Marc Marquez has stamped his authority on the MotoGP world championship tussle by fighting through the pack to win in Aragon.
The defending MotoGP world champion found himself down in third after the opening laps with Jorge Lorenzo leading ahead of Valentino Rossi but as his harder rear tyre came into play the Spanish rider held station before making his moves at two-thirds race distance.
After re-passing title rival Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi, Marquez eventually got past Ducati’s Lorenzo on lap 16 before maintaining the gap over the closing six laps for victory.
Dani Pedrosa saw the race come to him in the closing stages as he charged up the order to take second place ahead of Lorenzo who enjoyed his best race for Ducati to date just over two seconds off the win in third.
It meant it was an indifferent end to the race for the Movistar Yamaha squad with Maverick Vinales fourth and the injured Rossi, coming back from a double leg fracture in just 24 days, to take fifth.
It was a disastrous race for Dovizioso with seventh place, also behind Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, as he slips 16 points off of Marquez in the title race while Vinales is now 28 points behind the Repsol Honda rider. Pedrosa has leapfrogged Rossi for fourth.
Behind Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati) claimed an impressive eighth place ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Pol Espargaro (KTM).
KTM wildcard rider Mika Kallio impressed with 11th place in front of Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda), Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Honda).
Full MotoGP Aragon race results:
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 42m 6.816s
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 42m 7.695s
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (GP17) 42m 8.844s
4. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 42m 12.072s
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 42m 12.698s
6. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 42m 13.778s
7. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP17) 42m 14.271s
8. Alvaro Bautista ESP Pull&Bear Aspar (GP16) 42m 14.726s
9. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1)* 42m 19.818s
10. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 42m 20.891s
11. Mika Kallio FIN Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 42m 24.008s
12. Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 42m 27.448s
13. Jack Miller AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 42m 30.702s
14. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac (GP16) 42m 32.339s
15. Tito Rabat ESP EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 42m 32.898s
16. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1)* 42m 37.118s
17. Alex Rins ESP Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 42m 38.690s
18. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia (GP16) 42m 38.764s
19. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 42m 43.112s
20. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac (GP17) 42m 44.658s
21. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia (GP15) 42m 54.415s
22. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 42m 54.463s
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Karel Abraham CZE Pull&Bear Aspar (GP15) DNF