Marquez wins, heartbreak for Quartararo at Jerez

Marc Marquez pic:

Marc Marquez has reclaimed the MotoGP championship lead with a win at Jerez as rookie pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo suffered a mechanical failure while running second.

Marquez led from the first corner to the last while the Petronas SRT Yamaha of Quartararo got stuck in third gear on Lap 14 after he and team-mate Franco Morbidelli had run with the current world champion early on.

Alex Rins backed up his maiden win at the Circuit of the Americas three weeks earlier with a second placing from ninth on the grid which has the Suzuki Ecstar rider one point behind Marquez in the standings.

The final podium position went to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales while Jack Miller crashed with two laps remaining as he fought over 10th position with Aleix Espargaro.

Marquez got the jump on Quartararo and Morbidelli from third on the grid while Andrea Dovizioso briefly looked like stealing second when he went deep on the outside of Turn 1.

However, Morbidelli forced Dovizioso to pick up his Mission Winnow Ducati when he put his satellite Yamaha on the pre-race championship leader’s inside.

Dovizioso dropped to fifth as Quartararo took up third position, behind his team-mate, Viñales sat fourth, and Miller climbed from 15th to 11th in the first sector.

Morbidelli and Quartararo were sticking with the #93 Repsol Honda on the opening lap, during which Rins gained three positions to run sixth and Miller grabbed another spot.

Dovizioso went under Viñales at Turn 1 on Lap 3 but couldn’t make the move stick and instead found himself losing fifth position to Rins at Turn 9 on Lap 6.

Marquez moved his lead well beyond a second on Lap 10 and when Morbidelli missed the apex at Turn 6 next time around, Quartararo did not waste the opportunity to nip past him.

By then, Rins had caught the trio of Yamahas and picked off Viñales on the final corner of that lap.

Morbidelli didn’t have the pace to stay with Quartararo but the 20-year-old Frenchman slowed dramatically on the run to Turn 6 on Lap 14, just as Rins made the move on the other SRT entry.

Rins wasted little time in establishing a margin between himself and Morbidelli but Marquez was not going to be caught by the time the chequered flag flew after 25 laps.

The Honda rider again reset the lap record on the new Jerez surface on Lap 15 and got as far as four seconds ahead before easing off to take victory by 1.654s.

Attention instead turned to the fight for the final step on the podium as Morbidelli faded fast.

Viñales passed #21 on Lap 16 before both factory Ducati riders, Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, went by on Lap 17.

Dovizioso, however, could not fashion a move on Viñales and that was the difference between holding on to a shared championship lead or leaving Spain three points behind Marquez.

Petrucci finished fifth while Valentino Rossi took sixth from a starting berth of 13th on the #46 Monster Energy Yamaha, and Morbidelli seventh.

Miller, who qualified 15th, had been seventh for a brief moment when he fired down the inside of Cal Crutchlow at the start of Lap 16, but found himself losing pace in the latter laps.

The Queenslander tried to cut back on Aleix Espargaro when the Gresini Aprilia went down his inside at Turn 13 on Lap 23 but lowsided the #43 Pramac Ducati.

It was in fact Team HRC test rider Stefan Bradl who rounded out the top 10 on the #6 Honda, behind Crutchlow (Castrol LCR Honda) in eighth and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) in ninth.

Aleix Espargaro finished 11th, Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) 12th, and Pol Espargaro 13th on the first of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes.

Neither Pramac entry would take the chequered flag after Francesco Bagnaia also crashed out, as did Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir.

Quartararo, meanwhile, was crying in the SRT garage after trundling back to pit lane on the ailing Yamaha.

Andrea Iannone (Gresini Aprilia) was a non-starter due to soreness resulting from his crash in Free Practice 4.

Round 5 takes the field to Le Mans, France on May 17-19.

Race results: Spanish MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 41:08.685
2 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.654
3 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +2.443
4 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati +2.804
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati +4.748
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +7.547
7 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +8.228
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +10.052
9 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +10.274
10 6 Stefan BRADL GER Team HRC Honda +13.402
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +15.431
12 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +18.473
13 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +20.156
14 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +26.706
15 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +28.513
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +36.858
17 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Aprilia Factory Racing Aprilia +41.390
18 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +41.570
19 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +50.568
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 3 Laps
DNF 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 5 Laps
DNF 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 12 Laps
DNF 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 19 Laps

Race winner: 25 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
2 Alex RINS ESP 69
4 Valentino ROSSI ITA 61
5 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 41
6 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 30
7 Jack MILLER AUS 29
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 29
14 Jorge LORENZO ESP 11
15 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 9
16 Joan MIR ESP 8
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 7
18 Johann ZARCO FRA 7
19 Stefan BRADL GER 6
20 Andrea IANNONE ITA 6
21 Tito RABAT ESP 2
22 Karel ABRAHAM CZE  
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS  
24 Bradley SMITH GBR  

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