Marc Marquez eases to Jerez win to take championship lead
Marc Marquez eased to victory in the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix to take a slender one-point lead in the world championship standings over race runner-up Alex Rins.
The Honda rider grabbed the holeshot from third on the grid and broke away a second clear of the pack by the tenth lap, with his gap instantly opening up to four seconds when Petronas SRT's Fabio Quartararo hit mechanical problems on lap 14.
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso shot off the line and looked set to grab second, but was pushed slightly wide at the first turn by Marquez and dropped behind SRT duo Franco Morbidelli and poleman Quartararo.
Morbidelli kept Marquez at arm's length for the opening handful of laps, but the Honda rider soon edged a 0.4s advantage, which he built to 0.8s at the start of lap 10.
It was here where Marquez made his decisive break, opening his gap to 1.4s, while Quartararo scythed through on his struggling team-mate.
Quartararo was able to claw back a couple of tenths on Marquez, but his charge was halted by a gear selector issue with 11 laps remaining, forcing him out.
This released Suzuki's Alex Rins, who started ninth, into second, while Maverick Vinales on the works Yamaha soon disposed of Morbidelli at the Pedrosa corner.
Rins had broken away from Vinales, who came under intense pressure from Dovizioso in the closings stages.
However, Dovizioso was unable to mount a successful attack on the final podium spot, leaving Vinales to secure his first rostrum of the season by 0.4s.
Marquez remained unchallenged through to the chequered flag, with Rins holding second to move into second in the standings.
Dovizioso headed Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci in the end, with Valentino Rossi recovering from 13th on the grid to sixth on the sister works Yamaha after late moves on Morbidelli, LCR's Cal Crutchlow and Pramac's Jack Miller.
Miller crashed at the last turn following a collision with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro on the penultimate lap, releasing LCR's Takaaki Nakagami and HRC test rider Stefan Bradl into the final two spots inside the top 10.
Espargaro survived the collision and was 11th, with Jorge Lorenzo struggling to 12th on his Honda ahead of KTM duo Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco, and Avintia's Tito Rabat.
Spain - Race Result
|1||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||25|
|2||Alex Rins||Team Suzuki Ecstar||1.654||20|
|3||Maverick Vinales||Monster Energy Yamaha||2.443||16|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Mission Winnow Ducati||2.804||13|
|5||Danilo Petrucci||Mission Winnow Ducati||4.748||11|
|6||Valentino Rossi||Monster Energy Yamaha||7.547||10|
|7||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||8.228||9|
|8||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||10.052||8|
|9||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||10.274||7|
|10||Stefan Bradl||Team HRC||13.402||6|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing Gresini||15.431||5|
|12||Jorge Lorenzo||Repsol Honda Team||18.473||4|
|13||Pol Espargaro||Red Bull KTM Factory||20.156||3|
|14||Johann Zarco||Red Bull KTM Factory||26.706||2|
|15||Tito Rabat||Reale Avintia Racing||28.513||1|
|16||Karel Abraham||Reale Avintia Racing||36.858||0|
|17||Bradley Smith||Aprilia Racing Gresini||41.390||0|
|18||Miguel Oliviera||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||41.570||0|
|19||Hafizh Syahrin||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||50.568||0|
|20||Jack Miller||Alma Pramac Racing||DNF||0|
|21||Joan Mir||Team Suzuki Ecstar||DNF||0|
|22||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha SRT||DNF||0|
|23||Francesco Bagnaia||Alma Pramac Racing||DNF||0|