Aragon MotoGP: Marquez defeats Yamahas despite almost falling

Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP race of 2016 at Motorland Aragon, but had to work for it after almost falling on lap three and dropping back to fifth.

Aragon MotoGP: Marquez defeats Yamahas despite almost falling
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda, Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Poleman Marquez battled with Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the opening laps, and had just moved into the lead when briefly lost control of the front-end of his bike as he turned in to the corkscrew section of the track on lap three.

Despite dropping back to fifth as he saved the huge moment, he then surged back to the front – passing nearest title rival Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha for victory with 12 laps remaining.

Lorenzo grabbed second from teammate Rossi in the closing stages, who fought a tough duel for the position, with Vinales slipping back to fourth.

Story of the race

Marquez took the narrowest of leads into Turn 1 with Lorenzo attacking him hard through Turn 2, and then Vinales surged to the front at Turn 3.

Marquez briefly nosed back ahead, but Vinales was not to be denied, and Lorenzo was also past Marquez and into second by the time they arrived at the corkscrew section, with Rossi up to fourth and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in fifth.

Marquez lunged past Lorenzo for second at Turn 15 at the end of the opening lap. Vinales led lap two but had Marquez all over him, and Marc repeated his move on Lorenzo at Turn 15 to hit the front again.

While trying to pull away up front, Marquez had a huge moment on lap three, the front wheel almost going from underneath him, and he immediately fell to fifth.

Vinales looked stout up front, pulling three quarters of a second over the chasing Yamahas of Lorenzo and Rossi.

Marquez took a couple of laps to find his rhythm after his near-tumble, and slipped past Dovizioso at the final corner. Aleix Espargaro also moved past Dovizioso for fifth.

Rossi passed Lorenzo for second at Turn 1 with a very tidy move, and began his chase of Vinales.

Marquez mugged Lorenzo with his trademark move, and his move into third forced Rossi’s hand to get past Vinales, which he pulled off with 15 laps to go.

Vinales tried to lunge alongside Rossi at Turn 1, but ran wide and lost second to Marquez, who set off in pursuit of Rossi and the race win.

Rossi versus Marquez

The top two in the championship were now in a straight-out duel for victory.

Rossi had opted for the medium-compound front tyre, with Marquez on his preferred hard front cover (both were using the hard rear).

Marquez retook the lead with 12 laps remaining with his usual Turn 15 manoeuvre, while Lorenzo passed Vinales for third.

Marquez eased away from his pursuers to victory – as he had widely been expected to do from the start.

Vinales kept Lorenzo honest for third in the middle stages of the race, before Lorenzo raised his game and reeled in Rossi again in the closing stages.

Lorenzo snatched second with five laps to go, and Rossi’s efforts to fight back ended with him running very wide after he briefly lunged ahead, which guaranteed the runner-up spot for Lorenzo.

Behind the top four, Dani Pedrosa had moved up to fifth with Cal Crutchlow, who had lost three places off the start, in tow. Crutchlow dived past Pedrosa with seven laps to go to claim fifth.

Aleix Espargaro and Pedrosa swapped sixth numerous times, with Pedrosa claiming the position, these two ahead of Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), the ever-improving Aprilias of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl, and a lacklustre Dovizioso – who started on the medium rear tyre.

Scott Redding crashed at Turn 12 on the opening lap after being hit by Pramac Ducati teammate Danilo Petrucci, who received a ride-through penalty for the incident.

Tito Rabat also fell at Turn 5 in the closing stages, but his Marc VDS teammate Nicky Hayden - deputising for an injured Jack Miller - claimed the final point in 15th.

MotoGP race results:

Pos#RiderBikeTime
1 93  Marc Marquez  Honda 41'57.678
2 99  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 42'00.418
3 46  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 42'03.661
4 25  Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 42'05.916
5 35  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 42'10.899
6 26  Dani Pedrosa  Honda 42'14.750
7 41  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 42'16.200
8 44  Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 42'17.110
9 19  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 42'20.749
10 6  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 42'25.576
11 4  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 42'30.126
12 51  Michele Pirro  Ducati 42'32.711
13 8  Hector Barbera  Ducati 42'33.902
14 50  Eugene Laverty  Ducati 42'35.299
15 69  Nicky Hayden  Honda 42'38.187
16 68  Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 42'41.584
17 9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 42'54.418
18 76  Loris Baz  Ducati 42'57.359
19 45  Scott Redding  Ducati 43'31.804
Ret 53  Tito Rabat  Honda  
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