Marc Marquez continued his MotoGP dominance on Sunday by racing to victory in the Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona for his seventh grand prix title on the spin.
World champion Marc Marquez wins Catalunya MotoGP, his seventh win of the season.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 15, 2014
The Spaniard wasn’t starting in pole position for the first time this season after crashing in the final stages of qualifying, but it didn’t stop the 21-year-old from romping to victory.
However, this time around it wasn’t as simple as his previous six victories, with Valentino Rossi and Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa leading for large spells.
In the opening exchanges, Jorge Lorenzo was the man in front after emerging quickest through the pack, with Marquez languishing in fifth.
It didn’t take the Spaniard long to make up the ground, though, and with some brilliant laps he found himself just behind new leader, Rossi.
#MotoGP Rossi now leads by 0.6s after a mistake from Marquez who briefly dropped to third, now back up to 2nd. Pedrosa 3rd, Lorenzo 4th.— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) June 15, 2014
The Italian kept his lead for much of the race, though it was Pedrosa who ultimately came closest to stopping the Marquez freight train in Barcelona.
After Marquez took the lead, Pedrosa sat between him and Rossi with just four laps remaining and did everything in his power to prevent his teammate from reaping more glory.
The Honda riders’ battle was nothing short of a spectacle around the final laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, though it was Marquez that kept his nose in front by emerging quickly from turn exits.
Lining up one final push for glory, Pedrosa clipped Marquez and was forced wide, leaving him to cross the line in first with Rossi following on in second—as MotoGP revealed:
Pedrosa was forced to accept third place, with Lorenzo coming home in fourth despite showing such early promise—a situation that Yamaha will need to assess according to MotoGP journalist Matthew Birt:
Lots of looks at Lorenzo's front tyre in Yamaha garage. Obviously an issue for him to fade like that— Matthew Birt (@birtymotogp) June 15, 2014
The moment, once again, belongs to Marquez, though, whose time of 42:56:914 was good enough to extend his lead at the top of the MotoGP standings, as we see below:
|13||Nicky Hayden||Drive M7 Aspar||26|
|15||Hiroshi Aoyama||Drive M7 Aspar||24|
|17||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB||13|
|20||Danilo Petrucci||Octo Ioda||2|
Such drama in a grand prix has scarcely been seen in MotoGP history, and while Pedrosa's battle will live long in the memory, the better rider came out on top.
Next up for Marquez is the Dutch Grand Prix on June 28, where another victory will see him edge ever closer to the world championship.
His resilience in Catalunya proved that his class shines through even in the toughest of circumstances, and while 18 wins out of 18 seems ridiculous, based on this form it’s not impossible.