2018 Aragon MotoGP Race Result: The Sweetest Revenge

The scene was set for the now familiar Marquez against the Ducatis play and the décor was a hot Motorland Aragon with flags covering the hills like a red ant army. And the actual ant engraved in the monument at turn ten was an accurate premonition for the way the premier class race would eventually unfold. Marc Marquez fired up the crowd with a gamble on the soft rear, a close hunt of his main rival and a last lap masterclass to take a trophy he is fairly familiar with after three consecutive wins in Aragon. Andrea Dovizioso led the way for much of the afternoon but had to settle for second and be thankful he survived a Marquez-Iannone sandwich. With the Italian’s excellent race, Suzuki got their best result at Aragon, Andrea Iannone crossing the line only six tenths of a second off the title contenders.

The top men held station at the launch off the line but the poleman’s luck turned quickly, Jorge Lorenzo going off line and highsiding in turn one as he came under attack from Marquez. But the ultimate winner of lap one was Dovizioso, who got the inside into turn two and picked up the lead from the Spaniard. In another surprising turn of events, the Suzukis found themselves in third and fourth, the lively Italian ahead of the likeable Spaniard. Dani Pedrosa was also in the mix, with Aleix Espargaro another pleasant surprise in fifth, ahead of Cal Crutchlow, who had to take avoiding action in Lorenzo’s incident and dropped a few positions. In the Yamaha camp, they went for a Freaky Friday move, Valentino Rossi climbing into 11th by lap three, while Maverick Viñales was going backwards to 18th.

With Marquez calmly chasing Dovizioso, the two Suzukis behind were swapping identical paint just a tenth off the two leaders and with Pedrosa smelling an opportunity close behind. Espargaro, Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci were not too far either, Jack Miller falling almost a second behind his teammate. Crutchlow was the first to give up the fight in turn one on lap five, reducing the lead group to seven riders.

For the next couple of laps, the lead Ducati was in a league of its own on the straights, so the Repsol Hondas had to mingle with the Suzukis, Rins looking keen to attack Marquez while Pedrosa was not having an easy time getting past feisty Iannone. The Yamahas were making some progress too, Rossi up to ninth and Viñales 15th. While the Spaniard had a handful of riders within striking distance ahead, Rossi had almost two seconds to find to see Miller’s rear wheel.

With tyre wear in mind given the hot weather, the lead pack saw no action for the mid part of the race, Pedrosa losing a few tenths a lap on the four men ahead and Petrucci losing a second at the tail of the group. Espargaro’s Aprilia was still holding strong only two seconds off the lead, running smoothly behind Pedrosa.

At the halfway point of proceedings, some red sectors started to make an appearance amongst the leading trio as Dovizioso set the fastest lap of the race and forced Marquez and Rins to raise their game. Nonetheless, Marquez struggled to get within half a second of his Italian rival while Rins quickly lost a second on the duo ahead and was easy prey for Iannone.

With ten laps left, Marquez made a swift comeback and was all caution-to-the-wind ready-to-pounce straight away, taking the lead in turn 12. Dovizioso would not let go just yet and both had a bit of a buffer for their shenanigans, one second ahead of Iannone. The Spaniard was working hard to get an advantage on the Ducati before it turned into a rocket on the straight but the mission was a hard one and Dovizioso decided to rub elbows with his rival for a bit. The quick exchanges were eye-candy for Iannone, who glued his Suzuki to the victory battle, Rins not far behind. Behind the lead pack, Pedrosa was running a lonely fifth, one second ahead of Espargaro, who in turn had over a second on Petrucci. Rossi was stagnating two seconds behind Miller in ninth, with Viñales four seconds down the road from his teammate.

Marquez was like a dog with a bone and attacked once again but with Dovizioso striking back straight away, this allowed Iannone a sniff at the lead, the fantastic three-way tango ending with the status quo reinstated. Meanwhile, Rins was keeping a close eye on the crazy kids ahead. Marquez made what turned out to be a decisive move into turn one with three laps to go, followed by another close exchange with Dovizioso and as much as Marquez was pushing to get away and break the tow, the Ducati would not give up and prepared for another last lap showdown.

The Suzukis could only watch and learn as the homeland master got to work and distanced Dovizioso on the final lap. Iannone took his turn to climb on the podium for Suzuki, with Rins an ultimately lonely fourth. Pedrosa came home in fifth, his best finish in quite a bit, with Aleix Espargaro a valiant and determined sixth position, equalling the best result for Aprilia. Petrucci had another lonely ride to seventh place but took charge of the Independent Riders classification, while Rossi caught up with Miller for eighth position with two laps left. Miller and Viñales completed the top ten.

Marquez’s hard fought win not only halted Ducati’s domination of late but also extended his championship lead to a comfortable 72 points on Dovizioso. Rossi’s comeback ride consolidated his third position ahead of the unlucky Lorenzo but also broke the dreaded record of consecutive races without a win for Yamaha, bringing the number up to 23.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 41'55.949
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +0.648
3 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki +1.259
4 42 Alex RINS Suzuki +2.638
5 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +5.274
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +9.396
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +14.285
8 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +15.199
9 43 Jack MILLER Ducati +16.375
10 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +22.457
11 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda +27.025
12 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +27.957
13 38 Bradley SMITH KTM +28.821
14 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +32.345
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +37.639
16 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia +39.585
17 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda +40.763
18 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha +56.296
19 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati +58.981
20 81 Jordi TORRES Ducati +59.513
    Not Classified    
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 19 Laps
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 22 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 0 Lap
Round Number: 
14
2018
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Total votes: 26

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Comments

That was one of my favourite Jethro Tull numbers back in the 60's. Marc did a splendid job as did Dovi. Marc dd it at home and after JL dumped it, (all on his lonesome), Dovi just brought it home whilst providing some front running entertainment and as always, huge data for the team to work with. Oops! HRC up against Ducati next year. The big kick was Aprilia today. The Noale factory has the riders in place for 2019 for sure. The bike just needs a little spit and polish. I think Bradly Smith will be a huge asset in terms of that. KTM GP? I reckon Aprilia will have them for toast next year. Just need a bit of KTM, well, maybe a 1/4 of KTM GP funding.

Total votes: 4

Fantastic race! Great to see the Suzukis in the mix, and an amazing result for AE41. The only shame is that JL99 crashed out so early.

And I know VR46 has a bazillion fans, but cutting away from a race for the lead between 4 riders with only a few laps to go to watch VR pass Miller for 8th was pretty lame.

Total votes: 30

He appears to be blaming MM for his off and went into great detail explaining why. I was at that corner and was very much looking forward to JL99 scrapping at the front and have no rider preference, only the quality of the racing and the state of our sport.

That corner is a horror, much trickier than it at first appears and we knew the first corner in all races would be crackers, and it was, Aragon has had many big crashes there. We also mustn’t forget that the only thing they cannot practice is the start into the first corner..

JL will of course be very upset but seeing it live and two replays later I can only see the usual Aragon first corner ‘bomb dropped’. It’s a shame because MM really did have to earn that one, Dovi will have been gutted! But a great day, great racing and a great advert for the sport-except for the comedy entry and exit arrangements:you haven’t got time and I can’t be bothered but the highest amount of planning counted for absolutely nothing...!

Total votes: 16

At one point while Dovi and MM were trading places or coming close to it, the MotoGP video coverage showed (a graphic with) the top speed of these 2 riders being with a few tenths of one another.  "Grunt" aside, are their bikes much closer in top end speed than the usual banter leads us to believe?

Total votes: 12

Marquez had a much better line going through the last two corners leading onto the back straight.  Dovi would always enter that left hand corner too tight because his change of direction from the previous right hander was too sluggish.  It was frustrating me watching it because I knew unless Dovi was right up Marc's clacker, he was never gonna get past him by the end of the straight. The Honda's are pretty close on top speed now anyway, so the commentators superlatives of how fast the Ducati is, would be a slight exaggeration. 

Plus Marc was quicker than Dovi in the second half of the circuit before the back straight, so it was an uphill battle for Dovi.  Dovi did battle hard though, gotta give him credit for that!

 

Total votes: 46

Lorenzo makes it really, really, really hard for me to like him. I understand he's frustrated, but it doesn't take much to realize he crashed on his own and Marquez had no fault except to be in the vicinity. Heck, Marquez and him were never even side by side.

Oh well. I hope this isn't a sign of impending HRC civil war in 2019.

Total votes: 22

Sure, Marquez let of the brakes to make a run up the inside... who wouldnt... its the first corner!  Sure he was a bit wide... it never seems to bother Dovi.  Dovi just "over and unders" him. 

Whereas Lorenzo doesnt like to concede those kinds of passes.  In fact Lorenzo is very much like Rossi in that regard, they both resist the pass and push for the next corner.  Hence why both of those riders are hard to pass.
Lorenzo was so intent on resisting the pass that he missed an oppurtunity to over and under him.  In the end, its a pretty hard ask to lay the blame on Marquez.  Sure Marquez didnt make the cleanest pass, but Lorenzo stuffed up and crashed all on his own... there was plenty of space between the two bikes. Lorenzo didnt even have to "sit" up when Marquez came through.  

Total votes: 19

"Tire management" = watching paint dry.
When Iannone entered the fray and thereafter between 04 and 93 was FANTASTIC.

I too was quite bummed that we didn't get to see 99 here. He would have torn off and changed the pace for the earlier laps and brought more to the mix. Right with you CLX and RC8 yet again about Jorge, what a twit (you're welcome David for removing the a) when he gripes. That was all himself. The Polite Era is gladly behind us Jorge, and no one owes you your preferred line.

Turn 1 had plenty of action, good spectator pick Funsize. With the slower pace a charging Crutchlow could have joined the Suzukis. Sorry to lose him as well. Super Mario, er I mean Bautista, strange off for him.

A.Espargaro had a nice run. Nice handling bike that Aprilia. Not underestimating the subdued Rins, he is on the rise. Iannone started his Italian bonus checks early getting the concessions removed for Suzuki. I sincerely think Aprilia may have a blossoming growth spurt next couple of years relatively speaking. Their project has a lot of potential. Good rider line up next yr. Wishing for them good things including a Jr team. If we could see their budget next to that of Honda I bet it would inspire awe. Beating Petrucci is solid work.

The Yamaha - it has a fly in the ointment. It is a good bike. Appreciating reports indicating stunted growth via cautious adherence to the Bstone/proprietary electronics era formula. Makes sense. I am starting to anticipate a Rossi retirement, he is here for the joy and satisfaction that befits his natural trajectory. If the bike and project depart from that he will naturally have a drooping inclination to exit. At this point he appears wedded to Yamaha for the hereafter. But then again, this is Vale. He has the capacity to pull off whatever the f*ck he becomes beguiled with. He thrives on the hunt of his passionate fancy. Yamaha appears to have a short window to co tinye to be that. One part of me would not be surprised to see him do one last surprise (really! Isn't it his essential nature?) and VR46 appears 2020 with Suzuki bikes and him on one. Likely and sensible? Not at all. Congruent with his spirit in a pinch? For sure. If he isn't done riding in the core will drive of his being, I expect the unexpected. In some form or fashion. He must displace/divert his river of being. Be it with the youngsters or still on a bike. Wake up call Yamaha. Shake and bake.

The Honda doesn't quite have the power of the Ducati, but is encouragingly close. Their bronco is offerring much when wrangled, and Marc deserves lots of credit. Do not listen to the words of Dovi in parc ferme, just the tone and facial expression. Beaten. Dovi was amazing and did nearly everything just right. The bike was fantastic. Marquez is more than fantastic. We stopped talking about Aliens a while ago. If there is just ONE of them, what is that then? Whatever entity the Aliens prostrate to I imagine. And the kid is just having a hell of a lot of fun out there. He isn't possible.

Missing the "dozen riders up front swapping spots" of our first half of the season. Shout out to Dani for quietly being on form when there is heat for his tires. The wee mighty man deserves to go out with much appreciation, not a dismissive whimper. I didn't mention KTM. There, got it. Tech 3 has ingested a turd of late, perhaps Zarco can encounter a cheerful Orange opening given the tepid close. And like with Pedrosa, Tech 3 deserves a solid round of applause for their tenure on clearly second rate kit all these years. Well done Torres, and good riddance Simeon. Pol heal quickly. Jorge cork it and do what you do so beautifully on track.

Over and out

Watched the race a few times through. With a fast forward, these races hold up as fantastic. So nice of them to have done a mid race set of parade laps. As unhappy as VR46 was at a few points this weekend, he can sure still ride the snot out of a bike he has to ride around. He looks a bit stressed out, but he still has his chin up.

You heard it here first - Burgess and Furusawa have acquired either the 2019 Aprilia or Suzuki Project Bike. Valentino has a Hayate of a plan and the satin black leathers in the special chilly garage at the ready.

Luca M gets the second bike, and is Robin to his Manofbats. Nostro Azurro never looked so good. Pay to pray, top bikes don't have to be Japanese anymore do they? We have ourselves a very well rounded flyer of a Ducati right now eh? The Suzuki can podium in the dry in normal situations. The Aprilia 6th with a rider that isn't expected to finish any further forward of that on ANY bike anywhere? That is a decent bike!

The guy that had both me and Dovi most interested today was Marquez. Holy bajeezus he sure looks good turning laps full fat beans. He was SO less relaxed looking when the pace kicked up than AD04. The bike was angry, but could be wrestled. The lines being sword tip carved were so differing. The braking zone a ballet of slow murder. Of wills and imagination. Of heart. Nose buried and feathering tail careening as extension of the rider's spine.

The horsepower of the Ducati with driving lines uphill was beauty to behold. The braking is as solid as anything ever (even Torres's bike). It carries corner speed sweeping like this year's Yamaha, it will slalom. But Marquez remains. This year's Honda may be unwieldy to wrestle and reticent in giving feel near the limit, but when skated as dynamically as MM93 will it can be so VERY formidable. The power was coming on in a VERY tractible manner all over the powerband, albeit with much movement arguing with an emboldened rider. Getting on lines no one else was taking. Jorge via phoned in reservation withstanding.

These are the unexpected times. Whodathunk?!

Total votes: 26

in Thailand, since Torres of course has more laps of the Chang circuit than the entire field of regulars combined.  I see Simeon on a shiny new Yamaha R6 in WSS next year where he can fight with fellow former meh Moto2 rider Krummenacher over 5th place.  Speaking of Krummie, Dovi could have used him torpedoing Márquez in Turn 1 as he did in 2010.

As for Rossi back on a Nastro Azzuro Aprilia in 2021, those leathers and pit board need to say "Cosmico" and not "The Doctor" if Burgess and Furasawa are joining Aprilia to resurrect the "Little Factory that Could".  And they can bring Aprilia back to the lightweight party with a new Moto3 bike for the junior Sky VR46 team.

Total votes: 2

Not only because of the biggest run-off area in Europe unfortunately becoming the latest real estate of Lorenzo’s Land, but does anyone else here think pole position being on the outside is actually a disadvantage? Looked like it to me, irrespective of the crash. Surely being on the inside (and slightly in front) SHOULD mean a safer transition and advantage into turn 2- or did the withering sun effect my judgement...?

Total votes: 5

Funsize, barreling right at you, could you see how awesome Crutchlow's start was? So good! And he was entering on the outside line entry. You get a view of everyone and have a moment approaching apex where you may have to mitigate a rider diving from that inside line. Looks like a 50-50, depends on what you favor.

I bet you favored the start eh? So close to the corner! Good view?

Total votes: 3

Was brilliant Motoshrink, top of the grandstand, last seats, closest to the corner. What I never got used to all weekend (hot? Jeez, for a Yorkshireman...), was the sheer speed past the line-slightly downhill there-and the length of squirming brakes as they settled into the corner, clearly a tricky one as there were quite a few ‘correct’ lines up and round the next one.

Still think pole should be on the inside though...

Total votes: 4

Toseland said just after the race that Dovi should have taken over Lorenzo's role and just gone flat out from the start and I agree. There was a moment there when he'd looked over and seen Marquez had gone for the opposite tyre option and Lorenzo had crashed out, when he should have switched to Plan B and tried to force Marquez to wear out his tyres and maybe even crash. They still would have been clear of the field and so at worst Dovi would still have finished second. There was a chance that Marquez tyres would fade faster and fade more, leaving Dovi with a small cushion in the last couple of laps. But I think there was no Plan B, Dovi had decided how it would go and then stuck to it.

Total votes: 11

Having looked at the vdeo a few times, Lorenzo shouldn't really be pointing his well paid finger at anyone. Everyone from the World Champion down in all motorsports has come flying off at the first corner at some time and whatever he thinks Marquez did, if Jorge had not grabbed a fistful of throttle he would probably have slid wide, as Marquez did, but stayed on board.

Races are not won at the first corner and I thought he would have matured sufficently by now to avoid these tiresome attacks on fellow competitors.

It will be interesting to see what happens after their first on track clash in 2019.

Total votes: 15

if you watch the onboard, it doesnt sound like the throttle was touched at all.  It really does look like a breaking entry highside, not an on throttle one.

Total votes: 5

Wow! That moment when Iannone did... Iannone it was like a flash back to PI 2015...  Fun and fabulous!  Shame Lorenzo robbed us of an even more entertaining race....  It was his mistake. True, Marquez did not leave him much room. Rather None. But it was his own mistake. And it's sad he injured himself. As for his post race comments... Well Lorenzo does... Lorenzo. It is somehow reassuring that some things do not change. :)

I agree with JBond post : Dovi should have switched to plan B... And maybe he would have stood a chance. But Dovi does. .. Dovi. He thinks, he has a plan and sticks to it... Shame though

Now we can officially say that Yamaha is almost the worst bike on the grid... And honestly it kills me to see the old dog drift backwards race after race... I don't think he'll stick around two more years. Not like this. 

The more I think about it and the more I hope that both Lorenzo and Ducati find a way to make a few steps backwards take back some words that were spoken and stick together. Contracts are made to be broken... No? I start thinking that there will be a carnage in the 2019 Honda garage. Much worse than what we witnessed in the past at Yahama. It's nobody's fault really but I cannot see how they can find a common goal not even in the bike development given their styles are so in opposition... 

2018 is done and dusted for me. And for 2019 I look forward to see Bagnaia on the Ducati... Not su sure about Morbidelli on the Yamaha... 

 

 

 

Total votes: 7

I don't know what race you prople were wathcing. Marquez completely blew that turn and he knew that Lorenzo was right there but did that horrible exit anyway. If Lorenzo was thinking he would have let the inevitable happen, let his front wheel crash into MM's rear and simply let the crash happen where both would be out. But this is Marquez and this is what he does. He had no business charging turn 1 like that, he knew he had no chance of making the corner. If I were Jorge I would not have sacrificed myself, I would have let the bike hit Marquez' rear tire and let the chips fall where they may. Chances are Marquez would have crashed and Lorenzo would hve survived it. We would then be having  very different conversation, wouldn't we?

If it were anyone else we would be talking about how irresponsible the rider was for doing that. But it's Marquez, so everyone looks the other way. 

Total votes: 7

From the overhead camera view at that first corner incident, Marquez exeded track limits after pushing Lorenzo wide. To my way of seeing it Marquez was due a penalty. It was an illegal manouver that caused another rider to crash. 

Total votes: 6