A tenth place finish for Marc Marquez in the 23-lap race was the only reward for the Repsol Honda Team after three intense days of work in Mugello, Pol Espargaro crashing out of the race early.
Stable weather returned to the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley for race day once the overnight rain had dried. There were then no signs of the forecasted rain as the grid lined up for the 23-lap race. A great start aboard the RC213V saw Marc Marquez challenge the top five from 11th on the grid in the early stages as he pushed to stay with the leaders. Consistent pace in the high 1’47s to low 1’48s saw him defend his position as best he could, working to stay inside the top ten throughout the race. Crossing the line in 10th place after overtaking Fabio Di Giannantonio, Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team leave Italy with six more points.
Marc Marquez will now prepare for the fourth surgery on his right humerus, flying to the United States on Tuesday and therefore missing the Catalan Grand Prix.
It was a disappointing day for Pol Espargaro who crashed at Turn 9 after dropping back early in the race. He was unharmed in the fall. A poor launch off the line led to Espargaro losing contact with the group ahead and was then unable to settle into his rhythm with the constant battling.
Elsewhere, Ai Ogura moved to become joint leader of the Moto2 World Championship standings after a spirited ride to third place.
The Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona is the next challenge for the Repsol Honda Team as they leave Italy and immediately head towards round nine. Pol Espargaro will be hoping to return to his early season form in front of his home fans.
See you soon Marc.
Marc Marquez – 10th
“It was a tough race, like we were expecting. I gave everything in the first seven laps to see if I had the speed of the front riders and our pace wasn’t bad but then I started to struggle physically. I kept calm, I was riding with a comfortable rhythm, and I worked on understanding where we were losing compared to other bikes. The target was to give constructive comments to the team, and we achieved it. Now we have the most important ‘race’ of the season next week. It was difficult to concentrate because I know that next week is very important for my career, but I am proud to have done this race. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.”
Pol Espargaro – DNF
“After the crash I am OK, it was a stupid mistake. I lost a lot of positions at the start and then I was fighting a lot with everyone in the first laps, so I lost more time. I was overtaking riders, they were overtaking me, I was struggling to get into the rhythm even though I knew I could be faster. When I was really trying, I then lost the front and fell, that’s it. Crashing at the start of a race is the most disappointing. Now we head to Barcelona and we pick ourselves up and go again – this is what we must do. I want to wish Marc all the best with what he now faces, he is always a great reference and rival to have.”