Marc Marquez maintained his unbeaten record in 2014 with another display of dominance in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The world champion is already a red-hot favourite to retain his title after extending his lead to 28 points over Dani Pedrosa who was beaten to second place by Valentino Rossi.
As in Argentina, the race got off to a frantic start with a wheelie off the line holding back Lorenzo and instead it was Andrea Dovizioso who made it into turn one first. The Ducati rider was quickly shuffled back to fourth by the Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha pairs but Marquez wasn’t clear at the front just yet, with Valentino Rossi throwing everything at the 21 year old.
Rossi led as early as the Dry Sac hairpin on lap one but Marquez led across the finish line after charging up the inside of the final corner. Marc didn’t lead for long, overcooking the first corner and being passed into turn two by Valentino but on the second run up the back straight to Dry Sac, the Repsol Honda motored past and ensured Marquez’s second spell in the lead was much longer, lasting for the rest of the race.
Rossi maintained second ahead of Lorenzo and for the first time since reuniting as teammates, the balance of power was swinging towards the Italian. Lorenzo shadowed Rossi for lap after lap but with six to go, his focus switched to the Honda of Pedrosa who had his eyes on third and under braking for the Dry Sac, the Spaniards switched positions.
Dani chased the leading Movistar Yamaha all the way to the chequered flag but Rossi hung on for one of the most significant results in recent years for ‘The Doctor’. Lorenzo had been beaten in a straight fight and limped home fourth while Andrea Dovizioso rode brilliantly again to claim fifth, holding off Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and the Tech 3 Yamahas of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro in a frenetic finish. Dovizioso’s ride was also a welcome boost for Ducati who had earlier seen Cal Crutchlow sidelined by a loss of brakes and Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro with crashes.
Stefan Bradl faded in the closing stages to end up ninth while Nicky Hayden won the mini-race between the production Hondas for tenth.