Unstoppable Marquez victorious at Le Mans

Posted by Amaan Ahmed at 08:17 am on Monday May 19, 2014

Marc Marquez knows how to keep the viewers hooked. Four wins in four races this season would convince almost anyone about MM93's sheer dominance, and with him sitting on pole for the fifth time this year, Le Mans should've been another cakewalk for the reigning world champion.

It wasn't.

If Marquez has ever had to fight hard to get a win in 2014, it was today. When the lights disappeared, Andrea Dovizioso slunk into first place at Turn 1, and Marquez ran off-track, and dropped down to tenth, behind teammate Dani Pedrosa. As he made desperate attempts to find his way up the field, he ran wide once again. At the front, Dovizioso's lead had been snatched away by Valentino Rossi, and Pol Espargaro too shot past the Ducati as the heavyweights slugged it out at the back.

Slowly but surely, Marquez eased past everyone else, and caught up with the Doctor. For a while it seemed as if Rossi was succeeding in keeping the champion at bay, but really, it was only a matter of time. With 15 laps remaining, Marquez snuck into the lead, and that was that. A fifth win on the trot for Repsol's No.1, only packaged differently this time.

Alvaro Bautista, who started the race in seventh, finished third, his best result since 2012. In fourth place was Pol Espargaro, the greenhorn who rode incredibly well to deny a resilient, not-so-fit Pedrosa a deeply impressive finish. Dani's been struggling with that arm of his all weekend, and fifth place with an iffy arm isn't a result to be sniffed at.

To see how much worse it could get, you could look at Jorge Lorenzo. He qualified sixth, and finished the race in sixth as well. Pedrosa simply went past him like his Yamaha was standing still, and again, like we've seen so many times this year, he could do absolutely nothing about it.

Bradl, Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith took the other spots in the top ten, while Andrea Iannone, who had gotten the closest to matching Marquez's lap times at Le Mans this weekend, first put Nicky Hayden out of the race after making contact with him on Lap 1, and he too crashed out shortly afterwards.

With today's fighting win, Marquez acquired two more records - first, he's the first rider to have won five consecutive races from pole since Mick Doohan's effort in 1997, and he's now the youngest-ever rider to take five wins on the bounce, taking that one away from Mike Hailwood. 125 points from five races. Stellar.

Mugello is up next in two weeks' time. Marquez does seem hard to stop, but Rossi has found form with three podiums in five races, and the next race is at his home circuit. He crashed out on Lap 1 last year, and he'll be looking to make amends. Still, one can only wonder if even Vale has what it'd take to halt Marquez's dream run.

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

DNF:
Andrea Iannone
Hector Barbera
Nicky Hayden

TAGS// valentino rossi, repsol honda, marc marquez, le mans, moto gp, motogp

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