Andalusia MotoGP: Quartararo takes dominant second win

Lewis Duncan
·4 min read

The extreme heat caused a high rate of attrition through accidents and mechanical issues, though Petronas Yamaha rider Quartararo avoided all of that to ease to his second-successive win to seize command in the championship.

Quartararo got into Turn 1 first from pole off the line, with Vinales and Rossi making it a Yamaha 1-2-3 in the early laps.

Vinales ran wide at the last corner at the end of the lap, allowing Rossi to move ahead and Quartararo to quickly put daylight behind him.

By lap five, Quartararo was 2.1.s clear as Vinales struggled to clear Rossi, while the Pramac Ducati pair of Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia homed in.

Vinales – who looked one of the strongest throughout practice – couldn’t find a way by Rossi, who kept second with his ability to brake better than his team-mate.

All of this allowed Quartararo to be four seconds clear by lap 10, while Bagnaia pounced on a mistake for Vinales at Turn 6 when the Yamaha ran wide to take second.

Rossi had managed to gap the chasing Bagnaia and Vinales, but his old problem of rear tyre preservation began to trouble him around 12 laps into the race and he was passed by Bagnaia when he ran wide at Turn 6.

Bagnaia was able to gap Rossi by over two seconds, but was denied a maiden podium on lap 20 when his Ducati started smoking, forcing him to pull off-track.

Vinales rallied and hounded a struggling Rossi, and finally made a move stick on the penultimate lap when Rossi ran wide at Turn 9.

Quartararo cruised to the chequered flag, with Vinales heading Rossi for the first all-Yamaha podium in MotoGP since 2014.

LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami started closing down on Rossi, but couldn’t quite surmount the 41-year-old Yamaha rider and had to settle for a career-best fourth.

Joan Mir got his Suzuki to fifth - matching his best finish in MotoGP - ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who recovered from 14th on the grid on the best of the Ducatis at the flag.

Pol Espargaro was the sole KTM at the finish in seventh at the end of a miserable day for the Austrian manufacturer, with Brad Binder crashing out – having wiped out Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira at the start – and Iker Lecuona falling off early on.

Alex Marquez rose from last to eighth on the sole Repsol Honda, after reigning world champion brother Marc pulled out on Saturday due to the pain of his broken arm.

Johann Zarco was ninth on the Avintia Ducati, while Alex Rins heroically got his Suzuki into 10th despite riding with a fractured shoulder.

Tito Rabat (Avintia), Aprilia’s Bradley Smith and the injured Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) were the last of the 13 survivors.

The second Petronas Yamaha Franco Morbidelli was on course for a debut podium having hounded Rossi in the latter stages, but was forced out by an engine issue similar to the one which took Rossi out of last week’s Jerez race.

Miller crashed out of the podium fight at Turn 9 on lap 11, while Danilo Petrucci on the factory team Ducati and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro also slid into retirement. 

Race results:

1

20

France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

25

 

2

12

Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

25

4.495

3

46

Italy

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

25

5.546

4

30

Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V

Honda

25

6.113

5

36

Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

25

7.693

6

4

Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

25

12.554

7

44

Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16

KTM

25

17.488

8

73

Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V

Honda

25

19.357

9

5

France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

25

23.523

10

42

Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

25

27.091

11

53

Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

25

33.628

12

38

United Kingdom

Bradley Smith

Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

25

36.306

13

35

United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V

Honda

24

45.683

14

63

Italy

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

19

 

15

21

Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

16

 

16

33

South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16

KTM

12

 

17

9

Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

11

 

18

43

Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

10

 

19

41

Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

8

 

20

27

Spain

Iker Lecuona

KTM RC16

KTM

5

 

21

88

Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16

KTM

0

 

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