Mugello, Italy – Marc Marquez became the first premier-class rider to win six consecutive Grands Prix since Valentino Rossi in 2002, as Honda’s defending World champion continued his unbroken winning streak in a thrilling duel with Yamaha factory rider Jorge Lorenzo at a circuit Lorenzo regards as peculiarly his own, having won here for the past three years.
Completing the podium was The Doctor himself, also on a works Yamaha, in his 300th Grand Prix appearance – a superb result for his home fans after starting 10th, due to tyre problems in qualifying, and even then he was only half a second off the pace, which gives you some idea of just how competitive motorcycle Grads Prix actually are.
Marquez and Lorenzo put on a great show for the capacity Mugello crowd, swopping the lead several times over a number of laps, but Marquez was in front when it mattered, by just 0.121sec.
Marquez’ works Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and impressive rookie Pol Espargaro on a satellite Yamaha Tech3 were the next two across the line – albeit more than 10 seconds further back – to make it four Spaniards in the top five.
Behind them Italians Andrea Dovizioso on a factory Ducati and Andrea Iannone (on a privateer Ducati also got great support from the crowd en route to sixth and seventh respectively, with Iannone making a brilliant start from second on the grid and leading in the early stages.
The top10 was completed by Honda privateer Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro on a Forward Yamaha and Yonny Hernandez on the second Pramac Ducati.
Hector Barbera (Avintia) and Michel Fabrizio (ART) retired with technical oroblems, while Bradley Smith on the second Yamaha Tech3) crashed out on lap four.
Shortly afterwards Ducati Team rider Cal Crutchlow went down and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) hit the Ducati as it slid across the track; luckily neither was hurt.