If the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ could be defined in one word, it would be apotheosis. Apotheosis for Fabio Quartararo, the winner of the race, but also for riders like Jorge Martín and Johan Zarco, who achieved a totally unexpected result due to Aleix Espargaró’s final surprise. Overtaking, nerves and excitement were some of the ingredients of the day for the 60,068 fans who witnessed the show live from the grandstands and the general admission areas of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The current MotoGP™ season had already proved that nothing can be taken for granted. Proof of this was Fabio Quartararo’s victory. Despite leading the points standings, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider did not have the extra help he needed. The Yamaha, one of the bikes with the lowest top speed, had to face one of the longest straights of the World Championship tour. In addition, the Frenchman started from a good position, but not the best. Aware of all this, Quartararo completed a masterful start to take the lead just a few metres from the start.
Aleix Espargaró, yesterday’s poleman, then set out to follow Fabio Quartararo in order not to give him an advantage, with Jorge Martín putting pressure on him. The first lap also brought with it one of the surprises of the race, a multiple crash involving Takaaki Nakagami, Alex Rins and Francesco Bagnaia. The Japanese rider lost control of his bike and slid to the ground, also sacrificing the race for Rins and Bagnaia. After this incident, without serious consequences for any of the riders, Martín managed to move into second position, overtaking Aleix Espargaró. The Aprilia and Ducati riders overtook each other up to four times, leaving the resolution of their particular battle to the end.
With Fabio Quartararo focused on maintaining his lead, Espargaró and Martín were dangerously close behind Johann Zarco. On the penultimate lap, Aleix Espargaró slowed his bike considerably, while Quartararo, Martín and Zarco continued to be unstoppable. Both the crowd and Espargaró’s team watched in disbelief as everything pointed to a mechanical failure. As Aleix Espargaró himself explained at the end of the event, it was his own mistake, as he had ended the race ahead of time.
Aleix, who soon realised the mistake, was back in race mode, but with no chance of a podium finish. Behind Quartararo, Martín and Zarco, Joan Mir, the fourth classified in the CatalanGP, found a gap. His performance deserves special mention, starting from 17th place and climbing up several positions. Mir leaves Barcelona tied on points with his team-mate Alex Rins, who was unable to score points today, and the two are in the fight for sixth place in the championship.
After Aleix Espargaró, in fifth position, Luca Marini and Maverick Viñales took the chequered flag. The other Aprilia rider is showing that he is gradually adapting to his bike and is back in the fight for the top positions. Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, the winner of the last Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™, gave Red Bull KTM Factory Racing eighth and ninth place respectively. Álex Márquez completed the top 10 after a difficult weekend.
Álex Márquez was given the all-clear by doctors this morning to ride today after suffering a huge crash yesterday. Not only did he start last as he was unable to take part in the timed practice, but he had also suffered some bruises a few hours earlier. None of that was a hindrance for the local rider, who rode with an extraordinary pace, considering the circumstances.
On the opposite side of the field were Gresini Racing MotoGP riders Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio, who crashed out on lap 7 and 8 respectively. This result is particularly devastating for the Gresini team and for Bastianini, who retains third place in the World Championship but sees Quartararo and Espargaró escape. Bagnaia, however, was caught up in the multiple crash caused by Nakagami and lost fourth place to Johann Zarco.
A thrilling finish for Vietti and Canet in Moto2™.
The race started with Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) setting the pace after a great start. The American seemed to have everything under control, even separating himself from the chasing pack. Shortly before the halfway point of the race, Roberts crashed out at turn 5 of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), the championship leader was already pushing hard, but he was joined in the party by Arón Canet, who had his first victory in the class in mind. The Flexbox HP40 rider took the reins soon after, with Vietti following him. All the cameras then caught the fight between the two. Arón Canet even reached the last lap in the lead, covering all possible gaps. His efforts were not enough as the Italian regained the lead at the stadium area. The last corner saw the riders pass each other with hardly any space between them, but in the end Canet was unable to celebrate his first victory in the intermediate class.
With Vietti first and Canet second, the bronze remained to be decided. It was also on the last lap when a clever Augusto Fernández (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took advantage to overtake Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) without giving him the option to change positions. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was fifth, followed by a hard-working Pedro Acosta, who came from 12th position.
Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), the best qualified home rider yesterday, had to retire. Alex Toledo (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) also failed to finish, while Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) was 18th.
Izan Guevara wins and David Muñoz surprises in Moto3™.
Moto3™ today provided a truly thrilling race. Amidst the madness of the smallest category in the World Championship, Izan Guevara (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) was able to find his place, and he did so in a leading group of up to 17 bikes.
In that never-ending line there were several leaders, including poleman Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing). Luck, however, was not on his side today, as he retired on lap 6 due to his Honda’s chain coming off. It wasn’t until the final stages that Izan Guevara was able to consolidate his lead, albeit by the smallest of distances.
Behind him an impressive David Muñoz (Red Bull KTM Tech3) took the chequered flag. The young rider, only 16 years old, was competing in his second race in the category, starting from 20th place. His comeback was epic and worthy of being remembered, standing up to more experienced riders.
Sergio Garcia, Tatsuki Suzuki and Deniz Öncü were in the group of contenders for the podium at the end of the race. It almost took the help of the image review to find out the third guest on the podium. In the end it was the Japanese Leopard Racing rider, to the detriment of leader Sergio Garcia, who missed out by just a few thousandths of a second.
Home rider Xavier Artigas (CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP) also had his work cut out for him. The Catalan has climbed more than 10 positions and has finished in the top 10. With today’s results, Izan Guevara has cut some points to his teammate and leader Sergio García.
Another sustainable Grand Prix with KISS Barcelona 2022
The Circuit, through its Green Meeting Point platform, is promoting, for the tenth year in a row, the KISS Barcelona programme invoking the KISS (Keep It Shiny and Sustainable) programme by FIM Ride Green. This year, all efforts are focused on raising awareness among the public about the care and respect for the environment, within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals SDG 2030 of the United Nations, pursuing the objectives of reducing CO2 emissions, minimising waste, caring for the environment, raising awareness and inspiring the community.
This is achieved with the 3C Management “Conscience, Commitment and Coherence”, with actions like the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0-km gastronomy products, the use of circular economy in waste management or the sustainable forest care in the surroundings of the Circuit.