Marquez back to best taking 11th win after brilliant battle with Lorenzo

Marc Marquez

The Hertz British Grand Prix saw a great battle between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo won by Marquez as he made an immediate return to winning ways, whilst Valentino Rossi joined them on the podium.

Lorenzo took the initiative to pull out in front in the early stages but Marquez stayed with the front group and took the fight to his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rival. Marquez had the pace to catch Lorenzo, but made two slight errors, giving Lorenzo the opportunity to retake the lead twice.

The pair battled right to the last lap, even touching at one stage and with Repsol Honda’s Marquez eventually crossing the line 0.732s ahead of Lorenzo. The result sees Marquez become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2005 to win 11 MotoGP™ races in a single season and also sees him return to victory after his fourth place at Brno.

Nine-time World Champion Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was chased hard for third by the experienced pair of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

Rossi made it onto the rostrum but was trailed by just 0.175s by Pedrosa and 0.544s by Dovizioso. ‘The Doctor’ set a new outright record of 246 starts in the premier class of Grand Prix racing in the Silverstone contest.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) won a battle for sixth place as his impressive rookie campaign continued. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and top British finisher Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) completed the top ten.

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) was down in 12th, whilst Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was 22nd after experiencing a rear end problem.

Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) crashed out towards the end of the race, ruining his quest for a top ten finish.

MotoGP Race Classification

MotoGP Race Classification Silverstone MotoGP

MotoGP Race Classification Silverstone MotoGP

MotoGP-2014-Silverstone-Race-Points

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +0.732 – “Knowing what this weekend was like, this race is much better than we expected. I made a really good start and pushed 100%, more than ever, so I am really proud of my riding. The only thing is that here we probably don’t have the best package. Though we did a really good job improving little by little and practice by practice, we were not able to have the same confortable pace as Marc. I was pushing a lot and maybe he was able to relax a little bit more. I was struggling a lot with my physical condition to keep the bike on two wheels and being able to ride these lap times. Finally I lost a lot of time when he touched me. I knew that he was going to try to overtake me in this corner in first gear on the right, but I didn’t let him enter. On the outside I opened the throttle and he touched me. In the next corner he touched me again as he went into the corner and I lost seven tenths of a second. We started the weekend 1.3 seconds slower than Marc and we finished the weekend with being just 7 tenths slower than Marc after twenty laps. That’s fantastic! Thanks to a very good job from my team, all together we improved the bike. I rode well from the first corner to the last one and I did my best. Unfortunately you can’t ride the Yamaha as aggressively as our rivals. You have to open your lines more else you lose corner speed. That’s a difference, but we have our strong points and they have theirs. It’s just unfortunate that in the braking areas it makes it a little harder to fight for me. We will try to improve the bike and win races.”

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +8.519 – “I’m happy for the podium. It’s the first time here at Silverstone and usually this is a very difficult track for me. I am very happy about my pace at the beginning, because Jorge was in front and pushing a lot, so the lap times were very fast. I was able to stay with them for the first laps, but unfortunately I had already a small gap when I was behind Dovizioso. To try and catch them I stressed the rear tyre too much, so I had too slow my rhythm and from that moment I started a very hard battle with Dani and Dovi to the end. I decided to stay in front because I had a quite good pace and I could arrive on the podium. We have a lot of positive things. We have another podium. On the other side, I wanted to stay behind Marc and Jorge throughout the race. We have to do another step to prepare 100% for Misano in two weeks, because that will be my home Grand Prix and we will have to do more than the maximum.”

Aleix Espargaro

Aleix Espargaro – 9th / +33.455 – “I did a great start and in the first laps I tried to stay with the front guys. Compared to other times, today I was suffering more in terms of top speed. I was loosing a lot on the straight, while I was recovering under braking. I was battling with Iannone, Bradl and my brother Pol. They were overtaking me on the straight, while I broke very late to recover positions. It was frustrating. Anyway, we leave Silverstone sixth in the championship and this is positive. I look forward to race in Misano. It’s a small track and I think we can do well there.”

Silverstone MotoGP Podium

The Hertz British Grand Prix saw a great battle between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo won by Marquez as he made an immediate return to winning ways, whilst Valentino Rossi joined them on the podium.

Moto2: Superb Silverstone victory secured by championship leader Rabat

Moto2 Podium Silverstone

The Moto2™ race at the Hertz British Grand Prix was won by Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) on the last lap, with teammate Mika Kallio and Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) joining him on the podium.

Standings leader Rabat rode brilliantly from fourth on the grid, staying with the front group and making a move on provisional leader Kallio in the final stages, to take maximum points again.

Kallio did his best to hold off his Spanish colleague but was eventually beaten to the line by just 0.063s, whilst Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) showed his talent once again to finish in third place, only 0.14s adrift of Rabat.

Pole man Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) came home fourth, 2.571s back on the race winner. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team) picked up good points in fifth and sixth.

Home rider Sam Lowes (Speed Up), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) and Axel Pons (AGR Team) completed the top ten.

An early crash ruined the day for Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) as he clipped the back wheel of Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and ended up in the gravel. The Swiss rider remounted to finish 21st.

Also struggling early in the race was debutant Dakota Mamola, who was forced to pull into the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 garage with a technical problem. Substituting for unwell Spanish rider Nico Terol, Mamola rejoined and gathered experience at the back of the field.

Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) crashed midrace, whilst fighting for top ten points on his birthday.

A mistake by Jonas Folger (AGR Team) at turn 16 on lap 13 saw him slide out and take Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) with him – causing a DNF for both riders.

On the Taylor Made bike for Brough Superior Racing 50 year-old veteran Jeremy McWilliams rode valiantly, despite a broken nose sustained in a Saturday practice crash and a lap time way off the pace of the rest of the field. He was lapped by the frontrunners with three laps to go but collected crucial data for the team.

Moto2 Race Classification

Moto2 Race Classification Silverstone 2014

Moto2 Race Classification

Moto2 Championship Standings Silverstone 2014

Moto2 Championship Standings Silverstone 2014

Tito Rabat

Standings leader Tito Rabat rode brilliantly from fourth on the grid, staying with the front group and making a move on provisional leader Kallio in the final stages, to take maximum points again.

Moto3: Rampant Rins triumphs in exciting lightweight contest

Moto3 Podium Silverstone 2014

The Moto3™ race at the Hertz British Grand Prix was won by Alex Rins on the final corner, with Alex Marquez and Enea Bastianini also on the podium.

Pole man Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was pushed right to the limit by his teammate Marquez and by Bastianini, who both provisionally led the race. The winning margin between Rins and Marquez was just 0.011s, with Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) just 0.061s back on Marquez.

Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) was unlucky to miss the podium, having run with that front group. He eventually finished fourth and was just 0.051s away from a rostrum result.

A further four and half seconds back Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) won a battle for fifth involving a huge group of riders, whilst Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was just a tenth behind in sixth place.

Miller, who started the round with a 23-point lead, began to lose touch with the four front-runners with five laps to go as Rins, Marquez, Bastianini and Oliviera fought it out at the front. Particularly impressive was Bastianini’s ride. The young Italian showed little respect for the two Honda riders at the front of the pack as he fought hard for his podium place.

Miller leaves Silverstone with 10 more points to add to his championship tally but the opposition are closing in on him and the competition is shaping up to be very tight in the remaining rounds.

Miller: “I wanted to stay in the first group throughout the race, but some other riders made mistake which caused us to lose a lot of distance from the front. We had the pace and we were there lap after lap, but in the end we couldn’t manage it. We suffered a bit this weekend, both with my riding as well as with set-up. Now we have to get back on a positive trend and focus and on the next two GPs in Misano and Aragon.”

The top ten was completed by Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN), Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) and Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo).

Wild card Joe Irving crashed out in the early stages, with Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) also going down early on. New Mahindra Racing rider Andrea Migno was another crasher, though fortunately all those riders were uninjured. Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) was forced to retire with smoke coming from his exhaust late in the race.

Moto3 Race Classification

Moto3 Race Classification Silverstone  2014

Moto3 Race Classification Silverstone

Moto3 Championship Standings Silverstone  2014

Moto3 Championship Standings Silverstone 2014

Yamaha Report

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought epic battles today in the British Grand Prix to take their third consecutive double Yamaha podium, finishing second and third respectively.

Starting from third on the grid Lorenzo had a flying start off the line, taking the holeshot into the first corner. He put his head down trying to clear off at the front but wasn’t able to shake off his rival Marc Marquez who followed close behind. The two raced less than half a second apart until with seven laps remaining, when Marquez made his move at Stow corner, taking the lead. Lorenzo tried to pass back at Vale, but was unable to make it stick.

With five laps left Marquez went wide, allowing Lorenzo to re-overtake him. He again tried to break away at the front, but two laps later Marquez put in an aggressive move going into Village. Lorenzo tried to hold on to the lead but a near collision in the Loop forced him to fall back into second position. The pass cost him valuable time, leaving him to finish the race just 0.732 second behind to claim his 80th podium in the premier class.

Teammate Valentino Rossi kicked off his 246th Grand Prix start in style, celebrating now being the rider with the most premier class starts in MotoGP history. The nine time world champion took off from sixth on the grid and tucked in behind Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargarò in fifth place.

The opening laps saw Rossi and Espargarò engaged in an intense battle, ending with the Italian passing the Spaniard going into Stow. Rossi was then able to close down the gap to Dovizioso. With 16 laps left the Doctor put in his first attempt to snatch third going into Abbey, but was unable to make it stick. His second try saw him successfully go through before eagerly trying to close down the gap to the race leaders. Then threat started to arrive from behind. Dani Pedrosa was on a charge and twelve laps before the end, the Spaniard passed. The Doctor bided his time for four laps before retaking third place at Stow, which he held until the line, 8.519 seconds behind the race winner.

The results see Lorenzo hold fourth in the championship, now on 157 points and 32 points behind teammate Rossi. Rossi remains in third, now on 189 points and just ten point behind Pedrosa in second.

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +0.732 – “Knowing what this weekend was like, this race is much better than we expected. I made a really good start and pushed 100%, more than ever, so I am really proud of my riding. The only thing is that here we probably don’t have the best package. Though we did a really good job improving little by little and practice by practice, we were not able to have the same confortable pace as Marc. I was pushing a lot and maybe he was able to relax a little bit more. I was struggling a lot with my physical condition to keep the bike on two wheels and being able to ride these lap times. Finally I lost a lot of time when he touched me. I knew that he was going to try to overtake me in this corner in first gear on the right, but I didn’t let him enter. On the outside I opened the throttle and he touched me. In the next corner he touched me again as he went into the corner and I lost seven tenths of a second. We started the weekend 1.3 seconds slower than Marc and we finished the weekend with being just 7 tenths slower than Marc after twenty laps. That’s fantastic! Thanks to a very good job from my team, all together we improved the bike. I rode well from the first corner to the last one and I did my best. Unfortunately you can’t ride the Yamaha as aggressively as our rivals. You have to open your lines more else you lose corner speed. That’s a difference, but we have our strong points and they have theirs. It’s just unfortunate that in the braking areas it makes it a little harder to fight for me. We will try to improve the bike and win races.”

Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +8.519 – “I’m happy for the podium. It’s the first time here at Silverstone and usually this is a very difficult track for me. I am very happy about my pace at the beginning, because Jorge was in front and pushing a lot, so the lap times were very fast. I was able to stay with them for the first laps, but unfortunately I had already a small gap when I was behind Dovizioso. To try and catch them I stressed the rear tyre too much, so I had too slow my rhythm and from that moment I started a very hard battle with Dani and Dovi to the end. I decided to stay in front because I had a quite good pace and I could arrive on the podium. We have a lot of positive things. We have another podium. On the other side, I wanted to stay behind Marc and Jorge throughout the race. We have to do another step to prepare 100% for Misano in two weeks, because that will be my home Grand Prix and we will have to do more than the maximum.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “For sure we are satisfied, especially after the way we started the weekend, it’s a dramatic difference. We improved the bike all the weekend and Jorge rode a spectacular race. Another double podium is excellent. Vale also rode an impressive race and fought hard for his position. We will continue this momentum and our race win will come!”

Espargaro Leading Satellite at Silverstone

Pol Espargaro produced a stellar display to clinch sixth position as the leading satellite bike aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at Silverstone in today’s 20 lap thriller with 138,000 thousand fans attending the race across the whole weekend. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider opened the day by clinching third place in warm up as he made the final setups adjustments for the race around the 5900-meter British circuit. The sun was shining over Northamptonshire when Espargaro kicked off proceedings from eigth on the grid to finish the opening lap in ninth. After initially slightly struggling to set into his rhythm, the 23-year-old Spaniard found himself fast approaching the group of three in front, battling for sixth which included his teammate. His strong pace saw him continuously close down the pack and surge past to claim seventh by lap ten with the next target being Ducati rider Andrea Iannone who Espargaro breezed past on lap 16. The reigning Moto2 World Champion then continued his good rhythm to gap the group and cross the line in sixth position. His top finish here sees him add to his tally in the MotoGP World Championship standings as he remains in seventh position after another strong result for the premier class rookie at Silverstone.

Home hero Bradley Smith suffered incredible bad luck at his home circuit after undertaking a bright start but then entering the pits on lap 12 due to a cracked rear wheel. Smith started the 20 lap race from seventh on the grid and as the lights went out, the 23-year-old leapt forward and locked into his strong race pace whilst biting at the heels of the factory MotoGP bikes. He undertook an expert overtake to seize sixth on the fourth lap and became involved in a fierce battle with Andrea Iannone, exchanging some memorable moves. However, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider entered the pits at the mid point of the race due to an unusual feeling in the rear section of his bike, which transpired to be a broken rim. Yet the British star persevered to the delight of his fans and headed back out on track to once again set competitive times before finishing in 22nd position due to the unscheduled pit stop.

Pol Espargaro – 6th / +24.746 – “All in all I have to be pleased with sixth position today as the beginning of the race was not an easy one. It took me quite a while to find my rhythm because we went for a bit of a gamble with running the harder front tyre which we never tried during the whole weekend and I was losing a bit of time just after the start. Luckily the longer the race lasted, the more we were able to recover and I managed to pass the riders in front of me and finished just behind the Factory boys and Dovi, who escaped from us during the opening laps. Still this is not where we want to be as the gap to the leader is quite big, but we will continue to work to be stronger in Italy for the next round of the Championship.”

Bradley Smith 22nd / 1 lap – “Obviously I didn’t end up in the position that I had hoped for this weekend. Unfortunately, we had a cracked wheel in the race but we don’t know exactly when or why it happened. I tried to stay out and fight through it but it just got too dangerous to ride. When we changed it, I proved that I have the pace for sixth. It was a good weekend up until the race and the team did a great job, but these things happen sometimes. It’s really disappointing for all of the fans who came to support me, who were fantastic and went crazy when I was on my cooling down lap. So I won’t be defeated just yet and have to learn from every experience. I will again try to give it my all in Misano in two weeks time and give the British fans something to cheer about.”

Espargaro First Open Bike at Silverstone

The British GP saw the NGM Forward Racing Team on top of the open bikes with Aleix Espargaro finishing in ninth position after a very hard battle with Bradl, Iannone and his brother Pol.

After a great start that saw him fourth on the first lap, Espargaro lost some positions after some laps. Aleix was suffering on the straight, while he was recovering under braking. After a hard fight, he finished with a well deserved ninth place.

With today’s result the Spaniard of the NGM Forward Racing Team maintains the sixth position in the championship with 92 points.

It was also a complicated day for his teammate Alex De Angelis, who crashed twice this morning during the warm up. Alex started the race from the sixth row and was able to finish 15th despite the pain to his right wrist.

Aleix Espargaro – 9th / +33.455 – “I did a great start and in the first laps I tried to stay with the front guys. Compared to other times, today I was suffering more in terms of top speed. I was loosing a lot on the straight, while I was recovering under braking. I was battling with Iannone, Bradl and my brother Pol. They were overtaking me on the straight, while I broke very late to recover positions. It was frustrating. Anyway, we leave Silverstone sixth in the championship and this is positive. I look forward to race in Misano. It’s a small track and I think we can do well there.”

Alex De Angelis – 15th / +59.164 – “This morning I crashed twice in the warm up due to some technical issues and this made the race very complicated. My right wrist was very painful and I was struggling a lot under braking. Despite this, I’m satisfied as we succeeded to reduce the gap from the front guys and we earned the first points. We are progressing and I look forward to next Race, the GP of San Marino, my home GP.”

Ducati Report

Andrea Dovizioso put in one of his best performances of the season today at Silverstone. Starting from the front row after setting second-quickest time in yesterday’s qualifying session, the Ducati Team man crossed the line at the end of lap 1 in third place, and then found himself in a scrap with Rossi and Pedrosa for the rest of the 20-lap race. After being passed by both riders between laps 5 and 7, Dovi never lost ground to his two adversaries: he repassed Pedrosa for fourth on lap 13, but was then overtaken by the Spanish rider on the last lap. The Italian finished the British GP in fifth place, about nine seconds down on winner Marquez.

Crutchlow had a more difficult home race after starting from row 5. After concluding the opening lap in fourteenth place, the Coventry rider finished twelfth.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th – “Today we can say that fifth place was even a bit disappointing! I fought for the podium throughout with Valentino and Dani, but I was slower than them in three or four corners: I was losing a lot of grip and I couldn’t use the strategy I wanted. Managing to stay with them right until the very end is however a really great satisfaction. We worked well all weekend and the result confirms the improvements we are making. Finishing the race less than ten seconds behind the leaders was almost a dream before the start, but instead we did it and we were always in with a fighting chance of finishing on the podium.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 12th – “I’m pleased to finish the race, because one of our aims was to get a full race distance under our belt this weekend and I did that. Obviously I’m not happy with the end result, but we took a risk before the start and chose the hard front tyre that I didn’t do one lap on all weekend. I also made too many mistakes myself, and a twelfth-place finish in my home grand prix is not what I wanted.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “With Dovizioso’s second place in qualifying and fifth in the race, we are satisfied with the outcome of this weekend. To finish with a gap of less than ten seconds from the winner was one of our targets: today we did that and it’s an important result, which gives us more motivation to continue to work hard. We’re still not ready to fight for the win, but we are reducing the gap to the leaders at the end of the race. I’d like to thank the team and everyone working on this project in Ducati Corse, because they are always 100% committed: these improvements motivate us even more and help us to see that we are going in the right direction. Now it’s the turn of Misano, our second ‘home’ race, where we will again try and give some satisfaction to the Ducatisti and all of our fans.”

HRC Report

Honda’s defending World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) was back to his winning ways after a brief interruption at Brno, taking his eleventh victory in 12 races after a hard-fought race-long duel with long-time race leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Marquez and the lead Yamaha rider kept a sun-soaked crowd of 67,500 on tenterhooks over the last five laps of the 20-lap MotoGP race round the fast and sprawling airfield circuit – at 5.9-km the longest lap of the year.

They changed places several times, but the decisive move came on lap 17, when a typically fierce attack from Marquez forced Lorenzo to lift mid-corner, and gave the 21-year-old defending champion enough breathing space to win by 0.732 of a second.

Second factory Repsol Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa was less than ten seconds behind, engaged in another long and fierce battle for the last podium position. His rivals were Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).

Pedrosa, who won the last round in the Czech Republic, managed to get back ahead of Dovizioso on the final lap, but his attempts at doing the same to Rossi failed by less than a tenth of a second.

Hondas triumphed also in the other two MotoGP classes, adding a hard-fought Moto3 win to the assured victory in the all-Honda Moto2 class.

Marquez’s win put the Spanish rider from the countryside west of Barcelona right back on target for an early dominant second championship in succession, increasing his points lead over second-placed Pedrosa to 89 points, with six races remaining.

He had won every one of the first ten races, but slipped to an out-of-character fourth at Brno when he ran into grip issues. Marquez started the British race from pole position, his tenth of the season. This was the former 125cc and Moto2 World Champion’s second Silverstone win, having previously enjoyed victory in 2010 in the 125cc class, and the 17th premier-class victory from 30 starts in his short career. He also claimed fastest lap, not quite four hundredths of a second short of team-mate Pedrosa’s 2013 lap record

Although Pedrosa narrowly missed joining his compatriot on the podium, his close fourth place won important points in his own championship quest, losing only three points to nearest rival Rossi, who is still ten points behind.

Pedrosa started from the second row of the grid, and had to battle his way to try to close on the leaders after finishing the first lap sixth. He was engaged with Rossi and Dovizioso for most of the race. The former 125cc and double 250cc World Champion has claimed eight rostrum finishes this year, and never been lower than fifth.

Two more riders campaign the awesomely successful Honda RC213V in satellite teams, with former Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) finishing seventh after a strong race and fierce battle for the top-ten slots.

Former 125cc champion Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RC213V) had been in the same battle, and was fighting for places with Bradl when he slid off with just two laps to go.

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RCV1000R) rides one of four new production-racer Honda RCV1000R machines, and once again was significantly the best of them in a strong home race, finishing tenth.

Two more of the close replicas of the factory machine finished in the points. Czech racer Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) was 13th after a lonely race, and former 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) one place lower.

The fourth RCV1000R was ridden for a third race by British former 125cc GP and World Superbike racer Leon Camier, taking the place of the recuperating Nicky Hayden on the second Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R. Camier impressed again, finishing 16th, one place out of the points.

The Moto2 class is exclusively powered by Honda, with identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers. The aim is to ensure reliable and closely matched racing, and the class delivered just that at Silverstone, with a thrilling three-way battle for the win, with the first three past the chequered flag in 0.203 of a second.

Victory, his sixth of the year and second in a row, went to Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex rider Tito Rabat, over his team-mate and title rival Mika Kallio. Three-race winner Kallio is also the Spaniard’s closest title rival, but the points gap extended to 17 after his narrow defeat.

Kallio had looked set for a runaway win having built a lead of 1.5 seconds over the rest of the field, but Rabat closed remorselessly, setting fastest lap, to lead for the first time halfway round the 17th of 18 laps. The pair changed places frequently from there to the flag, with Kallio ahead over the line every time except the last.

Class rookie and one-race winner Maverick Vinales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex) was poised to take advantage of any slip, and crossed the line inches behind. The reigning Moto3 champion is also a strong third overall in the championship standings.

The race brought early misfortune to the next man in the title chase, when Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) fell on lap one after contact with Vinales.

Aegerter’s misfortune brought a return to the top four, after three races away, for pole qualifier Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Caterham-Suter). The French star led several times in the early stages, and remained a key player in what was still an eight-bike pack at the halfway stage, finally finishing a relatively lonely fourth.

Five seconds behind, veteran former 125 champion Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Suter) escaped from the clutches of rookie Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) for a safe fifth; Morbidelli narrowly clung on to sixth ahead of the closing grand prix rookie Sam Lowes (Speed Up Speed Up).

Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex) prevailed over a five-strong battle for eighth, with Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing Kalex) and Axel Pons (AGR Team Kalex) completing the top ten.

In Moto3, Honda faces rival manufacturers. Unusually the last rather than the first race of the day, the smallest class served up a gripping finale, as a four-strong lead group finally broke free from a brawling pack of 17.

The quartet crossed the line within 0.123 of a second, and the Hondas were in command when it mattered, with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda) taking his first win of the season, and his Estrella Galicia 0,0 team-mate Alex Marquez crossing the line almost alongside. Enea Bastianini (KTM) was third; Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) fourth.

Brno GP winner Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) was eighth, in the thick of the chase group. SaxoPrint-RTG rider John McPhee was just over a tenth of a second down, but three places lower, in 11th. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda) was 18th.

Indianapolis GP winner and title contender Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda) was out of luck, however. On only the first of 17 laps another rider slowed unexpectedly in front of him and he was unable to avoid crashing into him. His machine was too badly damaged to continue.

Marquez closed up on points leader Jack Miller (KTM), sixth today, and now is within 13 points of the Australian; winner Rins overtook Vazquez for third overall.

The next race is the San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP at Misano in a fortnight, as the end of the main European leg of the season draws closer.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st – “I’m very happy with this win! I expected the race to be slightly different, given what happened in practice yesterday, but today with higher temperatures it seems that both Jorge and Valentino took a step forward. Above all, Jorge, because he had a great pace and we were fighting right to the end. It was important to win today, after missing out at Brno. I also had a score to settle from last year, when Jorge beat me on the final corner, so I am happy to be back on the top step of the podium,”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th – “Today’s race wasn’t easy. I had a bad start and on the opening laps I lost a little ground on the frontrunners, although to be honest I didn’t have the same pace as the leaders afterwards either. However, we fought with Valentino and Andrea and in the end we gained a place on the final lap. It hasn’t been our best weekend, but we will try to be back up at the front again at the next Grand Prix.”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 7th – “Overall it’s not a bad result for us. I took a good start from the third row but in the beginning of the race I made a big mistake and dropped to 13th place. After that I did my best to repair the situation trying to get closer to the guys in front of me. I could catch them but suddenly Smith had a technical issue and I got stuck behind him. Once again I had to regain my pace but in the last laps I passed Iannone and Bautista (who crashed with two laps to go) and managed to finish seventh. We missed some rear grip since the first part of the race so we will work on this point before Misano.”

Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th – “I’m happy, even though at the beginning, with the full tank, I was struggling to stop and turn the bike; this is how the couple of guys in front of me went away a little bit in the early laps, but then I managed to keep Crutchlow and the other Open Hondas behind me, which was the main target. Towards the end of the race I was able to go faster, I got a good rhythm and I caught Hernandez, beating him on the finish line by 1.2 seconds. I’m happy also because I came back as top Brit under the chequered flag in my home race: I know that Smith had a problem, but for me was nice to beat Cal.”

Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 13th – “This wasn´t a bad race, but it would be much better if I hadn´t lost so much in the first three laps. I was running practically the same lap times as Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding, but I couldn´t close the gap they made at the beginning of the race. On the other side the good news is that the gap behind me was also wide. This allowed me to finish the race without any risk.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 14th – “I had a good feeling in the warm-up this morning and I was really hopeful of a strong comeback in the race but my feeling with the tyres just wasn’t the same, possibly because of the change in temperature. I was struggling in corner exit, the bike was moving around a lot and I couldn’t hold my corner speed. I tried to manage the tyres but the lap times were slower than we were hoping for and I also made a couple of mistakes in the first half of the race that cost me the odd position. I tried to keep my concentration after that to finish as high up as I could. I want to thank the mechanics for their relentless hard work, thanks to which I am feeling comfortable on this bike.”

Leon Camier, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 16th – “It’s a bit of a strange feeling after this race because I think we could have done more. Something weird was happening with the brakes after the first few laps and I couldn’t get the bike stopped how I wanted. Nothing had changed from the rest of the weekend but the feeling wasn’t the same. I noticed something on the warm-up lap and almost ran off track. Despite all that I got a decent start and passed some riders but with this strange feeling on the brakes I had to ride differently and that cost me some positions. I had less confidence with the bike than I had yesterday, it was sliding a lot on the rear and I couldn’t show my best today, which was disappointing. I guess these things are down to experience and obviously we need more time to get used to this bike and this championship.”

Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF – “Today during the warm up we tried some changes on the bike that allowed me to ride with more confidence and feel more comfortable, thus I was able to get a good rhythm in the race. I recovered some positions and I was fighting for seventh when unfortunately with less than two laps to go I lost the front and I crashed, but I really don’t know why. I was not forcing, I knew I couldn’t reach Pol Espargaro in front of me; my target was simply to finish the race without risk. Physically I’m fine, though the morale is not the best: we’re not having a good time, it’s clear. When you work hard and things are not going well it’s hard, but we try to maintain a positive attitude.”