Álex Márquez is fast, but his rise through MotoGP™ ranks might be faster
© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
MotoGP™ rookie Álex Márquez made it back-to-back podiums with a stunning 2nd place finish at the MotoGP™ of Aragón in Spain, as the championship chase gets another new leader.
For the second consecutive weekend, Repsol Honda's Álex Márquez came through the field to take a stunning second place finish at the MotoGP™ of Aragón and almost snatched the victory from eventual race winner Álex Rins.
The result was all the more significant for Márquez, as his stunning second place finish last time out at the French Grand Prix was earned in wet conditions. By following up that result just a week later in the dry proves it was no flash in the pan. Márquez even managed to save a late near highside in his desperate attempt to wrestle the lead from Rins, regrouping to hang on and pressure the Suzuki rider right up to the chequered flag.
With 10 laps remaining, Márquez moved up into third place, past early race leader Maverick Viñales. As the race entered the final five laps, Márquez had worked his way up to the front from his season-best grid position of 11th and was right with the leading Suzuki duo of Joan Mir and race leader Rins. Equipped with the medium compound front tyre, Márquez superbly conserved the grip and snatched second place from Mir one lap later in a decisive move.
Márquez set a scorching pace over the final handful of laps and was just about in control of his Honda RC213V, forcing Rins to use all of his skill to defend his lead to become the eighth different winner of the rollercoaster 2020 MotoGP™ campaign.
It was unbelievable. This was a dry podium, so I'm really happy
"I want to thank the team, because we had an amazing bike again, like in Le Mans and in Misano too," said Márquez after the race. "The start wasn't really good, but then I started to recover step-by-step. I enjoyed it a lot, each overtake on the last corner. It was unbelievable. This was a dry podium, so I'm really, really happy."
Márquez's rise to the front of the MotoGP™ is yet another dramatic development in a season of incredible twists and turns.
Firstly, the season has largely been run without fans and the calendar radically rescheduled due to the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The injury of reigning champion Marc Márquez in the opening race at Jerez and subsequent absence from competition signalled the start of a frantic season, with surprise winners and, with five races remaining, a championship battle that's wide open.
With another race scheduled to take place at Motorland Aragón next weekend, Joan Mir now leads the overall standings from early season favourite Fabio Quartararo, despite not having won a MotoGP™ race. Only 20 points separate the top four in the championship, rounded out by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso – the Italian rider still in this hunt for his maiden premier class title after finishing seventh in Aragón.
Just out of touch with the top four is Honda's Takaaki Nakagami, who continued his consistent season by taking fifth in Aragón to keep in touch with the sharp end of the points standings