Romano Fenati became the third youngest winner in Grand Prix history after a supreme performance in a chaotic Spanish Grand Prix. The rain stayed away but the track was damp in places, catching out almost half of the field, but Fenati was faultless and took victory by an astonishing margin of 36 seconds.
The Italian was quiet at the start and it was Alex Rins who converted pole position into the lead at turn one. Jakub Kornfeil was the man on the move and swooped around the outside of him into turn two, followed through by Jack Miller moments later. The Australian has been impressive in the wet all weekend but a damp patch at turn nine sent him into the gravel. Danny Kent and Simone Grotzkyj came unstuck at the same point and joined him in retirement.
Championship leader Maverick Vinales slipped up next, falling to the back of the field, before Kornfeil crashed out at turn 13 on the third lap, taking Brad Binder out in the process. Kornfeil had lost the lead to Miguel Oliveira seconds before his accident and the Portuguese rider wouldn't lead for long either, sliding into the gravel at turn one.
That promoted teammate Alex Rins back to the front and the Spaniard had a near-three second lead over Fenati with Louis Rossi chasing the Italian hard for second. But lo and behold, the leader hit trouble once again as Rins hit a damp patch at turn eight. The Estrella Galicia rider succeeded where many failed in staying on board his motorcycle but the loss of time and momentum allowed Rossi and Fenati through. Rins regrouped admirably and fought his way back to the front on lap nine while Rossi's hopes of a maiden Grand Prix podium disappeared in the turn one gravel trap shortly afterwards, leaving the front two all alone.
Despite racing in his first ever wet race, Fenati rode like a veteran and coolly overtook Rins at the Dry Sack hairpin just before half distance. The Spaniard kept himself in touch for three laps before going off track once again, only this time he couldn't stay on the Suter. Incredibly, he was able to remount before third placed Alexis Masbou emerged on the scene but the Frenchman was now firmly in with a shot of second, as were Luis Salom and Sandro Cortese.
The long drag race to turn six looked like deciding matters and that proved correct as Salom outbraked Cortese and Rins on the penultimate lap. The German would edge out Rins for third but was seething afterwards with the marshalls for failing to show blue flags when he came up to lap Giulian Pedone and Alan Techer, a factor in his loss of P2.
Fenati was simply untouchable from the moment Rins dropped back and the Italian was two seconds per lap quicker than the rest of the field in the closing laps. Salom and Cortese stood alongside him on the podium but were over half a minute behind at flag fall.
Rins, also riding in just his second GP, took fourth despite his adventurous race while Masbou took fifth ahead of Maverick Vinales who recovered to sixth. Alberto Moncayo finished seventh for Aspar while Niccolo Antonelli collected his first points of the year for eighth. Danny Webb should've done likewise but a technical problem on his Mahindra sidelined him nine laps from home.