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Marquez victorious on Laguna Seca debut

21 July 2013

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez produced a trademark swashbuckling ride to seal victory on his MotoGP debut at Laguna Seca in the USA.

Marquez, who started the race from second place on the grid, reeled in pole man Stefan Bradl before streaking away to earn his third victory in the premier class.

Factory Yamaha star Valentino Rossi fought off a determined challenge from Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda to snatch third.

Spaniard Marquez made a daring pass on Rossi to seize second place at the notorious Corkscrew section at Laguna in a clash reminiscent of Rossi's encounter with old rival Casey Stoner in 2008.

Marquez ran over the kerb and across the gravel but managed to stay upright on his RC213V before setting off in pursuit of Bradl, who led for 18 laps of the 32-lap race.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez made a decisive pass on Bradl at the final left-hand turn at the end of lap 18 before pulling away.

Injured title contenders Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo earned decent points as the pair finished fifth and sixth respectively, while Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow finished seventh on his satellite YZR-M1.

Championship rookie Marquez now holds a 16-point advantage over Pedrosa at the top of the standings with Lorenzo an additional 10 points in arrears.

LCR Honda rider Bradl made a lightning-fast start from pole as Rossi blasted into second place after starting from row two with Marquez slotting into third ahead of Lorenzo.

The top three began to break away from the chasing pack led by Bautista, who had passed reigning champion Lorenzo for fourth.

Bradl opened a lead of 0.5s as Rossi fell into the clutches of the fast-improving Marquez, who didn't hold back as he demoted the Italian MotoGP legend to third with a no-nonsense attack at the Corkscrew.

The writing appeared to be on the wall as Marquez set about reducing the 1.8s deficit to Bradl, hauling himself to within striking distance of the German rider by the tenth lap.

Rossi still occupied third from Bautista, although Pedrosa gained a place to take fifth from Lorenzo at the end of lap ten.

Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow was unable to make any inroads into Lorenzo in seventh place while Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were locked in a battle of their own for eighth and ninth.

Marquez finally took over for the first time in the race as he dived up the inside of Bradl on the brakes into the final turn at the end of lap 18 and immediately began to assert his authority.

The 20-year-old was in total control and saw out the race to win by 2.3s with Bradl finishing 2.2s ahead of Rossi, who narrowly claimed the final place on the rostrum from Bautista on the dash to the line.

Pedrosa was a lonely fifth, taking the flag around 3.7s ahead of Lorenzo, with Crutchlow a couple of seconds further adrift.

After some earlier 'bar banging, Hayden got the better of his Ducati team-mate Dovizioso for eighth place as Hector Barbera took the CRT honours in 10th.

Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro was a faller at the final turn on lap five, ending his top CRT run, while team-mate Randy de Puniet was ruled out with a technical problem.

Northern Ireland's Michael Laverty crashed out on Paul Bird's PBM-Aprilia on the second lap.

Crutchlow's rookie team-mate, Bradley Smith, was forced to retire from the race on lap seven with machine trouble.

A minute's silence was held before the race in memory of Andrea Antonelli, who died in an accident at the Russian round of the World Supersport Championship in Moscow.

The MotoGP championship now enters the summer break with the next round taking place at Indianapolis in America on August 18.

US MotoGP:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Stefan Bradl
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Alvaro Bautista
5. Dani Pedrosa
6. Jorge Lorenzo
7. Cal Crutchlow
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Hector Barbera
11. Alex de Angelis
12. Colin Edwards
13. Danilo Petrucci
14. Karel Abraham
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Bryan Staring
18. Lukas Pesek
Bradley Smith
Aleix Espargaro
Randy De Puniet
Claudio Corti
Michael Laverty


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