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Fabio Quartararo Remains The Only Repeat Winner In The 2020 MotoGP Season

Illustration for article titled Fabio Quartararo Remains The Only Repeat Winner In The 2020 MotoGP Season
Photo: LLUIS GENE/AFP (Getty Images)

Yesterday, KTM’s Pol Espargaro claimed that the MotoGP rider who wins the Catalan Grand Prix will be the one who cares the least about crashing and remains upright—and he wasn’t wrong. The crash-heavy event at Barcelona was a wild one, and it ultimately favored Fabio Quartararo, the only rider who has won repeat races this year.

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Quartararo won the first two races of the season, both of which took place Jerez. Since then, we’ve seen a variety of different winners that has led to an incredibly tight battle for the championship. Coming into this weekend, only four points separated the top four riders, with Quartararo trailing championship leader Andrea Dovisioso by a single point.

After his win, Quartararo has reclaimed the championship lead.

The race was a chaotic one, with Dovisioso crashing out on the opening lap. He and Johann Zarco made contact, and both riders went down.

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But that wasn’t the only chaos of the afternoon. Three other riders failed to finish: Valentino Rossi, Pol Espargaro, and Miguel Oliveira.

Rossi’s crash was an especially heartbreaking one. The Doctor has had a difficult season, with a best finish of third to buoy his three retirements. His front-row qualifying position for the weekend promised the world, especially considering the fact that he also signed a contract for the 2021 season. There were high hopes for Rossi this weekend.

And it looked as if he might match them—that is, until he crashed. Rossi was holding steady in second place when the bike gave way in a series of tight turns. Rossi was thrown to the ground, and his chances at rounding out a dream weekend were shot.

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Joan Mir and Alex Rins took second and third places, respectively. Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller rounded out the top five.

“The most important thing was the front row,” Quartararo said after the race. “I didn’t make a real good start, but the first braking was really good. I always made clean overtakes. When we can overtake on the straight, we can fight for the victory. That was the positive of having three Yamahas on the front row.

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“I suffered a lot the last month, never being back on the podium since Jerez. It was not easy for my brain.”

Joan Mir felt that he was close to victory, saying, “Today we had a really good race. It was a shame because I was missing a lap. I saw that Fabio was dropping his pace, and I was faster than him on the last lap, but it was too close. Today was not the day.”

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Alex Rins had an incredible race. Starting from 13th on the grid, he fought his way up to a podium position—an especially promising finish considering the rider suffered a shoulder injury in Jerez that forced him to miss the race in order to receive surgery.

“This race was hard for me, as the previous weekends,” he said after the race. “I’m not 100% physically with the shoulder injury from Jerez, but I’m so happy for the race. I was so back on the grid, and I tried to get my mind free. I tried to go step by step.”

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The next race will be at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix Circuit on October 11, 2020.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

exage03040
Exage03040 - Red Puck Down

Both tears of joy and despair after that one.

Some big disappointments.

Petrucci grazing Pol’s KTM causing the domino of him wobbling, Zarco behind loosing the front and taking out with him what was an amazing start from Dovi at the very beginning of the race. Things really haven’t been going Dovi’s way this season and it’s kind of shocking he actually went top of riders going into this.

Vale was looking great out there and I honestly thought this was going to be the 200 podium race for him, but earlier throughout the weekend earlier that T2 (and T5) left hander(s) and weirdly cold temperatures dumped more than a few bikes into the gravel without warning.

Vinales conjured up another extraordinarily shitty start dropping from starting P5 to 16th (then to 14th after the crash) and he really had no pace compared with the runs he did on Fri and Sat and ended 9th.

Jack Miller had a good start but once again his riding on the Duc is a sprint and couldn’t keep pace with the Yamahas as his tires fall off really early for 5th.

Similar with Morbidelli having that big moment on the brakes going into T1 and unable to match Quartararos pace and gobbled up by the Suzukis later for 4th.

KTM teams also with a really really dismal race. Their top being Brad Binder in 11th with Pol and Miguel crashing out. Somehow Lecuona didn’t despite his sliding performances a few days before.

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Obviously a big day for Fabio though, a solid race put on by him with clean passes on his Yamaha team mates. He pulled ahead enough that even with destroyed tires, secured the win.

I think the real winners here today were Suzuki. Mir is looking like a serious threat on that Suzuki now only down 8pts for the championship. Where Ducati and Yamaha seem to be all over the timings and consistency depending on the track the Suzuki is slower, but corner carving weapon. It’s late race pace due to tire conservation is unrivalled at the moment. When he went mapping 3 just behind Morbidelli, I knew it wasn’t long for a pass. Rins also managed to make his way forward and just behind Mir later in the race for 3rd despite starting 13th.