Spain's Marc Marquez holding a flag after winning his home motoGP Grand Prix in Jerez on Sunday. - AFP
JEREZ (AFP): World champion Marc Marquez continued his perfect start to the season by winning the Spanish MotoGP Grand Prix at Jerez on Sunday.
The 21-year-old won his 36th Grand Prix in just his 100th GP with seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi second, just ahead of Marquez's compatriot and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez, who had won all three previous Grand Prix this season, extended his world championship lead over Pedrosa to 28 points.
He thus became the first rider since Australian Mick Doohan in 1992 to win the first four races of the year while it was also the first time he had claimed success at the Spanish GP.
"It's a special victory because I had never won here before but I managed to pull out a gap on the chasers quite quickly despite us being at practically the same level," said Marquez.
Marquez had started on pole and was in a class of his own all afternoon in the blistering Andalusian heat.
By the 12th lap he had already built up a four-second lead and after that he merely managed his advantage comfortably until the end of the race.
Behind him there was a great battle brewing between Rossi, who earned his second podium of the year, and Pedrosa.
Rossi, 'The Doctor', had to use all his 35-years of experience to hold off the charging Pedrosa, a twice former winner in Jerez, on the final corner with the pair going neck and neck.
Rossi's Yamaha team-mate, the twice world champion Jorge Lorenzo, had a disappointing afternoon, coming home fourth more than 8 seconds behind Marquez in his 200th GP and on his 27th birthday.
Earlier, Finland's Mika Kallio won the Moto2 race ahead of Switzerland's Dominique Aegerter and Jonas Folger of Germany.
It was the Kalex rider's 14th career win but only his second in Moto2.
Italian Romano Fenati won the Moto3 race ahead of Spaniards Efren Vazquez and Alex Rins.
It was the KTM rider's second straight victory following his win in Argentina a week ago.