2016 Aragon MotoGP Results
Last year during the Aragon Grand Prix, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez earned the pole, but crashed out while battling for the lead. Due to the DNF—his fifth of six that season—Marquez missed out on a third-straight MotoGP title, allowing eventual title winner Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to garner precious points.
Marquez, who won at Aragon in 2013, was seeking major redemption at this year’s Aragon MotoGP; he began Friday practice quick, finishing behind teammate Dani Pedrosa. Come Saturday, the 23-year-old Spaniard was untouchable, leading both free practices and earning the Aragon MotoGP pole by over 0.6 of a second ahead of Suzuki Team Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales and Lorenzo. It was Marquez’s 64th pole across all classes, tying him with Lorenzo for most poles.
Though he made a mistake early on in the race, Marquez was able to redeem himself, claiming the Aragon MotoGP win ahead of Lorenzo and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.
With his win, Marquez was able to extend his lead to 248 points with four rounds remaining – 52 ahead of Rossi and 66 ahead of Lorenzo.
“After Warm Up everything looked under control but you know in racing and this year especially the feelings you have on the track change. I went out on circuit and it was difficult to find the same feeling i had in practice – but i decided to push from the start and then I had a big moment at turn 7,” Marquez says.
“So I said OK ‘quiet,’ and then step by step caught Valentino. When I overtook him I stayed calm for one lap and then opened the gap. It’s an important victory because since Austria and Germany we’ve not been able to win again in the dry. Here was a great point on the calendar to attack, and win. It’s a nice advantage but we have to stay focused because crashing is very easy – now we go to Asia and that’s one of the most difficult points of the season. We know on some circuits we will struggle more and some less, but we need to keep calm.”
When Sunday’s 23-lap Aragon GP began, Marquez didn’t get the start he had hoped for. Vinales got to turn one first, and led the opening lap. Marquez battled back, regaining the lead on turn two. But the two-time MotoGP Champion made a mistake at turn seven, which dropped him back to fifth.
Up front, Vinales once again took over only to lose first to nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi on lap nine. Rossi looked strong, but Marquez was already into third by the time Rossi was out front. And on lap 11, Marquez was able to pass Rossi on the “Aragon Corkscrew.”
From there, Marquez began opening a lead, eventually finishing 2.740 seconds ahead of Lorenzo, and 5.983 seconds ahead of Rossi.
Vinales claimed fourth, finishing ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who made history at Brno when he became the first Brit to win a race since Barry Sheene in 1981.
Pedrosa struggled to sixth, finishing ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, and the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl, respectively.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso finished 11th, ahead of Michele Pirro, who had substituted for the injured Andrea Iannone on the other factory Ducati GP16.
As for the American Nicky Hayden, the Honda World Superbike pilot who substituted for the injured Jack Miller on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, he finished 15th. This was a great result for Nicky, who never rode the bike before, or had any experience with the new Michelin spec tires or new electronics.
The 2016 MotoGP Championship now breaks for three weeks ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix Twin Ring Motegi October 14-16 – the same track where he clinched the title in 2014.
Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
2016 Aragon MotoGP Results Photo Gallery