Portugal 125cc MotoGP
Not even the best Hollywood scripts could have dreamed up such a film for one of the most exciting and uncertain 125cc MotoGP races in the World Championship in recent times.
The leader of the 125cc championship standings, Marc Marquez, starts eleventh at Estoril for the Portugal MotoGP, climbs his way back up and is wheel-to-wheel with the race leader, the rain comes and the race is stopped.
In the sighting lap for the second 125cc race, Marquez falls, goes back into the garage with serious damage to the bike, his team fixes it extremely quick, he starts last on the grid and ends up winning the race.
The star of such an exciting race is the current leader of the 125cc class, Repsol rider Marc Marquez, who today was able- along with and thanks to his technical crew -to overcome a very tricky situation to, after biting the dust -and mud- in Estoril, put a happy ending to his performance, there at the very top of the Portuguese 125cc podium.
With Sunday’s electrifying win, Marquez tackles the last 125cc Grand Prix of the 2010 MotoGP season in Valencia, the most important of his sporting career so far, leading the championship standings with a 17-point advantage over his immediate chaser, Nico Terol, the only rider with mathematical options to wrestle the title from Emilio Alzamora’s protégé.
The unstable weather did its worst again Sunday, but only in the 125cc race. After starting the race with the track completely dry, Marc Marquez, starting from the eleventh spot on the grid, rapidly climbed positions to second place on the tail of Nico Terol after a few laps.
Lap after lap, these two 125cc MotoGP riders, Marquez and Terol, broke away from the rest of the pack and it was clear that they would play for the 25 points at the end of the race. However, after seven laps, the rain forced the race to be stopped and as the regulations specify, a second scoring stint of nine laps would be held.
The Team Ajo mechanics were already on the starting grid waiting for Marquez, when he fell in the turn entering the finish line on a wet patch on the 125cc track.
The Repsol rider Marquez quickly went back to the garage for his 125cc team, which quickly went to the garage from the grid, to fix it as quickly as possible. The tension of the moment did not cause Marquez to lose concentration and with a maturity rarely seen in a 17 year old, he kept cool headed while his mechanics fixed his bike at lightning speed.
According to the regulations, Márquez had to start last, from seventeenth place, forcing him to take a few risks in the first turn and during the opening lap. Passing rivals, the Repsol rider finished his first lap in third, behind Nico Terol and Bradley Smith.
Two laps later, he passed Smith, but three laps from the end, the British rider overtook him. Two laps to go and Marquez prepared his final attack. First of all, he passed Smith in the penultimate lap and in the next one, he did the same to Terol, who although he resisted, was finally unable to prevent the incredible victory of Marc Marquez. Another 25 points, a 17-point advantage and the 125cc to be decided next weekend in Valencia.
Marc Marquez says: “It was an unusual race. In the first, I was very sure that if it was dry, the aim was to go out, keep calm and try to follow Nico [Terol]. I managed to do just that when he slipped in front at the end of the straight but that is just an anecdote compared to everything that happened after that because it started raining and the race was stopped.”
“The rain stopped and we went out on slicks for the second race. In the sighting lap, I made a junior’s mistake. I went out carefully and in the first few turns I saw that the track was completely dry, so I decided to push it a bit more to warm the tires and when I entered the last turn, I simply lost the bike.”
“It was soaking wet, unlike the rest of the circuit and that’s where I made the mistake. But when you have a team like this, with its experience and the ability they have demonstrated fixing the bike, everything is a whole lot easier.”
“I have to be very grateful because without them, I wouldn’t have been able to race and then, I was able to repair my mistake. I started last and my aim was to try to score but after such a good start I saw that it was going well and I thought that if I could win, I was going to try. In the last lap, I decided to give it my all, I won and I took a significant step forward in the Championship, but it’s not over yet.”
2010 Estoril 125cc MotoGP: Official Results
1. Marc MARQUEZ (DERBI) 16:27.878
2. Nicolás TEROL (APRILIA) + 0.150
3. Bradley SMITH (APRILIA) + 0.212
4. Jonas FOLGER (APRILIA) + 18.378
5. Luis SALOM (APRILIA) + 19.387
2010 125cc MotoGP Points:
1. Marc MARQUEZ (DERBI) 297 Points
2. Nicolás TEROL (APRILIA) 280 Points
3. Pol ESPARGARÓ (DERBI) 261 Points
4. Bradley SMITH (APRILIA) 198 Points
5. Efrén VÁZQUEZ (DERBI) 144 Points