A 77th career victory makes Marquez the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history, bringing fans to their feet on his way to winning a thrilling San Marino GP as Jorge Lorenzo claimed more points.
After a promising morning Warm Up session where Marc Marquez finished first and Jorge Lorenzo finished 1.5 seconds behind, the Repsol Honda Team entered the 27-lap San Marino Grand Prix with confidence.
Marc Marquez made a flying start to the race and moved to fourth by the first corner, quickly progressing up to third just a few corners later. Muscling past Viñales on lap four, the World Championship leader set about closing down the almost one-second lead of Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman’s advantage was soon reduced to just two tenths, Marquez electing to wait for his moment to attack. As the laps ticked down, the reigning champion began to edge closer and put increasing pressure on the young French rider.
The start of the last lap saw Marquez’s RC213V roar past Quartararo heading into Turn 1, the pair briefly sparring before Marquez made the move stick later in the lap. Crossing the line 0.903s ahead of Quartararo, Marquez returned to the top step of the podium after back-to-back second place finishes. The win moves him 93 points clear of title rival Andrea Dovizioso in the MotoGP World Championship standings with six races remaining. Taking the 77th win of his career, Marquez also moves ahead of Mike Hailwood to cement himself as the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history.
Jorge Lorenzo was author to a consistent race, able to steadily advance up the order. Ultimately taking 14th, Lorenzo marks his return from injury with back-to-back points finishes. The five-time World Champion was unable to achieve his target of finishing within 30 seconds of the race winner due to reduced grip come the race on Sunday. Suffering from less discomfort after the race was an encouraging sign for Lorenzo who will look to fight back in Aragon.
Honda leave Misano extending their advantage in the Manufacturer Championship to 60 points over closest rivals Ducati while the Repsol Honda Team close the deficit to the Ducati Team in the Team Championship to just 25 points. With Round 14, the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, taking place on September 22 the Repsol Honda Team are keen to carry their momentum forward as they return to Spanish soil.
“Honestly speaking, I knew it wasn’t necessary to win because I saw that Rins was out and Dovizioso was far from us but I had some extra motivation. I just tried to stay with Fabio as close as I could and in the end I was weighing up whether to try or not. On the last lap I decided to go. I knew Fabio was very fast in Sector 3, so I made my move before that and closed the corner as much as I could. Fabio rode a very strong race today. I raced as smart as I could and in the end it is nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to have 93 points of advantage.”
“If in Silverstone we were able to exceed our expectations, unfortunately today we weren’t able to do this and honestly I was expecting a little more. I was expecting my pace to be closer to the winner, maybe 1.5 seconds but in reality it was more. But my physical condition was better after the race and during practice we were able to be closer than before – this is a positive. The grip dropped for the race and I don’t think this helped us. I’m looking forward to Aragon to be able to push more physically and train harder as my condition improves.”