If you haven’t been following MotoGP closely this year, then you need to start ASAP. During today’s Aragon Grand Prix, Suzuki’s Alex Rins barely pipped Alex Marquez at the line to become the eighth different winner of the 2020 season’s 10 races, and he put on a thrilling race to make it happen.
Polesitter Fabio Quartararo had a miserable start to the race, being passed almost immediately by Franco Morbidelli and Maverick Vinales. While Quartararo was able to hold close near the front of the pack for a few laps, he ran wide multiple times and lost a lot of pace. He came home in 18th overall, which handed the championship lead to Joan Mir.
Eventual race winner Alex Rins, on the other hand, had an incredible start. He lined up in 10th place but had made it as far as fourth in the opening laps. On lap eight, he snatched the lead from Vinales and opened up a 1.1 second gap over the rest of the field.
Mir and Alex Marquez chopped down that gap. Mir was helpless against Marquez, though; the young rider had flown from 11th at the start and would not be denied second position. In fact, he put a lot of pressure on Rins, coming close to making a move several times.
Unfortunately for Marquez, he made a little mistake that enabled Mir to put two-tenths between them at the finish line.
Rins, Marquez, and Mir took home the podium positions. Vinales and Takaaki Nakagami rounded out the top five.
“Incredible. Unbelievable,” a beaming rins said in the post-race interview. On the start, I was so calm, and I was thinking, maybe this is a bad signal. But I made a really, really good start. Then the first laps were very good… in the end I tried to manage the distance with [Marquez] on the back. It’s amazing. This first position is for all the fans that come here to Aragon, for all this amazing team, for my family, my fiancée, my friends. Everybody.”
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to win the podium starting from P11!” Marquez said. “On the first lap I attacked like crazy… I was trying my best from the beginning. In the end, I was one of the riders that took a little more care about the rear tires. I’m really, really happy. I think we did a good job. We had good pace in all the practices, but I think we need to improve a little bit in quali… Next week, we’ll try again harder.”
While Mir was pleased about his championship lead, he was disappointed with the overall event. “It feels amazing, going race by race, trying to be as consistent as I can, but I’m not happy about today. I was struggling a lot on the last lap. We had some problems with the front part of the bike. I wasn’t able to keep the pace I was giving.”
While it didn’t take place in the MotoGP event, Honda scored its 100th Grand Prix win (across all classes) after Jaume Masia took a Moto3 victory. The rider started 17th and fought his way to a stunning victory.