Motorsports Blog

27 April 2014

Marquez scores a hat-trick in Argentina

Nope, he didn't really bend it like Lionel Messi, but Marc's fighting ride did get him his third consecutive win of 2014

Amaan Ahmed
Car image



These days, if you switch to a MotoGP race that's underway with two laps having been completed already and you don't see Marc Marquez's name up top, chances are he's either crashed out (highly unlikely), or you're dreaming (very likely). Today, he was nowhere to be seen in the top three during the initial laps, and yet, at the end of 25 laps, #93 had finished the race in first place.

Jorge Lorenzo made the best start to a race this season, pulling off cleanly from the start line and taking the lead into T1. The action was a lot more hectic at the back, as Marquez dropped down to fifth, with Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi surging past him, and Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone shooting up from eighth to second. Pedrosa and Rossi passed Lorenzo when the former world champion made a braking error, only for him to come back strongly and overtake both Pedrosa and The Doctor through T13. It made for spectacular viewing. Proper jaw-on-the-floor stuff.

A couple of laps later, both Repsol Hondas were relegated to sixth and seventh, as Iannone, Dovizioso, Rossi and Bradl sparred amongst themselves, bikes running agonisingly close to each other. However, Marquez was slowly gaining ground, as he went about disposing of every rider in front of him, and soon enough, he was within two seconds of race leader Lorenzo. He whittled that down to under half a second, and then stuck to the Yamaha's tail until only 10 laps remained.

Then, he turned up the wick. He pushed Lorenzo to the absolute limit, and simply eased past him with just nine laps left, quickly building a lead in excess of a second. With five laps remaining, Pedrosa too started to reel JL99 in, a gap of two seconds between the two amounting to nothing as the RC213V overtook the M1 on the penultimate lap.

Rossi fought hard to take fourth, with Bradl finishing behind him. Iannone was the highest-placed Ducati of them all in sixth, his best showing in the premier class till date. Aleix Espargaro, who had started from fourth, scuppered yet another opportunity as he fell off his bike on Lap 2, but still managed to secure fifteenth place, which got him a single championship point. Alvaro Bautista's horror show continued, as he crashed out again, and he'll have to wait until Jerez to get another crack at scoring his first points of the season.

If Austin was a walk in the park, Termas de Rio Hondo made Marquez earn his third win of the season. With this result, he also becomes the first rider to win the first three races of the year having started from pole since Giacomo Agostini's effort in 1971. And even Lorenzo wasn't all that surprised to see him win. In fact, speaking to the media after the race, he said that he was actually surprised that he'd clung on to first place for so long. Speaks volumes about the kind of faith Yamaha's top gun reposes in Repsol Honda's men and machines.

The action moves to Jerez next weekend. We'd love to see an intense three-way battle between the three Spaniards, but the way it stands currently, Honda's running away with it, really. Still, early days. We shall see.

Race results:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Bradley Smith
8. Pol Espargaro
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Hiroshi Aoyama
11. Nicky Hayden
12. Yonny Hernandez
13. Karel Abraham
14. Scott Redding
15. Aleix Espargaro
16. Hector Barbera
17. Michele Pirro
18. Michael Laverty    
19. Mike Di Meglio
20. Colin Edwards
21. Broc Parkes    

DNF:
Alvaro Bautista    
Danilo Petrucci

Tags: valentino rossi, argentina, dani pedrosa, jorge lorenzo, yamaha, repsol honda, marc marquez