MotoGP Raceweek: Marquez beats Quartararo in thrilling last-lap battle

By Sports Desk September 15, 2019

Marc Marquez came out on top after a thrilling last-lap battle with Fabio Quartararo to win the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday.

Petronas Yamaha rookie Quartararo led for the majority of the race and looked set to become the second-youngest rider to top a MotoGP podium, but reigning champion Marquez denied him at the death.

The lead changed hands three times on an enthralling final lap, before the Frenchman had to sit up at turn 14 and thus granted Marquez enough of an advantage to hold on for the win.

Pole-sitter Maverick Vinales had to settle for third, taking the final step on the podium ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha team-mate and home favourite Valentino Rossi.

The victory was Marquez's 77th across all classes and moved him past Mike Hailwood into sole ownership of fourth in the all-time list, while extending his lead in the riders' championship to 93 points.

Marquez may have produced his worst qualifying result of the season at Misano but he was up from fifth to third by the end of the opening lap.

Quartararo, who had been tipped to challenge for victory at the British Grand Prix last time out but crashed on the first corner, made his move on Vinales on the back straight and Marquez followed him on the next lap with a clever dive down the inside at turn nine.

The duo dropped Vinales and were left to battle it out for the win on their own. The Repsol Honda rider failed with an attempt to pass before finally securing the overtake into turn one on the final circuit.

Quartararo regained track position quickly but gave it up just as fast, and when he misjudged his line at the start of the final sector the game was up.

Alex Rins triumphed at Silverstone but slid out after being handed a long-lap penalty and then retired from the race, while Andrea Dovizioso – Marquez's nearest rival in the championship standings – finished behind Franco Morbidelli in sixth.

Pol Espargaro started second - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's best qualifying performance - but finished seventh, while Jorge Lorenzo was down in 14th and over 47 seconds behind Marquez.

TOP 10

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
3. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
4. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
7. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)
9. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
10. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 275
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 182 (-93)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 151 (-124)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 149 (-126)
5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 134 (-141)

Teams

1. Ducati 333
2. Repsol Honda 308 (-25)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 263 (-70)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 200 (-133)
5. Petronas Yamaha 192 (-141)

WHAT'S NEXT?

There is only one week to wait until the Aragon Grand Prix, where Marquez has won in each of the past three years.

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  • Marquez equals Doohan milestone with routine win at Motegi Marquez equals Doohan milestone with routine win at Motegi

    World champion Marc Marquez equalled Mick Doohan with his 54th career MotoGP victory after winning the Japanese Grand Prix.

    Marquez was scintillating as the six-time MotoGP champion cruised to his 10th victory of 2019 at Motegi on Sunday, with Repsol Honda sealing the constructors title.

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    After wrapping up another premier class title in Thailand last time out, Marquez made history by claiming pole position at Motegi, meaning he had earned pole at every circuit on the sport's calendar.

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    "It was not easy, especially because I was pushing from the beginning, because the strategy was clear - I tried to open a gap in the beginning because I felt very strong in the warm-up," Marquez said after celebrating his fourth successive victory.

    "Honestly speaking I start to play a lot with the switches and everything, because like you see [he parked right after the chequered flag], with the fuel and everything I was on the limit. When I take these two seconds, I start to play again with the switches.

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    TOP 10

    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +0.870secs
    3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +1.325s
    4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.608s
    5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) +9.140s
    6. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +9.187s
    7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.306s
    8. Joar Mir (Suzuku Ecstar) +10.695s
    9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +14.216s
    10. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +18.909s

    TITLE STANDINGS

    Riders

    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 350
    2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 231 (-119)
    3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 176 (-174)
    4. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 176 (-174)
    5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 169 (-181)

    Teams

    1. Ducati 400
    2. Repsol Honda 383 (-17)
    3. Monster Energy Yamaha 321 (-79)
    4. Petronas Yamaha 263 (-137)
    5. Suzuki Ecstar 246 (-154)

  • MotoGP Raceweek: Marc Marquez eyeing another milestone in Japan MotoGP Raceweek: Marc Marquez eyeing another milestone in Japan

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    "To get a first pole position on the MotoGP bike in Motegi is great," said Marquez, who has won this race in two of the past three years.

    "I didn't know it was the last one I needed! It's a circuit where I usually struggle at a bit but the set-up was working very well in qualifying and I was able to ride in a different way. It's important to start on pole at the home of Honda. 

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    Marquez's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, will start his 200th MotoGP race down in 19th position.

    YAMAHAS POSE FAMILIAR THREAT

    Franco Morbidelli out-qualified Fabio Quartararo as the two Petronas Yamaha bikes joined Marquez on the front row.

    Morbidelli equalled his best qualifying performance from Jerez this year and will be hoping to improve on his eventual seventh place finish there as he continues to show good speed towards the end of 2019.

    His team-mate Quartararo has only missed the front row at three races this year and was cruelly denied a maiden win by Marquez in Thailand, instead having to settle for a fifth podium of an excellent rookie campaign.

    Maverick Vinales heads the second row to ensure there are three Yamahas in the top four for fourth time this year, with the manufacturer looking well placed to seal a first Japan podium since 2015, despite Valentino Rossi coming 10th.

    "I wasn't expecting to be that fast," conceded Morbidelli, who was just 0.132secs behind Marquez.

    "We definitely did a great job on Friday in dry conditions and again here with half and half [conditions] we were fast. We will have to see how competitive we will be in completely dry conditions."

    Frenchman Quartararo does not want his quest for a maiden win to become a distraction.

    "I'm not really focused on it," he said. "I just focus on making a good race and fighting for the victory. I don't want to only focus on the victory.

    "We need to make a good start, that's the most important, and then let's see what we can do in the race. Honestly I feel good."

    CRUTCHLOW PIPS THE DUCATIS

    Cal Crutchlow came through Q1 and then claimed fifth, as he looks to follow up on last season's Motegi podium.

    The Briton, who has endured a mixed season, said: "That's always the aim, but I don't know whether I'm going to be on the podium or 15th, I have no idea at the minute."

    Jack Miller has not scored a point in his previous two races in Japan, but is the top Ducati ahead of factory duo Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

    Dovizioso, who starts seventh, won the race in 2017 from even further back in the grid (ninth). The Italian is seeking his 100th podium across all categories.

    "There were still some damp patches on the track and I wasn't able to have a really fluid riding style there," he said. "It's a pity about the third row, but we are in quite good shape for the race."

    Alex Rins sits third in the championship behind Dovizioso and starts 11th, while Takaaki Nakagami will begin his home race from 13th.


    THE GRID

    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
    2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
    3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
    4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
    5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
    6. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
    7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
    8. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
    9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team)
    10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
    11. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
    12. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)

    PREVIOUS WINNERS

    2018: Marc Marquez
    2017: Andrea Dovizioso
    2016 : Marc Marquez
    2015: Dani Pedrosa

    TITLE STANDINGS

    Riders

    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 325
    2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 215 (110)
    3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 167 (-158)
    4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 163 (-162)
    5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 162 (-163)

    Teams

    1. Ducati 377
    2. Repsol Honda 358 (-19)
    3. Monster Energy Yamaha 308 (-69)
    4. Petronas Yamaha 233 (-144)
    5. Suzuki Ecstar 229 (-148)

    WEATHER FORECAST

    After a wet FP3 and damp FP4, conditions largely cleared for qualifying on Saturday. Sunday's forecast is presently for a dry and cloudy day, with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celcius.

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