Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez broke Mick Doohan’s long-standing record of 12 wins in a season when he took victory at Valencia this afternoon while a a bad gamble from Jorge Lorenzo ensured Valentino Rossi took second in the title chase.
Rain began to fall lightly at the start of the race, becoming slightly heavier with ten laps to go so Lorenzo switched to hit wet YZR-M1 but it proved to be a costly error as the rain didn’t increase and he was forced to retire with six laps left as Rossi followed Marquez home to finish 67 points ahead of his team-mate.
Marquez, meanwhile, took ten laps to make his way to the front and was never headed again, taking his 13th win of the season to beat Doohan’s 1997 record of 12. However, in 1997 there were only 15 races where in 2014 there have been 18. Expressed as percentenages, Doohan won 80 per cent of the races while Marquez won 72 per cent, so you can make your own minds up...
Rossi, who picked up his 160th premier class podium, came home 3.5s behind the Spanish wunderkind to rub Lorenzo’s nose in it still further. Laptimes dropped right off with 13 laps to go but Rossi closed in on Marquez, lapping a second faster but as the track dried again, he had no answer to Marquez’ pace.
The second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa ten seconds further back of the The Doctor and he had a tough time getting past Andrea Iannone, who led for the first ten laps until he ran off and then followed Lorenzo down pitlane to put on the wrong tyres.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, both Ducati-mounted, flashed back to their 2012 season, thrashing it out for fourth place with the Italian, like 2012, coming out on top but only by 0.068s proving the Crutchlow’s confidence is back to the highest level and being able to fight with his auld enemy on an inferior bike. Will he now be regretting the decision to move to LCR Honda when he is only 20s behind the winner and Stefan Bradl, who he replaces, is a further 25 in arrears?
The Espargaro brothers scrapped it out for sixth place with Pol getting the nod by 0.284s over Aleix and sealing sixth place in the title chase as Britain’s Bradley Smith crashed and re-mounted to end in 14th place.
Scott Redding finished easily the top Production Honda in tenth place some six seconds ahead of Nicky Hayden in 13th. Michael Laverty would have taken great delight in passing the struggling Jorge Lorenzo with 19 laps to go and he ended his MotoGP career in 19th place.