Fabio Quartararo put in a dominant performance to win the Catalan GP, and move himself back into the lead of the championship standings. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli battled tyre wear to finish fourth at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and help increase PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s lead in the teams’ standings.
Quartararo didn’t make the best start off the line and lost places in the first couple of corners. However, the Frenchman was soon the quickest man on circuit and was able to find his way through to second on lap six, before taking the lead from team-mate Morbidelli on lap nine. Once there, Fabio didn’t look back and put in a perfect performance to win the Catalan GP and retake the championship lead, ahead of going to his home GP.
It was a sensational start for Morbidelli, who was able to convert his pole position to an early race lead. The Italian put in a strong performance, but as the track cooled and the tyres offered less grip, other riders were able to reel him in. A mistake on lap 14 let Valentino Rossi through, but the real fight came in the final laps. Unfortunately Franco couldn’t hold off those around him and he crossed the line fourth, maintaining his fifth position in the riders’ standings.
The MotoGP pair will now have one weekend without racing, before the championship tackles its penultimate triple-header, which starts with Fabio’s home GP: the Grand Prix de France at Le Mans (9-11 October).
It was a strange weekend for us, but we are glad that Fabio’s win helps to inject positivity. It would have been nice to have a double podium, but Franco’s fourth was still a strong finish. It is good for the championship, for both Fabio and Franco, but especially for Fabio who is back leading the championship ahead of his home GP at Le Mans.
We were looking forward to a strong showing from our Moto2 riders, but unfortunately a mechanical failure for Jake early in the race ruined his chances. Immediately after that a crash from Xavi prevented him from achieving a great result at home. We will just have to come back stronger in France.
It was a really unlucky situation in Moto3; an early crash by John saw his race end. He is still third in the championship, but there are still six races to go and anything can happen. The opportunity to win the championship is still there. Unfortunately KIP is yet to show his true talent and we are not 100% certain why he is not achieving his potential. As a team we will do our very best to make sure he improves in the next races.
Fabio Quartararo #20
This is the best moment that I have had in a long time! We have had some tough times since Jerez, so this actually feels better than those wins. I was not expecting to be so fast in the opening laps, but those two guys [Joan Mir and Alex Rins] were so fast at the end of the race. We need to look at why we are struggling at the end of the race. We know that our bike is better in qualifying, so we need to balance this a bit better, but at the end of the day the race result is the most important thing and we won. It feels so good though to be back on the top step of the podium. I am also so happy that I am able to race at my home GP next, because there are not many races in this season. My thanks to the team because this victory is well deserved.
Franco Morbidelli #21
I’m a little angry about finishing fourth, but it is a positive thing as it means we are at a good level and want more. I’m angry because I made a mistake in the race: I started a bit too hot and wore the tyre out too much early on. When fighting with Fabio I was too much on the limit and trying to recover in braking, in the end I lost two seconds running wide and the chance for a podium. I still feel like this was the best strategy though. However I cannot complain about this weekend; I got pole position and I was really fast in general, so I’m happy. Now we rest a little bit and try to also be fast at Le Mans.
MotoGP Results - Catalunya - Race
POS RIDER NUMBER TEAM TIME/GAP
1 Fabio Quartararo 20 PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 40'33.176
2 Joan Mir 36 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +0.928
3 Alex Rins 42 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1.898
4 Franco Morbidelli 21 PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +2.846
5 Jack Miller 43 Pramac Racing +3.391
6 Francesco Bagnaia 63 Pramac Racing +3.518
MotoGP Results - World Championship Standings
POS RIDER NUMBER TEAM TIME/GAP
1 Fabio Quartararo 20 PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 108
2 Joan Mir 36 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 100
3 Maverick Viñales 12 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 90
4 Andrea Dovizioso 4 Ducati Team 84
5 Franco Morbidelli 21 PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 77
6 Jack Miller 43 Pramac Racing 75