Franco Morbidelli Takes Second MotoGP Victory At Tereul Grand Prix, Tightens Championship Fight

Illustration for article titled Franco Morbidelli Takes Second MotoGP Victory At Tereul Grand Prix, Tightens Championship Fight
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP (Getty Images)

Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli had just about everything go his way at Sunday morning’s Tereul Grand Prix in Aragon, finishing two seconds ahead of his closest competition. It’s his second win of the 2020 season and a provides a s=olid improvement for his championship hopes.

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It really was a trip,” Morbidelli said after the race.I knew I had to make an aggressive race, and when I saw clean air in front of me, I just decided to give everything I’ve got every single lap. The concentration was very, very high. The riding feeling was amazing. 23 laps went away like this. [snaps]

I knew I had to give everything, and we did a great job with the team. The consistency was there. We adjusted the bike very well to be fast throughout all the race. So I was able to focus on riding precisely and aggressively the whole time. I had so much fun. This is amazing.”

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Polesitter Takaaki Nakagami got off to a great start—until he crashed at Turn 5, leaving Morbidelli to take over his leading position. The rider had initially intended to start on soft tires but swapped them out for mediums on the grid just before the race. It turned out to be the right call. From there, he was in no position to be challenged. He was handily able to maintain his lead throughout the race.

The only rider to opt for hard tires was Alex Marquez, and it seemed that might have also been a promising option as he began to work his way up the grid. Unfortunately, the rider crashed out of the race on the 14th lap. He was sitting in fifth at the time and likely would have continued his recent streak of impressive finishes had he made it to the end of the race.

Alex Rins finished third while championship leader Joan Mir landed in third. Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco rounded out the top five.

It was a good race. Much, much faster than last weekend,” Rins said after the race. “I think Franco demonstrated very, very high potential. I tried to follow him, but it was so difficult. I chose the soft tires, and in the beginning of the race, I was good. But lap by lap, I was feeling a bit of closing. I said, ‘Okay, Alex. Relax a little bit. Go with him and try to finish on the podium.’”

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Joan Mir was content with his finish, feeling that he gave his all:

Honestly, today, to give a bit more was a bit too much. I think we made a really good race, but the guys that were in front of me, they were a bit far at the beginning, and I couldn’t recover distance. They were super fast, so congrats to them. I couldn’t be faster today. I gave 100 percent. Probably using more tires at the beginning penalized me at the end, but it’s okay. Another podium is an amazing result from 12th on the grid.”

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Speaking of the championship, only 25 points separate the current top four riders in contention for the 2020 title. With three races left in the season, 25 points available for grabs for race winners, points available for the top-15 finishers, and a frankly unpredictable season, this is still anyone’s game.

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You can find the full results here.

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

captain80s
Captain80s

Elizabeth, will you PLEASE stop posting the winner in the headline?  The last 4 rounds have been ruined before my DVR even records it by just scrolling thru car stories.