Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez enjoyed a strong start from pole position, tussling for first place on the opening lap with Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro and took the lead as they crossed the line for the first time. He pushed to open a gap over the rest of the riders and by lap thirteen he was benefitting from his hard option rear Bridgestone tyre – the softer of the compounds available – and had opened up a 4.2s advantage over a chasing Valentino Rossi.

Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama dropped back at the start from 15th to 22nd on the first lap and gradually progressed through the pack to reach 14th by lap twenty-one. Meanwhile Rossi continued to chip away at Marc’s lead as Marc’s tyre life began to drop and Rossi’s extra hard tyre choice was coming into it’s element. With seven laps to go the gap was down to just two seconds and with three laps to go it was down to half a second as the riders began to battle. With two laps remaining, they jostled for first place then in the next corner they touched and as they picked the bikes up Rossi’s rear wheel collected Marc’s front and the reigning World Champion hit the ground. Despite running to his bike to rejoin the race, Marc soon saw this was not possible and had to accept his race was over.

In the final five laps, Hiroshi continued to fight and was up to 11th on the last lap when he was hit in the final turn by Petrucci and unfortunately crashed out of the race also. Race direction reviewed both incidents immediately and docked a penalty point from Petrucci but considered the contact between Marc and Rossi a racing incident.

It was a disappointing end to a strong weekend for the team. Now they must pack up and head to Spain for the first round of the European races which takes place on Sunday 3rd May.

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