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Baker crowned Superprestigio Champion

Baker crowned Superprestigio Champion

A close race saw Brad Baker and Marc Marquez battle it out with Baker emerging victorious.

The highly anticipated third edition of the Superprestigio Dirt Track event got underway on Saturday the 12th of December in Barcelona, some of the world’s top riders flooding to the city to fight for one last race win in 2015. Practice began on Friday with Marc Marquez setting the fastest time in practice with a 11.767 with American GNC superstars Brad Baker and Jared Mees close behind. Former Moto2™ World Champion Toni Elias also started well, he and his family having a strong dirt racing history.

A small crash in Qualifying on Saturday didn’t hinder Marc Marquez who set a 12.327s to secure pole position in the Superprestigio class, setting the fastest overall time. Toni Elias, Xavi Vierge and Julian Simon were all within 0.3s of Marquez as Ricky Cardus rounded out the top five in the Superprestigio class. Elias’ time was good enough for second overall on the combined times, 0.103s shy of Marquez. In the Open class it was Oliver Brindley who topped the times with a 12.440s as Jared Mees was fourth with Brad Baker in fifth.

It was then onto the racing with Marc Marquez winning Heat 1 and 2, Xavier Simeon also took victory in both his heats as Alex Marquez recovered from a crash in Heat 1 to win his second. There were a number of falls including Toni Elias and Maria Herrera, the latter forced to miss later racing after a heavy fall. The younger Marquez beat his older brother in the first of the final races, but fell in the second allowing Marc Marquez to cruise to victory in the second of four finals. Vierge took a victory from Marquez in the third with Marquez dominating the final Superprestigio class final.

Both Baker and Mees took double wins in their heats before facing each other in the Open final, but it was Japan’s Ohmori who took a surprise victory as Mees and Baker battled for third, Baker ending fourth. Baker and Mees then went one-two in the second final and secured themselves a spot in the Superfinal.

The Superfinal then got underway with the best of each class taking to the track for one final 16 lap race, Baker got the hole shot as Vierge and Marquez battled behind. Marquez and Mees both hunted Baker as the laps ticked down and with four laps to go Marquez was with Baker, but the American channelled years of flat tracking experience to hold off Marquez and take his second Superprestigio crown. Mees rounded out the podium with a solid third.

“It’s been an amazing trip, feels like a second home with some great friends here. Rabat’s mechanic was kind enough to come help me out, there’s a great relationship with people here. It’s been a crazy year, this time last year I had a broken shoulder and elbow, to hold a trophy with the same arm is great,” said Baker after the final. “Every time Marc got close the crowd would go wild, I didn’t need to look back.”

“It was amazing, it’s amazing every year and it's bigger and bigger. It’s great for dirt track in Spain. I know the toughest riders would be from the US, I tried to get a good start but I lost touch at the start. To overtake on the conditions of the track was too difficult, but I keep learning,” added Marquez.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2016

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