Marc Marquez held onto his starting position, was fourth before finishing the first lap, third one lap later and second the following time around. He took the lead on the eighth lap and held onto it for his second victory in four races. He heads the overall standings with a twelve point advantage over closest rival Johann Zarco.
Dani Pedrosa remained in the leading group with Marquez, Lorenzo and Dovizioso, until the eighteenth lap. At that time, he was involved in a crash when the latter two both went wide off a pass attempt and contact was made with the Repsol Honda team rider.
“This win in front of these amazing fans is great! I’m very happy with the result, which is especially important at this track, because winning here is usually difficult for me. That said, I was convinced before the start that I could fight for the victory today. It was a tough weekend, but we did good work, and in the end I was able to manage the race in the best way, despite the fact that I wasn’t the fastest rider out there today. The key was the rear-tyre choice; we made the decision after the warm-up to go with the medium, and that was the right move. Then I was able to take the lead at the right moment and push when I had the chance. I also had a big moment when I hit some dirt on the track. When I realized that the asphalt was covered in gravel, it was already too late. I closed the gas, but I had a huge slide! Let’s say it was a bit of a ‘Marquez style’ show! I’m happy to have taken my first win at Angel Nieto’s Circuit, and to have an advantage in the Championship. We’ll have a test here tomorrow, and we’ll try to continue the good work. It will be a long season and we must keep our focus high.”
With some luck and a very solid race, Johann Zarco claimed his second podium in 2018. Thereby, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 star, who concluded the fourth race of the season as the best Yamaha rider of the field, also took over the second spot in the World Championship standings, less than two weeks before the eagerly awaited home round of the Tech3 Team and the French rider.
“Sometimes I need some luck and today was good. Starting from third position was a great opportunity. I could be a bit faster than Pedrosa in the beginning, but he was a bit better in acceleration and then I never had enough margin to overtake him on the brake. I was not able to do it. It was difficult, but then I was in fifth position and hoped to catch this front group again, even if Marquez was going away, there was still the fight for the podium. I was always trusting, that it’s possible to catch them and I was doing my race. When I saw them crashing all three together, I couldn’t believe it. I told myself, keep calm, we have a big advantage, it’s just seven laps to go and it’s important to bring it home, being focus and enjoy. 20 points in the Championship are just awesome.”
The fourth race of the 2018 championship saw Andrea Iannone secure the third podium in a row for Suzuki, his second this year, and he also took 4th place in the Riders’ Classification. But there was bad luck for Alex Rins, as he crashed out in the early stages of the race, while running a positive pace close to the Top 5.
“I’m really happy about this podium, it’s the second podium in a row for me and the third podium in a row for Suzuki, and for sure it’s a positive moment for us and the feeling with the bike is good so I’m very happy. We worked really well and things are going in a good way, so it’s important that we continue like this for the future. The only regret I have is for the tyre choice: we went to the grid with the medium, then once there we decided to go for the hard and finally this might not have been the best choice. We’ve been very fast the whole weekend with the medium, so maybe we could have been even more competitive with that, but in any case this is yet another lesson that we can learn from. For sure we were a bit ‘lucky’ today with the podium, but also we did very well and I used my head because it was very easy to make a mistake today as the track was very hot and slippery.”