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Another Perfect Day for Marquez

Moto GP 2014

maddix park mx

www.motorcycle-usa.com  By Byron Wilson

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez maintained a perfect record through Round 5 at Le Mans, scoring his fifth-straight victory from pole position in as many rounds. Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi finished in second followed by Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in third.

Competitors looking to break Marquez’s streak were given a glimmer of hope in the initial laps at the French circuit as the Repsol rider slotted into 10th-place off the start. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ran to the head of the pack, holding the lead through Lap 1 followed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Rossi, Tech 3 Yamaha’S Pol Espargaro and teammate Bradley Smith, Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Bautista. Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, settled into eighth with Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, close behind in ninth. One rider, Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden, didn’t make it through the first lap. The American came wide out of a turn and was tapped on the inside by Iannone, sending Hayden to the ground and out of the race.

The following lap Iannone crashed out of the race as well. Subsequent laps saw positions shift throughout the top-10. Marquez began his ascent in the ranks, passing Pedrosa and then Bautista when the Gresini rider ran wide. At that point Marquez set his sights on Lorenzo and the two closed in on Smith, with the Mallorcan pushing past the Tech 3 rider in short order. A few turns later Marquez slipped past Smith as well for sixth-place. Out front Rossi pushed ahead of Bradl and then waged a brief back-and-forth with Dovi for the lead. Three laps in the Doctor took over the front.

Dovi dropped down the ranks quickly after ceding position to Rossi, with Pol sliding past into second followed by Bradl soon after into third. With 22 laps remaining Marquez made the move on Lorenzo for fifth-place and then zeroed-in on Dovi, passing the Italian in the same lap for fourth. Bradl and Pol were in close battle for the runner-up spot, aiding the hard-charging Marquez as he closed the small gap to podium position. With 19 laps left to go Marquez caught and passed Bradl for third and then on the next lap he made the same move on Pol for second. It took a few more rotations for Marquez to close in on Rossi out front but soon the Repsol rider was pressuring the Yamama ace for the lead.

The spirited battle between Rossi and Marquez for the front never came to pass, however. Rossi ran wide with 16 laps to go, giving Marquez a clear and clean line to the lead. From there Marquez opened a slight gap, riding out the remainder of the race unchallenged.

"I am really happy with this win, which was different to the other victories. I made a mistake at the start; maybe I was too relaxed off the line, then when Jorge [Lorenzo] passed me I had to take a wide line otherwise we would have touched and as a result, many riders overtook me. However, from that moment on I began a really good comeback it was a lot of fun, ending in my fifth consecutive victory. Although it might look easy to people, we are working extremely hard and this is the reward for the whole team!"

Bautista had an impressive performance as well, lapping early on well outside the top-five and mounting a mid-race come-back for the third podium of his premier-class career. Pol was elated with his fourth-place result, his best finish to-date in GP. Pedrosa finished in fifth, citing front tire grip issues as the primary obstacle to his pushing harder throughout the race. Lorenzo crossed the line in sixth followed by Bradl and Dovizioso in seventh and eighth, respectively. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro took ninth ahead of Smith, who finished 10th.

Marquez now has a 42 point advantage on Pedrosa, who sits second overall. Rossi is closing in on the runner-up spot in the championship, now just two points adrift of Pedrosa in third. Dovi is fourth followed by Lorenzo in fifth, who is 80 points down on the championship leader.

MotoGP Le Mans Results 2014 
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 
3. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 
4. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 
5. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 
9. Aleix Espargaro (Forward-Yamaha) 
10. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 
11. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 
12. Scott Redding (Honda) 
13. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 
15. Karel Abraham (Honda) 
16. Michael Laverty (PBM) 
17. Colin Edwareds (Forward-Yamaha) 
18. Broc Parkes (PBM) 
19. Mike di Meglio (Avintia)

MotoGP Championship Points 2014 
1. Marc Marqeuz, 125 
2. Dani Pedrosa, 83 
3. Valentino Rossi, 81 
4. Andrea Dovizioso, 53 
5. Jorge Lorenzo, 45 
6. Stefan Bradl, 39 
7. Pol Espargaro, 38 
8. Aleix Espargaro, 37 
9. Bradley Smith, 34 
10. Alvaro Bautista, 26 

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