MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy – Marc Marquez bested Fabio Quartararo in a thrilling finish to earn his 77th Grand Prix victory on Sunday at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Maverick Viñales led the field at the start from the pole as Quartararo slotted into second. Behind them, Marquez quickly made his way from the second row to third by the eighth turn on the opening circuit.
The front trio, the fastest riders all weekend, began to stretch their lead on the rest of the field. On the second lap Quartararo dove under Viñales, snatching the lead away as Viñales fell into the clutches of Marquez.
On the fourth lap Marquez moved past Viñales in turn 10, taking the second position and setting his sights on Quartararo at the front of the field. Viñales struggled to hold the same pace as the lead duo, slowly falling out of contention.
Lap after lap, Quartararo continued to lead as Marquez continued to hound him. In the final 10 laps Marquez stayed right behind, waiting for his moment.
Finally, on the final lap, Marquez struck. Coming down the front stretch as they took the white flag Marquez got a run, diving under and past Quartararo to take the race lead.
Quartararo was not going to sit back and let Marquez take the win. Quartararo was back in the lead by the time they reached turn four, but Marquez struck back a few turns later in turn eight to regain the lead.
Quartararo got a good run through turns 11 and 12 and had a shot at Marquez in turn 14, but Marquez raced defensively and forced Quartararo to back out of the run. That assured the victory would go to Marquez, with Quartararo settling for second.
Marquez’s win, his 77th, moved him past Mike Hailwood for fourth all-time on the Grand Prix winner’s list.
“Honestly speaking, I knew it wasn’t necessary to win because I saw that (Alex) Rins was out and (Andrea) Dovizioso was far from us. but I had some extra motivation,” Marquez said. “I just tried to stay with Fabio as close as I could and in the end I was weighing up whether to try or not. On the last lap I decided to go. I knew Fabio was very fast in sector three, so I made my move before that and closed the corner as much as I could. Fabio rode a very strong race today. I raced as smart as I could and in the end it is nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to have 93 points of advantage.”
Viñales finished a distant third, with Valentino Rossi coming home fourth and Franco Morbidelli finishing fifth.