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Monday, May 5, 2014

MotoGP 2014 - Jerez: Round Up

The European rounds start with Marc Marquez making it four-in-a-row!

Jerez, one of the best tracks on the calender and loved by many on the grid, hosted the first round of European races with unmatchable excitement. A massive crowd of 117,001 locals were treated to great racing in all three categories and typical Marc Marquez domination so far this year.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion appeared in the 100th race of his career and continued his title defense in the best possible fashion by winning the race. Marquez has now won the season's first four races starting from pole.

Like the last race, Jerez also provided some of the best close racing in the early few laps where Marquez and Rossi exchanged the lead position. Rossi seemed to be in a great form on the track he loves very much and didn't give much room to Marquez to breath. However, four to five laps down the race Marquez had taken the lead and then slowly opened the gap after which he remained unchallenged to the finish.

What makes this win even more special to Marquez is that he had never won in Jerez until now. His race  pace was again unmatchable as he had managed to open the gap up to 4.9 seconds between himself and Rossi who was coming second. The gap was big enough to allow Marquez do a standing wheelie as he crossed the finish line on the last lap with around 1.5 seconds ahead of the Italian.

While Marquez won quite comfortably, Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa engaged in some close racing for the second and final podium finish. One of these three was going to be off the podium and it turned out Lorenzo's fight to the finish didn't end well. Appearing for his 200th career race after coming from two forgettable first races and the best third place in the last race, Lorenzo was riding third behind Rossi and ahead of Pedrosa. His pace looked good and he seemed he would make the podium but he again suffered from grip issues in the second part of the race. Lorenzo also pointed out that he wasn't in the best of his physical condition which also didn't help his race.

Lorenzo was eventually overtaken by Pedrosa and seemed to gave up the fight for the final podium finish. Pedrosa displayed good pace in the later stages of the race and went on to challenge Rossi for the second position but Rossi managed to hold him off.

For Rossi, it was his best race in Jerez as he had been off the podium on this track since 2010. Securing the 2nd podium finish of the season and the 2nd position as well, the Italian was in good form and did a challenging race throughout. While Rossi's pace wasn't good enough to challenge for the win, he rode brilliantly to finish 2nd and held off both Lorenzo and Pedrosa. As Rossi said, he took a small gamble with the extra hard front tyre but it allowed him to keep pushing till the end to ward off any attack from Pedrosa's late charge. The crowd had a wonderful time watching Rossi and were treated to some good old racing from the veteran.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso rounded up the top 5 as it was another group of Dovizioso, Bautista and Aleix Espargaro all fighting for the fifth position. Dovizioso's team mate Cal Crutchlow had a disappointing race as he suffered from brake problems on his Ducati and had to retire in the early stages of the race.

Marc Marquez continues to lead the 2014 World Championship with 100 points while Pedrosa and Rossi are at 72 and 61 points respectively.

MotoGP Jerez Results 2014
1. Marc Marquez (Honda)
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
7. Aleix Espagaro (Forward-Yamaha)
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha)
9. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha)
10. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
11. Nicky Hayden (Honda)
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
13. Scott Redding (Honda)
14. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati)
15. Hector Barbera (Avintia)
16. Michael Laverty (PBM)
17. Broc Parkes (PBM)

MotoGP Championship Points 2014
1. Marc Marquez, 100
2. Dani Pedrosa, 72
3. Valentino Rossi, 61
4. Andrea Dovizioso, 45
5. Jorge Lorenzo, 35
6. Stefan Bradl, 30
7. Aleix Espargaro, 30
8. Bradley Smith, 28
9. Andrea Iannone, 25
10. Pol Espargaro, 25

Text by: Sachin Sen
Image Courtesy: MotoGP.com
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Item Reviewed: MotoGP 2014 - Jerez: Round Up Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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