Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) reclaimed the World Championship lead at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, sitting on the top step for the first time since the Andalucia GP. The now-former World Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) crashed out on the opening lap, Team Suzuki Ecstar duo Joan Mir and Alex Rins complete stand the rostrum in Barcelona. Dovizioso was taken out and out of the Catalan GP at Turn 2.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was lightning off the line and grabbed the holeshot with ease as Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) propelled himself into P2 from P4 on the grid, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Quartararo dropping places before huge, Championship defining drama unfolded at Turn 2.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) almost went down just in front of Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) as the riders piled through Turns 1 and 2, Petux clipping Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). Reacting, Zarco then tucked the front of his Ducati after grabbing too much front brake but there was no saving it and on the outside of the Frenchman, Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was taken out.
Back up front, Rossi had got the better of Quartararo and then The Doctor was up the inside of Miller at Turn 5. Miller was then wide at Turn 10 – narrowly missing Rossi – and that allowed Quartararo through, making it a Yamaha 1-2-3 at the end of the opening lap.
On Lap 8, Quartararo was hounding teammate and race leader Morbidelli, with Rossi waiting in the wings – Miller too. Quartararo’s 1:40.142 certainly suggested that he was trying to – fastest lap of the race for the number 20, but the Yamaha duo of Morbidelli and Rossi wasn’t letting him streak clear. Morbidelli and Rossi set slightly quicker lap times on Lap 10 than Quartararo as there was nothing between the YZR-M1 trio. Miller was 0.7 seconds off the podium, with Mir 1.2 seconds behind Miller.
On Lap 16, more drama at Turn 2. On for his second podium of the season and chasing a dream victory and 200th premier class podium, Rossi slid out of contention as he tipped into the left-hander.
Quartararo’s lead was shaved to 2.8 seconds with four laps left and at the end of Lap 21, the gap was 2.5 – Mir seven-tenths quicker than the race leader, the Suzuki man now right with Morbidelli. Both Quartararo and Mir were into the 1:42s with three to go, Mir still in the 1:41s.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took P11 less than half a second away from Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) claimed P12 on home soil. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in the points again, 13th for the reigning Moto2 World Champion, Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing) completed the points.
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