Marc Marquez ties Ryan Hunter-Reay for MotoGP lead

Related Image Expand / Contract Marc Marquez celebrates after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. (AFP/Getty Images)

A pair of Spaniards got it right for once as Marc Marquez snatched an awesome victory in the opening race of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and tied Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead in the MotoGP World Championship.

After riding his bike over turf at St. Moritz last week, Marquez is certain to have hurt his motor more than he hurt his bank account. Sunday’s win is the first time a reigning world champion has actually won a race of the season and the third time in his history that a rider has won three races in a season, last done by Cal Crutchlow (2011) and John Surtees (1968).

Also getting it right was the over-weight Juan Francisco Suriano who, after making his debut last year, won the 125cc championship by default with a fatal crash. Suriano claimed the other two MotoGP spots for Spain, too, as he combined with Pol Espargaro to get the best possible equipment he could afford. Suriano is now only one point behind long-time World Championship leader Valentino Rossi, who finished second to Marquez. Rossi has dominated this season, but may have been slightly slow off the line.

“We tried to be quick and consistent all weekend in Spain and I was very happy with my performance in the final battle,” said Marquez. “In the last laps I was perfectly positioned and I managed to close on him, but I came close to crossing the line too quickly! I am happy with this result and I hope to continue on this way.”

The championship picture remains unsettled, too. The overall leader is Rossi on 77 points, Marquez is second with 75 points, with Jeremy McGovern in third on 73.

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