Marquez eases to COTA MotoGP win, Quartararo extends lead - The Race

Marquez eases to COTA MotoGP win, Quartararo extends lead

Oct 3 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Honda rider Marc Marquez took his seventh win in eight MotoGP races at COTA, as Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo extended his championship lead in second.

Marquez started only third, having been beaten in qualifying at COTA for the first time ever on Saturday, but rectified this by leading even before Turn 1.

Behind him, Quartararo lunged down the inside of title rival Francesco Bagnaia at Turn 1, and it was Quartararo who kept Marquez under pressure in the opening laps.

But when a charging Jorge Martin, having been among several riders getting past Bagnaia early on, started to hound Quartararo, Marquez – perhaps coincidentally – picked his moment to ramp up the pace, getting more than a second clear of the championship leader by lap six.

A few laps later, as the race passed its halfway point, that gap was up to a mammoth three-and-a-half seconds, even though Quartararo did manage to shake off Pramac Ducati man Martin.

It was a lonely race from then on for the two leading riders, with Marquez taking the chequered flag 4.679s clear of Quartararo.

Bagnaia, who was down to sixth in the early going, mounted a solid recovery ride to claim the final spot on the podium and leave COTA 52 points off Quartararo – with only 75 available in the remaining three races.

Having re-overtaken Suzuki’s Alex Rins for fifth, Bagnaia was then literally waved through into fourth by Ducati team-mate Jack Miller, after Miller – the only rider in the field to race with a hard compound rear tyre – was informed on his pit board that his title-contending team-mate was behind him.

Bagnaia then reeled in Martin, helped by the Pramac man straightlining the Turns 3-5 section, and overtook him under braking into Turn 12 – although by then his passage into third was already secured, Martin having been assessed a long-lap penalty for the shortcut.

That long-lap penalty dropped Martin into fifth, behind Rins, who had eased past an increasingly struggling Miller.

Miller was then also overtaken by Enea Bastianini (Avintia Ducati) and reigning champion Joan Mir (Suzuki) on the final lap, as a consequence of contact with Mir that opened the door to the rookie.

Mir was on the receiving end of a tirade from Miller on the cooldown lap, and his on-the-road seventh-place finish was not enough to keep his title defense going – leaving just Quartararo and Bagnaia in mathematical contention for the title. It then became an eighth-place finish when he was demoted behind Miller post-race for “irresponsible riding”.

KTM’s top rider was Brad Binder in ninth place, while Pol Espargaro (Honda) completed the top 10. Petronas Yamaha’s new rider Andrea Dovizioso was 13th, while the returning Franco Morbidelli – now a factoyr Yamaha rider – slumped to last, still appearing to struggle for fitness.

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was the first faller of the race on the second lap, going down while in pursuit of Bagnaia at the end of the back straight.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro went down at the following corner, the Turn 13 right-hander, a few laps later for what was his fifth crash of the weekend, while Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco was another retirement, tipping off at Turn 1.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 20 41m41.435s 2m04.368s 0 25
2 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 20 +4.679s 2m04.761s 0 20
3 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 20 +8.547s 2m04.955s 0 16
4 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 20 +11.098s 2m04.94s 0 13
5 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 20 +11.752s 2m04.821s 0 11
6 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 20 +13.269s 2m05.093s 0 10
7 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 20 +14.722s 2m04.631s 0 9
8 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 20 +13.406s 2m05.103s 0 8
9 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 20 +15.832s 2m05.07s 0 7
10 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 20 +20.265s 2m04.957s 0 6
11 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 20 +23.055s 2m05.012s 0 5
12 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 20 +24.743s 2m05.519s 0 4
13 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 20 +25.307s 2m05.386s 0 3
14 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 20 +26.853s 2m05.627s 0 2
15 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 20 +28.055s 2m05.914s 0 1
16 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 20 +30.989s 2m05.46s 0 0
17 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 20 +35.251s 2m04.499s 0 0
18 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 20 +42.239s 2m06.157s 0 0
19 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 20 +49.854s 2m06.854s 0 0
Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 8 DNF 2m05.691s 0 0
Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 5 DNF 2m05.06s 0 0

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