MotoGP: Quartararo dominates Andalucia GP, Rossi back on the podium

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Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo dominated the Andalucia Grand Prix to take his second MotoGP victory after securing his maiden win in the premier class of motorcycle racing just seven days ago.

The second round of the delayed 2020 MotoGP season took place at Jerez, on the same location that played host to the season-opening race last weekend. However, conditions were even tougher with ambient temperatures reaching 36 degrees while the track temperatures rose up to 59 degrees. This climatic condition presented riders with a brutal challenge, testing their physical toughness to the absolute limit.

Fabio Quartararo took the pole position yesterday after Maverick Vinales was stripped of his best lap time for exceeding track limits on his very best lap. The Frenchman left nothing to chance as he concentrated on a perfect getaway at the start and controlled the race until the flag, increasing continuously his advantage over his rivals.

„Oh my god!,” screamed the 21-year-old following his second MotoGP triumph. „That one was tough. Actually we normally start with a new tyre on the grid, and today we decided with Yamaha to make the warm up lap three laps to see if the tyre was ok.

„I'm so happy we had amazing pace from the beginning to make the gap, so fast, I was so happy because I made my pace. It was really tough, when I got to two seconds, to make it four was so difficult. An amazing feeling! What can I say? Just thanks to my team, they did an amazing job, worked a lot during the races, and to my family at home... for sure they're starting to get drunk already now to celebrate! But honestly, this feels so good to win back-to-back here in Jerez."

Behind the 21-year-old Frenchman, the situation was a different affair with riders fighting not just with each other, but also with reliability in the Spanish heat.

Yamaha factory riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi finished second and third respectively to lock out the podium for the Japanese manufacturer.

With his third-place finish, Rossi secured his first podium appearance since last year’s Texas race. He said: I’m very happy because it’s been a long time since I was on the podium. We’re coming back from a bad period with bad results. So this weekend we started working in another way.

„I’m very happy with the work David Muñoz did, and the rest of my team also did a good job. I was able to make a good lap at the start, and after that the race was so long. But I’m happy to be back on the podium. For me it’s not quite like a victory, but it’s similar,” the seven-time world champion added.

Taakaki Nakagami became the highest-placed Honda rider thanks to his fourth place ahead of Suzuki rider Joan Mir. Still affected by his injuries suffered at a motocross race three weeks ago, Andrea Dovizioso came in sixth, securing Ducati’s best result. KTM endured a difficult afternoon with only Pol Espargaro completing the entire race distance. Alex Marquez finished down in eighth position 19 second behind race winner Quartararo.

Eight riders failed to see the chequered flag in today’s race. Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira’s race ended at the first corner after he was taken out by factory KTM rider Brad Binder. Francesco Bagnaia was on course to a second-place finish when his Pramac Ducati developed engine issues that brought his race to a premature end. Jack Miller had a slow-speed crash while fighting with Vinales which ended the Australian’s race.

After realising the strength in his elbow weaken yesterday, Marc Marquez decided to withdraw from the Andalucia Grand Prix after just a single installation lap in yesterday’s qualifying session. The six-time MotoGP champion has now two weeks to gain strength before the action resumes in MotoGP at Brno.

“After surgery I saw there was a small possibility [to race], so I need to try and when you are a sportsman, when you have a passion for something you try. Today I will sleep well because I tried, it was not possible, but what I did was follow my body and my body said ‘you must try’.

“This became dangerous. It is what I did all this week, follow my body and in that moment my body said ‘stop’. I stopped in the box, I told Honda I’ll try in QP1 and if I have the same feeling I will give up,” the Spaniard said.

Results

Pos.PtsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12520Fabio QUARTARAROFRAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha160.341'22.666
22012Maverick VIÑALESSPAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha160.0+4.495
31646Valentino ROSSIITAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha159.9+5.546
41330Takaaki NAKAGAMIJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda159.9+6.113
51136Joan MIRSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki159.8+7.693
6104Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati159.5+12.554
7944Pol ESPARGAROSPARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM159.2+17.488
8873Alex MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda159.0+19.357
975Johann ZARCOFRAHublot Reale AvintiaDucati158.8+23.523
10642Alex RINSSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki158.6+27.091
11553Tito RABATSPAHublot Reale AvintiaDucati158.1+33.628
12438Bradley SMITHGBRAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia158.0+36.306
13335Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRLCR Honda CASTROLHonda151.11 Lap