Honda Motogp: Heroic Marquez Shrugs Off Injury To Take Fifth In Austria 2016

Honda MotoGP: Heroic Marquez shrugs off injury to take fifth in Austria 2016Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) finished a superb fifth in today’s Austrian GP, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) determined seventh.
It was a heroic performance from World Championship leader Marquez, who bounced back after dislocating his left shoulder in a heavy crash during Saturday morning practice.
The 23-year-old Spaniard still managed to qualify on the second row of the grid, then maintain an impressive pace throughout this afternoon’s 28 laps of the 4.318-km Red Bull Ring circuit. Considering the effects of injury, Marquez was happy with his result, which is only his second finish off the podium this year.

The race, which reopened the 2016 campaign after the three-weekend summer break, enjoyed bright sunshine and a capacity 95,000 crowd at the scenic circuit, set among steep and wooded Alpine foothills, two hours’ drive from Vienna.

The first Austrian GP since 1997 brought MotoGP to what is now its fastest track, with an average speed of more than 185 km/h despite a trio of slow corners. The intervening fast straights put the emphasis on braking and acceleration, rather than the more rounded performance characteristics of Honda’s RC213V.

Marquez’s strong ride protected his championship lead. With the Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso first and second, his closest rival Jorge Lorenzo could only manage third, thus he lost only five points on his fellow Spaniard. With eight rounds remaining his lead is 43 points and his confidence strong as the Grand Prix circus heads to tracks better suited to his riding style and his machine.

Marquez, already 125 and Moto2 World Champion, has won the MotoGP title twice in his three years in the class, and has his sights firmly set on regaining a third crown this season. He is the only top rider to score points in every race this year. His results in the nine races before the summer break included three wins, three second places and two thirds.

Pedrosa has had more difficulty adapting to the new-this-year Michelin tyres and control electronics, but the same steady strength that took him to seventh today has given the experienced former 125 and double 250 World Champion two podium finishes and a strong fourth overall in the championship. The Spaniard started the race from 12th on the grid and picked up positions one by one during race.

It was a difficult day for the three independent-team Honda riders.

Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was 14th, once again finishing in the points. The former Moto2 World Champion is the only rookie in the premier-class, and his grid position of 18th was his best so far.

Second last time out in Germany, Briton Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda RC213V) finished 15th to gain just one point, after being called in for a ride-through penalty because he was one of five riders judged to have jumped the start.

Australian ex-Moto3 star Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) did not race, after suffering hairline wrist and vertebrae fractures in a high-speed crash during morning warm-up.