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MotoGP: Quartararo Wins Catalan GP; Takes Back Lead In Standings

Fabio Quartararo's third win catapults him back at the top of the championship standings with 108 points, while Suzuki rider Joan Mir's fourth podium of the season places him second with an 8 point gap.

Quartararo is back after a couple of near-misses in the previous rounds to lead the championship expand View Photos
Quartararo is back after a couple of near-misses in the previous rounds to lead the championship

Highlights

  • Rossi crashed out of the race, missing out on his 200th MotoGP podium
  • Joan Mir & Alex Rins of Suzuki finished at P2 and P3 respectively
  • Team Suzuki secured its first double podium since Misano in 2007

Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo secured his third win of the season in the Catalan Grand Prix, re-taking the lead in the championship standings. Points leader Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati crashed on the opening lap after starting at P17 on the grid, for the second consecutive race at Calalunya. Quartararo bagged his two wins in the first two rounds of the season at Jerez, which was followed by a couple of hits and misses for the rider in the subsequent five rounds. Meanwhile, Suzuki riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins held a late charge to take the other two spots on the podium.

Also Read: MotoGP: Franco Morbidelli Bags Pole Position For Catalan GP, Rossi In Front Row

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Johan Zarco crashed into Andrea Dovizioso on the opening lap, ending the race for both riders

Franco Morbidelli started on pole position and was followed by Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller who had a good start off the line. The opening lap saw Dovizioso being wiped out by Avintia Ducati's Johann Zarco. Meanwhile, Miller's initial burst simmered by Turn 10 with Valentino Rossi on the works Yamaha passing Miller on Turn 5 to take P2 behind Morbidelli. He was now chasing the protege with Quartararo moving up behind the top two riders to make it a Yamaha trio at the front once again.

Morbidelli was undeterred despite mounting pressure from Rossi and maintained a lead of 0.5s in the early stages. At P3, Quartararo was begininning to make an attempt to pass Rossi and succeeded to do so on the first corner of Lap 6. This was followed by a pass on Morbidelli on the same corner three laps later to take the lead. Morbidelli was down to P2 but was running a close second to his teammate, aiming to regain the lead. However, the rider almost crashed twice on Turn 1 of Lap 14, which allowed Rossi to pass him for P2. 

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Starting from the front row, Rossi crashed out of the Catalan GP dropping by 50 points in the championship standings

Swapping teams in the next season, Rossi and Quartararo were battling for the lead with a difference of just six-tenths of a second. However, the factory Yamaha rider had a slide at Turn 2, crushing his hopes of a win, and his 200th MotoGP podium, which eludes him week after week. The incident promoted Morbidelli back to P2 but he was unaware by the spectacular charge by the Suzuki duo.

Mir started ninth on the grid and moved up to P4 behind the Yamaha riders by the closing stages. With Rossi pushed off, Joan Mir was promoted to P3 and was now charging to pass Morbidelli and found a gap on Turn 1 of the penultimate lap. He managed to close the gap over Quartararo from over 3s at one point to under one second when the chequered flag was drawn. Quartararo remained unnerved, going on to win the race and taking the lead in the championship with 108 points. Joan Mir also moves up to second from fourth in the rider standings, eight points behind Quartararo.

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Joan Mir passed Franco Morbidelli on the penultimate lap taking P2 in the race and the championship standings

Coming in third was Alex Rins having started from P13 and made an incredible recovery to pass Morbidelli on Turn 10 of the penultime lap to take the final spot on the podium. This turned out to be the first double podium finish for Suzuki since Misano in 2007. Morbidelli finished at P4 with a lead of just 0.545s over Miller. His teammate Francesco Bagnaia claimed P6, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami of LCR Honda taking P7. Petrucci took P8 on the works Ducati.

Maverick Vinales on the factory Ducati ended at P9 after a disappointing race. The Emilia Romagna GP winner started fifth but dropped to P16 at the end of the opening round as he struggled on the M1. However, a string of crashes helped the rider finish under top ten, ahead of LCR's Cal Crutchlow. Taking 11th was Brad Binder on the KTM, followed by Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, while Alex Marquez on the factory Honda improved from the end of the grid at the start to finish at P13, ahead of Tech 3 KTM's Iker Lecuona. The final point was taken by Avintia Ducati's Tito Rabat. Finishing outside of points were Bradley Smith on the Aprilia and Stefan Bradl on the works Honda. Apart from Dovi, Rossi and Zarco, the Catalan GP also saw a number of retirements including KTM's Pol Espargaro and Tech 3 KTM's Miguel Oliveira.

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On the podium - Fabio Quartararo, Joan Mir and Alex Rins

0 Comments

A poor performance by Vinales in the race drops him to third for the title contention, while Dovizioso is now 24 points adrift in fourth place. Meanwhile, Quartararo might just be well on his way to win his maiden world title, or we could see a complete surprise with Joan Mir being promising than ever.

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