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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Marc Márquez Wins Catalan MotoGP as Rivals Crash Out

    Marc Marquez extends his championship lead to 37 points.
    Image: Reuters
    A mistake from Honda's Jorge Lorenzo takes out four bikes, including title contender Andrea Dovizioso, as Marc Márquez wins his fourth MotoGP™ race of the season.

    Honda's Marc Márquez claimed his fourth MotoGP™ win of the season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the reigning champion was inadvertently helped out by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who made an error under-braking, taking out Marquez's title rival Andrea Dovizioso and three other riders.

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso made the best start to the Grand Prix, leading the early laps from Márquez, Yamaha's Maverick Viñales and a rejuvenated Jorge Lorenzo, with Valentino Rossi looking to join the leading pack .

    On lap two, the eagerly anticipated battle was ended when Lorenzo low-sided his Repsol Honda under braking for Turn 10, taking down the bikes of Dovizioso, Viñales and Rossi in the process and promoting Mugello winner Danilo Petrucci into second, with pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo up to third following a poor start.

    In the aftermath of four potential winners being removed from the race, the leading pack was made up of Márquez with Petrucci, Álex Rins, Quartararo and Jack Miller,with Petrucci and Rins engaging in a cat-and-mouse battle all the way around Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

    With 11 laps remaining, Márquez had established a four-second gap, with Petrucci, in second, leading a train of five bikes. Rins finally made his move and barged past the Ducati to take second place, before Petrucci managed to claw back second place with eight laps remaining.

    Rins managed to rescue an almost certain crash with seven laps to go, as the Spaniard avoided clipping the rear of Petrucci's Ducati under braking for the first turn and somehow stayed on his bucking Suzuki. In doing so however, he handed second place to Quartararo, who sneaked past Petrucci.
    At the flag, Márquez eased to victory over first-time podium finisher Quartararo, with Petrucci coming home ahead of Rins, who managed to fend off a spirited challenge from Jack Miller.

    MotoGP™ of Catalunya 2019 results
    1. Marc Márquez (ESP) 40m 31.175s
    2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) +2.660s
    3. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) +4.537s
    4. Alex Rins (SPA) +6.602s
    5. Jack Miller (AUS) +6.870s
    6. Joan Mir (SPA) +7.040s
    7. Pol Espargaró (SPA) +16.144s
    8. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) +17.969s
    9. Tito Rabat (SPA) +22.661s
    10. Johann Zarco (FRA) +26.228s

    Márquez benefits from multi-bike crash to win easily
    The opening laps of the Catalan MotoGP™ looked to be setting-up a classic battle between the greats of the sport. The leading group comprised of Marc Márquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi andJorge Lorenzo, who'd made a welcome return to the front, but then it all went wrong.

    As the field headed into the tight left-hand Turn 10, Lorenzo lost control of his Repsol Honda, which effectively turned into a bowling ball, knocking down Viñales and Dovizioso, with Rossi also getting caught up in the melee.
    Márquez managed to avoid the carnage, counted his blessings and set about opening up a gap over the battle for second and build his championship lead over the stricken Dovizioso, his nearest challenger.

    First MotoGP™ podium for rookie Quartararo
    With Marc Márquez disappearing up the road, the exciting three-way battle for second made up for the elimination of so many top riders.

    Hats off! 🤝

    Mugello winner Danilo Petrucci held second for much of the race, using the Ducati's superior top speed to fend off the attentions of Suzuki's Álex Rins, as the pair slugged it out for second place.
    The battle got physical with 11 laps remaining, as Rins barged past Petrucci before the Ducati re-passed him. A couple of laps later a late braking attempt to retake second saw Rins narrowly avoiding disaster and somehow save a high-speed crash, but in doing so he handed second place to pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo.

    As the dust settled, it was the French rookie who managed to consolidate second place to seal a first podium place, despite falling as low as eighth in the opening laps.

    Pol Espargaró managed to score his fourth top 10 finish in a row by coming home seventh at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Red Bull KTM team-mate Johann Zarco finishing 10th to register his best result of the season.
    Portuguese rider Migel Oliveira did well to score a 12th on the Red Bull KTM Tech3 machine to collect four points, benefiting from a series of retirements in what was an attritional race for many riders.

    Early race carnage is a gift for Márquez's championship lead
    In the blink of an eye, the MotoGP™ championship hopes of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso suffered a massive blow. By scoring no points, the Italian rider now trails Marc Márquez by 37 points, as series heads to Assen for the Dutch TT. Crucially, Dovizioso now has team-mate Danilo Petrucci breathing down his neck, just four points behind.

    Ominously, the only time Márquez hasn't finished first or second this season was when he retired at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas and with Petrucci stringing podium finishes together, further success for the Italian could provide a headache for the Ducati team and Dovizioso's championship aspirations.
    Add to this an apparently revitalised Jorge Lorenzo and Márquez could have a strong ally in the shape of his team-mate who could take points off any rider looking to wrestle the MotoGP™ crown away from him.

    MotoGP™ 2019 standings
    1. Marc Márquez (ESP) 140 points
    2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) 103
    3. Álex Rins (ESP) 101
    4. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) 98
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