It’s been a while since Alex Marquez—the younger brother of three-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez—claimed a win.The 21-year-old Spaniard’s last victory arrived at Motegi during Marquez’s Moto3-title winning year in 2014. Since joining Moto2 in 2016, podium finishes were very rare. There was actually only one at last year’s Aragon Moto2 race.
But this changed during Jerez Moto2 when the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS pilot claimed the win at his home race in Jerez. Marquez battled with teammate and Moto2 Championship points leader Franco Mobidelli early on, but the Italian, who won the opening three rounds, crashed out with 18 laps to go, leaving Marquez alone up front.The young Spaniard then rode a consistent pace to claim his first-ever Moto2 win, and his first podium since undergoing arm-pump surgery in the off-season on both arms.When the 26-lap race was complete, Marquez claimed the victory by 3.442 seconds of SKY Racing Team VR46’s Francesco Bagnaia—a maiden podium for the Italian— and 4.958 ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira.“This is unbelievable, I couldn’t have imagined a victory like this in front of my home fans,” Alex Marquez says. “I want to dedicate this win to my mum on Mother’s Day. It was a long wait for three years to catch a victory and winning in Jerez is a dream come true.“It was a difficult race in hot conditions and when I saw Franco crash I knew how easy it was to make mistake. I could not hold my maximum pace because I was on the limit with the front grip so just controlled the gap to the riders behind. I want to thank everyone in the team and all those who support me in Spain.”After four of 18 rounds, Morbidelli continues to lead the Moto3 Championship with 75 points, 11 ahead of CarXpert Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi, who finished eighth at Jerez. Oliveira now has 59 points, followed by Marquez with 49.The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of GP of France at Le Mans.Following is the official MotoGP recap:Marquez took the lead out of Turn 1 after a good start, with Morbidelli taking the apex first and then running a little wide – but it was an EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1-2 streaking away at the front as Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing), Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) squabbled for third – with Bagnaia then getting up into the fight.There was drama soon after as Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) lost control and slid out, taking Vierge and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) out of contention with him – and the drama wasn’t over.That incident left Pasini and Bagnaia fighting for third, ahead of Aegerter, Oliveira, Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team), Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and an impressive start for Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in the top ten – and a four second gap to the EG 0,0 Marc VDS pair up in the lead.Back at the front, a small mistake from Marquez left Morbidelli to come through with 18 laps to go – before the unexpected suddenly hit the lead as the Championship leader slid out and Marquez found himself 4 and a half seconds ahead of Bagnaia on the chase. Keeping it calm and collected at the head of the race, the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion crossed the line in clear air to take his maiden Moto2™ win – and in front of the home crowd.With the final laps approaching, Bagnaia had moved through into a more secure second to secure a stunning rookie podium, with Oliveira then hunting down Pasini to take third – the second rostrum for the KTM intermediate class chassis in four races. Veteran Italian Pasini crossed the line in fourth, ahead of Marini and Schrötter.Dominique Aegerter followed up his top five in Texas with a seventh in Jerez, ahead of a good day in the points standings for Lüthi as the 2016 runner up came home eighth to cut some of the gap to Championship leader Franco Morbidelli.Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) just lost ninth on the final lap to an impressive race from Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team), as the Colombian took a good points finish in the fourth race of the year.Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was eleventh ahead of rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), with Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) in thirteenth ahead of a solid ride from Red Bull KTM Ajo’ Ricky Cardus, standing in for injured reigning Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder. Tetsuta Nagashima (Teluru SAG Team) locked out the points back on more familiar turf for the former FIM CEV Repsol Moto2 frontrunner.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!