Marquez Hangs On To Win In Catalunya

Marc Marquez withstood intense pressure from Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi to claim his seventh victory out of seven in the 2014 MotoGP season. The world champion twice swapped places with his teammate on the last lap with Rossi capitalising on a late error from Pedrosa to snatch second place.

The race started in dream fashion for Movistar Yamaha as Jorge Lorenzo stormed into the lead from the middle of the front row. Valentino Rossi slotted into second behind his teammate with Pedrosa and Marquez running line astern on the two Repsol Hondas. Stefan Bradl ran fifth and briefly kept pace with the factory bikes ahead but before long, the front quartet had broken away from the rest of the field.

Rossi was looking particularly racy in second position and dived past Lorenzo for the lead on lap four but instead of launching a counter attack, Jorge was surprisingly shuffled to the back of the group by the Repsol Honda duo. Just as he was at Jerez, Lorenzo would become an increasingly distant presence in the battle for the lead.

Beneath ominously grey skies, Marquez took the fight to Rossi and turn one would be the scene of numerous tussles between the two. On lap fourteen, the Spaniard outbraked himself while following the Yamaha and was forced to dive through the escape road before a second, more successful, attempt came with yellow flags waving, forcing Marc to relinquish the lead again.

A third manoeuvre proved successful on lap twenty and the first corner would also see Rossi surrender second two laps later as Pedrosa came on strong. Dani was looking to convert his first pole of 2014 into a first victory and charged up the inside of his teammate as the last lap began. Marc saw him coming though and regained the lead on the exit before outfoxing his compatriot for a second time as they rounded turn four.

Dani’s final attack came at turn eleven but in his attempt to avoid a collision with Marquez, he lost his grip on second with Rossi sneaking past. Lorenzo followed them home in fourth with Bradl taking an excellent fifth. Aleix Espargaro finished where he started in sixth while his brother Pol pipped Andrea Dovizioso to seventh on the run to the line. Andrea Iannone was the next Ducati home in ninth.

The British riders had contrasting fortunes with Bradley Smith failing to recover from a disastrous opening lap, eventually finishing tenth. Scott Redding rode another outstanding race to take twelfth but Michael Laverty and Cal Crutchlow failed to score, the latter being sidelined by more reliability problems.