LAHORE: Four-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won his home Grand Prix in Spain on Sunday and took the lead on the championship by 70 points.
Marquez, who started the race from the second row at the fifth spot, took the lead on Lap 9 by passing Factory Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo. At Lap 11, he broke away from the rest of the group and was leading the Spanish GP with a gap of 1.3 seconds.
Speaking after the race, Marquez, who had a big wobble when he ran over the gravel left on the track by another off, said, “I was convinced before the race that I would be able to win.”
“I started from the second row but I was clever to overtake the other riders in the beginning,” the Spanish rider said, adding, “It was nearly impossible to overtake Lorenzo.”
He said, “Here the race is very long and you have to manage many things,” adding that the Spanish GP was “not a race about speed” but a race where being “precise” and making “the correct decision in every lap” was the key to victory.
“I saw Lorenzo braking so late and exiting so well from the corners but when I saw his tyres start to drop, I decided to make a move to lead the race and open a gap,” he added.
The Repsol Honda rider had a lonely ride for the last eight laps of the race after his main rivals crashed. Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso passed his teammate Jorge Lorenzo on Turn 6 and ran wide, only for the latter to move into the inside of the track and accidentally hit Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa in the process. All three riders went sliding into the gravel and were driven out of the race. Fortunately, all three walked away from the crash safely.
Tech 3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco claimed the runner-up spot, finishing the race 5.241 seconds behind Marquez. Zarco is currently the closest rival to Marquez in the championship with 58 points.
Speaking after the race, the Frenchman, who finished at the fourth position in the last three races, said that he could not believe his luck.
Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone finished at the third spot in the race and is currently fourth in the championship standings with 47 points just behind his teammate Maverick Vinales who has 50 points in the championship.
Dovizioso, who was previously leading the championship, has fallen to the fifth spot in the standings with 46 points.
Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi finished fifth at the race. He, however, reached another milestone when he completed the circumference of the planet in race kilometres. Starting from the 1996 Malaysian GP to the Spanish GP, Rossi has over 40,075 kilometres in competition.
Australian rider Jack Miller finished six and was the first Ducati rider to cross the finish line.
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who started the race from the pole, failed to finish the race. He crashed at Turn 1 on Lap 10 while he was running in the fourth position.
The crash between Marquez’s main rivals is of great significance because it has changed the course of the championship. It was assessed by stewards but no action was taken after they ruled the crash as purely accidental.