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MotoGP World Championship – Catalunya Grand Prix18.06.2018

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Marquez makes the podium

Third in Barcelona, Álex Márquez has chalked up four podiums since the opening of the Championship. A regularity that allows him to stay in the race for the title of world champion.

The Races

On a circuit on which he won last year, this time Álex Márquez could only ride seven laps in the lead. The former Moto3 world champion was unable to keep up with Fabio Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira when the two riders overtook him. “The track was very slippery and in those conditions our chassis is a little slow,” explained the Kalex rider. “I lacked feeling with the front.” In difficulty at the start of the race with a full tank, Joan Mir fell on the thirteenth lap when he was in ninth place. “It’s really a big disappointment because I was hoping for a third podium in a row,” commented the rider of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team. In MotoGP, it is Tom Lüthi who crashed at the start of the race. Franco Morbidelli also fell, but he was able to make it back to the garage before coming out again to resume the race. And finished fourteenth three laps behind the winner.

The Championship

By making it back to the podium, Álex Márquez has come back to third place in the Moto2 overall classification and reduced the gap with the leader, Francesco Bagnaia, to twenty-five points. Joan Mir who had his first Did Not Finish of the season has lost a place. The Majorcan has slipped to sixth position at six points from fifth place, Xavi Virgo. In MotoGP Franco Morbidelli has moved up to sixteenth place and overtaken Hafizh Syahrin for the place of best rookie rider.

The background

Listed on the MotoGP Championship calendar since 1992, the Grand Prix of Catalonia is one of the riders’ favourite events. Fast and technical, the Barcelona track has been, for the last 25 years, the scene for many legendary battles. But over the years the Catalan circuit had deteriorated. So much so that last year an ultimatum was put to its owners by the promoter of the championship to overhaul the track. At the risk of no longer appearing on the MotoGP calendar. More than two million euros have been invested in the operation. “The surfacing has been completely redone,” says Carles Fradera, spokesperson for the Montmelo circuit. “Seven centimetres of asphalt have been removed and two layers laid, one three centimetres thick, the other four. We have also increased the clearance of turn thirteen by 25 meters by moving the stands.” The work, made on the turn where Luis Salom was killed two years ago, has also returned the circuit to its original layout, so that riders avoid the chicane reserved for F1 races.

18.06.2018

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