Red Bull KTM star Miguel Oliveira won the MotoGP race on the “Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya”. Ducati drivers Johann Zarco and Jack Miller completed the podium.
World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo started from pole position for the fifth time in a row. By the way, the last Yamaha rider who had such a qualifying series was Jorge Lorenzo in 2010. Two Ducati aces completed the front row with Jack Miller and Johann Zarco.
In addition to Quartararo, when asked about the favorites for the Catalunya GP, Miguel Oliveira’s name was often mentioned. The Red Bull KTM works driver started from position 4 – the best qualifying result for a KTM driver this season.
Jorge Martin, who was about to start his comeback race, fell 20 minutes before the start of the “Sighting Lap” in turn 5. The Pramac rookie had to start from last place on the grid.
Before the 24-lap race in Montmeló, tire selection was a big issue. The Michelin overview revealed a mixed bag: Quartararo, Morbidelli, Rossi, Miller, the two Pramacs and the four KTMs opted for the hard rear tires. Alex Márquez and Aleix Espargaró even switched to the softest mixture at the last moment, the rest opted for medium. The hard front tires were chosen by Honda (except for Alex Márquez) and KTM (except for Lecuona).
At the start, Miller and Ducati Power were still ahead, but then KTM ace Oliveira took over command. Quartararo made a mistake on the second lap: The Yamaha works rider briefly fell back to 6th place, but then fought his way back and took the lead halfway through the race.
Oliveira countered and an exciting duel developed until the world championship leader had to struggle not only with tire wear, but above all with his leather suit. Because Quartararo used the “shortcut” after a moment of shock between turns 1 and 2, there was a three-second penalty in the end, which is why Miller should inherit the podium.
Addendum: Because of driving without the mandatory chest protection, there was another three seconds on it.
After a strong start, Suzuki works driver Joan Mir seemed to have a say for a long time about the podium, but fell behind towards the end of the race. Zarco, on the other hand, was on the advance, but an attack on Oliveira was no longer possible. While the cheers in the Red Bull KTM pit were lively, the two-time Moto2 world champion and his Pramac Ducati team are waiting even longer for their first MotoGP victory.
Only 15 drivers completed the full race distance. Among others, Repsol Honda star Marc Márquez fell after fighting for a top six place in the early stages. Valentino Rossi fell behind at the beginning and then landed in the gravel trap of Turn 10 with eight laps to go.
This is how the MotoGP race went:
Start: Miller takes the lead on the brakes into Turn 1. Quartararo and Oliveira line up behind them, but the KTM rider grabs the world championship leader straight away. Strong start for Joan Mir, he’s already fourth. Bagnaia falls back to P13
1st lap: Zarco falls back to P6 behind Aleix Espargaró. Rossi only finishes the first lap in P17.
2nd round: Oliveira takes the lead. Quartararo also wants to pass Miller, but is too optimistic at Turn 7 and falls back to fifth place.
Oliveira leads before Miller, Mir, Aleix Espargaró, Zarco, Quartararo, Viñales, Marc Márquez, Binder and Bagnaia.
3rd round: Aleix Espargaró takes 3rd place from Mir. Viñales is far, goes back to the line, comes into contact with Brad Binder.
4th lap: Aleix Espargaró tries to get past Miller in turn 10, the Ducati driver immediately countered.
5th lap: Oliveira opens a small gap. I walk past Aleix Espargaró, Quartararo also takes on the Aprilia pilot. Marc Márquez follows behind on P6, while his team-mate Pol Espargaró crashes in Turn 5.
6th lap: Marc Márquez pushes past Aleix Espargaró in turn 1. Zarco interferes and sits in turn 4 in front of the eight-time world champion, who has to let Aleix pass again.
Miller drops from P2 to P4. Petrucci falls into turn 9.
7th round: Quartararo grabs second place from Mir, but the gap to Oliveira is already 1.2 seconds.
Round 8: Quartararo nibbles on Oliveira’s lead. Marc Márquez (7th) crashes into turn 10. Johann Zarco (5th) drives the fastest lap of the race at this point in time.
9th round: Nakagami (12th) receives a “long lap penalty” because he took the “shortcut” between turns 1 and 2.
10th lap: At the start-finish line, Zarco shows up next to Miller, but the works driver stays in front.
At the front, Quartararo approaches the stern of Oliveira. 0.4 seconds behind, Mir is fighting to keep up, and the Ducati duo Miller and Zarco are only 1.5 seconds behind the leaders.
Round 11: Aleix Espargaró (7th) crashes into Turn 10.
Round 12: Quartararo takes the lead from Oliveira in turn 1. Mir, Miller, Zarco, Viñales, Bagnaia, Binder, Lecuona and Morbidelli complete the top 10 at halftime.
13th lap: Oliveira doesn’t let Quartararo out of her sight – and uses the slipstream at the start-finish.
14th lap: Oliveira is the first to turn into the first corner 1 and can keep Quartararo at a distance. Me and Zarco are up to half a second, Miller is fighting to catch up.
15th lap: Zarco takes on Mir and passes on the start-finish straight.
16. Round: Oliveira is 0.4 seconds ahead of Quartararo. Behind Mir loses one place to a Ducati rider, Miller is through – and Viñales is moving closer and closer.
Rossi falls out of the points in turn 10.
17th round: Viñales is my turn. Lecuona (9th) crashes into Turn 13.
18th round: Quartararo (+ 0.2 sec) has Oliveira in view. Behind it there was a gap of almost a second and a half on Zarco and Miller. Viñales is stuck behind Me, who can no longer quite keep up.
19th round: Oliveira has a little more air again – at the end of the round it’s 0.4 sec.
20th round: Quartararo does not give up and moves a tenth closer again. Zarco follows 0.9 seconds behind.
21st round: Oliveira depends on Quartararo, who suddenly has to orient himself backwards.
Binder passes Bagnaia and is seventh.
22nd lap: Zarco passes Quartararo, who has to survive a wobble in turn 1 and goes through the emergency exit. The World Cup leader obviously has problems with his leather suit: He throws away the chest protector, the zipper stays open.
23rd lap: Quartararo defends third place in turn 1. At the top, Zarco moves up to Oliveira within 0.4 seconds!
Last lap: Zarco can’t get close enough to attempt a maneuver – Oliveira gives KTM their first win of the season! “A win in Barcelona is a statement,” says Red Bull KTM team manager Mike Leitner happily.
Quartararo defends third place to the finish line, but receives a three-second penalty for taking the shortcut between turns 1 and 2. This means that Miller is on the podium alongside Zarco.
MotoGP results, Montmeló, June 6th:
1. Oliveira, KTM, 24 Rounds in 40: 21.749 min
2. Zarco, Ducati, + 0,175 sec
3. Miller, Ducati, + 1,990
4. Mir, Suzuki, + 5,325
5. Viñales, Yamaha, + 6,281
6. Quartararo, Yamaha, + 7,815 *
7. Bagnaia, Ducati + 8.175
8. Binder, KTM, + 8,378
9. Morbidelli, Yamaha, + 15.652
10. Bastianini, Ducati, +19,297
11. Alex Marquez, Honda, + 21,650
12. Marini, Ducati, + 22.533
13. Nakagami, Honda, +27,833
14. Martin, Ducati, + 29,075
15. Savadori, Aprilia, + 40,291
* Update: two three-second penalties
Status drivers’ championship after 7 races out of 19 races
1. Quartararo 115 Points. 2. Zarco 101. 3. Miller 90. 4. Bagnaia 88. 5. Mir 78. 6. Viñales 75. 7. Oliveira 54. 8. Aleix Espargaró 44. 9. Binder 43. 10. Morbidelli 40. 11. Nakagami 31 12. Pol Espargaró 29. 13. Bastianini 26. 14. Alex Márquez 25. 15. Rins 23. 16. Petrucci 23. 17. 17. Martin 19. 18. Marc Márquez 16. 19. Rossi 15. 20. Lecuona 13 21. Marini 13. 22. Bradl 11. 23. Savadori 4. 24. Pirro 3. 25. Rabat 1.
Status of the constructors’ championship:
1. Yamaha 143 Punkte. 2. Ducati 143. 3. KTM 83. 4. Suzuki 82. 5. Honda 52. 6. Aprilia 45.
1. Monster Energy Yamaha 190 Punkte. 2. Ducati Lenovo 178. 3. Pramac Racing 124. 4. Suzuki Ecstar 101. 5. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 97. 6. LCR-Honda 56. 7. Petronas Yamaha SRT 55. 8. Repsol Honda 52. 9. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 48. 10. Esponsorama Racing Ducati 39. 11. Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 36.