The form book was thrown out the window again this afternoon in MotoGP when Miguel Oliveira took his first win of the year in Barcelona.
The Red Bull KTM rider had a great start and took over early in the Rennens took the lead by overtaking Jack Miller. Favorite Fabio Quartararo took the lead on lap 12, but Oliveira fought his way back in corner one two laps later.
The Portuguese pulled the pin, his hard front and rear tires working perfectly. Despite a late climb from Johann Zarco, Oliveira held out and crossed the line with a margin of 0.175.
It is Oliveira’s third victory in the premier class and his first for the KTM factory team. Oliveira has scored 45 points from the last two races. It is KTM’s fourth victory in MotoGP.
Zarco secured his fourth podium of the season in second place, the first time that he has achieved this feat in a single premier class campaign. It is the eighth time Zarco has finished second in MotoGP and he is now up to 17 points on leaders Quartararo.
Quartararo crossed the finish line in third but was downgraded to fourth after scoring a three -Second penalty for using the abbreviation between turns one and two. The Monster Energy Yamaha rider had no choice but to run in too deep while trying to fend off Zarco.
Quartararo suffered from all sorts of problems as the race ended. His middle front tire began to drop dramatically while the Frenchman also had a problem with his leather. Quartararo was seen removing his chest protector and his leather goods were clearly open. His airbag is believed to have deployed during the race.
As a result of Quartararo’s penalty, Jack Miller inherited the last place on the podium. It’s the Australian’s third podium of the 2021 season, with reigning champion Joan Mir finishing fifth after falling behind in the last few laps. At one point it looked like Mir had timed his attack on the podium perfectly, but his grip level was going to drop.
Maverick Vinales fought back after another slow start, finishing sixth ahead of Francesco Bagnaia and Brad Binder. The latter struggled to get past several drivers in the race and made contact with Vinales at Turn 10.
Franco Morbidelli and Enea Bastianini completed the top 10 in Barcelona, while Alex Marquez on the LCR Honda finished 11th occupied. Luca Marini crossed the finish line in 12th ahead of Takaaki Nakagami. The Japanese received two long round sentences; one for using the abbreviation in turns one and two and another for ignoring the first penalty.
Jorge Martin and Lorenzo Savadori were the last two finishers in 14th and 15th, with both men collecting points. Martin suffered a shock before the race even started. The Pramac Racing Ducati rider suffered a highsider on turn five on his sighting lap, but luckily he was able to run away and start the race on his second motorcycle from the pit lane.
Pol Espargaro crashed out of his home on turn five on turn Grand Prix, while Danilo Petrucci joined him on the DNF list at turn nine on the following lap.
Marc Marquez’s promising start to the race was prematurely ended on lap seven. The Repsol Honda rider was struggling in the top 7 when he crashed at Turn 10. It is the first time in Marquez’s MotoGP career that he has failed to finish three races in a row.
A few laps later, Aleix Espargaro also crashed at Turn 10. The Aprilia rider was seventh when he crashed but even finished second in the early stages on the soft rear tire.
Valentino Rossi was the third victim of Turn 10 on lap 16. The Petronas Yamaha rider struggled down in 13th when he hit the deck. It is the second DNF of the nine-time champions of the season.
A few moments later, Iker Lecouna went down for the third time this weekend. The Spaniard crashed at Turn 13 to end the Tech3 KTM team’s gloomy Sunday.
Fabio Quartararo broke a seven-year MotoGP record by taking his fifth straight pole position in the 2021 season. </ The Frenchman is the first driver to have achieved this performance in the premier class since Marc Marquez in 2014. Quartararo is also the first Yamaha rider to have reached five times in a row since Jorge Lorenzo in 2010.
Quartararo, who also led FP4 earlier in the day, set a best lap time of 1: 38.853, which was enough to lead the field with 0.037s. It is Quartararo’s 15th pole in 40 MotoGP races.
Jack Miller recovered from a Q1 appearance and a huge fall in turn three and finished in second place. The Aussie was up in the first sector when he made a highsider at the exit of the third corner.
Johann Zarco completed the first row on his Pramac Racing Ducati. It is Zarco’s fourth appearance in the front row in seven races. Miguel Oliveira was fourth, just 0.050 seconds away from being in the front row.
Franco Morbidelli took the lead in the early part of the second quarter, but eventually had to settle for fifth ahead of Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro. Vinales seemed nervous again as the drivers followed him, with Aleix Espargaro at times driving close behind the M1.
Brad Binder qualified for eighth place and appeared to be hindered by Zarco on his final lap. The Frenchman crashed inside Binder at Turn 10 and pushed the South African far. Francesco Bagnaia came in ninth after struggling in the third sector and was abandoned one lap early.
The reigning champion Joan Mir had put his Suzuki in the front row, his lap was canceled because he exceeded the track limit. As a result, Mir had to be content with 10th place and will have another big task tomorrow afternoon.
Valentino Rossi’s positive day ended prematurely a few minutes after Q2. The Italian reached the deck at turn four and, despite having returned to the track on his second bike, will start the race from 11th place.
Pol Espargaro was the slowest rider in Q2 and crashed in the last few seconds. The Honda rider will start his home race from 12th place.
Although Marc Marquez tried to repeat his antics from last week, he couldn’t get out of Q1 and will start the race from 13th on the grid. Much to the amusement of the Australian, the Repsol Honda rider got stuck on Miller’s back, but it was Pol Espargaro who won the most behind the two.
Takaaki Nakagami qualified for 14th place, after briefly leading the session a few seconds behind. The returning Jorge Martin finished 15th ahead of Iker Lecouna, who had an eventful day in Barcelona. The Tech3-KTM rider crashed in turn five in FP4 before crashing onto the deck with some speed in turn nine in qualifying.
Enea Bastianini was the leading rookie in 17th ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Luca Marini. Alex Marquez and Lorenzo Savadori complete the field for the Catalonia GP.
Tomorrow’s race will take place at noon (British time) between the Moto3 and Moto2 events.
Johann Zarco kept the timesheet on the first day of action in Barcelona for the Grand Prix of Catalonia.
The Frenchman drove the fastest on his last flying lap in FP2 and scored a 1: 39.235 to miss Franco Morbidelli by just 0.021 seconds. Morbidelli also achieved his best lap time in the last attempt on the M1 in 2019.
The championship leader Fabio Quartararo completed the top 3 on his Monster Energy Yamaha M1, while Brad Binder from KTM finished fourth in the overall standings. Francesco Bagnaia was the best-placed Ducati rider in fifth place.
Maverick Vinales was sixth on his first day at work with the new crew boss Silvano Galbusera. Vinales split from Esteban Garcia this week and will now work with Valentino Rossi’s former chief mechanic.
Jack Miller finished seventh ahead of rookie Enea Bastianini, while Aleix and Pol Espargaro completed the top 10. Aleix Espargaro led the first FP for Aprilia.
Elsewhere, Takaaki Nakagami in 11th place missed a place in the top 10 by just 0.049. Danilo Petrucci and Luca Marini had relatively positive afternoons in 12th and 13th place respectively. Miguel Oliveira finished 14th after opting for a run with the tough front and rear tire combination.
Marc Marquez still has a lot to do in the FP3 session tomorrow morning if he doesn’t have to go through Q1. Though the Repsol Honda rider kept the majority of FP2 in the top three, he fell significantly behind as the field began timing attacks. Marquez finishes day one on the 15th.
Reigning champion Joan Mir is also in 16th place ahead of another frustrating Saturday, while Rossi’s disappointing year continued in 17th place. Jorge Martin was 21st overall on his return from his injury – 1,950 seconds behind team-mate Zarco’s pace.
Alex Rins will not compete this weekend after he injured his right radius bone in a bicycle accident on the racetrack on Thursday morning Broken arm.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session starts at 8:55 a.m. (UK time) and will be followed by FP4 at 12:30 p.m. Q1 and Q2 are drawn for 13:10 and 13:35, respectively.
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