After a dominating performance in the Saturday’s qualifying session, Marc Marquez seemed to be the main rider to watch today in the race. Although he did manage to get a confortable pole position, at the start, the main star was Jack Miller.
The local hero took a marvellous start and took everyone by surprise. His joy was short lived as Marquez who progressed through the field, came back and took back the lead.
When everything seemed to go on Marquez favour, three Yamaha riders chased him down. Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales and Johann Zarco took the lead at one point in the race. There were at least 20 lead exchanges in the race.
Behind them, Andrea Dovizioso, was in deep trouble. After a bad start, the italian lost several places and while battling his way through the field, he lost the contact with the main group, which was made up by eight riders.
With several laps left, Marquez regained his first place. Behind him, seven other riders had chances to win the GP. Rossi, Zarco, Vinales, Crutchlow, Iannone, Miller and Rins were still in the contention for the three podium places and subsequently for the race win.
In the end, Marquez won the race, with Rossi and Vinales finishing second and third. Zarco missed the podium in the last few meters of the race. The frenchman was passed by Vinales. For the fifth place, Cal Crutchlow had an intense battle with Andrea Iannone, which ended with the Brit finishing in front of the Suzuki rider.
Local hero Jack Miller finished seventh, while Alex Rins and the KTM boys, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith completed the top ten. Scott Redding and Dani Pedrosa finished 11th and 12th, while Andrea Dovizioso managed to finish only 13th in a disastrous weekend for him and for Ducati. Behind him, Karel Abraham and Jorge Lorenzo were the other two riders who managed to get some points today.
Marc Marquez extended his gap in the championship standings. Honda’s main star has now an advantage of 33 points in front of Andrea Dovizioso and he can mathematically grab his fourth MotoGP championship next week at Sepang. Maverick Vinales is third, but he lost every mathematical chance to win his maiden MotoGP world championship.
MotoGP will return back to action next week at Sepang for the penultimate round of the 2017 season.
Photo – Honda Racing Corporation