Marc Marquez, the defending champ, extended his MotoGP lead by 16 points after bagging the Aragon race last weekend. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider leads the world championship standings with 224, way ahead of the closest competitor, Andrea Dovizioso, who could only manage a 6th position in the Aragon meet.
The Aragon Grand Prix was a perfect definition of high-octane action with Marquez starting from 5th on the grid and having to contend with a slow start. His break came when the poleman and fellow Spaniard, Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales ran wide before the end of the first lap to settle behind the usual fast starter Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, and Andrea Dovi.
Keep in mind Marquez had come to Aragon level on points with Dovizioso. The last thing he needed was a Dovi win.
Great Performance by Valentino Rossi Straight From a Leg Injury
By the final stage of the race, the most comfortable riders seemed to be Marquez and his Honda teammate Pedrosa. For most parts of the race, Rossi maintained a second position behind the three-time champion, Jorge Lorenzo, before Marquez, Pedrosa, and Viñales swooped past. The real battle was for the fourth place between the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.
Despite his extensive fame and experience, Rossi was unable to shake off Viñales and had to concede the 4th position to his teammate at Turn 1 with two laps to go. The Italian, however, managed to contain stiff competition from Aleix Espargaro in the last two laps to salvage the 5th position.
This was a remarkable feat for the nine-time champ, Valentino Rossi, just 24 days after suffering a double leg fracture. Unfortunately, the 5th position didn’t help much to rejuvenate his hopes of winning the championship, a fact most Rossi fans have come accept of late, I believe so.
Dovizioso’s Dented Hopes
Dovizioso’s misfortunes were a blessing for Marquez. The two had arrived at Aragon prepped for a battle royale after a deadlock points tie in previous San Marino Grand Prix. However, Dovi’s hopes for the title took a severe dent after a disastrous performance in Aragon where he finished 7th, picking just 9 points which now leaves him 16 points behind Marquez with just four more races to go. Viñales is third in the standings with 28 points.
Lorenzo and Viñales Making the Best of a Difficult Season
Lorenzo settled for third in Aragon after an early lead. This was probably one of the best results for the Ducati rider in a season that has not been very kind to him. Viñales finished fourth, which didn’t do much to help his quest for scooping the championship. Aragon was a great comeback for Lorenzo after missing the top three positions in the last races of this season.
As things stand now, Repsol Honda’s Marquez leads the championship table with 224 points, followed by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso with 208 points, and Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales in the third position with 196 points.
Spaniard Dani Pedrosa of the Honda team is fourth with 170 followed by the nine-time champion Rossi in the fifth position with 168 points. Three-time champion Jorge Lorenzo is currently 7th with 106 points behind Frenchman Johann Zarco with 117 points.
Marquez is Poised to Take the Championship
With just four more rounds to go, Marquez is in a confident position to scoop the championship, again. The young energetic rider certainly knows the next four races will either make or break his championship hopes.
He’s probably had his share of crashes in previous races but he’s still resilient enough to bounce back to victory after every crash. The next race will be a greater challenge. It will be the Japan Grand Prix in the city of Motegi on October 15, 2017.
Marquez is confident of taking the Japan Grand Prix. “Going to Japan with the small advantage I now have will be important,” he said after winning the Aragon Grand Prix. One thing we all agree though is that Marquez has a way of rewarding his fans with high-octane delight as he moves from one victory to another in his quest to become the best rider of all times.
I strongly believe, without unforeseen tire or other technical issues, Marquez will easily take the Japan Grand Prix.