This latest edition of “Speed” starts at the business end of the MotoGP season.
Marc Márquez took a huge step towards his third MotoGP world title by claiming his fourth win of the season at the Aragon Grand Prix. It was his first victory on home soil since November 2014.
The 2013 and 2014 World Champion struck a hammer blow at his rival’s title pretentions at the Motorland circuit by winning the race, his fourth of the season.
Marquez bided his time, even giving Valentino Rossi a sniff of the lead with 15 laps to go, but then the Spaniard reeled him in, and then sped away stretching out a lead that Rossi tried so hard to claw back he went wide and lost second place.
Jorge Lorenzo took full advantage, taking away valuable points from Rossi who is chasing Marquez for the title, but whose challenge now looks over with just four races to go, and a huge lead to make up.
This Sunday’s race had one extra world champion on track. Nicky Hayden came out of retirement to replace the injured Jack Miller. The 35-year-old American finished 15th, showing his days as top dog are long gone.
Two thousand and six was Nicky Hayden’s golden year, when he took the lead of the MotoGP championship in the third race and never looked back.
America had been waiting for a while for a motorbike champion despite turning out a host of good riders, and Hayden looked and rode the part. It proved to be a thrilling championship year with everything going down to race 17, the last of the season, with Italian genius Valentino Rossi holding a lead and favourite to extend his record reign as champion.
It did not happen. Rossi crashed out on lap five and Hayden’s third place was enough to clinch victory. He only won twice that year, but was only out of the points once.
Speed closes this edition with the best pictures from the Motocross of Nations in Maggiora. Speed returns next Sunday.