Sun, Jun 29, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Marquez clocks record-matching eighth victory

AFP, ASSEN, Netherlands

Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez of Spain takes a curve during the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Spaniard Marc Marquez won a record-equaling eighth straight race yesterday at the Dutch motorcycle Grand Prix in changing weather conditions, ahead of Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.

The runaway leader and defending champion grabbed the lead from Dovizioso with 10 laps to go, after both riders switched from wet tires to slicks earlier in the race. Spanish veteran Dani Pedrosa and Marquez’s team-mate, also on a Honda, was third.

His victory saw Marquez become the first rider to win eight straight premier class races from the start of the season since Italian great Giacomo Augustini in 1971.

The Spaniard, whose younger brother Alex earlier won in the Moto3 class, stretched his substantial lead in the overall standings to 200 points.

Marquez now stands 72 points ahead of second-placed Valentino Rossi, who rode a magnificent race from the back to eventually end in fifth place.

However, Rossi is now sharing second place with Pedrosa.

The unpredictable Dutch weather made for a thrilling race, which saw Marquez, Dovizioso and many other racers coming into the pits to switch from wet to dry tires.

A lightning change of bikes paid off for Marquez, who then went on to pass Dovizioso with 10 laps to go, staying ahead for the rest of the race.

“It was incredible — actually it’s a race that nobody won, because it was so dangerous,” Marquez said.

“It was difficult to know what the right strategy would be, but starting off with the wet tires, later going to the slicks was the right choice,” he said.

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