Fabio Quartararo extended his lead at the top of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship when he continued his perfect start to the season with another win from pole position in Jerez.
One week after the first MotoGP victory in the Spanish MotoGP, Quartararo did it all again and once again surpassed the opponents in the racing equipment for the MotoGP in Andalusia:
With two pole positions and two race wins, this success was achieved in moderately more comfortable circumstances after the holeshot was taken off the line to take early lead.
Although Maverick Vinales tried to take the initiative with a suspicious jump inwards on lap one in the last corner, Quartararo simply undercut him to come back up.
It was the only challenge he had to face for the rest of the race as he steadily increased his lead by the checkered flag to 4.4 seconds.
Vinales and Valentino Rossi, an unforgettable day for the Yamaha team, chased him home in second and third places to secure the podium for the manufacturer. The result is the first time since the 2019 American Grand Prix that Rossi has made a trip to the podium.
Still, their possible results were random, as a high-wear race helped knock out some of their rivals, resulting in only 13 drivers out of the original 21 reaching the checkered flag.
This included a hapless Pecco Bagnaia, who made the most of his career-best third start to face a podium finish. In addition, he had struggled forward and was just starting to pull when the Ducati had cried enough and he had to park.
His Pramac team-mate Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli were two other leaders who retired from positive positions. The former lost with a fall and the latter was disappointed by technical problems.
Her misfortune, however, paved the way for Takaaki Nakagami to achieve a career-best run for fourth place in the 2019 LCR Honda. It’s also the strongest result for a Japanese rider in MotoGP since Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s second run in Valencia MotoGP in 2012.
Joan Mir completed the top 5 best Suzuki entries before Andrea Dovizioso returned from 14th place to sixth place and Pol Espargaro had to fight for seventh place after taking the lead with the Italian and straying from the track.
On an otherwise hot weekend for the Marquez family after Marc’s retreat, Alex Marquez brought the Repsol Honda team a welcome delight with a spirited ride to eighth place, ahead of Johann Zarco and a brave Alex Rins in tenth place.
Tito Rabat, Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow completed the points as the last finishers in places 11, 12 and 13.
A total of eight riders dropped out of the race on a busy afternoon, not least for Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, whose efforts to bring their respective KTMs to fifth and seventh place due to a collision at the first corner. Oliveira immediately withdrew while Binder continued before falling again later in the race.
Danilo Petrucci came to Miller and Bagnaia on a tough day for Ducati, while Aleix Espargaro and Iker Lecuona didn’t finish the second weekend in a row.