MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014
Unbeaten Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) dominated a unique MotoGP race at Sachsenring this afternoon, scoring their third one-two result of the 2014 season.
Marquez’s win was his ninth from nine races, a remarkable achievement from the 21-year-old former Moto2 and 125 World Champion. So far, only two riders have won more than nine consecutive premier-class wins: Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta), who won all ten races of the 1968 500 season, and Mick Doohan (Repsol Honda), who won ten successive victories in the 1997 500 World Championship.
Today’s race started in confusing conditions after a light rain shower moments before the start, with most riders choosing to start the warm-up lap on rain tires, then realizing that slicks would be better for the race. They therefore had to swap to their ‘dry bikes’ and then start the race from pit lane once the rest of the riders had sped past into the first turn. Only nine riders started from their assigned positions on the grid.
Local hero Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was the only rider on the first five rows to start from the grid and so took an easy lead during the first few laps. But all was not well for Bradl, who had started from the front row. His RC213V may have been fitted with slicks but it was running wet-weather suspension settings, so he was unable to use the full performance of his slick tires.
Meanwhile Marquez and Pedrosa – both recovering from big tumbles during practice – were charging through the mostly Open bikes that had also started from the main grid, until the two RC213V riders were into second and third places on lap four. At that point Bradl still had a healthy lead but it was quickly whittled away by the two Spaniards. Marquez assumed the lead at the end of lap six, with Pedrosa soon following him through into second.
Marquez and Pedrosa had the rest of the race between them, Marquez always leading, with the gap see-sawing this way and that. One lap Marquez would open the gap by a tenth, then the next Pedrosa would close it by a tenth, until one third-distance when Pedrosa made a couple of minor errors and slipped more than a second behind his team-mate.
Pedrosa’s seventh podium of the year promoted him to second overall, ahead of today’s fourth-place finisher Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). At the checkered flag the gap between Pedrosa and Marquez was 1.4 seconds, with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) almost eight seconds back in third.
Try as he might, Bradl slipped further back as riders with the correct settings/tire combination came past him. He crossed the finish line in a disconsolate 16th place, no doubt hoping that Germany’s duel with Argentina in tonight’s World Cup final will turn out better.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was one of the last few riders to come past Bradl. The Spaniard ended the race in ninth place, just behind Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).
MotoGP rookie Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was one of the many riders to start from pit lane and had a great ride, racing his Open RCV1000R against many factory bikes to eventually take 11th place, three seconds behind team-mate Bautista.
It was a good day for Honda’s RCV1000R production machine, with all four riders finishing in the points.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) started from the grid and ran up front in the early stages, gradually falling victim to the faster factory machines. The former 250 World Champion finished 12th.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) started on slicks and ended the race in 13th position, just ahead of Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R). Former MotoGP World Champion Hayden was another rider who pitted for slicks at the end of the warm-up lap but he didn’t get the best of the hectic massed pit-lane start. He ended the first lap in last place, then worked his way through to 14th at the finish.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) won a brilliant victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, his first time on the top step of a Grand Prix podium. The Swiss was in the battle for the win from the early laps, leading the first lap and then spending most of the rest of the race shadowing leader Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex). In the final few laps the stakes were raised with Aegerter grabbing the lead at the first corner, only for Kallio to grab it back at the last corner. Finally, Aegerter prevailed, passing the checkered flag just 0.091 seconds ahead of the Finn.
Third place went to Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward Kalex) whose duel with series leader Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) also lasted to the very end. Corsi passed Rabat at the penultimate corner, then Rabat returned the compliment at the final turn, but he went in too hot, ran wide and Corsi beat him to the finish line by one tenth of a second.
Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) had an astonishingly good race. Fifteenth at the end of the first lap, the Austin Moto2 winner cut a swath through the pack and then closed on the battle for third place. In the end he finished right behind Rabat and less than a second off the podium. Also featuring strongly in that battle was fast-improving rookie Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team, Kalex) who finished a close sixth after battling with the group for much of the race.
Randy Krummenacher (Ioda Racing Project, Suter) headed the next group in seventh place, just ahead of Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing, Forward Kalex) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter).
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) played a brilliant role in the front-running brawl in the Moto3 race, eventually crossing the line in third place, just 1.1 seconds behind race winner and series leader Jack Miller (KTM). The battle at the front was enthralling, with Miller heading the chase but only just.
Masbou, who received an upgraded NSF250RW engine at Assen where he finished a close fourth, was delighted with his first podium of the year, less than a tenth ahead of Catalunya and Assen winner Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), whose fourth-place finish keeps him second overall.
Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) rode a heroic race to lead the second group home in sixth place, a result which moved him into third place in the championship, ahead of Romano Fenati (KTM) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) who both crashed out.
John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) also had an excellent ride, finishing just one tenth of a second behind team-mate Vazquez in an eight-man skirmish that had sixth to eighth places covered by 1.1 seconds.
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)||F|
|2||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)||F|
|3||Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)||F|
|4||Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)||F|
|5||Andrea IANNONE (Pramac Racing)||F|
|6||Aleix ESPARGARO (NGM Forward Racing)||O|
|7||Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)||F|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)||F|
|9||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)||F|
|10||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Ducati Team)||F|
|11||Scott REDDING (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)||O|
|12||Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar)||O|
|13||Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)||O|
|14||Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)||O|
|15||Danilo PETRUCCI (IodaRacing Project)||O|
* F=Factory option, O=Open category
|1||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|2||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Simone CORSI (NGM Forward Racing)|
|4||Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|5||Maverick VIÑALES (Paginas Amarillas HP 40)|
|6||Franco MORBIDELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|7||Randy KRUMMENACHER (IodaRacing Project)|
|8||Mattia PASINI (NGM Forward Racing)|
|9||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)|
|10||Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|11||Ricard CARDUS (Tech 3)|
|12||Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)|
|13||Louis ROSSI (SAG Team)|
|14||Luis SALOM (Paginas Amarillas HP 40)|
|15||Axel PONS (AGR Team)|
|1||Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|3||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|4||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|5||Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)|
|6||Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)|
|7||John MCPHEE (SaxoPrint-RTG)|
|8||Isaac VIÑALES (Calvo Team)|
|9||Matteo FERRARI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|10||Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|11||Jakub KORNFEIL (Calvo Team)|
|12||Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Paddock Moto3)|
|13||Arthur SISSIS (Mahindra Racing)|
|14||Eric GRANADO (Calvo Team)|
|15||Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team GO & FUN Moto3)|