Category: MotoGP

Marquez pulls off largest winning margin at MotoGP Round 2

Reigning Champion and pre-race favorite Marc Marquez has captured his first win of the year at the Termas de Rio Hondo, home of the MotoGP Round 2 race in Argentina. Though Marquez won the race, Valentino Rossi was the real highlight of the race as the Doctor pushed to the limits and finished in a remarkable runner-up spot.  Third place went to the first round winner, Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez had a lightning start from pole and was quickly up by a second ahead of everyone else after just a lap. From there, the defending champion never once looked back. Rossi, meanwhile, started strong from fourth on the grid and held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn’t succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back up. Dovizioso, too, was among the leaders as he feld second for most of the race.

Up front, Marquez was able to pull away lap after lap and had a 12-second at the three-quarters mark. In an amazing last dash to the finish line, Rossi decided to make his move to tussle with Dovizioso for second place. The pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.

Marquez was the winner and his win was accompanied the biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP race, The Champion’s previous best coming at the 2016 Argentina GP (a gap of 7.679s) and is his 45th win in the premier class. Marquez leaves Argentina with 45 points and the championship lead

Fourth was the Satellite Pramac Racing Jack Miller who topped factory riders  Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Dnailo Petrucci (Ducati). Seventh through tenth were the Satellite teams.

MotoGP circus prepares to travel to Austin, Texas for round three at the Red Bull Gran Prix of The Americas, 12 – 14 April.

MotoGP Round 2 Termas de Rio Hondo results

1            MARQUEZ Marc              Repsol Honda Team       41’43.688

2            ROSSI Valentino       Yamaha MotoGP                           +9.816

3            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         Ducati   10.530

4            MILLER Jack               Pramac Racing   12.140

5            RINS Alex                    Suzuki Ecstar     12.563

6            PETRUCCI Danilo             Ducati                 13.750

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        LCR Honda         18.160

8            QUARTARARO Fabio      Yamaha SRT                     20.403

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           Aprilia Racing    25.292

10          ESPARGARO Pol 44          Red Bull KTM    25.679

Riders standings

1            MARQUEZ Marc              SPA       45

2            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         ITA        41

3            ROSSI Valentino ITA       31

4            RINS Alex            SPA       24

5            PETRUCCI Danilo             ITA        20

6            CRUTCHLOW Cal             GBR       19

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        JPN        16

8            MILLER Jack       AUS       13

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           SPA       13

10          ESPARGARO Pol SPA       10

MotoGP contingent heads to Argentina for Round 2

After an exciting season-opener in Qatar, MotoGP prepares for Round 2 at familiar grounds of Termas de Rio in Argentina. The Argentine round is one of the longest races in the championship at over 120 kilometers across 25 laps. Characterized by multiple long straights, demanding left-hand corners and often-unpredictable weather, the race has produced five different premier class winners in six years.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez is eager to sought his revenge after a close-shave battle with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who won the first race. Marquez has a brilliant record at Termas with two wins previously, the only premier class rider to win there more than once. “We started well in Qatar and fought until the end for victory. The goal is of course to do the same in Argentina and take as many points as possible. Time between the two races has been good, I was able to return training with a motocross bike and I feel confident for this race.”

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo had a first race to forget, but he vows to come back strong in Argentina. The multiple Champion will continue to learn and adapt to the RC213V machine. After a physically punishing weekend, where it was later revealed he had sustained a fissure to one of his ribs, Lorenzo and the team are aiming for a smooth weekend.

Following a good weekend in Qatar, Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who finished 1st and 6th , hope to continue their consistent results in Argentina. Dovizioso rode with all his might and experience to fend off Marquez for the win. He feels that the bike has a superb straight line speed, but needs improvement on the corners.  “We need to improve our corner speed. This year there are plenty of quick riders and it’ll be crucial not to lose too many points on less favorable tracks.”

Petrucci on his full factory squad stint is confident to support his championship leading team mate. He aims to finish in the top five, given the bike’s praise-worthy performance.

Factory Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales need to answer their rivals in a hurry, otherwise it’d be a long and arduous season for the proud MotoGP squad. Rossi was just 0.6s off the victory at the opening round, despite starting from fourteenth. He showed great potential of this year’s YZR-M1.

In Argentina, Rossi is big with the South American fans. The nine-time champion hopes to not disappoint his fans there and aims for a podium finish, like he did in 2015 with a win. In 2016 and 2017, he took scored second on both occasion.

Though he didn’t end the first race of the season as high as he would have liked, Viñales took the positives from the first weekend in Losail and is motivated to show his speed again at Termas. Vinales had a win in Argentina two years ago, but he struggled here last year in a slightly chaotic and challenging race, but he still took home solid points, securing fifth position. This year he wants to feel competitive again, so he can duplicate the 2017 result.

The action in Argentina starts a bit later than usual, from Malaysian time.As always, practice, practice/qualifying 1, qualifying 2 and raceday.

MotoGP season kicks off under the floodlights: Dovizioso Wins!

The first race of the new season was an exciting affair as Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso won a head-to-head battle against Reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez. Dovizioso was able to repeat the win from last year after 22 laps of non-stop fight with the Repsol Honda ace. In the end, the Italian won by just 23 thousandths of a second from the Spaniard.

LCR’s Cal Crutchlow topped Suzuki’s Alex Rins and the factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi for third and the final podium spot.

Off the block, Dovizioso shot to the lead, with Marquez hot on his tracks.,along with Rins who trailed the duo. Rossi, due to a poor qualifying position, had to start from 14th on the grid, but it only took a couple of laps for him to climb up to 10th.

Up front.  yhere was a frantic melee between the leading seven riders playing out over the next 20 laps. Marquez held a brief lead from Dovizioso within the 20-lap span, but Dovizioso made short work of it. Maverick Vinales was amongst the top seven, before Rossi quickly caught with the pack. Before long, a certain Franco Morbidelli passed the Doctor with 12 laps to go but the Italian didn’t let up.  Two laps later, the Doctor returned the favor, using the slipstream to overtake his compatriot going into turn 1.

By three quarters of the race, Dovizioso and Marquez were in their own world and the rest just tagged along. Rossi overtook his team mate after lap 15, then Joan Mir and Danilo Petrucci. In the final laps. Rossi would finish 0.600secs from the top.

Marquez made one last dash for the lead but Dovizioso covered his lines well to prevent that. Elsewhere, Petrucci rode a solid race, recovering several positions after suffering a non-optimal start from third row. After climbing back to third, Petrucci faced a small drop and finished the race in sixth, only two seconds behind his teammate. 

Dovizioso rode remarkably despite the slippery conditions, “I’m super happy about this win, especially because after the tests I wouldn’t have expected to be so fast. We stayed focused and we made progress in each session. Our strategy in the race was simply to preserve the tyre, and this made the difference, but it wasn’t easy because I led for most of the race and I couldn’t really study my opponents. Marquez gave it everything he could, as usual, and pushed me to the limit.”

Vinales would end up seventh, ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir, LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Aprilla’s Alexi Espargaro.  Jorge Lorenzo’s debut with Repsol Honda was heavily restricted by lingering pain in his back and shoulder, after heavy crashes a day before. Focusing on his own rhythm and understanding the Honda over race distance, Lorenzo battled to 13th to earn three points.

The MotoGP will be back in action in three weeks’ time at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the Argentine GP, held from 29th – 31st March.

2019 MotoGP Losail Circuit results

1            Andrea DOVIZIOSO        ITA        Mission Winnow Ducati              Ducati   166.6    42’36.902

2            Marc MARQUEZ              SPA       Repsol Honda Team              Honda  166.6    +0.023

3            Cal CRUTCHLOW             GBR       LCR Honda CASTROL              Honda  166.6    +0.320

4            Alex RINS           SPA       Team SUZUKI ECSTAR    Suzuki              166.6    +0.457

5            Valentino ROSSI ITA        Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP              Yamaha 166.6    +0.600

6            Danilo PETRUCCI            ITA        Mission Winnow Ducati              Ducati   166.4    +2.320

7            Maverick VIÑALES          SPA       Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP             Yamaha 166.4    +2.481

8            Joan MIR            SPA       Team SUZUKI ECSTAR    Suzuki              166.3    +5.088

9            Takaaki NAKAGAMI        JPN        LCR Honda IDEMITSU              Honda  166.1    +7.406

10          Aleix ESPARGARO           SPA       Aprilia Racing Team Gresini              Aprilia   166.0    +9.636

Riders standings

1            Andrea DOVIZIOSO        Ducati   ITA        25

2            Marc MARQUEZ              Honda  SPA       20

3            Cal CRUTCHLOW             Honda  GBR       16

4            Alex RINS           Suzuki   SPA       13

5            Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA        11

6            Danilo PETRUCCI            Ducati   ITA        10

7            Maverick VIÑALES          Yamaha SPA       9

8            Joan MIR            Suzuki   SPA       8

9            Takaaki NAKAGAMI        Honda  JPN        7

10          Aleix ESPARGARO           Aprilia   SPA       6

11          Franco MORBIDELLI       Yamaha ITA        5

12          Pol ESPARGARO KTM      SPA       4

13          Jorge LORENZO Honda  SPA       3

14          Andrea IANNONE           Aprilia   ITA        2

15          Johann ZARCO   KTM      FRA       1

16          Fabio QUARTARARO      Yamaha FRA      

17          Miguel OLIVEIRA             KTM      POR      

Vinales tops all in MotoGP Final Pre-season test


MotoGP’s final pre-season testing at Losail International Circuit, Qatar is done and dusted, prior to the start of the new campaign at the same track, 8 – 10 March.  

Repsol Honda’s pair of Reigning Champion Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo are more than satisfied with the outcome of the final testing. Marquez and Lorenzo were fourth and sixth fastest in the combined times, but it was Maverick Vinales who topped the final day’s proceedings, ahead of Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararp and Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

Although slightly delayed by the weather conditions at Losail, Marquez and Lorenzo were able to make up the lost time during their remaining time on track. Marquez led the charge and set a succession of quick laps, settling on a 1:54.613 before the end of his run. Even after a fall, the champion continued to push on and ran 144 laps and set the fourth best time of 1:54.613. Lorenzo also had a fall, but bounced back to secure the sixth best lap time after 115 laps.

Ducati factory squad’s Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso completed 126 and 132 laps respectively in their GP19s. Both riders tried first and foremost to optimize the setup for the race.

Championship rival Yamaha MotoGP riders both were persistent in the final day’s program, Vinales claimed the top of the combined time sheets, while Valentino Rossi was fifth overall.  Vinales did it with a scorcher lap of 1:54.208 on lap 25/50. Rossi improved on his lap times an eventually ended up fourth best in the final day’s time sheet, to go fifth best overall.

With a personal best of 1:54.818, Petrucci finished the tests in 10th position in the combined rankings, which were characterized by narrow gaps as the first 15 riders finished within one second. Dovizioso closed in 15th position, +0.387 behind his teammate, with a personal best of 1:55.205.

The new season is set to start in Qatar, 8 – 10 March.

2019 MotoGP Pre-seaosn Test combined results

1 VINALES Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’54.208
2 QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.233
3 RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.385
4 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.405
5 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.443
6 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.445
7 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.452
8 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.562
9 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.581
10 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 0.610

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