2021 MotoGP: Flawless victory for Oliveira with his and KTM’s first win of season

2021 MotoGP | It’s a first win of the season for the Portuguese star and KTM as drama unfolds for Quartararo; two Ducatis secure podiums

By:Updated: Jun 06, 2021 8:06 PM

It was the season’s first win for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Portuguese star Miguel Oliveira thanks to a perfect performance at Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya with just 0.175s splitting the race winner and second place Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), followed by Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) in the third. The winning streak ended for World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as he was handed a three-second penalty for a shortcut at Turns 1 and 2, not to mention had a wardrobe malfunction during the race.

Oliveira got a great launch from P4 on the grid and also got the better of Quartararo, the Portuguese rider slotting into P2 behind Miller with Quartararo having to settle for P3.

With five laps to go, Zarco had closed the gap to the front two to under a second. We were deep into the Catalan GP, tyre wear was in full effect, and it was fourth place Miller who was the fastest of the leading quartet. And with four to go, Oliveira was suddenly 0.9s clear of Quartararo, the latter having his closest title rival right behind him – Zarco.

Zarco passed Quartararo on the straight, the Yamaha star was now all of a sudden struggling and he was almost down at Turn 1. The polesitter was forced to run wide at Turn 1 with three to go, he returned back to track in P3, as we saw a unique situation unfold – Quartararo’s leathers were undone, his chest protector was thrown away and Miller was all over the back of him.

Both Repsol Honda Team machines suffered DNFs in the early stages, Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez going down uninjured at Turn 4 and Turn 10 respectively. Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) were two other riders to join Marc Marquez in crashing at Turn 10, as Danilo Petrucci and teammate Iker Lecuona also crashed out on Sunday afternoon – all riders ok.

In terms of the World Championship, Zarco has closed the gap to Quartararo. It’s now 17 points between the Frenchmen heading to Germany, 30 points split the top four.

Top 10:
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.175
3. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.990
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 4.815
5. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 5.325
6. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 6.281
7. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 8.175
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 8.378
9. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 15.652
10. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponosrama) + 19.297

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