Marquez makes it six out of six in spectacular finale
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has once again taken more records, continuing his flawless start to 2014 with his sixth win in as many races. Teammate Dani Pedrosa, still suffering after his recent arm surgery, finished fourth after losing time battling with other riders in the early laps.
From the start Marc dropped back to third briefly - and Dani down to eighth - but on lap three he passed Iannone and slotted in behind Lorenzo, with Dani passing Crutchlow into seventh. Whilst closing the gap to Lorenzo, Marc recorded the fastest lap of the race on lap five (1'47.892) and the race began to find some rhythm, briefly.
Dani passed Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone over the course of four laps, but Iannone - using the super soft rear tyre - was able to pass him back. During laps eleven to thirteen, the two riders battled for fourth position with Dani finally able to pass and open a gap on lap fourteen. Then on lap seventeen Marc made his move on Lorenzo. An epic battle ensued with the two riders passing each other a total of eleven times over the final seven laps, racing within inches of each other at one of the fastest tracks on the calendar. Marc made his final pass on the last lap and led to the chequered flag, beating Lorenzo by just 0.121s.
With today's victory, Marc has become the sixth rider ever - and the first since Rossi in 2002 (also on a Honda) - to win six successive races in the premier class (along with Agostini, Hailwood, Surtees and Doohan). He is also the youngest ever rider to achieve this (21 years and 104 days) taking the record from Rossi (23 years and 148 days) when he took the sixth of seven successive wins in 2002. He has also equalled the number of career victories achieved by John Surtees, who won a total of seven World titles (four in the 500cc class and three in the 350cc class), making him the joint 14th most successful GP rider of all-time in terms of Grand Prix wins. With his tally of 150 points, Marc now extends his lead in the Championship by 53 points over second place Rossi (97), with Dani dropping to third place, just one point off the Italian.
1st - Championship Standing: 1st - 125 points
"I am very happy with this win; Jorge and I had a really good battle and had a lot of fun out there! I wasn't expecting the victory, because it has come at a circuit that I had marked on the calendar as being one for picking up Championship points - not thinking about winning the race. However, I saw that it would be possible and took more risks than at other races, because Jorge and Vale were very fast and we were finding it difficult to keep up the same pace. I think that we did a great job all weekend, and the change that we made to sixth gear in the warmup was very important too; we did this to help pass using a slipstream at the end of the straight. I am very pleased with how the entire weekend went, and now it is time to look ahead to my home Grand Prix - racing at Montmelo is always special"
4th - Championship Standing: 3rd - 96 points
"It was a tough race and I wasn't able to get the result that I was hoping for here. My arm is still causing me issues and I wasn't able to push one hundred percent so thanks to my team for their patience whilst I still recover. The race today was interesting, and I congratulate Marc and Jorge for a nice battle! I think that it is positive to see that we are up there fighting and that we have improved on a few things. Now we have to continue working so that we can be up in the leading group as well, and have some fun with them, but I need to be physically 100% to be able to do so. Tomorrow I will go for a check up with Dr. Mir and hope to be fitter in time for Montmelo in two weeks time"
Movistar Magic Delivers Double Mugello Podium
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo made a stunning return to form today, taking second place in the Gran Premio d'Italia after an epic battle with rival Marc Marquez.
Teammate Valentino Rossi made good on a challenging 10th position grid start to take a well deserved third place podium finish for his 300th Grand Prix appearance.
The drama started before the first corner for Lorenzo as the riders bunched over the crest off the start line. He was quick to recover and fought his way through the first turn to close down and pass Andrea Iannone for the lead.
Having secured the front Lorenzo then proved he was back on form, delivering lap after lap of perfect lines with Marquez in pursuit. Even with less than 0.3 of a second between them it wasn't until the last seven laps that Marquez was able to make a move. An incredible Spanish duel then began with the two trading places numerous times, Lorenzo always able to answer any attack from Marquez with a response of his own. The two took it to the wire, Marquez entering the last straight slightly ahead and able to hold it to the line, leaving Jorge in second, just 0.121seconds behind.
Home hero Rossi was not to be daunted by a 10th place grid position on his 300th Grand Prix start. The nine-time world champion had taken three positions by the first corner and was up into fifth place by the second lap. He made short work of dispatching Andrea Dovizioso for fourth and then with 20 laps to go passed Iannone to move up into third. By this time Lorenzo and Marquez were too far in front to catch however he remained less than three seconds behind them, hinting at what could have been with a better grid start. He completed the podium in third to the roar of the bumper Mugello crowd, just 2.688 seconds from Marquez.
Lorenzo's stunning performance takes 20 points and moves him up into fourth in the championship standings on 65 points, 31 behind Dani Pedrosa in third.
Rossi's impressive comeback from tenth to the podium earns him 16 points and moves him up into second place in the championship standings, 53 behind Marquez.
Pol Espargaro today delivered another impressive performance at the legendary Mugello circuit in Tuscany by riding to a well calculated and expertly executed 5th position for round 6 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The reigning Moto2 World champion began the challenge from 5th place on the grid and found himself in the leading group, maintaining the same position for the opening laps. As he set into his increasingly confident race pace, the Spaniard kept fighting with vastly more experienced riders such as Andrea Dovisioso and Dani Pedrosa. Honda rider Pedrosa eventually overtook Espargaro, before the rookie remained calm and seized 5th position back by passing Andrea Iannone on lap 18. He then put his head down and put in a series of consistent lap times to ensure that the chasing Dovisioso could not threaten him. Espargaro's determined efforts saw him cross the line as the leading satellite rider and only a second and a half back from Dani Pedrosa's 4th position. The 22-year-old's 5th place at Mugello elevates him to 6th position in the point standings and sees him as leading non-factory MotoGP rider so far in the 2014 Championship.
Bradley Smith's weekend full of promise ended prematurely with an unfortunate crash during the second lap of the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM Grand Prix at Mugello. Having made strides forward during the qualifying and free practice sessions with the Yamaha YZR-M1 that he is increasingly confident with, Smith pulled off a positive qualifying performance of 7th. Here he was in prime contention to confidently battle for the top five and upwards. Yet, after starting the Grand Prix and ending the first lap in 9th Smith's luck ran out and he fell, drawing a disappointing end to an otherwise highly positive weekend. The 23 year old will head to Catalunya next week where he will intend to amend his lack of fortune at Mugello with a high scoring finish.
The NGM Forward Racing Team closed once again as first open on the fast and demanding Mugello track. It was not an easy race for Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards who finished respectively in 9th and 15th positions. With this result, Aleix maintains the seventh position in the championship with 44 points, while Forward is 4th in the Constructor classification after the three Manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati).
Starting from the 4th row, lap by lap Aleix Espargaro recovered some positions and despite struggling during the whole race with the traction control, he succeeded to maintain his position and finish 9th.
It was a tough race also for team mate Colin Edwards, who despite the electronics problems finished the race in 15th position.
"I'm happy, I could be more happy if I had won but I tried my best. Probably in the last corner I should have stayed more in the inside to try to overtake him on the inside line but I made a mistake and went wider and it was impossible to overtake him on the straight. When I feel physically strong and the bike has a small improvement I can be there and fight with him. We have some margin, some physical condition to improve for me and the bike can make another step so we will get better. I've worked really hard to be more physically fit and the team also worked very hard this weekend to give me a great bike, so thank you to them."
"Today was a great day for all the people and for MotoGP. Mugello is one of the greatest race tracks in the world; a lot of people around and the race was very funny with a great battle between Jorge and Marc. I wasn't too far from them and all the people were happy for my podium. It is a great emotion as always, it was a solid race from fourth row to third. I think I had the chance to battle with them but unfortunately we made a mistake yesterday in practice but we will try in Barcelona again. The podium in Mugello is always fantastic, it's the most special moment of the season, it's like a great concert. It's a great party for MotoGP and motorcycling because the passion in Italy is amazing. This is my 300th GP, so I'm in the middle of my career, another 300 before the end!"
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"It was an amazing race; it was great to see Jorge lead from early on and then fight in such an amazing way at the end. He has proved he is back both physically and mentally. He never gave up and he really did everything he could. We finished second but with the same feeling as if a victory. Now we are going to Barcelona, where it looks like it's going to be another interesting race. Vale rode a really good race. We had some troubles over the weekend and we made it harder for ourselves. Starting from the fourth row he knew he had to push strongly from the beginning and he did so, quickly getting up into third and holding it to the end to take his podium and move up to second in the championship. It has been a good weekend overall for our first home race, I want to thank all the team for their hard work to achieve the results of today. We leave here impressed with the performance of both our riders and looking forward to another strong battle in Barcelona in two weeks time."
"Obviously I have to be really happy with today's result. We managed to finish ?best of the rest' just behind the four factory bikes which is a great achievement. I struggled a lot to pass the Ducati of Iannone so unfortunately Dani was already too far ahead and even if I tried to catch him I could not close the gap completely. But I think altogether we really have to be proud of the work done so far, especially considering how the weekend went with two crashes and one session less due to the weather on Friday. The team did a great job and I really want to thank them as we were able to repeat the result from Le Mans. Now we will head full of confidence to my home race in Catalunya where I will give it my all to be even closer to the front than today."
"I would love to have something more to say, but I think it was just a case of having the wrong tyre. I was using the hard compound in the front that we had previously ran in FP3 and which made me crash after doing a mistake at the last corner. Therefore, the initial feedback was not that great and I much preferred the soft option but as the track conditions were quite hot today we were recommended the use to the hard tyre like everyone else, so we followed the suggestion. Unfortunately though I'm not used to that tyre on this track and also, I felt like it didn't work with my riding style. The front tucked at the Arrabbiata 1 which was turn 8 but in all honesty there wasn't much I could do about it. It's very frustrating as I had the race pace to get a really good result but from the first lap I could feel that things weren't going to plan. Now we will wait for Barcelona where I am confident that everything will improve."
"It was a difficult race. We struggled the whole weekend with the electronics control and today in particular I had a problem with the traction control. I couldn't push and control the bike as I wanted so I tried to maintain the calm and get the best possible result. We will keep on working and I hope that we can make a step forward for the next race in Catalunya, my home GP."
"The good point was actually that we did finish the race after having struggled with fuel problems from the beginning of the season. I'm satisfied for this, but we need to keep on working with the electronics because today we struggled a lot with the traction control and the bike was sliding a lot. Anyway this weekend we did a complete test with the new chassis. Now we will look at the data and we will keep on working at Montmelo."
Double top ten for the Pramac Racing Team: Andrea Iannone seventh, tenth Yonny Hernandez
A beautiful sunny day, a warm audience and a grandstand entirely dedicated to the employees of PR Pramac industrial group, was the background of this Sunday's Italian MotoGP race at Mugello. A special tribute to the great champion Marco Simoncelli started off the races this morning. The young riders of the Pramac Racing Team, have faced and concluded this long weekend bringing home good results.
Andrea Iannone - Pramac Racing - started from the second position on the grid, stood up to the top riders immediately gaining first position. In the second half of the race, he fought hard to maintain the fourth position, facing his opponents with great skill and finishing the race in seventh place.
Yonny Hernandez - EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing - demonstrated his abilities giving his best riding his GP13, bringing home a good result. The Colombian rider right from first corners gains the eleventh position and continues to fight with his opponents for the top ten having the best out of it finishing the race in tenth place, with his best result of the season.
Andrea Iannone ( Pramac Racing)
"I'm happy to have done the first laps in the top positions in front of my fans. When the race ended my team and guests told me that the audience exulted for all my overtaking, this makes me proud, the warmth of the audience always gives me a boost. We had a good race but I could not have keep up with the pace of the Honda and Yamaha. Unfortunately I struggled a bit over the last seven laps because of worn out tire, but I worked hard to give my best. "
Yonny Hernandez ( EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing)
"I am happy I arrived in tenth position, this is a great result for me, the best since I've been on this team. We have worked hard to develop the bike for this race and in the end we got a good result. The best possible with this bike. "
Marquez emerges victorious in magical Mugello duel
Round 6: Italian MotoGP? - Race
Mugello, Sunday June 1 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 23-23°C; Track 46-47°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez maintained his perfect victory record in 2014 at the Italian Grand Prix, after narrowly beating Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo to the chequered flag at Mugello.
Marquez and Lorenzo traded the race lead numerous times in an exciting dogfight at the front of the field, with Marquez squeezing his way past Lorenzo on the entry into turn one on the final lap for the race-winning pass. The battle between the two Spanish stars continued all the way to the finish line with Marquez taking the chequered flag 0.120 seconds ahead of Lorenzo. Rounding out the podium in his three-hundredth Grand Prix appearance was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi, who carved through the field after starting from tenth on the grid. All riders on the podium used the combination of the medium compound front and rear slicks.
Today's Italian Grand Prix took place under sunny skies, with track temperatures reaching a slightly higher level than recorded yesterday, with a high of 47°C at the start of the race. Race tyre choice was practically a carbon-copy of what the riders used during yesterday's Free Practice 4 session, with all of the riders selecting the medium compound front slick for the race. Rear tyre choice for the race was almost evenly split across the field, with twelve of the twenty-three riders selecting the soft compound rear slick, and the remaining eleven riders opting for the medium compound rear slick.
Marquez now has 150 championship points and enjoys a fifty-three point lead over Rossi, who moves up to second place in the standings following his third successive podium. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa now sits third on the championship table and one point adrift of Rossi, after finishing in fourth place at Mugello.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"That was an amazing race between two riders at the peak of their powers. Congratulations to Honda and Marc for taking another victory, and also to Yamaha for their strong showing this weekend with two riders on the podium. Today's race was a special treat for MotoGP fans around the world and having such a close battle at the front of the field will surely help ensure a large crowd at the next race in Montmelo."
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Track temperatures today were almost the same as yesterday, which resulted in every rider using their favoured tyre combination from Saturday's practice sessions. As expected, the medium compound front slick was the standard choice for the whole grid, and only the soft and medium rear slicks were used by riders today. I am really happy with how our tyres performed today, as quite a few riders were able to set their quickest lap in the second half of the race and the whole of the field experiencing little drop off in performance over the twenty-three lap race distance."
Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda - Race Winner
"I think this was the toughest race of the year for me, I struggled particularly in the beginning of the race and Jorge was really strong in the middle of the corner, he was able to keep a strong pace. But then, with the used tyre I started to feel better and in the warm-up we made a small change to my gearing which worked very well in the race. I'm very happy for the team as well, as the change they made to my bike helped me to victory. We will enjoy this moment and go now to the next race at my home track ready to fight for another victory."
Sixth place for Dovizioso in Italian GP at Mugello, while Crutchlow crashes out
A sixth place finish and a retirement were the results of the two Ducati Team riders in today's Italian Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit, where the sixth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship was held.
Andrea Dovizioso began the 23-lap race well, with a good start from eighth on the grid and at the end of lap 1 he crossed the line in fourth place. For several laps the Italian managed to stay with the leading group, but he was then passed by three more riders and he remained almost all the race in seventh place. During the last lap however Dovi managed to pass his fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone to finish in sixth.
His team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who started from row 2, was on the other hand forced to retire after a crash on lap 4. The British rider was in eighth place when he lost the front and slid down the track. His GP14 machine then hit Bradl's bike, causing the German to retire.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro finished his race in eleventh place. The Italian focussed mainly on bringing his GP14 ?lab' bike to the chequered flag.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 6th
"I think I did as much as I could today in the race. In the end we didn't go that bad, considering the gap from the leaders: we managed to improve our race time by three and a half seconds over last year's, and this is a positive fact. The race at Mugello, as always, was really tough but that's what makes it great. It was a really tough battle with Pedrosa, Espargarņ and Iannone. I was helped a lot by the horsepower we had on the straight, and I did some great braking moves at the San Donato curve. In the end we brought home the best result that we could have obtained today."
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - DNF
"I'm obviously very disappointed to only last three laps, especially in Ducati's home race at Mugello. We found a good set-up in the morning warm-up and we were able to be competitive in the early stages of the race. Unfortunately I pushed a little too hard in one of the chicanes and lost the front. We need to look at the best way to go forward from Barcelona with the settings and the bike and make me feel more comfortable."
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) - 11th
"I managed to finish the race and this is important because at Jerez I didn't finish, and here we had to obtain important data on some technical solutions we fitted to my GP14. For this reason I tried not to make any mistakes and to finish the race at all costs. For sure I could have got a tenth place and in fact I had even hoped for something better. A big thanks to the team for the job they did and I hope that I'll be able to get a better result in a couple of weeks' time at Barcelona."
Luigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
"Obviously today's results are below expectations, especially at this circuit which is like a home track for Ducati. Unfortunately Cal lost the front in the early stages, while Andrea gave his all but was unable to fight for the positions he would have liked. We must be patient: we know we still have to improve a lot, but we will work hard and we are confident for the future."
Scott rues a lack of straight line speed at Mugello
Mugello, Italy - 1 June 2014: Scott Redding picked up more championship points with 13th place at Mugello today, but the 21-year-old Briton was left frustrated by a lack of straight line speed compared to his rivals.
Early in the race Scott chased down Aleix Espargaro and eventually passed the Spaniard, but the lack of outright top speed from the Honda RCV1000R proved to be a major disadvantage once again. First Espargaro, then Hernandez, used the superior power of their prototype machines to blast past on the straight.
A battle on track with Hernandez and Michele Pirro then ensued, with Scott again losing out to the superior speed of the Ducati prototype machines on the straight, as he tried to tuck in behind a screen that was broken after he caught it with his head just nine laps into the race.
It was a frustrating race for Scott, after two solid days of work at Mugello, but the Briton is now focussed on the next race in Barcelona, although it will be another new track for him to learn aboard the MotoGP bike.
Scott Redding // 13th
"The beginning of the race was really good, I had a good rhythm and I was running with Aleix, and I also overtook him during the race, that is a good step forward for us. But then i got stuck with Hernandez and Pirro's Ducatis, losing so much time in the straight. I tried to pass them early in the lap in order to make a gap, but it was quite hard. After 8 or 9 laps I also broke the windscreen, so I had a really bad aerodynamics, and also a lot of turbulence on the head and that made my race more difficult. In the end I'm happy with my race, I'm just disappointed to be behind the two Ducatis and Abraham because I know we could get the top ten today."
BAUTISTA TAKES VALUABLE POINTS AT TRADITIONALLY TOUGH MUGELLO. REDDING CLOSE TO THE TOP TEN
In a traditionally tricky but very important race for Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini, the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, Alvaro Bautista crossed the finish line in eighth place aboard his Honda RC213V: started well from eleventh place in the grid, the Spaniard failed to stay with the group of riders in front of him, and has maintaining his position until the end, picking up 8 valuable points for the World Championship ahead of the next race, to be held in Barcelona in two weeks .
His team-mate, Scott Redding , kept a good pace in the early laps battling with Aleix Espargarņ, then he was not able to open a gap from the Hernandez and Pirro's Ducati machines and was beaten on the finish line by Karel Abraham's Honda RCV1000R by only 0.008 seconds, also because the broken windscreen slowed him down, causing turbulence and worse aerodynamics. Therefore, the Briton collected the 3 points of the 13th place.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (8th)
"We knew it would be a difficult race: this morning during the warm up we tried to improve but didn't find anything special. Today I raced with the old front fork, which we used before the post-race test in Jerez, because we thought it would work better with the hard compound front tyre, but actually it didn't make much difference. The gap from the second group of riders was not very high, I struggled to try to follow them, but at some point I saw that it was not possible and I had to slow down to finish the race. Too bad, because after the podium at Le Mans we were expecting something more: we are in a strange situation, because we are competitive in some tracks and not in others, without making changes to the bike. We must overcome this problem if we want be always competitive. I would like to thank all the team because they did an excellent job, as always, and we hope to return competitive in Barcelona in two weeks time".
SCOTT REDDING (13th)
"The beginning of the race was really good, I had a good rhythm and I was running with Aleix, and I also overtook him during the race, that is a good step forward for us. But then i got stuck with Hernandez and Pirro's Ducatis, losing so much time in the straight. I tried to pass them early in the lap in order to make a gap, but it was quite hard. After 8 or 9 laps I also broke the windscreen, so I had a really bad aerodynamics, and also a lot of turbulence on the head and that made my race more difficult. In the end I'm happy with my race, I'm just disappointed to be behind the two Ducatis and Abraham because I know we could get the top ten today".
"The race here at Mugello has always been difficult for us: unfortunately, we always get very little. We will have to better understand why in some races we are very competitive with Alvaro, while in some others we struggle a lot: we are missing something in order to be more consistent at each Grand Prix. Our problems seem to emerge especially with the hard tyres, with which the bike becomes very nervous. I feel sorry for Scott, who made a good race but was forced to lose some positions due to a damaged windscreen, which not only make him lose speed on the straights, but also bothered him because of turbulence".