MotoGP champion Marc Marquez came off second best in a dirt track battle with American ace Brad Baker in Barcelona on Saturday night.
Marquez had won the Superprestigio class, for grand prix riders, with Baker likewise victorious in the Open category before facing each other in the much anticipated Superfinal.
Marquez took the holeshot, keeping the advantage by hugging the inside line through the corners while Baker - the reigning AMA Grand National champion - looked ever more threatening on the outside.
Baker finally squared off the exit of a corner to take the lead on the slick, tight oval - but Marquez forced his fellow 20-year-old wide several times as he regained the lead. The smooth riding American was soon back on terms with the Spaniard and the battle finally ended when Baker again squared off a turn to drive up the inside of Marquez on the following straight.
Marquez - perhaps unaware of Baker's move - turned in and the pair collided, sending Marquez to the ground. Baker looked back then rode to victory while local hero Marquez remounted to cruise the final few laps, waving to the fans as he crossed the line eighth and last.
Marquez and Baker shook hands on the slowdown lap.
“I feel sorry for having that contact with Marquez in the Superfinal, it's been a great hand-to-hand [fight] and I'd love to repeat this experience back home and invite Marc to the Half Mile next year,” said Baker.
“I'm extremely happy with this show,” added Marquez. “The fans have discovered Dirt Track in Spain and they have really enjoyed [it] - as we did! Nice fight with Baker. I've learned a lot of things. Hope to see this show back here next year!”
Marc VDS Moto2 rider Tito Rabat claimed second place, with former Moto2 rider Kenny Noyes in third. New Forward Racing MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro took fourth.
Superfinal - 10 laps
1. Brad Baker (USA) KTM
2. Tito Rabat (ESP) Honda
3. Kenny Noyes (USA) Suzuki
4. Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Yamaha
5. José Pedro Gómez (ESP) Yamaha
6. Merle Scherb (USA) Yamaha
7. Dani Ribalta (ESP) Kawasaki
8. Marc Márquez (ESP) Honda