Portugal MotoGP 2022: Quartararo wins and takes the lead

Despite his M1, Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) imposed himself in the Portuguese MotoGP 2022. The Frenchman has prevailed comfortably (5 seconds) at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve over compatriot and pole holder Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), in a repeat of last year’s performance in Portugal. Taking advantage of both Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Jack Miller’s (Ducati) falls, Aleix Espargaró completed the podium, his second of the year after winning in Argentine. 

A sensational and confident Álex Rins (Suzuki) brushed the podium after coming back from 20th to fourth place. He is currently tied in the standings with Quartararo at 69 points but still sitting behind the Frenchman in number of victories. 


Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing), on the other hand, has not been so lucky this weekend, despite arriving as leader. The Italian pilot crashed, dropping from first to sixth place, although he remains six points off the top with 61. It was also another black day for Ducati. The official Borgo Panigale team is not getting back on its feet.

Sore after his crash on Saturday, Pecco Bagnaia used his pride to climb to eight position from twenty-two, a very meritorious performance, given his physical condition. Not enough, however, for a supposed title bidder, whose candidacy gets blurrier with each passing day. 

Things have gone even worse for his partner Jack Miller. The Australian engaged in a battle for third place with Joan Mir which has ended with both of them on the ground. Bad luck for the Aussie and the Spaniard. 

Mir attempts an escape at the start  

Mir overtook poleman Zarco at the start to take the lead of the race, while the latter lost several positions. Trying to prevent the escape of the Spaniard, Quartararo managed to quickly leave Aleix Espargaró, Miller and Zarco behind. 

Shortly after, the last two World Champions left all others behind. In the fourth lap, however, the reigning monarch of MotoGP passed the Spaniard on the straight. He immediately escaped with seven-tenths of a second over the Spaniard. 

Raising his pace, Quartararo managed to increase the distance with his pursuer to 1.6 seconds in three laps, leaving no doubt about his superiority. Mir, on the contrary, was keeping a concerned eye on Zarco who, by the tenth lap, had recovered to position himself hot in his heels. Shortly after, Miller would join them to form a very quarrelsome trio. 


Quartararo imposes his law at the Portugal MotoGP 2022

Quartararo was then free to escape to the top of the podium thanks to a skilful and error-free rie, his calm head in stark contrast with the war that was raging behind him. 

With ten laps remaining, Zarco overtook Mir on the straight only to be relieved of that position again by the Spaniard on braking. That battle, which would eventually be won by the Frenchman from Pramac Racing, allowed Aleix Espargaró and Alex Rins to get closer. 


Seven laps before the checkered flag, Miller and Mir came head-to-head once again. The Aussie tried to overtake Mir for third place dragging him to the ground. Aleix Espargaró inherited third place as a result. By that time, Quartararo had already crossed the finish line, five seconds ahead of his compatriot Zarco. 


Images of Portugal MotoGP 2022: Michelin.


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