Marc Marquez took another step towards a third consecutive MotoGP title after beating nearest rival Andrea Dovizioso to victory at Aragon. The two great rivals fought out a tense race-long battle in scorching conditions but Marquez proved too strong for Dovizioso, ensuring he takes a 72-point lead into the four flyaway races starting in Thailand two weeks from now.
The fight at the front was expected to include Jorge Lorenzo but the polesitter dropped out in dramatic circumstances within seconds of the start. With Marquez already diving up the inside of the no.99 Ducati to snatch the lead, Lorenzo began to lose the front end of his GP18 with the subsequent reaction triggering a painful high-side. The Spaniard was eliminated on the spot and a broken toe may put him in a race against time to be fit for Thailand.
Tyre management played a key role in the race with Marquez keen to preserve his soft rear tyre, while Dovizioso also appeared to be measuring his own pace. The Italian ghosted into the lead while Marquez was delayed by Lorenzo’s accident but Marc scythed through for the first time on lap 14, making a late dive up the inside of turn 12.
Dovizioso didn’t trail for long, regaining the advantage on lap 16 but the championship leader would make the decisive break with three laps remaining, outbraking the Ducati into turn one. Crucially, Marc was able to stretch out enough of a lead to hold the Desmosedici off down the 1km back straight and despite Dovizioso’s best efforts, Marquez notched his sixth win of the season.
Suzuki enjoyed one of their best races of the season with both of their riders keeping the front pair in sight throughout. Ultimately, their departing rider would prevail with Andrea Iannone taking the final rostrum spot ahead of Alex Rins while Dani Pedrosa was the next-best Honda rider in fifth, Cal Crutchlow having crashed out on lap five.
Aleix Espargaro gave Aprilia their best result since Aragon 2017 with a fine ride to sixth ahead of Danilo Petrucci while Valentino Rossi salvaged eighth for Movistar Yamaha from 17th on the grid, overhauling Jack Miller two laps from home. Maverick Vinales was unable to make as much progress having been relegated to 14th on the grid after blocking Bradley Smith in qualifying. The Spaniard clawed his way up to tenth, but it capped off a dreadful weekend for the factory Yamaha outfit.
2018 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon (Result)
|1||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||41:55.949||25|
|2||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||+0.648||20|
|3||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+1.259||16|
|4||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+2.638||13|
|5||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+5.274||11|
|6||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+9.396||10|
|7||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+14.285||9|
|8||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+15.199||8|
|9||43. Jack Miller||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+16.375||7|
|10||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+22.457||6|
|11||21. Franco Morbidelli||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+27.025||5|
|12||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Honda||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||+27.957||4|
|13||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+28.821||3|
|14||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+32.345||2|
|15||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+37.639||1|
|16||45. Scott Redding||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+39.585|
|17||12. Thomas Luthi||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+40.763|
|18||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+56.296|
|19||10. Xavier Simeon||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+58.981|
|20||81. Jordi Torres||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+59.513|
|NC||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda Castrol||+19 Laps|
|NC||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+22 Laps|
|NC||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||+23 Laps|
|NS||43. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||Injured|