motoGP: 7th consecutive win for Marquez
The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya produced another brilliant race on Sunday, with Marc Marquez securing the victory on the final lap ahead of Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez crossed the line half a second in front of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Rossi, surviving a late scare as Pedrosa touched his rear wheel in the final stages, the latter almost crashing and having to settle for third. The win is the 100th for Honda in the modern MotoGP four-stroke era and the triumph for Marquez was also historic as it came on the same day as an earlier Moto3 victory for his brother Alex Marquez – the first time 65 years of World Championship competition that siblings have won Grand Prix races on the same day.
Rossi led for much of the race with the Repsol Honda duo chasing him down in the final stages, with Pedrosa returning to form following his recent arm pump surgery and subsequent problems – only to make that late mistake. The threat of rain lingered for the duration of the race, though a light shower was short-lived.
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) followed the front three throughout the race but was never quite close enough to join the podium fight. He eventually crossed the finishing line 2.7s behind Pedrosa. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) rode a lonely race to fifth, staying in position despite running wide early on, whilst Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) finished just under two seconds in front of his brother Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) in sixth.
The top ten was completed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3).
Pedrosa secures pole start as Marquez run ends with crash
At his home event Pedrosa took his first pole since the 2013 Catalan Grand Prix with a 1¢40.985s lap in the Barcelona-Catalunya heat and in doing so the Repsol Honda rider ended Marquez¢ successive pole run.
Following his fascinating battle with Marquez at Mugello Lorenzo qualified in second place and will be looking forward to fighting the Honda riders again at a track where the Mallorcan has a strong record and has won the last two MotoGP races.
Marquez walked away from his first crash of the year after losing the front end at turn 1 towards the end of the session. The young MotoGP World Champion therefore starts third on the grid, his first non-pole result since Motegi last year. German rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), who himself suffered two big crashes at Mugello, qualified fourth after looking sharp in practice earlier in the day.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) admits qualifying is not currently his strongest point but he equaled his second best Q2 result of 2014 so far in fifth, having qualified 10th last time out in Mugello. Another home rider Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was delighted with his qualifying effort as he completed row two, just 0.323s behind Pedrosa.
Row three will feature Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing).
The fourth row will comprise Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
motoGP F.P.2: Aleix Espargaro quickest overall at red hot Barcelona-Catalunya
Friday afternoon¢s MotoGP FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya ended with Bradley Smith setting the pace, as Stefan Bradl and Marc Marquez joined him in the top three, but Aleix Espargaro was Friday¢s fastest rider overall courtesy of an FP1 hot lap.
Monster Yamaha Tech3¢s Smith set his best time of the afternoon with the track temperatures reaching over 50°C, his 1¢42.123 lap well over a second quicker than he had gone in the morning. The Briton ended the afternoon run just ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP¢s Bradl and Repsol Honda Team Marquez, but it was NGM Forward Racing¢s Espargaro who recorded the best time of the day (1¢41.672) on a softer compound rear tyre at his home track in the morning session.
Completing the top five on the combined timesheet was the race winner for the last two years at Barcelona-Catalunya, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who was just over 0.6s down on Espargaro¢s P1 time.
Lorenzo¢s best lap came in the afternoon heat, with the many riders using harder option front and rear tyres in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Sixth and seventh overall were Italians Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) courtesy of their best times in FP1, with Iannone escaping unhurt from a turn 10 tumble into the gravel in the morning outing. The overall top ten was completed by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).