Roasting conditions in Jerez made for a grueling Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía, but Alex Marquez took it in his stride on the way to eighth place as the sun beat down.
A strange Sunday in Jerez saw Alex Marquez line up as the lone representative of the Repsol Honda Team, team-mate Marc Marquez withdrawing from the weekend as he continues to recover from surgery on his broken humerus. Temperatures continued to steadily rise over the course of the day, the track reaching a brutal 63°C during the course of the 25-lap Andalucia GP.
Having shown promising pace in Free Practice 4, Alex Marquez shot off the line and stayed clear of trouble in the opening corners to avoid the melee around him. Learning from his debut in the premier class the week before, the Moto2 World Champion was aggressive in the opening laps and gained seven positions on the first lap alone. Fending off the attacks of fellow rookie Iker Lecuona, Alex soon settled into what would be a consistent, but lonely, race.
His impressive performance was rewarded not only with top rookie honours, but also his first visit to the top ten in the premier class as Alex crossed the line in eighth place. Combined with his 12th place finish from the first race, Alex increases his lead in the Rookie of the Year standings to nine points.
Takaaki Nakagami’s best MotoGP weekend to date continued as his pace from practice carried into Sunday’s race. Fourth place in the race is the LCR Honda rider’s best result in the premier class, the Japanese rider narrowly missing out on the podium battle in the closing laps. Cal Crutchlow also produced a spirited ride to 13th after breaking his left scaphoid last weekend.
The Repsol Honda Team will now enjoy a well-earned week away from the circuit as they prepare for the Czech GP on August 07 – 09 where World Champion Marc Marquez is aiming to return to the track once again.