Marc Marquez took back-to-back wins with incredible race pace as Pol Espargaro earned his best MotoGP finish and a debut podium for the Repsol Honda Team, giving the team their first 1-2 since the 2017 Aragon GP.
Sunday on the Italian coast marked the 450th Grand Prix race start made the by the Repsol Honda Team, following on from last race where the team achieved their 450th premier class podium. It would prove to be a fortuitous Sunday as the Repsol Honda Team went on to take a dominating 1-2 finish in the race.
Marc Marquez made another lightning start off the line and shot forward from the third row of the grid to immediately move into podium contention. A crash for Jack Miller just a few laps later left only Marquez and Misano 1 race-winner Francesco Bagnaia to push each other at the front and break away from those behind. The pair traded fastest laps as the #93 kept within a few tenths of the Ducati for the majority of the race. In the closing laps Bagnaia looked to have the edge over Marquez who eased his pace to secure a safe second, but a sudden fall for Bagnaia promoted Marquez to the lead of the race – a lead which he maintained ahead of his Repsol Honda Team teammate to take his first back-to-back wins since the Japanese and Australian GPs in 2019.
Pol Espargaro made an equally strong start from fourth to slot in behind Marquez and the Ducati pair with Miguel Oliveira just behind. Oliveira put consistent pressure to Espargaro, the Repsol Honda Team rider putting his head down and producing a strong race pace to steadily open up an advantage. Sitting in a safe third for the majority of the race, Espargaro would be promoted to second in the closing laps as Bagnaia fell ahead and sealed the #44’s first podium in Repsol Honda Team colours. Second position marks Espargaro’s best result to date in the premier class and sees the Repsol Honda Team take their first 1-2 finish since Aragon 2017.
After a difficult period, Honda and the Repsol Honda Team have shown the progress they are making as they aim to return to the front of the World Championship in 2022. The result is the first 1-2 for the Honda RC213V since the 2019 Australian Grand Prix when Marquez won ahead of Cal Crutchlow.
Marquez now moves to sixth in the World Championship with 142 points, just seven points shy of Miller and a top five position in the championship. Pol Espargaro’s 90 points leave him in a tight battle for eighth place overall, Viñales currently 23 points ahead. Both riders are aiming to continue this form into the final two races of the year.
Honda, HRC and the Repsol Honda Team would like to congratulate Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha on winning the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.