Honda’s Marc Marquez reign supreme in MotoGP’s Aragon GP after a hefty fight with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso after a crash for Jorge Lorenzo early on.
Pole-sitter Lorenzo was slow off the line at the start of the race on the outside which allowed Dovizioso and Marquez to get a better run in Turn 1 on the inside. Lorenzo tried to put more gas in the corner but slipped and went out of balance.
He then had a massive high-side as he crashed out for the second race in a row. He was taken to the medical center, where it was revealed that he has suffered a dislocation of his first toe on the right foot.
Dovizioso, meanwhile, continued to lead Marquez as he had the two Suzukis of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone on his tail who were fighting for third. Iannone ran ahead in the opening few laps but Rins cleared his teammate to move to third.
Behind them, Honda’s Dani Pedrosa ran well in fifth from a fast starter Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro – they were helped by the crash of Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in the opening three laps.
For the Yamaha riders, Valentino Rossi gained places to be 11th in the opening few laps while Maverick Vinales suffered hugely to drop to 19th in the order. At the front, Marquez stayed with Dovizioso for much of the race.
With 10 laps remaining, the Spaniard challenged the Italian on the outside in the right-hander and made the move stick to take over the lead. However, Dovizioso fought back to retake the position as they ensued in a back and forth fight.
Eventually, Dovizioso had enough to stay ahead while Iannone joined the fight after the Italian cleared teammate Rins. But the fight wasn’t over as the Top 4 stayed within the reach of each other in the dying stages of the race.
Dovizioso and Marquez continued to exchange lead positions with Iannone having a look in as well but Marquez had enough legs to take Dovizioso on and win the Aragon GP – his third consecutive victory at Aragon and his sixth of 2018.
The Spaniard thus increased his points lead to 72 now between him and Dovizioso, as the Italian couldn’t push enough in the last two laps to overtake Marquez. The Suzukis didn’t have enough in the end but took away a fine third and fourth respectively.
Iannone finished on the podium from his teammate Rins while Pedrosa took fifth in a fine performance from the Spaniard from Espargaro and Petrucci. Eighth went to Rossi after the Italian managed to overtake Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller in the closing stages.
The Australian was safe ninth as Viñales was long way off in 10th in a recovery ride from the Spaniard, who made up nine places after a poor start. Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli also did well to finish 11th.
The Italian also dropped places at the start but recovered in the closing stages to score valuable points to finish as the best rookie. LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was only 0.932s behind Morbidelli with KTM’s Bradley Smith also close behind.
Smith was leading the pack at one stage but lost out in the end. Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco also lost places to be 14th as Angel Nieto Ducati’s Karel Abraham scored the final point with Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin dropping off to 18th.
The Malaysian was overtaken by Aprilia’s Scott Redding and Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi as the two Avintia Racing Ducati’s Xavier Simeon and Jordi Torres rounded out the 20 runners with Torres only 0.532s behind the experienced Simeon.
DNF: Crutchlow, Bautista and Lorenzo.