Both riders were fierce during free practice, but Lorenzo had one up on Marquez as he earned his third-straight pole this season, the five-time World Champion qualifying ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso and Marquez.But things changed drastically when the 23-lap Aragon GP went green. Marquez had a great start, and got into the lead at turn one.Lorenzo – who joins Marquez on the factory Honda team in 2019 – ran wide and suffered a high side at turn one, ending his opportunity for a fourth win in 2018 MotoGP. Lorenzo dislocated a toe during the crash, but that’s all.The story was much different for Marquez. A race-long battle began between Marquez and Dovizioso, which lasted to the checkered flag.Marquez would claim the win – his sixth of 2018 MotoGP. He finished just 0.648 of a second ahead of Dovizioso. Earning the final podium after running up front all race was Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone who finished 1.259 seconds behind Marquez.“I woke up (Sunday) morning with the idea that today I could take a risk,” Marc Marquez says. “I hadn’t felt totally at ease during the weekend with the hard rear spec tire so, after the warm-up, I said to my team that I wanted to use the soft rear. That started many meetings and discussions but in the end I won the race because I could convince my box to take that gamble!“In the end, it was the correct choice. I had a good start but soon after I almost lost the front in a dirty spot on the track, so I had to release the brakes and go a bit wide. I didn’t realize until the end that Lorenzo had crashed. Anyway, the fight was very tight with Dovi and Iannone as well; it was a hard fight but within the limit.“This is MotoGP, and it’s what the fans enjoy to watch. Motorland is one of my favorite tracks, and I enjoyed so much riding here over the weekend even if the pressure was high, with events, people, and many things to do every day. I mean, it’s good but also demanding.“Even with this, I managed to remain focused, work well with the team, and ultimately to stop Ducati’s momentum. This morning I listened to “In my feelings” from Drake and in the honor lap I thought back to that song and it was great. Anyway, now more than ever it’s the moment to keep calm and manage well the race weekends because I want to win the Championship and to do that you must remain fully concentrated.”As 2018 MotoGP heads to Thailand in two weeks for round 15 of 19, Marquez now has a 246 points, 72 ahead of Dovizioso. Rossi is third overall, 87 points behind Marquez.Following is the official recap, results and point standings:After Lorenzo’s crash, Dovizioso took over on the Desmosedici, setting ahead of Marquez, Iannone and the other Suzuki GSX-RR pilot Alex Rins.This first corner drama allowed Dovizioso to take the lead of the race, with Marquez slotting into second ahead of the two fast-starting Suzuki’s of Iannone and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar).The Ducati rider then settled into a rhythm and controlled the pace, but the following quintet which included Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro were locked in tow for the opening exchanges. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was joining the back of the leading group after he lost out on the opening lap from a P4 start, but the British rider then crashed out at Turn 1 on lap five – rider ok.Back on track and Rins was looking menacing behind Marquez, shadowing numerous overtaking attempts into the first corner as both Suzuki’s kept tabs on the leading duo. By lap 11, Dovi, Marquez, Rins and Iannone had edged out two-second gap to Pedrosa and Esparagro and almost as if someone had flicked a switch, Dvovizioso turned up the wick and posted the fastest lap of the race a lap later – a 1:48.3. Marquez responded to cling onto the tailpipe of the Italian as the two looked to have broken clear of the GSX-RRs.The Jaws music then sounded as the number 93 smelt blood on lap 14, carving past the Desmosedici at Turn 12 as the battle for the win kicked into life. On lap 16, Dovizioso got the drive up the hill to duck under Marquez at Turn 4, only for the Repsol Honda rider to immediately respond up the inside at Turn 5, with the Italian then biting straight back at Turn 7. This allowed Iannone to close the gap and then on lap 19, Marquez pounced again at Turn 12.The Spaniard ran slightly wide which allowed Dovizioso to get a run and the number 04 stuck his GP-18 up the inside at Turn 14. Marquez tried his best to hold the position but he found himself out on the astroturf, but he cut back to get the inside line before the back straight, with Dovizioso chopping back underneath at Turn 15, while Iannone took the outside route around the six-time World Champion to briefly lead. It was breathtaking stuff from the trio, with Dovi and Marquez’ straight-line speed getting the better of Iannone on the run down to Turn 16.Lap 21 saw Marquez make the race-defining move at Turn 5, and the reigning World Champion held firm until the checkered flag to take a third straight win in Aragon, equaling Mike Hailwood’s win tally of 41 for Honda in the process. Dovi settled for second to equal Casey Stoner’s Grand Prix podium count, with Iannone earning his third podium of the year.Fourth was Rins who played his part in a classic race on home soil, a second consecutive P4 for the Spaniard, with Pedrosa securing his first top five since the Catalan GP at his penultimate career home Grand Prix. Espargaro excelled in sixth to pick up the Aprilia’s best result of the season, matching their P6 in Aragon last year.Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) was seventh, just under a second ahead of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as ‘The Doctor’ produced a solid comeback ride from P17 on the grid. Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) lost out to Rossi in the latter stages, ninth for the Australian, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) rounding out the top 10 – not the result he would have been looking for on home soil.
KTM Super ADV R + Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams rides KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R. This hardcore ADV bike is big, powerful, and a true expert-level machine. Interestingly, it has multiple points of adjustment within its highly capable electronics package, and Don discovered several big surprises where the bike changed personality completely. His is an intriguing look at one of the most capable off road ADV bikes on the market today.
In the second segment, I chat with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning motorcycles. This silicon valley based manufacturer was founded in 2006, and having racked up several notable race victories (including Pikes Peak in 2013 with the late Carlin Dunne on board) Lightning have certainly dominated in racing terms. In another first, Lightning has just announced a new rapid-charging battery technology that may well bring electric motorcycles into becoming real-world, practical transport.
So from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!