• Bridgestone MotoGP: Qatar debrief with Shinji Aoki

    Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won the MotoGP season opener at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, as the reigning World Champion claimed victory ahead of Movistar Yamaha Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who finished in second and third place respectively.

    Weather conditions for the race were cool and humid, with a peak track temperature of 20°C for the … Keep reading

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  • Bridgestone: Marquez takes victory in spectacular season opener in Qatar

    Marc Marquez got his MotoGP™ World Championship title defence off to the perfect start after the Repsol Honda rider emerged victorious from a closely-fought contest with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

    Photo by: Repsol Media

    Starting from pole position, Marquez traded places with Rossi at the front of the field numerous times throughout the twenty-two lap race, before Marquez made the race-winning pass in the final stages to take the chequered flag by 0.259 seconds. In third place at the Qatar Grand Prix was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who crossed the finish line 3.370 seconds after his teammate.

    The track temperature for the race was the coolest recorded over the whole race weekend, with a peak recording of just 20°C which brought with it a spike in humidity levels. This resulted in many riders commenting after the race that grip levels were lower than the Warm Up session four hours earlier. Although conditions were quite cool, only two riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the rest of the grid opting for the hard compound front slick. For the rear tyre, only race-winner Marc Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick for the race, and the medium compound rear was by far the popular choice, with fifteen riders selecting this option. Seven of the eleven Open-class entrants selected the soft compound rear slick for the Qatar Grand Prix.

    Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “That was a fantastic way to start the season; it was great to see riders from so many different teams fighting for position in the opening half of the race. Congratulations to Marc Marquez and Honda on winning the first race of the season, and well done to Valentino for pushing him all the way to the finish line. Every session this weekend was closely-contested, culminating in a thoroughly exciting race which I am sure was appreciated by MotoGP fans all around the world. I hope this trend of close racing continues for the rest of the season, starting with the Grand Prix of the Americas in three weeks’ time”

    Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The 10pm start for the race in Qatar means we had cool and humid conditions for the Qatar Grand Prix, and listening to the comments from riders after the race, it seems this reduced the grip levels compared to the Warm Up session. As expected we had big variation in tyre strategies for the race, with all our front and rear slick options being utilised. I am happy to see that Marc was able to be so competitive on the hard compound rear slick, we made a big development with this option late last year for improved edge grip and the race result today showed it’s a viable race option for this year.”

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “I’m very happy with the victory as I didn’t expect this result. I felt better physically yesterday but I still had a question mark over how I would go in the race. I chose the hard rear tyre so I was a bit cautious at the start of the race, but then it was ok so then I decided to push. The battle with Valentino was very exciting and we swapped positions many times, last year he came out on top but this year it was my turn. I hope to have many more nice battles like that this year.”

  • Marquez snatches victory in classic MotoGP season opener at Qatar

    Marquez snatches victory in classic MotoGP season opener at Qatar

    Marc Marquez showed the world why he is the reigning MotoGP champion with the Repsol Honda rider snatching the victory of the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar after a classic battle with Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi at the Losail International Circuit with Dani Pedrosa sealing another podium finish in third for the Repsol Honda team.

    Jorge Lorenzo jumped into an early lead of the 22 lap race but the Movistar Yamaha rider looked to push his front Bridgestone tire too fast on the opening lap and violently lost the front end and ended his race while Stefan Bradl inherited the lead on the LCR Honda with the German rider making a great start with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith also very fast early on while Marquez was happy to stalk the leaders early on while Rossi was busy making up some place after start from the fourth row.

     

    The battle with Valentino was the best part of the race besides the win, I really enjoyed it!

    Marc Marquez

    The factory Ducati machine of Andrea Dovizioso was going well in the opening laps as was the Pramac Racing machine of Andrea Iannone until he lost the front on lap 2 with Rossi now left to chase GO&Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. Behind these, Pedrosa was fighting with Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow in 7th and 8th early on. There was another sudden change for the lead on lap 8 when Bradl also lost the front on the same corner of Lorenzo and the race lead then handed to Marquez who had now passed Smith and the British rider was to fall further back in quick succession behind Bautista, Rossi and Pedrosa. 

    The race resumed a somewhat normal rhythm nearing the middle of the race with Rossi passing Bautista and then Marquez for the lead before he was re-taken by Marquez after just two laps while Pedrosa had now joined the group in 4th place. Making as many places up as he could was the NGM Forward Racing machine of Aleix Espargaro with the Open Class rider up to 6th place ahead of Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro on the second Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and Crutchlow. Scott Redding (GO&Fun Honda Gresini) was also having a strong debut race for his MotoGP career and was battling with Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden throughout the race.

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  • Dominant Marquez ends Sepang pre-season test with lap record pace

    Marc Marquez completed the first pre-season MotoGP test of 2014 on top of the timing sheets on all three days and the reigning champion topped it off in perfect fashion with a new lap record at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia beating Casey Stoner’s 2012 time. The Repsol Honda rider finished day three ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge … Keep reading

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  • Yamaha unveils 2014 challenger in Jakarta

    Yamaha Factory Racing stars Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the new MotoGP season today by unveiling the 2014 Yamaha YZR-M1 live in front of nearly 4000 members of the Yamaha family at the 3S Dealer meeting in Indonesia.

    The two-day visit saw both riders engage in a number of activities for their first official outing of 2014. Yesterday Jorge met with a number of local … Keep reading

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