Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Fabio Quartararo returned to the lead of MotoGP Championship after winning his first race since July in the Catalan Grand prix as Andrea Dovizioso crashed on the first lap of the race.

The race started as Franco Morbidelli held onto his pole position ahead of Pramac’s Jack Miller. As the riders raced towards the first two turns, Danilo Petrucci experienced delayed acceleration from turn to which forced Johann Zarco who was behind him to slow to avoid Petrucci’s Ducati which was ahead. Avintia’s Zarco later made contact with Dovizioso taking both of the Ducatti riders out of the race.

Johann Zarco on the Avintia No’5 crashes as he takes Ducatti’s Andrea Dovizioso(No.04)

Valentino Rossi who was at the front, was able to take on Jack Miller at Turn 5 and was now chasing down after Franco Morbidelli who was the race leader. Jack Miller on the other hand, made a mistake as he was approaching Turn 10 almost knocking out Valentino Rossi. Fabio Quartararo was able to weave between the two bikes to take the third position. Franco Morbidelli had made half a second gap over Valentino Rossi in the earlier stages of the race as the top three Yamaha riders were distancing away Jack Miller.

Fabio Quartararo speeds along the turns at the Catalunya Grand Prix

At the start of the sixth lap, Quartararo was able to pass Valentino Rossi at the first corner and after three laps Rossi came to re-take his position from Quartararo at the same corner. Franco Morbidelli was riding very close to Quartararo but his hope for a victory vanished when he almost crashed twice as he approached Turn 1 on lap 14. Quartararo later settled in the third position behind Valentino Rossi.

Rossi’s gap to the race leader Fabio Quartararo was just six tenths of a second as he put a fight for his 200th MotoGP podium in his 350th MotoGP start, but his hopes quickly eluded from him when he slid off at Turn 2 crashing and was out of the race. Franco Morbidelli took over the second position but his rear failed him in the final stages of the race making Joan Mir and Alex Rins on their Suzukis bypass him.

Joan Mir was later able to take the second position from Franco Morbidelli at Turn 1 in the last lap. The Suzuki rider put on a fight as he closely followed Quartararo who was over 3 seconds in the lead, and as they approached the chequered flag the gap was just below a second. Mir’s teammate Alex Rins on the sister Suzuki was able to come up from the 13th position on the grid and achieve a podium finish after completing the race third. This was the first double-Suzuki podium finish since Misano 2007.

Franco Morbidelli held onto the 4th positions just 0.545 seconds ahead of Pramac’s Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia who finished the race 5th and 6th respectively. LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami closely followed the Pramac duo on seventh place.

Danilo Petrucci on his works Ducatti finished 8th as Maverick Vinales finished in a disappointing 9th place on his Factory Yamaha. Maverick Vinales also had a challenging afternoon after being kicked out of the points at 16th as he was overtaken in the first lap after a poor start, he however benefited from the crashes which pulled out the riders who were ahead. The Yamaha rider would afterwards take on LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and finish the race 9th as Crutchlow rounded the points at 10th.

KTM’s Brad Binder, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, the Honda of Alex Marquez, Iker Lecuona(KTM Tech 3) and Avintia’s Tito Rabat finished later taking position 11 to 15 respectively.

Fabio Quartararo’s third win in the 2020 MotoGP Season now puts him 8 points ahead in the championship lead as Suzuki’s Joan Mir takes second position in the championship after four podium finishes. Maverick Vinales is 18 points down in 3rd as Andrea Dovizioso is fourth with 24 points behind. Valentino Rossi is 50 points behind putting his hopes for a championship win down.

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