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Marquez sews up Losail - Rossi second

2014-03-23 22:24

CHAMPION STILL ON TOP: Marc Marquez took first place from Valentino Rossi in the 2014 Qatar MotoGP. Image: AFP

LOSAIL, Qatar - MotoGP's youngest world champion Marc Marquez won the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix after a thrilling duel in Doha with the old master of motorcycling, Italian Valentino Rossi.

Starting from pole position at the Losail circuit, six weeks after he broke his leg in a training accident, Marquez crossed the finish line a mere 0.259 of a second ahead of Rossi. Marquez's team mate Dani Pedrosa was a distant third.


Marquez's leg, fractured when he fell off a dirt bike near his home last month, had been the rider's biggest worry with the rider barely able to walk later earlier in March.

Marquez said: "I enjoyed that race a lot," he smiled. "After the injury and everything I did not expect that result, honestly.

"Yesterday I had a good feeling and today, the last lap with Valentino, I didn't think about the leg, I didn't think about the injury. I pushed 100%."

In the end it was the resurgent Rossi, seven times a champion in the top category of motorcycling but seemingly entering the twilight of his career, who posed the biggest threat of the night.

Starting from 10th place on the grid, the Italian was leading after nine laps with early leaders Jorge Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl both crashing out into the gravel in a shower of sparks.

Rossi said: "Starting from 10th position, already second is a great result. I had the potential to try, I tried and tried but unfortunately at the end I was a little bit too far (behind).

"I enjoyed it very much, it was a great race. I hope to continue like this."

Rossi finished second in 2013 ahead of Marquez third.

Marquez said: "Last year (2013) I fought here with Valentino, he won that battle and this year we won."


Double World Champion Lorenzo, who won in Qatar in 2013, seized the lead from the second row at the start but crashed before the lap was out when the front end of the bike went from under him.

With an ice pack on his left elbow, he blamed himself: "I made a mistake. The tyres were different to last year, the temperature was a little bit colder than yesterday because the race was two hours later than qualifying.

"I didn't count these things...I made a mistake of juniors."

After he went out, Bradley Smith took the lead briefly before Bradl slipped past followed by Marquez. Bradl then lost the front end and slid out with 16 of the 22 laps to go.

Marquez and Rossi traded the lead to the flag, with four changes of lead on the penultimate lap alone.

Smith crashed with four laps to go, with Aleix Espargaro finishing fourth and Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow fifth and sixth.

2014 Qatar MotoGP
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 42min40.561
2 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 42min40.820
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 42min43.931
4 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 42min52.184
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 42min52.720
6 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Ducati 43min09.087
7 Scott Redding (Britain) Honda 43min13.154
8 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 43min13.189
9 Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 43min20.108
10 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 43min23.921
11 Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan) Honda 43min27.156
12 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Ducati 43min27.249
13 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Honda 43min31.142
14 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) ART 43min43.688
15 Broc Parkes (Australia) PBM 43min54.947

2014 MotoGP standings
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda - 25
2 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha - 20
3 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 16
4 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha - 13
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati - 11
6 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Ducati - 10
7 Scott Redding (Britain) Honda - 9
8 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda - 8
9 Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha - 7
10 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati - 6
11 Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan) Honda - 5
12 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Ducati - 4
13 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Honda - 3
14 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) ART - 2
15 Broc Parkes (Australia) PBM - 1

2014 Moto2 results
1 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 40min20.963
2 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 40min21.003
3 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 40min22.022
4 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 40min24.704
5 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Kalex 40min25.006
6 Simone Corsi (Italy) Forward KLX 40min26.793
7 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 40min35.133
8 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 40min45.906
9 Jordi Torres (Spain) Suter 40min46.159
10 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up 40min46.285
11 Louis Rossi (France) Kalex 40min47.650
12 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex 40min47.836
13 Ricard Cardus (Spain) Tech 3 40min47.877
14 Randy Krummenacher (Switzerland) Suter 40min52.634
15 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 41min01.551

2014 Qatar Moto2 standings
1 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex - 25
2 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex - 20
3 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex - 16
4 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter - 13
5 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Kalex - 11
6 Simone Corsi (Italy) Forward KLX - 10
7 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up - 9
8 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex - 8
9 Jordi Torres (Spain) Suter - 7
10 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up - 6
11 Louis Rossi (France) Kalex - 5
12 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex - 4
13 Ricard Cardus (Spain) Tech 3 - 3
14 Randy Krummenacher (Switzerland) Suter - 2
15 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex - 1

2014 Qatar Moto3 results
1 Jack Miller (Australia) KTM 38min05.810
2 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda 38min06.043
3 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 38min06.090
4 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) Mahindra 38min06.105
5 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 38min06.179
6 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) KTM 38min06.396
7 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda 38min07.919
8 Isaac Vinales (Spain) KTM 38min07.971
9 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) KTM 38min13.963
10 Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) KTM 38min13.983
11 John McPhee (Britain) Honda 38min14.005
12 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM 38min14.029
13 Danny Kent (Britain) Husqvarna 38min17.079
14 Karel Hanika (Czech Republic) KTM 38min17.102
15 Brad Binder (South Africa) Mahindra 38min17.132

2014 Qatar Moto3 standings
1 Jack Miller (Australia) KTM - 25
2 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda - 20
3 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda - 16
4 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) Mahindra - 13
5 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda - 11
6 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) KTM - 10
7 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda - 9
8 Isaac Vinales (Spain) KTM - 8
9 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) KTM - 7
10. Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) KTM - 6
11 John McPhee (Britain) Honda - 5
12 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM - 4
13 Danny Kent (Britain) Husqvarna - 3
14 Karel Hanika (Czech Republic) KTM - 2
15 Brad Binder (South Africa) Mahindra - 1

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