MotoGP: Catalan GP roundup
There’s just something about the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that always brings a great standard of racing, and 2020’s edition was no exception. Championship leads changed hands, as leaders had incidents that were beyond their control.
Inexplicably, Ai Ogura leads the Moto3 world championship after the Catalan round. What is hard to understand, is that he came into the weekend 2 points behind Albert Arenas and leaves only 3 points ahead after a disappointing 11th. Arenas failed to finish, after he was an innocent party when John McPhee lost the front at turn 5 and went down, collecting the Aspar man who was comfortable at the front in 2nd. When the checkered flag did wave, we saw a first time winner in Darryn Binder take the plaudits. The South African finally fulfilled his promise, and showed why he will join Petronas in Moto3 for 2021. He was joined on the podium by the pole man Tony Arbolino, and the impressive Dennis Foggia, who picked his way to the front on the hard tyre. Former team mates Sergio Garcia and Alonso Lopez were 4th and 5th respectively, and both needed the results after underwhelming thus far. Elsewhere, Jeremy Alcoba found himself in trouble for the second week running after failing to take his long lap penalty in time, and getting hit with another because of it.
Full results here.
The main headline is that Luca Marini extends his championship lead with a masterful ride to get the better of a rejuvenated Sam Lowes, controlling his tyre wear from the front while Lowes had to fight through the pack after an average start, and that is what made the difference in the end. Fabio Di Giannantonio found something at Misano, and he continued that form at Barcelona, coming home 3rd. Jorge Navarro finally finished two races in a row in 2020 to come home 4th, while Joe Roberts once again showed his quality to grab 5th place. Elsewhere, Enea Bastianini did his championship charge no favours coming home 6th after a poor qualifying, and both Marco Bezzecchi and Aron Canet saved their races after both running wide at turn 10 in separate incidents, both while in 6th place. Both would end up inside the top 10.
Full results here.
The championship leader is now Fabio Quartararo, after taking a win that was very hard earned after Joan Mir managed his tyres much, much better to close him down by the end. Mir was joined on the podium by his fellow Suzuki rider Alex Rins, the first Suzuki double podium since Misano 2007 when Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins stood alongside each other on the box. The race began with 3 of the 4 Yamaha bikes at the front, Maverick Vinales did his usual poor start and dropped to 16th(!) and effectively ruled himself out. There was Ducati drama at T2 when Danilo Petrucci lost the front, causing a reaction from Johann Zarco and he went down, taking former championship leader Andrea Dovizioso with him and causing the Italian to plummet down the standings. Then it all changed when leader Franco Morbidelli made a mistake, and Quartararo seized the opportunity and cultivated a 3 second gap. Valentino Rossi went down at T2 while in 2nd place, the pace was challenging with the amount of tyre wear and it showed, with Oliviera later joining him as a T2 casualty. Morbidelli would cross the line in 4th, with Jack Miller just holding off his team mate Pecco Bagnaia, who charged through the pack from 14th on the grid, and Vinales would end up a lowly 10th.
There was an emotional end to the race, as Rins took a moment to go to the Luis Salom mural on the turn 13 wall and spend a moment with his fallen friend, who passed away at the circuit during a Moto2 free practice session.
Full results here.
Featured image- www.motogp.com