Marc Marquez celebrates after winning his seventh straight race at Catalunya. - AFP
MONTMELO: Spaniard Marc Marquez won his seventh straight race on Sunday as he took the honours in a thrilling Catalunya MotoGP ahead of Italian Valentino Rossi and Honda teammate and compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
The runaway championship leader and defending world champion survived a furious onslaught from Pedrosa over the final two laps after seizing the lead from Rossi who had led for much of the middle part of the race.
He extends his points tally to a perfect 175 while Rossi stays second on 117 after going past Pedrosa on the final lap when the Spaniard touched wheels with Marquez.
Pedrosa is third in the standings on 112 but will be disappointed to have lost second spot when victory was within his grasp.
It was the 62nd podium for Marquez and the 100th MotoGP win for Honda.
“It’s so nice to win in front of my home fans,” Marquez told BT sport, after kicking several yellow footballs into the crowd.
“The last laps I made a comeback after nearly clashing with Valentino early in the race and felt really strong. It was a great tussle on the final lap first with Valentino then with Dani. This is special.”
While Marquez makes it seven from seven, the first time since Rossi in 2002 that a rider has achieved that feat, he remains well short of the all time record of 20 consecutive victories set by legendary Italian Giacomo Agostini between 1968 to 1969.
In Moto3, Alex Marquez, the younger brother of Marc, took victory on a Honda with Italian Enea Bastianini second on a KTM.
On a weekend dominated by Spanish riders, Efren Vazquez took third spot to make six podium places out of nine on offer at the the Montmelo circuit. — AFP