Marc Marquez brushes an early Brad Baker challenge aside to win the Superfinal ahead of an impressive Toni Elias.
Marc Marquez capped the perfect year by riding to a faultless win in the Superprestigio Superfinal, coming home ahead of Toni Elias and Brad Baker.
Having dominated the 'Superprestigio' category by winning each of the four final heats, the new MotoGP world champion came into the Superfinal in fine shape. But memories of 2015's tight duel with Baker – the overall winner of the three 'Open' class finals - remained.
But after hitting the front at the final corner of the first lap, Marquez's win was never in doubt as he maintained a solid lead in the closing laps to claim his second victory in this event by 0.7s. Somewhat surprisingly it was Elias that took the fight to the five-time world champion, after passing Baker for second early into the 16-lap shootout. Elias had kept Marquez honest throughout the Superprestigio finals, and capped a fine night's riding with a well-deserved runner-up spot.
Baker was uncharacteristically off colour in the final and had no answer for Elias. After following Marquez past the quick-starting Thomas Chareyre on the first lap he was powerless as he attempted to reel Marquez, who was faster to the tune of 0.2s a lap, in. He finished 4.5s behind the winner.
Instead he was forced into defending from an aggressive Chareyre. Eventually, the multiple world Supermoto champion fell on the penultimate lap while attempting to find a way past the American, in what was a frustrating end to a spirited display.
Gerard Bailo inherited fourth, ahead of Marcel Schrotter and Ferran Cardus, the man whom Baker had labeled as a real threat for the overall Superfinal. Ultimately, Cardus proved that while he had the speed, he was still some way off piecing together a full, competitive 16 laps on the dirt.
At the close of the fourth running of the event, Marquez's win means he is now tied with Baker on two wins. On Friday evening, the three-time MotoGP champion said he had practiced dirt track less in 2016 than previous years. It proved to be the perfect strategy.
2016 was a year in which Marquez judged most challenges to perfection. And as was apparent in MotoGP, less can sometimes be more.
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