Fabio Quartararo takes back-to-back wins at the Circuito de Jerez as Yamaha lockout the podium.
Quartararo put on a faultless show as he stormed his way to a second victory at the AndaluciaGP ahead of Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales in second and Valentino Rossi in third.
The inaugural AndalunciaGP got off to a dramatic start, both Quartararo and Rossi got off to a spectacular start as a collision involving rookie Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira and Bradley Smith saw Oliveira tumble through the gravel at turn one. The Portuguese rider was struck by the Red Bull KTM machine of Binder, fortunately, he was uninjured. Viñales attempted an early move on Quartararo but a mistake saw him run wide and let his teammate through into second.
Francesco Bagnaia continued his incredible qualifying form into the race and maintained his fourth position even after a big moment in lap two which saw him make an amazing save, costing him valuable time between himself and his teammate. Iker Lecuona’s nightmare weekend continued as he added another crash to his tally, going down at the final corner in lap seven. The Spaniard was able to remount but retired to the pits shortly after. Franco Morbidelli made a last corner move on Taka Nakagami to move up the order and set his sights on a podium step.
Aleix Espargaro was another rider with a weekend to forget as the Aprilia rider crashed at turn two after nine laps, ending his race prematurely. Jack Miller decided to make a move on Viñales for third position, but the Aussie ran wide, leaving the door open for Bagnaia to swoop through and reclaim fourth position, dropping Miller down to fifth.
As the track temperatures continued to climb, so did the tensions and the number of mistakes. Viñales ran wide at turn six, costing him a place to Bagnaia who saw his chance to be in podium contention and swooped through. Miller then made a move on Viñales for fourth position with Morbidelli tagging on into fifth. Miller lost the front end of his Pramac Ducati machine at turn nine which sent him into the gravel. Danilo Petrucci was the next victim to be claimed by the scorching heat as his Ducati Corse bike tumbled through the gravel at turn 2, followed not long after by Binder who lost his KTM and ended up in the gravel during lap 14.
A rare mistake from the Doctor saw him run wide and leave the door open for fellow VR46 Academy man Bagaia to slide up into second position. However, whilst the two Italians seemed on course for a podium, their countryman Morbidelli suffered a technical issue 17 laps into the race as his Petronas Yamaha bike cut out down the start-finish straight, causing him to pull off and retire from the race as he was scrapping near the front of the pack. Rossi was quickly being pursued by his teammate Viñales for the final podium spot with only six laps remaining when there was further heartbreak for the Italians as smoke poured from the backend of Bagaia’s bike as he ran in second position, forcing him to pull off the circuit and retire his bike.
With only one lap remaining, Viñales mustered all his remaining energy and determination to make his final move on Rossi for second position in Jerez. The Spaniard stood no chance of catching the flying Frenchman Quartararo after he cleared off into the distance early in the race.
Quartararo took the victory with a four-second gap to Viñales in second whilst Rossi took his first podium since Austin, 2019 with third.
Nakagami was the highest scoring Honda rider with his best ever MotoGP finish of fourth ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir in fifth and Andrea Dovizioso in sixth. Dovizioso put on a blinding performance to drag his Ducati up from fourteenth to finish the day in sixth, however the Italian will not be wanting a replay of his qualifying performance when MotoGP returns in Brno.
Pol Espargaro ended the day in seventh whilst rookie Alex Marquez put in a stellar display to finish eight ahead of Johann Zarco in ninth. Through sheer grit and determination, the walking wounded of Suzuki’s Alex Rins collected six valuable points as he finished in tenth ahead of Hublot Reale Avintia rider Tito Rabat in eleventh and Bradley Smith in twelfth.
Cal Crutchlow rounded out the race finishers in thirteenth. The British rider struggled with his fractured hand, pulling into the pits during lap 17 for what many suspected was a retirement but he rejoining the race not long after.
The MotoGP circus moves away from the baking hot temperatures of Andalucia and takes a week’s break before moving on to Brno for the first of the triple headers. As Marc Marquez eyes up a return from injury at the Czech circuit, will he be able to claw back some points to keep his championship hopes alive?
Full results here.