ALCANIZ, Spain – Marc Marquez padded his MotoGP point lead with a victory on Sunday at MotorLand Aragon, his sixth of the season.
The victory was far from easy for Marquez, who survived a race-long battle with Andrea Dovizioso at the front of the field while Andrea Iannone finished third for Team Suzuki Ecstar.
Jorge Lorenzo stole the pole from Dovizioso and Marquez on Saturday, but it was Marquez who got the jump at the start of the race. Marquez dove to the inside to grab the holeshot, sending Dovizioso and Lorenzo wide, with Lorenzo highsiding and crashing out of the race. He suffered a dislocated toe in the process.
The drama in the opening corner opened the door for Dovizioso to take the race lead, with Marquez, Iannone and Alex Rins giving chase. Dovizioso settled into a rhythm and controlled the pace, with the front four eventually building a two-second gap to the pursuing pack.
On lap 11 Dovizioso and Marquez turned things up and built a gap on Suzuki duo of Iannone and Rins, meaning the race would be settled between them.
On lap 14 Marquez struck, slicing past Dovizioso in turn 12. On lap 16 Dovizioso ducked under Marquez in turn four, but Marquez responded in the next corner. Dovizioso struck back again in turn seven, but three laps later Marquez pounced again in turn 12.
In turn 14 on the same lap Marquez briefly ran wide, allowing Dovizioso to take a peak under him. He managed to get back in line behind Dovizioso and turned back under him to grab the lead again one corner later.
The pair continued to battle until turn five on lap 21, when Marquez made the race-winning move. He would hold firm for the rest of the race, with Dovizioso chasing him home in second.
“I woke up this morning with the idea that today I could take a risk. I hadn’t felt totally at ease during the weekend with the hard rear spec tire so, after the warm-up, I said to my team that I wanted to use the soft rear. That started many meetings and discussions but in the end I won the race because I could convince my box to take that gamble,” Marquez said. “In the end, it was the correct choice. I had a good start but soon after I almost lost the front in a dirty spot on the track, so I had to release the brakes and go a bit wide. I didn’t realize until the end that Lorenzo had crashed.
“Anyway, the fight was very tight with Dovi and Iannone as well; it was a hard fight but within the limit. This is MotoGP, and it’s what the fans enjoy to watch. Motorland is one of my favourite tracks, and I enjoyed so much riding here over the weekend even if the pressure was high, with events, people, and many things to do every day. I mean, it’s good but also demanding. Even with this, I managed to remain focused, work well with the team, and ultimately to stop Ducati’s momentum.”
Iannone and Rins finished third and fourth for Suzuki, with Aleix Espargaro finishing fifth.