Marquez maintains 100% record with stunning fourth win
A huge crowd of more than 115,000 fans saw Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) take a fourth premier class victory in a row at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) also on the podium at Jerez.
With victory in the south of Spain in his 100th Grand Prix Marquez becomes the first rider to win the opening four premier class races of the year since Mick Doohan in 1992. Marquez had never previously won at Jerez in the World Championship. No-one could live with Marquez in the heat of the afternoon in Andalusia as he built up a four second lead by lap 12 and never looked back, eventually crossing the line comfortably ahead of Rossi. Indeed it was also another superb performance for Rossi as he returned to the podium for the first time since Qatar, holding off Pedrosa on the final corner.
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had to settle for fourth at his 200th GP, crossing the line 8.5s behind Marquez on his 27th birthday.
Behind the factory Honda and Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso was the top man for the Ducati Team in fifth, whilst there was disappointment for his teammate Cal Crutchlow who retired early on his comeback and wild card test rider Michele Pirro who crashed out in the initial laps.
There was relief for Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) as he picked up his first points of 2014 in sixth, finishing just 0.112s behind Dovizioso. Meanwhile, Bautista¢s compatriot Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was seventh and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) eighth, the pair of them also reaching the finish line within 0.5s of Dovizioso. The top ten was rounded out by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP).
Marc Marquez grabs fourth pole in sunny Jerez
Marc Marquez will be on pole for Sunday¢s MotoGP race at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa joining him on the front row.
On his 100th Grand Prix weekend Marquez produced a superb late 1¢38.120 lap to smash the pole record at Jerez, qualifying 0.421s ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Lorenzo and 0.510s in front of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Heading the second row after an intriguing Q2 run in the southern Spanish heat is the most successful rider on the grid at Jerez, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP¢s Valentino Rossi (+0.737) qualifying fourth at the track where he boasts six premier class victories. Joining him on row two are Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). A late crash for Espargaro hindered his Q2 efforts in the final minutes and he missed out on a potential front row.
The third row will host young trio Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), with Smith recovering well from a big crash on Friday. Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) is accompanied by American pair Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) on the fourth row, whilst the likes of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) will start from further back having failed to make Q2.
MotoGP F.P.2 : Marquez quickest in later run, Aleix Espargaro Friday¢s fastest
Marc Marquez was the pace setter in MotoGP FP2 at Jerez from Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso, but Espargaro was Friday¢s fastest rider overall. Repsol Honda¢s World Champion Marquez – who is participating in his 100th Grand Prix - led the way in the later practice at the Gran Premio bwin de España with a 1'39.757, though neither he nor his rivals were able to match Espargaro¢s 1'39.357 morning best.
NGM Forward Racing¢s Espargaro was second quickest in the afternoon, trailing Marquez by 0.216s as the track temperature in the south of Spain rose to 53°C. The third best rider in FP2 was Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who was 0.271s behind Marquez. In fourth place on the FP2 timesheet was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP¢s Valentino Rossi (0.368s) who was just ahead of his colleague Jorge Lorenzo – the latter reaching the 200 Grand Prix milestone this weekend.
Completing the afternoon top ten were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar), whilst there were crashes for Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) – though none were seriously hurt.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) returned to action in 15th on the timesheet but was able to complete 16 laps in FP2 despite his hand injury.