my pace, so I’m disappointed. Also, I was not feeling really great physically: yesterday I started to feel something like a cold, with a lot of sneezing, and today my energy level came down. It’s annoying, because we thought we had a good chance today.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“I really don’t know what to say, I am very sorry. It’s a shame, because today I had a good feeling ahead of the race. The only thing we can do now is continue to work hard, as always. We hope to reverse the trend the next weekend in Jerez.”

Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes

Esteve Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team, 1st
“From the outside it might have looked like an easy race but on the bike it was incredibly difficult. It is not easy to keep maximum concentration and I knew that if I made a small mistake Simeon was ready to attack. I am really happy because I made a good start and led the whole race. I have to say a big thanks to my team because they gave me a fantastic bike and the tyre choice was perfect. We go to Jerez with a nice lead in the championship but I can’t relax because Mika is now second and he will be pushing hard as always.”
Xavier Simeon, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2, 2nd
“I had a good start, maybe the best ever, then I could make my own rhythm and I tried to follow Rabat, even if he was slightly faster than me. In the early stages of the race with the full tank, however, I didn’t want to stress too much the front tyre because I didn’t know if it would be good for the whole race. Anyway, I managed to maintain the second place also when Salom was close to me, then I was able to open a good gap. At that point I knew it would not have been possible to reach Rabat, so I managed to keep the concentration and brought home the result. I want to thank the team because it’s doing a great job. We could have been on the podium at Austin, but there I made a mistake, but finally here we had that bit of luck that we missed in the first two races. Now we want to continue like this.”
Luis Salom, Pons HP 40 Team, 3rd
“This was so important, after some really bad races. It started last year when a rider knocked me off in Japan, then I crashed in the last race riding for the title. I started on the wrong foot in the first two Moto2 races also, and this is hard for a rider. You start to ask why? But yesterday morning something changed in my mind and also in my bike. In the race I thought fourth or fifth would be okay, but at the end I thought I could go faster, and got this third place!”

Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes

Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0.0, 2nd
“It was a very difficult weekend and I think we worked very well all three days. Yesterday we had a hard time in the qualifying, I made a mistake, but in today’s warm-up we found the solution for the race. I knew I had to concentrate, but I didn’t start well and in the first corner I went wide and many riders overtook me, which made it hard to get back ahead. I tried to concentrate again and continue in my line, and gradually we made it to the front group. The last lap was fun, we were in front many times and I really enjoyed it. This result gives us good motivation for Jerez.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0, 5th
“In the end it was a fairly successful result. After how it went for the whole Grand Prix, we’re happy with this fifth place. This weekend has been the most I’ve learned in all the races that I’ve been in. In the race today, at first it was difficult to overtake other riders to get ahead, but little by little I was able to reach the lead group. It was a shame because Efren (Vazquez) was a little wide in one turn and I lost contact with them, which ended my opportunity for a better result. The important thing is that we have not stopped working, the whole team is working hard and we have to focus on Jerez.”
Efren Vazquez, Saxoprint RTG, 6th
“I was doing really good laps in the beginning, but finally after some lap I started to get a strange feeling from the front tyre. The steering was trying to close on me in the corners. That didn’t happen all through practice – maybe the asphalt was a bit different today. Anyway, we got good points for the championship, and we will continue at Jerez in the same way, pushing every session.”
Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar), Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)zoom
Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar), Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 03: Argentina

Rank Rider (Team) F/O
1Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)F
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)F
3Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)F
4Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)F
5Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)F
6Andrea IANNONE (Pramac Racing)F
7Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)F
8Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)F
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)F
10Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar)O
11Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)O
12Yonny HERNANDEZ (Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing)F
13Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)O
14Scott REDDING (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)O
15Aleix ESPARGARO (NGM Forward Racing)O

* F=Factory option, O=Open category

Rank Rider (Team)
1Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)
2Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
3Luis SALOM (Pons HP 40)
4Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
5Simone CORSI (NGM Forward Racing)
6Alex DE ANGELIS (Tasca Racing Moto2)
7Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8Sam LOWES (Speed Up)
9Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
10Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
11Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)
12Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
13Franco MORBIDELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
14Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
15Takaaki NAKAGAMI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
Rank Rider (Team)
1Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
2Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
3Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)
7Isaac VIÑALES (Calvo Team)
8Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)
9Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)
10Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team Go & FUN Moto3)
11Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
12Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
13Alessandro TONUCCI (CIP)
14Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
15Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Ongetta-AirAsia)

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