Coronavirus may have put a stop to nearly all racing events including motorcycle premiere class, but the spirit of racing lives on in our boys as they train at home and now also race from home. MotoGP introduced the Stay At Home GP last Sunday when Alex Marquez won the top spot and last night we saw the second race of the series. It was indeed an eventful race as online spectators watched what they had been waiting for a long time – Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez fight it out on the track (well, virtually in this case). Also, racing legend Valentino Rossi made his debut in the second MotoGP Virtual Race.
Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia came out on top after the Red Bull Ring delivered yet another last lap classic. Bagnaia and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales went toe-to-toe with the Italian taking victory and a debut MotoGP victory after diving up the inside of Viñales, and even going on the grass, on the last lap.
The race got underway is chaotic style with nearly all of the field getting caught up in a huge crash going into the opening corner, with LCR Idemitsu Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami somehow leading the race as everyone emerged out of the scrum. His lead didn’t last long though with Bagnaia and Viñales both motoring past the Japanese rider, before Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez also found a way past to move into third.
After being the only man to avoid a crash in the first Virtual Race, this time the Moto2 World Champion got collected going into the first corner on the first lap and then became one of Taka Nakagami’s victims throughout the entertaining 10-lap event. However, he wasn’t the only Marquez to be wiped out by the LCR Idemitsu Honda rider after older brother Marc had also been collected by him a few laps earlier.
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It wouldn’t be another Virtual Race win for Alex Marquez, who came across the line in third place ahead of brother Marc. Three crashes cost Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo dearly as he ended up in fifth despite showing podium pace.
Sixth place went right down to the wire with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci, both making their Virtual Race debuts, slugging it out to the final corner. In the end, Petrucci came out on top despite The Doctor’s best efforts with an almighty lunge at the final corner, which ended in the nine-time World Champion spectacularly crashing out. Nakagami slipped back to eighth ahead of Ducati Team’s Michele Pirro and Reale Avintia’s Tito Rabat.