Catalan GP 2022: Quartararo wins and Aleix Espargaró makes embarrassing mistake

Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) has taken a dominant win at the Catalan MotoGP 2022 this Sunday in the Barcelona Circuit. Thanks to an absurd mistake by Aleix EspargaróPramac Racing’s Jorge Martín (+6.5s) and Johann Zarco (+8.4s) completed the podium. 

The Catalan driver brought his Aprilia to a stop in celebration of a supposed second place when in fact there was still one lap left for the end of the race. Although he managed to pick up some pace, he was overtaken by several pilots and could only make up enough places to finish in fifth. A bitter consolation for the pole-sitter. 

Joan Mir (Suzuki) was one of the lucky heirs of the Spaniard’s mistake at the Catalan MotoGP 2022. The 2020 world champion finished all the way up in fourth place from a twenty-first starting position. Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati), for his part, caught the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after crashing out on the initial meters. 

This second victory after Portugal, coupled with Aleix’s mishap, has further extended Quartararo’s lead of the standings, which he now commands with 147 points, 22 more than the oldest of the Espargaró brothers.

Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing), winner this season in winner in Qatar GP , United States & France, remains third 53 points behind despite taking no points this weekend for the second race in a row. 

 

Quartararo escapes at the start of the Catalan MotoGP 2022

Quartararo, second, swallowed up poleman Aleix Espargaró as soon as the lights went out in the Catalan circuit. Just a few meters behind, in the midst of all the braking chaos at the end of the finish line straight, tragedy was about to strike.

Nakagami crashed, knocking down Bagnaia with his head. Then, in an extremely dangerous and unfortunate chain of events, Bagnaia’s machine rammed Rins’ bike from the ground, and the Spaniard was catapulted into the air. 

Meanwhile, ‘El Diablo’ was escaping ahead leaving the unwanted company behind. In two laps he was already six-tenths of a second clear of Aleix and Martín at the Catalan MotoGP 2022.

Positioned at a steady second away, Zarco prowled behind. Martín passed Aleix for second in the following lap, to position himself less than a second away from Quartararo. The strategy of the crown defender was obvious: to escape in the hope that his tires would hold. 

Gradually, the Frenchman opened a 2 second and then a 3-second gap, with the two Spaniards behind unable to prevent his escape. Knowing that they could not compete for the win, they focused their efforts on the fight for second place. The civil war between the two compatriots played in favour of the champion. 

Halfway through the Spanish MotoGP, on lap 12, the crown defender was already four seconds clear of the rest of the pack. Behind El Diablo, Aleix was witnessing his Pramac’s teammates getting closer.

Taking advantage of the battle behind, Quartararo stretched his advantage to 4.6 seconds. A walk in the park for the French pilot. In one of the numerous showdowns, Martín passed Aleix in the curve that follows the finish line straight at the Catalan MotoGP 2022. 

 

The embarrassing mistake of Aleix: Bye-bye podium 

With nine laps to go for the end of the Catalan MotoGP 2022, all of the excitement concentrated on the fight for second place. When there were just four laps remaining, Aleix saw his chance and passed Martín for second, with Zarco in fourth waiting for his moment. 

Then came the dramatic mistake of the Catalan pilot. At the start of the last lap, he stopped, convinced that the race had finished when there was still one lap to go at the Catalan MotoGP 2022.

When he realized his mistake, he started on again, but he had already lost the podium, finishing fifth. By then, Quartararo had already won, ahead of his Pramac teammates, Martín and Zarco. 

 

Images of Catalan MotoGP 2022: Michelin.

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