MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez rode like anything but to win the ninth round of the season at the Laguna Seca circuit in California. Pole-sitter Stefan Bradl finished second, his first MotoGP podium. And Valentino Rossi held off a hard-charging Alvaro Bautista for the final podium spot.
Marquez, who extended his championship lead by 16 points over Dani Pedrosa, became the youngest rider ever to win back-to-back races in MotoGP and the first rookie to win at Laguna Seca in the top class. Bradl’s second also marked the first dry podium for LCR Honda since Casey Stoner rode for the team in 2006.
Honda-mounted Alvaro Bautisa finished fourth and Dani Pedrosa – who didn’t want to concede too many points to Repsol teammate Marquez -- managed a painful fifth. Current world champion Jorge Lorenzo finished in sixth.
Cal Crutchlow -- strong in recent weeks and with a second-place finish in Sachsenring seven days ago -- finished seventh. With Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith retiring because of a mechanical problem, it was the satellite Yamaha team’s worst showing of the season.
While the race didn't feature much passing -- excepting backmarkers on the final laps -- one pass did stand out. With Bradl leading and starting to pull away, a desperate Marquez pulled nearly the same Corkscrew pass on Rossi that the Doctor pulled on Casey Stoner in '08. And with similar results. Rossi ran into the top corner a bit too hot and left a passing Marquez no room. This forced the rookie into the dirt on the inside of the right-hand bend. Like Rossi years earlier, Marquez stood the bike up, plunged downhill in the dirt and made the pass stick to take second. A few laps later, Marquez passed Bradl and took the lead for good.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time / Diff.|
|11||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||Ducati||+1'02.604|
|12||5||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||+1'03.593|
|14||17||Karel ABRAHAM||ART||1 Lap|
|15||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||ART||1 Lap|
|16||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||FTR||1 Lap|
|17||67||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||1 Lap|
|18||52||Lukas PESEK||Ioda-Suter||1 Lap|
|38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||25 Laps|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ART||27 Laps|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||28 Laps|
|71||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||29 Laps|
|70||Michael LAVERTY||PBM||31 Laps|