European MotoGP: Mir scores maiden win in Suzuki 1-2

Suzuki’s Joan Mir took his maiden MotoGP victory in a dramatic European Grand Prix to put one hand on the title, after a crash for Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo.

European MotoGP: Mir scores maiden win in Suzuki 1-2

Of the top six in the standings ahead of the first Valencia race, Mir was the only won yet to win a grand prix in 2020, but his first – making him the ninth winner of the year – has given him a 37-point lead to put the title within sight.

Poleman Pol Espargaro got the holeshot into Turn 1 ahead of Alex Rins on the sister Suzuki, with Takaaki Nakagami holding third off the line on the LCR Honda.

Quartararo leaped up to ninth from 11th on the opening lap and was looking to get ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro at the Turn 8 left-hander when both slid off their motorcycles.

The Frenchman was able to remount at the back of the field, some 15 seconds adrift of the pack, and salvaged two points through misfortune for others – but his title hopes are all but over now, with his deficit to Mir to 37 points.

Rins scythed past Espargaro at the Turn 11 right-hander on the second lap, with Mir copying the move two tours later.

Rins absorbed the pressure from his teammate behind for a number of laps, with Espargaro just about staying in touch.

A mistake for Rins on the run into Turn 11 on lap 17 opened the door for Mir to come through into the lead, with the number 36 immediately opening up a gap of half a second.

From this point, Mir took total control of the race and continued to extend his advantage over Rins, coming under no threat through to the chequered flag.

Rins held onto second to give Suzuki its first 1-2 in grand prix racing since 1982, but is now 37 points behind Mir in the championship, equal on points with Quartararo – though the latter holds second owing to his greater number of wins.

Espargaro completed the podium on the KTM, with Nakagami overhauling Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira in the latter stages to claim fourth, while Jack Miller was sixth on the Pramac Ducati.

Brad Binder recovered from the long lap penalty he was forced to take as punishment for wiping out Miller at Aragon last month to finish seventh and edge a lead in the rookie of the year battle.

Andrea Dovizioso was eighth on the factory Ducati, though was lucky not to be wiped out by a crashing Honda of Alex Marquez at Turn 1 on lap 24 having just overtaken the Spaniard.

The top 10 was completed by Avintia’s Johann Zarco and the sister works Ducati of Danilo Petrucci, with Franco Morbidelli the first Yamaha in a lowly 11th as his gamble to run the hard front and rear tyre seemingly backfired.

Stefan Bradl on the Honda followed him home, while Maverick Vinales recovered from his pitlane start to 13th on the works Yamaha ahead of a distraught Quartararo.

Valentino Rossi’s first race since returning from COVID-19 ended on lap five with a technical issue with his Yamaha, while there were crashes for Pramac’s Francesco Bagnaia, LCR’s Cal Crutchlow.

Aleix Espargaro never remounted from his lap one crash, while Avintia’s Tito Rabat was forced to retire with an issue. 

Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Gap
1 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki  
2 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 0.651
3 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 1.203
4 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 2.194
5 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 8.046
6 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 8.755
7 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 10.137
8 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 10.801
9 France Johann Zarco Ducati 11.550
10 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 16.803
11 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 17.617
12 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 24.350
13 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 25.403
14 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 39.639
  Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia  
  Spain Alex Marquez Honda  
  Spain Tito Rabat Ducati  
  Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati  
  United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda  
  Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha  
  Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia  
shares
comments
Yamaha clarifies engine valve saga after points penalty

Previous article

Yamaha clarifies engine valve saga after points penalty

Next article

Vinales: Fading MotoGP title hopes not the main "problem"

Vinales: Fading MotoGP title hopes not the main "problem"
Load comments
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021