Teruel MotoGP: Morbidelli wins from Suzuki's Rins and Mir

Lewis Duncan
·4 min read

Morbidelli’s superb Sunday came as both factory counterparts Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo struggled to seventh and eighth, while Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso could only salvage 13th from 17th on the grid.

Takaaki Nakagami got his Honda into the lead from pole despite running wide at the first corner, with Morbidelli and Alex tucking in behind the LCR rider.

But the Japanese rider’s hopes of a dream Sunday were dashed at Turn 5 when he crashed, releasing Morbidelli into the lead, with Johann Zarco third on the Avintia Ducati.

Petronas SRT’s Morbidelli and Rins were quick to break away from Zarco, while Honda’s Alex Marquez began to make forward momentum on his hard front tyre – the only rider to pick that option – by relegating a struggling Quartararo to seventh.

Marquez’s charge for a third-straight podium came to an end at Turn 2 on lap 14 when he crashed out of fifth.

The gap between the top two and Zarco was over seven tenths by the fourth lap, with Rins unable to use the early grip advantage from his soft front tyre to get ahead of Morbidelli.

Morbidelli kept his gap to Rins steady at around half a second in the early stages and would begin to ease further away as his medium front and rear tyre held its life.

By lap 18, Morbidelli’s lead was over seven tenths, with this gap extending to over a second in the final four tours to force Rins to surrender his charge.

Morbidelli went to the grid pre-race on the soft rear tyre, but made a last-minute change to the medium and it paid dividends as he came under no threat to the chequered flag to win by over two seconds.

Mir jumped up from 12th to fifth on the opening lap, with the Suzuki rider cutting through to third ahead of Zarco on lap 11.

But the Suzuki rider was already 2.6s behind his teammate Rins and Morbidelli in the lead, and was unable to close down the gap.

However, another third at Aragon was still good enough for him to extend his championship lead to 14 points over Quartararo, while Morbidelli’s win puts him with 25 points of Mir.

SRT rider Quartararo was on the same combination of tyres his teammate Morbidelli, but had no pace to run with the leaders and was forced into race of damage limitation.

The Frenchman crossed the line in eighth behind Vinales, whose deficit in the championship stands at 19 now.

Vinales lost out late on to Miguel Oliveira on the Tech 3 KTM, who missed out on taking fifth from Zarco on the run to the line by just 0.038s.

Oliveira ensured two KTMs made it into the top six after Pol Espargaro charged through to fourth, while Iker Lecuona aggressively seized ninth on his Tech 3 RC16 to match the best result of his rookie campaign.

Danilo Petrucci completed the top 10 on the leading factory Ducati ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR) and Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who beat Dovizioso in the closing stages after the Italian ran wide at Turn 8 on lap 17.

Dovizioso’s struggles mean he is now 28 points behind Mir, with Rins four points further back in sixth with three rounds to go.

Tito Rabat (Avintia) and Bradley Smith took the final points, while a late mechanical drama for Aleix Espargaro – who was hounding Quartararo for eighth having mugged Dovizioso for ninth on lap 17 – ruled him out.

Francesco Bagnaia compounded a miserable day for Pramac with a mechanical-induced retirement, after teammate Jack Miller was wiped out by KTM’s Brad Binder on the opening lap.

Race results:

1

21

Italy
Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

2

42

Spain
Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

2.205

3

36

Spain
Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

5.376

4

44

Spain
Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

10.299

5

5

France
France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

12.915

6

88

Portugal
Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

12.953

7

12

Spain
Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

14.262

8

20

France
France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

14.720

9

27

Spain
Spain

Iker Lecuona

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

17.177

10

9

Italy
Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

19.519

11

35

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

19.708

12

6

Germany
Germany

Stefan Bradl

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

20.591

13

4

Italy
Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

22.222

14

53

Spain
Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

26.496

15

38

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Bradley Smith

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

31.816

41

Spain
Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

73

Spain
Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

63

Italy
Italy

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

30

Japan
Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

43

Australia
Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

33

South Africa
South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

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