MotoGP 2020 Round 9, Gran Premi de Catalunya
Spain, September , 2020: The Repsol Honda Team gather more important data as the triple-header comes to a close in Barcelona with more points for rookie Marquez and mid-race improvements for Bradl.
Temperatures were again some of the coldest of the 2020 MotoGP season for both Warm Up and the race itself. With conditions as they were, a good start and a smart race would be vital for Alex and Stefan as they looked to fight forward.
The long run to Turn 1 was a dream for Alex Marquez who raced forward up to 11th aboard his Repsol Honda Team RC213V. His strong start from 18th on the grid put Alex in prime position to fight with the likes of Crutchlow and Viñales, battling with them in the early stages of the race. As in previous races, Alex was able to set consistent times throughout the race and made the most of mistakes from others. Crossing the line in 13th, the Moto2 World Champion claims points for the sixth time in 2020. Alex becomes one of just three riders to finish every MotoGP race this season, taking a maximum amount of information from each finish during his rookie campaign.
Stefan Bradl’s Catalan Grand Prix got off to a compromised start, the German forced to stand up and run on at Turn 1. But Bradl rallied himself and on Lap 15 moved to be just behind Alex and battling with Lecuona for the final points. Towards the end of the race Bradl was forced to slow as he struggled for rear grip and took 17th at the flag.
Takaaki Nakagami produced another rousing performance as he battled up to seventh, fighting for a fifth-place finish right to the line. The LCR Honda Team rider holds seventh in the overall championship standings.
After three busy weeks, the Repsol Honda Team will be able to enjoy a few days rest before the French Grand Prix on October 11. But before the next race, Stefan Bradl will ride the Honda RC213V at the new Portimao circuit ahead of the track’s championship debut later in the year. Alex Marquez will also join the test in Portimao to learn the layout.
Alex Marquez (13th)
“A difficult race today. We were expecting warmer conditions and we couldn’t use the soft front; we went with the medium. That was my mistake, I pushed the team hard to use the medium but during the race the temperature dropped a lot. In the first laps I lost a lot of time after my good start, then in the middle of the race I felt better but in the end I slowed again. It’s my mistake, sometimes this happens as a rookie and I have been able to learn from this. We also found a few things this weekend, so we are still improving and learning and now we look to Le Mans and also a quick visit to Portimao to learn the layout.”
Stefan Bradl (17th)
“It was cooler than everyone thought it would be, everyone had to manage it. For me it’s tricky to understand the rear tyre and I was struggling a bit. At the end of the race I had to slow down a lot because the rear dropped off a lot. In the middle of the race I was not so bad, and I was near the points, fighting well. Sadly, the rear then dropped and we fell back. But we keep working with the Repsol Honda Team, trying different things and pushing. Now we have a little break before heading to Portimao for a test which will be important for me and Honda.”