Well, at least it wasn’t a runaway this time. Spain’s amazing Marc Marquez did indeed take his 10th win in 10 tries this year, tying Mick Doohan’s record (also on a Repsol Honda) from 1997.
Yamahas took the other podium spots, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi filling the second and third slots, Rossi having led a significant portion of the early parts of the race before an incredible scramble among him, Lorenzo, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Marquez ended up with the young Spaniard in front and in control, albeit never with the huge leads he’s had in the past.
Marquez’s Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa had a mediocre race to fourth, while Pol Espargaro, surviving a horrible near-crash in practice that’ll have him singing soprano for a while, came in fifth.
His team-mate Bradley Smith, fighting to retain his ride for 2015, came next, while Andrea Dovizioso was a brave seventh, after actually leading the race for a few laps near the start.
It was a relatively good day for Ducati, with Cal Crutchlow – who’s just announced he’s leaving the team next year – taking eighth, his best showing since the first race of the year. Scott Redding took ninth, with Hiroshi Aoyama coming 10th.
The race was quite dramatic; as one of the commentators described, more like a club race than your usual Moto GP. Rossi, Dovizioso, Marquez, and Lorenzo were banging, slapping, and swapping position during the first quarter of the race until things finally settled down a bit.
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) led the Moto 2 race twice in a red-flagged and restarted event. After an incident on lap four of the intial start – several riders were involved, but no serious injuries occurred – the race was restarted for 16 laps with the riders in their original grid positions.
Kallio repeated the great start which had seen him build up a lead of over two seconds in the original race, and eventually crossed the finish line 1.38 seconds ahead of impressive rookie Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), while Technomag carXpert rider Aegerter’s good form continued in third.
A mistake from Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) with two laps to go under pressure from Viñales dropped him from second to fourth, allowing Kallio to close to within seven points of the championship leading Spaniard (also his team-mate) in the standings. Vinales is almost certain to jump to Moto GP next season with the returning Suzuki squad, while both Kallio and Aegetter have offers with some of the non-factory “Open” teams for 2015.
Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) both finished in the top six.
Unusually for Moto 3, a front running group of about seven bikes pulled away in the early laps. It was still the usual Moto 3 action, however, with the lead changing throughout the 23 lap contest, only for Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) to grab the win for the first time in his 116th Grand Prix ride.
Valentino Rossi protege Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) held the lead in the final stages but missed out by 0.065 seconds on the finish line in second place, while early leader and championship leader Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took third to keep his title challenge going.
A remarkable ride saw Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) just miss the podium after he started 11th and dropped to the back of the field on the first lap, incredibly fighting back to contest the lead – eventually finishing fourth.
Moto GP Championship Standings after 10 of 18 races
1. Marc Marquez, Spain, Repsol Honda, 250 points
2. Dani Pedrosa, Spain, Repsol Honda, 161
3. Valentino Rossi, Italy, Movistar Yamaha Factory Racing, 157
4. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Movistar Yamaha Factory Racing, 117
5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Ducati Team, 108
6. Pol Espargaro, Spain, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, 78
7. Aleix Espargaro, Spain, NGM Forward Yamaha, 77
8. Andrea Iannone, Italy, Pramac Ducati, 62
9. Bradley Smith, U.K., Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, 58
10. Stefan Bradl, Germany, LCR Honda, 56
Moto 2 Championship Standings after 10 of 18 races
1. Esteve Rabat, Spain, Marc VDS Racing Kalex, 183 points
2. Mika Kallio, Finland, Marc VDS Racing Kalex, 176
3. Maverick Vinales, Spain, Paginas Amarillas HP 40, 140
4. Dominique Aegerter, Switzerland, Technomag carXpert Suter, 112
5. Simone Corsi, Italy, NGM Forward Racing Kalex, 96
Moto 3 Championship Point Standings (after 10 of 18 races):
1. Jack Miller, Australia, Red Bull KTM Ajo, 158 points
2. Efren Vazquez, Spain, SaxoPrint-RTG Honda, 137
3. Alex Marquez, Spain, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda, 133
4. Romano Fenati, Italy, SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM, 130
5. Alex Rins, Spain, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda, 118
Provisional World Championship Point Standings (after 10 of 18 races):
1. Rabat, 183 points
2. Kallio, 176
3. Vinales, 140
4. Aegerter, 112
5. Corsi, 96
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