A bittersweet end to the MotoGP Indianapolis GP weekend for Marc Márquez, who after dominating the practice and qualifying sessions and leading the race from the start, saw a fall at turn 10 snatch away any chance of victory in today’s event.
The Repsol rider got back on the bike to come from 14th to fifth crossing the line, although a 20 second penalty saw him demoted to tenth place.
Coming off the grid in pole, Márquez got away to a perfect start, and was soon opening up a gap with rivals Terol, Vazquez, Espargaró and Rabat.
A 0.7 second advantage after the first lap stretched to over a second by the third lap. Lap seven saw Márquez set the fastest lap -and track record- and by the following lap he enjoyed a 2.5 second lead.
However, on the tenth turn of the following circuit the front end of the Derbi bounced as he braked through one of the numerous bumps on the US track, and he was unable to keep the bike up.
The Repsol rider managed to get back into the race immediately -now in 14th place- without any major problems to the bike.
Setting a pace of up to two seconds faster than his rivals, Marquez was unstoppable, swiftly moving up to eighth position. On the last lap, going into one of the chicanes, Márquez had to use his elbow to stay upright going into the bend. At that moment, Márquez was in eighth, on the heels of the group of Rabat, Webb and Krummenacher fighting for fifth place.
Márquez went off the track but was able to continue via the chicane escape route to rejoin the race, still just behind the group in the battle for fifth. He held back to nullify any advantage he might have got from the manoeuvre through the chicane, and in a scorching last lap, was once again on their heels before getting past them to take the flag in a well earned fifth place.
Later, the Race Direction felt that the Repsol rider, despite having gained no advantage from the incident, had infringed Article 1.19 of race regulations, and gave him a 20 second penalty, leaving him in a final position of 10th. Nevertheless, the six valuable points picked up leaves Márquez with a four-point advantage over fellow Spaniard Nico Terol and five points over Pol Espargaró.
Marc Marquez says: “I started really well and was going at a good rhythm. I gradually started leaving the others behind, and when I saw that the advantage was more than two seconds, I thought that maybe I had too much of a lead, because I was braking early in the bumpiest areas to avoid falling, and I think in the end that’s what made me crash, because by releasing the brake so early it was worse going over the bumps.”
“In the end, I managed to finish in fifth, even with the semi-handlebar bent forwards and down, so I needed to make a real effort on left-hand bends. Two laps from the end, I got a real scare on the second turn, but managed to save the situation with my elbow.”
“I had no choice but to go straight. I saw that I had made up ground on them and so dropped the speed in order to more or less respect the distance between us before I went off. On the last lap, I pushed it as hard as I could and ended up fifth, which isn’t bad at all. Race Direction then decided to give me a 20 point penalty as they considered I had made an illegal manoeuvre. There’s no doubt it’s a shame after all that effort. We’ll continue to fight in Misano in a few days time.”