MotoGP burned and crackled under inescapable Spanish sunshine for the fourteenth serving of the FIM world championship this year and the climbs, drops and fairing-scraping corners of Motorland Aragon was home to another display of excellence by world champion Marc Marquez.
The 23 lap affair was noticeable for highlighting another hard weekend for the Yamahas and the disappointing crashes for both Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow on the tight Turn 1 but in Moto2 and Moto3 some creditable results meant the Grand Prix held particular relevance.
For the fourth fixture in a row Moto2 points pace-setter Pecco Bagnaia hoisted a podium prize and extended his advantage over closest rival Miguel Oliveira to 19 (a win is 25). The Italian, making his 100th GP start, survived a scary moment on the fast, long-left Turn 17 when he clipped the rear wheel of eventual race winner Brad Binder at full lean and effectively lost the chance to track the South African for the chequered flag. He dealt with countryman, fellow VR46 conscript and good friend Lorenzo Baldassarri to score 2nd position.
“I'm happy to celebrate the 100th GP in the World Championship with a podium that means opening the gap to 19 points on Oliveira for the Championship,” said Pecco after walking the rostrum for the twentieth time in his career. “I had a good start, a good rhythm and in the first few laps I pushed hard to close the gap to Alex and Brad. I tried to overtake Brad, but he closed the door and we touched each other: a race contact. I was a bit nervous but I tried to recover the pace also because the tyres were slipping a lot and bring home the best result.”
In Moto3 Marco Bezzecchi guzzled on ‘tonic’. The Italian had had to wait two long and slow weeks to be able to erase the memory of his late race slip at Misano and was strong and error-free behind a disappearing Jorge Martin to make the top three again in 2018. The result was essential for the VR46 man’s world championship goals: just 13 points separate him from Martin at the top of the table.
MotoGP keeps up the heat: literally. Round fifteen will be the first of four ‘flyaway’ events and the series will circle the Chang International Circuit for the very first Thai Grand Prix.