Valencia MotoGP: Mir seals title, Morbidelli beats Miller to win

Joan Mir has won the 2020 MotoGP championship, ending a 20-year wait for Suzuki, as Franco Morbidelli won a last-lap Valencia Grand Prix thriller from Jack Miller.

Valencia MotoGP: Mir seals title, Morbidelli beats Miller to win
Listen to this article

Mir is the first new MotoGP champion since Marc Marquez in 2013 and becomes the first rider to win the crown in Moto3 and the premier class, after coming home a safe seventh in at Valencia.  

Miller got the better run into Turn 1 off the line, but ran wide and allowed Morbidelli to come back through, while his SRT teammate Fabio Quartararo went off at Turn 2 after running out of room in the braking zone.

This dropped Quartararo down the order, with his race lasting until lap nine when he crashed at Turn 6 having once again dropped out of the points, completely ending his championship hopes.

Mir navigated the opening lap safely, putting his Suzuki into 10th while Suzuki teammate Alex Rins had leaped up from 14th to seventh.

Morbidelli engaged supremely consistent pace in the opening laps to quickly build a buffer over the chasing Miller and KTM of Pol Espargaro.

By lap seven his lead stood at seven tenths, with Morbidelli opening that gap up to 1.2s by the 13th tour.

Then the SRT rider’s lead started to come down, with Miller getting to within a second by lap 18 and continuing to eat into Morbidelli’s advantage over the next few tours.

With five laps to run, Miller was just three tenths behind Morbidelli, though the Italian responded in turn to get his lead back up to half a second.

Miller nailed his run out of the final corner to use the brute power of the Pramac Ducati to pass Morbidelli into the first corner at the start of the final lap, and just about held on despite running wide.

Morbidelli threw his Yamaha back up the inside of Turn 2, with Miller retaliating at Turn 4 – though this was once again countered with a daring raid on the inside of Turn 5 from Morbidelli.

The Italian clung on by 0.093 seconds on the run to the chequered flag to score his third win of the 2020 season, with KTM’s Pol Espargaro a distant third.

Alex Rins was fourth on his Suzuki, but it wasn’t enough to delay Mir’s coronation. Rins beat Brad Binder (KTM) and the Tech3 of Miguel Oliveira.

Mir pipped Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso to seventh, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales rounding out the top 10.

The final points were taken by Pramac’s Francesco Bagnaia, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda, Stefan Bradl (Honda) and Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.

Takaaki Nakagami crashed out late on at the final corner attempting to take third from Espargaro, while Joahnn Zarco fell from his Avintia Ducati on lap six.

Not since Kenny Roberts Jr. in 2000 has Suzuki won the riders’ title in the premier class, with Mir becoming just the sixth Suzuki rider in history to be crowned MotoGP world champion. 

Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Time
1 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha  
2 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 0.093
3 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 3.006
4 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 3.697
5 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 4.127
6 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 7.272
7 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 8.703
8 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 8.729
9 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 15.512
10 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 19.043
11 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 19.456
12 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 19.717
13 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 23.802
14 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 27.430
15 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 30.570
16 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 30.619
17 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 42.365
18 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 46.472
  Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda  
  France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha  
  France Johann Zarco Ducati  
shares
comments
MotoGP on TV today – How can I watch the Valencia Grand Prix?
Previous article

MotoGP on TV today – How can I watch the Valencia Grand Prix?

Next article

Mir "can’t believe" maiden MotoGP title triumph

Mir "can’t believe" maiden MotoGP title triumph
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021