ON YOUR MARQUEZ, GET SET, GO!
HISTORY IN THE MAKING FROM THE MARQUEZ BROTHERS
Double MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored his 13th victory of 2014 at Valencia on November 9th to become the most successful rider over the course of a premier-class season. The Spanish phenomenon took the record from another Repsol Honda rider, Mick Doohan, who won 12 races during the 1997 500cc World Championship.
Earlier in the day Marquez had been boosted by the superb Moto3 World Championship achieved by his younger brother Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), which makes the pair the first siblings to win Grand Prix world titles since the dawn of motorcycle Grand Prix racing in 1949.
Marquez's record-breaking MotoGP ride was nerve-wracking in the extreme, with light drizzle falling after half-distance which had several riders enter the pits to change to their number-two bikes fitted with rain tires. Marquez - who had made his way into the lead from third place at the end of the first lap - saw his lap times drop several seconds as the rainfall reduced grip. But he bravely and correctly decided to continue on slicks, despite a fall at the recent Aragon Grand Prix, where he had come to grief on a dampened track while using slicks.
All this time he was under serious pressure from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who doggedly chased the youngster until the track started drying out and Marquez increased his pace again to beat the Italian by 3.5 seconds, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) crossing the line in third place. The pair's Valencia results were enough to win Repsol Honda the team's title for the second consecutive year. Honda had already won the MotoGP Constructors World Championship, for the fourth consecutive time.
Marquez's 19th career MotoGP win - and his 45th in total across three categories - is the culmination of another astonishing season from the 21-year-old who last year became the youngest rider to win the premier-class title and this year the youngest rider to win the world's most important motorcycling prize twice in succession.
Pedrosa racing hard!
Pedrosa's third-place result was a great return to form after DNFs at the last two events. The former 125 and 250 World Champion once again raced hard throughout, battling his way through from fifth place at the end of the first lap and then resisting the temptation to call into the pits for rain tires. Although he eventually lost touch with the front two, he continued to run a fast pace in the treacherous conditions.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) had a difficult final race with Honda. He started well but struggled with grip on the damp track and didn't want to risk a fall in his last ride with the LCR team. The former Moto2 World Champion ended the race in eighth place, just behind the Yamahas of Pol and Aleix Espargaro.
Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) had another excellent ride to finish tenth and top Open Honda between the factory-spec Ducatis of Michele Pirro and Hector Barbera. With less power than the factory bikes he tried to use the damp conditions to his advantage but in the end he lacked the grip to beat Pirro.
Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) maintained a good pace when the rain first arrived, but when more drizzle fell he struggled with grip and was unable to fight as he would've liked. He completed the season with a 13th-place result.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RC213V-RS) did a great job to score the final World Championship point in the first race on the RCV213V-RS which he rode for the first time on Friday. The Japanese - who will work as a test rider for HRC next year - also chose the hard rear tire which wasn't the ideal choice for the damp conditions.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) had yet another difficult race, struggling to get the right feeling. He finished 16th.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) finished a difficult weekend in 17th spot. He actually found his machine worked better in the slightly slippery conditions but as the track dried again he was unable to stay with Aoyama's RC213V-RS.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) won a shock last-gasp victory in the Moto2 race, after chasing recently crowned World Champion Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) throughout. On several occasions the Swiss rider was to able to sneak past the Spaniard - for the last time at Turn Two on the final lap - but he was never able to make it stick, Rabat always reclaiming the advantage in an instant.
As the pair accelerated out of the final corner for the last time Rabat was several meters in front and seemed all set for his eighth victory of the season when he suffered slight fuel starvation and Luthi went charging past. Rabat's problem was caused by a lower track temperature that caused more slides which used more fuel, leaving him a fraction short at the end.
That lost Rabat just enough acceleration to allow Luthi to blast past to win his second victory from the last four races and secure fourth place in the championship. Luthi has come on strong during the last few races thanks to a revised chassis from Suter that turned his season around, allowing to win his first race of the year at Motegi. At the line the pair were covered by just 0.133 seconds, a typically close finish.
History in the making
Alex Marquez made history this morning, taking the Moto3 title following a breathtaking race which had fans on the edge of their seats throughout. The mathematics were simple: if Marquez's only title rival Jack Miller (KTM) won the race, then Marquez had to finish third to ta ke the title.
The race was less simple. The lead group sometimes numbered up to ten riders, with positions changing dramatically every few corners, with Marquez dropping several places at one point as riders jostled for position.
In the final laps Miller assumed control of the race from Isaac Vinales (KTM), with Marquez third, chased hard by Danny Kent (Husqvarna). In the last lap Kent closed remorselessly on Marquez and looked ready to make a move and push the title in Miller's direction, until he ran wide three corners from the checkered flag. That gave Marquez the breathing space he needed and he crossed the line in third, shaking his head in delight while his crew and older brother danced with delight in pit lane.
In a class in which it's almost impossible to ride tactically, Marquez did a perfect job to take the title from Miller by just two points.
His team-mate Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) and Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) also figured heavily in the lead battle, but got pushed back in the melee to finish fourth and fifth. John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) had also been in there until he slid off on the last lap, then remounted to finish 17th. Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) finished the race in 12th spot and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250RW) in 19th.
Honda and KTM were tied on 384 points in the chase for the constructors championship with KTM taking the title on race results count back.
Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: race winner:
“I am so pleased, especially for my brother! It is a very happy day, even more than in Motegi when I was crowned champion. Today Alex took the Moto3 title that he deserved, and to cap it off I was able to close the year with a victory here in Valencia. I congratulate my brother for his season, because both him and Honda have done a great job this year! Now it's time to celebrate in the way that the occasion deserves, because it will be difficult to repeat another season like this. During today's race I was reminded of Aragon, because it was raining and there was a moment in which I considered whether or not to change the bike. In the end we stayed calm and today we were successful with our strategy. It was an ordeal which I enjoyed but suffered a bit at times! Thanks to the whole team for all their efforts this season!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 3rd
“It has not been my best season and obviously I'm not satisfied, but you have to take the positives from the situation because we learned a lot this year. Over the next few days we have some testing and we will try to get the best out of the bike for the next test, which comes in February. Today's race was difficult. It rained a lot in some areas of the track and it was very hard to keep upright because at other parts of the track it was dry. We had to take risks and also be careful at the same time. On the other hand, we finished on the podium and that's good because we hadn't taken points at the previous two races.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 8th
“Sure I was expecting a bit more from this race because our pace was faster than what we finally achieved. But this race was really strange because it started to rain the first laps and I was not strong enough to make the pace. Honestly I did not want to crash to ruin my last race with LCR and Honda. This is an acceptable position considering that I am not a fan of this racetrack. I was expecting something more from this season but with these ups and downs it was not easy. I really enjoyed these three years with LCR and my greatest thanks go to Lucio [Cecchinello] because he believed in me and, together with the team and the team sponsors, they have done the maximum to support me.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th
“I'm happy for this top ten result in the last race: the conditions were tricky, but I was able to use it to my advantage. The group of riders in front of me was not so far ahead and I tried my best till the end, even though the soft tire dropped down a little bit, so it was quite difficult for me to ride fast on the long corners, because you need to spin it to make the bike turn. However, overall we had a great weekend: I wanted to make a good result to say thank you to all the team and I did it. We have been quite a lot faster than the other Open Honda bikes and I ended the season as the first Open Honda in the championship, so I'm really happy.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar: 13th
“I had a good feeling in warm-up, a pretty dec ent pace, the closest I've been to the top guys since I came back. I was hoping for a little better race. The bike was working good, I moved up early and felt good in the first little shower but by the last shower the tire was off and I lost a lot of time and got swallowed up by a few guys. I had a good race, back and forth with a lot of guys, unfortunately it was for 13th. It wasn't too much fun racing a wet track on slicks. You could smell the water and see it, though only the last corner was really, really wet. You couldn't trail brake there or into Turn Eight, but the rest of track was pretty grippy. I never really thought about coming in. Every forecast and radar we'd seen said it'd just be a few drops. At Aragon the radar said at 2.30 it'd be real rain, so soon as it started raining I came in.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar: 15th
“The conditions were really difficult, with the rain; plus we only got the bike this week so we needed to work on set-up a little more. Today we tried to focus to make the best possible race. We chose the harder tire which was a little bit too hard with the rain. I struggled with rear grip especially at the beginning and when the track got wet. It was not easy to keep my pace, but I tried my do best to get the get best result. We had never even done a long run, so we learned something in the race. It was good experience for us and I was happy to finish. Mainly the bike needs bit more adjustment with the Magneti ECU. The race was like a test for us because the electronics weren't perfectly adjusted, but I was strong in the later laps which was good.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 16th
“Unfortunately, the result of this race sums up our season: a disaster. Even in this last race we were never able to make the bike work and as a result we weren't able to fight with the second group of riders. When it started to rain the situation was even worse and I was getting even less feeling. Too bad, I'm sorry also because this was my last race with Honda. Today is coming to an end a season to forget, definitely one of the toughest in my career.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 17th
“After yesterday's bad qualifying I got 17th place. The weather helped a bit and it's a pity that it did not help me even more. After the start, the bike was sliding a lot, but when the rain started I could feel more and I enjoyed riding more. Due to that I managed to reach the group in front of me and I was riding for points. When the track dried again there was no other possibility to get in front and Aoyama overtook me. I could not fight with him because he was riding the 2015 bike and in the straights he was much faster than me. On the other hand I know what we can look forward and we will be much more competitive next year.”
Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten Sitag: race winner
“What a surprise! Out of the exit of the last corner I couldn't believe it - I thought maybe it was a yellow flag - but then I realised something was wrong with his bike and I took profit of that. Tito was so strong, he made no mistakes and I couldn't really get by him all race, until those last few seconds. Now me and my team go our separate ways and I think this is the best way to thank them for all their work.”
Esteve Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd
“I made a good start and found a good rhythm. I wanted to stay in front of Tom because his bike was faster than mine. But the cooler temperature made the bike slide more, so after the last corner the last bit of fuel didn't make it into the engine properly. Anyway, I'm so happy with the work of the team and I've had the best bike all season. My thanks to my team and sponsors and sorry to the fans for today!”
Johann Zarco, AirAsia Caterham: 3rd
“I think it was possible to win but I crashed in warm-up so my confidence wasn't at the top for the race. At first I fought with Aegerter and Morbidelli, so Luthi and Rabat were able to go away. I tried my best to catch them but I was missing a few tenths. I'm happy with third place and a big thank you to my team for repairing the bike which was quite badly damaged.”
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 3rd and World Champion
“I am very happy. It has been a very eventful race, with some complicated situations, but yesterday I felt very strong and I knew I could handle those moments calmly. I was very competitive at all times during the race. Getting this title is the result of all the hard work we've done this season and is a reward for never losing patience and always wanting to get better and better. I wanted to win this title cleanly, and that's what we did. I knew that if a difficult situation was created then I could play the same game, but finally we were able to take the title cleanly. Now the important thing is that we won.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 5th
“It was a race that I would do all over again right now. I had a lot of fun and time flew by, even though I did not have a good feeling with the bike. I saw that I didn't have a chance of winning the race, because the rear tire would not have lasted, so I decided to try to help my teammate. I shouldn't forget that thanks to him I've got where I am. We've been riding together since 2010 and over the past two years he has taken a big step forward, which has made me grow as well. I have to congratulate him for the championship win and also thank the team for all these years together.”
Efren Vazquez, SaxoPrint-RTG: 6th
“I was trying to help Alex as much as possible. We wanted to win the race but at the same time I tried to be intelligent for Honda, so I made sure I didn't disturb Alex if I was able to overtake him. Finally I lost a few positions and once I could see Alex was safe in third I pushed my maximum for my own result. I am happy enough; we finished the championship in fourth place and I would like to say thank you to Honda for all their help and support this year.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 18: Valencia
MotoGP Rank Rider (Team) F/O
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team) F
2 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) F
3 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) F
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team) F
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Ducati Team) F
6 Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) F
7 Aleix ESPARGARO (NGM Forward Racing) O
8 Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP) F
9 Michele PIRRO (Ducati Team) F
10 Scott REDDING (GO & FUN Honda Gresini) O
11 Hector BARBERA (Avintia Racing) O
12 Danilo PETRUCCI (Octo IodaRacing Team) O
13 Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar) O
14 Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) F
15 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar) O
* F=Factory option, O=Open category
Moto2 Rank Rider (Team)
1 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Sitag)
2 Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3 Johann ZARCO (AirAsia Caterham)
4 Luis SALOM (Paginas Amarillas HP 40)
5 Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
6 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
7 Sam LOWES (Speed Up)
8 Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)
9 Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
10 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Gresini Moto2)
11 Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
12 Ricard CARDUS (Tech 3)
13 Jonas FOLGER (AGR Team)
14 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
15 Louis ROSSI (SAG Team)
Moto3 Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Isaac VIÑALES (Calvo Team)
3 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4 Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)
5 Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6 Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)
7 Niccolò ANTONELLI (Junior Team GO & FUN Moto3)
8 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
9 Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
10 Karel HANIKA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11 Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team GO & FUN Moto3)
12 Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
13 Jakub KORNFEIL (Calvo Team)
14 Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
15 Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
Information form a Honda press release Nov 10th
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.