Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) today endured his toughest Sunday of 2018, crashing out of the battle for victory in the early stages of today’s race at sun-blessed Mugello.

The 25-year-old did everything he could to hold onto his sliding RC213V but eventually had to give up the fight. But that wasn’t the end of him. Marquez bravely remounted and kept racing as hard as he could, lapping at a similar pace to some of the podium finishers, only to cross the finish line one place short of a World Championship point.

Yesterday Marquez already knew this would be a difficult race because during practice he couldn’t find the perfect front tyre for his riding technique and the track conditions. He finally chose a hard-compound asymmetric front tyre, which lost grip as he attacked the downhill Scarperia right-hander on lap five of 23.

The crash lasted a long time – in true Marquez style he tried to save the situation by digging his right knee and elbow into asphalt. He was still holding onto the handlebars as he finally slid into the gravel, where he quickly picked up the bike, remounted and continued on his way, down in 18th place.

The reigning World Champion – who has won four of the past five MotoGP crowns – scored no points today but still goes to his home race outside Barcelona in two weeks with a 23-point lead over Italian Valentino Rossi, who finished third today behind winner Jorge Lorenzo and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

A noisy, appreciative crowd of 90,000 fans was treated to a thrilling battle for the last place on the podium, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) chasing Rossi, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins. Crutchlow finally crossed the line in sixth place, less than three seconds behind third-place Rossi. The Briton also enjoyed the accolade of taking the prize for the top independent-team finisher.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP rookie Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) did superbly in practice, ending the first three sessions eighth fastest, in his first visit to Mugello on the MotoGP bike. He then qualifying on the fourth row of the grid. However, the race was more complicated for the 23-year from Rome, who took the last World Championship point in 15th position, his fifth points-scoring result in six races.

Today didn’t go so well for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) who went down at the second corner of the first lap. Nakagami’s fellow rookie Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) didn’t last much longer. The Swiss Moto2 runner-up fell on the following lap

The next MotoGP round takes place at Catalunya, just outside Barcelona, Spain, on June 17.

Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow 35

6th

“That was a damage-limitation race for me. When we came here testing recently both Marc and I were fast, but the track temperature was 20 degrees less, so this weekend we were in trouble with the tyre allocation. When I was alone in the race I had a good pace, but once I caught the group in front of me the heat from the bikes was overheating my front tyre. The fastest guys in the race were all the guys who were racing in fresh air. The good thing is that Honda has done a great job, because we were much better this time here than we were last year. I’m happy enough with the result and look forward to Barcelona, where the tyre allocation should be better for us.”

LCR Honda Castrol
Franco Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli 21

15th

“The race was a good for me because it wasn’t the easiest situation today for Honda but I managed it very well, particularly at the beginning of the race. When I’m behind another rider I was losing quite a lot but I managed to remain calm and stay on the bike in the first few laps. My pace wasn’t super but I stayed as consistent and to collect one point in the end is precious for us. It was a great weekend in many respects because I was able to go into Q2 for the first time and show I’ve got the speed. If we can improve my feeling in the race we will definitely be more competitive in the future.”

EG 0,0 Marc VDS
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez 93

16th

“We’ve been struggling the whole weekend to be perfectly comfortable with these particular spec tyres, but I wasn’t suffering that much in the race today. Instead, the front folded quite unexpectedly, as I wasn’t pushing that hard, and I crashed, though I almost saved it! When I re-joined the race, our pace wasn’t bad at all, despite the bike being a bit damaged, so that’s okay. Furthermore, we still have a 23-point advantage in the rankings, and this is also very positive; last year at this point we were 37 points back. Today also demonstrates what I’ve been saying for a while: things this year are pretty tight, the season is long, and anything can happen. That said, we’ll keep working as usual at Montmelo [Barcelona], where we’ll go back to the usual tyre spec, and we’ll try and come back strong.”

Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa 26

DNF

“It was a very difficult weekend, as we’ve had many problems getting a good feeling here at Mugello. Only in this morning’s warm-up were we able to find a set-up that gave me better confidence. Unfortunately, I was starting very far back on the grid, and that often increases the risks. I was aiming to recover some ground at the start, and I did pass some riders but found myself parallel to Taka when unfortunately I slightly touched Bautista’s rear tyre and crashed, taking Nakagami out. I’m really sorry for that. It’s also a shame I didn’t have the chance to see how the set-up changes worked or how many positions I would be able to recover in the race, but we’ll try to improve in the next race.”

Repsol Honda Team
Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami 30

DNF

“I’m very disappointed about the race after what happened at the start on turn two. I understand that Dani lost control and hit into my rear tyre, it was a very unlucky crash. I took some time, but I restarted again. I went back to the box and discussed things with the team. They said no, but I couldn’t finish like that after two corners and so I restarted again. The bike was ok, the handlebars were a little bit broken but I tried my best just to finish the race. Ok, I finished in last position, but this is racing. My pace during the race was quite good and I’m looking forward and am positive about Montmelo [Barcelona] now. I want to say thanks to the team and the fans for all their help this weekend.”

LCR Honda Idemitsu
Thomas Luthi

Thomas Luthi 12

DNF

“For many reasons it has been a very difficult weekend because I crashed many times during practice and this was bad for my confidence. Then in the race I crashed again because Xavier Simeon almost crashed in front of me and I tried to go inside him but I lost the front. I feel really sorry for the team because they worked really hard and it was difficult today with the high track temperatures.”

EG 0,0 Marc VDS
Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley

Autodromo del Mugello, Italy

MotoGP 2018, Round 6

Sunday 3 Jun 2018, 12:49 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA 25 Ducati Team Ducati 41'43.230
2 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA 20 Ducati Team Ducati +6.370
3 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA 16 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +6.629
4 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA 13 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +7.885
5 Alex Rins 42 SPA 11 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +7.907
6 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR 10 LCR Honda Castrol Honda +9.120
7 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA 9 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +10.898
8 Maverick Viñales 25 SPA 8 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +11.060
9 Alvaro Bautista 19 SPA 7 Ángel Nieto Team Ducati +11.154
10 Johann Zarco 5 FRA 6 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +17.644
11 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA 5 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +20.256
12 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA 4 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +22.435
13 Tito Rabat 53 SPA 3 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +22.464
14 Bradley Smith 38 GBR 2 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +22.495
15 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA 1 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +26.644
16 Marc Marquez 93 SPA 0 Repsol Honda Team Honda +39.311
17 Xavier Simeon 10 BEL 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1'01.211
18 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN 0 LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda +5 laps
NC Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia DNF
NC Jack Miller 43 AUS 0 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati DNF
NC Thomas Luthi 12 SWI 0 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda DNF
NC Dani Pedrosa 26 SPA 0 Repsol Honda Team Honda DNF
NC Karel Abraham 17 CZE 0 Ángel Nieto Team Ducati DNF
NC Scott Redding 45 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia DNF
Saturday 2 Jun 2018, 17:33 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'46.208
2 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1'46.243
3 Maverick Viñales 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'46.304
4 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'46.347
5 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'46.445
6 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'46.454
7 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'46.500
8 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1'46.813
9 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'46.830
10 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'46.909
11 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'46.998
12 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'47.002
13 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'46.908
14 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'47.188
15 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'47.335
16 Alvaro Bautista 19 SPA Ángel Nieto Team Ducati 1'47.708
17 Bradley Smith 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'47.818
18 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda 1'47.868
19 Thomas Luthi 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'47.989
20 Dani Pedrosa 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'48.065
21 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'48.286
22 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Ángel Nieto Team Ducati 1'48.532
23 Scott Redding 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'48.744
24 Xavier Simeon 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'48.794
25 Michele Pirro 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati
Rider Standings
Sunday, 3 Jun 2018 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Marc MARQUEZ 93 SPA 95 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 Valentino ROSSI 46 ITA 72 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
3 Maverick VIñALES 25 SPA 67 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 4 ITA 66 Ducati Team Ducati
5 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA 64 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
6 Danilo PETRUCCI 9 ITA 63 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
7 Andrea IANNONE 29 ITA 60 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW 35 GBR 56 LCR Honda Castrol Honda
9 Jack MILLER 43 AUS 49 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
10 Jorge LORENZO 99 SPA 41 Ducati Team Ducati
11 Alex RINS 42 SPA 33 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
12 Dani PEDROSA 26 SPA 29 Repsol Honda Team Honda
13 Tito RABAT 53 SPA 27 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
14 Pol ESPARGARO 44 SPA 23 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA 19 SPA 19 Ángel Nieto Team Ducati
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 THA 17 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
17 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA 17 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
18 Aleix ESPARGARO 41 SPA 13 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
19 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN 10 LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda
20 Bradley SMITH 38 GBR 7 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
21 Mika KALLIO 36 FIN 6 KTM Test Team KTM
22 Scott REDDING 45 GBR 5 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
23 Karel ABRAHAM 17 CZE 1 Ángel Nieto Team Ducati