MotoGP Raceweek: Rossi clash gave Marquez 'extra motivation' for Misano success

By Sports Desk September 15, 2019

An altercation with home favourite Valentino Rossi gave Marc Marquez "extra motivation" to triumph at the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday.

Marquez had to start the race in fifth – his worst qualifying performance of the MotoGP season – after he and Rossi exceeded the track limits while vying for position on their final flying laps on Saturday.

The Repsol Honda rider managed to move up to third on the opening lap and soon passed Maverick Vinales, who finished third, before spending much of the race behind rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo.

Although Marquez's championship rivals Alex Rins and Andrea Dovizioso respectively crashed out and lacked pace, the reigning champion made a late push for the win and emerged triumphant from a last-lap battle with Quartararo.

Marquez was greeted with boos and chants of "Vale" when he took to the podium as the fans rued Rossi having to settle for fourth behind Monster Energy Yamaha team-mate Vinales.

"I knew it wasn't necessary to win because I saw Rins was out and Dovi was far [behind]. But honestly speaking, [Saturday] was the extra motivation, the extra push for the race," said Marquez.

"I tried to stay there and stay there and decided I'd try [to overtake] on the last lap. I knew Fabio was really fast in turn three so I tried to overtake him before that and then I closed the corners and tried to be smart.

"It's nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to lead by 93 points in the championship."

Quartararo had looked destined to become the second-youngest race winner in MotoGP but was left with a fourth podium of the season as consolation.

Nevertheless, the 20-year-old Petronas Yamaha rider was proud of his performance and having the chance to fight it out with Marquez at the head of the race.

"It was a tough race. I gave 100 per cent I think I made a good race," said Quartararo.

"But today is the first time we had a fight with Marc, we finished really close to the victory and I can say that was the best moment of my career fighting with a seven-time world champion.

"It was a great moment and I hope to be in this position again soon."

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

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    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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    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

    Marc Marquez made history in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix and now he has another milestone in his sights on race day.

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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.

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    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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