Marquez extends lead with Laguna victory

Marquez extends lead with Laguna victory

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Marquez extends lead with Laguna victory

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Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP championship lead as he claimed a second consecutive race win on his Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca debut.

The Spaniard belied his inexperience of the Californian track all weekend, leading three of the four practice sessions and only missing out on pole due to a crash. It was Stefan Bradl who grabbed pole and he held his lead for over half the race.

Marquez made a slightly slow start and needed to first fight back past Valentino Rossi, achieving that with a scrabbling Corkscrew pass in which both took to the dirt.

Bradl was 1.6sec clear after that tussle, but Marquez’s works Honda was soon shadowing the LCR example. A long chase ensued, before Marquez eventually slipped ahead into the final corner then pulled away.

Bradl was still able to claim his first MotoGP podium in a comfortable second place, two seconds behind Marquez, who is now 16 points clear in the championship.

Rossi had to settle for third on the top Yamaha, fending off race-long pressure from Alvaro Bautista – who was just 0.059sec away from denying Rossi a podium when they charged over the line.

Marquez’s title rivals Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo had gentle races to fifth and sixth as they nursed their injuries. Lorenzo had jumped to fourth early on before fading, although he still had sufficient reserves to stay clear of a muted Cal Crutchlow.

The two factory Ducatis had a wild fight for eighth place, won narrowly by home rider Nicky Hayden over teammate Andrea Dovizioso.

An early crash ended Aleix Espargaro’s unbeaten CRT run. Avintia’s Hector Barbera emerged on top in class in 10th overall, after a long battle with Colin Edwards and the prototype Pramac Ducati of Alex de Angelis.

Results - 32 laps:Pos  Rider             Team/Bike               Time/Gap 1.  Marc Marquez      Honda                 44m00.695s 2.  Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda                +2.298s 3.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                   +4.498s 4.  Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda            +4.557s 5.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda                    +9.257s 6.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                  +12.970s 7.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha           +15.304s 8.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati                  +33.963s 9.  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                  +34.129s10.  Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  +1m02.369s11.  Alex de Angelis   Pramac Ducati         +1m02.604s12.  Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  +1m03.593s13.  Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW        +1m20.450s14.  Karel Abraham     Cardion Aprilia           +1 lap15.  Yonny Hernandez   PBM Aprilia               +1 lap16.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki      +1 lap17.  Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda         +1 lap18.  Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW            +1 lapRetirements:     Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha             7 laps     Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia             5 laps     Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia             4 laps     Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki      3 laps     Michael Laverty   PBM-Aprilia                1 lap

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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