Barcelona hosted a hugely dramatic encounter as Quartararo took a commanding second win of the season
The most dramatic race of the season? Probably. When the World Championship landed in Barcelona, Ducati and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) were on a high after their victory at Mugello, but it was home hero Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) who took pole position.
Title chase leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) joined Espargaro and Pecco on the front row, as we prepared ourselves for a classic Catalan GP battle between three of 2022’s race winners – and the favourites for the Championship
However, huge drama unfolded at Turn 1. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) got a great launch from P12 on the grid, but the Japanese rider lost control of his RC213V when the field dived on the anchors for the first time. Nakagami wiped out Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and tagged Pecco too, seeing the Italian crash out with Nakagami and Rins. Quartararo, meanwhile, went from P3 to P1 and never looked back.
In the battle for the podium, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) was giving Espargaro a hard time. The Aprilia star eventually got the better of his compatriot heading into the final stages, but more drama then unravelled. Espargaro miscalculated the laps remaining and sat up at the start of the final lap thinking the race was over. The number 41 realised at Turn 3 that the race wasn’t over. But by this stage, Espargaro had gone from P2 to P6. He managed to re-pass Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) to finish P5, however, Espargaro was understandably distraught at his costly error.
Quartararo took a commanding second win of the season to extend his lead over Espargaro to 22 points heading to Germany. Pecco was now 66 points adrift, while Enea Bastianini’s (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) DNF saw the Italian fall to 53 points back.