Motorsports Blog

13 July 2014

MotoGP: Marquez on cloud nine

50 per cent of the 2014 season is now complete, and all of it has been won by one man - the reigning world champion

Amaan Ahmed
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Most of Germany (and the rest of the globe, pretty much) has its eyes set on tonight's football World Cup finale. The Deutschland leg of this year's MotoGP was to be a mere distraction for ze Germans, but the start of the race almost had some believe that one of their countrymen was going to bring home the country's first trophy of the day.

On the final Warm-up lap, more than half the grid, running wet weather tyres, suddenly decided that it didn't need them, and a majority of them jumped into the pit lane to hop onto their dry weather-spec bikes. Which meant all of them had to start the race from the pits, leaving, amongst a few others, homeboy Stefan Bradl to start the race from the start line.

Bradl's decision to go with slick tyres seemed to be a master stroke. Here was a whole bunch of riders scurrying to get their bikes swapped at the last moment, while the German coolly watched the pit lane chaos unfold from the third spot on the grid.

The leaderboard at the start looked like someone had turned it upside down. All the usual Open class riders were amongst the top 10, and Marc Marquez and co made up the second half of the table. Danilo Petrucci ran in second for what were surely his best-ever moments in MotoGP, but we knew that the factory riders would return to their usual spots.

And they did. Marquez and Dani Pedrosa sliced through the pack of slowcoach riders and before the end of the sixth lap, both of them had pushed Bradl down to third. The problem was simple. The LCR Honda rider had chosen the correct set of tyres, but had them hastily fitted to a bike that was originally set up for wet conditions. He plummeted further down the order and eventually finished 16th. The Germans will hope something similar doesn't happen with Joachim Low's side in Brazil later tonight.

The chasm between Repsol Honda and Yamaha was summed up perfectly today - while the men-in-orange darted through the field to take the lead, the Yamahas struggled to break into the top five. Nevertheless, they did get into the top five, with Valentino Rossi taking fourth behind Jorge Lorenzo, who took the final spot on the podium.

Andrea Iannone was the best Ducati rider again today in fifth. The Espargaros followed closely, with Aleix in sixth, and Pol leapfrogging both the factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow to take seventh. Crutchlow could not even defend his ninth place, being edged out by Alvaro Bautista.

Pedrosa, who recently signed a new contract with Repsol Honda until the end of 2016, showed vigour, notching up some of the fastest lap times today, but even his inspired run could only fetch him second place.

Marquez has faced a lot of tricky situations this season, and he has dealt with all of them with intimidating authority. Even a pit lane start had absolutely no effect on the end result. He may as well start the race from his house in Spain next round, and still win it. That's how dominant he is at the moment.

The summer break has arrived, with Marquez scoring full marks in all nine tests. Next stop: Indianapolis, August 10. On to the football, then...

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

DNF:
Michael Laverty

Tags: valentino rossi, jorge lorenzo, repsol honda, dani pedrosa, marc marquez, moto gp, motogp

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