It’s been long awaited and very much deserved… Alex Marquez has finally got his name on a Moto2 win. After many near-misses in the opening three rounds of the 2017 season, the Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS rider won at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana at the Circuit de Jerez, Spain and then went and dedicated it to his Mum on Mother’s Day.
Great performance from the Spaniard
The Spanish rider led the race practically from start to finish. He lost the lead for a lap or two when he ran wide, which allowed his teammate Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) who was pursuing him to slip through, but then the Italian who has won the three opening rounds crashed out at turn nine allowing Marquez to slip back through.
He continued to wrestle his Kalex around the track out in front on his own. He didn’t appear to come into any issues, that was until lap 17 of the 25 lap race when he almost lost the rear. As he passed through the final turn, turn 13, the rear began to slide and he was forced to pick it up with his knee.
Marquez recovered with ease and continued on to win the race, his first win, 3.452 seconds ahead of Sky Racing Team VR46 rookie, Francesco Bagnaia in second place. The Italian, specifically chosen by Valentino Rossi himself to pilot the bike on their new Moto2 challenge, successfully brought it to the podium just four rounds in; another fantastic achievement in Jerez.
Rookie, Bagnaia collects first Moto2 podium four rounds in
The Italian who qualified sixth on the grid gradually made his way past the likes Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on lap two, then past Xavi Vierge (Tech3 Racing) further around the lap. Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) was his next victim, before on lap four of the race he bypassed Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) which placed him in third.
Morbidelli then crashing out placed him second where he remained, that was until around the 14th lap when Pasini caught back up to the rookie. The two took alternative lines as Pasini looked for a way past but then the Italian almost lost the front of his Kalex which allowed Bagnaia the break.
Oliveira was on the move
A few laps later however, Oliveira was powering on and he caught Pasini by lap 211 and passed him heading into turn six; a stunned Pasini was forced to pick his bike up as he leaned into the turn. It was too late for Pasini to fight back and unfortunately for Pasini it meant he missed out again on another podium whereas fortunately for Oliveira, he brought the manufacturer to the podium for the second time this season.
Unbelievable victory for Marquez at home
Talking about his first ever Moto2 win, Marquez felt it was “unbelievable” as he “could not have imagined a victory like this” he said “in front of [his] home fans”. Presented with his trophy by motorcycling legend Giacamo Agostini, he said, “I want to dedicate this win to my mum on Mother’s Day.”
He explained how it has been a “long wait for three years to catch a victory” and that for him, “winning in Jerez is a dream come true”. He described the fourth round as a “difficult race in hot conditions” and explained that it confirmed to him when he saw his teammate, Morbidelli crash “how easy it was to make a mistake”.
He found that he “could not hold [his] maximum pace” as he knew he was “on the limit with the front grip” of the Dunlop tyre, and so he “just controlled the gap to the riders behind”. He went on to “thank everyone in the team” and all of those who supported him in Spain.
Oliveira made up with unexpected podium
Third place in Jerez, Oliveira explained how “after the bad start” he felt he made “finishing on the podium is a good result”. He found they managed to “cut the gap distance from the start of the race to the end”. Although he knows they have “details to improve” that they are “working hard on”, he was left feeling “happy” after Jerez.
Thinking back to the tests that they completed back in November, he headed to Jerez feeling not thinking that he “could get onto the podium” and so afterwards felt they “have taken great strides forward”. He admitted that he “did not expect it” especially as he described it as a “fairly critical circuit for the tyres” for reasons such as “it’s always very hot” which makes it “not easy to finish the race”.
Analysing his own performance, he feels he “still lacks the calmness to lead a race” however remaining optimistic he is “sure the victory will come if [they] continue to work like this”.