Spanish Honda rider Marc Márquez became the first debutant in MotoGP history to record three podium finishes from the first three races of a rookie season in Jerez on Sunday, but it was a race not without controversy. Jorge Lorenzo had nothing but praise to lavish on Márquez after the 20-year-old’s maiden win in Texas two weeks ago, but the reigning champion was not at all pleased with an impetuous maneuver that handed Márquez second place in the Spanish MotoGP.
Márquez’s Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, took control of the race with 22 laps remaining when he cut inside pole holder Lorenzo. From there, Pedrosa gradually extended his advantage until the only question remaining was which of Márquez and Lorenzo would claim the silver medal. On the final corner, newly named in honor of Lorenzo, the Honda racer pulled off an audacious move down the inside to overtake his rival, making contact with the Yamaha as he did so.
Márquez moved to the top of the world championship standings on 61 points, with Pedrosa second on 58 and Lorenzo third on 57. But the atmosphere among the triumphant Spaniards was far from congenial. Lorenzo snubbed Márquez in the paddock and pointedly congratulated Pedrosa on the podium while blanking his young challenger.
“I went to apologize to Jorge but I think it was an entertaining battle for the fans. The positive thing is that neither of us fell. It was one of those things that happen in a race,” Márquez said.
But Lorenzo was not to be placated: “I prefer not to talk about what happened on the last curve because I am still very angry. What I would say would be very negative. Our race has been very consistent with a lot of focus. With the bike and the tires we had, it was a very good race; we have points and a podium finish.”
Spanish riders completed a clean sweep on one of their home circuits. Esteve Rabat won the Moto2 contest and Maverick Viñales triumphed in the Moto3 category ahead of Luis Salom. Rabat leads the Moto2 standings by a point from second-placed finisher Scott Redding, while Viñales replaced Salom at the top of the Moto3 championship table.