The Australian Jack Miller has signed a spectacular and unexpected victory at the Spanish GP of MotoGP, beating his teammate Pecco Bagnaia, and earning Ducati a sensational 1-2.
An outstanding Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT) completed the podium onboard his Yamaha. A very meritorious achievement for the Italo-Brazilian pilot who, despite having the worst M1 of the four, gave a remarkable performance from second.
The greatest loser of the day was Fabio Quartararo. After leading for a good chunk of the race, the poleman and uncontested favourite finished down in thirteenth place.
‘El Diablo’ suffered his very own hell after suddenly struck by arm pump. Doha & Portugal winner lost every option of success and was dealt a significant moral blow as he had to hand over the leadership of the standings to Bagnaia. The #20 had won the two previous races.
As for Marc Márquez (Repsol-Honda), he finished in a creditable ninth position. After suffering a nasty fall on Saturday, he managed to overcome his pain and continue on his journey of readaptation to MotoGP.
Miller leads at the start
Fabio Quartararo fell from first to fourth place as the lights went out in Jerez. Miller, on the contrary, got the holeshot after jumping from third to first on start. Behind him came Morbidelli and Bagnaia with Fabio in the fourth position. Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) closed the top 5.
A little bit further down came Joan Mir, Takaaki Nakagami (Honda) and Alex Rins (Suzuki). Once again, Maverick Viñales had a bad start, falling from seventh to ninth, a habit that could seriously jeopardise his bid for the title.
Miller and Quartararo escape
On the third lap, ‘El Diablo’ passed Miller with Morbidelli riding along as a mere witness. Aleix, Bagnaia and Joan Mir were keeping up the pace and dreaming of the champagne.
At the start of the sixth lap, Quartararo imposed a dominating pace taking a spectacular fastest lap to escape Miller. The Frenchman opened ground with Morbidelli who followed on third at the lead of a group that included Aleix and Pecco.
With 19 laps remaining to the finish line Quartararo already enjoyed a 0.798s advantage over Miller, who was, in turn, running one minute ahead of Morbidelli. The race was at this point broken in half with the two leaders increasingly distancing themselves from the rest. ‘El Diablo’ imposed a devastating pace. Fastest lap after fastest lap he had accrued a 1.235-second lead over Miller.
Similarly, the Australian was already two seconds ahead of Morbidelli, third. Following the Italian pilot from Petronas SRT was his compatriot from Duccati Pecco Bagnaia.
With eleven laps to go things were very much unchanged at the top of the Spanish GP race. “El Diablo” seemed to be in total control of the race, setting a pace unattainable for Miller. Behind them, Morbidelli lost his third place to his countryman Bagnaia.
Quartararo sinks back down
Suddenly, Quartararo started losing the advantage he had over Miller with the latter finally passing him with ten laps remaining. Soon, Miller was a second ahead. The debacle of the Frenchman was unstoppable as progressively sunk to the thirteenth place.
Miller was then free to escape towards his second MotoGP win, closely followed by his Ducati teammate Bagnaia. Morbidelli finished in third, preceding Nakagami and Mir.
Images of Spanish GP: Ducati Corse.