Marc Marquez rode to his fourth victory of the season at the Catalunya MotoGP.
His Repsol Honda teammate Jorge Lorenzo brought down three other riders who were challenging Marquez for the lead.
Fabio Quartararo secured his and Petronas Sepang Racing Team’s maiden podium finish.
Marc Marquez rode to his fourth victory of the season at the Catalunya MotoGP, after dodging the carnage behind him. His Repsol Honda teammate Jorge Lorenzo brought down three other riders who were challenging Marquez for the lead.
Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was leading the charge into the “bus stop” Turn 10, but Marquez outbraked him, causing him to take a wider line into the corner. Behind them, Lorenzo was slipstreamed the three riders in front of him and outbraked Maverick Vinalez who was behind Dovizioso. Going for the gap, Lorenzo suddenly found the Ducati man sweeping back towards the apex, so he hit his front brakes and went down, clipping Dovizioso’s rear wheel. Both the Ducati and Honda then slid into Vinalez’s Monster Energy Yamaha, sending clattering off the track.
Valentino Rossi who was following closely in fifth had nowhere to go and ran over Lorenzo’s Honda. He remounted his Yamaha and rode back to the pits and out of the race.
That bowling session allowed Marquez to escape the intentions of his closest pursuers and he held on to the lead all the way to the chequered flag. The win increased his championship lead over Dovizioso to 37 points, up from just 12.
Behind him, a fierce tussle developed among Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati), Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Sepang Racing Team).
It was clearly apparent that the Petrucci’s Ducati was much slower in mid-corner compared to the Suzuki and Yamaha, as they closed right back in after Petrucci opened up a gap on the straights. At one point, a frustrated Rins lunged aggressively inside Petrucci, putting tyre marks on the latter’s suit’s right sleeve and shoulder.
Rins kept up the pressure but Petrucci would not yield, until the former ran into a turn too fast and almost outbraked himself into a highside. Rins fell back to 7th and fought his way back up to 4th, eventually.
With Petrucci’s tyres spent in defending from Rins, Quartararo pounced. Quartararo had secured his second pole of the season on Saturday but was again out-dragged into the first corner at the start. Aggressive riders then pushed him down to as far as 9th. But he kept his patience and prevailed to score his and team’s maiden MotoGP podium, in their very first season.
Petrucci followed Quartararo in 3rdfor his 3rdpodium in three races. Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) fought up the field to finish 5th, escaping Cal Crutchlow’s (LCR Honda) aggressive push (the Englishman crashed immediately after overtaking Miller).
In 6th was Rins’s teammate Joan Mir. It was his best finish of the season. Pol Espargaro once again did well to finish in a high position for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in 7th. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) was the top independent Honda rider again in 8th. A resurgent Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Ducati) came home in 9th. Johann Zarco finally finished in the Top 10 on the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bike.
There were only three other finishers, Andrea Iannone (Factory Aprilia Gresini), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Ecstar).
11 riders did not take the checkered flag.