Marquez blitzes win No.7 at CatalunyaComment on this story
Catalunya, Spain – Not even a nasty tumble in qualifying could stop Marc Marquez extending his winning streak to seven, becoming only the second rider of the MotoGP era (after Valentino Rossi) to win seven consecutive Grands Prix – and giving Honda its 100th premier-class win of the four-stroke era - with a brilliantly judged ride in front of his home crowd.
And to make it a perfect day for the Catalunya fans and the Marquez family, younger brother Alex cruised to his second Grand Prix win in 35 starts in the Moto3 class – the first time in the 65-year history of motorcycle world championships the siblings had won Grands Prix on the same day - while South African teenager Brad Binder posted his second best result yet with a scintillating ride to sixth in Moto3.
Marquez grabbed the lead six laps from the end to come home half a second ahead of Yamaha veteran Valentino Rossi, surviving a late scare as works Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa touched his rear wheel in the final stages, which almost took Pedrosa down and pushed him down to third.
Rossi led for much of the race with the Honda duo chasing him down in the final stages as Pedrosa returned to sparkling form following his recent arm-pump surgery and subsequent problems – only to make that late mistake.
The threat of rain lingered for the duration of the race, though a light shower was short-lived.
Rossi’s factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo followed the leading trio throughout the race but was never quite close enough to join the podium fight, eventually finishing 2.7 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Honda privateer Stefan Bradl rode a lonely race to fifth, staying in position despite running wide early on, while Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha) finished sixth less than two seconds ahead of his brother Pol (Yamaha Tech3).
Ducati Team lead rider Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone on a privateer Ducati and Bradley Smith on the second Yamaha Tech3 rounded out the top 10.
Kalex rider Tito Rabat extended his Moto2 world championship advantage with a dominant win from pole, with Maverick Viñales (Kalex) and Johann Zarco, on a Caterham Suter, making up the podium.
Rabat came home 4.2 seconds ahead of Viñales with Zarco a further seven seconds back, after an incident packed race.
Zarco won a late battle for third, getting the better of Rabat’s team-mate Mika Kallio and Thomas Luthi (Suter) in the final stages.
Mattia Pasini (Kalex), Ricard Cardus (Tech 3), Axel Pons (Kalex), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Anthony West (Speed Up) rounded out the top 10.
Luthi’s team-mate Jordi Torres and Dominique Aegerter (Suter) were both in the podium hunt until a late lowside crash by Torres ended his race, with Aegerter forced wide and eventually finishing 14th.
Alex Marquez (Honda) took victory from pole, storming to the win ahead of Enea Bastianini (KTM) and Efren Vazquez (Honda).
Marquez took his second Moto3 win (his first was at Motegi in 2013) from his 35th Grand Prix start after qualifying on pole for the first time.
He came home a clear 3.2 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, to the delight of his home crowd, giving Honda a Moto3 victory to end KTM’s winning streak.
Bastianini produced a great ride from second on the grid to finish second on the podium in only his seventh Grand Prix, little more than a quarter of a second ahead of Vazquez.
Championship leader Jack Miller (KTM) rode intelligently to fourth place, gaining crucial extra points in the standings as he moved up from eighth in the final stages.
Romano Fenati (KTM) was fifth, with rapidly improving South African rider Brad Binder (Mahindra) sixth.
Isaac Viñales (KTM) was seventh and Niklas Ajo (Husqvarna) eighth after surviving a big scare as he ran off track on the final lap and somehow managed to stay upright when a crash seemed almost inevitable.
Vasquez’ team-mate John McPhee and Fenati’s team-mate Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top 10.