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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014

Round 04: Spain

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
Spain
Spain
May 4, 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mighty Marc Marquez Makes it Four out of Four for Honda

Defending World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) claimed a fourth win in four races in emphatic fashion at his home-country GP today, in the first race of the European season.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

Already the youngest-ever premier-class champion, the 21-year-old has claimed pole position in every race so far this year, and won them all in increasingly dominant manner.

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) also preserved a perfect podium record with third place. Pedrosa has been on every podium so far this year, with two second and two third places. He has also never finished off the podium at the sinuous 4.423-km circuit, outside the sherry capital of Jerez de la Frontera, since his first MotoGP race here in 2006.

A capacity crowd of 117,000 basked in blazing sunshine under a cloudless sky to cheer the currently dominant country’s latest hero over the line. Marquez, already 125cc and Moto2 World Champion, finished a fighting second here last year. Today’s win was his first in any class at Jerez, giving him a full house. It was the only track on the calendar where he had not recorded at least one race win.

The Honda factory pair sandwiched multi-champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who managed to retain second place by the narrowest of margins, with his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo dropping away in fourth.

Marquez again displayed his precocious skill in a lonely race, skipping the front wheel and sliding the rear as he used all the track and more to pull steadily clear. He led all the way except for a brief moment on the first lap, when Rossi edged ahead – only to be firmly pushed back to second at the final hairpin. Marquez set fastest lap on the fifth tour, just short of the record in the blazing heat.

There was a strong battle behind him. Rossi held second with Lorenzo in his wheel tracks, and Pedrosa right behind. On the 21st of 27 laps the gap between Rossi and Lorenzo started to stretch. It was the signal for Pedrosa to put the pressure on, and he scythed past at the hairpin at the end of the back straight, and into third place.

At that stage he was a clear second behind Rossi. In a repeat of his chase-down at Argentina the weekend before he cut away at the back, but was not quite close enough for a last corner attack, crossing the line almost alongside Rossi.

The result extends the Repsol Honda pair’s early lead in the World Championship table, with Marquez on a perfect 100 points, and Pedrosa on 72. The closest rival is Rossi, on 61 points.

There was a five-bike battle for fifth, with GO&FUN Gresini Honda RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista starting the last lap in that position, but finishing it in sixth behind Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) by just over a tenth of a second, and a little bit more than that ahead of the three Yamahas of Aleix Espargaro, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, all five over the line within less than two seconds. Bautista had fought through from tenth on the first lap. The former 125cc champion has a special role as race-tester for Japanese Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, made by companies with strong links to Honda.

Second Honda satellite team rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) had dropped back to a lone tenth, after seeing off a challenge from Honda’s 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R).

Hayden was significantly the best of four riders campaigning the new-this-year works-replica customer Honda RCV1000R machines, after winning his way through to the top level Q2 qualifying session the day before for a second race. He had closed to within just over a second of Bradl’s factory bike with three laps to go. By the finish, the German had managed to regain another second.

Second Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R rider Hiroshi Aoyama was four seconds behind in 12th. The former 250cc World Champion had caught and passed class rookie Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda RCV1000R), with the three customer Hondas filling from 11th to 13th places.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) slipped off in the early stages, and though he was able to remount it was only for eventual retirement.

The Moto2 class relies exclusively on reliable Honda power, with race-tuned CBR600 engines supplied by the organizers to make for even competition. Different manufacturers provide chassis and running gear for the middle-class machines.

At Jerez, pole starter Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) didn’t bother to wait for his rivals, however, powering off the grid from pole position to lead from the first to the last of 26 laps. He won by 2.4 seconds.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) claimed a career-best second after an ultimately fruitless race-long pursuit and class rookie Jonas Folger (AGR Kalex) also held third from the first lap to last. The results upset the order established in the first three flyaway races.

In Qatar, Texas and Argentina, Esteve “Tito” Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) had qualified on pole and finished first, second and first again to establish a strong early title lead. At home in Spain he qualified sixth, and though he moved through to fourth on lap five, he would get no higher.

Rabat still has a substantial lead on points from team-mate Kallio, on 83 points to 67.

Texas GP winner Maverick Vinales was fifth, after passing Pons HP 40 Kalex team-mate Luis Salom in the closing laps. Class rookie Salom was third in Argentina, while Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter) was second there. Today the Belgian rider was seventh.

Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Caterham-Suter) won a close battle for eighth in the closing stages from Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex). Former 125cc World Champion Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Suter) finished close behind to complete the top ten.

In Moto3, where rival manufacturers compete with strictly controlled 250cc four-stroke engines, Honda took two out of three podium positions in a close finish, with the first three riders over the line within less than two tenths of a second, and the top six within less than two seconds.

The race brought a second successive win to Romano Fenati (KTM), inches ahead of Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda). Second Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda rider Alex Marquez was a close seventh.

The next best Honda rider, Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) came through to 12th near the front of the next big group, one place but only three hundredths of a second ahead of John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda). Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-Rivacold Honda) finished 20th.

Wild card girl racer Maria Herrera (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda) finished 17th in only her second GP, two places but less than a second out of the points.

Vazquez, Rins and Marquez lie a close third, fourth and fifth in the championship table.

The next race is the French GP, at Le Mans in two weeks. Most MotoGP teams stay at Jerez tomorrow for a one-day test session.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)

Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st
“I started well today, but when I saw that Valentino was trying to pass me on the first corner I knew his intention was to slow down the race so he could control the pace. Riding behind him I realised that I could go faster, so I tried to overtake him as soon as possible. I was surprised, because I wasn’t expecting to open up a gap. Anyway, I am in good form at the moment, but I can see that Dani, Valentino and Jorge are giving their 100 percent in every practice and in every race. I’m sure that sooner or later will come a race in which we are unable win, but we will have to learn from that and try to take important points.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“The race today was very difficult; I had problems with the front tyre from the opening lap and I tried to overcome the situation as best I could. I saw that Marc was breaking away but couldn't do anything to stick with him – it was completely his race today. I was able to stay behind the Yamahas for many laps, and at the end I made my attack. I was able to overtake Lorenzo but would have needed one or two more corners to try and pass Rossi. I did my best and took third place. We will see if at tomorrow’s test we can be closer to Marc and fight to the maximum at the next race.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 5th
“Today’s race was not bad, despite a difficult weekend. The team worked in a fantastic way, but we couldn’t find a good setting for the race, so I knew it would be tough. At the start I immediately struggled with front grip, losing the front end in several parts of the track. In any case, I tried to keep my pace and when I saw that the riders in front of me were opening a gap, I kept calm. Later I started to recover and I was also able to overtake them. The last lap battle with Dovizioso was exciting: congratulations to him, he defended fifth position very well. It must be said that given our situation I preferred not to take too many risks: our primary goal was to finish the race. I’m glad I finished my first Grand Prix of the season and I hope that from now on we can be competitive as we were in winter testing and in the first race.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 10th
“I am very disappointed! After a few laps I could feel a problem with my right arm similar to the one we had in the past with the arm-pump. This track is particularly demanding and I could not get the right feeling on braking and going on throttle so I just managed to finish this disappointing race. This unexpected problem destroyed my race and it’s not an excuse because we had the right pace to fight with the front guys. I had successful surgery to cure this problem in November 2012, but I definitely have to see the doctors once I go back after the test tomorrow.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 11th
“On paper this circuit should be more favourable than others for our bike, considering that here the difference in top speed isn’t so big. On the first two laps the second group tried to escape, but I fought to catch them up and ended up close to Bradl. However, as the laps went by I made a mistake at Turn 4 and he broke away. It was a shame, as it would have been nice to beat a factory rider. In any case, looking at our pace and performance today, we have had our best race so far. Today we used the super soft tyres and they worked really well; we knew it was bit risky to complete the full race distance with them, because they may not have reached the end intact. I want to thank Bridgestone for letting us use them. The most convenient and safe thing for them would have been to not allow us to use such a soft compound, but they left it up to us. This was important, as we always have to find the limit of tyre grip to maintain speed when cornering.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 12th
“Today we had a very hot and hard race. I tried to fight from the beginning to keep my position but it was difficult for me to find a feeling with the front tyre. That meant I could not push hard at the start of the race and needed to be more prudent. Fortunately, after seven laps I started to feel more comfortable on the bike and gained confidence with the tyres. Gradually I found my place and I was able to pick up the pace to try to gain positions. I managed to reach the group riding in front of me and tried to overtake them, but when I felt most comfortable I was blocked by other riders. It was a shame, because I could not make the most of the tyres when they were performing at their best. In any case, I am satisfied that we had quite a positive pace, both in practice and in the race. This gives us more confidence for the next races.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 13th
“The race for me was the best part of the weekend, because after two complicated days of practice it’s good to be in the top 15. In the beginning Crutchlow had a problem, but he was holding the line, so I had to make quite an aggressive move to pass him, and in doing so I lost contact with Hayden. Then I tried to push more, but I almost lost the front. Anyway my rhythm was not so bad, until the tyre started to drop, with the rear wheel spinning a lot. All in all I’m satisfied with today’s race, but we have still a lot of work to do.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: DNF
“I had some problems with the grip of the front tyre from the beginning of the race, but it could work. A worse issue was the front brake, which started to lose power in the second lap. The lever was going down and the braking effect decreased in the entry to the first corner. There was nothing I could do and I just hoped to not crash out. Unfortunately I didn´t make it. I rejoined the race but the problem with the brakes got worse so I entered pits to avoid another crash. I´m really disappointed because after the crash I was running practically the same lap times as Aoyama and Redding. If everything was good, I could have fought for points. We don’t know yet what caused this failure: probably it could be the hot weather.”

Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes

Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team: 1st
“We went into the race with a clear plan; push hard to build a lead in the first five laps while the tyres were good and then manage the gap while conserving the tyres for the rest of the race. The plan worked perfectly. Even so, it was such a hard race, even if it didn’t look that way. I had to stay on the limit for the whole race, because the gap was only around one second and it was impossible to extend my lead any further because Aegerter was pushing hard to catch me. It was a good race and I made no mistakes and that is always good for a rider’s confidence. The win today was a good way to end a great weekend and I’d like to say a big thank you to the team, all of whom did a fantastic job here in Jerez.”
Dominique Aegerter, Technomag carXpert: 2nd
“It was a very difficult race. In the first two or three laps I made a mistake, and then there was already a gap to Mika. I pushed very hard to close up again, but then he opened the gap again. But I am very happy with this second place. It is my best finish in Moto2.”
Jonas Folger, AGR Racing: 3rd
“I pushed so hard. I really put the maximum I had today, especially in the last laps because I could see Tito (Rabat) was catching me a bit. I was a bit nervous … I was never in this position in Moto2 before. But we handled it well, and the bike was working, so I just pushed my best and in the end we did a great job. I’m really proud.”
 

Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes

Efren Vazquez, Saxoprint-RTG: 2nd
“After Argentina I am very happy to finish second here. I thought I had the chance to win today. I made a really good start and pushed every lap, but also understanding it was a really long race and there was the need to keep the tyres. In the end I tried to push for victory, but Moto3 is always … interesting in the last corner, and I was able to take second.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Team: 3rd
“Finishing third here at Jerez, with all the fans behind us, is a great result for us after the way the season start has gone. It was a difficult race, but fun at the same time. I had a good battle with Fenati and Vazquez; they exited the final corner a little better than I did, and I had studied their lines for a few laps, but it just wasn’t possible to beat them in the end. I took a risk on the brakes the final time; I knew that if I came out of the corner behind Fenati, Vazquez would pass me on the straight.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Team: 6th
“I am not entirely satisfied with today, as placing seventh at home wasn’t the result that we were aiming for in front of the Spanish fans. I did the best that I could in the race, pushing all the time to try and reach the lead group. I was up there in that group for a few laps, but I found it very hard because of an external problem; it wasn’t the team or Honda’s fault. For the upcoming races I am sure that things will improve, and we will go to France with our motivation on a high once again in order to do the best we can.”
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 04: Spain

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

* F=Factory option, O=Open category

Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
1Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
2Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
3Jonas FOLGER (AGR Team)
4Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5Maverick VIÑALES (Pons HP 40)
6Luis SALOM (Pons HP 40)
7Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
8Johann ZARCO (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing)
9Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
10Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
11Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
12Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
13Ricard CARDUS (Tech 3)
14Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
15Randy KRUMMENACHER (IodaRacing Project)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
1Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
2Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)
3Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
5Isaac VIÑALES (Calvo Team)
6Jakub KORNFEIL (Calvo Team)
7Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
8Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
9Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team Go & FUN Moto3)
10Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)
11Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)
12Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
13John MCPHEE (SaxoPrint-RTG)
14Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
15Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Paddock Moto3)

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