Marc Marquez continues at the top of the test timesheets with just a couple of hours left in the MotoGP test. The Spaniard is a third of a second faster than Jorge Lorenzo, who together with Valentino Rossi is testing a new exhaust system. Pol Espargaro is in 3rd, despite not having much to test, and is ahead of Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda. Valentino Rossi finally started testing shortly after noon, but so far has only managed the 10th fastest time. Suzuki's Randy De Puniet has been busy, but remains 3.3 seconds off the pace of Marquez.
Times at 4pm:
Testing is underway at the Circuit de Catalunya, the MotoGP riders not given a chance to recover from yesterday's thrilling race. Aleix Espargaro set the early pace, before Marc Marquez took over at the top just before noon. All eyes are on Suzuki, as the riders assess whether the bike can be competitive and a viable alternative for their current rides. Currently, Randy De Puniet is 3.7 seconds off the pace on the XRH-1.
The day started with a test of a revised layout, using the tight F1 double corner at La Caixa instead of the grand sweep of Turn 10. The test was done at the request of some of the riders in the safety commission, over concerns at a lack of run off at the end of the back straight. Turn 10 is the corner were the most crashes happen, but it is a signature corner for the Barcelona track, and it would be a tragedy to lose it.
Times at 12 noon:
2014 Barcelona MotoGP Sunday Round Up: MotoGP's New Golden Age, Ducati's Bad Luck, And Honda Ending KTM's Moto3 Streak
Whenever I have the pleasure of running across MotoGP's official statistician and number cruncher Dr Martin Raines, he likes to point out to me exactly why we are living through a golden age of racing. His arguments are backed with a battery of indisputable facts and figures, which boil down to a single fact: the races have never been closer. Not in terms of gap between the podium finishers, not in terms of gap between first and last, nor between all points finishers. This is an era of truly great racing.
As if to underline his point, the Barcelona Grand Prix served up a veritable smorgasbord of fantastic races: a strong win and thrilling podium battle in Moto3, a surprisingly hard-fought Moto2 race, and to top it off, perhaps the most exciting MotoGP race we have had since 2006, with four riders slugging it out and swapping places right to the final lap. The winner of the MotoGP race may have been predictable – any bet against Marc Marquez looks more and more foolish each week – but in Barcelona, Marquez' victory looked in doubt all the way to the final couple of corners. At half a second, his margin of victory is overstated. If things had run a little bit differently, Marquez winning streak – now up to seven in a row – could have ended along with his string of poles.
It was a scintillating race indeed. Four men swapped the lead frequently. Dani Pedrosa got the holeshot, changes to weight distribution having given him back his lightning start. Jorge Lorenzo took off after him, taking the lead with an outrageous 'porfuera' pass around the outside of Turn 1, lining him up for Turn 2. Lorenzo then tried to pull a gap, but that simply wasn't happening, Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi took over the lead after three laps, getting past his teammate after a brutal exchange of passes in the first part of the lap. Marc Marquez followed, exploiting Lorenzo's moment of weakness to follow Rossi through, before latching onto the Italian's tail. There he found his teammate Dani Pedrosa stalking him, jabbing and probing, seeking a way past. The two exchanged blows for six laps, before Marquez finally escaped from Pedrosa's clutches and started snapping at Rossi's heels. Marquez took over at the front with six laps to go, holding off attacks from both Rossi and Pedrosa, swapping the lead with Pedrosa, before the final do-or-die lap, where he countered Pedrosa's final attack and held on for the win. Any opportunity to pass was seized, all four men just as aggressive in their passing as each other.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and Honda after today's thrilling race at Barcelona:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Barcelona:
To mark the 65th anniversary of the start of the Grand Prix world championship, Dorna issued the following press release:
Grand Prix racing reaches 65th anniversary
This weekend’s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya marks the 65th anniversary of the first event that counted towards the motorcycle World Championship classification – at the 1949 Isle of Man TT races.
The World Championship series was established by the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and is now into its 66th year - the oldest motorsports championship in the world.
The Isle of Man TT races were first established as a non-championship event in 1907, and as part of the event on Monday 13th June 1949 the very first race which counted towards the World Championship took place, a 350cc contest won by British rider Freddie Frith riding a Velocette. The other categories that were included in the first TT event in 1949 were the 250cc & 500cc classes, categories which have now evolved into the modern Moto2™ and MotoGP™ World Championships.