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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014

Round 06: Italy

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
June 1, 2014

Marquez Fights Hard to Keep Honda’s Perfect Score

Honda’s defending World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) took a fighting sixth win in six races in Italy today, finally prevailing after several laps of hand-to-hand combat with long-time race-leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

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

A crowd of 77,463 basking under clear blue skies thrilled to a battle that intensified as the race progressed, culminating in the closest finish of the year, with Marquez just 0.121 seconds ahead of his rival over the line. It was the 21-year-old Spaniard’s 12th win in the premier class, adding to a career total of 38, achieved while previously winning the 125cc and Moto2 titles.

Second Repsol Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa was fourth, also obliged to fight hard after a disappointing start from the second row of the grid left him with a hard afternoon’s work. The former 125cc and double 250cc World Champion finished the first lap eighth, and even when he was up to fourth after ten laps of the 23-lap race he had to fight to maintain the position.

As at every other race so far this year, Marquez started from pole position at the spectacular 5.345-km circuit in the Apennine foothills outside Florence. But this race was no foregone conclusion, and it was Lorenzo who led away.

The pace was fast, and Marquez set fastest lap on the fifth as he followed his compatriot Lorenzo closely. He waited patiently for his chance to attack, seven laps from the end. The pass came on the long straight, helped by the powerful Honda RC213V engine and a last-minute gearing change, following morning warm-up, to improve his top speed.

But Lorenzo fought back immediately, and for the next six laps the pair changed places frequently at the circuit’s many overtaking points, and sometimes more than once in one corner. Only at the start of the last lap could Marquez gain a slender margin that he was able to preserve to the end.

With the season one-third completed, the sixth straight win extended his championship lead, now 53 points, giving him a margin of more than two races.

For Pedrosa, still regaining strength after surgery to repair arm-pump problems following round four, it was a similar battle. He took fourth from front-row starter Andrea Iannone (Ducati) on lap ten, but over the next laps Iannone also fought back, getting ahead several times. Only on the 18th lap was Pedrosa able to escape, by when he was too distant to make any further progress.

Pedrosa had been on the top-three podium at all of the first four races, but fifth in France and fourth in Italy meant that he lost second in the overall points table by one point to Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who was third today.

Satellite Honda rider Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda RC213V) was a lone eighth in today’s race, after qualifying 11th and moving through in the early laps. Bautista has a special role, race-testing Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, made by Japanese companies with strong links with Honda.

Second satellite rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) did not finish, after crashing out on the fourth lap. The German rider, former Moto2 World Champion, was the innocent victim of another rider’s error, knocked flying when Cal Crutchlow’s Ducati slid back across the track in his path.

The battle of the production-racer Hondas – close replicas of the factory V4 1000cc machines – lasted to the end, with all three riders in the points, and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) leading his similarly mounted rivals past the flag in close order, taking 12th to 14th places. This was Abraham’s best result of the year proving that the Czech Republic rider’s recovery from major shoulder surgery is continuing.

Briton Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was only one hundredth of a second behind; and former 250 champion Hiro Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) less than a second behind him. Aoyama’s team-mate Nicky Hayden had already withdrawn from the race after suffering hand problems: the American former MotoGP World Champion will undergo corrective surgery on Tuesday.

Spanish title leader Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) was back to his winning ways in Italy in a close-fought Moto2 class, where all riders rely on Honda power having race-tuned CBR600 engines supplied by the organizers to guarantee close and reliable racing.

Rabat won the first and third rounds and was second in the race in between. His third win this year extended his points lead over Marc VDS Racing Team team-mate Mika Kallio, who was sixth today.

Class rookies Luis Salom (Pons HP 40 Kalex) and Jonas Folger (AGR Team Kalex) were second and third. Folger had led away and stayed up front for 13 of the 21 laps before losing ground as he suffered tyre wear.

This left Spanish compatriots Rabat and Salom fighting to the finish, with the former prevailing by less than a quarter of a second.

Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing Kalex) held on to the lead of the next group under severe pressure from Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) and Kallio, with Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Caterham Suter) closing to attack at the end.

GP newcomer and reigning World Supersport champion Sam Lowes (Speed Up) was eighth, fending off Austin GP winner Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40 Kalex) in a late attack. Fellow GP newcomer Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) prevailed over the next group for tenth.

In Moto3, where rival manufacturers compete with strictly controlled 250cc four-stroke engines, the new Honda NSF250RW’s record of podiums was preserved with third place for Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda), after a fierce race with, at one stage, a group of 15 riders to and fro in a huge leading pack.

The chance of a double rostrum or even race win was denied when points leader Jack Miller (KTM) crashed on the final lap, taking erstwhile race leader Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda) and another rider down with him. The victory was claimed by Romano Fenati (KTM).in a blanket finish ahead of Isaac Vinales (KTM) and Rins, the three riders crossing the finish line covered by the slim margin of just 0.011 of a second!

The crash broke up the pack, but the first seven still crossed the line within six tenths of a second. Second-best Honda finisher Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) was in the thick of it in sixth, equalling his best finish so far this year.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda) was 11th, his best finish this year, one place ahead of top rider Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda). Vazquez had started with the leaders, but was given a ride-through penalty after jumping the start, coming back through to 12th in a strong recovery ride.

Wild cards Simone Mazzola (MT Racing FTR Honda) and Anthony Groppi (Pos Corse FTR Honda) finished 24th and 25th.

Second SaxoPrint-RTG Honda rider John McPhee crashed out in the early stages, after leading the race and playing a strong role in the front pack.

The next race is the Catalunyan GP at Montmelo, on the outskirts of Barclona, in two weeks.

Start scenezoom
Start scene
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st
“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.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th
“It was a tough race and I wasn’t able to get the result that I was hoping for here. My arm is still causing me issues and I wasn’t able to push one hundred percent so thanks to my team for their patience whilst I still recover. The race today was interesting, and I congratulate Marc and Jorge for a nice battle. I think that it is positive to see that we are up there fighting and that we have improved on a few things. Now we have to continue working so that we can be up in the leading group as well, and have some fun with them, but I need to be physically 100 percent to be able to do so. Tomorrow I will go for a check-up with Dr Mir, and hope to be fitter in time for Montmelo in two weeks.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 8th
“We knew it would be a difficult race: this morning during the warm-up we tried to improve but didn’t find anything special. Today I raced with the old front fork, which we used before the post-race test in Jerez, because we thought it would work better with the hard compound front tyre, but actually it didn’t make much difference. The gap from the second group of riders was not very high, I struggled to try to follow them, but at some point I saw that it was not possible and I had to slow down to finish the race. Too bad, because after the podium at Le Mans we were expecting something more: we are in a strange situation, because we are competitive at some tracks and not at others, without making changes to the bike. We must overcome this problem if we want be always competitive. I would like to thank all the team because they did an excellent job, as always, and we hope to return competitive in Barcelona in two weeks’ time.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 12th
“Well, this is exactly the result we dreamed about. It’s not only about the final position. I enjoyed the race, I fought against the other open Honda riders and all of this is very important for me as well as for the team. I’m little bit disappointed that we can’t fight against Ducati riders. We can beat them in corners, but we don’t have enough power at the straights. I rode almost whole race behind Michele Pirro and couldn’t overtake him. On the contrary I beat Scott Redding riding on the same bike as mine.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 13th
“The beginning of the race was really good. I had a good rhythm and I was running with Aleix Espargaro, and I also overtook him during the race. That is a good step forward for us. But then I got stuck with the Ducatis of Hernandez and Pirro, losing so much time on the straight. I tried to pass them early in the lap in order to make a gap, but it was quite hard. After eight or nine laps I also broke the windscreen, so I had a really bad aerodynamics, and also a lot of turbulence on the head and that made my race more difficult. In the end I’m happy with my race, I’m just disappointed to be behind the two Ducatis and Abraham, because I know we should have got the top ten today.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 14th
“This morning we tried a different setup to that which we used yesterday in the qualifying session. We liked it a lot, so we decided to keep it for the race. But when it came to race time, the condition of the track had changed a lot and the temperature had risen substantially. During the race we suffered from a lack of grip with the rear, and it was hard for me to keep up my pace. I tried to be consistent and stay with the group that I was in. It was difficult and I had two moments in which I was close to crashing. In the end I decided to be prudent, as I wanted to finish the race and keep scoring points.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“I am speechless. I was anxious to race here in Mugello but now I want to forget this weekend as soon as possible. This morning I had a massive crash in the warm-up session and I had to deal with the pain in the race, especially the right arm and elbow. The feeling with the bike was good but after the start, in the first corner, I went wide, losing three positions. After that I was preparing to overtake the guys in front of me but suddenly in the second chicane on turn five Crutchlow crashed and his bike tumbled in the track and I was not able to avoid it. His bike hit me in the back and I had another big crash similar to this morning, so I will leave Italy with zero points and a lot of pain. Once again I must thank the team for their efforts and all the LCR supporters for their affection.”

Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes

Esteve Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 1st
“I’m very happy with the win today. I made a good start, but then I touched Salom and that allowed him and Folger to get away at the front. But I was able to bridge the gap and then I had a fantastic battle at the front of the race, before eventually working my way through into the lead and pulling enough of a gap to stop them slipstreaming past me on the straight. It’s good to win before going back to Spain for my home race in two weeks but, in terms of the championship, it’s just another race and there are many more to go yet. Now we must focus on the test here at Mugello on Tuesday, so we can go to the next race and try and win again.”
Luis Salom, Pons HP 40 Team: 2nd
“It was a great race. Tito was on the hard tyre and me and everybody else on the soft, and in the end that made it quite difficult – but even like that I was still really close behind him. He pushed really hard one lap, and I was following, but lost the front in one corner, and he was gone. But with three laps still to go, I had to try, and at the finish line I was only two tenths behind. This is really nothing, for my sixth race in Moto2. We have two podiums this year: we are making a good job.”
Jonas Folger, AGR Racing: 3rd
“That was really good. I pushed really hard to get a good lead in the first laps, but I think I pushed too hard because my tires went down really suddenly, and I wasn’t able to follow Luis and Tito when they came past. Anyway, it was a great weekend, with another podium in my first Moto2 season, so we can be happy.”

Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes

Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Team: 3rd
“It was a very slow race with many passes. At first, Fenati, Miller, Marquez and I tried to break away from the group, but some younger riders lacking in experience at leading races slowed us down a bit. We finished third in the end and we are a little sad about that, because I knew that if I got out of the final corner in the lead, I would not win. Fenati was cleverer than us this time. With Miller crashing out, we have gained a little ground in the standings, but there is still a long way to go. In two days’ time we will have some testing here at Mugello, so we will be raring to go at Montmelo.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta Rivacold Team: 6th
“I really enjoyed that race, with a strong fight from the beginning to the end. It was very hard to find the right strategy because there were so many riders all together. I just tried to keep my position and save it for the attack at the end. I might have had more but I have to be satisfied with sixth, equalling my best finish this year.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Ongetta AirAsia Team, 11th
“It’s been a difficult year, learning a new bike, and Moto3 is very competitive at the moment, so I am pleased to have my best result so far. I am getting more comfortable with the Honda. My next target is the top ten, and I hope even better.”
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 06: Italy

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

* F=Factory option, O=Open category

Rank Rider (Team)
1Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)
2Luis SALOM (Pons HP 40)
3Jonas FOLGER (AGR Team)
4Simone CORSI (NGM Forward Racing)
5Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
6Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
7Johann ZARCO (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing)
8Sam LOWES (Speed Up)
9Maverick VIÑALES (Pons HP 40)
10Franco MORBIDELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
11Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
12Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)
13Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
14Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
15Axel PONS (AGR Team)
Rank Rider (Team)
1Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
2Isaac VIÑALES (Calvo Team)
3Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
5Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)
6Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
7Alessandro TONUCCI (CIP)
8Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
9Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
10Karel HANIKA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Ongetta-AirAsia)
12Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)
13Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Paddock Moto3)
14Matteo FERRARI (San Carlo Team Italia)
15Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)

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