MUGELLO: Spanish world champion Marc Marquez made it six wins from six races this season after claiming victory in the Italian MotoGP in thrilling style at Mugello on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Honda rider, who became the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2002 to win six successive races, edged out compatriot and two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha after an engrossing duel for over half the race.
Marquez finally got the better of Lorenzo, who has had a miserable season up till this race, going into the final lap while Lorenzo’s team-mate, 35-year-old Italian great Valentino Rossi, took third spot in what was his 300th Grand Prix and the 187th time he has finished on the podium.
Rossi’s finish was enough to see him rise to second in the standings on 97 points, though, 53 adrift of Marquez.
“That was the hardest race of the season so far,” said Marquez, who has also started from pole position in the six races.
“I followed Lorenzo but he was so fast I had to fight to stay with him. But in the end I had enough power to pass him and this victory is very special.”
Lorenzo for his part was delighted to have ended a series of disappointing performances with his previous best finish a third in Argentina.
“I am nearly back to being at my best,” said 27-year-old Lorenzo. “Marquez was fantastic and just had too much speed down the straights.
“I was able to fight with him but he was very brave and got the victory.”
Rossi said his chances had been ruined by selecting the wrong type of tyre in qualifying but the ever-exuberant Italian wouldn’t let that ruin his day.
“I had a good race and I am so happy to be back on the podium at Mugello,” he said. “After five years of missing out this is a very emotional moment for me.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2014.
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