Marc Marquez still perfect in MotoGP
INDIANAPOLIS -- Marc Marquez's relentless march to the 2014 MotoGP title resumed Sunday as he took a commanding victory in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 21-year-old Spaniard won his 10th consecutive MotoGP race by riding his Repsol Honda across the speedway's famous brick finish line 1.803 seconds ahead of countryman Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha. It was the 100th race win for a rider from Spain in motorcycle racing's top class, as well as the 500th win for Spanish riders across all FIM-sanctioned road-racing categories.
Six-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi took the lead at the start, while Marquez fell from pole position to fifth place. By Lap 4, he was up to third.
Andrea Dovizioso briefly brought joy to the legion of Ducati fans in the crowd of about 50,000, but in dicing with Rossi for the lead, both were passed in one fell swoop by Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo.
Just a few corners later, Marquez ran wide on the sweeping left-hander leading onto the pit straight and ceded the top spot to Lorenzo. But just as quickly, Rossi resumed at the front after a frenetic sixth lap.
On Lap 11, Lorenzo passed his teammate Rossi for the lead in Turn 1. But the opportunistic Marquez was right there, aggressively slicing by both Yamahas in the sequence of turns that leads back onto the road course's brief run on the south "short chute" of the Indianapolis oval.
From there, Marquez was able to establish a comfortable 0.7-second gap over his pursuers, led by Rossi, who was eventually overtaken by Lorenzo and settled for a distant third place.
Marquez took the checkered flag about a quarter of the long pit straight ahead of Lorenzo for his 10th MotoGP victory in as many starts this year, then joyously leaped into the arms of his Honda team crew.
The win matched Mick Doohan's modern-era record of 10 consecutive victories during the 1997 season.
"The beginning was exciting, but the start was not so good for me," Marquez said. "We had some moments, so I said, 'We will be quiet the first 10 laps behind Valentino.'
"Then when I saw Jorge also attacked and was trying to push to the front, I thought, 'Now is the time!'" Marquez added. "I overtook them and I started to push, and 10th by 10th [of a second], I opened out the gap, and that two seconds at the end of the race was enough."
While Marquez celebrated his latest victory, Lorenzo was unhappy about the way the Honda rider achieved it. He believed that Marquez did not race him cleanly during their battles for the lead.
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Spain's Marc Marquez kept his perfect record intact Sunday by winning his 10th straight MotoGP race and becoming the first back-to-back Indianapolis Grand Prix winner. Story
"I have my opinion of the overtakings and Marc has his view of the overtakings," Lorenzo said. "For me, when you have to change your line because other riders don't let you enter your line, it's a little bit too much. But maybe Race Direction doesn't see things like me.
"It's not going to change anything, so it's better to forget it and to go as fast as possible in the next race."
Marquez increased his championship lead over his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa (who finished fourth at Indianapolis, 10 seconds behind the leader) to 89 points. Rossi is 93 points back, while Lorenzo is a distant fourth (minus-133).
Marquez has compiled an extraordinary record in the USA, winning his past seven starts in Moto2 and MotoGP dating to 2011. In addition to a total of four wins in Indianapolis, he has also claimed victories at Circuit of the Americas and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"It looks like here in the USA, I feel good," Marquez said. "I'm happy for that, and happy to come back after summertime with another victory. But here Yamaha looks a little bit stronger and they were really close to us. I expect in Brno [the next race, in the Czech Republic], they will be really strong."
Marquez said that he was just starting to come to terms with the historical significance of winning 10 MotoGP races in a row.
"It's not easy," he said. "When I did five victories in a row in Moto2, I already thought that was a lot. You never thought in MotoGP you would get 10 victories in a row. At the start of the season, it's difficult to think that you will get 10 victories in all of the season!
"We're at the halfway point of the season and we've already done that," he added. "I'm very happy, but the most important thing is the title in the end."
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