Marquez wins Spain MotoGP for fourth win in four races

MotoGP raider Marc Marquez takes his fourth season win. 

Miguel Angel Morenatti/AP

JEREZ, Spain — Marc Marquez brushed off Valentino Rossi’s early challenge before riding to his fourth win in as many races this season at the Spain MotoGP on Sunday.

The defending world champion, who set a track record in qualifying at the Jerez Circuit on Saturday, pushed his Honda through the 4.42-kilometer (2.74-mile) track to claim his 10th career title in the top category.

Rossi had the fastest start to jump from fourth on the grid to first, but his lead was short lived as Marquez quickly passed him.

Rossi finished second on his Yamaha, 1.431 seconds behind Marquez, after holding off Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who completed the podium well ahead of Jorge Lorenzo in fourth.

The 21-year-old Marquez had enough margin for a celebratory wheelie as he crossed the finish line in front of home fans.

"This wasn’t the kind of race I had expected, but I saw that I was pulling away and told myself `let’s go!’," Marquez said.

Marquez has taken a maximum 100 points so far, along with claiming all four pole positions.

Pedrosa stayed in second place with 72 points, followed by Rossi with 61.

In Moto2, Mika Kallio of Finland started from pole position and never looked back to win his first race of the season. Dominique Aegerter of Switzerland came in second, followed by Germany’s Jonas Folger in third.

Esteve Rabat was fourth and kept his lead in the medium class with 83 points, followed by Kallio’s 67.

In Moto3, Italian Romano Fenati fended off Alex Rins, with both drivers passing one another on the final curve, to win his second straight race.

Rins came across third after fellow Spaniard Efren Vazquez edged him at the line.

Overall leader Jack Miller finished fourth to give him 79 points through four races. Fenati closed to 74 points with the victory.