Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (KTM RC 16) claimed its first win of the season in the Catalan Grand Prix MotoGP, on the circuit of Barcelona, in a final race that was chaotic for the leader of the championship, the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M 1).
Oliveira and Quartararo had a close fight in the final stage of the race that was clouded by the problems that the Frenchman had with his leather suit and chest protection, which flew off, and which forced the world leader to slow down his pace. and, to all this, was added the final sanction of “loss of three seconds” that they imposed on the French for “shorten” between curve one and two of the path.
That circumstance dismounted Quartararo from the podium and gave third place to Jack Miller (Ducati Desmosedici GP21), behind Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati Desmosedici GP21).
Fabio Quartararo continues to be world leader with 118 points, seventeen more than his compatriot Johann Zarco and 28 points compared to Australian Jack Miller.
None of the Repsol Honda team riders, the Spanish Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró, were able to finish the race by suffering paths falls.
The first big surprise came from the hand of just reappeared Jorge Martín, who on the starting formation lap crashed into turn five and had to return to his workshop quickly to get his second bike and leave from the workshop road on the warm-up lap, but no longer to occupy the fifteenth position that he achieved in training, but to come out last.
Although Fabio Quartararo did not fail at the start, when he reached the first corner, both Australian Jack Miller (Ducati Desmosedici GP21) and Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (KTM RC 16) got inside him, with the clear objective of braking. to the first to prevent set your pace from the start and left alone.
And if they achieved their goal, the world champion Joan Mir (Suzuki GSX RR) also achieved this by recovering from tenth position to fourth on the opening lap, in which Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) He was also successful as he went from thirteenth place to ninth.
It was not the case of the Italian Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia (Ducati Desmosedici GP21), ninth in the starting lineup, who lost several positions and thus had to try to regain positions as soon as possible so as not to be cut off.
Quartararo was not very successful in the initial laps, because in the second lap an error allowed Joan Mir and Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia RS_GP), to overcome it, which was also done shortly after by their compatriot Johann Zarco (Ducati Desmosedici GP21)
Oliveira was the leader in the second lap, chased by Miller and with an Aleix Espargaró that a lap later was third after beating Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo, fifth.
In just two laps Miguel Oliveira already had almost a second of advantage over a trio formed by Miller, Espargaró and Mir, with Quartararo and Márquez behind them, while your partner in the Repsol Honda team, the Spanish Pol Espargaró, went through the floors in turn five.
And, while Oliveira pulled ahead but couldn’t get past the second away, both Aleix Espargaró, Johann Zarco and Marc Márquez got into a fight with constant overtaking for fifth position and ahead Fabio Quartararo surpassed first Miller and then Mir to hunt down the leader after the initial moments of tension.
This was already a different career. Quartararo, from second place, began to overcome the differences tenth to tenth of a second from the seventh lap, in which the Portuguese had a slim second of advantage.
Marc Márquez’s career did not last much longer, who on the eighth lap committed a new error at turn ten which made him roll on the ground and although he lifted the bike by himself, he could not continue in the race.
The fall of Márquez, together with the sanction of “long return” to the Japanese Takaaki Nakagami and the running position of Alex Marquez -14th at that time- confirmed the serious crisis that the Japanese manufacturer is going through this season.
At the end of the tenth lap Fabio Quartararo was already behind him rebuff of Oliveira’s motorcycle, who held leader until the twelfth turn and there was a new change of scenery.
Aleix Espargaró paid for the effort made and in the eleventh lap and back at turn tenLike Marc Márquez, he was on the ground when he was sixth.
His rivals did not make it easy for Fabio Quartararo, because although he took the lead in the twelfth lap, Miguel Oliveira did not throw in the towel and overtook him again shortly after, pursued by Joan Mir, Jack Miller and Johann Zarco.
The race lost another illustrious contender shortly after at the same point, turn ten, the Italian Valentino Rossi (Yamaha YZR M 1), when I was thirteenth, and on that same lap Spanish Iker Lecuona fell (KTM RC 16) when he was in ninth place.
Quartararo became “the shadow” of Oliveira, with Zarco and Miller a little further back and at the same distance behind, Joan Mir and Maverick Viñales, but a problem for the Frenchman with his leather suit, by breaking the zipper in the twenty-first lap, opened the differences between them and that made him lose positions, first with Johann Zarco and then defending himself from the attacks by Jack Miller.
Quartararo, with his leather suit completely open, endured as best he could the attack of his rivals and the annoyances that the wind generated in the moments of high speed to maintain a third position that in the end they ended up taking away by not yielding the position to Jack Miller when He “cut” the track line between turns one and two.
World champion Joan Mir finished in fifth place, just ahead of Maverick Viñales, that he could not overcome it at any time, with Alex Márquez eleventh and Jorge Martín in fourteenth position and with his injured right hand very sore after the effort made.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.