MotoGP experts predicted the 2015 season as belonging to Ducati team of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. They had super engines and showed lots of promise during testing and practice before the season got underway. To help them ascend the ladder the 2013 & 2014 World Champion Marc Marquez crashed several times and went out of the championship reckoning. All through 2015, veteran Italian rider and 9-time champion Valentino Rossi led the championship standing but lost the race to his teammate Jorge Lorenzo in the end. Rossi had a tiff with Marquez and he openly accused Marquez of manipulating the win for his countryman Lorenzo. Marquez, however, denied that. In 2016, Marquez is back on the championship leaderboard and though he didn’t finish on the top of the podium since winning the Sachsenring MotoGP in July, he has kept himself ahead of Rossi. Last Sunday, Marquez won the Aragon MotoGP in Spain and his current lead over Rossi stands at a solid 52 points. With just four more races remaining in the 2016 season, Marquez looks like the certain third-time MotoGP winner unless he lends himself into crashes or comes up with the rank bad performance. In Aragon, Marquez had an early scare and trailed for a while before fighting back to win the race ahead of Lorenzo and Rossi.
23-year old Marc Marquez is changing himself into a cult figure in MotoGP history. He had a great time in qualifying and warm up sessions on Friday and Saturday and despite losing ground early on in the main event on Sunday, he worked his way to the top podium finish. He began well but almost met with a disaster early as the event began on Sunday. He had the pole position but lost his lead in Lap-3 and slipped from first to fifth. But the 2-time World Champion dug deep on his racing resources and went in front once again in Lap-11. Then Marquez didn’t have to look back despite a late challenge by Jorge Lorenzo. As the race began, Marquez and Lorenzo were head-to-head until Turn 1, where their bikes almost touched as both riders tried to stake their claim for the lead. But one person, who benefitted from Marquez-Lorenzo tussle; was Maverick Vinales. The Suzuki Ecstar rider went ahead of everyone with Lorenzo squeezing into second place. Marquez dropped to third followed by Valentino Rossi and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. In the third lap, Marquez almost met with the disaster, when he found it difficult to keep himself in the race as his bike wobbled even as Vinales, Lorenzo, Rossi and Dovizioso flew past him.
Even as Marquez trailed others at fifth spot, Rossi was giving a hard time to Vinales for the top spot. Rossi had earlier passed Lorenzo in Lap-6 and finally overtook Vinales in Lap-9. Behind Rossi, Vinales and Lorenzo, Marquez had already passed Dovizioso in Lap-7 and pretty soon he went past Lorenzo. Now Marquez was running after Rossi, who was riding at high speed. However, on Turn 15 of Lap-11, Marquez overtook Rossi and established the lead position for good. While Marquez had broken away from the lead pack, Rossi’s second place was being challenged by Lorenzo and Vinales. On Lap-17, Vinales’ hopes of the podium were ended when he ran wide of the track yet again and Lorenzo passed him to fall behind Rossi.
Jorge Lorenzo finally got the better of Rossi in Lap-18 and began pressuring Marquez. But Marquez did not yield and kept himself ahead to end the race as winner. It was an important victory for Marquez as he gained a 52-point advantage on Valentino Rossi, who finished third behind Jorge Lorenzo at Aragon. Vinales was fourth, followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. The other Suzuki Ecstar rider Aleix Espargaro was seventh; his brother Pol Espargaro on Monster Yamaha Tech3 on was eighth even as Gresini Aprilia pair of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl finished ninth and tenth respectively.
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