2018-motogp-austingp-marc-marquez

While the round 6 at Mugello was the best race of the 2019 season so far, round 7 at Catalunya was the most dramatic one yet. The starting positions of the riders were pretty interesting and we were expecting to have an aggressive and action-packed race. Apparently, it did get aggressive. Here’s what happened.

Marquez was at the pole position and the second place was taken by Fabio. While the reigning world champion had a brilliant start, Fabio lost a few places by the time he reached turn 1. Dovizioso also had a great start. His Ducati jumped from the third row to the second place right behind Marquez in no time. This was the first sign of an interesting race.

Vinales also launched his M1 unexpectedly fast. He appeared to be at a very aggressive pace. We haven’t seen him like that in the entire season so far. He quickly managed to pass a few riders and joined the leading pack. Jorge Lorenzo wasn’t far behind either. We thought he is in good form and we would get to see some action. Well, we did but not the kind we were expecting.

Dovizioso couldn’t resist his itch to get past Marquez. Finally, he found the gap at a turn and made his move. At this point, the leading pack included Dovizioso, Marquez, Vinales, and Rossi. Things were looking fine. Marquez wanted his 1st place back, so he attacked Dovi in a corner and successfully took the lead. In the same corner, his teammate Lorenzo also tried to make a move to get past Vinales but he was coming in too hot. He slammed on the brakes of his Honda and leaned into the corner but it was too late. He lost his front and skid causing a chain reaction. He roped in Dovi, Vinales, and Rossi with him. It was an unbelievable sight.

The leading pack was destroyed except Marquez, who had no idea what happened behind him. This mass crash gave Petrucci the second spot followed by Rins and Fabio. From this point onwards, Marquez took off like always and all our attention shifted to Rins and Petrucci because Rins was in an aggressive mood as well.

There were many instances when Rins tried to take Petrucci but couldn’t because of the Ducati’s sheer power and extreme braking. There was no help from slipstreaming either. This went on for many laps which got him uneasy and desperate. As a result, he made a mistake. He came in too fast in a corner in an attempt to get past Petrucci but realised he is going to hit him. So he slammed onto his brakes missing Petrucci’s rear wheel by a hairline. He then wobbled like a rabbit on his bike and we have no idea how he still managed to stick on and survive. Rins killed his tyres during his attempts to overtake Petrucci. And after that mistake, he lost the spot on the podium and finished in the fourth place.

After the Rins and Petrucci incident, Fabio was quick to catch up to Petrucci as he slowed down for a few milliseconds. He used his Yamaha’s agility and fast cornering capability to take down Petrucci with ease and never looked back. It was Fabio’s first MotoGP podium in his career as he took the second place on the podium. Petrucci took third place.

Nobody knows what would have been the result if Lorenzo didn’t start the chain reaction. The Spaniard did apologise and accepted his mistake. A mistake whose benefit went straight to the winners. The 2019 Catalunya GP was indeed an aggressive race. A total of 11 riders crashed out of the race and didn’t finish.

Following is the race result-

1 Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 40m 31.175s
2 Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)* +2.660s
3 Danilo Petrucci ITA Mission Winnow Ducati (GP19) +4.537s
4 Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +6.602s
5 Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP19) +6.870s
6 Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* +7.040s
7 Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) +16.144s
8 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) +17.969s
9 Tito Rabat SPA Reale Avintia Ducati (GP18) +22.661s
10 Johann Zarco FRA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) +26.228s
11 Andrea Iannone ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) +32.036s
12 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)* +44.666s
13 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +51.363s
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) DNF
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Pramac Ducati (GP18)* DNF
Hafizh Syahrin MAL Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) DNF
Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) DNF
Andrea Dovizioso ITA Mission Winnow Ducati (GP19) DNF
Maverick Viñales SPA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) DNF
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) DNF
Aleix Espargaro SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) DNF
Karel Abraham CZE Reale Avintia Ducati (GP18) DNF
Bradley Smith GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) DNF