Marquez Produces Stunning Fightback to Extend Title Lead
Alex Márquez climbs from 11th to 2nd and collects his 7th podium of 2019 in fine style and extends his championship lead in the process as Xavi Vierge suffers another unfortunate fall.
- Rain had left the 2.6-mile Red Bull Ring wet for morning warm-up. But by 12:20 the track was dry and ambient temperatures of 22 degrees greeted the riders for the 25-lap race.
- A lack of grip and competitive field contributed to a dramatic race in which Alex Márquez fought for victory with Brad Binder until the final lap. Xavi Vierge suffered yet more misfortune and crashed out on lap 3.
Alex Marquez, 2nd, +0.330s
- After his worst qualifying performance of 2019, Alex Márquez started from 11th and decided not to take any risks on the first lap.
- By lap 3 the 2014 Moto3 World Champion had found his rhythm. On lap 11 he then joined an exiting four-rider for the win.
- While sat in fourth, a crash for Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini with 5 laps to go, saw Márquez gain 2 positions, leaving him in a fight with Brad Binder for the victory. In the end, Márquez finished 2nd, missing out on 1st by just 0.330s.
- The 20 points gained for 2nd position extends Márquez’s lead in the World Championship over Thomas Luthi to 43 points.
“We were really clever when overtaking other riders”
“I’m really happy. It was a difficult race for us. The conditions were really tricky after the rain in the warm-up. It was clear that in the first two corners I was not really aggressive. That was where I lost the most time in the race and it was difficult to recover. But I knew before there were many laps, to keep going step-by-step and that it’s so easy to make a mistake here. We were really clever when overtaking other riders. In the last two laps I had the chance to try and fight with Brad (Binder) but he was really fast. I decided to not take any risks and second means we got really important points. I’m happy, we have a bigger advantage in the championship but there is still a long way to go.”
Xavi Vierge, DNF
- The 21-year old started well from 7th on the grid and was in the early running for the podium positions.
- However an impact with pole-sitter Tetsuta Nagashima at Turn 3 on lap 3 ended Vierge’s race. The Marc VDS rider admitted fault for the crash and apologised to Nagashima when he returned to pit lane.
- Far from giving up despite his recent bad luck, the Catalan will use tomorrow’s test at this track to get his season back on track.
“I tried my hardest to stop and avoid the situation, but I couldn’t”
“I’m really, really disappointed. Like I said yesterday, we had the rhythm to fight for victory. But I made a mistake again. Nagashima overtook me. We just checked the data and I braked at the same point as always, but I didn’t expect Nagashima to stop his bike so quickly. I tried my hardest to stop and avoid the situation, but I couldn’t. It was my mistake. I just have to say sorry to him because I took him out. Also I want to say sorry to my team. I can’t say anything more.”
Joan Olive, Team Manager
“To get these 20 points for 2nd place is really important for the championship”
“Today has been a very good day for Alex. He was able to keep calm in what was a very difficult race starting from behind. He kept his rhythm and gained nearly 2.5 seconds on first place. To get these 20 points for 2nd place is really important for the championship. Even in difficult races he is staying calm and thinking of the championship. For Xavi we’re sorry for him. He did a good weekend. In Free Practice he had a good rhythm but unfortunately one crash at the beginning of the race ruined his weekend. We need to keep focussed for the test tomorrow and try to maintain this level for the upcoming races.”