Marquez pulls clear with Aragon win as Rossi claims remarkable fifth
Marc Marquez continued his love affair with the Aragon Grand Prix as he stormed to victory on Sunday to open up a 16-point lead in the MotoGP riders' championship, while Valentino Rossi secured a remarkable fifth-place finish.
For the fourth time in his career Marquez took the chequered flag at Motorland Aragon, with this weekend's triumph his third in the highest racing class.
Having started a disappointing fifth on the grid the three-time champion worked his way through the field with some bold overtaking, even recovering from a mistake to go on and claim the victory.
Marquez was joined on the podium by Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, while Rossi finished behind Maverick Vinales as he made a miraculous return just three weeks after suffering a double leg fracture and picked up valuable points.
Title contender Andrea Dovizioso endured a difficult day as he came home seventh.
Marquez was quick off the line but had to bide his time as Lorenzo took the early lead, Vinales having made an error to allow the Ducati rider through.
Crucially for Marquez he found a way past Dovizioso on the sixth lap, but he almost threw his advantage away soon after.
Coming into turn 12 on lap nine the Repsol Honda rider went far too wide and slipped back down the order, a move that could have damaged his title bid.
Slowly Marquez fought his way back and he eased his way past Rossi at the final turn, the same spot he evaded Dovizioso.
The lead came his way with 13 laps to race as Lorenzo made a costly mistake, running wide to allow Marquez to fly through and push clear.
Once in front there was no stopping the 2013 and 2016 champion, who is now strong favourite to claim another world title.
IN THE POINTS
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 42:06.816
2. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +0.879s
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) +2.028s
4. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) +5.256s
5. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) +5.882s
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.962s
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +7.455s
8. Alvaro Bautista (Aspar) +7.910s
9. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha) +13.002s
10. Pol Espargaro (KTM Factory Racing) +14.075s
11. Mika Kallio (KTM Factory Racing) +17.192s
12. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) +20.632s
13. Jack Miller (Marc VDS) +23.886s
14. Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Racing) +25.523s
15. Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) +26.082s
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 224 points
2.Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 208 points
3. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) 196 points
4. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 170 points
5. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 168 points
Attention turns to Japan as Marquez looks to strengthen his grip on the world title, and the 24-year-old is bound to be confident having claimed victory at Motegi 12 months ago.