MotoGP 2021
Round 7

Marquez’s Best Ride of 2021 Ends With Tumble

es-ct Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) looked back to his best in the early stages of today’s Catalan Grand Prix, fighting hard in the lead group, making some determined passes and moving up to sixth place. He said later that it was the best few laps he had ridden since his return to racing.

Marquez’s Best Ride of 2021 Ends With Tumble

Sadly, the six-times MotoGP World Champion’s charge ended on lap eight of 24, when he lost the front entering Turn Ten, a tricky low-speed corner that has caught out many riders this weekend. Track conditions have been particularly tricky this weekend, offering little grip and causing high tyre degradation, contributing to six of the 21 starters crashing out, all unharmed.

Marquez was riding in his fifth race since his comeback at April’s Portuguese Grand Prix, following a nine-month layoff due to a right-arm fracture sustained during last July’s Spanish GP.

The 28-year-old Spaniard started today’s race from 13th on the grid but made a great start and immediately started pushing forward. He was determined to show his very best in the early stages because he knows his right arm still isn’t strong enough to operate at 100% strength throughout a MotoGP race.

Tomorrow he remains at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit with the rest of the MotoGP grid for a one-day test. This session will be particularly important to the Repsol Honda and the LCR Honda teams as they continue their ceaseless work to improve the performance of the RC213V machine, winner of seven of the last nine MotoGP Constructors World Championship.

The other top RC213V riders didn’t have a great day at Barcelona-Catalunya either. Local hero Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who had qualified one row higher than Marquez, slid off on lap five at Turn Five, an off-camber left-hander, while the 29-year-old Spaniard was trying to fight his way into the top ten.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) had qualified one place behind Marquez and was aiming for a top-ten finish, but was penalised with a long-lap penalty for running off the track. That sanction dropped him several places and the 29-year-old from Chiba had to be happy with a 13th-place result.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) finished two places ahead of his Japanese team-mate for his second-best result of the year so far. The 24-year-old Spaniard – winner of two Moto2 races at this track – had a difficult qualifying yesterday but kept his focus for today and rode a solid race to 11th, setting a consistent pace throughout, despite the challenging track conditions.

Following tomorrow’s test session the MotoGP paddock has one weekend off before reconvening at the Sachsenring for the German GP on 20th June, following by the Dutch TT at Assen on 27th June. Those back-to-back races precede a five-weekend summer break. The second half of the 2021 season commences with back-to-back races at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on 8th and 15th August.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
P11, we got some points and finished the race which is always important. I’m not really happy because our pace was not bad, but for the last 10 laps I didn’t feel good enough with the bike. Anyway, I gave 100% to finish as best as possible for me and obviously for the team. Now we need to look forward and keep going and be positive for the test tomorrow. Hopefully, we can solve some problems and be faster.

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
At the beginning of the race, I’m not sure which lap, I couldn’t stop at turn one and I went straight on. I lost my position and some time and then after two laps I got a long-lap penalty. Afterwards, unfortunately I got a second long lap penalty because I touched the green limit line for a few centimetres. Anyway, apart from that, our pace was not so bad until the middle of the race and, as you saw, there were many crashes But we finished the race and we collected some points. So we’ll take the positives, we need to improve our bike package to use its full potential and for this tomorrow will be a very important test.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
My intention today was to start well and push because I thought maybe the others would try to manage their tyres. I gave everything in the beginning because if I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have slept well today. Okay, I crashed but I showed to myself that I can do it, so this was one positive. Instead of finishing in 12th or 13th place, today was the day to take some risks. Tomorrow we have a test, it’s an important day – more important than today. We keep working and never give up.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
We are having a tough time, we crashed in the race. We chose the hard tyre which was the best tyre given the conditions that we saw today but we are struggling with grip and we are losing time from this. It was a frustrating race, but we need to keep positive and keep working. We need to turn the situation around, there’s still over half the championship to go. Tomorrow there’s a test and we are looking for big solutions.

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