MotoGP 2018 – Round 14 – Aragon

Marquez wins as Lorenzo crashes out of contention


Marc Marquez – P1

“I woke up this morning with the idea that today I could take a risk. I hadn’t felt totally at ease during the weekend with the hard rear spec tyre 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 favourite 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 honour 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.”

MotoGP Aragon Mich Marquez Dovizioso Tight
Marc Marquez – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Andrea Dovizioso – P2

“Today’s race went very well, considering the fact that we usually struggle quite a lot at Aragon but instead this time we fought for the win right until the final lap. As a result, we must be happy because this is a further demonstration of the improvements that we are making. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fight against Marquez until the very end, because there were some corners where I was going strongly but in other parts of the circuit I was slower so I didn’t have many cards to play. I had hoped he was going to be in trouble in the last few laps but instead at that moment he was faster than me and this made all the difference.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Dovizioso TIN
Andrea Dovizioso – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Andrea Iannone – P3

“I think we’ve done a really good performance today. I started well but Lorenzo had an unfortunate crash and that was a shame to see, it’s always bad to see a crash in front of you. But in any case I’m very happy about my race, I was fighting and pushing at 100% at the end of the race, but only at the end, because in the earlier laps I wanted to conserve the tyres; so I tried to manage the throttle and my riding style because I knew it would be really important to have tyre life in the last laps. I think my strategy worked really well and the team and I have worked hard together. We were losing out down the straight but we’re so happy to return to the podium after some disappointing races.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd andrea iannoner
Andrea Iannone – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Alex Rins – P4

“I’m very happy and the weekend has been very productive for the whole team. The race has been a very nice fight. I have learnt a lot battling in front and following Márquez and Dovizioso and also fighting with Andrea. It has been great! This result is good motivation to keep pushing, and especially in Thailand which is a track that I like a lot.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Alex rinsr
Alex Rins – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Dani Pedrosa – P5

“Today I could be more competitive than other races and closer to the front group. Unfortunately, I think the key to the race today was the tyre choice. It’s a shame because my riding and my pace was good but the grip on track wasn’t that high and the hard rear tyre wasn’t offering the same grip we had in the practices; maybe the soft better matched today’s track conditions. I was losing some tenths every lap and couldn’t stick to the others. Otherwise, today I could’ve fought for a podium finish or the victory. Step by step we are improving a little bit; let’s see if we can be faster in the next race.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Aleix Espargaro’ – P6

“The first 5 laps were the key to the race. After an excellent start, I managed to be very fast, staying with Pedrosa and maintaining contact with the lead group. I pushed straight away because I knew that I would have to manage tyre wear in the final stages. This is an important result for everyone. I am working harder than ever, trying to keep motivation high. The team and the guys at Aprilia in Noale are working non-stop, but it is not an easy process. We can’t be under any illusions after a good result, because Aragón is perhaps the track where I have always felt my best, but it is definitely a confidence booster. I changed my working method with Pietro, both in terms of setup and how I manage the weekend, focusing efforts on the race and revolutionising the geometry of the RS-GP. We are still not satisfied. We need to be fast always and easily, so we need to keep putting forth our best efforts.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Valentino Rossi – P8

“Today we also modified the bike a lot, we tried working in another way. Already from this morning I tried to feel a little bit better, so my feeling with the bike improved and we could make some adjustments for the race. The end of the race was better than what I expected, because I wasn’t particularly fast, but my pace was consistent. I was able to recover a lot of positions – because I started from the back of the grid – to take some points for the championship. From one point of view, it’s better than it was yesterday, but from another, our technical situation is quite difficult, because we have to fight to the maximum to be inside the top-10 at the moment.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Maverick Vinales – P10

“I’m disappointed about how things are going. I’ll just go home, try to relax, and start thinking about the next race. The rhythm wasn’t there, though we had it in FP4 – on the same tyres we were doing 1’48s, but in the race it wasn’t possible. I didn’t feel great at the Buriram track in pre-season testing, but I’ll try my best, as always, and take the maximum result.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Franco Morbidelli – P11

“I did a good job today which shows just how well the team worked over the weekend. Unfortunately with the grid penalty I started 19th but was able to recover a lot of positions and I’m very pleased to arrive eleventh. I could not have done this without the support of my team.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Morbidelli gh
Franco Morbidelli – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Takaaki Nakagami – P12

“I knew that this was going to be a tough race in very hot conditions. I had quite a good start and managed to find some space as everyone came together at turn one and got up to eighth or ninth position I think. Then I had a big fight with Aleix (Espargaro) and just lost a bit of concentration on the gears and lost acceleration which allowed everyone to get back past me. I think we were better in the early part of the race than we were in Misano, but unfortunately I still had a bit of a bad feeling with the front tyre after 10 laps. I was involved in a fight with Zarco, Smith and Franco and got P12 which is our best result I think. But I am not completely happy as we had the chance to finish closer to the top ten. But we’ll try to improve again and I want to thank my team as we improved a lot on Saturday and Sunday.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Takaaki Nakagami DSC
Takaaki Nakagami – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Bradley Smith – P13

“This weekend has been a lot of fun. It was our second with the new RC16 package and we were able to test here a month ago, which meant we were already up to speed with our base setting and electronics. It was nice to fight with the guys for Q2 and my one-lap pace with the soft tyre was quite strong. At one point in the race today I was running P10 which is one of the best positions for us this season. I was strong in the first half of the race and then when the tyre dropped I struggled a bit more compared to the others around me. Nevertheless we’ll take a lot of positives from this weekend and we improved from Misano. Now the engineers and I have to study what we gathered from this race and bring some ideas. Randy de Puniet will now test here for two days and hopefully he can find a few more tenths to take overseas with us.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Johann Zarco – P14

“It was a very tough race. I had a good start and I was able to fight a bit with Petrucci at the beginning, but quite soon this first group in front of me went away. It was impossible to follow them and then the more laps I was doing, the worse the feeling got. We were slighting too much, we were fighting too much and we had no solution. I tried many things with my riding, but I didn’t find anything that helped. It’s very hard to finish a race like that because I’m exhausted and I was very slow. So, I hope we will have better weekends on different tracks, also circuits, where the other riders didn’t test. I hope this can be a chance for me to do some good results in order to finish the season well.”

MotoGP Misano Zarco GP AN
Johann Zarco – MotoGP 2018
Karel Abraham – P15

“I’m satisfied because we are back in the points. Every point counts and with this fifteenth place we go to Thailand and the flyaways with a boost in morale. It was a difficult race, in which we got a good start but where on the third corner Valentino Rossi passed me a bit forcefully and I lost several positions. It meant that I wasn’t able to fight with the group ahead of me. I maintained a good pace and I was able to overtake Syahrin, Luthi and Redding. Overall, I think it was a good race, and although the lap times were consistent, they were somewhat slower than we expected; we thought we could go down to the 1:49s but it was possibly hotter than yesterday and there was less grip after the Moto2 race.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Abraham
Karel Abraham – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Scott Redding – P16

“From a riding point of view, I gave 100%, minimising mistakes compared to the Misano race. I managed to stop the bike a bit better and I didn’t give in to the frustration, trying to keep things smooth. The fundamental problem was the lack of grip at the rear and the difference between me and the other riders was truly clear. All I could do was wait for the pace to drop in order to recover ground, but without really being able to attack. The limitation of grip to the rear is something we need to solve. Today the bike was braking right and it was turning, but I was never able to count on a good feeling with the rear tyre.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Scott Redding
Scott Redding – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Tom Luthi – P17

“I was so close to scoring points so it is a pity to just miss out. My rhythm at the start was really good but I was lucky to go on the inside when Jorge Lorenzo crashed at the first corner. I had good pace until mid-race when tyre wear became an issue and then over the final four laps I had some vibration on the rear wheel. I need to find a way to save the tyres at the beginning of the race. I learnt a lot racing in these hot conditions which will be useful for the coming races.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Luthi
Tom Luthi – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Hafizh Syahrin – P18

“We made a good start, I was P13 in the beginning, just behind Rossi. I was fully motivated to stay with him, Morbidelli, Nakagami and Johann. I don’t know why, but suddenly after eight laps I lost the rear contact on the ground, didn’t have any grip anymore, I couldn’t turn the bike and it was really hard to ride the bike like this. In the beginning of the race it was good, I believed we could score points in front of the other rookies, but in the end, I couldn’t keep the pace. I was struggling a lot to stop the bike and to turn. Now, I try to continue with this motivation like in the beginning of the race. I don’t know what to do, I just try to keep focused and try to take something away to improve myself and work hard with the team. I really hope Yamaha can find something to improve the bike.”

MotoGP Misano Syahrin GP AN
Hafizh Syahrin – MotoGP 2018
Xavier Simeon – P19

“This weekend was much more difficult than I expected, as I really thought I’d be able to finish higher up in the classification. But we had a lot of traction problems over the whole weekend. In the race, the last laps were especially difficult. Even though the bike turns very well, I couldn’t get the power down in the moment of opening the throttle. The only positive thing is the additional experience with this bike. Now we have to concentrate on the next race in Thailand where I expect to make another step forward.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Simeon
Xavier Simeon – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Jordi Torres – P20

“To complete my first Grand Prix in the MotoGP class was a very emotional experience. A dream came true and I enjoyed every moment of it. It helped me to understand tyre wear, how the bike changes over the distance and how you have to adapt your riding style to the decreasing fuel load. But to be honest, not a lot of this sank in and every time I saw myself getting closer to the front, I made more mistakes. I tried to stay cool during the race and to concentrate on my riding position, but I’m still too rigid on the bike. I would have liked to stay with another rider in the race, but nevertheless, I am very happy. Now we’ll have to wait and see if Tito will fly to Thailand or not. I am prepared for whatever is needed.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Torres
Jordi Torres – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Jorge Lorenzo – DNF

“I’m really disappointed and very angry about what happened today, because I was sure I could have done a great race and fought for the win. I got a good start, but the line followed by Marquez, who braked late into the first corner, forced me to go wide and he blocked my line. To avoid being passed by the other riders I accelerated on the dirt, the rear of the bike spun away from me and I crashed. I think that Marc is not new to this sort of action: he doesn’t care about other riders and he knows it all too well. I don’t intend to speak with Race Direction and I only hope that this type of thing doesn’t happen again in the future. Now we have to see how long it will take to recover, because I’ve got a dislocated toe and another one broken, and I only hope I can be ready for Thailand. It’s a real pity to go away from Aragon with another zero and with an injury as well. I’m very sad and disappointed.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Lorenzo UC
Jorge Lorenzo – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Obviously I got a good start, but Jorge crashed in front of me – it was no fault of his own, it was just one of those racing incidents. I had to shut off because I thought I was going to hit him and dropped back to ninth or tenth. I made my way through, but then I had exactly the same crash that Marc (Marquez) had this morning at turn one, the bike kicked a little bit and l lost it in braking. I felt quite good in the race, I was happy with my pace at that point and felt I could go faster when I needed to. But I knew it was a long race so was quite content with the position I was in, over the next few laps I needed to pick off Aleix (Espargaro) and Dani (Pedrosa) and then maybe fight for the podium. But Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) and Marc had a great run and the Suzukis competed well today so it would have been tough. We crashed anyway, so now we just have to look forward to Thailand.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Cal Crutchlow AX
Cal Crutchlow – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Álvaro Bautista – DNF

“It’s a shame that, with the high expectations we had for this race, I lost the front end and crashed on the second lap. These are things that can happen in racing, but I feel sorry for the team because we did not deserve this result. We will continue working as we have always done, and try to improve weekend after weekend.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Bautista
Alvaro Bautista – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14

Team Managers

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager

“It’s been a great race for us because we stayed so close to the leaders and we were in the fight for the victory until the very end of the race, so it has been fantastic. It’s great to have both riders so close to the top and we’re very happy. Andrea was really strong and Alex rode very well, they both managed the tyres well and our tyre choice paid off. We’ve now lost the concessions, and it’s a good sign because it shows we’ve become much more competitive. So thanks to everyone here and back in Japan for all the hard work they’ve put in. We’ll try to end the season on a high.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd andrea iannoner
Andrea Iannone – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“We had a very difficult race weekend. To finish just inside the top-10 isn’t a great result, but it’s what was within our reach considering our starting positions. Vale and Maverick finalised their set-ups in the morning warm-up and found some small improvements. It’s only natural that both our riders lost time in the first stages of the race, trying to make their way to the front, but they did the maximum they could today and kept fighting. This tough weekend is done, so now we‘ll focus on preparing for the next race, using the data we collected at the pre-season Buriram test.”

MotoGP Aragon Mich Rossi Zarco Nakagami
Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“We arrived in Aragón full of optimism and confidence. We weren’t thinking to be on the podium but we thought we could be fighting for a top 10 result, which right now the level we have. Unfortunately, we leave Aragón with more than a bitter feeling, it’s a big shame. I think it’s the worst result of Johann when he finished a race, except maybe last year’s Misano round when he run out of fuel in the last lap. That shows how far we are. Basically, our two guys had a good start, had a good rhythm for the first few laps and then they dropped, more dramatically for Hafizh then for Johann, but they both went down the order. Honestly, it was hard to follow the race. We are competitors, we are fighters and to see such a race is something that makes you wonder and that makes you feel truly sad. I think right now Johann said he’s exhausted like he has been fighting for the victory and he ended up 14thand I think the whole team is feeling the same. It’s a really tough moment. I can’t remember and I can’t believe if we’ve been that we’ve been fighting from pole position for podiums in the same season and now we’re fighting for points. This is unbelievable. I don’t think the tyre situation had anything to do with it because the race winner was on a soft rear, Iannone was on medium-soft, like we were, so on that department I think we were ok. But there are things to understand. I was also very excited to see Johann passing Petrucci and fighting in a group, where I thought he would stay long. I was excited to see Hafizh having a great start and being together with Valentino and in front of his fellow rookies, but unfortunately that didn’t last long and we just lost ground. It’s more than a pity, something we have to understand, because I don’t think Johann and Hafizh deserve that result. I’m very sorry for our partners and for the people who follow us and are behind us. Clearly, we are in a crisis situation at the moment. I don’t think we have the tools to recover soon. We can just hope that the next circuits will be more favorable. Johann and Hafizh had a great test in Thailand this winter, but this winter is already a long time ago, so I don’t know. We have to regroup, we have to keep pushing, but now we have to pack for the four flyaways and the feeling is everything is going to be very heavy to pack. I’m unhappy, I’m sad, I’m angry, because we are not here to do that and I don’t think the level of the team is what we see. But clearly, race after race it’s almost the same comment, it’s almost the same result. We saw Johann in the past being very aggressive and doing some unbelievable passes in the race, but we’ve just lost that. We haven’t seen that for many, many races. He just seems to suffer, to struggle. We just seem to be outside of where we should be. It’s a big shame.”

MotoGP Rnd Austria Zarco GP AN
Johann Zarco
Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“Bradley did a great job on a tough weekend where we lost Pol on Friday; it is always a bit harder to work with just one rider in terms of the settings. Until the middle of the race Bradley was able to fight for the top ten inside that group and this was good. For Pol, he has had surgery straightaway and we hope his recovery will be fine and quite fast. We hope to see him back on the bike but we will keep a close eye on his healing process with an eye towards Thailand.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14

MotoGP Race Results – Aragon 2018

  1. MARQUEZ Marc Repsol Honda Team 41’55.949
  2. DOVIZIOSO Andrea Ducati Team 0.648
  3. IANNONE Andrea Team Suzuki Ecstar 1.259
  4. RINS Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 2.638
  5. PEDROSA Dani Repsol Honda Team 5.274
  6. ESPARGARO Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 9.396
  7. PETRUCCI Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 14.285
  8. ROSSI Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 15.199
  9. MILLER Jack Alma Pramac Racing 16.375
  10. VINALES Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 22.457
  11. MORBIDELLI Franco EG 0,0 Marc VDS 27.025
  12. NAKAGAMI Takaaki LCR Honda 27.957
  13. SMITH Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 28.821
  14. ZARCO Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 32.345
  15. ABRAHAM Karel Angel Nieto Team 37.639
  16. REDDING Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 39.585
  17. LUTHI Tom EG 0,0 Marc VDS 40.763
  18. SYAHRIN Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 56.296
  19. SIMEON Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 58.981
  20. TORRES Jordi Reale Avintia Racing 59.513

 

MotoGP Standings following Aragon 2018

Pos Rider Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 246
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 174
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 159
4. Lorenzo Jorge Ducati Team 130
5. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 130
6. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 119
7. Petrucci Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 119
8. Zarco Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 112
9. Iannone Andrea Team Suzuki Ecstar 108
10. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 92
11. Pedrosa Dani Repsol Honda Team 87
12. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 68
13. Bautista Alvaro Angel Nieto Team 64
14. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 35
15. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 32
16. Morbidelli Franco Marc VDS Racing Team 31
17. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 29
18. Syahrin Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 24
19. Smith Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 18
20. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 18
21. Redding Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 12
22. Kallio Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6
23. Abraham Karel Angel Nieto Team 5
24. Pirro Michele Ducati Team 1
25. Luthi Thomas Marc VDS Racing Team 0
26. Bradl Stefan Honda Racing Corporation 0

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