Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya dropped down the curtain of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ today with the victory of Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman will leave Catalonia leading the overall standings as well, as he took over the top position from Andrea Dovizioso.
With Franco Morbidelli in pole, the CatalanGP started quite different from how it eventually finished. The first surprise of the ninth round of the season came with Johann Zarco and Andrea Dovizioso, only a few metres after the start. Zarco, after a fright of Danilo Petrucci, went wide and made Dovizioso crash. Meanwhile, Morbidelli kept control, with Rossi and Quartararo pushing from behind.
Fabio Quartararo did not take long to smash the clocks. From his third position, the devil started with his very own mission. In the fifth lap, he overtook Valentino Rossi, and did the same with Morbidelli in lap eight. From then on, the French rider stayed in the lead of the race.
Valentino Rossi seemed to start putting pressure on Quartararo halfway the race, but the Italian hit the floor in the second corner of the Circuit. Joan Mir took over the third position, with Morbidelli second. The Suzuki rider was, however, not the only one giving it all, as his team-mate Álex Rins, was making his way forward impressively, from the thirteenth position, all the way up to fourth.
The last laps of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya turned into a battle between the Petronas Yamaha SRT team made up of Quartararo and Morbidelli; and the Team Suzuki Ecstar, with Mir and Rins. With Quartararo pushing in the front, Mir went past Morbidelli, and so did Rins, in the same lap. Finally, brilliant performance by the Suzuki machines, with the third consecutive podium of Mir and the comeback of Rins, becoming the thirteenth different rider to step onto the podium this season.
This competitiveness took all of the riders to give their best, despite having to deal with difficulties due to the tyres and the track temperatures. With asphalt temperatures of 21ºC, the participants had to lap on a track with completely different conditions to what they are used to find in June. Pol Espargaró is a good example, since the Catalan crashed while lapping on seventh position. A real shame for the rider born in Granollers.
Franco Morbidelli finished on the brink of the podium. Even though, it was an excellent result for the poleman. Jack Miller finished fifth, followed by Francesco Bagnaia, Takaaki Nakagami and Danilo Petrucci. Maverick Viñales, who did not really find his pace today, finished ninth. The Catalan took the start as the best qualifier among the local riders, from the second row of the starting grid, but little by little he was overtaken by several riders. Cal Crutchlow completes today’s top 10.
Luca Marini, unbeatable in Moto2
Luca Marini did it again. The leader of the World Championship stepped on top of the podium at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and he did it after a great weekend. Pole, victory and new fastest lap record of the class at the Catalan racetrack (1:43.355). The Italian rider scored another 25 points which give him a break, especially considering that his immediate follower, Enea Bastianini finished seventh today.
The only one who was able to put pressure on him at some times during the race was Sam Lowes, who, after a rather average start and falling back from the leading group, made up by Marini, Di Giannanto and Navarro, was able to regain contact and worked lap after lap with an impressive pace. Although in the last laps it seemed that he would be able to take the victory, taking the lead, he eventually finished second.
Fabio Di Giannanto completed the podium with a well-deserved third position, as the Italian stayed in the leading group throughout the race. Jorge Navarro finished at the brink of the celebration, on fourth, and Joe Roberts, on fifth, after fighting each other all the way through the second half of the race.
Jorge Martín, the best classified Spaniard in the provisional overall standings of the championship, was not able to take the chequered flag as he had to retire. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was not able to keep up the pace of his rivals, as he had evident problems with the gear switching.
Binder surprises in Moto3
Moto3 had today its seventh different winner in ninth races. This time it was Darryn Binder, who took his first victory in the championship with his KTM, breaking the Honda reign at the Circuit, with victories in the last six years.
The race, was filled as usual with thrill and surprises. One of these surprises was the loss of the leadership in the standings by Albert Arenas. The Catalan crashed after John McPhee lost control of his motorcycle. Ai Ogura took over the lead, despite finishing the race on eleventh position.
Tony Arbolino, the poleman, was second after being one of the most consistent riders of the race. He took the lead for a couple of laps and did not let the rivals get closer. Dannis Foggia took the chequered flag behind him. The Leopard Racing rider will probably be disappointed, as he went into the last lap leading the race, but finally had to settle for third.
Another highlight was the fourth position of Sergio García, who almost made it onto the podium, to be precise, 19 thousandths of a second behind. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider was the best finisher from among the Spanish riders, followed by Alonso López.
Meeting of authorities
The Catalan Minister of Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, visited today Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya within the framework of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. He made a tour around the facilities of the Circuit and had a meeting with Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO; Pere Rodríguez, Mayor of Montmeló; and Josep Lluís Santamaría, General Manager of the Catalan racetrack, among other authorities.