MotoGP: It’s four of a kind for Marc Marquez after Spain win

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Marc Marquez recovered from a slow start on the opening lap to stay perfect so far this season in MotoGP with a wire-to-wire victory at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

The series’ reigning World Champion now has four wins in as many races this year, a rampage that includes a win in Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Today in Jerez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo got out to an early lead on Marquez, only to both be cleared by him before the field came back around to complete the opening lap.

From there, Marquez pulled away and left Rossi to fight Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, for second place. Rossi was able to take that battle for his second podium finish of the year and his first at Jerez since 2010.

Lorenzo, celebrating his 27th birthday, came home in fourth, while Andrea Dovizioso picked up fifth to lead the Ducati camp.

“I’m really happy, it’s a different kind of victory,” said Marquez on the series’ official web site. “I struggled a little bit this weekend and the level is so high with Pedrosa, Jorge and Valentino who are all very strong.

“In the beginning, I was able to open a gap and push. I know that Dani and Valentino are so strong at the end of the race and with new tires I felt better than on old tires so I pushed very hard at the start.”

Marquez is now the first to win the first four premier-class races of the year since Mick Doohan pulled it off in 1992. Prior to today, Marquez had never won at Jerez.

MotoGP returns to action on May 18 at Le Mans, France.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”