Fabio Quartararo put together an impressive Grand Prix. After clinching his first Moto2™ pole position yesterday, he went on to collect his first win in the intermediate series, along with the fastest lap and a new racetrack record, after 25 races in this class. The HDR – Speed Up Racing Frenchman shared the podium with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), second, and home rider Alex Márquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), third.
The younger Márquez brother produced a lightning start and got ahead for a few laps, trying to pull a gap as he had done last year on his way to victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He soon realized, though, that Quartararo and Oliveira had a better race pace.
Oliveira blitzed the field from 17th place on the grid, and completed the first lap already sixth fastest, on the slipstream of the top 5 men, which included Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP) until lap 5, when he ran wide and dropped out of contention.
Quartararo and Oliveiria relentlessly hunted down Márquez until they disposed of him with 15 laps remaining. Portugal’s Oliveira grabbed the lead, only to surrender it a couple of laps later. With 13 laps to go, the French young talent clocked in a number of flying laps in the 1:43s (including a new track record on 1m43.956s) and pulled away from helpless Oliveira.
Márquez focused in holding back Schroder’s attacks. The two Kalex riders sustained a thrilling battle, and the Catalan gained the upper hand. A consistent Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) managed to dodge several collective falls and earned 5th place, while Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) and Augusto Fernández (Pons HP40) gathered a few points with 10th and 14th place finishes.
Other home riders were less lucky: Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) missed the points zone after crashing in Turn 14, with 9 laps to go, while Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) ended up in the gravel as well.
In this dramatic race, accidents took down as much as 10 riders. The incident list increased even further after the chequered flag, when Miguel Oliveira was celebrating his good result in the cool down lap, and was tagged by Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2).
In the overall standings, the Portuguese is now trailing series leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) by a single point, after the Italian finished 8th today. Márquez moves up to third place, 25 points off the lead. The World Championship is livening up!