Moto GP

Marc Marquez Kicks MotoGP Title Defence With A Nail-Biting Win

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2013 World Champion, Marc Marquez, has started the defence of his title in the perfect way; with a nail biting victory in Qatar over Valentino Rossi at the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP Championship.

It was a dramatic race with pole sitter Marquez, the only rider to use the hard rear option tyre, slipping back to 4th by the first turn. However, the Repsol Honda pilot started to settle in and made up a position before Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out, thus promoting one position further up the field.

Marquez battled with Gresini Honda rider, Alvaro Bautista, for a few laps before passing him but then lost a position to Yamaha's Rossi. The two riders then began to chase down race leader, LCR Honda‰Ûªs Stefan Bradl.

Bradl then crashed out on lap nine, leaving Marquez and Rossi to battle it our for the race win. With some fantastic close racing between the duo, Marquez finally made a move on Rossi on lap fourteen and led the race for the first time. Then on lap twenty-one, the penultimate lap, Marquez and Rossi began to push for the win, passing each other on four occasions.

Marquez finally came out on top to take the victory and his first win since Aragon last year.

"I'm very happy with the result today." Marquez stated. "The 25 points are important but it‰Ûªs also been an important race, because I was coming back from an injury that caused me to miss most of the pre-season.

"Also, this weekend there were a lot of riders up at the front, all with a great pace, and seeing how the race went, this win is a big one. The battle with Valentino was the best part of the race besides the win, I really enjoyed it!‰Û
Valentino Rossi got his 2014 season off to a great start with a second place finish - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Movistar Yamaha's Rossi was a little upset in losing the race win, but enjoyed the race as a whole along with the tight racing with multiple riders and teams able to battle it out up front.

"I?m very happy but a little bit upset because I lost. " Rossi admitted after the race. "Marc is very strong and I enjoyed very much the whole race.

"It was a great race, very funny from the beginning, I started from behind and I had to risk in the first laps. I was very precise and didn't make any mistakes. At the end I played my card with Marc but he was stronger than me so he won and he deserved it.

"It's the first time it looked like an old race from MotoGP from ten years ago, all together on the same pace, some mistakes, going wide and so on. Maybe Dorna had a great idea!

"The Yamaha is always good in Qatar and I worked very hard in the practice for the race." Rossie continued. "I'm very happy with the work of my team and the bike was great in the race too. But anyway I am so happy for this start to the year, now we have to continue like this.
Dani Pedrosa was a little lucky to finish on the podium at Qatar - Credit: Honda Racing
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa rounded out the podium, 3.3 second behind the leading duo taking full advantage of some of his rivals crashing out of the race.

"Third place is a positive result." Pedrosa stated. "We've finished on the podium this weekend at a circuit that‰Ûªs difficult for me, because it isn't well suited to my style. So it's a good way to start.

"We were close, but with the way the race went, with so many crashes, it was important to finish. So from here on in we will try to keep improving and try to fight for the win at the next race!‰Û
Jorge Lorenzo was a one of a number of front runner to crash out during the race - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Jorge Lorenzo had a disastrous start to his 2014 Championship joing a host of front runners to crash out of the season opening event. Lorenzo joined Hector Barbera, Bradl, MotoGP class rookie Pol Espargaro and his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team-mate Smith, along with Alvaro Bautista on the sidelines before the conclusion of the Qatar race.

"I made a mistake, it was a long time ago that I last did that in a race! We are not perfect; we are only human and sometimes we make mistakes." Lorenzo commented. "The tyres were different to last year and the temperature of the tarmac was a little colder.

I didn't take these circumstances into account and I was too fast into the corner when the front and rear tyre were not ready yet. It's a pity to lose so many points with Marc and Valentino and Dani who are the favourites.

"Valentino demonstrated that the Yamaha can fight even with these tyres and the championship is very long so lets see what happens in Austin," he concluded.
Marc Marquez celebrates the win with his team - Credit: Honda Racing
Moto GP Round 1 Results - Qatar:
1. Marc Marquez 42'40.561 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2. Valentino Rossi 0.259 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
3. Dani Pedrosa 3.370 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4. Aleix Espargaro 11.623 ESP FORWARD YAMAHA NGM Forward Racing
5. Andrea Dovizioso 12.159 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
6. Cal Crutchlow 28.526 GBR DUCATI Ducati Team
7. Scott Redding 32.593 GBR HONDA GO&FUN Honda Gresini
8. Nicky Hayden 32.628 USA HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
9. Colin Edwards 39.547 USA FORWARD YAMAHA NGM Forward Racing
10. Andrea Iannone 43.360 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
11. Hiroshi Aoyama 46.595 JPN HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
12. Yonny Hernandez 46.688 COL DUCATI Pramac Racing
13. Karel Abraham 50.581 CZE HONDA Cardion AB Motoracing
14. Danilo Petrucci 1'03.127 ITA ART IodaRacing Project
15. Broc Parkes 1'14.386 AUS PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
16. Michael Laverty 1'32.593 WAL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17. Mike De Meglio 1'36.085 FRA AVINTIA Avintia Racing
18. Alvaro Bautista DNF ESP HONDA GO&FUN Honda Gresini
19. Bradley Smith DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
20. Pol Espargaro DNF ESP YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
21. Stefan Bradl DNF GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
22. Hector Barbera DNF ESP AVINTIA Avintia Racing
23. Jorge Lorenzo DNF ESP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
Credit: Honda Racing
Championship Standings After Round 1:
1. Marc Marquez 25 pts
2. Valentino Rossi 20 pts
3. Dani Pedrosa 16 pts
4. Aleix Espargaro 13 pts
5. Andrea Dovizioso 11 pts
6. Cal Crutchlow 10 pts
7. Scott Redding 9 pts
8. Nicky Hayden 8 pts
9. Colin Edwards 7 pts
10. Andrea Iannone 6 pts
11. Hiroshi Aoyama 5 pts
12. Yonny Hernandez 4 pts
13. Karel Abraham 3 pts
14. Danilo Petrucci 2 pts
15. Broc Parkes 1 pts

Top Image: Marc Marquez got his title defence off to the perfect start with a win at Qatar
Credit: Honda Racing

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