Brad Baker wins Superprestigio Dirt Track event, MotoGP champion Marc Marquez crashes
With the winter testing ban still in place, riders still have to train and keep their racing edge so one of the means is to take part in other types of events.
MotoGP 2013 World champion Marc Marquez, and Moto2 and Moto3 World champions Pol Espargaro and Maverick Vinales and also Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Aleix Espargaro, Hector Barbera, Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco, Jonas Folger, Julian Simon, Alex Rins, Lorenzo Baldassarri all took part in “Superprestigio Dirt Track“ at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona in front of 8000 enthusiastic fans on Saturday evening.
The event saw the riders compete in two categories: the Open class with European flat trackers plus AMA Grand National champion Brad 'The Bullet' Baker, and the Superprestigio class, with GP and other world riders.
Marquez won the Superprestigio class after several heats, while Baker took the victory in the Open class, before facing off in the much anticipated Superfinal with six other riders.
Marquez and Baker were in a class of their own as they fiercely battled for the lead on the small and tight oval, often coming into contact due to the Spaniard’s more ragged riding style against the smoother looking 20-year old American.
Over the 12 lap race the two would exchange the lead several times until the penultimate lap when Baker forced his attack squaring off at a corner to drive up the inside of Marquez who was just turning in.
The American rider pushed out his elbow to avoid another contact and unwittingly sent Marquez crashing to the dirt.
Baker looked back to see if Marquez was okay and then rode to victory while the Spaniard scambled to remount, and shortly later finished 8th and last as he waved to the fans.
Marquez and Baker shook hands on the slowdown lap.
“I feel sorry for having that contact with Marquez in the Superfinal, it's been a great hand-to-hand [fight] and I'd love to repeat this experience back home and invite Marc to the Half Mile next year,” said Baker.
“I'm extremely happy with this show,” said Marquez. “The fans have discovered Dirt Track in Spain and they have really enjoyed [it] - as we did! Nice fight with Baker. I've learned a lot of things. Hope to see this show back here next year!”
Moto2 rider Tito Rabat claimed second place, while former Moto2 rider Kenny Noyes took the third spot on the podium.