Espargaro leads British Grand Prix and takes season best result

Espargaro leads British Grand Prix and takes season best result

United Kingdom: Pol Espargaro clinches his best finish of the season after leading his first laps in Repsol Honda Team colours, Marquez falls on the opening lap of the British GP.

Conditions were much the same as Sunday dawned as they had been for the previous two days; grey clouds lined the sky and a chill sat in the air. With the race expected to be run in largely the same conditions, the Repsol Honda Team got to work in Warm Up. Pol Espargaro was fast yet again, third and 0.135s behind the top spot. A fall during the session upset Marc Marquez’s plan but he still managed to put in the tenth fastest time.

From Honda’s first pole of the year, Pol Espargaro’s R213V shot forward as the Repsol Honda Team rider attempted to make his break. A strong volley of opening laps saw the #44 lead his first Grand Prix in the iconic Repsol Honda Team colours, Fabio Quartararo eventually working his way past on lap five. Espargaro did not relent as he set about battling Alex Rins and brother Aleix Espargaro for the final two steps of the podium, the trio locked together at mid-race distance. As his tyre began to wear, Espargaro changed his focus to defending his position on track. Crossing the line in fifth, Espargaro takes his best result to date as a Repsol Honda Team rider and concludes a productive weekend of confidence building.

It was a strong start for Marc Marquez as well behind his teammate, the eight-time World Champion keeping position among the leaders. Contact with Jorge Martin sent Marquez wide soon after, the pair coming together again soon after and both falling. This would end Marquez’s race. Unharmed, the #93 returned to the garage to debrief with his team before heading to apologise to Martin and his Pramac Racing Team for the contact. Marquez is now refocusing himself on the upcoming race in Aragon, his home round.

Although ultimately on race day it proved to be a weekend of two halves for the Repsol Honda Team, both Espargaro and Marquez showed significant and consistent speed over the course of the GP. Round 13 will be at the Aragon circuit, a track where the RC213V has excelled – having taken seven wins from the 12 Grands Prix held there since 2010.

Pol Espargaro (5th)

“I enjoyed the race a lot, this was the feeling I was looking for after struggling. To be leading the race was something really special. We went with the soft rear because it gave us the best feeling, but it wasn’t enough to fight for the podium and there’s still some more work to do. Anyway, until the middle of the race I was there, fighting and enjoying it so much – even closing the gap to Rins and Aleix when my tyre was still performing well. As the grip dropped, I controlled the gap and finished the weekend well. It has been a great weekend overall, we’ve been able to show what we can do and now we head to Aragon where Honda has been very strong in the past.”

Marc Marquez (DNF)

“First of all I want to say sorry to Jorge Martin, already I went to him and his team to say sorry after the race. It was my mistake; I was too optimistic with that overtake. Races are sometimes like this and today it was me who made the mistake. Overall the weekend has been quite good as we have been fast in a lot of sessions, even after a big crash on Friday. It’s a shame to make this mistake in the race because we had the pace to do something interesting here today.”

Rider standings:

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA 25 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 40’20.579
2 RINS Alex 42 SPA 20 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2.663
3 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 16 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 4.105
4 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 13 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 4.254
5 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 11 Repsol Honda Team Honda 8.462
6 BINDER Brad 33 RSA 10 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 12.189
7 LECUONA Iker 27 SPA 9 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 13.560
8 MARQUEZ Alex 73 SPA 8 LCR Honda Honda 14.044
9 MIR Joan 36 SPA 7 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 16.266
10 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 6 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 16.287
11 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 5 Pramac Racing Ducati 16.339
12 BASTIANINI Enea 23 ITA 4 Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 17.696
13 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN 3 LCR Honda Honda 18.285
14 BAGNAIA Francesco 63 ITA 2 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 20.913
15 MARINI Luca 10 ITA 1 SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 21.018
16 OLIVEIRA Miguel 88 POR 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 22.022
17 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 0 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 23.232
18 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 0 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 29.758
19 DIXON Jake 96 GBR 0 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 50.845
20 MARTIN Jorge 89 SPA 0 Pramac Racing Ducati DNF
21 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 0 Repsol Honda Team Honda DNF