Roasting conditions in Jerez made for a gruelling Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía, but Alex Marquez took it in his stride as he moved up thirteen places to occupy the eighth position. This is the first time that the Spanish racer and last year’s Moto2 champion was able to break into the top ten in MotoGP rankings.
On Sunday, Alex Marquez lined up as the lone representative of the Repsol Honda Team as teammate and brother Marc Marquez withdrew himself from the weekend as he continues to recover from surgery on his broken humerus.
On Sunday, temperatures continued to steadily soar over the course of the day, the track reaching a brutal 63°C during the course of the 25-lap Andalucia GP. Having shown promising pace in Free Practice 4, Alex Marquez shot off the line and stayed clear of trouble in the opening corners to avoid the melee around him. Learning from his debut in the premier class the week before, the Moto2 World Champion was aggressive in the opening laps and gained seven positions on the first lap alone.
Fending off the attacks of fellow rookie Iker Lecuona, Alex soon settled into what would be a consistent, but lonely, race. His impressive performance was rewarded not only with top rookie honours, but also his first visit to the top ten in the premier class as Alex crossed the line in eighth place. Combined with his 12th place finish from the first race, Alex increases his lead in the Rookie of the Year standings to nine points.
Takaaki Nakagami’s best MotoGP weekend to date continued as his pace from practice carried into Sunday’s race. Fourth place in the race is the LCR Honda rider’s best result in the premier class, the Japanese rider narrowly missing out on the podium battle in the closing laps. Cal Crutchlow also produced a spirited ride to 13th after breaking his left scaphoid last weekend.
After the match Marquez had to say the following, “Second race in MotoGP and well, I’m quite happy! We clearly made a decent step compared to last weekend and this was our main target. Two races in a row at the same track gives us a good opportunity to try things and take a step and we took advantage of that. Our race was nine seconds faster than last weekend, which is already a good improvement given the conditions today. We’ve made a good step and have a good base as well. Now it’s time to head to Brno, one of my favourite tracks and I’m looking to take another step with three races in a row. It has been a good start, but there’s more to come!”
The Repsol Honda Team will now enjoy a well deserved week away from the circuit as they prepare for the Czech GP on August 7 – August 9, where World Champion Marc Marquez is aiming to return to the track once again. Meanwhile, Quartararo Fabio from Petronas Yamaha SRT is leading the charts with 25 points.