Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez maintained his perfect victory record in 2014 at the Italian Grand Prix, after narrowly beating Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo to the chequered flag at Mugello.
Marquez and Lorenzo traded the race lead numerous times in an exciting dogfight at the front of the field, with Marquez squeezing his way past Lorenzo on the entry into turn one on the final lap for the race-winning pass. The battle between the two Spanish stars continued all the way to the finish line with Marquez taking the chequered flag 0.120 seconds ahead of Lorenzo. Rounding out the podium in his three-hundredth Grand Prix appearance was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who carved through the field after starting from tenth on the grid. All riders on the podium used the combination of the medium compound front and rear slicks.
Today’s Italian Grand Prix took place under sunny skies, with track temperatures reaching a slightly higher level than recorded yesterday, with a high of 47°C at the start of the race. Race tyre choice was practically a carbon-copy of what the riders used during yesterday’s Free Practice 4 session, with all of the riders selecting the medium compound front slick for the race. Rear tyre choice for the race was almost evenly split across the field, with twelve of the twenty-three riders selecting the soft compound rear slick, and the remaining eleven riders opting for the medium compound rear slick.
Marquez now has 150 championship points and enjoys a fifty-three point lead over Rossi, who moves up to second place in the standings following his third successive podium. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa now sits third on the championship table and one point adrift of Rossi, after finishing in fourth place at Mugello.
“I am very happy with this win; Jorge and I had a really good battle and had a lot of fun out there! I wasn’t expecting the victory, because it has come at a circuit that I had marked on the calendar as being one for picking up Championship points —not thinking about winning the race. However, I saw that it would be possible and took more risks than at other races, because Jorge and Vale were very fast and we were finding it difficult to keep up the same pace. I think that we did a great job all weekend, and the change that we made to sixth gear in the warmup was very important too; we did this to help pass using a slipstream at the end of the straight. I am very pleased with how the entire weekend went, and now it is time to look ahead to my home Grand Prix —racing at Montmelo is always special.”
“I’m happy, I could be more happy if I had won but I tried my best. Probably in the last corner I should have stayed more in the inside to try to overtake him on the inside line but I made a mistake and went wider and it was impossible to overtake him on the straight. When I feel physically strong and the bike has a small improvement I can be there and fight with him. We have some margin, some physical condition to improve for me and the bike can make another step so we will get better. I’ve worked really hard to be more physically fit and the team also worked very hard this weekend to give me a great bike, so thank you to them.”
“Today was a great day for all the people and for MotoGP. Mugello is one of the greatest race tracks in the world; a lot of people around and the race was very funny with a great battle between Jorge and Marc. I wasn’t too far from them and all the people were happy for my podium. It is a great emotion as always, it was a solid race from fourth row to third. I think I had the chance to battle with them but unfortunately we made a mistake yesterday in practice but we will try in Barcelona again. The podium in Mugello is always fantastic, it’s the most special moment of the season, it’s like a great concert. It’s a great party for MotoGP and motorcycling because the passion in Italy is amazing. This is my 300th GP, so I’m in the middle of my career, another 300 before the end!”
“It was a tough race and I wasn’t able to get the result that I was hoping for here. My arm is still causing me issues and I wasn’t able to push one hundred percent so thanks to my team for their patience whilst I still recover. The race today was interesting, and I congratulate Marc and Jorge for a nice battle! I think that it is positive to see that we are up there fighting and that we have improved on a few things. Now we have to continue working so that we can be up in the leading group as well, and have some fun with them, but I need to be physically 100% to be able to do so. Tomorrow I will go for a check up with Dr. Mir and hope to be fitter in time for Montmelo in two weeks time.”
“Obviously I have to be really happy with today’s result. We managed to finish ‘best of the rest’ just behind the four factory bikes which is a great achievement. I struggled a lot to pass the Ducati of Iannone so unfortunately Dani was already too far ahead and even if I tried to catch him I could not close the gap completely. But I think altogether we really have to be proud of the work done so far, especially considering how the weekend went with two crashes and one session less due to the weather on Friday. The team did a great job and I really want to thank them as we were able to repeat the result from Le Mans. Now we will head full of confidence to my home race in Catalunya where I will give it my all to be even closer to the front than today.”
“I would love to have something more to say, but I think it was just a case of having the wrong tyre. I was using the hard compound in the front that we had previously ran in FP3 and which made me crash after doing a mistake at the last corner. Therefore, the initial feedback was not that great and I much preferred the soft option but as the track conditions were quite hot today we were recommended the use to the hard tyre like everyone else, so we followed the suggestion. Unfortunately though I’m not used to that tyre on this track and also, I felt like it didn’t work with my riding style. The front tucked at the Arrabbiata 1 which was turn 8 but in all honesty there wasn’t much I could do about it. It’s very frustrating as I had the race pace to get a really good result but from the first lap I could feel that things weren’t going to plan. Now we will wait for Barcelona where I am confident that everything will improve.”
“We knew it would be a difficult race: this morning during the warm up we tried to improve but didn’t find anything special. Today I raced with the old front fork, which we used before the post-race test in Jerez, because we thought it would work better with the hard compound front tyre, but actually it didn’t make much difference. The gap from the second group of riders was not very high, I struggled to try to follow them, but at some point I saw that it was not possible and I had to slow down to finish the race. Too bad, because after the podium at Le Mans we were expecting something more: we are in a strange situation, because we are competitive in some tracks and not in others, without making changes to the bike. We must overcome this problem if we want be always competitive. I would like to thank all the team because they did an excellent job, as always, and we hope to return competitive in Barcelona in two weeks time”.
“The beginning of the race was really good, I had a good rhythm and I was running with Aleix, and I also overtook him during the race, that is a good step forward for us. But then i got stuck with Hernandez and Pirro’s Ducatis, losing so much time in the straight. I tried to pass them early in the lap in order to make a gap, but it was quite hard. After 8 or 9 laps I also broke the windscreen, so I had a really bad aerodynamics, and also a lot of turbulence on the head and that made my race more difficult. In the end I’m happy with my race, I’m just disappointed to be behind the two Ducatis and Abraham because I know we could get the top ten today”.
“It was a difficult race. We struggled the whole weekend with the electronics control and today in particular I had a problem with the traction control. I couldn’t push and control the bike as I wanted so I tried to maintain the calm and get the best possible result. We will keep on working and I hope that we can make a step forward for the next race in Catalunya, my home GP.”
“The good point was actually that we did finish the race after having struggled with fuel problems from the beginning of the season. I’m satisfied for this, but we need to keep on working with the electronics because today we struggled a lot with the traction control and the bike was sliding a lot. Anyway this weekend we did a complete test with the new chassis. Now we will look at the data and we will keep on working at Montmelo.”
“I think I did as much as I could today in the race. In the end we didn’t go that bad, considering the gap from the leaders: we managed to improve our race time by three and a half seconds over last year’s, and this is a positive fact. The race at Mugello, as always, was really tough but that’s what makes it great. It was a really tough battle with Pedrosa, EspargarÃ² and Iannone. I was helped a lot by the horsepower we had on the straight, and I did some great braking moves at the San Donato curve. In the end we brought home the best result that we could have obtained today.”
“I’m obviously very disappointed to only last three laps, especially in Ducati’s home race at Mugello. We found a good set-up in the morning warm-up and we were able to be competitive in the early stages of the race. Unfortunately I pushed a little too hard in one of the chicanes and lost the front. We need to look at the best way to go forward from Barcelona with the settings and the bike and make me feel more comfortable.”
“I’m happy to have done the first laps in the top positions in front of my fans. When the race ended my team and guests told me that the audience exulted for all my overtaking, this makes me proud, the warmth of the audience always gives me a boost. We had a good race but I could not have keep up with the pace of the Honda and Yamaha. Unfortunately I struggled a bit over the last seven laps because of worn out tire, but I worked hard to give my best. “
“This morning we tried a different setup to that which we used yesterday in the qualifying session. We liked it a lot, so we decided to keep it for the race. But when it came to race time, the condition of the track had changed a lot and the temperature had risen substantially. During the race we suffered from a lack of grip with the rear, and it was hard for me to keep up my pace. I tried to be consistent and stay with the group that I was in. It was difficult and I had two moments in which I was close to crashing. In the end I decided to be prudent, as I wanted to finish the race and keep scoring points.”
“I am happy I arrived in tenth position, this is a great result for me, the best since I’ve been on this team. We have worked hard to develop the bike for this race and in the end we got a good result. The best possible with this bike. “
MotoGP Mugello 2014 results
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 41’38.254
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP + 00.121
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP + 2.688
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 14.046
5. Pol EspargarÃ² (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 + 15.603
6. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team + 17.042
7. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing + 17.129
8. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini + 27.407
9. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 41.886
10. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Energy T.I. Pramac Racing + 45.212
11. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Team + 45.433
12. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing + 45.831
13. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini + 45.839
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Drive M7 Aspar + 46.834
15. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 1’09.554
16. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport + 1’17.789
17. Brok Parkes (AUS) Paul Bird Motorsport + 1’35.031
18. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing + 1’37.501
19. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Not classified (16 laps)
20. Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Octo Iodaracing Team Not classified (17 laps)
21. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team Not classified (20 laps)
22. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP Not classified (20 laps)
23. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 Not classified (21 laps)