He finished first for the third time this season, but Marc Marquez scored a major tactical coup to secure the win by his crew’s impeccable timing in a pit stop where they shed tyres designed for a wet track to tyres for a dry track.
The track surface was wet following pre-race rain, but the sun was out when the race started. All 23 riders in the race started out on wets.
From his position on the pole, Marquez was the only rider in the top eight who went with a soft wet rear tyre, a decision that nearly cost him dearly, as he lost the lead by the fifth turn of the open lap and dropped further still.
The Spanish Repsol Honda team pulled Marquez into the pits and the end of the second lap, where they switched to a bike shod with dry tyres. That decision proved to be decisive, as the other leaders of the race waiting another lap before switching.
Marquez immediately began to pick up close to 10 seconds per lap on his rivals. He eventually grew his lead to 20 seconds, from which point all he had to do was keep the rubber side down for the remaining laps and coast to the line with a better than 12-second margin.
The victory gave Marquez the 32nd MotoGP win of his career. He had lost the lead early to Jorge Lorenzo of Team Ducati, but the decision by Ducati to leave Lorenzo out on the track with the wrong tyres was one they would ultimately regret. That poor decision to stay out until the fourth lap was further compounded by the seemingly incomprehensible mistake of not having Lorenzo’s dry-shod bike running when he finally did come in.
Aussie rider Jack Miller was 38 seconds behind Marquez, which was good for 14th place.