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

Lewis Duncan
·3-min read

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:

1

Spain
Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

2

Spain
Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

0.651

3

Spain
Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1.203

4

Japan
Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

2.194

5

Portugal
Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

8.046

6

Australia
Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

8.755

7

South Africa
South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

10.137

8

Italy
Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

10.801

9

France
France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

11.550

10

Italy
Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

16.803

11

Italy
Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

17.617

12

Germany
Germany

Stefan Bradl

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

24.350

13

Spain
Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

25.403

14

France
France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

39.639

Italy
Italy

Lorenzo Savadori

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

Spain
Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

Spain
Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

Italy
Italy

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

Italy
Italy

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

Spain
Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

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