Australia’s Miller crashes out while challenging in the top 10.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken a home win at round four of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez, putting in a flawless performance to make some amends for his crash out the lead in Texas, while also taking back the points lead.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), despite a difficult qualifying, sliced through to take second and second in the championship by just a single point, with Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the podium for the first time this season in third.
Marquez took the holeshot from third on the grid, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) just getting the jump on rookie, polesitter teammate Fabio Quartararo to slot into second.
But it was tight, with Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) initially threatening for P2 but then getting shuffled back to fifth behind Vinales. But suddenly, the Frenchman’s Petronas Yamaha SRT machine was moving off the racing line and Quartararo was left dejected on the way back to pitlane with a mechanical problem.
From a record-breaking and youngest ever pole position to a chance at his first MotoGP podium, the number 20 sadly left Jerez empty handed. Marquez crossed the line in clear air for an impressive answer to his critics after his COTA crash, and the 25 points for the win put him back at the top of the championship by a single point.
The fight for third became a duel between Vinales and Dovizioso, and the Italian was close throughout the final lap looking for a way through – but the Spaniard held firm. Under pressure throughout, he took his first podium of the season after some difficulties with the start in recent races. Petrucci followed his teammate home in sixth – a couple of seconds back – with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) slicing through to sixth from P13 on the grid.
Rossi fought off the likes of Australian Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – who later crashed out – Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and, eventually, Morbidelli too to make his progress through – the ‘Doctor’ inside the top ten for the first time in the weekend on Sunday.
Morbidelli was in P7 by the flag ahead of Crutchlow, Nakagami, and an impressive P10 from wildcard and Honda test rider Stefan Bradl (HRC Team). Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was 11th, ahead of a very difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) down in 12th. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was P13 ahead of teammate Johann Zarco, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) completing the points on home turf.
In Moto2, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) has laid further serious groundwork for his assault on the 2019 Moto2 crown in Jerez, winning a shortened race ahead of COTA podium finisher and form man Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up). Baldassarri’s teammate Augusto Fernandez put in a stunning ride to his first ever Grand Prix podium as he took third.
The race was cut to 15 laps after a first start saw a chaotic first two corners with multiple-rider incidents, and first faller Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was unable to make the restart, as was Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). In addition, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who couldn’t avoid contact with Gardner’s bike, was forced to restart from pitlane at his home Grand Prix – nevertheless a feat and some formidable work from the EG 0,0 Marc VDS mechanics to get the machine race ready.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took an impressive Moto2 victory, getting back on the top step for the first time since Qatar 2016 and back on the podium for the first time since Motegi in 2017.
The win marks a milestone first ever victory for the SIC58 Squadra Corse team, and Antonelli’s teammate Tatsuki Suzuki took his first podium to made it double delight and a 1-2 for the team. Rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) joined the two SIC58 Squadra Corse machines on the podium for his second ever rostrum finish. The MotoGP World Championship now heads to Le Mans in France on 19 May.