MotoGP Aragon: Win and championship lead for Marquez

Picture: Bonnie Lane

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez took victory and the series lead at Motorland Aragon this afternoon while title rival Andrea Dovizioso limped home in seventh place after running out of grip in the later stages.

Marquez pushed past Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo with eight laps left to run and immediately opened a gap. Lorenzo had no answer and then came under attack from Dani Pedrosa on the second Repsol RC213V as the little Spaniard slowly worked his way through the pack.

Valentino Rossi rode to an heroic fifth place after spending the opening half of the race in second place. He eventually succumbed to the faster pace of team-mate Maverick Vinales with three laps left as Dovizoso scythed his way backwards, falling prey to Aleix Espargaro.

Equipped with the soft rear Michelin, Lorenzo scorched off the line with poleman Vinales, Rossi, Cal Crutchlow and Marquez in close attendance. The three-time champion didn’t hang about, opening a 0.7s gap on one lap but an error from Vinales at turn 16 saw him run wide and drop off the pace.

Pedrosa, who opted for the medium, got a bit stuck behind Vinales as the youngster struggled to get into his rhythm and dropped into the 1’50s. Rossi, broken leg or not, began to reel in Lorenzo but couldn’t find a way past as Marquez, on the hard rear, found a way past Dovizioso.

Crutchlow ran wide at at turn one on lap ten and dropped down to 11th place and one lap later, Marquez passed Rossi, driving up the inside at turn 16. The local boy had made a mistake at turn 12 three laps earlier, outbraking himself massively and having to go straight on.

With 11 laps to go, Pedrosa found a way past Vinales and set about catching the leading group. It only took him two laps to catch and pass Dovizoso, who began to have grip problems, while Marquez passed Lorenzo in the same way he had passed Rossi.

Pedrosa passed Rossi with eight left and only had Lorenzo in the way of a run at his team-mate. But with omly two laps left the gap was too big and Pedrosa crossed the line less than a second behind Marquez with Lorenzo adding a second podium to his tally for the year.

Vinales got involved in a brief scrap with Rossi for fourth place, the pair exchanging paint at turn 15 twice before the younger man won out. Espargaro got the better of Dovizioso for sixth with Alvaro Bautista in eighth place. Johann Zarco was ninth with Pol Espargaro beating KTM team-mate over the line by four seconds for tenth.

Scott Redding finished in 14th place with Bradley Smith - whose place in the KTM team is now seriously under threat - in 19th with Sam Lowes 22nd. Crutchlow crashed out at turn one.

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Picture: Bonnie Lane
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