Marc Marquez has made more MotoGP history, winning Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix Ceske republiky to become the first rookie ever to claim five victories in his maiden season. On this occasion, the Repsol Honda Team rider came out on top after an immensely close fight with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Following the Warm-Up that took place amid distinctly overcast conditions, riders feared for a wet Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although spots of rain did briefly fall, prompting the white flags to fly on Lap 14, there proved to be no major changes in the weather. On the front row of the grid, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow started from pole position for the second time this season.
Marquez’s ride was a mixture of patience, aggression and defense. The 20-year-old had been annoyed during qualifying, but ran second behind Lorenzo as the reigning champion scorched off the start line. The pair would proceed to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go. Pedrosa also dispatched of Lorenzo, but two final tours was not enough for last year’s winner to hunt down his teammate who won by three tenths of a second.
Marquez leads Pedrosa to a Repsol Honda 1-2
In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ultimately came out on top after a race-long duel with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, whereas LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl experienced a quiet ride to sixth spot from Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, locked together once again. The top ten was completed by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, just one second ahead of CRT rival Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) who had started in front of him.
A second lap collision between Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti saw both riders retire, with the Italian later undergoing an x-ray to his right hand. The other two retirements were Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek - from his home Grand Prix - and Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who were both out of action on the third lap. There was also frustration for pole man Crutchlow, who crashed out of fourth place on Lap 8, as well as for Czech Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who was unable to score points at home. Wildcard Martin Bauer (Remus Racing Team) succeeded in completing the distance.
The final race in the ongoing triple-header will be the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to which Marquez heads with 213 points, 26 - and more than the equivalent of one race win - ahead of Pedrosa and 44 in front of Lorenzo.
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