SPAIN. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took a stunning second win of the season – and his second win at Jerez – in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, fighting to the front and just able to pull away into clear air, away from some huge drama that then hit the race behind. In a pivotal day in the Championship, an unbelievable racing incident saw Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), teammate Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) all crash out in one go at Turn 6 – with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then coming through to complete the podium. So the ‘Maniac’ crossed the line in third for the third Suzuki podium in a row, Petrucci took fourth and Rossi a top five finish in the race in which he completed a lap of the world – now having raced the equivalent distance of the circumference of the Earth upon finishing Lap 15.
Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) just dropped off that battle to cross the line in sixth, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) making some progress from outside the top ten in the initial stages to take P7. Eighth was the best result of 2018 so far for Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) after he fought with Viñales for much of the race, with top rookie Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) taking ninth and his first top ten result in the premier class.
Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), wildcarding on a prototype of the 2019 RC16, completed the top ten in another stunning ride, and teammate Pol Espargaro took P11 as he won a battle against Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) by mere hundredths at the line. Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was incredibly close, too, taking P13 to make it three Austrian machines in the points. Those points were completed by Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) and Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).
Aleix Espargaró out on the first lap
The hopes of Aleix Espargaró, comforted by his good qualifiers yesterday and especially by the good pace demonstrated both in FP4 and in the warm up, were dashed on the first lap when his V4 was stopped by a loosened screw on the pneumatic circuit. A problem that was as simple as it was decisive in compromising a race that, in light of what happened on the track and considering Aleix's pace and that of is closest rivals, could have ended with a good result for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.
Aleix Espargaró: DNF
“I want to take the Aprilia onto the podium. I am riding like I never have before in my entire career and I feel like we can succeed. Today we missed a great chance, given the pace demonstrated in the warm up and my feeling. Unfortunately, a DNF for technical reasons does not help my morale. This weekend we worked well and I am certain that we could have had a say in the race. Now, with the position in the overall standings compromised, I will always be giving 101% in every race from here to Valencia."
Xavier Siméon: 17th
“The race today was very difficult, because we went worse and worse every lap. I didn’t have the pace we expected. We changed many things to solve the rear grip issue from yesterday, but at the end we just made things more difficult. I wasn’t able to push and ride the bike with confidence and I didn’t enjoy the race today. The only positive thing is that I kept a constant pace and got some more experience."