Magnificent Marc Marquez stamped his authority on Sunday afternoon’s Aragon Grand Prix, recovering from an early near-miss to retake the lead and win the race by almost three seconds.
His first victory since July’s German Grand Prix extended his lead in the Riders World Championship to 52 points, at the same time increasing Honda’s advantage in the Constructors World Championship to 13 points. There are now four races remaining in the 18-event 2016 championship season.
Marquez came out best of the frantic first few laps of the MotoGP race, but then lost the front on lap three, saving a crash with his cat-like reactions. That scare dropped the 23-year-old Spaniard to fifth place, but he stayed cool, calm and collected and step by step made his way back towards the front, making a series of astonishing passes in the middle of the turn 14/15 chicane.
He finally took the lead from Valentino Rossi at that same point at half-distance. From there he was able to make the break and establish an unbeatable lead, getting the maximum from his tire choice: a hard/asymmetric front and hard rear.
This was the youngster’s 28th MotoGP win and, remarkably, his first success on Spanish asphalt since his victory in the 2014 Valencia Grand Prix.
“I’m very happy to have taken the win at a home Grand Prix, and one of my favorite races,” he said. “I was waiting for this GP, it was a ‘red point’ on the calendar for me, as I saw it as one where I wanted to attack and where I could win the race. It was an important victory, but nothing is finished yet.”
“I said that something can always happen in a race, and it was a miracle that I didn’t crash today when I almost lost it in turn 7. That was when I decided to relax a little and go back to my mentality from practice of riding precisely and braking in the right places.”
“All this made for a more entertaining race, with many overtaking moves at the start, and a second part in which I was able to open a gap to Valentino [Rossi], which was important. He had gone several races gaining points on us, and we wanted to stop that trend, because otherwise it would boost his morale and perhaps create doubts for us.”
“Now we leave Aragon with a larger advantage and more convinced ahead of the flyaways. I was very happy on the podium, but the most emotional moment for me today was when [brother] Alex scored his first Moto2 podium. That was really special for me.”