Just when you think 2020 couldn’t get wilder, along comes the Aragon GP to pat you on the head and sit you in the corner to think about what you said.
The main headline is that despite a 7th place finish Albert Arenas extended his championship lead, after both of his closest rivals in Ai Ogura and Celestino Vietti made the unwise decision to race on the harder option tyre, and it backfired with Ogura coming home 14th and Vietti grabbing 9th. The race itself was won by Jaume Masia, becoming the 100th Honda winner in World Championship racing in the process (some irony that he will leave for KTM at the end of the season) after he beat out Darryn Binder and Raul Fernandez. There was some controversy as Masia attempted to pass Fernandez on the short straight, and was forced onto the green. By the letter of the law, a penalty should have happened, but as he was forced there the penalty was rightfully not applied. Fernandez for his part still grabbed his maiden podium, after poles aplenty in 2020 he stuck it together on a Sunday. 4th and 5th places were occupied by Romano Fenati and John McPhee, the latter impressing after coming back from a long lap penalty issued to him before the race. Elsewhere, Gabri Rodrigo failed to finish his first race of 2020, high siding himself out of contention on lap 1, and Carlos Tatay showed strongly to come home 12th, after running 7th for much of the race.
Full results here.
We have a new championship leader in Moto2! Enea Bastianini took hold of the championship lead after a strong 2nd place, while Sam Lowes did his championship chances a huge favour with a second win in as many races. Luca Marini remains 3rd, despite a DNF today after a very innocuous crash took him out of the race. The top 3 now have a spread of only 5 points between them, with Marco Bezzecchi, unfortunately, seeming to ruin his chances of the title after crashing out of the lead, he is now a full 25 points off top spot. Lowes took a good win, being patient as two riders crashed out of the lead in front of him, one being Bezzecchi and the other Fabio Di Giannantonio, and controlled the race at his pace. Bastianini was embroiled in a race long battle with Jorge Martin, eventually beating the Spaniard but it was not a certainty until the finish line, with Martin still seemingly happy with 3rd. Jake Dixon took his best finish to date with an impressive 4th, riding a lonely race but giving himself further reason to be retained by Petronas for 2021, and 5th was taken by Remy Gardner, showing why Ajo have signed him for 2021. Elsewhere, Marcos Ramirez took his best finish to date with a very good 6th, and Simone Corsi was a very impressive 10th aboard the Forward Racing MV Agusta, who had a good day with both bikes scoring points after Stefano Manzi came home 14th.
Full results here.
Where to begin? Better start at the head of the field I guess? Joan Mir took the lead of the World Championship for the first time in 2020 after Fabio Quartararo had a nightmare with a front tyre problem and failed to score a point. Mir for his part did his job well, coming home a very solid 3rd and placing himself as the rabbit for the Teruel GP. Mir’s teammate Alex Rins won the race in some style, hunting down Maverick Vinales, and passing him with seeming ease before checking out. However, the rider of the weekend is undoubtedly the 2nd place man Alex Marquez who utterly battered the field coming from 11th, picking up where his brother left off in 2019 at their ‘true home race’ in Aragon to take his first dry podium in the class and did so with alarming consistency, passing Mir by turning under the Suzuki (!) and chasing down Rins before tyre wear ultimately halted his charge just short of the chequered flag. The Honda suddenly seems to be a different bike, with a new linkage going some way to solving their issues but also having Stefan Bradl doing consistent race weekends must surely be playing a part in the upturn. 4th was the aforementioned Vinales, simply being unable to live with the pace at the front but scoring valuable points in his quest for the title, and Taka Nakagami took am impressive 5th from Franco Morbidelli at the final corner, after a surge through the field at near-Marquez levels of speed to end up as top independent rider of the race. Elsewhere, Andrea Dovizioso somewhat rescued the weekend with 7th, last week’s winner Danilo Petrucci was 15th, and the only crasher was the unfortunate Pecco Bagnaia, though the crash seemed to be one that was not his own fault. A weekend to forget for Ducati, and they’ll be dreading the return on Friday.
Full results here.
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