Marquez surges into title lead

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/24 23:08:39

10th title hopes fade as Rossi finishes fifth at Aragon

Marc Marquez of Spain and the Repsol Honda Team celebrates victory after the MotoGP of Aragon at Motorland Aragon Circuit on Sunday in Alcaniz, Spain. Photo: VCG

Marc Marquez opened up a 16-point lead over Andrea Dovizioso with an impressive ride to claim his fifth win of the season at the Aragon MotoGP on Sunday.

Despite starting from fifth on the grid, Marquez stormed past Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales to win from Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa with Lorenzo in third. Dovizioso started the day ­level with Marquez in the championship standings, but finished down in seventh to deal a severe blow to his title chances with just four races remaining in the season.

Marquez showed his class by moving smoothly through the grid, eventually overtaking Lorenzo with eight laps to go for his third MotoGP win in Aragon and fourth overall after winning in Moto2 back in 2011.

"It was a really difficult race," said Marquez. "From the beginning I didn't have the feelings like in the warm-up where it was a little bit smoother.

"I tried to get back the feeling but even in the last part of the race the feeling was not the best one."

Pedrosa completed a perfect day for Honda as he stormed through second half of the race after a slow start to blow past Rossi, Vinales and Lorenzo in the latter stages. But he left his challenge to late to catch his teammate out front.

"Unfortunately I did too many laps behind Maverick and I lose a little bit of the gap at the beginning," said Pedrosa.

"Later we both improved the pace and when I got past him I could really catch the front group."

Rossi fought manfully on his return, just three weeks after a double leg fracture.

The wounded nine-time champion battled for the lead early in the race but understandably faded to finish back in fifth. Rossi, though, slips 56 points behind Marquez as his hopes of 10th world title begin to fade.

Fourth-place sees Vinales slip to 28 points off Marquez in third in the championship standings.

After a three-week break, rivalries will be renewed at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 15.


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