Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol MotoGP Team, Gran Premio Bwin de Espana – May 3th 2015
Marquez achieves objective at Jerez
Repsol Honda Team rider takes important podium finish, placing second just a week after surgery. Mid-race crash knocks Hiroshi Aoyama out of Spanish GP.
Marc Marquez took a valuable podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The reigning MotoGP World Champion placed second in front of his home fans, just a week after fracturing the little finger of his left hand. His teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, could not complete the race after crashing in the second half of the race –when riding in fifteenth.
Starting from second on the grid, Marquez made a good start and kept up with race leader Jorge Lorenzo, who had taken off from pole position. Both began to open up an advantage over the rest of the pack, but the Repsol Honda rider was unable to match his rival’s pace for the duration. With 6 laps remaining, Valentino Rossi came up to within just over a second of Marquez, but the reigning MotoGP World Champion managed to increase the pace again and reopened a gap –crossing the line with a lead of over six seconds.
With this result, Marquez cuts 4 points off Rossi’s lead in the MotoGP World Championship. Rossi has 82 points, Andrea Dovizioso 67, Lorenzo 62 and Marquez 56. The next round of the World Championship will be the French Grand Prix, held in two weeks’ time at Le Mans.
“This is a track where we’ve always struggled a little because of my riding style –and this year also because of my injury, but today we achieved what we set out to do. On the opening laps I followed Jorge, but by lap five I could tell that although my finger was not a problem, I was unconsciously working more with my right arm and it began to stiffen up. From then on, I decided to just try and finish the race strong. Then I saw that Valentino was closing in on me and I thought “it’s going to be Argentina all over again” but I gathered strength and this time I was able to maintain the gap between us. We leave Jerez a little closer to the World Championship leader, but Jorge has extended his advantage.”
“It wasn’t an easy race. We expected it to be much hotter but unfortunately the conditions changed. I still stand by my choice of hard tyre in the race, at the beginning we were struggling with the grip but from mid-race I began to feel better. We knew the hard tyre would be strong towards the end of the race and allow me to battle with the other riders, but unfortunately before I could capitalise from this I made a mistake and crashed. It was a hard race and ending like this is really disappointing. I’d like to thank all the team, they helped me a lot and it was a great experience.”