MotoGP: Aragón GP ends with Lorenzo's first win and a series of crashes
After a completely soaked Warm-Up session sunday morning, the weather for the Aragón Grand Prix didn’t change at all. First to start of the race day was, as usual, the Moto3 class. Due to the foggy conditions, first the Warm-Up and with that, the race itself, had to start later. Even if the ideal line dried out before the start, the race direction declared it a wet race.
Danny Kent, who started from second place, leaded the race after a very good start in front of Miller and Bastianini. Both riders started good, but apart from Kent, the biggest surprise was John McPhee. The SaxoPrint-RTG rider has never been able to achieve a better result than seventh position, but got up to fourth place after a good start. Sadly the brit couldn’t keep up to the top and lost two places within two laps.
Meanwhile both Jack Miller, Alex Rins and later on Álex Márquez overtook the still leading Danny Kent, with Miller taking the lead. Followed by Kent and McPhee, the leading group opened up a gap to their pursuers. Miller, now being behind Márquez, tried to overtake him from the outside, but failed terribly and crashed out of the race. The contact between them was investigated by the race direction. They are going to have a discussion after the MotoGP race, but, however, a significant punishment isn’t expected.
With the, by then, championship leader Miller out of the race, McPhee temporarily found himself on a podium place , going up from fourth to third position.
But with one benefiting from Miller’s crash, the next one to make a mistake was Danny Kent. He lost a couple of places, continuing the race from just seventh position. By then, Miller had entered the pits and decided to give it a try once again.
With all the back and forth up front, Romano Fenati fought his way through the field. The italian had started in a low 13th position, but continuously overtook everybody in front of him. After Kent’s mistake and a slip-up by Alex Rins that threw his back to eighth place, Fenati suddenly was fourth, with Kent right behind him. In front of him was the still leading Álex Márquez and a strong Jakub Kornfeil, who made good use of the previous mistakes, but lost a couple of places on the last laps.
But still things were going well for Fenati. The previously crashed McPhee went down once again, which let the fight for the victory open for only Álex Márquez, Romano Fenati and Danny Kent.
Finally, Fenati was able to overtake Márquez on the final meters, achieving his fourth victory this year. The podium was completed by Álex Márquez and Danny Kent. The Top Ten was completed by Alex Rins, Jakub Kornfeil, Enea Bastianini, Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder, Niccolò Antonelli and Alexis Masbou.
With Jack Miller out of points, Álex Márquez now leads the championship with 11 points over the aussie.
The following Moto2 race was declared a dry race by the race direction. The track had almost completely dried off and there was no sign of nascent rain. Polesetter Maverick Viñales lost a position to Mika Kallio, who tried to open up a gap, but couldn’t get rid of Viñales. The spaniard followed the finn closely, with Johann Zarco in third and Esteve „Tito“ Rabat in fourth position.
Halfway through the first lap, a „Ride Through“ penalty was imposed on Jonas Folger. The german, who was currently riding in seventh position, jump started the race and had to cross the pit lane after the first lap. It’s the second „Ride Through“ penalty for Folger in the last two races. He ran out of the track limits at the Misano Grand Prix two weeks ago and took too long to understand the instructions of the race direction. With this immense residue, Folger was out of the victory fight. He finished the race in 23th position.
With Kallio up front and Viñales following him, the battle between Zarco and Rabat went on. The spaniard was able to overtake Zarco and tried to follow the leading pair. Zarco however was joined by Dominique Aegerter, who moved up from eighth to fourth position. The swiss is well known for his good starts and braking, so he left Zarco fast behind him and closed the gap to Tito Rabat. His teammate Kallio had lost the lead to Viñales moments later.
The Top Four, which included Viñales, Kallio, Rabat and Aegerter, had an immense lead over the following riders, but the Zarco and Morbidelli in fifth and sixth position closed up on the leading group soon. A struggle by Viñales also caused that the leading four riders came together even closer. Especially Rabat caught up on Viñales, with Tom Lüthi and Johann Zarco fighting behind them for the third positon.
Kallio however fell back to seventh position, after losing his second place to the likes of Rabat, Zarco, Lüthi, Morbidelli and Aegerter.
He completed the leading group and was followed by Jordi Torres, Sam Lowes and Marcel Schrötter.
But even with two thrilling races, the most spectacular and mixed-up race had yet to come.
The MotoGP race was, just like the earlier Moto2 race, declared as a dry race.
First surprise was Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone, who took the lead from Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez at the beginning. Also Jorge Lorenzo benefited from a good start and made up three places. He had qualified in the seventh position, but saw his chance and jumped on it. This continued throughout the whole race.
Márquez and Iannnone fought hard, but eventually Márquez could prevail. Lorenzo followed shortly behind them, with Dani Pedrosa in fourth position.
Sadly it didn’t take long until Iannone crashed out of the race with a completely destroyed Desmosedici. The italian had crossed the slippery artificial turf, that is situated right next to the track limits. It is questionable, if the artificial turf is really needed, since in this race only it caused two riders to crash.
One was Andrea Iannone, the other was his fellow countrymen Valentino Rossi, who had won the Misano Grand Prix two weeks ago. Rossi went on the brakes far too late, almost taking Dani Pedrosa out of the race, too. Unfortunately the nine time world champion wasn’t able to stand up on his own, which left the whole circuit breathless. Luckily he seems to have no serious injuries, but had been taken to the hospital in Alcaniz for further examinations.
With Rossi and Iannone out of the race, the lead was taken over by Marc Márquez, still followed by Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaró. Even with the now starting rain, Márquez and Lorenzo fought an unconpromising fight, changing the lead over and over again. Few laps later, Pedrosa jointed the fight.
The struggling went on and on, with a constant switch of the lead.
Aleix Espargaró however came in as soon as the rain started and it turned out to be the best strategy. Espargaró had been on seventh place, but after his bike change he fastly caught up fastly.
With every lap into the race, the rain got heavier. But neither Márquez, Lorenzo or Pedrosa went into the box to change their bike. First to regret this was Dani Pedrosa, who crashed even without the help of Valentino Rossi. He made it back to the pits and finished the race on his for the rain prepared second bike in 14th position.
By now, almost the whole field had changed their bikes, but the older Espargaró had the perfect timing. He took the third place behind Jorge Lorenzo, who had changed the bike as well. Just Márquez was out on slicks now and this was a big mistake. Due to the very wet track he crashed and handed the lead over to Lorenzo, who was determined to finally make Aragón “Lorenzos Land”.
He did so, winning his first Grand Prix in the 2014 season in front of an overjoyed Aleix Espargaró. Third one to complete the podium was Ducati factory rider Cal Crutchlow, who certainly hadn’t expected such a good result. Stefan Bradl crossed the finish line behind them, followed by Pol Espargaró, Bradley Smith, Álvaro Bautista, Hiroshi Aoyama, Nicky Hayden and Scott Redding. Especially for Nicky Hayden, who rode his first race after his hand injury, this result will be a satisfaction.
World champion Marc Márquez ended the race after his crash and the following bike change in 13th place, still collecting three points for the overall standings. Next to Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi, also Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the race, but luckily every rider appeared to without further injuries. Karel Abraham had to retire from the race due to a mechanical problem.