Jack Miller took his first MotoGP victory since Assen 2016 in dramatic fashion as after Fabio Quartararo suffered a mid race issue that saw him lose a certain third victory of 2021.
Miller started the race from third on the grid and was able to use Ducati’s front and rear start device to full effect as he led going into turn one.
The strategy of getting in front of the Yamahas and keeping them at bay for as long as possible looked to take a great start, as Francesco Bagnaia was also up to third ahead of Qaurtararo.
However, the championship leader at the time soon showed the pace that everyone feared he would by overtaking Bagnaia, Franco Morbidelli and Miller all at turn 13 – Jorge Lorenzo corner in consecutive laps to lead.
Quartararo pushed on the pace immediately after taking the lead and set a new best race lap of 1:37.770s to breakaway.
But what looked like a certain third win of the year for the 21 year-old, soon evaporated in bizarre fashion as the Yamaha rider seemingly had no clear problems with the bike and fell into the grasp of Miller.
Quartararo looked in some discomfort on the cool down lap – (potential issue physically), and with eight laps left Miller made the race winning move at turn 1.
This started a flurry of moves and a subsequent drop through the order for Quartararo, as Bagnaia and Morbidelli both made their way past in a matter of corners on lap 17.
Quartararo then slid all the way down the order to eventually finish 13th, but with Bagnaia claiming second, it means the Italian rider takes over as the new championship leader by two points.
Morbidelli claimed third for Petronas Yamaha which is the Italian rider’s first rostrum of the season, while Takaaki Nakagami produced a season best fourth place finish.
Nakagami was involved in a battle with Aleix Espargaro and Joan Mir for much of the race, and was able to pass Espargaro and Quartararo in quick succession which helped him stave off Joan Mir in fifth.
Espargaro finished the race in sixth place after getting a brilliant start from eighth to fifth. The Aprilia rider was as high as fourth early on, but was unable to maintain a podium challenge.
Maverick Vinales and Johann Zarco were seventh and eighth and had a good battle throughout the race. The pair exchanged positions several times but Vinales was able to pull a slight gap out toward the end.
Rounding out the top ten were the Repsol Honda’s of Marc Marquez in ninth and Pol Espargaro in tenth.
It was another impressive showing in the race from both, but especially from Marquez who was as low as 16th early on before making his way through the field.
Just like this morning’s warm up session, there were many crashes – this time in the hotter conditions. Alex Marquez was first to crash on the opening lap, while Brad Binder fell twice.
Alex Rins and Enea Bastianini also took a tumble with Rins the only one able to remount and carry on – finishing 20th.