Six in a row for Marc Marquez

Repsol Honda Team rider takes spectacular victory at the Italian Grand Prix, besting Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap of a hotly contested race.

One of the most beautiful tracks on the MotoGP calendar witnessed one of the races of the season this Sunday, as the Mugello circuit in the valleys of Tuscany was filled by more than 77,000 fans for a battle between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. The dup battled for victory right up to the final corner, with Marquez winning the Italian Grand Prix. It was a sixth consecutive win for the World Championship leader.

Right from the start, it was obvious that a win at Mugello was going to have to be earned. Lorenzo attempted to repeat his start from a year ago and Marquez, who before completing the first lap had to overtake Andrea Iannone to move up into second, tried for 15 of the 23 laps to reach the Yamaha at the head of the field. In the last third of the race, the reigning World Champion managed to catch up with his fellow Spaniard and the fireworks began. There were nine passes between the two riders, but the definitive move came at the start of the last lap and served to give Marquez a sixth consecutive victory.

Tough batte between Marquez and Pedrosa in Mugello

Marc Marquez: “I am very happy with this win; Jorge and I had a really good battle and had a lot of fun out there! I wasn’t expecting the victory, because it has come at a circuit that I had marked on the calendar as being one for picking up Championship points –not thinking about winning the race. However, I saw that it would be possible and took more risks than at other races, because Jorge and Vale were very fast and we were finding it difficult to keep up the same pace. I think that we did a great job all weekend, and the change that we made to sixth gear in the warmup was very important too; we did this to help pass using a slipstream at the end of the straight. I am very pleased with how the entire weekend went, and now it is time to look ahead to my home Grand Prix –racing at Montmelo is always special.”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 41:38.254

2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +0.121
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +2.688
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +14.046
5 Pol Espargaro Yamaha +15.603

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 150 points

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 97 points
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 96 points
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 65 points
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 63 points

Text/Photos: Repsol Media Service

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Marquez takes fifth consecutive win

Repsol Honda rider recovers from tenth place to take fifth victory of the season and claim new record.

Marc Marquez provided another memorable race for MotoGP fans with his performance at the French Grand Prix. Fighting back from tenth following a difficult start, the Repsol Honda rider extended his perfect winning streak at the start of 2014 with his fifth victory in a row. With this latest triumph, he overtakes MotoGP Legend Mike Hailwood as the youngest rider to win five consecutive races in the premier class.

Despite having taken a sixth consecutive pole position –his fifth this season– Marc Marquez was unable to use the grid spot to his advantage. A bad start and a chaotic opening lap left him down in tenth, behind Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. He took just two laps to recompose himself, and on lap 3 he overtook Pedrosa to begin his push up the order. Up into the lead by the halfway point in the game, he bested the circuit record in place since 2011 in the process.

5 out of 5 for Marc Marquez

One would have to go back to Valentino Rossi in 2008 to find the last time a rider won 5 consecutive MotoGP races, and back to Mick Doohan in 1997 for the last time anyone took 5 wins in a row from pole. Marc Marquez’ 37th win of his career in all classes also served to bring him level with Jorge Martinez “Aspar” for overall triumphs. In the present day, it also brought his points total in 2014 to 125 points.

The sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place in a fortnight’s time, at the Italian circuit of Mugello.

Marc Marquez: “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!”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 44:03.925

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +1.486
3 Alvaro Bautista Honda +3.144
4 Pol Espargaro Yamaha +3.717
5 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +4.077

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 125 points

2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 83 points
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 81 points
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 53 points
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 45 points

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Marquez hits 100 points in 100th Grand Prix

Reigning MotoGP World Champion dominates on 100th Grand Prix appearance and takes his 100th points of the current season.

A win at the Jerez circuit had eluded Marc Marquez in his Grand Prix career before this weekend, but on the occasion of his 100th race he was victorious at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The reigning MotoGP World Champion continued his unstoppable form to triumph for the fourth time in as many races this season.

The excitement at the Spanish Grand Prix barely lasted a lap, as Andrea Dovizioso started well and Marquez, Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Pedrosa exchanged passes on the opening corners. The first time the riders came back around, Rossi was first, with Marquez, Lorenzo and Pedrosa behind him. The Italian’s lead would not endure, however, and half a lap later Marquez made a pass up the inside at Dry Sack to head the race. Marquez never looked back, taking a fourth consecutive victory from pole position.

Pedrosa was unable to keep up the pace on the opening laps. It was not until lap 21 of 27 that he finally got past Lorenzo and began to go after Rossi. He caught the Italian on the final lap, but was 0.098s from claiming a repeat of the Repsol Honda one-twos from Austin and Argentina.

120.000 spectators celebrated Marc Marquez in Jerez

With this result, Marquez extends his lead in the World Championship with a perfect 100 point total. Pedrosa has 72 points and Rossi 61. The next round is the French Grand Prix, held at Le Mans.

Marc Marquez: “I started well today, but when I saw that Valentino was trying to pass me on the first corner I knew his intention was to slow down the race so he could control the pace. Riding behind him I realised that I could go faster, so I tried to overtake him as soon as possible. I was surprised, because I wasn’t expecting to open up a gap. Anyway, I am in good form at the moment, but I can see that Dani, Valentino and Jorge are giving their 100% in every practice and in every race. I’m sure that sooner or later will come a race in which we are unable win, but we will have to learn from that and try to take important points.

Results
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 45:24.134

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +1.431
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +1.529
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +8.541
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +27.494

Championship Standings
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 100 points

2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 72 points
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 61 points
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 45 points
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 35 points

Text/Photos: PR Repsol Media Service

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Another win for Marc Marquez

The Grand Prix of Argentina saw Marc Marquez in top form, as he continued to lead the way on the overall standings. Marquez has 75 points to his name now. With three wins and three pole positions from the opening trio of races in 2014, Marquez keeps on hitting new milestones; Valentino Rossi in 2001 was the last time that a rider managed to win the opening three races of a season, and one has to go back to Giacomo Agostini in 1971 for the most recent occasion in which a rider did so with three pole positions as well.

The race featured a nervy start, as mistakes and light brushes of contact on the opening corners saw five riders side-by-side after the opening lap in pursuit of leader Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa and Marquez had dropped back into this group, in sixth and seventh, respectively. Marquez was able to shake off the traffic first, and began recovering ground on the Yamaha rider until he took the lead with 9 laps to go. He made a final push and clinched his third win of the year.

It was not until the end of the race and after setting the fastest lap of the contest that Pedrosa would catch Lorenzo, and he overtook him on the penultimate corner of the penultimate lap. He would eventually cross the line just over 2 seconds behind his teammate Marquez.

The World Championship heads straight to Europe for the next round, which takes place next weekend as Jerez hosts the Spanish Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez: “I am happy with how the weekend went in general and I’d like to thank all my team! I think it was a nice race for the fans, with plenty of passes and I wasn’t expecting it to be like that. As the race went on and I saw what the gap was to Jorge Lorenzo and I tried to catch up with him quickly and spend a few laps on his tail. When I saw that Dani [Pedrosa] was getting closer, I tried to overtake in order to maintain more of a gap. I took 25 more points today which are very important and I’ve put together three wins in a row, but we are aware that the season is very long and we are now heading to Jerez where Dani and Jorge are very fast. We will need to be up there with them, fighting for the win!”

Results
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 41:39.821

2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +1.837
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +3.201
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +4.898
5 Stefan Bradl Honda +15.029

Championship Standings
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 75 points

2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 56 points
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 41 points
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 34 points
5 Andrea Iannone Ducati 25 points

Text/Photos: Repsol Media Service

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Thrilling second place for Alex Marquez


The Repsol rider moved up 12 positions to fight for victory until the last corner in an intense race.

The return of the World Championship to Argentina saw Alex Marquez put on an electrifying performance in the Moto3 race. After a poor start, the Repsol rider soared from fourteenth position at the end of the first lap to pass under the chequered flag in second place.

The start was not spectacular, while Marquez lost three positions to rank in fourteenth at the end of the first lap. From there Marquez setting the fastest lap of the race, even faster than the pole position time from yesterday. Marquez caught up a group of three riders that included Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Efren Vazquez.

During the final laps of the race, Rins’ pace slowed and he settled back to fight for fifth with Vazquez. Up ahead, in an exciting finale ensued that included riders touching in the penultimate corner, Marquez repeated the second place he had in Qatar, this time behind Fenati and ahead of Miller in third.

With this result, the World Championship heads to Jerez next week with Miller in the lead with 66 points, Marquez in fourth with 40 and Rins fifth with 35.

Alex Marquez: “It was a very difficult weekend and I think we worked very well all three days. Yesterday we had a hard time in the qualifying, I made a mistake, but in today’s warm-up we found the solution for the race. I knew I had to concentrate, but I didn’t start well and in the first corner I went wide and many riders overtook me, which made it hard to get back ahead later. I tried to concentrate again and continue in my line, and gradually we made it to the front group. The last lap was fun, we were in front many times and I really enjoyed it. This result gives us good motivation for Jerez.”

Results
1 Romano Fenati KTM 38:34.451
2 Alex Marquez Honda +0.099
3 Jack Miller KTM +0.540
4 Livio Loi Kalex KTM +0.624
5 Alex Rins Honda +5.530

Championship Standings
1 Jack Miller KTM 66 points
2 Romano Fenati KTM 49 points
3 Efren Vazquez Honda 42 points
4 Alex Marquez Honda 40 points
5 Alex Rins Honda 35 points

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Podium finishes for french duo Marino and Cluzel

Early leader and former World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) regrouped after a mistake early in the Assen race only to be forced into retirement with a technical problem on lap 13.

Sofuoglu’s departure resulted in a three rider dice for the final few laps with Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport), Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) to sort out the final place on the podium.

At the flag Florian Marino secured 2nd as Julez Cluzel was classified 3rd ahead of Coghlan and Zanetti.

Text/Photo: PR WorldSBK

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Barreda wins Sealine Cross-Country Rally

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda takes the title at the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in Qatar. This is his first triumph in a world championship race with the Honda CRF450 RALLY, and in doing so becomes the championship’s new leader.

The fifth and final stage of Qatar’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally, once again saw Team HRC in winning mood. This is now the team’s third consecutive win in the World Rally Raids, since the debut of the new Honda CRF450 RALLY in the Morocco Rally. In addition, it is the season’s second win after the race in Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago.

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda was clearly man of the day, as he picked up his second World Rally Raids win, the first on a Honda. The rider who hails from Castellón, set out with a win in the first stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rallies, at a cracking pace, and imposed himself once more in the third race. In the final special, he rode an intelligent ride, catching his main rival and then keeping him in check until the finish-line.

It was Hélder Rodrigues who took the final stage victory, earning himself a place on the final podium too, after a string of steady daily performances.

Fellow-countryman Paulo Gonçalves was left regreting an error on the competition’s first day which left him without better options for the final classification. Today’s sixth place finish leaves him with a fifth overall final place in this edition of the Sealine. Team HRC riders thus have won 4 of the 5 stages, with all the team’s machines finishing without a single mechanical fault.

The final result of the second championship race leaves Joan Barreda in command of the championship replacing team-mate and reigning world champion Paulo Gonçalves at the head of the leader-board, with a one point advantage over Marc Coma in second place in the World Rally Raids table.

Team HRC’s next port of call will be in Europe with the Sardinia Rally Race, the fourth in the World Championship calendar, to be held on the picturesque Italian island from 7 to 12 June.

Joan Barreda: “I’m really pleased. Finally, after a whole week of really hard work, I’ve made it. I’m really happy for the victory, for the team, and for Honda. We have won here in Qatar, and we are leading the world championship too. This is a just reward for all the hard work that the team has done.”

Results Stage 5
1 Helder Rodrigues 04:17’59 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Ruben Faria +01’06 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Joan Barreda +03’55 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Marc Coma +05’59 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Jordi Viladoms +10’13 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
6 Paulo Goncalves +11’57 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Final classification Sealine Cross-Country Rally 2014
1 Joan Barreda 20:28’46 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC

2 Marc Coma +01’23 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +01’50 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Jordi Viladoms +07’19 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Paulo Goncalves +08’40 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Win for ‘Speedy’ Gonçalves in the fourth stage

Another great win for Team HRC in the fourth stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally disputed today in Qatar. Paulo ‘Speedy’ Gonçalves picks up first place in the stage aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY, the third for the team so far in the competition.

The Team HRC continue their run of excellent results and maintain the squad with great options for the final classification in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally as the race heads into tomorrow’s final stage.

Today was the turn of Paulo Gonçalves, who put his skill at handling and high speed on display for all, as he clocked up the fastest time in the Sealine’s fourth special, a 404 km affair across the Qatar desert in the Arabian Gulf. The Portuguese rider made up for lost time in the overall standings, and now lies just 17 seconds away from a podium place.

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda, set off knowing the importance of controlling the race and keeping his close competitor at Marc Coma at bay. Barreda finished fifth, with a good chance of taking overall victory as he now finds himself just 41 seconds behind the leader.

Tomorrow sees the final stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, with some 363 km against the clock, with the final finish-line back where the race set out from in Umm Sa’id.

Paulo Goncalves: “I had a really good race day. I won the stage but more important is the time that I pulled back from my adversaries after the mistake with the navigation on the first day. My focus is to be on the podium at the end of the rally. But we have to keep our eye on the target and stay focused, because tomorrow we have 270 kms still to race and it’s easy to slip up and make a mistake, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Results Stage 4
1 Paulo Goncalves 04:48’07 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Jordi Viladoms +01’58 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +03’58 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Marc Coma +06’08 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Joan Barreda +08’08 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC

Provisional Standings after Stage 4
1 Marc Coma 16:06’11 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Joan Barreda +00’41 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jordi Viladoms +01’52 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Paulo Goncalves +02’09 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Helder Rodrigues +06’26 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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A victorious Barreda retakes the leadership

The third day of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally put Joan Barreda back on the top of the leader-board in what proved to be a great day out for Team HRC, imposing a cracking pace and taking the stage victory.

Qatar’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally thus arrives at its halfway point, and the riders of Team HRC are well placed among the race’s leaders. Joan Barreda set off from sixth place on the Honda CRF450 RALLY at a thundering rhythm, and with flawless navigation was able to reach and overtake the rivals ahead, crossing the line in Umm Sa’id for his second win so far. At 411.76 km, the special is the longest of those to be disputed here at the Sealine. The win sees Spanish rider Barreda once again back on the top of the overall standings, with all options open as the race goes into its final phase.

For Paulo Gonçalves it was likewise a positive day in spite of a fifth place finish. We watched as Barreda was able to pull up to him. The reigning world champion and current leader of the world championship lies in fourth place, and will be fighting to improve on the position over the final two days.

Joan Barreda: “Today I’m really happy because I started out in sixth place after yesterday’s position. I kept up a really good rhythm from the first kilometres. I caught up with Marc at kilometre 30 and then Viladoms. I kept pushing really hard to try and catch up with Paulo and Sam, and finally, after refuelling, with some difficult areas and navigation, I reached them, and we finished altogether in a group. So, I’m really happy with another victory, and also a victory for Honda.”

Results Stage 3
1 Joan Barreda 04:53’43 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC

2 Marc Coma +02’15 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +04’02 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Jordi Viladoms +06’11 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Paulo Goncalves +08’03 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Provisional Standings after Stage 3
1 Joan Barreda 11:10’37 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Marc Coma +01’19 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Jordi Viladoms +07’21 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Paulo Goncalves +09’36 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Helder Rodrigues +09’55 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Gonçalves keeps his options open

Another good day at the office for Team HRC in the second stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally. After a long and gruelling stage needing a lot of navigation, the Honda CRF450 RALLY riders picked up a worthy team result, leaving them well established in the overall standings.

It proved to be a satisfying day for the Team HRC riders in the second stage of the Qatar rally, that leaves the door open for a promising final result. Paulo Gonçalves finished in second, Hélder Rodrigues, fourth, and Joan Barreda in sixth place, a result that means all stand a chance of a final podium place.

What an arduous second stage the of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally turned out to be. The race is the longest of all the rally’s stages in terms of kilometres, with some 396 km of route through Qatar’s peninsula. The route was cluttered with many rocks, and the terrain was hard. Moreover, a very tricky day’s navigation played an important role, and this meant note-reading right from the outset.

Paulo Gonçalves, who set out from behind after commiting an error yesterday, managed to claw his way back to second, and erase most of the time lost in the first stage. The Portuguese rider arrived alongside the stage winner Sam Sunderland, and now lies only 2’29” behind the race leader.

Joan Barreda‘s stage went pretty much according to plan. The rider set off from the front with a lot of complicated navigation ahead, which allowed his adversaries to catch up with him, but finished in the leader’s group. His sixth place on the day, leaves him in second overall.

Paulo Gonçalves: “It was a really hard day today. Over 390 km of hard track and lots of rocks, as well as difficult navigation. I managed to make up for some of the time lost yesterday. We’ve got three days ahead, and I’ll keep the objectives in mind, and will keep pushing.”

Results Stage 2
1 Sam Sunderland 04:22’22 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +02’04 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jordi Viladoms +08’07 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Helder Rodrigues +08’30 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Marc Coma +10’03 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
6 Joan Barreda +12’01 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC

Provisional Standings after Stage 2
1 Marc Coma 06:15’58 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Joan Barreda +00’56 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jordi Viladoms +02’06 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Paulo Goncalves +02’29 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Sam Sunderland +05’58 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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